As I am an online entrepreneur, I love making my money online. My two businesses only have a website, so I do not own brick-and-mortar stores. I wanted to write a blog about how you can make more money online, focusing on websites that offer you money for your services.
As it turns out, my idea was so 2015. Many, many blogs have already been published about this topic. From affiliate marketing to online surveys, whatever you want to do, you can find a blog about it, referring you to specific sources. They all start with “This is a blog about making real money online, so I am not addressing any scam sites.” Most of these authors stick to their promise and list good websites. If you are looking for sources, just search for ‘making more money online’ and you will find what you need.
What I will do in this blog is review a few make-money-online websites that I have tried. Some sources I have found reading these blogs, and some I already knew. I will mention the steps that I have taken, problems that I have encountered, and results if I have them. My case studies are AdSense, Fiverr, Rentsy, and UserTesting. They have not paid or asked me to write this blog.
AdSense gone horribly wrong
Boy, do not get me started on AdSense. It just makes me really upset. Ok, I will go there anyway…
Five years ago, when I launched my first website, I heard about how AdSense might be a good idea if you want to make extra money online. So I did everything I needed to do, and it was up and running on my new website.
However, as it was the corporate website of my translation agency, it showed many ads of other translation agencies. I obviously did not want my visitors to go to competitors, so I stopped using it. This was actually one of the complaints that I read about before starting the program. The complainers turned out to be right, and so I forgot about AdSense.
As I now have a personal blog about my experiences as a new mom, and thus nothing to lose business-wise, I figured I would install it again. Someone should have stopped me right then and there.
I tried to log in again. No matter what email address I use and what password I enter, I do not get access to my account. No online assistance tool helps me find the right email address or password. I did what any other person would do: create a new account. Nope. You are only allowed one account. Every email address that I use to create a new account is somehow associated with my old account (thanks to Google+ and all the other Google services), but none of those email addresses are actually valid when I log in. It is a vicious cycle that has no end.
One time, I did manage to create a new account, but when I entered my bank account, Google refused again, because that was already associated with my old account. I do not want to use my personal bank account for tax purposes, so I guess Google does not want my participation anymore.
If you are like me, you do not mind asking for help. You have no problem contacting customer service, so you go and look for contact information. Another smack in the face: as you are not making much money with AdSense (kind of the problem here…), there is no customer service for you. You just have to figure it out yourself on the community board or through the standard FAQ’s. The latter only leads me to the errors described above, so at this point, I am really (and I mean REALLY) frustrated.
As a last resort, I describe the whole situation on the community board, even though I absolutely hate getting help this way. Why give other users the burden of solving my problem when the company, in my opinion, is responsible for customer service? I hit enter. ANOTHER ERROR! I see some red letters claiming that I have forgotten to enter something. However, the words telling me what I have done wrong disappear behind Google’s search bar. I kid you not! I did the same thing in several other browsers (I started in Google Chrome, and then tried Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge), but alas, the same problem appeared everywhere.
At this point, I am beyond angry. I copy the text and paste it as a comment on the AdSense Google+ page. Of course, no one has ever responded. So there, AdSense does not want me, and I no longer want AdSense. AdSense has cost me much of my precious time and has yielded nothing.
Figuring out Fiverr
I had heard about Fiverr before, but I only signed up for it today. I thought about signing up before, but I did not, which I will explain.
It made most sense to me to offer the service I was already offering on my own website: my professional translation services. However, when I saw the quantity others offered in exchange for €5, I was shocked. That can in no way be profitable for me and of sufficient quality for the client.
Today, I figured I would offer other services. I started a Gig in which I will review a website as a first-time visitor. It seems like a fun and easy job that companies actually need. The company gets to know my user experience and I write about half a page to a page about what I think. It is worth my time and I have added some good additions to make this Gig more profitable (faster delivery and a revision round).
Creating an account was easy. Creating a Gig took some time. I first did not know what category to select. I was thinking in marketing terms, but that listed no user experiences. I looked at the tech category, but when I clicked something about testing, it was all very technical. Finally, Fiverr suggested the category ‘user testing’ in the tech category, which was the one I was looking for.
As I have indicated that I am fluent in both Dutch and English, it was a bit weird describing my Gig. I first described it in Dutch, but then I saw some things in my profile described in English. Most visitors will probably come from abroad (if I have guessed Fiverr’s popularity correctly), so I decided to switch to English. However, my profile is based in The Netherlands, so it sometimes uses Dutch texts. I am rather confused now, but I think this is the best I can do. If you are fluent in English only, it probably works way better.
As I have yet to receive my first job, I cannot tell you if Fiverr is actually worth my/your time. I will take a few days to find inspiration for more Gigs. I definitely feel like it has potential.
Renting out your stuff
There are several websites around the world where you can post stuff that you rent out. You have Airbnb for your home, which I have never tried. You have websites for your car, but I have never tried them either. You have websites for renting out things that are lying around the house, such as Rentsy in The Netherlands and Rentalic in London.
I have just signed up for Rentsy, as I like the idea of others being able to use what I am currently not using. It sounds like the idea of Circular Economy, which I have discussed in this blog. Listing an item was rather easy, but the categories were really weird. They should improve that. Categories like ‘surf board’ and ‘IPhone’ should rather be categories like ‘hobby’ and ‘mobile phone,’ listing a surf board and an IPhone as items. There was no category named ‘baby,’ so I selected ‘other’ for my item. Nothing else matched…
Trying to get accepted at UserTesting
Several blogs mention UserTesting, where you are paid $ 10 for reviewing a website. It got me interested. I have just signed up, just because I am curious.
After signing up, you have to install a little program that can watch your screen and record your voice. It sounds scary, but I did it anyway. First, you have to test your microphone. I had some trouble with this, as my microphone was not loud enough. I yelled once, which allowed me to proceed to the next step.
It is a tutorial of about 5 minutes, in which you have to watch a video and you are already recorded. Afterwards, you have to perform 2 assignments. This is your application. That means that not everybody can do this. I hope my microphone was loud enough, so they let me through.
After uploading the recording, I see this message: “We’re processing your uploaded video now. You’ll know it’s complete when you receive an email from us titled, “UserTesting: we’ve received your sample video”. Due to the high volume of applicants, it could take up to 1 hour to receive your confirmation email.” Well, I received my mail straightaway, so they must not be really busy at the moment.
This mail reads: “Thank you for applying to become a tester! Your sample video is being reviewed. Due to a high volume of applicants, it may take up to a week to hear from us regarding the status of your application.” I hope to hear something sooner than a week. The previous message gives me hope.
Is UserTesting worth your costly time? I do not know whether I have been accepted yet, so I am not sure. Still, if you have not been accepted, the trying-to-get-accepted part only takes 5 minutes. That is not really a big investment. Just remember to remove its program, just to be safe!
Making money online takes some costly time
So, some of these things are not worth your costly time. Some things have yet to work out, so I am not sure. It is for sure that they cost some time as you have to set everything up. I do trust this time-taking process more than the let-us-get-rich-right-now process. Let us hope that after a while, some money starts coming in. If not, at least I got this blog out of itDigital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community