Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This blog is about the various ways that I have found to make money online.

Welcome to my blog. If you are here you are most likely interested in finding legitimate ways to make money online. I'm sure you have started the same way I did, by using a search engine to look for "make money from home", "make money online", etc. When you do these searches you will get over 180 million results! I'm sure you know that most of these are scams. They vary from typing at home to MLM (Multi-Level Marketing). While I don't know of all of the legitimate ways to make money and I certainly don't know of all of the schemes and scams that you can fall victim to, I have found ways to make money online. To be clear, you will not get rich by doing these. You will, however make some extra spending money. Since I started earning money online, roughly two years ago, I have made a couple thousand dollars. Not great, but not bad either. After all, I'm on the internet anyway, why not make money while I'm at it. I'm not sure of the exact amount of money I've made online, since my online income is from a variety of sources over a fairly long period of time. I will show you all of the places that I know of where I make money online. I will also include some other ways that I am just starting and will keep you updated on the progress that I make with them.  In today's tough economy everyone needs more ways to make money.  I will show you ways to make money without spending a penny. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

List My 5 (LM5)

List My 5 (LM5) is a great new site for writers to explore. The concept is simple. You start with "The Top Five" and pick a topic that suits you. No matter what it may be, there are plenty of "Top Fives" out there for you to write about. It could be your top five beach destinations, funny movies, video games, comfort foods, etc. A lot of eHow writers have found LM5 and are enjoying the new writing style. Since we're all used to writing very detailed articles that require a fair amount of research, LM5 offers a nice break. You can write your top five lists in minutes, and can build up a substantial library very quickly. As with everything else, the more work you put into it the more you can earn. All you need to do to get started is to create an account and sign up for their Writer's Compensation Program (WCP). Once you have signed up for the WCP and started writing lists you can begin earning money. After you reach $10 in earnings you will be paid via PayPal by the 10th of the following month. Be sure to check out their FAQs before you get started.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Earn Money With Your Creations!

 Zazzle is a great place to earn a little extra income. All of the products are there, ready to go. All you have to do is customize them. They offer a wide variety of products to choose from. From t-shirts and hats, to skateboards, ties and stationary, the sky is the limit. Simply upload an image from your computer to the item(s) of your choice, or you can simply use text if you wish. You set your own royalty rate. It can be set from 10-99%. Of course, the more outrageous your prices, the less likely your products will sell. For example, I just made this mousepad for the sake of this post. I set my royalty at 10.1%, which automatically sets the selling price at $11.00, earning me $1.11 per sale. This doesn't sound like a lot, however, if you build up a large selection of products with unique designs you can have great success with Zazzle. I generally keep my royalty around 10% simply because I would rather have lower prices and more sales, versus higher prices with far fewer sales. During these tough times it's hard for people to spend money on things they really don't have to have, and I don't want them to spend anymore than they have to. If that means I'll only make $1.10 per sale, then so be it. Most of my sales have been from t-shirts with sayings on them. Humor goes a long way with t-shirts. This shirt has been a great seller for me. It took about 3 minutes to make, and I earn about $1.95 per sale. Not too bad for so little effort. All I have to do is sit back and wait for more sales. Setting up a store is very simple and takes only minutes. Join Zazzle today and start earning!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Info Barrel

Info Barrel is another great article writing website that I have found.  I have heard many people on the eHow forums talking about Info Barrel.  I just started writing for Info Barrel on Oct. 5, 2009.  Since that time I have published five articles there.  The great thing about Info Barrel is that they offer more than just the "How-To" format, although they offer it as well.  They offer four different article templates for you to choose from.

  • Blank Article Template - This gives you complete control over how your article will look.
  • Video Article Template - This template is obviously for adding videos to go with your article.
  • How-To Article Template - This template is set up in steps so that you can easily fill in each step in the process.  You can also add pictures to each step to show your readers how to do the project.
  • Review Article Template - Use this template to write reviews for products, services, movies, CDs, etc.  You can give your overall review about your topic along with the pros and cons of it.
No matter which format you choose, it is a very simple process to get your articles up and running on Info Barrel.  In order to make money on Info Barrel you will need a Google AdSense Account.  You can sign up for one here.  For information on how to get a Google AdSense Publisher ID see this article.  Now that you have your AdSense ID it is time to begin writing articles.

