I have been earning money online I various ways and I think my main learning point has been: be skeptical and avoid wasting your time. There are a handful of basic ways to make money (content, ebooks, VAing, affiliate programs, stock etc) and which one will work for each person depends on their skills and temperament. But there are literally hundreds of activities that will only ever earn nothing or next-to-nothing. And yet they will still attract loyal users who promote the program and assure people that they can make huge piles of money of they just work hard enough. In my experience a good earning opportunities earns from the beginning and is somewhat scale-able. A little work makes some money (more than a few cents), and more work makes at least proportionately more--and often a lot more than that for reasons like developing skill and building your reputation.