Sure, just about anyone can make money online posting links from a home computer, but like many online opportunities, the results you get won't just vary – they're probably going to be downright meager. The web is full of advice, courses and programs for making money by posting links, but many of them are scams.
There are really only a couple ways of making a bit of money without an upfront cost: selling stuff or posting ads for things that other people are selling. Yes, you can make a decent part-time income, but you will have to invest your time and energy to see results.
Link Posting Jobs: Free Money or Scams?
If you search online for "link posting jobs free," "link posting jobs from home" or "link posting jobs without investment," you're going to get a lot of results. Go to Monster.com or another legitimate job website and you'll see few if any results.
There's a reason for this: A lot of these link-posting sites are scams. For these businesses, the money isn't in finding people to post links. It's finding people to pay for a course on how to do it or to pay for the privilege of registering to get access to a list of link-posting jobs.
How to Spot a Link-Posting Scam
The most obvious sign of a scam that lures you in with the promise of making money for free is that they ask you to pay them. It doesn't matter if the fee is $5 or $500. If they advertise that you can do it for free and then tell you that you need to pay them, it's a scam.
These websites are slick, and the companies have spent years perfecting their tactics in getting people to sign up and give them a credit card number. They're rich with attractive content, including apparent endorsements from TV networks, testimonials from people who are allegedly making a great income or even a modest income and warnings about other scams you will find online.
Just as bad as those that ask you for money are those that want your personal information, including your name, email address, credit card number and/or Social Security number. These scammers aren't after your money. They're after your credit information so they can either sell it to someone else or use it for identity fraud.
How You Can Make Money Online
When it comes to making money online, the opportunities are limited only by your imagination. Almost all of these opportunities will cost you at least a bit of money up front in that you will need to invest in a domain name and a website at the very least, at a cost of about $10 per month.
For opportunities that are truly free to start, there are three ways you can do it. You can sell your own stuff. You can sell other people's stuff through affiliate sales or a drop-shipping arrangement, or you can post ads.
Sell Stuff Yourself Online
You can buy things at a garage sale, for example, and then clean them up and sell them for a profit on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook.
If you don't have the money to buy a few items at a garage sale, start with your own garage or attic. Post some items online and share the link on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or just have a garage sale yourself. Once you sell a few items, use the proceeds to invest in more things to sell. Like most online opportunities, you can expect to make some extra pocket money, but don't expect to quit your day job right away.
Start a Drop-Shipping Business
One step up from selling stuff yourself is drop shipping. In theory, it's easy. First, you find a company with a service like aliexpress.com that will sell you things at low cost. Then, you sell those items to other people for a profit. Your customer pays you, you pay the supplier and the supplier ships the product directly to your customer.
You'll need an e-commerce provider, but companies like shopify.com will often give you a free trial for a couple of weeks. Post links to your products on social media and, if it's an attractive offer, you should get some orders. In theory, you can make money without any investment to begin. In reality, it can get very complicated and could cost you money.
If you haven't bought the product you're selling, you don't know how good it really is. If customers cancel orders or demand refunds, it could easily cost you more money than you earn. Secondly, if you don't spend money on advertising online, you may not get any sales at all before your free e-commerce trial ends. Also, if you do start making money, you can bet others will take notice and start selling the same product at a lower price.
Post Affiliate Ad Links
Affiliate marketing can be a good way to make money online by posting links for free. Once again, in theory it's easy. Find companies with an affiliate program, either directly from the company's website, like Amazon.com, or through a service like cj.com. Once you're approved, you post links to their products, and you get a commission for every sale.
In practice, you will likely need your own website before you will be approved as an affiliate. Expect companies to go to your website before agreeing to take you on as an affiliate. There are often rules against posting sales links directly to social media websites, so you will have to post links to your own website and post the ads on your page.
Posting Ads on Your Blog or Website
Using a service like Google AdSense, you can post ads on your own blog or website and get paid every time someone clicks on an ad. In most cases, you'll only get a few cents per click, but if you promote your website and get a lot of visitors, you could make a nice part-time income in just a few months.
To do this, however, you will likely need your own website. If you sign up for a free blog at WordPress.com, for example, you will have to upgrade to a business account before you can start posting your own ads.
Popularity Can Pay Big Rewards...
If you were as popular as Kim Kardashian, you could easily make $1 million a day posting links online. In court documents she filed in 2019, Kardashian disclosed that she earns from $300,000 to $500,000 for a single Instagram post. So, you could get up, have breakfast, post two or three links and take the rest of the day off if you wanted to – or retire.
For everyone else, making decent money online will take some work. Suppose, for example, you knew that about 1 percent of everyone who saw your link would click it, and you would earn 10 cents. You would need 1,000 dedicated followers to make one dollar. If you had 10,000 dedicated followers, you would make $10. If you had 13 million followers like Kim Kardashian, you could earn $13,000 for a single link.
... But Trust and Influence Pay Even More
You'll notice that the $13,000 you could get from posting links to 13 million followers is a lot less than what Kim Kardashian earns. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, she's not just popular – she is an influencer. Her fans watch what she does and will take her advice over others, particularly when it comes to new fashion trends. The guy who posts funny dog memes on Instagram could have 13 million followers too, but nobody is watching his every move to see which brand of running shoes or dog food he recommends.
The second reason is that she protects her personal brand and has developed trust with her following. She turns down sponsorship offers if she doesn't like the brand. You won't see her posting links to substandard products, online gambling websites and bitcoin scams. Because of the trust she has with her following, sponsors approach her to negotiate highly lucrative offers.
Keep Your Expectations Modest at First
However you decide to start your first online business, don't expect to make good money when you're just starting out. Building traffic to a website or building a social media following takes time, ingenuity and a lot of hard work.
Most people who do earn an income online will likely tell you that they too started with very modest results, probably bought courses that didn't deliver and even fell for a scam or two themselves. Like any business, perseverance is a key ingredient to success. Expect to make a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but keep in mind that every mistake is a learning opportunity.