Internet businesses making money online and work from home options can be found, but there are also a lot of scams you must beware aware of and keep on the lookout for, so you don’t fall victim to them.  In this article, I’d like to suggest some of the best ways to earn a living online, legitimately, and some of the things you must watch out for, so you don’t become another victim.

Realistic Expectations with Online Income

Get rich quick ideas rarely, if ever, pay the bills.  The person getting rich is generally the person selling you the information you need to get started in your online business ventures.  One of the best quotes I ever heard came from this very site, by a member named dreamakerThis is a hard way to make an easy living.  That pretty much sums up online income and businesses for working at home.  It sounds wonderful, never having to leave the house and making some money, but it’s not super easy to get there.  It takes time, hard work, a positive attitude, knowledge, and yes, some luck.  Don’t expect it to become a fulltime income in weeks or even months.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  You can get there, but it will take time.

Passive Income – A Hard Way to Make an Easy Living

One of the more legitimate ways to make a living online is by writing.  You certainly don’t have to be a professional writer with a degree in journalism to make it pay.  Sites like this one will allow you to post articles and get paid through advertisers.  It’s passive because you can do the work today and get paid, at least in theory, forever for your work.  While forever isn’t realistic, since nobody knows the future, several years is realistic.  As a word of caution, however, you need to keep in mind that for every one person making a legitimate fulltime income online, there are probably one hundred that don’t make it.  Many give up quickly, when the money doesn’t pour in.  I happen to be one of the people making a fulltime income online, although I still have a ‘real’ job for health insurance and child support payments, but it took me a few years and countless hours of work to get there. 

There are several ways to make money with writing online.  You can post articles, like this one, you can write product reviews for various sites, or you can simply blog about everyday things in your life.  Again, keep in mind there are few that make it to the ‘big time’ with online income. 

Upfront Pay for Writing Articles

While this isn’t passive income, it is a good way to make money online and work from home.  If you have good writing skills, someone will pay you to write for them.  Pay rates are all over the board.  Some will only pay less than a penny per word and others will pay much, much more.  As with many other online businesses and working situations, you might have to prove yourself before you can command a good amount of money.

For those who would like to try something like this, you will want to search for topics you know well, so you don’t have to spend much time researching, unless, of course, you find a topic which truly interests you and you would like to learn more about it.  In addition to this, you will want to work to make sure you are really fast at typing.

Personally, I would suggest starting out at a few sites, like Demand Studios, Text Broker, or even ODesk to get the hang of it.  Once you get there and can verify your work, if it’s good quality, you might want to try sites like Constant-Content, where you can get a great deal more money, if you have the material and reputation to back it up.

Sell Stuff on eBay or Craigslist

You can sell items on various sites, two of which are eBay and Craigslist, but there are countless other sites out there.  Many people start out very small, like my former neighbor, who started out buying cheap, good condition items at yard sales and posting them on these sites for profit.  He quickly learned the difference between and old junk items of little value and a unique items of substantial value and used it to his advantage.  Today, this neighbor buys items at wholesale, mostly cheap electronics, and sells them on sites like eBay for a good living.  He makes legitimate money online by doing this and quit his ‘real’ job a while back.

There are Hundreds of Other Ways to Make Money Online at Home

There are hundreds, possibly thousands of ways to earn a living without leaving your home, having nothing more than a computer and internet access.  Surveys, tutoring, affiliate sales, and lots of other options are out there, but there are also lots of scams, so use caution.

Spotting Work at Home Scams

You will find no shortage of scam artists out there, more than willing to take your hard earned money and give you nothing in return.  Here are a few ways to spot a scam:

Too Good to be True:  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Maybe it’s cliché, but it’s also very true.  You have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do making $100,000 per month without working at it.  If a person knew the secret to internet millions, would they share it with you for $20 and flood the market?

It’s Super Easy:  Along the lines of sounding too good to be true, some online money making businesses, claiming you can work from home without effort are nothing but scams.  In fact, if they claim this, you should run the other way.

Payment Required:  I will say the best money I have ever spent was $30 for an ebook about search engine optimization, but for the most part, if you have to pay money to make it, with this possible exception, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.  Just use common sense and do some investigation to protect yourself.

No Method for Researching the Company:  If they are in good standing with sites like the Better Business Bureau, wouldn’t they want you to know who they are?  Of course they would.  If there is no way to spot a company name on their site, it’s probably a scam.

Internet businesses making money online and work from home jobs are out there, but they are not easy work and should be investigated carefully.