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How Not to Make Money Online [Top 5 Don’ts]

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When everyone tries to talk about how to make money online by listing some “Dos”, I’m going to do the opposite and talk about “Don’ts”.

We always look for ways to make money online. That’s why there is a lot of content out there you can read. But put an important matter aside.

A girl confused
Don’t believe everything you read about making money online and easy income on the internet.

Maybe we should know what not to do to make money online so we can choose easier and wiser. After all, that’s how I’m looking into such matters.

Here I want to tell you how not to make money online and what ways you should avoid making money online. That will work of course if you know the Meaning of Make Money Online!

Why You Should Read This?

Articles you read about how to make money are generally provided to attract visitors. So they try to fit as many money-making ways as possible.

Therefore you will end up with Amazon FBA Business being on the same list as taking online surveys for money.

I mean Amazon FBA is a complicated Online Business Idea that can make you millions in long term, and taking online surveys is a pointless task that won’t make you anything.

Searching on Google by using iPad
By googling how to make money online you can find 500+ ways to make money online. The question is “Are they real?”

These two are not at all same, so fitting them in the same list is a mistake. Because people tend to go for the simpler one, not knowing how much time they’ll waste for nothing.

That is why you should read this post: To know what to do and what to avoid when it comes to making money online. Don’t waste your time doing the wrong thing. Time is irreplaceable.

To actually make money on the internet, I think you should read my Ultimate Guide to Make Money Online. I’ve talked about the realistic ways and online jobs that you can do to make money online, enough to do it as your main source of income.

What You Shouldn’t Do to Make Money Online

I put together this list to tell you what to avoid when it comes to making money on the internet. Think of them as to make money online don’ts if you wish.

What you are about to read, the NO NO jobs, are not necessarily problematic in nature, but they are simply don’t worth doing. They all are legit ways to make money

Man says NO by showing thumbs down
It’s time to say no to jobs that waste your time and pay you a dime. Look at that accidental rhyme I’ve just made up!

They’re not scams or wrong and nobody will rob you (usually), but I like to look at such making money businesses as a gray legitimacy sort of business model.

There are a few things wrong with this business when it comes to earnings. You technically earn a small amount of money compared to the amount of time you invest in them.

There are also some payout and terms of services problems that make them unpleasant for making money online. You will understand what I mean once you read them.

1. Taking Online Surveys

There are a lot of websites encouraging you to take online surveys to make some money. According to them, you can make up to 350 dollars for each survey, which is a little more than unrealistic, and you will be paid within 24 hours.

There is only a limited amount of crap one can fit into, what I can only describe politely as, false advertisement. Don’t fall for that. I can only say this!

Man taking an online survey on laptop
There are hundreds of “legit” websites that pay you for taking online surveys.

I’ve tried many so-called “Best websites that pay for taking surveys” and to clear things up, they really pay. But there is an endless list of terms and regulations regarding how to take the surveys and how to answer the questions, etc.

There are a lot of strict rules that will turn against you upon withdrawal. These websites let you take the survey. When you finish it, you’ll receive some points, that can be withdrawn if certain criteria are met.

Making money online by taking surveys is one of the big don’ts when it comes to online jobs. Problems with these websites are too many to explain each individually, so I refer to the most important ones.

First the exchange rate: You’ll receive, for example, 10 points for a survey. Exchange rate? 1 point = 1 cent. So you took a 30 minutes survey, and if it is miraculously accepted by the website, you’ll receive $0.1 (10 cents).

Second the rejection: Sometimes you finish a survey after one hour, and submit it. The website rejects it due to invalid answers that won’t help them study, taking the survey too quickly, or spam answers, and many other reasons not to pay you! And guess what! They are going to use the data in your survey anyway, regardless of paying or not! Don’t believe it? Read the terms and conditions!

Sad man looking out of the window
This man realized his mistake after taking 200 surveys and making 10 cents. Don’t be like him!

Third the minimum withdrawal amount: Even if you made 10,000 points ($100) after taking 200 surveys in two weeks, you will find out that the withdrawal amount is higher. This is where you as a survey taker quit going after some other way to make money online. This is also where the website profits more, because you, like many other participants, didn’t reach the minimum withdrawal limit and left early, but you provided enough data for surveys.

Fourth the payout methods: If you get to the minimum withdrawal limit, then you want to withdraw for real, only to find out that the website won’t be able to pay you because they use different payout methods than those you might have. And it’s always different. Isn’t that a little spooky? So, what you have to do is to go with withdrawal with an unbelievable fee to receive your money in your account or wallet!

It’s always like this, and I’m telling you this because I had the experience. All of them are alike. Actually, this is a kind of business model, or better to say, a business scheme. The operator (The website in this case) always profits. This is a type of business model that drives many businesses, but I’ll talk about them in other posts.

An sand hour glass clock on the ground
Time is more precious than wasting it answering surveys to make $1 per hour.

If you want to try these websites, then it’s fine. But just don’t go deep into them or you’ll find yourself wasting too much time for almost nothing!

2. Search The Web

Making money by searching the web is quite like taking surveys. This is another make money online don’t that I can talk about. Here you should search for something and click on a link. Sometimes you search for whatever you want, but you have to click on a specific result too.

This business is used by advertisers as a kind of gray and black hat SEO technique, helping certain websites to rank higher on search engines. They achieve this by driving real users (you) to a website on search results.

