Ads are everywhere online. You can’t get away from them. You see them on your favorite websites, in your Facebook feed and even when you are buying something.
In fact, there are ads promising people can make money posting ads — ads within ads! But is it true, can you really make money posting ads online?
You know me — if it involves promises of online money-making, I’m going to dig in and find the truth.
Make Money Posting Ads Online?
Have you seen these promotions that promise you can make money by simply copying and pasting ads? I have to admit, this one is new to me. But sure enough, it exists.
I did some digging and I was able to find quite a few people talking about this. I even uncovered a few of the companies that were promising to pay for this service.
If you have been thinking of trying this out as a way to make money online then you will definitely want to read this entire post.
Cap Rewards is a company that comes up over and over when you search for anything related to making money posting ads online. A quick Google search revealed several videos and blog posts from others who had supposedly joined Cap Rewards and made money.
The videos and posts are all pretty typical “make $100s per day” complete with screenshots of earning statements and so on.
You know the ones I’m talking about. Do a search for “make money [enter whatever you want here]” and you will see tons of similar looking videos and websites. So no surprise there.
However, what was surprising was the fact that I couldn’t seem to find the official website for Cap Rewards. Instead, I found loads of mixed reviews — some saying Cap Rewards is legitimate, some saying otherwise.
Within those reviews were a couple of my trusted websites. Unfortunately, they were all saying the same thing: that Cap Rewards was a scam.
I trust those sites but I wanted to see Cap Rewards for myself. I wouldn’t feel right talking bad or good about a company that I had no experience with at all.
Frustrated with the dead end I was reaching, I decided to go back through those reviews and read the comments to see if I could get to the bottom of the mystery of the missing Cap Rewards website.
Then I noticed something — almost all the comments were dated sometime in 2013.
In fact, I couldn’t find any review of Cap Rewards with a comment after that.
Luckily a few commenters left links to the website. Unfortunately though, the link they left was an obvious one that I had already tried: Cap Rewards dot com.
Apparently that was the official website at one time, but it belongs to someone else now. When you visit that website this is what you see.
Obviously, this website has nothing to do with the company I was looking for, which means Cap Rewards (despite the many “positive” reviews) is no longer in business.
Okay, big deal. Companies go out of business all the time. That doesn’t necessarily mean the whole posting ads for money thing is a scam. So let’s move on…
Internet Income Source
Another company that continued to show up in my search is Internet Income Source. Everything I found on this company matched, almost identically, the same M.O. as Cap Rewards: videos and articles with bold promises of striking it rich and so on.
I also found reviews from many of the same websites as before saying that Internet Income Source is a scam. Again, I didn’t want to report that without seeing for myself. However, just like Cap Rewards, the website for this company no longer exists.
As you can see this review contained a link to the website. When I visited that website though, there was nothing there — just a message telling me that the website no longer exists.
Another bad review, another missing website. Another brick wall.
At this point I was ready to give up. It was obvious to me that this whole thing had been a scam that had blown over.
But wait there’s more!
Luckily, I know Google-fu, and in an awesome display of my skill I managed to find an active website that says they are paying people to post ads online.
The website, Google Advertise, claims to have software that allows you to automate the ad-posting process. All you have to do is copy and paste the ads into the software, then choose where you want to post and click the button.
They provide the software, the ads and everything else you need. They even have a handy-dandy breakdown to show you how much you can make.
And all this for the low low price of $49.97, which is a “steal” when consider their normal price, $149.97 (this is me being sarcastic).
This website is so blatantly scamming people out of their money that it’s beyond funny. It’s just sad.
I feel for the people that have stumbled onto this website and thought it was legitimate. And I’m sure that has happened, because whoever runs this website is actually somewhat (somewhat) clever.
You see, by naming the website “Google Advertise”, the owner has practically eliminated any chance of bad reviews popping up in search results online.
Obviously this website is not associated with Google in any way. But if you try to do a search for the term “Google Advertise” you are going to get a bunch of results related to Google’s advertising platform, Google Adwords.
That makes finding negative reviews about this website practically impossible.
