The lure of being able to make money without a website is much too appealing to resist. In fact, making a website is the #1 fear of anyone looking to start an internet based business. And it's this fear that drives people to believe that there is some way to turn a profit, without needing to know any code, and without having to pay anyone to build the site for you.
I have spent hours upon hours reviewing products that make some impressive claims. “Make THOUSANDS of dollars everyday, without actually owning a website!”.
Is this false advertising? No.
Is it misleading? Absolutely.
So let's take a look at exactly what they mean, and cover a few methods that are often promoted in these products. If you pay attention to the advertising videos, you can probably spot one of these.
4 Ways To Make Money Online Without A Website
This sounds easy enough right? You don't need any skills to start, it's free to sign up, and you don't mind spending a few hours a day answering questions if it means that you can make an extra couple hundred bucks a month.
In an ideal world, sure, taking surveys and getting paid for your opinion could be a chill way to spend your evenings and boost your income, even if just a little bit. But getting paid to take surveys is not all it's cracked up to be. You rarely make more than minimum wage, and sometimes you are only paid in gift cards or prizes instead of actual cash.
One of the most difficult parts of starting is telling which sites are legitimate and which aren't. This is going to take some trial and error, but that's not even the worst part.
I personally know quite a few people that started out online doing surveys, and all of them tell me the exact same story: It's extremely frustrating. It's unreliable. It pays horribly. It's not worth the time. I have heard more than one horror story of spending 45 minutes or more on a survey, then having the website or web page crash. That means no credit, no money, and you just wasted an hour of your time. Payout for online surveys is rarely more than $2-$3 dollars per hour, and probably much less if you count all the dead ends you'll run in to along the way.
Then, when all is said and done, you have to battle with minimum withdrawals, currency exchange rates, and possibly processing fees. Although this method technically does work, getting paid for opinion surveys just doesn't seem worth the time or effort to me. Some places like Swagbucks have a decent reputation online, but they do more than just opinion stuff, and have a variety of other ways to earn credits you can exchange for money.
This is another popular one – the idea that companies want an army of advertisers and can pay large mounts of money for link that you post. I covered getting paid to post links in depth in another article, but I'll summarize here.
Links used to be a surefire way of boosting rank for a site, but recently (2013/2014) search engines like Google have been cracking down on link building schemes. Smart companies require fewer and fewer links every year. Ignorant companies that still want links built may hire people to do this kind of “black hat” SEO, but you'll have to compete with workers from developing countries like India, China, and the Philippines.
Also, you only get paid for each link that remains active, so there's often a long waiting period to prevent fraud and check for link removal.
Worst of all, posting links in places where they shouldn't be is annoying, and probably considered spam. Do you want to be a spammer? This is certainly another fruitless online endeavor.
Direct Linking CPA Offers
This is probably the only method of making money without a website that has some legitimacy to it. Unfortunately, as you might have guessed already, it's not that simple to figure out.
CPA basically means that companies will pay you to ride out into the wild west of the internet and bring back customers to them. These customer don't have to buy anything, but they need to take some kind of action. Taking surveys, submitting an email address, trying a free sample, or entering to win a free iPad are some typical CPA offers.
This is a highly competitive industry, and most people that do well are the ones that PAY for traffic. That means you put up ads in different places, and pay for each click or view of the ad. The whole idea is that you pay less than you make, thus turning a profit.
It takes some serious strategizing, training, and tenacity to be able to figure this stuff out. This usually involves paying for training or mentorship, or having a decent sized budget to figure things out for yourself. It's really easy to end up spending way more than you get paid, and failure rate in CPA is high. Also, because of the fervor surrounding the topic of CPA, internet gurus are more than willing to sell you a training course with lofty promises of making millions without a website and without actually selling something. If you read between the lines of sales pitches like that, you'll discover that most of these basically explain what I've told you in the past few paragraphs.
1. Choose an offer
2. Get your link
3. Get people to click your link and take an action
Technically you could do it for free, but to do that, you'd need a website and some SEO or SEM training!
The “direct linking” mentioned in the title of this paragraph means that you link directly from the ad to the offer, instead of using your website as a middle-man. Some places allow this, some not, meaning you're going to have to invest some time for research in addition to your advertising budget.
Confused? Don't have a budget? Then direct linking CPA offers is not for you.
One of the most popular things out of recent months is the idea that you can make money simply by uploading YouTube videos. Products like TubeLaunch and Tube Cash Code impress you with millionaires who built their businesses without ever having owned a website.
While it's true that you can make money with videos on YouTube and other video hosting websites, isn't not exactly what you might think. As usual with these types of advertising methods, you need to know more of the story before you decide that this is going to be your ticket to financial freedom.
One way to make money with YouTube videos is to have YouTube pay you for advertising. It's pretty easy to get into their advertising network now, so you've got that taken care of right out the gate. Now the problem is that you need videos.
Don't' have a camera? Don't have editing software? Don't have content? All of this is going to cost money and time, and well, it would be faster to just learn how to build a website.
On top of that, there are entire video courses, ebooks, and online communities dedicated to learning how to get subscribers, produce content people want to see, and learning how to get a video to “go viral”. Getting a viral video is often a random event unless you have a real “team” behind your video creation strategy like Jimmy Kimmel or other big names. Don't have that either? I think you'll be making a few pennies per month from videos of your cat.
You could do commentary on curated videos, but to get a popular channel you'll need to be creative, energetic, and lots of time to grow your brand.
Another sketchy way to make money from YouTube vids (most other platforms don't allow this) is to advertise products and post affiliate links in the video description. Yes, you can make money doing this. But without the video creation software, a business strategy, and a really good product, there's a good chance you won't get views, clicks, or sales. There's also a pretty good chance your video will get flagged and taken down for false advertising. 90% of places that teach you to do this have you select a product from Clickbank, and that's their “secret”.
One of the worst products I've seen on how to do this was Emergency Affilaite Cash Storm. The lady behind this product claims that she makes a bundle from non-speaking videos with added royalty free music and promotes “How to potty train your dog” ebooks. You should see the comment section – it's brutal. She's fooling no one.
One more thing – don't even think about stealing other people's videos. You could get into some serious legal trouble if you do this.
It Sounds Like You Need A Website.
Have you even looked into how easy it is to build a website these days?
Owning a website means you own your own a BUSINESS
And owning that “virtual property” means you have full control over the content, and you can craft your online marketing campaign to suit a specific audience.
Not owning a website is like selling hot dogs on the street corner out of a paper bag. Sure, you might be able to catch a few hungry, gullible people, but it's not a way to make money on a regular basis, and it's certainly not going to pay the bills.
Don't have any products? That's fine too. Neither do I. I sell other people's products. It's called affiliate marketing.
But let's take this one step at a time. Create a free website below and see how easy it is. I'm willing to bet that you will surprise yourself. Once your site is creating find the giant green button to start on the left side of your screen your affiliate marketing training. BTW your beginner training is free too. I think you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in just a few days, and you'll be well on your way to owning your very own affiliate marketing business.