Cash In on Twitter -- But Beware

Twitter was once a place for people to stay in touch with each other and spread information, but now the site's taking on the role of marketplace.

The possibility of making money in 140 characters or less on Twitter has people atwitter about making big bucks via tweets. But is it really possible?

CBS News Science and Technology Correspondent Daniel Sieberg discussed it -- and ways others may try to cash in on you -- on "The Early Show" Friday.

For some, Sieberg said, it's possible to make money on Twitter. Tamar Weinberg, an Internet marketer, told Sieberg she made a couple of hundred dollars by tweeting about an e-commerce service to her 8,600 followers.

Weinberg, author of "The New Community Rules," told CBS News, "It was a really cool product, and it was relevant to my readers, so I said, 'Hey, why not?'"

And for celebrities, Sieberg said, Twitter money is at their fingertips.

Ted Murphy, founder and CEO of IZEA, said the biggest check he's written so far to an unnamed celebrity is $20,000 -- for one post.

And while there's money to be made, Sieberg said, you should also beware of scams.

Entrepreneur Krhys Vaughn wanted to promote her business when she signed up with a company called Twitter Profit House for a $1.99 CD to teach her how to make money on Twitter. But the next business day, Vaughn found hidden charges on her bank statement for more than $100.

Khrys got her money back after many phone calls and e-mails and finally, a complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Alison Southwick, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau, told CBS News, "The Better Business Bureau is warning people specifically about websites that offer a free trial of a CD-Rom that is going to show you how to make money with Twitter…You want to beware of websites that claim you can make big money for little effort and no experience required."

According to its Web site, Twitter Profit House claims it's no longer in business. However, the Better Business Bureau warns there are other similar Web sites that charge membership fees, so, Tweeter beware.

And if you're one of the millions of everyday Twitter users, Sieberg said you shouldn't expect to be tapped to sell a product any time soon.

Southwick said, "I don't think anybody's going to be able to turn themselves into a full-time sponsored tweeter, except maybe a celebrity."

Sieberg added some users view the money aspect of Twitter negatively. He said users say the site is turning a communication tool into a big ad machine.