Google search engine
In my opinion, searching the web for money is among the worst online jobs you can have.

It is a kind of fake organic traffic that fools search engines into believing that this website is being clicked frequently so it should have a higher rank.

It’s not illegal by any means, but search engines don’t like such cheating and have their own measures for such services and websites that use them. But you’ll be fine doing them, and no one will blame you.

The difference between this and survey taking is the task you are performing, but the similarities are a lot. Payouts, exchange rate, and minimum withdrawals are all similar.

Particularly, in “make money by searching the web” websites, there is usually a daily task limit that prevents you to perform more than a particular number of searches for money.

Frustrated man at laptop
This man is frustrated by many problems with unsuitable online jobs.

For example, if each task is worth $0.2, you can’t have more than 5 paid searches in 24 hours. Does this make you any money? I don’t think so!

This is by far another kind of don’ts when it comes to making money online. It is really a waste of time, and you won’t be able to make enough money to even pay your internet bills, let alone the rest of the expenses.

3. Click on Ads to Get Paid

Clicking on ads to make money online is another type of don’ts people are usually attracted to because “It’s so easy”. Such websites usually lack clarities regarding their payouts, exchange rates, limits, etc.

Their terms of service usually profit the operator (the website) rather than the user (you), so you can expect not to be paid when it comes to withdrawal.

Make money online by clicking ads
Click on ads and get paid. The perfect mirage for making money on the internet.

What you basically do is to sign up, click on ads provided for you, and get paid for doing so. It’s a business that drives some gray and black hat SEO services and sometimes helps businesses drive out their competitors by draining their advertisement budget.

The payout for each click is rather small, there is a limited number of ads to click per day, and the minimum withdrawal amount is so high that 98% of users usually quit after a few days or weeks.

That’s where the website profits from all the clicks without paying anything. Remember the taking survey for money? Same old trap!

Spider Web Trap
Don’t fall for the online traps that pull you into the wrong job.

To sum it up, it doesn’t pay anything, it’s a waste of time, and you won’t make anything as soon as you stop doing it, provided you can withdraw at some point.

“How do some people make money by clicking ads”, you ask? making affiliates by referral links, and making money out of them. It’s so simple.

Like many other ways you shouldn’t try to make money online, people promote such websites hoping to attract affiliates who are willing to make money online.

iPhone expectation vs. Reality
You’ve seen a lot of them; promoting something that is 100% different in reality. They are a kind of meme for a reason!

It could work, meaning that you can make real money by doing this, but that depends on your persuasion skills and your standards regarding the amount of “real money”.

In general, making money by clicking ads is still an unrealistic way to make money that can actually be called good money. So, don’t rush into them before knowing the underlying problems with such services.

4. “Get Paid to” Sites

There are a number of websites offering you to do certain tasks in return for an amount of money. They are usually called “Get Paid to” websites.

Each website offers a specific set of tasks, or many of them, in return for getting paid. In fact, taking online surveys, getting paid for searching the web, or clicking advertisements for money are kind of “Get Paid to” websites.

a nerd working with a laptop
Don’t get stuck doing the wrong job. You’ll understand how much time you have wasted right after it is too late to recover!

But because the past three items were much more important I explained each individually. The general idea of getting paid for doing something, usually pointless, has fundamental problems.

As I told you previously, these problems lie within the terms of service, payout, and business model, which in nature profits only the operator and not you as a user.

That is why I find all of these “Get Paid to” sites a big type of don’ts in making money online. They waste too much time and pay too little. Do I need to explain more?

5. Selling Second-Hand Stuff & Cashback Shopping

These ways are not actually a way to make money online, rather they are a waste of money too. But because many articles referred to these two as a way to make money on the internet, I fit them here to explain why you shouldn’t try them at all.

First, it’s selling second-hand stuff, and by stuff, It means your stuff which you don’t need anymore. But if you want to make money online, you shouldn’t sell your belongings, right?

You can’t look at it as a way to make money online. It’s not a job selling second-hand stuff on the internet. But, if your job is to buy second-hand and resell them at a higher price or buy damaged things and sell them after fixing them, it’s a good way to make money, but it’s not considered online at all.

A man with no money in his wallet
Such things that are promoted as a way to make money online will only leave you with nothing but an empty wallet.

Second, it’s cashback shopping, which means you buy something from a specific store, and a part of the money spent will be refunded. It’s like buying something that is on sale.

This is not a way to make money online. It is however a way to save money when shopping but not a way to make some at all.

Although you can resell them at full price and make a profit, it requires a set of skills to start an online store and do some market research and marketing to sell them online.

But in its nature, it’s saving money while shopping. Nothing more than that, and I don’t know why some believe it’s a good way to make money on the internet!


Working on the internet and making money online is not easy at all. If something sounds easy, you should seriously avoid it. In this article, we looked at some of these “easy ways to make money online” but they aren’t what they advertise!

If you see a website offering money for something silly, make sure that everything is in order (which it usually isn’t). Even if you are looking to make a quick buck, these are not what you are looking for. They won’t pay you instantly and there are a lot of terms and regulations designed to make you give up.

So to make some real money online, search better. Look for what you can do that you are good at and have the skills for. I’m sure there is something out there that worth the try. You can also read this article to see what are the realistic ways to make money online.

Just remember this: If it sounds too easy to make money, it is probably not!