An overview of what PTC is and how to succeed in this ever-changing environment.
Many people want to earn some extra cash online. There are many advantages to this, such as working your own hours and choosing your “job responsibilities”. But if you plan to get into PTC (Paid to click) sites to earn your pay online, there are certainly some things you need to know first.
Overview: What is PTC?
If you haven’t already came across these in your internet surfing yet, you probably will. Most of them are advertised with flashy banners proclaiming “Instant payout! 75% referral commissions!” and the like. These are PTC sites. PTC stands for “paid-to-click”. At its simplest form, this is exactly what happens. You register an account with one of these sites (NeoBux, Bux.to, TheClickers, and countless others) and you get paid to essentially view ads for a set period of time. For example, a site could pay you $0.01 per each ad you view for 30 seconds. Many of the ads are for other PTC sites or for get-rich-quick or casino schemes. The sites pay by a variety of means, but the two most common are AlertPay and PayPal (although you typically need to have met a payout threshold, such as five dollars).
The second way to make money on PTC sites is to refer others. These could be your friends, your family, or even people across the globe from you. Typically sites will advertise their referal program with a percentage. What does this mean? Well, 100% referral commissions means that whatever money your referals make, you make. So if you refer 5 friends and on one day they each click ten ads for a penny each, you earn 50 cents for that day, as well as an extra ten cents for clicking the ads yourself.
Now that the basics of PTC sites have been explained, let’s explore 5 specific tips I have for using these sites.
1. You aren’t going to get rich
I defer to the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” The depressing thing about these websites is that a penny per click is actually a pretty good deal. From my experience, 0.1 cent to 0.5 cent is more common, and there are only about 10-20 ads per day. You are not going to make big bucks off the PTC market, and especially not if you only join one or two sites. Since they don’t have a way to check that you are actually viewing the ads, you can run as many different sites as you want, but of course having more than one account per person (or even on the same IP) will get you banned. Saying that you aren’t going to get rich, however, brings us to point number 2.
2. You need referrals to make any sort of decent money
Yep, you guessed it. Clicking on these ads yourself isn’t going to make you much at all. Depending on the referral rate of the site, though, you can make some decent money off of referrals. While number one still holds true here, a worthwhile amount of money can be made.
How do referrals work? As explained in the introduction, the basic idea is that you earn a percentage of any money that your referees make. Some sites take it a step further, with multi-level referrals. These are usually explained in a chart with the other details on the website (found on the front page or perhaps a FAQ section). The typical chart works something like this:
Level 1: 5%
Level 2: 4%
Level 3: 3%
Level 4: 2%
Level 5: 1%
This is a fairly typical payment structure that I have seen on more than one PTC site. What this means is that you earn 5% of the money your referrals make. Then if those referrals have referrals, you make 4% of that! This can get profitable quickly if you have a large base of active referrals, resulting in you earning 1% of hundreds of active users’ profits. The catch of course is that some of these profits are 10-20 cents a day, max. Which means you need to have a large amount of referrals, bringing us to tip 3.
3. You need to promote yourself and the sites you use
Well maybe you were able to convince a couple friends to sign up under your referral link and started making a bit of money. But you’ve ran out of real-life connections to inform of your brilliant marketing scheme.
What you have to do is to promote the sites that you frequent, and while you’re doing that, leave an offer to join under your referral link. This is a special link that lets the service know who you have referred. The link’s format differs by site, but here is an example (one of my PTC accounts, however I am not endorsing the site by posting this link. If you would like to sign up, be my guest)
That is an example of a link. Sometimes these come with site-provided banners to make it more visual (and partly to hide your vested interest in the site because they won’t actually see the link, but just a banner).
Your “job” then, aside from clicking the ads yourself, is to spread this link to as many places as possible. There are referral “sharing” communities where PTC’rs share their referral link and swap them with other users. The idea is “you sign up for me, I sign up for you, we both make money.” This is an interesting method to try, but I must admit to not having much experience in this matter.
There are many ways to promote your link. Make a blog with PTC site reviews (putting your referral link up on the positive ones), hang out on money-making forums, or use the powerful built in connections of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Two things I must caution you to avoid, however, are outright spam and making multiple accounts per site. Spam is illegal in many countries, as well as widely irritating to nearly everyone. By spamming your referral links you are hurting the companies reputation and hurting your chance of getting new members,
4. Be cautious before you pay money to make money
Many sites make money off of selling ways to get more referrals. Some sites have a “premium” member option, which usually grants you a token increase in money per click, more ads per day, a lower waiting time, deeper levels of referrals, and other perks. Most sites also sell referral “packs”. What this means is that a predetermined number of “unreferred” members are made to become referred members. Say there are 500 members that found the site on their own and so did not enter a referral when they signed up. If you purchase these 500 referrals, it is just as if they had signed up using one of your links or banners (or simply typed your name into the box at sign-up).
It is possible to make money in the long run off of these offers. While mathematically they may seem can’t-lose opportunities, the truth is that many of your referrals might not be active in clicking the ads everyday, and some may drop out. Some sites replacements for inactive referrals, but these too sometimes come at a price.
Basically, be wary before handing over money. Consider it an investment and of course don’t spend money you don’t have. PTC should be considered a money-making “hobby”, not a business. Which (you guessed it) brings us to number 5.
5. Don’t get scammed.
This is the most obvious and yet difficult tip on the list, isn’t it?
Many PTC sites are legit, many are not. Some are fly-by-night operations that take money for premium memberships and then leave. Some simply don’t pay users. And some have impossibly high payout limits. Here common sense goes a long way.
* Check out the sites you are going to use
There are many sites that specialize in reviewing PTC sites. Always do at least a quick google search before signing up with something.
* Never give out excessively personal information
This step is up to you, but don’t give you information you wouldn’t want in the hands of identity thieves. PayPal is the safest way to receive money. I would never, ever recommend getting paid by credit card.
* Use common sense
Is the payout reasonable? Referral levels and percentages? I recently saw a site promising $10 per click, only to find a minimum payout of $20,000 (and I highly doubt they’ll pay that).
Well that was it. If you have questions about a site that you want me to evaluate or want to talk about PTC, comments are appreciated, and be sure to check out my up-and-coming PTC reviews blog: http://ptcscamwatch.blogspot.com/