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Quite a number of peers had asked about what internet opportunities are legitimate and what are sham. When you type “work at home” or “online jobs” on Google, there will be a lot of instances wherein you stumble on “money-making” sites like pay-per-clicks, affiliate marketing and virtual assistant jobs. Before you become gullible on that “make your website a money-making machine” ad, please understand the following facts:

1. Pay-Per-Clicks (PPC’s) & Advertising

A legitimate online business tells you exactly how to earn the money. They reason why I discouraged pay-per-clicks is that the PPC sites cannot tell where they will get the money to pay you. Simply put: you sell some, you earn some. If you perform a specific job, you’ll get paid. Clicking and watching an online ad load-up for 60 seconds on your screen does not earn them money either, unless the somebody would actually buy the product.  PPC as a clicker does not earn you money, a total misconception about PPC.

The most genuine Pay-per-Click or PPC system is by becoming a publisher, the one owning a blog or a website. As a publisher, you allow advertisement platforms such as Google AdSense and to display ads on your site. Facebook is the best example of earning money as a publisher through Facebook Ads.  There are two ways to earn ad space rent as a publisher: Pay-per-click that is when other people (based on IP addresses) click on the ad through your site, you get paid. .  Another is Pay-per-Sale commission, when people buy on the merchant site through the ad link on your site. Since pay-per-sale is more cost-realistic to advertisers, they offer it more than PPC’s.  This system would require you to have steady and targeted traffic to your site in order to earn. The advertisement platform should provide information to support any newbie publisher to succeed.

2. Online Stores, Membership Sites, Affiliate Marketing

You will have to work for it- There is no such thing as Instant Money. Opportunity hunters woulds always bump into a very long squeeze page. The one loaded with sales pitch & testimonials -by convincing you to get their product by clicking the big “buy now” button. I have handled a lot of these campaigns for my clients and they do earn well -regardless of the product. Affiliate marketing involves selling your own product, OR other people’s virtual product for a commission (ie: ebook guides, software or a site access).  An online store is a virtual storefront selling a physical products (such as jewelries, clothes or food). The affiliate site is the marketplace where merchants (the product owners) and affiliates (the commission-based sellers) meet. To venture in any of these online selling, you have to master specific tasks in internet marketing or else you will not earn. If you remain consistent and focused, you will definitely earn unlimited income. If you easily quit after a failure, most likely you will think that this is a scam.

What are those requirements?

a. You will have to invest some capital to join an affiliate site, build your own site and hire people to help you. This is not a one man-show.

b. You will have to devote not just 8hrs a day- especially if you insist working alone.

c. You got to have knowledge in gaining traffic to your site. Building a site is one thing, promoting is another.

d. You have to know a little web development and a lot of content writing. Great content is what attracts people to your page as well as  convinces them to buy the product.

An affiliate system is most likely be a scam if it focuses on instant money and if the affiliate/ merchant site has bad forum reviews. These signs should already give you a red flag. You have to understand that you have to exert a great deal of effort if you are to sell a legitimate product for the first time. Most affiliate masters I know told me to keep promoting for year or so before I get ROI (when the website URL ages in Google rankings). Bottom line: start small, work for it, and wait for it to grow. With the right system, the concept of “earning money while you sleep” can become a reality.

3. Article Writing, Virtual Assistance, Online-teaching

Take care of them-they’ll pay you back-be wary of colorful promises. The beauty of being employed is that you don’t have to spend capital nor spend a lot effort -in contrast to selling online. Being hired by a good employer gives you a regular paycheck every single month. You also do specific tasks at a time. You deliver-they pay. One thing I liked best in working at home is that I get to be with my little children all day. As of any endeavor, there are both advantages and disadvantage of being an employed internet worker. One is a limited income, you are only tied to the salary you and the client have agreed upon. Another is non-payment. It may occur that a client shows you good for the first months then suddenly disappears. So as a freelance worker, you have to accept these facts even before you post your online resume. Are you ready to meet bad clients? What are at stake if you are not paid? Once you truly accept these facts, you will find it pretty quick to recover and move on in any event a bad client crosses you.

How do you determine a bad client from a good one? It is entirely like finding a boyfriend actually (no pun-’tis true!). A good client does not promise anything to keep you around. He will offer you a nice working relationship and never buys you off, “if you stay with me, you will also earn more than this…“. He (or she) also presents a way on how to measure work quantity and sometimes  argues with you with respect. Good ones do not make you over-work, nor demand unreasonable work loads. I had once a irksome client who makes my head ache every time we chat but he always pay on time. He audits my work all the time before he pay. To lessen the emotional stress of dealing with him, I made a mistake of accepting a very sweet-chatting, more liberal-minded client, who turned out to be a complete scammer that cost me financial loses until this very day.  Lesson learned: the more a client “works-out” a relationship with you, the more that he is faithful to you.

Is working online a scam? It is so only if,  you venture into it without prior experience & extensive research. Being equipped with the right information enables us to learn from the mistakes other internet workers had done. Whether the business is online or brick-and-mortar, they have their own success-fail story. Scammers are everywhere. The only way to online success is to completely accept failure as part of the venture and moving on as quickly as possible.


Maribeth Oliver is sharing her insights about working at home and content development.