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Has anyone here found a legitimate way to make money online?

I’ve seen software for sale online promising that it will make me money. All I have to do is buy the software, load it up, build a simple website, advertise through Google Adsense (and other search engines), and then watch the money start rolling in… But at the end of the day, I never understand really what I’m being asked to buy – how the programs work exactly. Referrals? Advertising? Junk mail i.e. spam?

There has to be some way to make honest money online. Anyone out there figure out how? Assuming you won’t be revealing any secrets if you decide to share…

I don’t know what “business opportunity” you are looking at, but many like the one you describe are multilevel schemes, where you buy the software for the primary purpose of selling the same software to others, who sell in turn to others, and so on. How the software facilitates that varies, sometimes it is spamming, sometimes targeted advertising, or Craigslist or eBay management, or any number of other things.

Honest money online means providing something of value of your own to a targeted group of people. A common way is to be your own publisher or broadcaster. This means writing or podcasting or videocasting or self-publishing on a topic in which you have expertise, or resources that are hard to replicate. There are a number of tools to do each, and most are free or very cheap.

Remember Matt Drudge? Put aside the content or your feelings about him, and read his Wikipedia entry. He had no direct qualifications to do what he is doing now; all he had was a computer, a high level of interest, and access to an information source (he used to dumpster-dive at CBS) that is hard to replicate. Take some time and brainstorm where you might be specially situated yourself, and ask yourself if you have the passion to build something from that.

Another thing I have recommended in the past, is to find a traditional brick and mortar business and bring it onto the internet in some sort of partnership or sales agency. I have some thoughts about that if you want to post another question or drop me a line.

The Future of Online Advertising is Video

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