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How To Supplement Your Income With An Online Job

How To Supplement Your Income With An Online Job

Let us be very clear here. This article explains how to supplement your income with an online job; it is not telling you how to work a full-time job on the Internet.

To explain why this article only discusses supplementing your income rather than making a full-time income, here is a quick reality check.

Reality Check

Online jobs are (usually) very very very low paying. If you find a client, the biggest indicator that the client is not going to pay is if they offer you a reasonable (or better) wage/rate of pay. The exception being if you own your own online business of sorts, be it a product, website, or something of that nature. If you straight out work for an online company that specializes in employing people online, the wages are usually very low.

But…Don’t Some People Earn A Lot Of Money Online?

No, they do not. The only exceptions are people that are running businesses online, such as the people that run a real business online, such as via a website such as Amazon, eBay and other such things. They are people that have eCommerce websites or sell a local service, such as takeaway companies that allow online ordering. Some people create niche websites and make money from the traffic via affiliate marketing or adsense (and this is not exactly easy to do and likely will take you a few years to build up).

If you want a “job” online where you work from home on your computer, the pay is going to be very low.

Why Is The Pay Very Low?

There are two reasons. Firstly, if a client is going to pay a good amount of money, then the client will go to a larger company that has large offices, works mostly offline and that doesn’t depend on online commerce. The second reason is because there is much competition. No matter what service you offer, there are millions upon millions of other people on their computers doing the same thing. They are pushing up the price of advertising, and they are taking your customers by undercutting each other.

You also have other people from 3rd and 2nd world countries who are willing to work for far less than people from 1st world countries throwing their bid for online work into the pot — you will be competing against these types too, who are far more willing to work for less than you.

There Must Be Some People Who Work Online Full-Time

They are very rare, but almost all of them have a team of people behind them. For example, a writer may have a proofreader, editing publicist and agent, and the agent alone will cost around $270 per month, or 15% of the writer’s gross income (not net).

A graphic designer will have a promoter and usually has a web developer and/or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professional. A programmer will have a marketing team, programming circle and maybe a promoter too depending on the type of work. There are people that work online from home and earn a living wage, but to maintain their job they often need a team to help them. They are more like small business owners than they are independent workers or freelancers. Without the team, the independent working will often be chewed up and spat out within a year.

Yes, there are exceptions out there. But those exceptions are not the norm.

But…What About The Adverts That Claim I can Earn $1400 Per Month?

All of them are scams. Usually, you have to pay a free to discover something, and they tell you that you do the same thing they did where you offer a secret formula for a price. Many times, the deals involve allowing other people to use your bank accounts to move money, at which point they overdraw your account.

Some swindles ask that you send $30 to help them release funds of over $1000, of which they will give you 20%, and they simply steal your $20. Others have you sell online commodities and receive payment that they take, and then they rip off the person that is supposedly your customer.

Another common job is where people offer to pay you to take your clothes off or do sexy things on the Internet, and once you have sent your videos, they do not pay you and they sell your videos on the Internet. Some scams say you have to fill out surveys and that you are only paid after you earn $50 in a month, but they only ever send you enough surveys to earn $45 per month.

These are just a few of the online swindles you are going to come across. If you want to “supplement” your income online, you are going to have to work for a small amount of money and then work hard to earn it.

What Types Of Jobs Allow You To Supplement Your Income Online?

The best advice is that you use your current skills to try to attract new clients via the web. Whatever you can do better than other people should be what you use to supplement your income. Nevertheless, here are a few ideas you may use and a few ideas on how to get started.

Niche Websites

This is one area that can make you an online income. You basically need to set up a website about a topic or ‘niche’, create quality content for your website, then market that content in some way (network with other similar websites, create a strong social presence such as an active facebook page, SEO, etc) to build up traffic. Given enough traffic and if the niche is one such that you can make money with (affiliate market, eCommerce, direct ads, adsense, etc), you can earn some money. This could be a few dollars a month, hundreds of dollars a month, and even thousands of dollars. Check out for tips about how to do this.

An Essay Writer

There are now thousands of essay writing companies on the Internet. They will demand that you have a degree if you want to join them, but for the most part, you can tell them you have a degree, send them a doctored photo of a degree certificate, and you have the job. The standard rate is $2 per 100 words for academic text, and many times the students will send the work back for amendments, and they are always expected for free. For the price you are paid, you will need intimate knowledge of your subject because even a small 3000 word essay can take you days of research if you do not want the essay returned to you for amendments.

This is an interesting type of job. You can make a lot or nothing or (more likely) something in between IF you have some creativity to market. You basically need to think of some sort of ‘gig’ where you charge five dollars to do. This could be editing a single picture, writing an intro, or doing some other service that costs five dollars. You then post your listing and wait for people to buy that service. Some people do very well with this.

A Graphic Designer

Start by setting up your own website, and consider getting an agent, even though it is just for a little part-time work. The reason is why you may need an agent is because your clients will expect full commitment, and if you have an agent that is always on hand to take care of clients, you may retain your clients long enough to earn money. Consider working for an online company if they are happy with your longer working deadlines. It is very difficult to work a short deadline and a full-time job offline too. Work is too sporadic for some people to work full-time as an online graphic designer.

