5 Incredibly Hard And Stupid Ways To Make Money Online

Make Money Online is perhaps the most over-discussed subject in business. For many people, whether they’ve heard of or been part of dotcom booms and bust or not, “make money” is synonymous with “online.”

On one hand, there’s money making potential in renting, lending, swapping, bartering, and gifting, according to Andy Yates of Real Business. Then there’s money to be made online in publishing, blogging, providing services, selling products, trading information, and crowd-sourcing.

There are, however, ways you should not make money online.  For one, there are scams. FBI even posted information on Common Fraud Schemes and how you should avoid them.  We Blog Better has busted some online money making myths that you should read up on.

Finally, there are the stupid ways to make money online. An idea qualifies as “stupid” when you base your business on false hopes, abortive attempts, or hype instead of a sound business model and a great product or service. Here are 5 incredibly hard and stupid ways to make money…

Stupid Ways To Make Money Online


Filling up forms, typing documents, taking surveys, applying for mystery shopping, or doing anything that a company doesn’t want to do itself but instead offers you cash for doing qualify as gigs.

Temporary gigs are fine but do them for yourself and not for someone else. Start a service business if you are so inclined to provide services or if you believe that you can offer value by helping others with your skills.

Online or offline, taking up part-time jobs are no way to make money. It’s another thing if all you want is some extra cash. Even then, picking up one of these ways to make money online just because the Internet is ubiquitous and allows you freedom to work from anywhere is unproductive and non-scalable.

Reading emails, rolling advertisements one after the other by clicking away to eternity in exchange for pennies isn’t business; it’s foolishness. If you do something for a fiver, then all you are worth is a fiver.


Don’t be surprised with “blogging” as a stupid way to make money online; because it is—when you think of it as a money making outlet!

There’s a train of thought that goes:

blog on a niche you are passionate about and you’ll make money off your blog

That’s true. The problem, however, is that for most niches that you can think of, there are way too many blogs. Competition isn’t bad per se, but too much competition makes a market “saturated”. When there are quicker, faster, and better ways to make money, why do you have to spend years blogging away to make a few cents and dollars?

Do publish blog posts when you have to use it to market a viable business. Write blog posts when you want to communicate your knowledge, passion, and experience. When you want to publish for the sake of publishing, please do it by all means. Just don’t begin to depend on blogging to feed your sons and daughters.

Multi-level/Network Marketing

Robert T. Kiyosaki was right when he claimed that network marketing is one of the best and most practical forms of business education in his book The Business of the 21st Century. Multi-Level Marketing – online or offline – is a great, low-cost, and effective ways to learn the art of entrepreneurship. But that’s as far as learning is concerned. The best use of networking is to spread the word on your products and services, not to force them down others throats!

If you really have to make money, start a real business. Sell products or services that you fully control. Online MLM opportunities such as SFI and Empower Network aren’t bad. It’s just that they are not your businesses. You are still working for some smart people who figured out a way to make money online.

For them, it’s real business. For you, it isn’t.

Me Too

Visit any popular business blog or attend a startup seminar, and you’ll see statements such as these flying around:

“I want to create a retail app such as StoreYa or Storefront Social for Facebook.”

“I’d like to create an online deal platform like Groupon or Snapdeal.”

“I’d love to start a new review site similar to UrbanSpoon or WhoIsHostingThis.”

When there’s no dearth of products and services for you to provide or review, why go for a particular set of products and services to review on that have been done to death already?

Drill down niches if you have to. Pick a narrow niche where there seems to be growing interest on but not too much information to begin with. Create magazines or forums that cater to demographics exclusive to that niche, but be warned – everyone from adrenaline junkies to food addicts, expats in a particular country to project managers are already catered for.

Do yourself a favor: avoid the “me too” trap.

Franchises and Affiliates

If you have the desire and the creative spark, you’d start a run a business on your own. You’d not have to pick up a plug-and-play franchise or affiliate. McDonald’s is a great example of a franchise that has done well for the founder and franchisees alike, but can you name a franchisee?

You don’t need companies to do business for you. You don’t need to partner with a parent company somewhere in the UK and then run “their” business in the US or elsewhere in the world.

If you are so inclined, pick up reseller opportunities backed by world famous brands. Start a web design and consulting business with Adobe Business Catalyst backing you up. Go ahead and consult small businesses on Google Apps by earning a Google Reseller Certification. Provide PPC services as a consultant after going through a Google AdWords certification program.

If making money online were so easy, why would startups exist? Why would anyone go for a business of their own? If everyone who buys a laptop and rigs up an Internet connection can make money in 90 days flat (as some programs or schemes promise), why bother with anything else?

In reality, not many of these schemes really work. You might make a few dollars if you are lucky but that’s not business. Make no mistake, I’m not saying you cannot make money by blogging, franchising, freelancing or reselling popular products—what I want to emphasize is that relying on them as a surefire way to earn your living or realize your dreams amounts to futility.

Time is precious. Your efforts need better recognition. Don’t lose your soul and your “self” to mindless schemes and half-baked prospects. You deserve more.

Have you ever burnt your fingers in any of these “opportunities?” Would you like to share your experiences with us?

Image courtesy of Flickr user: Tax Credits

About the Author

Rohan is a serial blogger and digital strategy consultant at E2M Solutions. He also helps startups develop remarkable user experiences at Only Design. You should follow him @searchrook on Twitter.

  • http://techzend.com/ Peter

    MONEY is the hot topic of the day, these tips are very informative for new beginners. Filling up forms, typing documents, taking surveys, applying for mystery shopping, or doing anything that a company doesn’t want is a common way. Blogging has been so common that it has become saturated, Franchises and Affiliates give a higher profit as well . I feel all the ways listed are very well thought over and gives a nice overview to people.

  • http://www.bloggingsession.com/ Rocky

    Hi Fabrizio, very nice post on making money with hard and stupid ways. They are very helpful to all the people who are trying to make money online…………Thanks for sharing with us..

  • http://techiejerry.com/uc-browser-for-pc/ Sohail

    Hello fab,

    Well as far as for newbies or people who are really concerned to make money online easily and in a short time I’d say gigs is the best way to earn some good income. Affiliate marketing is also a stupid and great way to generate good income but it needs an expert strategy to get success.

    Finally, the post was very useful and informative


  • http://www.androidorg.com/ Neulabs

    Hi Fabrizio, all the tips are great for making money online. Now a days people are trying different ways online to make money. Instead of trying or working on one method they can go with the list provided by you.

  • M Nirmal Anandh

    Hi Fabrizio,

    Interesting post. Money is always a hot topic in this world. Earning money is very tough for lazy people. Hardworking is not a only way to earn money, Hardwork+Smartwork always wins.

    I don’t think so, above mentioned ideas are stupid ways to make money. Anyway, i read an interesting post. Thanks for Sharing.