Some of the guidelines for writing an Info Barrel article are:

  • The article should be at least 250 words, with an ideal length of 400 words or more.  Note that articles under 400 words will most likely not appear in their index meaning that people will most likely not find your article.  If people can't find your article then it's not really worth writing.
  • Your articles MUST be your original work, and not posted anywhere else on the web.  Articles that are not yours, and/or are posted elsewhere on the web will be rejected.
  • Your articles cannot be advertisements or promotional for any products or services.  
  • They must be written in proper English with correct grammar and spelling.
  • You cannot write articles that are hateful, derogatory, or pornographic.
  • You cannot link outside of Info Barrel within the first paragraph.  You can however, link to other Info Barrel content.
Each article that you submit is reviewed by a person so note that it will take some time before your article "goes live".  This usually happens within 24 hours.  Also note that if you edit an article after it is published that the edited article will have to go back under review before the edited article is published.  My most recently published article on Info Barrel has received over 200 views within 48 hours of being published.  I have earned $0.74 so far on Info Barrel.  Again, I am just starting with them and only have 5 articles published so far.  As with anything, the more time and effort that I put into it the better the return I should see out of it.  Since they offer more freedom of article writing than eHow I should be able to produce articles there more easily than I can on eHow, since I won't be limited to the How-To format for every article.

As I publish more articles with Info Barrel I will be sure to update the progress so that you can get a better idea of what to expect from them.  To sign up simply click here and get started writing and earning today.

eHow.com - Do you know how to do something? Then you can earn easy money.

eHow is the go-to site on the web if you need to know how to do something.  It was by chance that I found them.  I have never been great at tying a tie, and I had to attend a funeral a couple of years ago.  I of course needed to know how to tie a tie.  I Googled it and found an eHow article on the subject.  It was a step-by-step how to article complete with pictures.  Within five minutes I was trying a tie.  That was it for eHow for me.  After learning what I needed to I forgot about the site.  About a year later I popped the K key off of my wife's laptop while she was at work.  In a panic I Googled how to replace a laptop key.  The first result was another eHow article.  Unfortunately the clip on the K key had broken, but at least I learned how to replace a laptop key.

This time I browsed around the site and saw that they actually pay people to write articles.  Out of curiosity I signed up for their Writer’s Compensation Program (WCP) so that I could write how to articles and get paid.  They pay through PayPal when you reach the $10.00 payout.  I wrote my first article on 08/28/08, and my second on the next day.  Since that time my first article has earned me $4.08, and my second article, which has been my highest earning article, has earned me $62.11.  This may not sound like a lot, however, since joining I have earned $395.11.  Some of the top earning people on eHow make over $1,000.00 per month.  At least one writer has topped the $2,000.00 per month mark.  Yes, you read that right.  This is in no way a get rich quick deal.  Those people have been writing articles for a long time, and have hundreds if not thousands of articles. 

The best part is that once you write the article, you're done.  That's it.  It's what is known as residual income.  Residual income is money that you continue to earn after the initial work has been completed.  What better way to make money online?  You put in the time and effort now, and watch your income continue to grow as more time goes by, without having to put more effort into it.  Of course, the more articles you write and the better they are, the more money you will earn.  There are some tips that can help you to earn more per article.  Keywords are, well, the key to your articles.  You have to have the mindset of writing for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  You have to think how someone would when doing a Google search for something.  If you are writing an article about baseball for example, you wouldn't want your main keywords to be "America's favorite past time", instead you would prefer the keyword "baseball", since someone is more likely to use this keyword when searching for information about the game.  Google has a keyword tool that you can use to evaluate keywords.  Diane Cass has a great article (How to Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool - Step by Step Guide) about how to get the most out of your keywords.  It will help you get started in the wonderful world of SEO. 

Keep in mind that there are submission guidelines that your articles must adhere to.  If you do not follow these, your article will be deleted.  You can find the New eHow Article Submission Guidelines here.  It is generally best to write about what you know.  You can do research on how to do something and then write an article about it, however, the article will be much better and more clear if you are writing about something that you know how to do.  Being a mechanic I tend to write most of my articles about vehicle repair and maintenance.  By reading these articles you can tell that I have actually done these tasks rather than just reading about them and writing an article on the subject.  This is not to say that you can't write articles simply based on researching a topic and then writing an article about it.  People do this all of the time.  I just feel that an article that comes from experience will be a higher earning article for you simply because you will have an in-depth knowledge on the subject.  

Also, you can promote your articles on Facebook and Twitter automatically from eHow.  The more people that see your articles, the more earnings potential you will have.  This does not mean that you should spam your articles all over the internet.  Use these tools for what they are meant for and let them do their work.  If you want to get the word out that you write articles for eHow consider putting a signature on your emails with a link to your eHow profile.  Every one that you send an email to will be able to see it, and if they are interested they will check it out.  DO NOT start sending people PMs (Private Messages) on eHow with links to your articles hoping that they will read them.  This is considered spam and people will report you for it, and you can be banned from the site for doing this.  There is a daily post in the Community Chatter forum that you can post your article(s) in.  The thread will usually say something like "Post your [Today's Date] articles here", or "[Today's Date] articles".  

