Read any “online money-making” guide, and the first thing they suggest is selling on eBay.
But what if you don’t want to sell anything? What if, like me, you are just not good at selling?
You see, selling is not my thing. I am not a salesman at all.
During my early 20’s, I worked at a handful of retail stores. I probably persuade more people to not buy whatever they were thinking of buying than to buy.
And that’s OK. Some of us are just not made to be “salesmen”.
For those of us, thankfully, there are many ways to earn an income. And when it comes to the internet, it’s no different.
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Here are a few ways you can make some extra cash online without selling anything.
What will I learn?
1. Survey & Reward Websites
Let’s assume that you find building websites too cumbersome or challenging, but drawing traffic to your website is certainly not the only option to earn cash without selling a single thing on the web.
The following websites actually reward members for some of the most common activities people engage in for their daily web surfing affairs.
SwagBucks has a big reputation for rewarding people this way. Here the compensation comes in the form of Swagbucks. Members then exchange these Swagbucks for cash prizes and PayPal money.
The site started as a “paid search engine” where members were rewarded for searching through SB search engine.
Over the years, the tremendous popularity of the site (it was even featured on Good Morning America) has evolved into much more than just a paid search engine. You can now earn money in a dozen or so ways, including taking surveys, shopping, watching videos, visiting websites, etc.
As great as it sounds, this is certainly not a get rich quick scheme. But if you can replicate your earning model with some other similar websites, these can still add up to quite a bit of income.
Sendearnings.com is surely one website you cannot afford to ignore, where easy money is concerned.
To start off, SendEarnings rewards any new member with a signup bonus of a $5 bonus.
Here the main income source is doing offers. Most of the offers here do not involve any upfront fee, so you can keep your investment to a minimum.
Still, the offers that pay well are those paid offers. Depending on who you talk to, this can be either a bane or boon. But the bottom line is that you can either go for free offers and accumulate your earnings, or try out paid offers, and wait for a bigger payday.
It is your choice!
At SendEarnings, you have to chalk up a minimum of $30.00 before you request a check.
One outstanding stunt they offer here is paid e-mails. You can arrange to have these sent to your e-mail every day. And you could stand to earn $0.04 from these daily e-mails. Certainly a decent side income with virtually no effort on your part!
InboxDollars.com is very similar to SendEarnings.
The setup is almost alike and the business models employed are replicas of each other. In this context, I would recommend signing up for both SendEarnings and InboxDollars, as you would essentially be doing the same thing.
Both also have a decent referral program. Get more people into the game and earn more money.
2. Adsense Niche Site
Google Adsense is probably one of the easiest ways of monetizing a website or blog. There are no physical or virtual items that need to change hands here. You don’t have to trade any services in order to derive your income.
There is also no software program to be developed, or e-Book to be created.
All you have to do is put a snippet of code on your website. This code will then serve ads based on the content of your pages. And whenever a visitor to your site clicks on an ad, you earn a commission. What you earn per click can be anything from a few cents to up to $50 or even more in rare cases.
Google has improved their pay per click system, and the resultant product is a sophisticated advertising system that allows auto insertion of their advertisements onto your web pages.
The principle is still the same. Whenever a visitor decides to act on one of those Google advertisements on your web page, Google allocates a share of the pay per click value to you.
I am not sure if this is the greatest invention in the Internet age, but Google Adsense is certainly groundbreaking for webmasters as they now find a new stream of income by not doing anything new.
Granted, they are expected to keep their web content fresh and interesting in order to draw traffic. So there is no change here. But with the advent of Google Adsense, it is now possible for Google to check every individual page that exists on the web, and chooses to plug in matching advertisements right into the web pages matching that theme. In this way, webmasters are effectively monetizing their websites by participating in this program.
How It Works?
It takes two sides to rock and roll!
This is where Google AdWords comes in as the other half of the equation, that is known as Google pay per click system.
Here advertisers first sign up as members of Google AdWords and subsequently run promotions (or advertising campaigns) by utilizing an array of keywords suggested by Google. The keywords are ranked based on the regularity people use them on search engines.
There are two places where your advertisements can pop up:
- Your ads are placed right inside the Google search results. This happens when web users search the web for keywords that match those subscribed by the Adsense member, which means you. In this case, your advertisements would be singled out as “Sponsored Links”.
- Some webmasters choose to incorporate the Google Adsense code into their web pages. When Google senses that there is a close match between the theme of the concerned web page and the keywords that you (the Adsense member) employed for your advertisement, Google may just plug your ads right inside the “Ads by Google” section.
The fun part is when somebody decides to click on an advertisement. With every click, the Adwords member (the advertiser) would be billed in accordance with the bid amount for those specific keywords. For the Adsense members (or the webmasters), they would be credited with a portion of the bid amount.
Because of the enormity of the internet and many millions of folks doing advertisements on this Google Adsense platform, there could be multiple ways for webmasters to take full advantage of this Adsense scheme by simply tweaking their websites so that they appear to cater to a number of subject areas.
This is certainly one relatively easy way to make money without selling any physical or even digital product.
Making the Most of Adsense
As a rule of thumb, members are well-advised to try to keep the options as limited as possible as far as visitors are concerned.
Here are the likely options when users come to a web page:
- Follow the link embedded inside Google Adsense Advertisement to learn more or take some action.
- Quit the web page but either go backward or simply close the browser.
- Or the user chooses to navigate away from the website by clicking to another page, with even more Google Adsense ads.
Webmasters are strongly encouraged to make this option as tough as practically possible (for example, not having a list of websites that make it easy for users to navigate away).
Well, it is easier said than done. But you have to get the balance right, between enticing people to act on an AdWords advertisement versus hitting that back button (or simply closing the browser).
In essence, you need to supply just adequate information so that people get intrigued and want to find out more.
However, keep in mind that people can get easily turned off if the information provided is really scarce and not helpful. Nothing annoys people more when they develop the impression that they are wasting time on your website.
Beating the Competition
One possible speed bump in the building of an “Adsense Site” is the number of competitions that choose to utilize the popular keywords, in addition to them usually being more costly.
As a result, more efforts are expected to be dispensed on search engine optimization, just so that you could rank high in the search engine rankings, which obviously is a pre-requisite for decent size traffic to your website.
Naturally, you can choose to focus on less popular keywords, so as to contain the cost and the number of competition on similar themes. And you can expect these less popular keywords would not fetch you significant traffic, of course.
The workaround is to find many more of them so that collectively they will help to pull in a bunch of visitors decent enough.
And so you go on to prepare your website. Until you figure out the keyword value, popularity and competition, don’t hold your breath in anticipation of decent passive income from Google Adsense coming through soon.
The good thing about getting that balance right is that it often does not require extensive effort from you in order to get your website right!
Granted, it takes time to construct a website from scratch. But once you get it going, your site will start to make money for you and it will continue to do so for as long as you keep the site alive.
The Bottom Line
Of course, the list above is by no means extensive. There are certainly lots more than this blog can contain.
Choices are plenty, but before you set your mind on any website, do proper research online so you don’t fall for scams.
Percentage wise, the scams probably make up a good chunk of the total number of money earning websites around. And it can get real ugly if you are unfortunate enough to land on one.
Another reason for research is that you want to make a comparison, to see how individual websites measure up against one another, so you find the optimal source of income where you can actually make some money without having to sell anything, including your soul!