You can make money in a number of weird and wonderful ways through the internet
Are you such a computer geek that IT Support calls you for advice? Do you beg your friends to get online so that you can ‘hang out’?
Sounds as if you’re one of the millions of people out there with a bad case of e-loving the internet.
Yes, the internet, where you can be anything you want and yet so many people choose to be weird… and then tweet about it.
There are also countless weird ways that web-mad people make money online.
For example, people get paid to be someone’s online Facebook girlfriend or boyfriend. Both parties know it’s bogus – and there are agencies that arrange it. It can pay a few pence per message – probably not enough to retire on.
And if you think that’s weird, check out the kind of things people sell online – and I’m not talking about de-cluttering their attic. Selling their hair is probably the least bonkers ‘unusual’ item that we’ve found people shifting.
“British mums are expressing for cash, charging upwards of £1 per fluid ounce”
People even sell breast milk online. It started in the US and now British mums are expressing for cash. They’re charging upwards of £1 per fluid ounce (fresh or frozen).
But that’s by no means the absolute weirdest of weird ways. There are women out there who wear brand-new knickers each morning because they’ve popped the worn ones in the post the night before to a stranger who has paid to receive them.
So, having caught your breath on that one, let’s calm down for a moment and consider the slightly less crazy way to make money online of simply clicking regularly on the same site. Competition site PickMyPostcode makes money through selling advertising on the huge traffic it gets from people clicking every day to see if they’ve won more than £1,000 through their postcode. The more people who click, the higher the prize money gets.
Then there’s Slice the Pie, a music website that pays you to review new releases. When I say “pay”, I mean a few cents a time for listening to a track and writing some comments on it.
Money websites often suggest setting up a blog or a vlog (video blog) as a great way to make money online. Hmm, maybe, is my response. In reality, writing a blog is like launching a fishing boat on a capricious ocean (ruled by the sea-god, Google) thinking you will pull in loads of fish and make your fortune. When you get there, you find that a few massive trawlers have already taken most of the fish and that, at any moment, your little tub could sink.
However, if you’re willing to put the time in, blogs can be brilliant for extracting freebies. Set up a beauty blog and you can get mascara through your door each day from companies wanting you to review them, or join the growing band of mummy bloggers and get your fill of chicken nuggets and nappies. The more niche, the better. How about a blog for leg-waxing Elvis fans or naked tricycle enthusiasts? Goodness knows what kind of products and trips you could get out of those.
And finally, my answer to a reader’s question from last month: should you surf the internet on a empty stomach? No, you should do it on a computer.
JASMINE BIRTLES is a financial journalist and founder of MoneyMagpie.com. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.