It sounds too good to be true: Make money online the easy way! Sure, you need to be wary when you’re checking out ways to get extra cash over the internet, but there are plenty of real methods for bringing in a few bucks.
We’ve rounded up eight ways to make money online. Some of these harness your skills (photography or typing) and some are just ways to make money doing what you already do (shopping and searching). These aren’t sketchy get-rich-quick schemes.
They’re all legitimate businesses and opportunities that can help you pull in a little extra cash when you need it.
1. Stock photography
You’re an ace with a camera. You capture eye-catching images and you know how to set the scene. You can turn that skill into online income by listing your images on stock-photography sites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. You receive a royalty when customers purchase the right to use your work. These sites are always looking for a variety of images, whether it’s lavish food photography or eye-catching scenes of natural beauty.
You already watch plenty of videos online, so why not make a little extra money while you’re doing it? Swagbucks is a site that rewards its users with gift cards for taking surveys, watching certain videos, or conducting web searches with its search engine. You earn points by participating in Swagbucks activities and you can then redeem those points for gift cards or cash back from PayPal. Swagbucks also offers a mobile app that lets you use the service on the go.
You’re already an online shopping ninja, so it just makes sense to get money back for something you’re going to do anyway. Ebates is one of the biggest names in cash-back sites that reward you for shopping with their retail partners. For Ebates, that includes biggies like Walmart and Amazon. Ebates pays you back a portion of your spending through a check or PayPal and it’s free to use.
Do you have blazing fast typing fingers? Online transcription company SpeakWrite hires independent contractors and lets them set their own hours and work from home. SpeakWrite said its typists on average earn around $300 per month, while the top earners pull in over $3,000. You must first pass a typing test that judges you for speed and accuracy and requires you to have some previous experience in transcription and word processing.
UserTesting hires contractors to try out websites and offer their thoughts and opinions through feedback videos. Companies use this as a way to see how well their sites work and to try out new re-designs. Workers typically get paid $10 per test. Some testers report that opportunities can be a bit sporadic and you need to jump on them when they become available, but it can work well as a side gig when you’re already online anyway.
Many online retailers offer adjustments when the price of an item you’ve purchased drops within a certain amount of time. Paribus is a free service that takes advantage of this fact. Paribus monitors your purchases, watches for price adjustments or late deliveries, and requests refunds when applicable. Those refunds go back into your pocket. You have to allow the service to scan your email for receipts, but it works with a variety of big retailers, including Target, Nordstrom, Walmart and Costco.
Artists and designers upload their original work to Society6, which then prints the images onto items ranging from t-shirts to pillows to wall hangings and even duvet covers and iPhone cases. Society6 handles all the fulfillment while artists just provide the designs and receive a commission on anything sold with their art on it. It’s a little bit like Etsy, but you don’t have to deal with physically creating or shipping your work.
8. Mechanical Turk
Amazon describes its Mechanical Turk service as a “marketplace for work.” When you sign up as a worker, you can then choose which tasks to complete. Those tasks might involve translating text from one language into another, rating search results, determining if a website is suitable for an audience, correcting spelling, or pulling usable information from images. In general, the tasks don’t pay much, but they also don’t usually take much time. It’s an interesting system, though it may be challenging to make a substantial amount of money from it.
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