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Why Most People Fail to Make Money Online

Why Most People Fail to Make Money Online

In the age of the internet, it is easier than ever to make money from your own armchair, everyone wants to try and make a living online. With this being the case, there is a lot of information out there about how this can be done, and some is more useful than others. However, the vast majority of people will never make a lot of money online for a number of reasons.


The first of these reasons is that you are never going to get paid for doing nothing. If you think about it, it will never be in the best interests of a company to do this, and this means that if you’re hoping to make money without much effort then you’re going to be disappointed. Yes, there are ways that you can earn money online, and the internet gives you a fantastic scope to sell your skills, however this is not possible without a lot of work being put in throughout the process.


Survey websites are one of the few genuine ways that you can earn money on the internet. Because the opinions of the general public are so important so companies, this means that there are many who are willing to pay for them. However, the amounts that you’re paid for such surveys are often small, and you are lucky if you make even £1 for something that can take you up to half an hour to complete. In addition to this, although research websites may look as though they have a lot of surveys for you to complete, you will find that after entering a fair amount of information, you will be told that you are “not eligible”, meaning that you have wasted a lot of time that you could have spent doing something a little more productive.


Another issue is that of referral schemes. If you do try to earn money online, then you will soon learn that you cannot do so alone. However, a lot of websites offer you some kind of bonus when you get other people to sign up, and some even pay you a lifelong percentage of those individuals’ earnings. This means that, providing that you can persuade people to sign up using your referral link, you would have the chance to earn some money. However, there are several issues with this. Firstly, like most things on the internet, the incentives for such schemes are small. This means that you would need several hundred people working beneath you to even think about getting a regular payment from the website. If you have a large presence on the internet, for example if you have a lot of social network followers, or an active blog, then there is a chance that you would be able to do this. However, for the majority of people, this is not the case. In addition to this, not only are you hoping that people will sign up, but also that they will stay active. The majority of referrals, when they find out that they cannot do much on by themselves without recruiting referrals of their own, give up after a short space of time, meaning that any earnings that they were getting for you will stop.


The referral issue has an effect on the reliability of the testimonials that websites receive. For example, if you’ve just joined a website where you get paid to complete surveys, and you’re told that you will receive 10% of anything that your friends earn, you’re likely to try anything to encourage them to sign up. This means that you will portray the website in question in the best possible light, even though it may not be entirely accurate. Therefore, you need to remember that anything you read is most likely geared towards encouraging you to sign up rather than actually being an accurate representation of what the website has to offer.


So, you really do have to take care when you’re trying to make money online. In the majority of cases, if you are not prepared to put in a bit of time and effort then it is probably best not to bother. However, if you’re prepared to put a little work into it, and make the effort to find a network of people to work with you, then you may be able to earn a small amount.

Written by Gemma

Gemma is a 22 year old graduate in Psychology and freelance writer who has been writing online since she was 16.

  • Stephen

    I very much agree Gemma. I only ever made money when I worked hard at it.
    It is so easy to sit in an armchair and think you can put little effort in and get significant profit out. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but nature has a funny way of pushing back on you and the lazier you get, the less money you make.
    Its like the law of the jungle.
    There you are lazing around in the trees expecting someone to feed you and all the while you are getting hungrier and hungrier, thinner and thinner, weaker and weaker.
    then on one fine day, along comes a tiger and bites your lazy head off!

    • OIiver

      There you are lazing around in the trees expecting someone to feed you and all the while you are getting hungrier and hungrier, thinner and thinner, weaker and weaker.
      then on one fine day, along comes a tiger and bites your lazy head off!

      I guess that is one way of putting it!

  • Beverly

    Some very good tips on making money online.

    As for myself, I’ve earned money by various means, starting out by posting on a pay to post forum many years ago, called Mylot. The site paid fairly well for just starting discussions and responding. Though by comparison to what I earn now as a professional writer with Hubpages, it seems like too small an amount.

    If you are good with SEO, you can easily earn by doing backlinking campaigns; though you need to be able to find really good sites to link back from.

    As you say, paid surveys are really good for earning money.

    Product testing is another money maker.

    Several years back, my daughter and I were part of a cough drop test and that earned around $10 for less than five minutes work. The good part, we both had colds at the time and the cough drops actually worked to relieve our coughing symptoms.

    There are so many legitimate ways to earn money online. Just keep your eyes open and stay smart.