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How to make money online for free

You can get everything you need on the World Wide Web. Groceries, electronics, tickets for a vacation - you can get it all via the Internet. In fact, you can even find ways to earn money online. But not every opportunity is free. In fact, some of the most popularly referenced money-making Internet hobbies actually take a very significant investment before you'll ever make a dime. 

On the other hand, there are free opportunities out on the Web if you look hard enough. Filling out paid surveys is one of them. On Opinion Outpost, it's free to join, and you'll start receiving surveys to complete for cash or rewards immediately. 

Then again, if you want to pursue other money-making opportunities on the Web, have at it! Just know the investment you may have to make going into it. 

What about famous YouTubers?
​On the surface, the life of YouTube celebrity seems like a pretty sweet deal. At the very least, they're certainly paid well.

According to USA Today, many of the most famous YouTube stars make over $1 million in predicted annual earnings. That's not all from running YouTube ads. They often become spokespersons for cosmetics, electronics, games, review sites and more. However, it's the online personality and huge subscriber base that led to these opportunities in the first place. Here are a few facts and figures suggested by USA Today:

  • Jenna Marbles likely makes anywhere between $71,000 and $1.1 million per year
  • Smosh's Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla make between $250,000 and $4 million
  • Felix Kjellberg, an online gamer that goes by the name PewDiePie, earns anywhere from $1.1 million to $18.2 million.

So why aren't you starting your YouTube channel and raking in that money right now? Few consider the high investment these individuals make. With the exception of Jenna Marbles, most YouTube stars have to spend sometimes thousands of dollars and video equipment and editing software. Then, they have to invest huge swaths of time shooting, editing and of course coming up with an idea in the first place.

And in the long run, it's all a gamble. There's no magic formula for making money on YouTube, and that investment could be all for naught. Meanwhile, YouTube videos are uploaded by the millions on a regular basis, so competition for your fledgling channel is no laughing matter. Either way, the hobby certainly isn't free.

How about a blog?
Subtract the camera equipment and the long hours spent editing, and you could still share your creativity with people online for money. You'll just have to start a blog and turn it into a successful one - very, very successful.

U.S. News & World Report noted that there were around 181 million blogs at the end of 2011, according to Nielsen Company data. That number has likely increased drastically in the past few years. So while extremely few blogs have turned their writers rich, most probably aren't the most reliable money-making bet.

Not to mention, you may have to pay to register a Web domain or invest in other online tools to really draw your readers in. Even then, don't expect to earn a dime until that fan base soars into the tens of thousands.

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Why sign up?

Nobody's voice is as powerful as yours. As a consumer, you are uniquely positioned to share your perspective with businesses, telling them what you expect in order for them to receive your money in a transaction. So, why not make money online by taking surveys that provide information to your favorite company?