A Web Designer

There are plenty of people that want web designers because they simply find content management systems too restrictive (which they bloody are!). The trouble is that there are a lot of web designers out there. You need to design a website that shows all you can do. You need to advertise yourself with affiliate advertising and social media. You then need to build a list of clients and get testimonials from them that you place on your website, along with a link to their website so others may see your work. You should also work hard to get referrals from any clients you get, but they are often your most valuable marketing and work acquisition tools.

A Programmer

These are in very high demand. Hopefully, you have a lot of online friends and are part of the online community, and they will help you find work. If you are not part of the online community, then it is time you joined and started giving your work and advice away free to other people. If you help more than you take, then the programming community will accept you with open arms (except some of the Apple programmers because their marketplace is very cut throat). You can set up a website to promote your skills, but most programmers find work through word-of-mouth and through the contacts they have made online. There are online job posting websites such as and where you can bid and post on programming jobs.

A Web Developer

Try to gain employment with a real company that allows part-time and online workers. It is far easier to do that than it is to go it alone. If you do go it alone, then do what a web designer would do. You should also try affiliate advertising in your local area with very low paid-click prices to see if you can get any work in your local area with people you may meet face to face.

A Pornographic Or Erotic Star

Moral quandaries aside, there is a ready market for this sort of thing. You may set up your own website in which you sell your videos and images yourself. Or, you may join a network that either pays you for your videos, or that has people pay money to you. There are live-streaming services where your users pay you donations in the hopes you will do certain things, and there are companies that allow people to rent your movies for a small fee. Be careful if you do this because firstly, it will damage your reputation and will restrict you from getting certain jobs in the future, and secondly, there are a great many scammers out there that will take your images and videos and will not pay you for them.

A Social Media Star

I do hesitate to bring this one up because it is so difficult to earn money through social media; however, I have seen too many people make money from it to rule it out. You have to start a channel on a social media platform, such as Google+ or YouTube. You attract visitors and you place affiliate advertising on your profile to make money. You may also sell links to other people that want to take advantage of your publicity. You may also sell your “Likes” and “Shares.” You may also advertise their products/services on your channel for a gratuity payment. You may also receive payment for the message you send out. For example, people on Facebook are still being paid by drug companies to make claims that childhood inoculations cause autism and other problems. This is because every time this silly idea surges in popularity, the stock prices of the companies that treat illnesses like measles, mumps and rubella goes up because investors know that more kids are going to suffer and die from them without inoculations, which will increase the profitability of the drug companies.

Filling Out Surveys

Don’t do it. They rarely pay you at the end of it, and usually it is just a way of figuring out your personal information so that they may steal your identity. If you want money for things like this, then look for online data entry or transcribing jobs. Search for jobs like them in Google and usually you are able to find lists of companies that hire transcribers and data entry clerks online.

Sell Your Photographs Or Cartoons

It is not as difficult as it seems. There are now quite a few websites that act as a marketplace where you may sell your photographs and cartoons so that others may use them on their websites.

Translation Services

If you have great written skills, then there are thousands of companies liking for translators. You may wish to try Google first, to see if there are any freelance positions open. Then you should try the job boards for translators that may telecommute.

Online Teaching / Tutoring

You will have to sign up with an actual college, school, university or institution, and you will need a degree and teaching qualification. There are also independent companies that will hire you. There are a tiny few websites that will hire you if you do not have a degree, such as if you want to teach people guitar lessons, but there is not a big demand because people can learn how to play the guitar with lessons they find free on YouTube.

If you do have a marketable skill (like the ability to teach foreign language), you could sell these specializes services as a Tutor.

Blogging And Betting

Don’t do either of them and expect an income of any kind. For example, if you become a part-time blogger, you can expect around $5 for every 10,000 viewers you get, and usually it takes around 6 months to get over 10,000 viewers for many smaller blogs (or websites less than a year old, depending).

Betting may supplement your income, and you can become good at it, but only use a set amount each week, and treat your betting like you treat investing. Play the numbers, manage your books, and stop looking for big wins. Your only goal is to come out with more than you spent, which is why it is so important that you only spend a small and set amount each week.

One form of ‘skill betting’ is to play online poker. Keep in mind though, you actually need to be good at poker and it’s a full time job and not without stress. But if you are talented at poker and are willing to put the time in, it’s possible to make a living playing poker.

Should You Go The Extra Mile?

You may have read “Think And Grow Rich” or some similar motivational book that claims you can only achieve success through going the extra mile. This means offering your service and then doing a little more than is expected. The idea is that if you are going to run a race, then do not stop at the finish line, go the extra mile.

When supplementing your income online, I have to say, in my opinion, that going the extra mile is not a good idea. I do promote the idea of going the extra mile, but in my experience, going the extra mile isn’t worth it when working online. So many clients will lose your contact details, rip you off, expect more for their money, switch to a cheaper provider, or go out of business–that going the extra mile is not worth your effort. Very few of your clients will become long-lasting and reliable clients. Most will disappear without a trace and without warning.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. 'He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created to help others do likewise!

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