Five Ways to Make Some Extra Side Cash (That Won’t Cost You Any Money First)

29 Comments

We can all use a bit of extra money every now and then. Here are just a few ways to help you earn some side cash for relatively easy work. You won’t make a ton of money, but it’s a great way to pick up some extra work in your downtime.

1. Test Websites

UserTesting.com is hiring regular Internet users, just like you, to test specific websites and record their experiences. You’ll be providing feedback to those website owners and showing them how the average person browses his or her website. You’ll use their software to record a video of what’s happening on your screen and you’ll be able to narrate your experience. The software will track your mouse movements, clicks, and keystrokes and you’ll have to add in spoken comments. It generally takes 15-20 minutes to test a website and you’ll be paid a steady $10 for doing so.

Recommended Website: UserTesting.com

2. Write Articles

Freelance writing is a fairly easy way for anyone to make a few dollars online. There are quite a few websites that will pay you to write about pretty much anything. You’re usually paid per article you write and then paid more depending on how many times the article is viewed and how much revenue is generated from the article’s page. You also don’t have to be a professional writer in order to get started. If you have a passion for a subject and are able to write an article containing anywhere from 300-2000 words, you’re more than eligible to make money through freelance writing.

Recommended Websites: Helium, Constant Content, Textbroker

3. Take a Few Surveys

Yes, there are legitimate survey websites out there. You won’t make $25/hr or $100,000 a year, but you can pick up a few dollars here and there for voicing your opinion. You can usually expect to earn between $2-$5 per survey with a possibility of being invited to take special surveys at a much higher rate. You do have to be invited to take a survey and there’s a chance you won’t qualify, so be sure to join a few different survey sites to maximize your chances at taking a survey. Side not: NEVER pay to join a survey site. They should pay YOU.

Recommended Websites: SurveySavvy, Opinion Outpost, Instant Cash Sweepstakes

4. Become a Virtual Customer Service Agent

There are many opportunities out there for those in the customer service field for answering inbound customer calls. These large companies outsource their customer service calls to companies that hire U.S. based virtual agents. This kind of job, which pays between $8 and $15 an hour, entails setting your own hours, and picking an account that is ideally suited to your knowledge and interests. To be a customer service agent, you must have a pleasant voice and strong customer service skills, as well as high speed Internet access, a computer, a landline phone, and a quiet place to work.

Recommended Websites: WestAtHome, LiveOps

5. Join a Quick Task Site

A quick task site offers to pay you for completing relatively easy tasks like data entry, transcription, website reviews, etc. The work is generally simple, but the pay is often low. It’s great for when you’re just sitting around not doing much. You can log on, do as much or a s little work as you want, then log off with a few extra dollars in your account.

Recommended Websites: Cloud Crowd, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Program

What have you been doing to make a little extra side cash? Share in the comments!

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29 Comments

    1. I love your site and all the help you give out. It’s admirable. I’ve been a follower for the past 8 months and even though I haven’t quit my day job, thanks to you guys, I see some hope for working at least some from home.
      Another informative article-thanks

    2. Great site that is objective, informative and often hilarious to read. I don’t think I’d want to be on the receiving end of some of the pointed barbs Steve throws at the scam artists who seem intent on separating the gullible, naive and desperate from their hard earned money. Keep up the good work: you’re a breath of fresh air amidst the hype and baloney of most earn at home/start your own business scams.

    3. Steve-Thanks for a great article. I’ve been researching online jobs for at least 6 months now and I’d never heard of options 1 and 5. I’m going to check them out-thanks. Your site is incredibly helpful and informative.

    4. do these sites pay people not in the usa?

    5. Yup, as Jeanne says, I am one of your regular reader too. I do some side job on the net, but all of the time I use is online on a forum. There I offer some service to earn some.

      Regards,
      Budiarno

    6. Man you are awesome. you tell me the greatest and easiest ways of earning money on internet. i have been searching for these websites for many years but all of them were scam. Again thanks for the info.

    7. Time magazine’s website just had an article today discussing option number four: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1977027,00.html

      An honest work-at-home job….wow!