UPDATE: eHow has discontinued the Writer's Compensation Program (WCP). All content for eHow is now written through their parent company Demand Studios. You will need to apply to write for Demand Studios and submit a writing sample. If and when you are approved for writing at Demand Studios you are given the opportunity to write three articles. These articles will be carefully scrutinized for grammar, spelling and to be sure that they adhere to their guidelines. If your writing is to their liking you will be approved to write more articles. You will then be able to claim up to 10 articles to write at any given time. Most articles pay a flat rate of $15.00 per article. They also have some revenue share articles as eHow did. After submitting your work each article will be automatically checked to see if it has been plagiarized and then will go to a copy editor to be reviewed/edited. It will then either be published or sent back to you to be rewritten. If a rewrite is required then the article will have the editor's comments on it telling you what needs to be done to get the article to a satisfactory level to publish. Make sure that you read their guidelines carefully several times so that you have a clear understanding of what they are looking for. Failure to follow the guidelines can lead to your account being closed. I know this sounds scary at first, and I'll be honest, it took me a while to write my first article. However, once I got through my first three articles I had a clear understanding of what they were looking for in an article, and the process is a lot easier now. I definitely recommend giving them a shot. After all, writing just 7 articles will give you an extra $105.00 in the bank. That's only 1 article per day. They pay through PayPal twice weekly. Articles approved by 11:59 p.m. PST/PDT on Wednesdays are paid out on the following Friday. Articles approved by 11:59 p.m. PST/PDT on Sundays are paid out on the following Tuesday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

CloudCrowd - Easy Money for Easy Work

This is the perfect opportunity for you to get in on a brand new way to make money online!  What is it?  CloudCrowd.  They are just starting up and there's no better time to get started with them.  If you can read and do a Google search then you have all the skills you need to work with CloudCrowd.  All you need is a Facebook and Paypal account.  The best part is: they pay daily.  Work that you complete by 5PM PST will be paid out to you the next day.  Here's what you can do with CloudCrowd, and the current payment for each task:
  • Find Websites for Non-US Companies.  ($0.17)
For this task you need to find English websites for companies that are based in China, Taiwan, or Korea.  You simply do a Google search for sites from these countries and copy the URL (website address) into their form, and find the contact email address and submit it as well.  They are looking for the page that talks about the company in English.  Their "About Us" page, in other words.  To find the email address simply look for the "Contact Us" button and click that and it should take you to their email address.  It's easy work and even though $0.17 doesn't sound like much it adds up.  I've talked to people that have made over $200 with them already.

  • Review Website Selections.  ($0.02)
This is the lowest paying job, however, it is also the easiest work.  This can be done fairly quickly so you can do more work faster.  You are grading other people's work.  They have done the job above (finding websites for non-US companies) and you need to either approve or reject their performance.  To approve their work the website (which will pop up in a new window) must: be for a Chinese, Taiwanese, or Korean company, the URL directs you to a description of the company in English and must be at least 80 words, it must have a valid email address, and finally that the English on the page must be weak to poor in quality.  (Basically if you can tell that someone from another country wrote it.)  If the above criteria are met then you would approve their work, and if any one of these criteria are not met you would reject the work.

  • Edit Badly-Written English Paragraphs.  ($1.44)
This is the highest paying job and the one that requires the most skill and work.  For this task you will need to significantly improve the English on the page that others have found.  To earn an excellent rating you have to bring the English up to the level that you would find on a major US based company's website.  If the page is already well-written then leave it alone and go to the next.  You will be editing the first 5 paragraphs.  You will need to fix spelling and grammar errors as well as fixing punctuation mistakes.  The final submission must be at least 80 words long.

  • Grade Written Text.  ($0.05)
This task is the second lowest paying, however, it is also fairly easy work.  You are grading the work of someone else who has already edited the badly-written English paragraphs described above.  You will be comparing the original work and the edited work to see if it has been substantially improved.  There are 5 levels of grading for this job:
  • Poor - Give this grade for submissions that are not at least 80 words long, has incomplete answers, if there are no changes to the original website, or if it already had well-written English.
  • Weak - The work has a few spelling or grammar errors.  If it is not well polished English.  
  • Fair - The work has more than 2 spelling or grammar errors, and it definitely improves the original.  This work would feel like an amateur wrote it compared to a major US-based company's website.
  • Good - Only has 1 or 2 spelling or grammar errors and is solid writing yet is still not quite polished enough to warrant an excellent grade.
  • Excellent - This is a grade that is very hard to award.  It must meet all of the following criteria:
  1. It must be very polished and well-written English.  The quality should mirror that of a major US-based company's website or that of a published book.
  2. It is easy to read.  It shouldn't have overly-complex sentences.
  3. The length is fairly close to that of the original site.
  4. Has the same tone as the original work.  If the original is boastful then the rewrite should be as well.  If it is more tame then the rewrite should match this.
  5. Does a good job of encouraging potential customers to do business with or partner with the company.
  6. The rewrite isn't overly flowery or cliched.
  7. Zero spelling and grammar errors.
As you can see, excellent will be a grade that you will rarely if ever give out.  However, don't let this prevent you from giving this grade if the work meets all of these above criteria.  Just remember that you will be graded for your work as well.  Don't just fly through things saying they are "Good" when they are not.  If you get enough poor grades on your work they won't want to have you working for them any longer.

