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Making Money on the Internet

Online? Dotcom? E-Business? More and more people are beginning to get acquainted with these Internet terms. The Internet is a global marketplace, where you can grow your business to the whole world with a concept of a 24/7 online shop, crossing all boundaries, race and gender.
In this article, I will bring you some tips on Making Money on the Internet and what to avoid.

1. Setting up Your Web Store
Do you have a product or service to promote? It doesn’t matter whether you have a physical business, or whether you’re just a homemaker who’s working from home. The key here is to setup a professional website, promote this website via online and offline tools, and update the contents on your website regularly. If you are serious in your webstore, the choice of web design company should be an important consideration. Choose a party that is able to do more than just “design a website”, by being to offer you great tips and consultancy on how to improve your website, and facilities for accepting online payment.

Some great websites that you can develop include

  • Cakes and Cookies Delivery (either for gifts, or during festive) seasons
  • Specialty Clothes - knitted, name - embroidery
  • Copywriting / editiorial services - language translation, freelance writer

Just evaluate your skills and strengths, you’re sure to find one that is suitable for the website. The website need not be your individual effort, check around with your other friends, and you’ll have a website with various products and services to promote.

2. Join Affiliate Programs
Have the time, and want to do something online but you have no / limited products to sell? Or, are you starting a website that is mainly for social or non-profit purpose? Consider joining an affiliate program to create revenue streams for your website.

Some affiliate programs also allow those without website to join their programs by simply promoting the products / services via email, or through promoting your own affiliate link (referral number / id). Some will even offer you a free affiliate website, which is not really “your website” as it’s main purpose is to sell this Company’s products.

Do not attempt to join too many affiliate programs, and overwhelm your website visitors with these affiliate banners. Choose affiliate programs that will appeal to your website visitors, and your friends. Be sure to read the fine print on these affiliate programs in terms of referral fee per transaction, minimum amount accumulation for payout, commission on return customers, and the company background.

3. Trading Online
Just take a look at the Classifieds website on the Internet, or the Auction websites. From selling your old clothes, to collector items like coins, you’ll be amazed by the amount of items available for sale on these websites. These classified and auction websites are similar to our version of “garage sale”, just that now you have a global audience who will browse through your merchandise 24 hours a day. Some sites to check include, and Yahoo! Classifieds. Posting of your merchandise on these sites can be free, x dollar per listing, or % per successful sale.

As the saying goes “There’s dotcom, and there’s dotcon”. Have you been bombarded with Internet schemes that promise tremendous payout? On average, I get over 15 Internet schemes and offers on a daily basis, such as get paid to read emails, get paid to view advertisements, Internet investment with high performance, and more.

To imagine that these email messages are sent to millions of Internet users daily, it only takes a 1% response to give these companies their millions of dollars. Some of the common ones include:-

a) Get Paid to Surf - you have to logon to the website a x number of times daily or download a special browser to their desktop, and read the ads / view the banners. The website company will charge the advertisers and reward the members who complete the quota.
Pitfall : It takes you ages to complete the quota to be eligible for the payout scheme, if you can ever accomplish it. By the time you get your payout, your amount will be deducted of administrative charges (which sometimes can be about 20% of your total payout already). The worst scenario would be to have the website close down before any member receives their payout. One of the most famous website for Get Paid to Surf was AllAdvantage, which was closed down despite being the fatest growth website in terms of members.
Mutations of this scheme include Get Paid to Receive SMS, Get Paid to Read Emails, and Get Paid to Listening to Online Radio Ads.
However, if you wish to try this out, you should check out the following issues first:

  1. How much will you be paid by reading each email?
  2. What is your responsibility other than reading emails, e.g. some schemes would require you to click to a website linked within the email?
  3. Can a Malaysian participate? Some schemes are restricted to US citizens only.
  4. What is the minimum amount of pay-out?
  5. How long will it take for you to earn the minimum pay-out? Remember you are incurring charges for your internet access and phone bills for reading the emails.
  6. How is payment to be made and any charges? If payment is made by US cheque, then a significant part of it would be eaten by bank charges.

b) Money Laundering - This is a scheme that have been around for many years, earlier on starting with people receiving letters and faxes, and now becoming more high tech with their email messages. The scheme tells you that the sender (most likely from a country in the African continent) has a large sum of money, seeks your assistance in transferring this amount into your bank account, and if successful, you will be offered a x percentage of this amount. Sounds too good to be true that they have actually identified you for this opportunity?
Pitfall : Many wise businessmen, and young teenagers have been lured into these schemes due to greed, and rumours have it that after following through with the transaction, some have even been killed after travelling to meet the sender, lost a lump sum of money from their bank account, or have their identities stolen for illegal crimes.

c) Online MLM - Companies who promise you great returns through pyramid schemes, and multi-level schemes. Although without valid local government licenses, their excuses to you would be that for Internet, they are not bound by the local laws. Remember the Malaysia government’s commercials on “Get Rich Quick Schemes”? Many have fallen prey to these schemes. These schemes should not be mistaken with the affiliate programs (which you can join for Free, with real products / services). Check through the company background thoroughly, has anyone really received the payout cheque?
Pitfall : If anything was to go wrong, whom can you turn to if the Company is not even registered to any Malaysian office, and the people who’ve introduced the scheme to you are only Members? If the Online MLM scheme is to be promoted offline, either through business opportunity meetings, physical sales pitches, it is definitely too risky to be participating in these schemes. One of the most famous online MLM scheme to hit Malaysia was SkyBiz (buy online websites, of which most members have never even built)

In summary, there are many ways to make money on the Internet but along the way, you are bound to come across various schemes. The option then, is to evaluate such schemes and make a wise decision before participating.

Source : Author : Fione Tan
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