A listing and review of reliable, legitimate sites where you can get paid to write, surf, search and more. All the sites in this listing are free work at home opportunities that have a history of paying when they say they will pay.
When I decided I was going to find a way to make money from home, I didn’t really believe I would be successful. After years of seeing work at home scams in the help wanted ads, deep down I expected to find nothing but the same. Imagine my surprise when it turns out you really can make money from home with just an internet connection, some rudimentary mouse and keyboard skills, and some free time! It’s not likely you’ll become wealthy overnight (or even over years), but you can definitely make some decent spending money, and if you put some real effort into it, earn a small, simple living.
After I found
, the first site that paid me to do what I was doing all the time anyway (searching the internet), I began a quest to find every site I could that was for real, was proven to actually pay, and was worth my time to use it. Below is a list of sites that are working for me, categorized between those that require little to no skills and those that require at least some basic grammar and writing skills.
Get Paid to Read, Click, and Fill Out Forms
There are a ton of sites that pay you to complete free offers online, but from my experience nothing beats Cash Crate. I made almost thirty dollars the first night I tried it and got a check in the mail the following month. It’s possible to make a lot more than that if you’re very comfortable giving out your personal information. I recommend getting a separate email address for these offers, since the junk mail they accumulate is overwhelming. Also, although there are a lot of free offer sites and many of them are good, I haven’t personally found much point in fully participating in more than one. They all have the same offers, and I’d rather get one big check than several small ones. If you’re still interested in trying several, two of the better ones are Treasure Trooper and Swat Cash.
If you’re like most of us, you search the Internet daily, usually several times a day. Of the sites that pay you to use their search engine, Zotspot is the most straightforward and has the most potential for earnings. You won’t amass a fortune doing this, but you won’t lose much time to it either. This site, like many of the “get paid to” sites, also has a referral program where you can exponentially increase your earnings by inviting others to join, which makes the pennies add up more quickly. One important note: Don’t be concerned when your account shows 0 for a long period of time. There is a delay of about two months between when you do the searches and when your account is credited, just like a pay lag. But once you get that first credit, you can cash out monthly for as long as you continue searching. For those of you who want to try some of the other legitimate paid search engines, check out Slash My Search and Agloco
Clix Sense is just one of several sites that will pay you to look at ads. On Clix Sense, you get a penny or two per ad, which you need to leave open in your browser window for at least thirty seconds. I’ve found Clix Sense to be rather painless, since I can do it while I’m online doing other things, but this is not a big money earner for me. I’d say I’m making about ten cents a day. By using several of these sites and taking advantage of the referral programs, it’s possible to make more. If you want to check out some other reputable sites, try Adbux and WordLinx. There is also Myster-e-mail for those who’d like to get paid to read email, and Cash Fiesta for those who want to get paid to surf.
Get Paid to Write and Help Others
Daytipper is a site that pays $3.00 each for brief descriptions of useful tips. If you know a way to get wine out of carpet or to sleep when you’ve got insomnia, write up a blurb on it and send it in. The site accepts and publishes about 1/3 of its submissions, so you’ll want to take the time to write well and clearly. Still, even with care to grammar, structure, and spelling, it doesn’t take long to write a tip. The downside of this site is that it can take months to get the payment from them, but the upside is that they do actually send it.
Review Stream pays as much as $1.50 each for reviews of just about anything. Review books, movies, medicines, your favorite restaurant, the mp3 player you got for Christmas, whatever you like. These reviews need not be long; they just need to include your personal opinion of the item in a way that is useful to others. It’s fun and easy and they come through with the payments. Review Stream requires full rights to your reviews, meaning you can never publish or post them elsewhere.
Epinions is another site that pays writers for reviews. However, instead of a single upfront payment, Epinions pays you a penny or two each time someone reads your review page. Like Helium, Epinions has a system in place to ensure that the best reviews are more likely to be read, so it’s essential in making money on this site to write clear, useful reviews. It’s also to your benefit to review items that people search on frequently.
Review Party is one more site where users can make money for writing reviews. In this case, your payments come solely through advertising on your page, which you take some responsibility for procuring by signing up for Google Adsense and the Amazon Associate program. The key to this site is to write reviews that will generate enough readers that some of them will click on your ads. Review Party does not require exclusive rights to your reviews, so it might be worthwhile to publish them here as well as elsewhere and see if they generate any income.
