If you’ve been thinking about making some easy money online but don’t know how then perhaps I can take some of the guesswork out of the equation for you. I’ve spent the last couple of years trying different sites offering different deals for how to make money. Some use ads, some rely on surveys, some make you publish content and pay you for views (like this site right here!), some use a combination of revenue generating elements. None of this is particularly important. What’s important is what YOU, the user perceives. What matters are the big questions going through your head:
“How much work is this going to be?”
“Do I need any special skills?”
“How long is it going to take?”
“How fast am I going to get paid?”
“How much am I going to get paid?”
“Can I just forget about it later on and still have money coming it?”
For all but the most dedicated, even one of these can be a deterrent if you don’t like the answer. It stands to reason that the whole “making money online” domain is pretty competitive, and the various sites out there would be similar, not really granting a significant advantage over any other method. Fortunately this isn’t the case. There are some definite losers and what I see as the more worthwhile candidates but before I make things look too black and white, let’s have a closer look.
I’ll be providing each method with a score, based on key criteria. They are:
Passive Income: Passive income is when you stop doing work on the site but the work you have already done continues to generate money. In other words you aren’t just paid once for your work. It’s an ongoing thing.
Score: 1 or 2 (1 for No, 2 for Yes)
Earning Speed: This refers to how quickly you can start making money after signing up and how often it keeps coming. If you have to wait a month to make your first penny and you get weekly updates to your balance, that’d be on the slow end.
Score: 1-5 (1 is slow, 5 is fast)
Skills: This tells you whether you can use this method with the most basic education and no special skills or whether you need to have a niche or be of better than average intelligence.
Score: 1-5 (1 requires high skill, 5 requires no skills at all)
Complexity: This is how awkward the site is to use in general and therefore how much of a hassle it is to make money using the site. A very simple and intuitive interface for example can cut down on the number of steps you need to take to make money and this translates to less work for the user.
Score: 1-5 (1 is hard, 5 is easy)
Absolute Income: This tells you how much money you’ll be making with this method. Are we talking pennies per month or hundreds of dollars per month? This assumes all other factors remain constant like how much effort you put in.
Score: 1-5 (1 is on the order of pennies per month, 5 is on the order of hundreds or more)
Work: How much work does it take to earn a given quantity of money? Do you need to write ten 2000 word articles or do you need to do a 5 minute survey?
Score: 1-5 (1 is a lot of work, 5 is practically nothing)
Final Score: This is the culmination of all of the criteria above. Bigger is better!
Score: (Earning Speed + Skills + Complexity + Absolute Income + Work) / 5 x Passive Income
With that, let’s meet today’s contestants!
I hate to spoil the rest of the hub but I’m just going to say it. This site is the winner!
WebAnswers is a question and answer site. It’s pretty simple. You make an account, you answer questions asked by ordinary people, you ask your own if you like, and you get paid through Google ads placed on those pages. When outsiders google something and a hit comes up from this site, that person views the page and you get page impressions. If any ads get clicked, you get a percentage of the earnings from that ad. If you have a particularly good answer and get awarded the question, you get all the profit to yourself from that page. The site is easy to use and works like a search engine, with an optional categorical list. Type something in that you know a lot about and questions will appear for that topic. Then just answer whatever you like. It's even better when you actually don't know something. Rather than spending 15 minutes googling it, ask WebAnswers, and come back in 15 minutes. Chances are somebody answered the question already and you'll get paid for having asked it. How awesome is that?
Money comes right away, I mean either the same day you set everything up or maybe the next day. Once you answer about 10 questions you'll be invited to link your Google Adsense account to WebAnswers, so you can get paid. Once you answer about 50 questions, your daily views will be up in the hundreds and with a typical click through rate, you’ll get at least 1-2 clicks daily. All this with an initial investment of only a couple of hours. The return on investment is very high for this site. If you put a few hours into it, you can coast for the rest of the month and do nothing at all. You’ll still get passive income. Make sure to remain an active member by answering a few questions once in a while. You can do this all at once every month or spread it out weekly or daily if you like.
