Friday, April 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 54): Making Money Online Edition

Today is my first day "back" to work at substitute teacher orientation. Although it's not like I haven't been working these past several months.  I'm not just talking about housework and taking care of a baby (and those are work!).  I've also found several ways to make money online while staying home.  I usually make about $50 a month with online survey and rewards sites and another $30 or so through blogging.  It isn't a lot, but every little bit helps.  A few other women have expressed some interest in learning about some of the ways I make money, so this week's Quick Takes is a quick run down of some of my favorite money making sites.  If you want more specifics, don't hesitate to leave a comment, email me, write me on twitter or facebook, etc.  I'd be happy to help.  And if you have some of your own money making secrets, do tell!

--- 1 ---

Swagbucks and Superpoints. (Superpoints no longer exists.)  I've currently written two posts with some detailed advice about how to use these two.  These are the main rewards sites I use and I make the most consistent money with them ($5 in Amazon gift cards 2-4 times per month on each site = $20-$40 per month) .

--- 2 ---

My favorite survey site is Pinecone Research (Springboard America is next in line)   I only take one or two surveys with them a month, however, each time you take a survey (usually 10-15 minutes), a check for $3 is sent to you within a few days.  This is much better than other sites that often have a 30 minute survey for $0.50 and/or you have to earn at least $20 before you can cash out your money.

--- 3 ---

Other survey sites.  I've joined several survey sites over the past few years and found the ones over time that work best for me.  Don't try too many that you get overwhelmed, but do try several and see which ones you like better based on prizes available, how many points you can earn from each survey, how often you receive surveys, the payout minimum, how visually appealing, fun and user-friendly the surveys are, etc.  You can always close accounts you don't like; I always stay a part of a survey site until I can cash out what I've earned and then close the account if I though it wasn't worth my time.  Some other survey sites I use (and like): MySurvey, MyView, Valued Opinions,  And I just joined PollBuzzer so I don't have any personal feedback on it, although I hear that it is pretty great, with a $1 payout for each question you answer (not sure how often you get questions).

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Bloggers, listen here: If you don't mind writing sponsored posts once in a while, you should join SocialSpark.  I will only write sponsored posts that I can somehow relate to my blog, so I often turn down offers (some with payouts as high as $60 per post), yet I still have made $45 on sponsored posts in the less than 2 months since I've joined.  And if you do join, here's a little hint to help you: check the site often because you have more chances to write posts if you accept leads (these let the companies know you are interested before formal offers go out).  These aren't always sent to your email so checking once a day or so gives you a better opportunity to get offers.  (I've also heard good things about SponsoredTweets, which is by the same people as SocialSpark, but I have no personal experience with them - yet!) Update: SocialSpark has since become IZEA.

--- 5 ---

If you shop online even just once in a while, it's worth it to start accounts with Ebates,, and MyPoints.  With Ebates and ShopAtHome, you get a certain percentage of your purchase back if you shop through the site (go their first, search for the store you want to shop from and then purchase you items through the window that pops up) and you'll get a check when you reach a certain amount of cash back.  Some stores are only available through one or the other, or have a higher percentage at one, so I've found it useful to belong to both and check each before buying something.  It is definitely worth it, since often the cash back is 10% or more depending on the store (although even 2% is something!).  MyPoints is similar, but you get points for each dollar you spend at certain stores and then redeem those points for gift cards.  In my opinion, you don't get nearly as much from MyPoints as you do from the others, however, I do use it when I purchase from stores that are on MyPoints and not on the others.  MyPoints also offers you other ways to earn points, like clicking on links in your emails.  I recently redeemed a $50 gift card for a department store from MyPoints that I earned over the past year - not a lot, but still $50 for doing something I already do (shop online!). 

--- 6 ---

Although not making money per say, another way I help my family out at home is through winning giveaways.  In the past 6 months I've won a few cloth diapers, baby shampoos and lotions, chocolates, a sweet Christmas headband for Lulu and a few other miscellaneous odds and ends.  The best way to ensure that you win is to enter smaller giveaways (although don't skip on the large ones if they are easy to enter, someone's got to win and it might as well be you).  Small giveaways by bloggers are my favorite and there are many places that you can find these giveaways and particularly giveaways with low entries.  My favorite place to go for these is Tight Wad in Utah who lists low entry giveaways ending this week. 

--- 7 ---

Some advice: only you know whether the money you are making is worth your time.  If you are a stay-at-home mom and have some time while the kids nap, great!  But if you are taking time away from your family, it's probably not worth it!  I like being able to contribute a little bit to the family income and to providing for this sweet girl:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

This post contains affiliate links. This does not influence or change my opinion.


  1. I'm totally interested in the pinecone research!! Hook me up?? Please?? (It's actually something I can do while at work during downtime - which excites me!)

  2. That's awesome for you, Mandi! I haven't made any money off my blog, yet. I am still trying to decide what it is that I want out of my blog! Good luck with orientation today!

  3. Mandi, Do you mind if I pin this...lots of good links and I want to refer back to it?

  4. I just signed up for Swagbucks last week, thinking I should dip my toe into this whole "making money" thing. Thanks for the tips, you're blogging success is inspiring! Probably the next step for me is to pay for a site rather than have the free Wordpress-hosted one, eh? I'm scared of the commitment...

  5. I haven't done that either...I don't think that I make enough blogging (yet!) to warrant me paying anything for it. I'd love to pay for a blog redesign and a switch to self-hosted, but I can't justify it right now

  6. Well, your site looks awesome so I assumed you did! Congrats!

  7. Thank you so much for this post. I have been wanting to get into these things and had no idea where to start. You can't exactly type "make money online" into google these days! I'd love to hear from you any extra details or links that you think would help, if you don't mind sending me an email.

    Your girl is so cute!

  8. Elizabeth, MatthiasApril 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Wow, these sound like pretty neat ideas!

  9. Alli, can you send me your email address? 


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