The first thing you need to know about earning money online is that you need thick skin – many doors will be slammed in your face.While working online has its advantages, it’s worth knowing it can also be very soul-destroying.
This stems mainly from the fact that countries are divided into various tiers depending on appeal, determined by their buying power and disposable cash. So based on that rationale, it makes sense that the most developed countries are more appealing to digital advertisers. In the modern world, ad networks and advertisers categorise countries into three tiers, with tier 1 being the most valuable and tier 3 being the least valuable. Developing countries with low wealth and little to no disposable income such as Botswana fall in the Tier 3 category. These are the cheapest countries to advertise in with very few advertisers running ads in Tier 3 countries. Online and remote work opportunities also tend to work in this fashion, meaning you’ll find that most of these opportunities are not available to you. But fret not, YourBotswana is here to unearth the legitimate paying online opportunities that you can take advantage of. Before you delve into the online working space, however, here’s what you need to know.
Take away! Don’t waste time on sites you’re not eligible to work on. Channel your energy into earning sites that are open worldwide. Even then, make sure Botswana is listed before wasting your time doing work you may not get paid for!
1. You probably won’t earn as much as you would through regular work
Make no mistake, earning online can be back-breaking, tedious work and doesn’t always pay as well as a regular job. Most notably, most online opportunities that you qualify for won’t offer you benefits such as paid sick leave. You are only paid when you work. You don’t receive a pension or medical aid.
Take away! Unless it’s a ‘real’ job offer, a remote job, you won’t be offered any benefits such as a pension scheme, holidays, medical aid.
2. You have to diversify your income streams
Never ever lean too heavily on one source of income because online opportunities come and go! When you are a freelancer working solely online, you can’t afford to put all your eggs in one basket because you could wake up to find your sole earner has collapsed and disappeared off the face of the wide world web. You’ll need truckloads of patience – some opportunities don’t always pan out – sites can close down as quickly as they emerge. Please note, this happens mainly with beer money sites. Beer money sites are low-paid online earning sites.
Take away! Normalise earning via three or more online sites. This means if one collapses, you can at least lean on the others. Plus, you can earn more through more sites than one. There’s always the risk of overworking yourself, so be sure to only have a manageable amount of online work.
3. Many scammers are lying in wait to pounce on newbs
There are countless ways of earning online and equally as many scam sites. So you need to know how to spot the red flags. YourBotswana will run an article on this in the coming weeks, so be sure not to miss it. Scammers prey on the clueless, often people who are new to online work whose sole purpose is to earn money quickly, people who tend to desperately crave wealth and want to get rich overnight.
Take away! If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is – stay clear! If a site offers you $2500 per week, run for the hills. If a site offers you money for doing pretty much nothing, run the opposite way. Online work is often a hard slog, and nothing is free. If in doubt, ask your online communities and do your own research before joining such sites.
*Also, a lot of online job adverts you see on Facebook tend to be scammy – run the opposite way and be sure to spread the word!
4. You need to be disciplined and deliver what you promise
Botswana always languishes at the bottom of best work ethic lists. Esteemed former president QKJ Masire upset many with his assertion that Batswana are lazy and lack a good work ethic. But in your heart of hearts, was he right? You be the judge.
The reason I bring up this point is because when it comes to online and remote work, when you commit to take on a job, you are expected to communicate and communicate CLEARLY, to always be timely as well as to deliver superior quality work. If you blow your horn about possessing skills that you are selling, you better be able to put your money where your mouth is. If you don’t, you will have very unhappy clients who will leave awful reviews about your service. This, in turn, will drive potential clients away and ultimately, you will lose your earnings.
Take away! Be honest. Communicate. Deliver. Be punctual. If you don’t, you risk being found out and tarnishing your reputation. Bad reviews from your clients will stop you from earning. In freelance work, rave reviews are KING. This applies mainly to freelance work, about which we’ll be telling you in the coming weeks. We’ll share freelance sites through which you can earn and how to be a successful freelancer – so watch this space.
5. Share what you know to receive more
Culturally, we are not used to sharing what we know, much less paying it forward. However, when it comes to online work, you need to free yourself of that mentality because everyone shares what they know. You swap ideas, share opinions about online earning sites, warn each other about scams, tell each other about sites etc.
Take away! Learn ‘tricks of the trade’ from others and be willing to, in turn, teach others what you know.