The site feels like a forum too so it’s actually fun and doesn’t feel like work. You’ll get to know the older members and enjoy participating in the discussions. Because of this, many members don’t mind remaining active and if you need the answer to something, the member base is huge enough that you will get answered fast so you’re getting free info that you need AND getting paid for it! It helps if you have specific knowledge of some topics but certain topics demand opinions so you don’t strictly need any specific knowledge. Difficulty depends on what category you answer questions in and time invested depends on how much income you want to earn in the short term. Nuking the site with hundreds of high quality answers WILL make you a large sum of money. Money funnels in through your Adsense account and you get cheques at $100 thresholds.
I’ve been a member of this site for less time than anything else I’m reviewing today and made the most money with it… by a long shot! Nuff said.
Earning Speed: 4
Absolute Income: 4
Passive Income: 2
Final Score: 7.6
Hubpages is a domain in which you write articles and publish them. These articles or hubs become a part of your collection and when outsiders view them, you earn from the page impressions and also from any applicable Google ad clicks, Amazon purchases and Ebay purchases!
Hubpages requires more of an up-front investment with returns growing exponentially with time and content. You need to compose and assemble high quality hubs until your collection is substantial enough that you have a lot of desirable content for surfers to find. It also helps to do a little work to promote your sites so that they get incoming links, otherwise you could wait a while before this happens naturally. Spread your hub links through social media outlets. Tweet your friends, share on facebook, join forums related to your content and talk about it there. Your efforts will be well worth it.
Here's a tip! Test the waters with a few hubs of different categories and release them all at the same time. Monitor them for a couple of weeks to see which category attracts the most attention. Then go big and dominate that area by publishing many hubs on the same topic. You make money here by making a presence and the best way to do that is to become an expert on something. If you're the "video game guy" then you'll be grabbing all the traffic looking for video game hubs, etc.
Revenue is more stable and consistent on average. Over time, increasing links to your pages will promote more traffic and you’ll get a larger following of users within the community as well. If you stick with it and have enough patience, you could make some decent money on a consistent basis in the long run that will require less and less maintenance on your part. I started out with a couple of hubs making pennies but now I'm making orders of magnitude more than that after increasing my hub count modestly and letting time do its thing.
The site is usable but you need to get the hang of it. Initial account setup takes a bit of patience and creating each hub isn’t a chore but it’s not exactly trivial either. It requires some TLC to get the maximum effect.
You don’t need specific skills per se but you need something to write about so you’ll have an easier time if you’re either well educated or worldly and have many things to offer. You will have to put in a minimum effort to make even the most barely functional of hubs and repeat the process dozens of times before making profit worth talking about so it’s not a quick fix to poverty by any means. There are many members who make some significant income here however and they did it by being dedicated and patient.
Earning Speed: 1
Absolute Income: 2
Passive Income: 2
Final Score: 4.4
Global Test Market
The surveys are basic. They ask you about your opinion on things you’ve bought or used or about services you’ve heard of… easy stuff. There are a lot of questions but they are almost all check boxes so it’s just a matter of clicking. Upon completion you are instantly credited. Sometimes, even if you screen out initially you’ll get a sympathy reward of 5 points or something.
I find this method of earning money to be a middle road. It’s not something you can rely on or even work harder at to get more money but it pays decent enough to employ as an auxiliary or hobby-type income. Just do these when you feel like it and after a while you can pay for a couple tanks of gas :)
The site itself serves no purpose except to check your balance. Everything is done via email so usability is moot.