    8. Great article! I’ve been doing surveys for Opinion Outpost since December and as of today made $53.20..They use a point system and when you accumulate a certain amount after taking surveys, you can cash out starting at $5 or wait until you have a higher cash balance. It’s pretty cool and the only survey website that I’ve tried that actually pays $$! Other survey websites such as bigspot and surveysavvy, well, lets just say after years of trying, I have NEVER qualified for any of their surveys..I’m not saying they aren’t legit, just that I’ve never had any luck with them..Also e-rewards is legitimate because so far since November, I have obtained two magazine subscriptions and a $25 Borders gift card!

    9. Sherri A. says:

      @ BUDIARNO:

      In the line of Option #2, Freelance work, I’d also like to nominate oDesk.com. The o stands for “outsourcing” and many of the people there reside in India or the Philipines, so I know they pay foreigners.

      They are completely free to sign up for, and you take free tests to prove that you’re good at what you do. There is a writing section (SEO optimization, writing blogs, copywriting, all kinds of stuff) but there are also a few others such as Info. Tech contract work type stuff, database creation, data input professionals, accounting professionals, even transcriptionists. In fact, I found this website while I was doing research for an article assignment I picked up from oDesk, and I might just stick around. Most of my jobs are to do reviews for websites that you have proved to be scams. It’s refreshing, after spending hours a day having to be objective about scams that insult my intelligence, to just sit back and have a nice glass of cold hard truth via this site.

    10. Thanks for this article! I just signed up for usertesting.com and made my video. Hopefully it’ll work out :)

    11. These are the reasons why I really love this blog. Keep it up you are really helping lot of people.

    12. MyPoints.com is another honest site, yes you earn “points” but you can choose everything from products to Gift cards, and you get paid for things you already do. Like web searchs’ shopping both on and off line. Give your opion of products or sites, and many others. In the last year I’ve earned $375 in Visa cards to stores of my choice, not just little ones either, Pennys, Sears, Target to name just a few. Plus you get specials from the stores, they have hundreds, that save you a percentage plus XX number of points per dollar spent.

      I’ve been a member for over 5 years, and just painted the inside of my house and got new drapes for my living and dining room with what I earned from my Christmas shopping!

      Hope I put the website in the right place, if not please contact me, they are not hard to find.

    13. Under survey sites, Pinecone pays $3 for every survey you complete, and will occasionally send products for testing, which you get to keep, and there’s usually a follow-up survey for another $3. The catch is that they’re not always looking for panelists. At the moment I think they are, unless it’s closed again, but I don’t have the link – search for them online and if they’re actively recruiting, you’ll find it. I like Opinion Outpost too, but Pinecone pays more. ;)

    14. I’ve been trying tons and tons of new ideas lately to make money from home, yet none of them have really “clicked” yet. I’ve made a few dollars from surveys, and I’m attempting to become a well -known blogger.

      Mechanical Turk has made me nothing, because I hardly ever get a response back, or the job doesn’t work for some odd reason.

      Surveys are great for when you’re wasting time, or if you’re like me, to give to the girlfriend to do while shes sitting home while I’m working. It’s not a significant amount of money (well, technically right now, I haven’t actually received ANY money yet, as I haven’t hit the minimum.

      By my current standards, I feel I’ll probably hit about 30-40 bucks every other month or so. Nothing revolutionary at all, but it’s basically free, extra money that can be used for something else.

    15. I am fixing to sign up with Usertesting.com now and i will post back later this week to let you all know what is happening.

      Youdata is also pretty good as well.

    16. I signed up with instant cash sweepstakes recently. I can’t figure out how to use the coins to enter the $2 sweepstakes. Are they not doing that any more? Thank you very much.

