For those savvy enough to take it, the internet is a huge earning opportunity. Digital marketing companies make profits by taking advantage of the ease of communication on the internet and the huge numbers of potential customers. There are hundreds of ways of making money online, from starting your own company to freelance design to filling out surveys. But in this new world there can be problems. Are you an individual making money by composing and submitting content online? These are my top things to avoid when trying to do it:

Doing surveys.

It may seem like a quick way to earn extra cash, and well, people do. However, as a time investment, it’s unwise. The chances of you earning more than a couple of dollars an hour, and the awkward nature of most survey pay out systems, means that whilst you could invest huge amounts of time into completing hundreds of surveys, you could end up with less money than you spent on the food you ate to power your way through the surveys. Basically, it’s false economy.

Working for nothing.

Even worse than this is giving away your labour for free. This may seem obvious, but as an example, in journalism it’s often the case that when you start out you will be writing for a publication just for the sheer love of writing about a topic. The competitive nature of the industry means that many people are vying for the opportunity to write on a platform, and will work for free in an ‘apprenticeship’ style. What you must to be aware of is the need to draw the line. There are plenty of digital marketing companies that will pay for an individual who can write with clarity, you just need to look. Once you’ve built a reasonable portfolio, abandon the slave labour and get earning.


This is a big one. The ability to sit down on your laptop and create content which can lead to money in your pocket is tantalising, but often the very nature of your chosen platform makes it difficult to stay on task. For different people the solution to this problem is different. One solution might be to break down your time into specific chunks, write it down (this appeases your need to procrastinate) and then stick to the timetable. If you’ve made a written promise to yourself, it’s often more difficult to defer to unnecessary things. Another technique is purely psychological; create a strong mental image of your ultimate reward or punishment at the end of the task, based on your success or failure. For ‘money’ as a carrot, it’s often more useful to imagine that once the task is completed you will be able to afford a specific item, like a new pair of shoes or a guitar pedal. It can be anything, so long as it motivates you.

Tweaking Endlessly.

This is something that I am definitely guilty of. When you start a project it’s often with an ultimate goal in mind, and the idea is to get to that goal as quickly as possible. However, when you get into the task at hand, you begin to focus heavily on the details, and it is often difficult to pry yourself away from something that you feel is imperfect. What you have to realise though is that when it’s done, it’s done. Set yourself a certain stopping point, and once you reach that goal, double-check your product and leave it.

Over-Zealous Personal Development.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t invest any time in personal development. With any role, the ability to understand your failings and to prepare yourself against them is extremely useful. However, the best way of learning is by doing. So, rather than spend vast amounts of time ‘getting ready’, simply take the first step. Because “she[or he] who dares, wins.”