Earning some extra cash online

BY TAMEKA GORDON Assistant business co-ordinator tamekag@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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IF you have a basic knowledge of how to use the Internet and have some free time on your hands, you could make some extra cash.

Given the current economic constraints now facing the country, financial advisors suggest individuals use their talents to generate additional sources of income, and the world wide web is filled with opportunities, say IT experts.

"There is always somebody looking for something online, so there are many opportunities to provide products or services," says Jamie Ranston, the director of interactive marketing at Shift Interactive.

So vast are the opportunities that websites have been developed specifically to match prospective employers with those who possess the skill set they need.

"Companies are out just there looking to pay you as long as you can deliver," Ranston says, adding that "all it takes is a little research".

According to the Shift Interactive executive, affiliate marketing is a ready avenue that may be tapped by those so inclined.

The marketing method allows companies to outsource the marketing of their products or services through affiliates or individuals they contract, who essentially drive traffic to sites on which the company's advertisements are featured.

"Earning money from the Internet is just like any other job," Ranston explains, noting that once the individual possesses the aptitude, gathering the tools for the job will not be very difficult.

Noting that affiliate marketing "is about relevance", Ranston says that the individual's ingenuity and entrepreneurial skills will determine the rate of success.

The payment arrangement is typically based on the agreement between the contracting parties, he adds. Payment may be based on the traffic the affiliate generates or the amount of sales generated from the affiliate's marketing efforts.

Blogging is another popular moneymaker and works in a similar manner to affiliate marketing.

"If you use the Internet regularly or have a website, this could be for you," Ranston suggests, adding that by providing advertising space on their site, bloggers could cash in on every click on those advertisements.

The content of a blogger's post works to generate traffic and this makes it an ideal platform for pushing the advertisements.

"This is quite a lucrative venture," he affirms, citing anecdotal experiences of individuals who have earned thousands in their spare time.

Jamaican-based engineer Dave Lindsay, in a previous interview with the Jamaica Observer, said he made over US$3,000 for 66 hours of work through Freelancer.com and other similar platforms.

For Lindsay, Internet-based entrepreneurial ventures could also widen the job prospects for many Jamaicans and even increase foreign exchange for the country.

"This is not a joke thing, Internet-based ventures are worth looking into," Ranston advices.

He also suggests that individuals consider selling items that they no longer use on the popular site, Ebay.

"Once you earn Ebay's rating as a legitimate trader, your used items could earn you thousands," he says.

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