There are a couple things that give it away as an obvious scam though.
1. The appearance
I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting scams. But with Google Advertise I think it would be pretty obvious to most people once they see the website. A quick glance and you see things that were synonymous with online scams in the 90s — it’s a one-page website full of red and yellow highlights and it is incredibly out dated — and most people are well aware of them now. Anyone with a little knowledge of the web would quickly navigate away from this website.
2. You have to pay upfront
This is one of the biggest ways to spot a scam. You never have to pay upfront for the opportunity to make money. You might be asked to pay to for information, to join a community, or something like that. But in those situations you always get a free trial or at least a little taste of what you are paying for. With Google Advertise you get none of that. You are simply asked to pay $49 to trust them.
So in this case I guess the third time wasn’t a charm, but at least we now know for sure that you cannot make money posting ads online.
What About Facebook and Google Ads?
Recently, Facebook has come into the spotlight with their mobile advertising advancements, so some companies are claiming that you can make money posting Facebook ads. This is true..but there's a catch.
Companies pay people to post Facebook ads for them that convert to sales. They are paying a marketing specialist. The act of posting an ad is not worth much. It's super easy and takes just 15 minutes to learn. What's difficult, and what companies are paying for, is for experienced people to help advertise their products on Facebook. It's a job, and without a degree in marketing or extensive experience, you are just not competitive in this arena.
If you don't know how to create a Facebook ad or set up a sales funnel right now, this is not an option for you! The rules are similar for Google and Bing.
Posting Ads On Social Network
Another strategy that gets passed around the web is posting links to your social network. You can sign up to online affiliate portals and get affiliate links quite easily. They're free to sign up, and you get paid when someone buys items through your links.
The trouble with this strategy is twofold.
- One, you'll be posting ads to your friends and family. This is super annoying, so get ready to get unfriended very quickly.
- Two, even if you make a sale or two, the returns quickly die out as your network of friends dies out. This is not a long term business strategy.
Plus, many of these affiliate sites have a minimum payout threshold, which can be as much as $100, so you might not even see the money you earn unless you make a good amount of sales. There's also a holding period for earnings, so if you do earn money, like through Amazon's affiliate program, you might not see it for 60 days!
Update 2018: Making Money Through Apps
Since people have wised up to the idea that you can make money simply by spamming ads on social networks, they've moved onto other, greener grass. Recently, I've received lots of comments asking how to make money through apps. Though it's a different concept or business model, the mindset is the same. People want to know how to leverage something popular in order to make some extra cash.
Unfortunately, any type of generalization of money-making is going to give you poor results. What does making money with apps even mean? Click around and watch videos for a couple pennies? Get paid just for opening your smartphone? These are some concepts which are actually pitched, and most fall flat on their face.
If there was a way to make money by copying and pasting we would all be doing it. But as long as there are people looking for an easy button, there will be scammers who claim to have exactly that.
Although this didn't turn out to be a great strategy for making money online, there are actually lots of great ways to earn income right through your computer.
I find affiliate marketing to be the best. The basic idea is that you make a small informational website and promote products on your website. Any topic will work, and you get to pick products you like or use to promote! Remember those links I talked about above? You can still use them to make money, but instead of spamming your friends, you attract users through Google, and make sales on your website.
You can build an online business around any topic you choose. Even if you haven't built a website before, it's super easy these days (no code required).
Me? I like reviewing products and exposing scams, so I built a business around that topic. I also have a beer website. I’d love to tell you more about how it works and how I got started. In fact, you can make an account at the same place I learned how to start my first website! They're still operating today, almost 10 years after I began as a newbie!
If you really don't want to put in the effort to build a website and take the time to watch your business grow, you can also consider joining Swagbucks, which pays you do to simple tasks like watch advertisements, click links, answer surveys, and other small tasks. The pay is terrible, but they do pay, unlike many scams out there. It's not my choice of spending my time, but thousands of people are making some extra spending money there, so I figured I'd show it to you!
Got any questions about how making money through ads on your own website works? Let me know in the comment section and I'll help out!
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