The internet is full of people looking to make a quick buck, but earning real cash online is easier said than done.
There are plenty of scams out there which promise easy money, but deliver nothing but misery. More often than not, making a living online takes real dedication and a lot of talent.
With that in mind, here are five ways you can make some cash online.
1 – Advertising
If you've spent any amount of time at all surfing the internet, you'll have noticed that adverts seem to be everywhere and where there are adverts, there's money to be made.
Unfortunately, you can't just set up a site and expect the money to come rolling in – you'll need an established website in order to turn visitors into cash.
But if you've got a blog you've worked on for a number of years and it gets a steady flow of traffic, then you can turn that into cash through advertising.
Alternatively, you could join another ad network such as Kontera, which uses in-text advertising or you could even negotiate with advertisers on a one-to-one basis.
Be careful though – you need to ensure any ads you sell meet with Google's webmaster guidelines, otherwise you could receive a penalty from the search engine and that could lead to a fall in traffic.
2 – Writing
If you're an accomplished writer, then the web offers a whole host of avenues for you to unleash you talents.
Sites such as Textbroker offer authors the chance to earn money by creating content for people who need it.
The amount they pay out won't make you rich, but it can provide you with a nice little side line.
Alternatively, you may want to reach out to sites directly and offer your services. If you're doing this, it's a good idea to have a strong portfolio of work which can back up your efforts.
3 – Sell things
Selling things online can be a great way to generate some cash, although if you want a sustainable income you'll have to do more than sell your old CDs on eBay.
If you're a talented artist of craftsman, sites like Etsy can offer you a superb marketplace for your goods.
With Etsy, you have to pay $0.20 to list an item and they also charge 3.5 per cent commission on each sale.
However, this is offset by the fact that they are one of the most-visited websites in the world, meaning your work is exposed to a huge audience of potential buyers.
4 – Selling domain names
If you know what you're doing, it's possible to make a sizeable chunk of cash through buying and selling domain names.
However, you need to be careful as you could end up with a portfolio full of worthless names no one wants to buy.
Here are a few tips to help you identify valuable domain names:
They should be short and brandable – anything longer than two words is probably too long.
They should use a well-known domain extension – .com is probably the best bet as it is the most popular.
Avoid names that are confusing – domains with numbers in them or that are spelled oddly should be avoided.
Avoid names that feature trademarked terms – you don't want to end up facing a costly legal battle.
A domain name is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, so bear that in mind when looking to turn a profit.
5 – Become an affiliate
Affiliate marketing allows you to share in the success of some of the world's biggest companies. When you become an affiliate you are given a code to include in links which shows that a visitor has found his way to a website via yours.
If that person then becomes a customer of the site you're affiliated with, you get a slice of the money.
Again, you'll need a steady flow of visitors to make it worth your while, but if you're attracting traffic it can be a great way to earn cash.
So there you are, five ways to turn the internet into another source of income.
Article by Will Stevens, part of the 123-reg.co.uk blog team. The company is the UK's largest domain registrar and also offers a “sell my domain” service for people looking to divest domains they have previously acquired.