Every time I read an article on ways to make online – they are the same. Take surveys! Be a mystery shopper! Get paid to read your emails! Play online games and win big! Build and design websites! They all sound good. And they are. I love many sites like MyPoints, Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars and eBates. But second income?…simply, No.

The truth? How many people do you know that make a good steady income from mystery shopping or taking surveys? Not many. Probably none at all.
Plus, most of these great income earning ideas will earning you just a few cents a day. These are sites to do in your spare time and earn a little extra cash. You are not making a living off these sites. But for fun and a little extra cash, the best sites I personally have discovered and use some sites.

Big money — big success
Some people will tell you you can win big by gambling online or entering sweeps. Well you see how well gambling works out for most people in the casino. Why would you think online is any better? It’s not. Sure, there are a few lucky high rollers. But most people lose. Or get addicted – so anything they win goes right back into the game. And yep, sweepstakes are fun. Winners are rare.

As far as surveys, there are so many scam sites out there. But the real ones do exist. But just one survey can eat a good chunk out of your time. So these are to be done in your spare time. And don’t expect to earn big. Most surveys pay out $.50-$2.00 dollars.

My point is that most of these are just simple ways to earn a little extra cash. I am all for that. I participate in many different programs but I do it on a small basis. These sites do not represent my income. They are simply a little treat – a little bonus.

There are real ways to make real income online. Some will give you just a little bump in income; say a couple hundred bucks a month. But who couldn’t use a couple extra hundred bucks a month?!

And there are some money making online options that only make sense for some people.

Do you do a lot of crafts? You can build your own store on eBay and sell your crafts. Or just sell items one by one on eBay as well.

Do you enjoy writing? I always encourage people to think about blogging. It is a great way to get yourself writing on a regular basis. I love interacting with my readers – and you are really developing a forum for sharing ideas and information. And yes, you can make money blogging. It is a slow and steady process – but it is feasible.

Another option for writers is freelance writing. Many magazines and companies freelance all their writing needs. So search around online on classified sites like Craigslist, Indeed and Monster. You can always call some local companies who publish magazines and newsletters to discuss submitting some of your work

Do you enjoying designing? Sometimes we have great ideas and are just waiting for someone to invest in us. But you can definitely invest in yourself. Say you have an awesome T-Shirt logo or design. You can get a bulk price on t-shirts and create your own design on sites like OO Shirts.

If you are more into graphic design – you could offer your services to potential customers. Design web pages, blogs and logos. This can be a hard way to make money, I have to warn you. Many people go with design companies who have already established a good reputation. But if you offer lower prices and top quality service – you could start to build your own reputation.

Having your own website can help if you are truly serious about marketing yourself as a designer. I would consider signing up with GoDaddy to get a website domain and hosting. Then there many sites and forums for designers to post an ad about themselves – and it helps to drive traffic right to your own website. Try eLance when posting your ad.

What about photography…do you take amazing pictures? You can sell those images online on sites like ShutterShock.

Another way may be working as a translator. Of course this would online make sense for someone who knows at least two different languages. But there is a huge market out there. Check classified sites like craigslist, Indeed and Monster. Many need documents translated – something you can do from home.

Lastly, I want to talk about real work from home careers. In a poor job market, any jobs sense scarce. But a work from home job seems like a fairytale. I will be honest – it’s not an easy position to get. But patience, hard work and a little luck…it is possible.