Can anyone make millions online?

Last month, Double Fine Productions raised more than £2million in internet donations to help get its latest video game off the ground. Ever wondered whether you could be making money online?

When games developer Double Fine Productions set about launching its next project, it used fundraising website Kickstarter to bank over $3.3million (£2.1million) in donations from members of the public.

Of course, we don't all have the skills to create our own computer game, so what can the rest of us do to earn extra cash? Here are 10 varied ways you can make your internet connection pay...

1. Recycle old gadgets

Until it's considered "retro" or its rarity makes it a valuable antique, the best place for your ageing technology is in the recycling bin. If you have an old mobile phone, you might be able to earn cash or vouchers by sending it to Envirofone. There are also websites like Gadget Panda, which allow you to sell an old iPod, Nintendo DS or Sony PSP gaming device.

For other technology, try the Asda Tech Trade-In site, which offers up to £250 for your old MP3 player, laptop, camera or sat nav. There's little point hanging on to them if the cash would be more useful to you.

2. Compare everything

One of the easiest ways to boost your income is to save money on everything you buy. Internet shopping makes it incredibly simple to shop around and always ensure you get the best deal.

There are tons of great websites now to help reduce your phone bill, get cheaper broadband or even save money on your TV package, so it's worth taking the time to search online and find out what's on offer.

Shopping comparison sites like Kelkoo help you find the lowest price on household goods, which could mean anything from a sandwich toaster to a state-of-the-art 3D television.

3. Rent out empty space

In 2005, a student called Alex Tew launched Million Dollar Homepage. The website, which is still active today, consisted of a single page with a million pixels arranged in a square grid.

The empty space was then offered for sale at $1 per pixel, and advertisers jumped at the chance to be part of internet history. The Million Dollar Homepage went on to become 127th most visited site worldwide, as well as making Alex Tew rich beyond his wildest dreams.

You too could turn empty space into cash with Storemates or ParkAtMyHouse, which let you rent out your loft, driveway or shed.

4. Sell books, music and games

When it comes to flogging CDs and books, the internet auction is a godsend. It's no longer necessary to wake up at dawn on a Sunday to stand in a dreary car park full of people's old tat and families clad in matching fleeces. While the car boot sale may still be thriving in the digital age, we now have far more efficient and dignified means of trading our junk for cold, hard cash.

The first site you'll probably think of is eBay, by far the best known, but there tons of other places to sell. Try Amazon for books, music and games - listings are free and stay active until the item sells.

5. Start a cottage industry

If you're a skilled painter, baker or dressmaker, why not set-up an shop online and go into production selling from home? Websites like Folksy and BigCartel are designed especially for creative types to make money from selling the things they've made.

You might even be able to go it alone by creating a website or blog to promote your latest range of handmade goods. Absolutely anything you can imagine, from soft toys and cushions to cupcakes and personalised wedding invitations have huge markets online, and the costs involved in selling them are tiny compared with opening a shop.

6. Become a YouTube celebrity

The video sharing website YouTube has spawned hundreds of global celebrities, each with a following to rival Lady Gaga's.

If you're entertaining in front of a webcam there's serious money to be made from advertising, powered by Google's AdSense platform. Even with fewer than 5,000 subscribers it's possible to rake in a few pounds a day.

Big hitters like Charlieissocoollike and Charlie Bit My Finger are turning over thousands a month. If your hilarious home video goes viral online it could make the £250 from You've Been Framed seem like peanuts.

7. Get paid for online surveys

No one enjoys being stopped in the street by a market researcher equipped with a clipboard, but what if you could earn money for filling in surveys online in your spare time? Believe it or not, you actually can with websites like Valued Opinions and Crowdology, which offer you cash or vouchers as a reward for completing questionnaires.

The amount you can earn will vary depending on the length and type of survey, but it's easy to fit them around your routine; with mobile broadband you could even be doing them on the bus or sat in the sunshine during lunchbreaks.

8. Earn cash from blogging

If you're particularly interested in or knowledgeable about a subject, and you're able to produce engaging articles, it's possible to monetise your blog and earn good money for writing about what you love.

The two most common ways of doing this are with AdSense or Amazon Associates, which essentially pays you for recommending Amazon products. In order to start making decent revenues, you'll first need to build up a heavy flow of traffic. The Perez Hilton gossip blog has been valued at $2.6million, and lots of bloggers eventually make sufficient profits to give up their day job.

9. Launch your own social network

Mark Zuckerberg has an estimated personal wealth of $18billion, making him one of the world's youngest billionaires having entered the world in 1984. When he co-created Facebook with his friends at Harvard University, none of them could have predicted just what a global phenomenon it would become. It's since notched up almost a billion users and even been turned into a Hollywood film. But as there's been such divided opinion over its latest update, the Facebook Timeline, now could be the perfect time to follow in Zuckerberg's footsteps and set-up a network of your own.

10. Win competitions

You're never guaranteed to win anything, but it can be possible to supplement your income with cash prizes or luxury holidays by entering free competitions online.

"Comping" as it's known is the systematic filling in of forms - usually no more than an email address and basic details - to win anything from a year's to a brand new sports car or lavish cruise. Although it's never likely to be sustainable as a way of making a living, it can be quite a lucrative hobby. However, remember that you should only ever enter your details on a site you're sure you can trust.


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