The internet is an open book for anyone wanting to make money online. There are literally thousands of ways to generate cash on the web. The hard part is knowing what opportunities to get involved with and recognizing the scams.

I can't possibly go through all the online business opportunities or advise you of the thousands of scams; however I can introduce you to three legitimate ways to start making money that virtually anyone can do. These opportunities won't cost more than a few dollars to get started and they offer minimal risk.

Create an Informational blog with Google Adsense

Creating a blog is easy and there is plenty of free information to help you get set up. Starting a blog is also very inexpensive, costs range from free to no more than about $10 a month if you wish to host you blog yourself.

To get started choose a topic of interest. Look around; find out what topics people are buzzing about. This could be a topic of personal passion or it could be something that you have a general interest in writing about.

To avoid stiff competition among popular topics drill down to specific niches. For example, a dating blog is nice but a dating blog for widows or widowers is better. A blog about pets is great but a blog for owners of aging or dying pets has a specific targeted audience. A blog about traveling will draw interest but a blog about traveling on a budget will get more attention.

Post to your blog at least three times a week with unique, interesting information that will help readers learn and gain useful insight. Within each post include Google Adsense ads. When viewers read your post and click on the ads you get money.

Keeping your blog posts interesting, original and entertaining will be your key to getting the most visitors and plenty of Adsense clicks.

Become a Virtual Assistant

There are many small businesses that don't have an office building but their online presence requires an office staff. This type of office staff are known as 'virtual assistants'. Virtual assistant jobs are ideal for stay at home moms, college students, retired folks, the disabled or anyone that simply wants to work from home and generate substantial income each month.

What can you do as a virtual assistant? If you have a computer and possess graphic, writing, organization, administrative or computer skills you can do things like writing and editing, internet research, email support work, data entry, administration jobs, graphic design and more. Simply post your specialty on work related forums, Twitter or Craigslist. Signing up on freelance job sites is also a good option, they may charge a small fee for their service but they will have thousands of members that can hook you up with plenty of work.

Write an e-book or informational guide

Everyone has skills, talents and knowledge that others would be interested in. For example if you're a mom, you know a thing or two about raising kids or if you have ever cared for a loved one who is ill chances are you've developed easier ways of caring for them. You may also have skills and knowledge in your current job that others would want to know about? These are all ideas that could help you create an informative guide and sell online.

I'm not suggesting writing a 300 page e-book that costs as much as a college text book and could take months to write, instead think about creating a more comprehensive, easy to read 10-20 page guide they sells for less than $20. I don't know about you but I'd much rather spend $17 on a short, no fluff, full of meat guide than a $50 e-book that I might never get through.

Promoting your guide will be the next step in the process and there are plenty of free promotional strategies that you can learn about. With a little creativity and focused effort you could be making consistent sales for something you did only once.

So there you have it, three great ideas to help you get started making money online. All you need now is the courage to take action.

Author's Bio: 

Find out more about internet home business ideas with Elizabeth at Sign up for her free newsletter and ‘getting started guide’ today!