If you find that there is no work available, don't be discouraged.  Check back often.  Since they are just starting up and the word is getting out they are being overwhelmed with people wanting to work for them.  They are working on improving this situation.  You can find an update from CloudCrowd here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Online Surveys

The first way that I found to make money online was survey sites.  Unfortunately I paid about $10 for a huge list of survey sites.  I didn't have to pay for this at all.  You can find these sites without paying anything, and I will tell you about the ones that I have found to be the best earning sites for me.  The list literally had thousands of sites for you to sign up for.  They ranged from surveys that offered sweepstakes entries for cash, or other items, to surveys that paid you points that you can "cash in" for gift cards to sites that actually paid cash.  The problem was that most of them didn't actually pay money, and that most of the rest of them were bad links.  

Keep in mind that these are surveys, and you may or may not fit into the same surveys that I do.  This is because the different surveys are looking for different types of people.  One survey may be looking for responses from 24-36 year old males with a full time job and at least one child age 3-6 with an income of $28,000-$54,000 a year.  As you can see, not everyone will fit the needs of this survey.  Don't be discouraged, there are many, many different surveys that you will see daily.  If you don't qualify for one, simply move on to another one.  

Always be honest when giving your responses.  Your answers are of course recorded for the company doing the research.  They will know if you keep changing your answers from survey to survey, and can ban you from doing future surveys.  For example, if you say that your income is $23,000 on one survey and then on the next say that it is $56,000 they will know.  Most people's income doesn't jump that quickly.

The best advice that I can give you before you start taking online surveys is to set up a new email address specifically for doing online surveys.  I did this when I first started simply to keep the surveys separate from my main email address.  I'm glad that I did.  You will receive a lot of email each week, and to be honest, quite a bit will be spam.  Most email providers offer you several different emails.  You can simply add another email address to this account or set up a new one somewhere else.  You can get a free email account from places such as Yahoo, GMail, etc.  As you start getting used to which email addresses send you actual surveys you can start to weed out the spam.  Most of the spam emails have an option at the bottom to "unsubscribe" from future mailings.  Simply open the email and click this link.  Some have already entered your email address for you, and others you will have to enter it yourself.  Do this and then click unsubscribe. 

Now, onto the sites that I use to make money taking free surveys online.  My best earning website has been Opinion Outpost.  I have been paid over $100 just for doing short, simple surveys at Opinion Outpost.  You simply go to the website, sign up and start taking surveys.  They will send you emails when there are surveys available, or you can just log into the site and go to the members area to find them.  When you complete a survey you are given points.  Once you accumulate enough you cash them in for money.  You need at least $5.00 to receive a check.  The point to dollar ratio is easy to calculate.  If a survey is worth 20 points that translates to $2.00.  You simply place a decimal after the first number to see what the survey is worth. 

The second best earning site for me has been American Consumer Opinion Panel (ACOP).  This website does not actually have surveys that you can go to the website and take. They instead only email you surveys. Some are "screener" surveys. These see if you qualify to take the main survey. They are usually only about 5-6 questions long. You will know how much the survey will pay before taking it. If you qualify and complete the survey they will send you a check for the amount of that survey. You will get a check every time you complete a survey with them, you cannot "save up" your money.  However, say the survey is for $9.00, that could be lunch for a day, all for a few minutes of your time.  I have made quite a bit of money doing their surveys. 

Other survey sites that I have used to earn money online with are:
  • Greenfield Online -Pay through PayPal after you reach at least $5.00.
  • Survey Spot -They have a lot of surveys for sweepstakes, however some do pay cash.  You can cash out after you have reached $5.00.
  • Survey Savvy -Not a great earner for me, but you may have far better results.
  • Valued Opinions -You earn money that you can redeem for gift cards.
  • Clear Voice Surveys -Here you also earn money that is redeemable for gift cards.
I have earned something from all of these sites.  For the sites where I earn gift cards (that I wouldn't normally want) I sell them on eBay.  This in turn gives me cash for the survey sites that pay using gift cards.  I have written an article on Info Barrel about how to make money selling gift cards on eBay.  You can find it here.  Of course you can always just list them in an auction starting at $0.99 and watch the bids start flying in.