Many of us would like easy ways to make money working from home. I have found that I can make small amounts of money at my convenience and they can add up to some nice spending money. I thought I’d share in case anyone else is interested. I have found 2 main ways to make money, Swagbucks and Crowdsourcing sites such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Prolific Academic.
Now, I will freely admit that 2 of the links I just gave you are my referral links. I firmly believe that if a company is willing to pay commission to a referrer, one should make sure they use a referrer rather than let the company keep that money. For instance, Swagbucks pays a commission of 10% to a referrer. They also give a $3 bonus to both the referrer and the referred if the referred earns $3 by the end of the month, doubling their first $3 (so don’t join late in the month.) Why let the company keep that money when we can help someone who can really use it? So, if you decide to join, please be sure to use either my link or someone else’s. I will tell you more about Swagbucks below, after a brief explanation of the other sites.
Swagbucks is easy and fun, but you cannot really make a living there. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a better source of income, although you still have to work long and hard for small amounts of money until you get good at it. Some people get very good at it and manage to make over $100/week. I am not one of those people. However, I do know people who consider $100/week to be a bad week. I make about $20/week, which is what most people who post at TurkerNation earn in a day. If you want to learn more about Mechanical Turk, I highly recommend you join TurkerNation, which is in the process of moving to Slack. Read the Daily Great HITs thread and ask questions, they are very helpful. I might come back later and add some more links, but everything is available at TurkerNation’s Reddit page. (MTurk does not have a referral program so don’t worry about my link.)
Another Crowdsourcing site is Prolific Academic. You can make decent money for the time spent there, but there is not always work available. This is why I use all 3 sites. With Prolific Academic, you have to remember to check the site often, to see if they have anything new for you to do. With Mechanical Turk there is always something to do and you can use various scripts to help find good work, as well as the aforementioned Daily Great HITs thread.
You can also sign up at I-Say and do surveys. They don’t pay as well as MTurk or Prolific Academic, but they pay better than Swagbucks’ surveys and tend to have a good selection of surveys available. Also, if you are disqualified, you get 5 points (worth 5 cents.) You can redeem points for gift cards or PayPal (but you spend more for PayPal.) If you know anyone using I-Say, have them invite you so they can earn 100 points ($1.) They only accept a referral by email, so the referrer has to have your email address in order to invite you.
Now back to Swagbucks. The main reason I joined was to get paid for my searches. I was using Bing at the time and making $5 every 5-6 weeks from my searches in the form of Amazon gift cards. I joined Swagbucks over 2 1/2 years ago and have been earning over $25 per month. I rarely cash out with PayPal, although it is an option. I prefer to cash out with a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Walmart. The Walmart card can be used to purchase anything I want from the physical Walmart store and having a balance at Amazon is always nice. The reason I prefer gift cards is that the first gift card purchased each month only costs 2200 SB ($22), so I’m getting $3 free every month. *update: Another option is the Prepaid Visa Card which saves you even more money and can be applied to your Amazon Card Balance or used most places online. The only drawback is that you have to use a digital wallet site which is kind of a pain. I mainly use the Prepaid Visa now.
Now, unlike Bing, you don’t get paid for every search. Instead, you randomly get Swagbucks from your searches. The easiest way to do this is to set your default search to Swagbucks (powered by Yahoo) and forget about it. Random searches will pay random amounts of swagbucks and it’s fun. It’s usually about 4-7 but sometimes it’s more. Occasionally you might get 40 or 100 SB (each SB is worth $0.01) for a search, which is great fun because it feels like a game. They have other games which I find fun as well as profitable.
- The Daily poll is a quick and easy SB
- The Daily Swag Code is fun and gets me 2-4 SB. I use the app to make sure I don’t miss it. You can also sign up at SBCodez.
- SwagIQ is their daily trivia game. This game is a lot of fun! If you are very good at trivia, you can earn a lot of money! I’m not, so I usually earn 5-20 SB per day. I have seen winners get $20 – $1000. Games are played daily at 5 PM Pacific Time except Friday (10 AM PT) and Saturday (no game.) They also sometimes have Flash Game at 5:45 PM which go faster and give less SB. To play, all you need is to download the app. (Use my referral code HermanaLindaV for the chance to earn 300SB as I said above.) In my opinion, the secret to this game is to never buy back in unless you have a free Rejoin. That way, you will never lose any money on it. You have to stay until the end to claim your winnings. It takes 15-20 minutes. I once won a game and got $1.23.
- On Tuesdays they have a game called iSpySearch which I find great fun and usually gets me 5-16 SB.
- They have other games such as Swago (bingo), Spin and Win and team challenges at random time. I have a lot of fun with these. Spin and Win can be frustrating, because at least half the spins result in nothing useful at all. I expect that and am happy with the ones which do pay out. Some give a few SB, others give extra earnings for search wins or cash outs. I also have won free buy ins for SwagIQ. This means that if I get eliminated late in the game, I can get back in the game for free!
- They give you a daily goal and each time you meet it, you earn a bonus at the end of the month. My bonus is usually 75-90 SB. I don’t meet the daily goal very often, which keeps the goal low and fairly attainable. Again, I don’t spend much time on this and consider all I earn to be free money.
- The To Do List is an easy way to earn a few SB. It is in the left sidebar. If you complete 6/8 activities, you get a few SB and if you complete all 8, you get another few. Again, this all adds up.
- If you shop online, do it through Swagbucks for rebates. The Swagbutton makes that really easy. You can usually get at least 1% back, sometimes more. You can also link a credit card through Swagbucks Local and get cash back for eating out. I used a prepaid credit card for this.
You can make money there in other ways. They have surveys which promise big swagbucks, but usually disqualify you, maybe tossing you one SB. I don’t mind that and save up the pennies. I do get annoyed when they take a long time to disqualify me and/or just fail to pay me, but I consider that part of the game and just forge on. After all, most games I’ve played don’t pay a thing, so I’m ahead. (If I really want to make money doing surveys, I use Mechanical Turk, Prolific Academic or I-Say as I said above.) You can also watch video clips, which I like to do while I’m also cooking or doing dishes. I get 2SB for watching 6 one minute clips. They have different topics, such as recipes and cute pets. I usually stick to the Short Clips, which go by much faster.
They heavily promote the purchase of gift cards offer incentives. I have not tried this so I can’t vouch for them. I ignore much of their promotions because I’m not interested in spending money. They will also give you SB for signing up at various sites, which I also refuse to do. There is a lot of ads and they require that you remove your adblocker. If you use the site, you should probably run your anti-adware program regularly. However, Swagbucks is a reputable site and a decent way to earn a little extra spending cash.