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Making Money Online: Pocket Money Opportunities
Most of these opportunities should be seen as fun things to do, and if you also manage to earn a few dollars (or pounds or euros) more it should be seen as a bonus. As the majority are free to join and participate in, you can try them out for as long as you like, with the only investment being your time and effort. What ever one you choose, make sure you know the terms and conditions before signing up, in other words – always read the small print.
All earnings quoted are approximate and are given as a guide only.
Every day there are hundreds of companies which have free to enter competitions listed on their websites. This includes most of the ones advertised on TV and radio or in newspapers and magazines, which offline you have to enter by calling premium rate phone lines.
You do not have to search the internet looking for these competitions. There are many free to join websites which provide details of the latest competitions and the prizes being offered. Most also offer a direct link to the company or business running the competition.
This should be considered more of a fun thing to do, rather than a way of earning a regular income. When you enter a competition you should have the same random chance as anyone else to win the products or cash prizes on offer, and if you have some good fortune it could be quite lucrative, depending on how many competitions you enter.
Most companies offer these prizes to get you to sign-up to their newsletter or to send you promotional material, so consider having a separate e-mail account which you only use when entering competitions.
Warning: In many cases you have to provide your full details including name, home address, e-mail address and phone number. You may want to consider whether you wish to give this information to individual companies. You should also be aware that as well as always checking the terms and conditions, read carefully before you tick any boxes, as there are different wordings used for you to agree, or not to agree, to share your information with other companies.
Listed on search engines as “freebie” or “free stuff” websites, this refers to the many free to join sites that have lists of thousands of free offers available from hundreds of companies. Note that this is very different from Incentivized Freebie Websites details of which are covered in the next section.
These type of sites list the latest free offers such as: a free tube of toothpaste, or a packet of cat food, or 10% off such-and-such an item, in return for providing your details to the company marketing the offer.
Warning: Although this can be an easy way to get some free extra items for your home, do check the terms and conditions before giving your details to ensure that you are not signing up to anything that is going to cost you money in the future.
Be aware that most companies, once they have your details, will flood you with other offers, so make sure you have a specific e-mail account which you only use for these offers.
Incentivized Freebie Websites
I have only included Incentivized Freebie Websites (IFW) since the scheme is already well established and very popular among some people, but detested by others.
IFW sites are ones that offer free items in return for getting others to sign-up to a free trial offer. An example would be a company which offers you a free smartphone for getting a designated number of people to sign-up to a month’s trial of a movie streaming service. There are also deals that pay you a fixed amount (between $1 and $10) or give you a free trial of a product or service, for getting people to sign-up to certain offers.
The biggest risk with IFW is, if you do not cancel the offer before the trial ends you are committed to a subscription contract which could in some cases be quite costly, up to a $100 a month.
There is a whole online industry built around complex swapping referrals, in other words, if you agree to sign-up for someone’s offer “A” they agree to sign-up for your offer “B”.
Warning: I have read a lot about people allegedly earning between $500 and $5,000 a month from IFW schemes, but there are also many personal accounts of people being caught out by forgetting to cancel the trial offers at the right time, and are then stuck with expensive subscriptions for things they didn’t want. If you get involved in IFW you will have to ensure that you keep good records and fully understand the terms and conditions of any offers you sign-up for.
You should also be aware that it can sometimes take quite a bit of time to fill out the applications for these offers, and in most cases you have to be a first timer to that company. In other words once you have completed an offer you cannot sign-up later on to any other offers from the same company.
If you are thinking of starting in the IFW business then I urge you to please join one of the many referral or IFW forums and learn as much as possible before you commit to anything.
Listen to Music
There are a few sites that will pay you to listen to a song and then provide a review, and also rate it. You will have to be open minded as you are not always able to choose the type of music you have to review. Normally you will only have to listen to 60 seconds of each track, but companies do prefer that you listen to the complete song.
After completing an agreed number of reviews you move up a level. The higher your ranking then the more opportunities there are to earn larger fees.
Potential Earnings: Each review will initially earn you around 5c, rising to 10/15c when you are established and up to 50c for top rated reviewers. Some of the top rated reviewers earn around $30-$40 per month.
Warning: It is a time consuming process, so you really have to think carefully about whether this is for you. If you consider that to listen to a song for around 60 seconds, then add the time to complete the review, it could take around 10/15 minutes to earn 5c. If you wish to get involved treat it as a hobby for someone that loves all kinds of music, rather than a money making opportunity.
Paid to Click
Paid to Click is a scheme where businesses pay you to click on a website and look at an advertisement for a few seconds.
You do not require any special knowledge or technical skills and most companies are free to join. The ones that do charge a fee say that they guarantee they will provide you with more adverts and paid opportunities than free sites.
Potential Earnings: As each click on an advertisement takes only a few seconds earnings are very low, only around one or two pence per click. Some intense “clickers” earn between $100 and $200 per month, others around $20 or less. It definitely requires stamina, but you could do it while listening to music or watching TV so that it does not seem so much of an effort.
Warning: There are definitely scams in this type of business, but also many trustworthy sites that have been around for a long time. So please do your research before committing to anything.
The survey industry is a massive business with hundreds of surveys made available every day from several online sites.
You do not normally need any special skills, so you can sign-up to as many sites as you want, the majority of which are free to join. The exceptions being some secretive survey sites which apparently exist but are by invitation only.
Once signed up you will be sent, usually on a daily basis, a list of online surveys for you to complete, including details of how much you can earn on completion of a particular survey.
Some surveys only take minutes to complete, while others can take up to twenty minutes or longer. The amount you earn is normally based on the time it takes to complete a survey.
This can be long and intense work for small returns, so unless you have a real interest in completing surveys you may find it boring and monotonous. It can also be frustrating, as companies are looking for a particular type of individual (lifestyle, earnings, etc.) to complete their surveys, and you may not always be that person. The even more frustrating part is when this only becomes apparent as you proceed from answer to answer in a survey, and at some point a message comes up informing you that you do not fit the required criteria.
Potential Earnings: The payments for individual surveys are usually small, normally starting at around 25c and rising up to $5 for more detailed surveys. Most companies have an earnings limit you must reach before they will pay out. There are other companies which offer shopping vouchers or entry into a prize draw instead of cash payments. Although you will not make a full time living from surveys, you could earn a little extra money, or use it as an opportunity to express your opinion on a wide range of businesses and their products and services.
Warning: If you do decide to do surveys do not lie in your answers. You may get away with it the first time, but inconsistent answers, such as putting “I drink alcohol” in one survey and “I do not drink alcohol” in another survey, will eventually get noticed and you will end up getting banned from online survey sites.
This article is a free extract from my first ebook "How to Make Money Online"
@ 2013 Brian McKechnie (aka WorldEarth)