Here are some common classifications for sites where you can earn some extra money.
As the category implies, on these sites one takes surveys and get paid various amounts. How much you are paid typically depends on the lenghth and sponsor of the survey. They can be worth a few cents to several dollars. There are a variety of survey sites, from free to sign up, to paid to participate. My experiment concentrated on the free survey sites only.
Once you sign up, most sites have a panel of profiles for you to fill out. Some offer monetary incentive, some don’t. It’s advisable to fill these profiles out to maximize your chances of being match to potential surveys. Most sites will email you when surveys are available. Once you are notified, simply log on to your account and take the survey. Surveys often start with pre-qualifying questions which may disqualify you. The most common mistake made are people getting frustrated when they take a pre-qualifier and are disqualified, however they think they completed the survey. After taking surveys for a while, you’ll beging to get the feel for which questions are the pre-qualifier questions, and which are the actual survey.
The best way to know when you’ve successfully completed a survey is to watch for the “congratulation” or “success” page at the end.
Tip: To improve your earning potential with surveys, I recommend signing up for as many as possible. Different sites attract different businesses contracting with them. As a result, the only way to know which survey sites are the “best” for you is to work a variety and see which ones offer surveys you qualify for more often than others. You can read reviews, but I found the only important thing is whether or not the site pays. If so, and if it’s free to sign up, no reason not to give it a try. Other thing is to prioritize working sites that pay when you take the pre-qualifier questions. Not all sites do this, but for those sites that do, that means you make some money each time you take a minute or two to answer a few questions. Do this consistently and before you know it, you will hit your cashout.
Pay To Click (PTC) Sites
These sites are typically the easiest ones to do, as all you do is get paid to click and watch advertisements. One isn’t paid that much, from a fraction of a cent to a couple cents per ad. There are some good sites, and a whole lot of bad ones in this department. Many of these sites come and go in a matter of months, but there seems to be a few worthwhile ones out there. The thing with these, if you plan to use PTC sites in your money making portfolio, the key is (1) be consistant – missing a couple days clicking on most sites will severely impact your earning, and (2) do not invest your own money when starting out, just re-invest your earnings until you are sure the site is stable – particularly if you are venturing on a new, unproven site.
Get Paid To (GPT) Sites
Get Paid To sites are very popular and have a wide variety. Typically these sites offer a variety of items for one to “work” to make money. Such opportunities include surveys, pay to click, pay to write, pay to read, working offers (some free, some require investment), watch videos, work tasks, pay to shop, pay to post (in a forum), and more. As with pure survey sites, I recommend only signing up for the free sites – especially those with a bonus. Sometimes there is overlap between the sites – if so, you just need to keep track of what items you worked on what site. But there are several with sufficient diversity that can easily be worked in parallel. Bith these sites, there tend to be different rules on when “offers” expire, so be aware of the timetable on each site. As you start off, determine which sites are easier for you to make money on than others, then stick with those. I’ve made the most money using GPT sites, simply due to the variety – there’s usually always something you can do. And again, consistency is the key. A little bit each day goes a long way fast.
Pay To Shop (PTS)/Rebate/Coupon Sites
There are more coupon sites as opposed to the rebate sites. Unlike surveys or GPT, these sites are more ways to save money when purchasing things. However, every bit helps, so I’m including this category. With these, always sign up for free – don’t buy into a program. There are plenty of free sites available that you don’t need to invest to save. Also, these are the best ones to sign-up via someone’s referral link as often there is extra incentive to not only the referrer, but the referree as well.
This seems to be the latest craze on the block. The concept is simple – you purchase “bids”, then find an item on the auction you wish to bid on, the place bids and hope to win. Each bid placed on the auction increases the cost of the item, typically by a penny, until everyone gives up and the last bidder standing wins. Unlike eBay auctions, when an auction draws to an end, and a new bid is placed, often time is added back to the clock – simulating a real auction where the auctioneer would ask for any other higher bid to be placed. When reading about penny auctions, there are wide reviews from those singing praises to those calling them scams. Bottom line is does the site send you the winning item timely, and do they have good customer service. If the answer is “yes”, then if you are a risk taker, this may be something to try.
There are a variety of strategies on how best to work these sites. In general, things to keep in mind are: budget accordingly (not only bids to buy, but factor in any shipping costs should you win the auction), study the board (know your opponent) before bidding, start small – don’t bid multiple auctions or big ticket items when starting.
This opportunity is working for a business that will pay you to shop some place (store, restaurant, etc), then report back your experiences and be paid for doing this. Reports from people who have done mystery shopping indicate this can be a profitable endeavor, the hard thing with this is finding legitamate sources. The majority of the online sites found on the internet often ask to pay a fee to sign up for their “service”. Many warn against these sites as “scam” sites, that legitamate mystery shopping businesses do not require participants to buy into their program. I have not yet found a site – so I have none to offer at present. If I locate one if the future, I’ll be sure to post.
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Matrix
These are sites where you make money by buying into a “matrix” and are promised to receive so much money when people sign-up below you. Very much like a pyramid “scam” – these sites require an up front investment, and the only way to make money on these is to be able to market yourself well to obtain sufficient referrals to make any kind of money on these sites. Also, those near the top of the chain will make the most – if you come in near the bottom, you won’t be making much at all. Like the PTC sites, many of these MLM sites come and go quickly. For anyone starting out, I’d advise avoiding these sites. If you are interested in trying one out, my recommendation would be to re-invest money you make on other sites rather than investing out of your normal paycheck. This way if it goes no where, it’ll be easier to accept the loss.