If you’re looking to make some extra cash writing articles for web pages, there are several sites that will pay for your efforts. The best of these is Associated Content. Unlike many “get paid to write” sites, they frequently pay a lump sum upon publishing the article, as well as a bonus for the number of page views the article generates. Also, unlike many other sites, it is your choice whether or not to give them exclusive rights to your work. You may choose to accept a smaller initial payment in order to keep the option of publishing the article again in the future. Payment for articles is generally under $20.00, but if you can quickly write clear, engaging articles, you can make some decent income here.
On Helium it pays to be a good writer who can create informative or entertaining articles on popular topics. This is a site that pays you based solely on clicks to your articles, so if you’re not drawing readers, you’re not getting paid. There is a voting system in place to further assure that the best articles get the most attention, a useful feature that helps keep poorly written articles from annoying readers. This is necessary because any article written on an existing Helium topic is immediately published to the site. If you’re a serious writer, money can be made on Helium, but it may take a considerable amount of work and tweaking to find what will bring in the money. If you like to write and you like the challenge of improving your writing to meet the demands of readers, this site is worth a try.
Triond is quite similar to Helium, in that you are paid for visitors to your article pages rather than given an upfront payment. There is voting at this site, but it is not as central to readership as it is at Helium. Triond appears to weed out poorly written articles by declining to put them on their websites in the first place. Another major difference between the two is that, unlike Helium, Triond requires that all articles submitted to them be previously unpublished, either in print or on the web. You are free thereafter to republish your work as often as you like.
This site is similar to Associated Content. It pays upfront for well-written articles on a variety of subjects that are then available on the site and accessible from search engines. The major difference is that Looking For Clues is specifically seeking articles that are more insightful or entertaining than the usual fare. It’s harder to get published on Looking For Clues, but when your articles are accepted, you are paid a higher rate for them, usually between $10 and $30. Looking For Clues requires the full rights to your articles, but the higher payment makes this worthwhile for many writers.
I mention this briefly only for people who sincerely enjoy posting in forums and would spend their time doing it anyway. My Lot will pay you a penny or two for each post, which means that if you post fifty to a hundred times, you can make a dollar. They have a referral program that gives you a percentage of your friends’ posts as well, but even then it’s not really possible to make a significant amount of money on this site without spending all your waking hours at your keyboard.
The ChaCha search engine pays guides to assist users in finding information on the Internet. ChaCha is a real work at home opportunity that can bring in a significant amount of money depending on the time and work a person is willing to dedicate to it. ChaCha pays guides $5.00 an hour, but this amount is often less for new guides who rarely get a steady stream of searches.
Another limitation is that searches are only paid for the first six minutes, so those that run over cut into the hourly rate. There is a significant amount of unpaid training involved to get to the higher levels where more and better searches come in, and because ChaCha guides are rated by users, it’s necessary to deliver consistently excellent customer service to maintain those levels. ChaCha guides are independent contractors, meaning they have to pay self-employment tax (in addition to regular income tax) on their earnings, another factor that lowers the $5.00 hourly rate. There are also a number of rules and regulations ChaCha guides are expected to follow that can sometimes feel restrictive.
Despite all this, ChaCha has something going for it that makes it a serious contender as an at-home income generator: it’s addictive. Guiding searches is challenging, fun, and although sometimes infuriating, it is never boring. ChaCha is not currently taking on new guides as of June 2007, but it’s certain they will do so again in the future. You can become a guide by finding another guide to invite you or by applying through the “become a guide” link at the bottom of the ChaCha home page.
For those of you looking for more serious work at home opportunities, something more like a real job, the WAHM (Work At Home Moms) forums are the best place to start. They list legitimate companies that hire telecommuters and at- home workers with a variety of different skills. I got my first at-home transcriptionist job through WAHM, for which I will always enthusiastically recommend their site.
To conclude, by making use of a multitude of these sites, it’s possible to bring in a significant amount of money each month. Since many of them also have paid referral programs, you can increase your income by inviting other users to join. As with most pursuits, you’ll get out of these sites what you put into them. A little extra work in the beginning can pay off handsomely in the end. Have fun trying them out!