|By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
The internet is one of my favorite modern amenities. It has the potential to be massively entertaining, of course, but did you know it can also be an income source?
If you've been down the 'make money online' route before and found that the promises were way too good to be true, I sympathize. Different websites rope you in with big promises, and before you know it you're sucked into the cycle of making pennies for an hour's work. I've been down that road myself -- a lot. The good news is, through trial and error, I've found a few ways to make a small side income that aren't an enormous suck on your time with little to no reward.
- InboxDollars is a survey site, for the most part. I don't love survey mills, because they take up a lot of time for very little reward. InboxDollars, however, has a few saving graces. First of all, you get paid to read emails. It's only $.02 per email, but it adds up fairly quickly. I usually receive between one and three emails on any given day, and it takes me less than ten seconds to scroll and click 'confirm' on each one. Another nice attribute is their coupon feature. If you print coupons through InboxDollars, you receive a $.10 account credit for each coupon you end up using. A few of their surveys are worth checking out (I've often filled one out while I'm laying down with the toddler to get him to go to sleep), but even the better paying ones usually wind up averaging out to less than $6/hour of work. The best money you can make through this site is actually through their cash offers -- I bought my friend a dress for Christmas that was originally around $43 and paid $.59 between the discount I got on the site and the $15 that were credited to my InboxDollars account for using their link. In my opinion, it's definitely a site worth checking out. Bonus: they have an app that makes it easy to read emails, complete offers, and fill out surveys from your phone.
- Swagbucks is another survey site with better ways to make money. The most lucrative is again going to be shopping through their site. You can wind up paying pennies on the dollar for a lot of things you might've bought anyway after the account credit that you get. You can also search the web through Swagbucks (they have a convenient button you can add to your browser) and accumulate points that way. Some of their surveys are higher-paying than InboxDollars, but for the most part they're not going to pay you back for the time you pay in, just like most survey mills. It's still worth it to sign up in my opinion, if only to take advantage of the search-to-earn feature.
- Bing Rewards is the incentive program that Bing has in place to search through them. There's also a few daily activities you can accumulate points through. It's not a 'quick money' option, but points rack up pretty quickly when you're on the web as much as I am.