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Internet Moonlighting: Ways Your Internet Can Pay

by Angela Yuriko Smith

Lately it seems all my friends are looking for extra cash. There are so many ways to make it pay that I can't possibly cover them all in one blog post, so this is my brief overview of different options I explored last night.

I personally signed up for some of these and gave them a try, some of them I read about or had friends tell me about, and one I wouldn't touch at all, even just to explore. I didn't even begin to cover selling real goods online, like with Etsy or eBay. That will have to be another post entirely.

When I started looking around the internet for the best ways to make extra cash and goodies from it, I found a mass of useless advertisements being masqueraded as information. I have explored a lot of income options on the internet over the years, some have panned out and some were colossal wastes of time. Last night I took some time to explore what's out there now and try it out, and here's what I came up with.

Product Review Sites

These are websites that need chatty people and bloggers. Large companies depend on these sites to gather together people willing to try their products and review them. These companies fall into the category of word of mouth advertising.

To date, I've only tried Vibe Village of all these, but it was a rewarding experience. They sent me the large package of Tetley Tea in the photo for free. Inside were two large boxes of tea, a ton of smaller sample packages to pass out to my friends, and a carton of soy milk. All I had to do for it was respond a short review, and then tell them three different ways I shared the tea. Past campaigns have been Cadbury Chocolate and Bulla Ice Cream. Unfortunately, I joined up with them afterwards, so I missed out on the chocolate. Sigh. 

Oddly enough, I could only find one company in the US. MyBlogSpark came came recommended to me from a friend who loves it, and when I contacted their customer service, they responded quickly and were very nice, so I'd think they would be a good choice. You do need to pick one from your own country due to the cost of shipping overseas. If I were in the US, I would definitely try out MyBlogSpark. Here's a few sites to get you started:

Reward Sites

These sites give you incentives like giftcards and PayPal credit in exchange for your activity on their site. I've used Gather casually for a little while and would highly recommend them. Squidoo is a new one I just found, and I'm actually going to check it out just because it looks like fun. SwagBucks has been used by a number of my friends, and last night I spent a frustrating hour and a half on MyPoints filling out my information for what seems to be nothing.

While you probably won't get rich on any of these sites, they do help out with a little extra. As Dee B, one of my new Gather friends says,"They do help cut cost for us. I've used all my gift cards for work done on our house." And here are the ones I found:

Virtual Business

I know I talk about how wonderful virtual worlds like Second Life are, but seriously, I am bringing in around $50 a week from selling my clothes designs. To date, creating items to sell in our cyber shop has been the most financially rewarding thing I have done on the internet, aside from a past lucrative contract writing position. Those were the days...

There are a large number of these "social games" to choose from besides Second Life, and there are a number of ways to earn money there besides creating items. A musician friend of mine brings in around $100 a week for doing live shows where he sings and plays his guitar. People can choose to be models for designers like me, run a club, be a dancer, a hostess for events... the possibilities are endless. Use your imagination and jump in.

In Second Life, you get paid in game money called Lindens, which you trade for real currency. At this time 1,000 Lindens comes to just under $5. With 132,379 members on FaceBook alone, just a fraction of the total residents, there are a lot of people to discover, and pay you, for your special talents. My advice if you do try this route is to stay focused on your goal, and remember you are there to work or you can get swept away in all the distractions and find yourself spending more than you make. An excellent publication on the business side of virtual worlds is Hypergrid Business. You can visit Second Life here, or Google "virtual worlds."

Temporary Hire

This is my first experience with these type of site. The idea is that businesses that can't afford to keep a staff on hand can pay internet surfers like us to do their work. I actually tried out MicroWorkers. I signed on to do a small job, which was to write 100 words about Marilyn Monroe and link back to their site, which you can see I did with my last post. It was worth $4 for me to do that, and took me less then five minutes. 

Today I got a message back from the "hirer" saying my job wasn't good enough and they wouldn't pay. I don't really see what is wrong about my post. It came in at 116 words excluding the quote at the end, so I don't see much of a future with MicroWorkers myself. A lot of the jobs listed were things like signing up for a certain dating site, or leave a comment or rate a book on Amazon and they paid anywhere from .05 to $5. I tried two other jobs with MicroWorkers, so I'll see how it all pans out.

Opportunities on the internet are as widespread and varied as types of bird, and to cover them all would take me a book rather then a blog post. Second Life has proved to be the most all over rewarding venture, but of the rest of them, I enjoyed doing the product review for Tetley Tea best, followed by Gather and Squidoo. 

I did come across one more called Project PayDay, but it sounded so shady I didn't even want to register. The idea behind that one, I am told, is that you get paid to sign up for offers and you have to remember to cancel the offers after you get your money. On the other end, you can pay others to sign up for deals with you so you can get discounted goods.

The example I read about was a deal that gave you an Xbox 360 if you could get 5 people to sign up for a certain plan. You were paying 5 people each $20 to join up, so you got an Xbox at a discounted price of $100. I didn't try it, and it sounds like too much bother for me, but if you decide to try it, please let me know how it works for you. I'm always curious to learn more.

That wraps up my exhausting search for money making on the web, I hope some of you can make good use of it. Please let me know what works for you and what doesn't, and anything you've tried that I haven't mentioned. I'm off to enjoy a lovely cup of Tetley Tea and explore my new Squidoo.

Angela Yuriko Smith  is a professional writer with extensive experience in newspapers and online publications. Her work has been featured internationally, including a live interview on NPR. Currently she maintains her blog dandilyonfluff.com and is finishing book projects.

Comments

 

Tom said:

You can also take a look at the following sites for side work.

http://www.scriptlance.com/ - if you're more technically minded

http://www.elance.com/ - variety of work

April 21, 2011 2:15 PM
 

Anne Cross said:

I just went to gather.com and it looks like it's a news site. Can you share the details on how you make money there and on other sites you mentioned?

April 23, 2011 8:52 AM
 

Cheryl said:

I am a Second Life resident also. Please share your avatar's name or the name of your store. I'd be happy to visit and possibly shop there.

April 23, 2011 10:18 AM
 

Dandilyon said:

@Cheryl - That would be great!  My sl name is Dandilyon Jinx and our store is House of SilverJinx.  There's a link on my blog, dandilyonfluff.com under the House of SilverJinx page.  I'd love to be friends :D

@ Anne - Gather gives you points for posting and commenting on their site.  You can cash your points in for giftcards and other prizes, as well as Paypal cash.

@Tom - Thx, I'll check those out!

May 2, 2011 4:52 AM
 

Guest Blogger @ Dollar Stretcher.com | :Dandilyon Fluff said:

Pingback from  Guest Blogger @ Dollar Stretcher.com | :Dandilyon Fluff

May 10, 2011 7:55 AM

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