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Setting up an online home business is a perfectly viable option for those who don’t want to commit to a 9 to 5 job or for those who simply could use some extra cash aside from their day job salary.

Although it sounds cool, maybe less than 1% of the newcomers manage to go past the first year. I don’t know if this happens because their expectations are too high, but a big part of these failures has its roots in newcomers becoming victims of scams that promise they’d make money with all kind of tricks or wise findings for cutting corners.

Here’s my take on setting up an online home based business, after three years and seven wonders of working from home:

  1. Know the length of your nose. I don’t know if you got the meaning of this, but this is what I want to say: when you encounter a paid membership program, try to think clear and see if what they teach fit your profile. For instance, if you wonder whether a program like Teaching Sells does work or not, stop for a moment and see who’s it targeting. If Teaching Sells is about teaching experts how to set up a paid membership site and earn from sharing your expertise with the paying members, why on Earth would you join, if you’re a 18-19 individual who doesn’t have any expertise in any topic? OK, teaching may sell, but only if the teacher is an expert in his topic and a good communicator.
  2. If it’s too good to be true, 99.99% it’s a scam, not a viable online home business. Don’t start with the wrong mindset that $27 or $47 is not so much, so why not buying this or that online home business guide? Just don’t buy, because these small expenditures add up very quickly. Instead, try to make money online with free resources, at least until you catch the ropes a bit. There’s nothing wrong with spotting one or another online home based business opportunity, but do yourself a favor and search in Google the name of the opportunity + negative review.
  3. Use what’s free. Learn how to make money writing on Hubpages and on other revenue sharing sites. At least if you fail, you won’t be sorry for the money spent, but only for the money not earned.
  4. Internet marketing forums and networking lead to no working. It’s OK to take a look at what other beginners are thinking about working from home, but when you start to spend hours on Twitter, Digital Point Forums or whatever else,  you won’t have enough time left for the real work, that puts the bread and butter on your table. When all you do for half a day is showing off in forums, that’s more like making paella online rather than money. Find out more about becoming a better blogger from this interview with Darren Rowse of Problogger.

Making money with an online home business is possible, but it’s not a miracle and it doesn’t happen over night. You need to learn first, like in anything else.