      Yours truly,
      Patricia Green

    17. Re.: Item #3) You say “You won’t make $25/hr”–actually, 20/20 Research supposedly pays $50 and up, and I’ve seen a couple of references today (okay, at Eddy Salamon’s site–to give props where props are due!) regarding surveys they’re doing that pay $75 each. It looks like a legitimate research company based out of Nashville that also does in-person focus groups, etc., and does require you to take a call to verify your online survey responses are truthful. The online reviews I’ve seen for the company are only good. I haven’t had any personal experience with the company yet, but I’ve taken the plunge and applied to join the panel. (Wish me luck! :) )

    18. CHARLES ALBERTSON says:

      Great site! Finally can get some honest-to-goodness truth! More people want to lie, cheat & steal when far more good has come my way from being honest! The one addeage, “If its to good to be true it is”, along with gut instinct always works! Myself in alot of ways in regards to the ” NET OF SCAMS I SAY, DO YOUR HOME WORK on the INTERNET, because if you seek you will find! Meaning I’m a pretty average guy & I have been able to find out alot of good information from doing searches to not get taken! I haven’t really gotten anything started for I know there has to be good ”TRAINING & SUPPORT!” With this people also have to be I believe, commited to themselves & willing to do what it takes in seeing there own success, if it’s what they want. The only way I discovered your site Steve is from doing searches, investigating, reading & the desire to find some good! Now I feel more confidant to start moving forward because another” BIG” thing is, HAVING THAT TRUST FEELING! I have more of that now, thanks! I am also receiving your weekly updates & alerts witch are appreciated very much. Thank You & keep up the good work!

    19. Marlene McPherson says:

      I have not completed my site as yet. I appreciate your article. This is the first one that I am reading that seems to to so informative and forthright. Thanks for your honest report. Is the report about writing for Google a real thing? I have my doubts about them. Could you do a report about them for me? I am almost sure others are curious about this ad. thanks.

    20. rotimi oceans says:

      steve,i have been following you for two years now but have never made any comments.you are an inspiration and brutally honest too.thanks and thanks again for doing what you keep doing.God bless you.

    21. for me the best site is niche profit classroom and i hope this website reviews it, its great because i think it is not a scam.

      by the way user-testing is good to.

      keep up the good work everybody and i hope your all successful online.
      thanks

    22. Hey Steve! I think your five ideas about making money are greta!! Right now the one pertaining to articles is what I’m working on now. But, open to the other ideas you had so as to branch out more soon!

      Later!
      John

    23. I read every email you send steve. you are truly very honest and this helps us newbies.

    24. Well problem is I live in the Caribbean and I am very interested in acquiring an online job that offers employment to diligent workers such as myself I would really appreciate if you can help in any way possible. Thanks in advance.

    25. Steve I think this is wonderful that you are out there God bless I whish I had read you sooner now that it is later and looking back I can see 20/20 I know what not to do and wish to warn others can you also tell them and me how to refund or cancel to get the money back.

    26. I have just come accross this site while looking for information on scams. There seem to be too many out there. I have enrolled on many survey sites and they seem to be a waste of time; I am looking for something where I can put in 2-3 hours a day and get paid for it.

      Thanks so much for your info and keep this going, you may be saving many people heartache.

    27. Your site is great! I have been looking for online work for three weeks and finally here on your site, jobs that make sense!!! thanks for doing this!

    28. Camille Accardi says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the helpful article about making money. I wanted to pass along a tip that I’ve used from time to time. I have participated in several focus groups over the years. There is a website– fgglobal.com (focus group global) that provides a platform for various companies in (mostly) large cities across the US who are looking for participants for their market research studies. You have to fit the demographics they are looking for, and you can make on average $100-$200 for a couple of hours of “work.”
      Sometimes they can pay a lot more; last year I lucked out and was chosen to participate in what they call a “Mock Trial” that paid me $600 for three 8 hour days. Woohoo!

    29. I have also used inbox dollars as a paid to click, surveys, and offers site. I recieved my first 30 dollar check and and halfway to the second. It’s a slow process, but the check cleared in my bank with no issues,.
      I used paid2shop and did surveys for cash only and cashed out twice for two dollars each time, sent to Paypal. However it is really really hard to qualify for the surveys which is frustrating.
      Another I use which has gotten me about 50 dollars in a month is app trailers. It’s a free app and you get paid by points for watching trailers for apps, and videos. You also get points for referring friends through Facebook, and downloading and leaving tips on apps. It is time consuming though.
      I thank you for the other info, I am a member of click sense but only earned 2 dollars so far, I will keep with it. And I can’t wait to try some of the other things you mentioned. Thank you for being honest about the sites. It is really annoying when people lie about the potential of earning just to get referrals. Maybe you can check into some of the other ones I’ve made money with. :)

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