6. Online communities are great for support
These are online forums through which you are able to learn many things that you wouldn’t otherwise find out about. Many of these platforms are paid forum sites that give you a small reward for interacting with other members from all over the world. Watch out for a list of paid forum posting sites that we will share with you. Paid forum posting falls in the category of ‘beer money sites’ because they don’t much. But the main thing here is that rather than chatting on Facebook for free, you could be talking to people from around the world and be paid for it. On these forums, you’ll be able to swap ideas, learn about other legitimate earning sites, and scams, among others.
Take away! Join one or two forum posting sites to earn by chatting with people from around the world, all while finding out about new sites as well as scams.
7. You’ll need PayPal – most good sites pay strictly via PayPal ONLY
Most online earning sites pay solely via PayPal, so you’ll need to set up an account, which is fairly straightforward. PayPal is not available in countries such as Nigeria, making it very hard to earn online. So count yourself lucky that you can use the facility.
Take away! Look into setting up that PayPal account the minute you decide you want to earn online.
8. ALWAYS read the FAQs, terms and ensure you are eligible before you start working on a site
Online earning sites tend to have very strict rules. Break them and often you’ll find yourself banned for life. So, as soon as you join a site, make sure you mooch around the site, familiarise yourself with how it works, read the terms and FAQs and understand everything before starting work. It’s your responsibility to know the rules like the back of your hand.
Take away! It’s no excuse not to know the rules of a site. If you’re caught breaking the rules, you may lose a good earner.
9. Refuse to pay to earn
As a rule of thumb, I personally refuse to pay any site to earn. After all, the idea is to hustle for money not burn what you can ill afford to lose. The last thing I want to do is risk my hard earned money for the privilege of earning which may well turn out out to be a scam. Quite often, sites that ask you to pay to join are up to no good. If you’re not sure, ask other online workers because there’s bound to be someone who knows something about any given site. The exception is flexjobs.com , a legitimate and reputable site which requests a small fee to help members find jobs. There are likely to be other similar sites out there but always do your research before considering paying in case the site isn’t kosher.
Take away! If a site asks you for money to join, run for the hills! You’re here because you want to earn money, not burn it!
10. Do NOT join sites that don’t favour Tier 3 sites – it’s a dead end!
There are countless online earning sites out there, but always bear in mind that you may not qualify for all of them. The main bulk of online jobs are aimed at US residents, followed closely by Canada, the UK and EU countries. These are what we call Tier 1 countries, which are first world countries. Botswana and the rest of the developing world fall in the Tier 3 category and have far fewer remote and online opportunities. Make peace with it and walk away as soon as you find out you are NOT eligible to join certain sites. If you force matters and go ahead and start working on sites for which you are not eligible, it will only end in tears because you won’t be paid a penny!
Take away! Normalise checking if you are eligible to join a site before you do anything else to save yourself any future stress.
11. NEVER ever use a VPN to hide your location!
Many Tier 3 online workers are frustrated by the limited amount of opportunities and resort to underhanded tactics to try and cheat the system. One of those tricks is the use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) to hide their IP address, pretending to be somewhere they are not so as to work on various sites. DO NOT DO IT. The minute you are found out – and trust me, you will be rumbled – you’ll lose everything you’ve worked for. You’ll be banned and, and in all likelihood, lose any money generated up to that point.
Take away! Stay well clear of VPNs because you will almost certainly be caught. Online sites absolutely abhor VPNs and ban anyone who is caught using them. The same applies to Paypal.
Learn online lingo
- Tier 3 countries – typically third world countries. People in these countries tend to have far fewer online opportunities
- Newbs/newbies – people who are new to something, in this case, online work
- Beer money sites – sites that offer low-paid rates. You can usually do easy tasks in return for a small reward. Examples of beer money sites are survey sites and paid forum posting sites
- Scammy sites – sites that display suspicious behaviour that usually ends in you the online worker being duped. The sites often promise you the world only to deliver a big fat ZERO
- Cash-out threshold – the amount of money you need to have accumulated to be able to request payment. It differs from site to site
- To cash-out – to request payment
- FAQs – Frequently asked questions
- Paid forum posting – sites that reward you to post comments and interact with other members
Final takeaway! Keep following YourBotswana for more leads to legitimate paying online sites. Please go ahead and like and follow our Facebook page, where we’ll continue to share exciting new ways to earn money online.
By YourBotswana writer