Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Make money online - no, really

Scams and bogus 'opportunities' abound, but legitimate money-makers do exist. You probably won't get rich but you can certainly boost your budget.

By Donna_Freedman Sep 17, 2013 5:38PM

Logo: Money and computer (Tom Grill/Corbis)Need a few extra dollars? Look for them online.

Scams abound and so do "opportunities" that bring minimal bucks for maximum effort. But some legit money-making tactics do exist -- ways you can earn while working in a cubicle, taking the train home or waiting for soccer practice to end.

You're not likely to get rich this way, but why not boost your budget by listening to online radio, using a search engine or putting an affiliate link into some of your Facebook posts?

Watch yourself out there, though. "There are far more scams than there are legitimate sources of income," notes Andrea Eldridge of MarketingNerds.com.

"Beware of any offer that requires you to supply a credit card, pay for 'training' or fork over a membership fee. Avoid doing a Google search for 'make money online' unless you want to test your ability to sniff out a shyster."

One of the easiest ways to find legitimate online opportunities is to use the right search engine. Sites like InboxDollars, Qmee.com and Swagbucks can turn casual research into cash money sent by check or PayPal. (Both InboxDollars and Swagbucks have other ways to earn, including online games, surveys and watching short videos.) 

 

The Bing search engine pays in points that you can trade for gift cards -- which are as good as cash if you use them to buy things you were going to buy anyway. (Note: Bing is owned by Microsoft, which publishes Smart Spending.)

If you're a music fan, why not get paid to appreciate it? Radio Loyalty rewards those who listen to online radio. Tricia Meyer of Sunshine Rewards notes that you do have to listen to a few commercials but the variety of music choices makes it appealing to almost anyone.

In fact, she herself listens while at her desk, earning about $2.50 a week. "It really isn't any work," Meyer says. "Ten dollars a month isn't a lot, but for doing something so easy it's definitely worth it."

Cubicle-friendly gigs

If you've got a job with periods of down time (e.g., long stretches between calls), bring your tablet to work and take surveys. Some of the better sites include Harris Polls, ZoomPanel, Pinecone ResearchToluna and Synovate.

 

You can take surveys anywhere you have a few minutes to focus plus an Internet connection, including during your carpool or train ride to work. I've interviewed people who do them while keeping an eye on their kids in the yard, while waiting for the spin cycle at the laundromat, or while watching TV with a spouse in the evening.

A company called VigLink lets you earn from blogs or social media posts. It's an obvious match for deal or fashion bloggers. But it's also a good fit for non-bloggers who just like to share their finds with Facebook friends.

VigLink gives you an affiliate link that attaches to any URLs you provide. When a friend/reader clicks through, any purchases earn you a small commission. Rich Menga, a professional blogger whose focus is music, says it's the only consistent way he's found to make money on his site.

 

Although he won't reveal specific earnings, VigLink revenue brings in more than enough to pay for blogging expenses and promotions. He cautions users not to be "spammy" with the social media links, i.e., not to treat one's friends and acquaintances like clients. "Sprinkle in a few (links) every now and then," the Florida writer says.

A few more ways to cash in:


Answering questions

Capitalize on your knowledge through sites like Just Answer and ChaCha. You'll earn more if you have a specialized skill set, according to the Money Saving Mom site, but anyone with good research skills can bring in some extra dollars.

Doing tasks

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a "microtask" site that pays anywhere from two cents to $2 for doing fast jobs like tagging photos or basic data entry. A focused individual can do up to three tasks a minute, "earning a decent amount if you put some time into it," says Robert Farrington of The College Investor. (He made extra money himself this way while in college.)

 

Watching television

A site called Viggle awards points for watching television, answering trivia questions and playing in fantasy sports leagues. Jason Selss uses a number of rewards sites but Viggle and Swagbucks are his two favorites. Thus far he's earned enough gift cards to pay for an HDTV, a new printer and a laptop.

Selss, who works in Internet marketing on the East Coast, spends no more than an hour a day cruising for these rewards. Generally that's multitasking, such as surfing the Internet while keeping an eye on the television. This relatively limited time investment means slow earning; it took 10 months to save enough points for the television, and nine months to get the laptop points.

"It takes time, and patience is key," he says. "But once you get (free electronics) in your hands it's a nice feeling."

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9Comments
Feb 8, 2014 11:24AM
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Surveys are the easiest and fastest way to make money online.I've been doing this for a long time.I make $30/day.The most important thing you have to know is to join only legit surveys, because there are many scams online.If you are interested to find a list of legit surveys go to:

www.MyPaidSurveysBlog.Blogspot.Com

This is the best blog about paid surveys.
Oct 1, 2013 1:15PM
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Hello. Internet is an endless workplace so people can make money even more than real life, at least theoritacally :). But with a realistc approach we can say that we can earn reasonably from internet. A website or blog is necceassary for some methods but for most of them it is not. Some are very classic, some are proven and some are totally new. I spend some time to find out the answer but most of the resouces points out same methods. But you may try http://www.find-tr.com . This website contains several interesting online money making  system. Anyway, I wish luck to you. Don't give up :)
Mar 29, 2014 2:59AM
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Surveys are a good way to start making money online, however I always recommend a 'business in a box' system that is ready to go, complete with "detailed instructions". from day one. 

I personally use this system to make money and recommend it.  The company is A rated with the BBB and they pay every single Friday.  It works for me!  http://4WeeklyChecks.com
Mar 25, 2014 11:40AM
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The Payoneer Affiliate Card works just like any other prepaid MasterCard card. The card is accepted at all locations worldwide, where Debit MasterCard is accepted. You can use it at a point of sale location to make purchases and at an ATM to withdraw cash.
Get $25 when you sign up at Payoneer with my link

Mar 18, 2014 2:41PM
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Thank Donna for this great article. All of above are really good ways. If you are interested in to discover other ways of how to earn money at home you can check  http://www.find-tr.com
Mar 14, 2014 1:10AM
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I use this page http://www.neobux.com/?rh=736E6A6B616B61736869 . They give me real money just clicking ads. You only have to register and click. click. click. 
Mar 7, 2014 4:09AM
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YES U CAN VERY EASY AND EFFECTIVE 
 WITH GOOGLE 

CHECK THIS OUT 

http://bit.ly/1cypw3y
Jan 28, 2014 4:19AM
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There are many ways to make money online but you want to make sure you’re not wasting time! Many people get caught up in out dated methods that just leave them high and dry. For me personally it took much longer than I wanted to actually make anything online but what I realized is you just need the right guidance and information.

This site really helped me get started - makemoneyonline101.ca :-)

Feb 8, 2014 10:16AM
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Recently I've found a great way to make money online.I still can't believe it, but it is possible.It is something new and that's why still there are not many people that do this.I just upload videos to youtube.There are many marketers that pay me for that.That probably is the easiest way to make money.I still can't believe but I make $100/day.You can start doing this today.Here is the company that offers this: 

www.MakeMoneyHope.com

Just join today and start making money in 10 minutes ...
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