With all the news about online scams it is easy to get scared about investing in online systems that claim to help you make a living. So you may wonder “can I actually make money online?” The answer to this is yes, if you are ready to invest in the time, money and effort to find the right system and follow it step by step.
If you surf the internet for any length of time, you are very likely to come across lots of adverts from companies that claim to be able to make you millions with little or no time, effort or investment on your part. So the question arises, how can you distinguish a genuine money making opportunity from a scam?
The first thing you need to do is to avoid pyramid schemes. Genuine affiliate opportunities do indeed exist, so how do you distinguish them from pyramid schemes. If all they want you to do is invest in the opportunity to sell the scheme to others without there being any actual product to sell to people, then this is a pyramid scheme.
Any genuine affiliate scheme will have a real product for sale such as a downloadable documents, books, manuals, CD or DVD media or other physical product, access to online videos, software or a useful facility etc. – in most cases their media will also be available through a reputable affiliate clearing house such as Commission Junction or Clickbank
Secondly, beware of sites that claim to be affiliated with hugely successful companies such as Google or having been featured on some of the major broadcasting networks such as NBC News or the BBC. If this claim is true, they should be able to tell you when and where i.e. if the BBC actually featured or recommended their company or product, the organisations website should have a link to an actual positive article on them on BBC’s website.
Some of them display a cheque (check for US visitors) from Google. Since Google will pay anyone whose Google AdSense adverts get clicked, this only means that they made money from hosting Google’s advertising or selling Google products, not that they work for Google or with Google as a partner i.e. placing adverts for the Daily Telegraph in your shop window does not make you partners with them in the sense most people understand.
Others may use Google’s name as part of the scheme to make you think they are a Google product e.g. GoogleMoneyMakingSystem. This does not mean they are a scam, or that the product will not do what they say it will. Just don’t be led to believe the product is from or endorsed by Google.
Read the small print. Often you will be asked to pay a small fee upfront with the hidden real fee for much more being collected off your card within a short period after, or you could be led to think you are paying a one-off fee when you are actually signing up to a monthly subscription. If very important information is hidden away from you be suspicious. You should start wondering “What else are they hiding?”
Do Internet searches on the product or site with the words ‘scam’ or ‘problem’ following e.g. type ‘XYZAffiliateMonsterMoneyMaker scam’. If people have had issues with a site or product they are very likely to publish their complaint online somewhere. Any product or system can have problems, but beware if the problems relate to the product being shoddy or non-existent or relate to people not getting any service for their money or having problems getting in touch with support or receiving a refund.
Note that sometimes advertisers use the scam word to get you to read a positive product review e.g. assuming an imaginary system they might use the heading: XYZAffiliateMonsterMoneySystem: Is this Real or Just a Scam?
Actually making money online is difficult until you have the right information. What you should do is:
a) Find a system that actually works. How? If it is being promoted by lots of affiliates then there is a high possibility it actually works – otherwise why would they waste their time promoting a product that is so poor that they have to give back their profits in refunds.
b) Invest a reasonable amount of money to buy into the system or purchase software and material (Genuine entrepreneurs do not “give” away their systems, but may give away a free trial or low cost time limited version with the hope of tempting you to upgrade to a better or complete version)
c) Put in a reasonable amount of effort and time into researching, studying, understanding, learning how best to use and apply the system and tools you are given.
d) Identify a niche that has not been over-exploited and for which there is not too much competition; ideally in an area you are actually interested in.
e) Consistently apply the system exactly as you are taught without jumping from one system to another. Don’t be impatient but learn from your mistakes.
Unless you think of some great online product no one else in the world has thought of, it is likely to take a lot of time, effort and patience to succeed.
The good news is that once you understand a genuine system and how to make it work, you can replicate your success over and over again with increasing ease and confidence and less and less time and effort.