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Can Anyone Really Make Money Online?

Aug 26, 2007
There are thousands of different programs that offer you the opportunity to make money with a simple internet business. At some point, we all have gone on to a search engine to look for get-rich-quick schemes or work-from-home programs. There is a morass of these sorts of opportunities and scams available to you. For our purposes here, we are going to sift through some of this junk and try to determine whether there is any hope for those of us who truly want to make money with our own online business.

We will begin our discussion with my personal favorite; sites that claim to have work-from-home or telecommuting jobs being offered by fortune 500 companies, and you can submit your resume if you pay a membership fee to join the website so you can gain access to their job postings. However, after you pay the fee, you will quickly discover that most of the jobs posted are either bogus, or pyramid schemes, or jobs that almost no one is qualified for. Usually, when a legitimate corporation posts a job opportunity on one of these telecommuting job sites, they never contact any of the applicants who submit resumes. The human resources department of that company is merely using the site as a way to collect resumes in case they want to contact someone who meets their qualifications for a certain job, but not necessarily the job being listed on the website.

The next most common scam you are likely to encounter is the MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing). These are companies that have some sort of product or service that they want you to sell. You will receive a commission on each sale you make, but to make significant money, you need to recruit other sales reps to join the business. Your recruits, and anyone else recruited by the people you recruited as well as the recruits of the recruits of the recruits of the recruits, become part of what is called a downline. Sounds confusing, huh? Well, to put it simply, you will receive a commission on every sale made by each person in your downline; the closer to you in the downline, the larger share of the commission you will receive. It is sort of like a family tree. However, if you join an MLM, you will discover that it is almost impossible to make any sales because the leads you will receive will be unqualified or insufficient, and the people in your downline will not make significant sales either. It is virtually impossible to make decent money working for an MLM.

Next on the list is perhaps my favorite internet con of them all; making money by filling out surveys! There are hundreds or even thousands of these survey companies that say they will pay you a fee for each survey you complete, but you will never get paid. Many people have tried this, but when they arrive at the end of the questionnaire, there is always some sort of exception, or a request for additional information in order to qualify for some other survey where you will then be able to get paid. Basically, these surveys are simply a means for collecting your personal information in order to sell it to other companies that are buying leads for telemarketing or for sending bulk email.

In addition, there are a lot of pyramid schemes pervading the internet. With a pyramid scheme, you are asked to contribute a certain amount of money, and then you are promised a return when new investors make their contribution. Eventually, the pyramid collapses when money owed to the previous investors is more than what can be raised. Pyramid schemes are almost always a sham.

I hope this information will help you steer clear of some or all of these scams. No one gets rich overnight. The only way to make money on the internet is by starting your own legitimate business.
About the Author
Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make email forms.
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