These days, almost everyone could use a little extra cash in their pockets. The question is, what’s the best way to get that cash? Many people think that all online opportunities to make money are scams, but the truth is that there are a number of legitimate ways to make extra money online.

There are two general categories of making money online. A person can offer goods or services. Goods may be produced by the person, or they may simply be things one no longer has any use for. A first step in exploring making money online is to go through one’s home in search of things no longer needed or wanted. These can be sold at any number of online auction websites or directly through different types of classifieds online.

For people who are craft-minded, there are sites that specialize in selling handmade items. These items may be art objects, things to wear, handbags, handmade furniture or any number of other creative homemade products. A quick search online will turn up many opportunities in this niche.

In the realm of services, opportunities abound. One growing career field is that of the virtual assistant. Virtual assistants do the same type of work from home that assistants do in offices around the world. Two major differences are that virtual assistants tend to be independent contractors and tend to work for multiple clients. A number of resources exist online for setting oneself up as a virtual assistant. One can do so independently or go through an agency.

Tutoring is another skill in demand online in nearly every field from ESL to nursing and writing to accounting. As with many online opportunities, this type of tutoring can be embarked upon independently or through an online company that hires tutors. The advantage of doing so independently is that the wages are generally higher, but with a company, the tutor is saved the time and trouble of marketing and dealing with administrative issues.

People with graduate degrees can also find opportunities as instructors online. Some colleges and universities are exclusively online, but a growing number of traditional schools are also offering an online track to their students. Instructors for online classes usually work as part-time adjuncts, and one or two classes per term can pay well and still fit around a full-time job.

Writing opportunities online abound. There are a number of different ways to turn writing skills into cash. First, there are regular freelance writing opportunities at online magazines and at blogs, some of which pay quite well. Next, there are many sites that either act as brokers between clients and writers or pay for content posted on the site itself. And there are numerous other opportunities. Writers can build a popular advertising-supported blog or website. Those who take this route should look into affiliate marketing as well. They can also self-publish e-books, either fiction or on topics on which they are experts.

Finally, there are opportunities to look for work that can be done virtually, although the work itself may not necessarily be for online consumption. These types of jobs can range from writing to programming to graphic design and more. Listings for them can be found on freelance sites, on sites that allow users to bid for work and through networking online.