Earning Speed: 3
Absolute Income: 3
Passive Income: 1
Final Score: 3.8
Survey Savvy works in exactly the same way as Global Test Market and is the same type of site with 3 key differences. First, the invitations are far less frequent. Second, there is far more variability in the reward. They tend to offer larger projects that pay much more, perhaps $20 or more but the reward is usually proportional to the project, which can include forum type discussion panels for example. The regular surveys are slightly more profitable but since they are so infrequent I think there’s less money to be made in a given time frame. I’ve made almost as much with this site as with Global Test Market so far but still less. The third difference is that the payout threshold is lower! You can get a check for $20 if you like, or lower. I haven’t identified a hard limit actually. Again, everything is done through email and not through the site itself.
Earning Speed: 2
Absolute Income: 3.5
Passive Income: 1
Final Score: 3.7
American Consumer Opinions
Again, another survey site, this one is closer to Survey Savvy and has less frequent invites that tend to be worth more on average, usually $3 or so. Again, the payout threshold is arbitrarily small so it’s not really an issue to ask for a cheque. There’s not much else to say about it except that I’m happy with what it provides, as I don’t expect anything more.
Earning Speed: 2
Absolute Income: 3.5
Passive Income: 1
Final Score: 3.7
That’s all for now. I haven’t reviewed that many online money making methods but there are a variety to choose from at least. Let’s review the scores really quick:
Global Test Market: 3.8
Survey Savvy: 3.7
American Consumer Opinion: 3.7
Based on the results, if you were to spend your time on the best 3 sites, you’d have long-lasting income from Hubpages, fast-acting income from Global Test Market and something fun, easy and semi-permanent that you can scale up rapidly at will with WebAnswers.
Hopefully my experience so far has helped you decide where to invest your time. Personally, I’d go with WebAnswers just because of how responsive it is to the effort you put in but I’ve also benefited from some of the others as well so choose what fits your lifestyle best and good luck!
I recently became a member of Dreamstime, which is a site where you can either buy stock photos for your own needs or you can publish your work for sale. There is a large pricing matrix that tells you how much money you will earn for each photo based on its size, resolution, your exposure as an author, etc. Considering that many of us have taken a lot of pictures over the span of our lives, some of which are high quality enough to attract others, you have to breathe a sigh of relief that the hard part is mostly done already. All you need to do is upload these pics and wait for traffic. The pictures do need to meet copyright laws and can't contain any branding for example but there are plenty of scenery photos, among others that qualify and as long as you've got these photos sitting around you may as well have them working for you. Unlike blogging or article writing, once you upload your photos, you can wash your hands of it and collect. I like the sound of that just fine so that's what prompted me to join :) If you follow the link you'll get more details on how to sell your photos. It's worth a look!
chriscamaro (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 31, 2017:
You don't have to answer questions. However doing so increases your rating and the number and quality of views so that you gain a greater share of the profit. The math behind it has not been shared with the public but it's been hinted at.
Sonia Sylart from UK on July 31, 2017:
Hi Chriscamaro - thanks for this very comprehensive comparison. I have a question please - with Webanswers, is it permissible to ask questions only, or must you answer as well as ask questions to make any money? (Probably wishful thinking on my part but I'm feeling bold today so I thought I'd ask!)
chriscamaro (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 22, 2015:
Yeah, it's a pretty good site. I've had good luck with it so far. Thanks for posting!
Jacobb9205 on February 18, 2015:
Thank you for the methods to earn online! I'm looking into webanswers now I hear about it now and then but it never interested me until I read what you wroote about it! Passive income is great!
Put a few months or so work into it everyday, earn money for life! I'd probally still use it daily for maximum profit! I tend to ask questions on yahoo answers now and then so instead of using
yahoo answers I will use webanswers! :)
Really intriged about webanswers considering you chose webanswers over hubpages!
Survey sites aren't for me but thank you again for all the methods! Signing up to web answers now!
Clixsense Prague from Prague, Czech Republic on December 01, 2013:
Make money on the internet. Here are the different options.
I can recommend Clixsense. The best and old PTC. Since 2007.
chriscamaro (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2013:
No problem. It took me some time to learn the score on the internet when it comes to making money online. It's nice to pass that wisdom on for those who are interested.
BrightMeadow from a room of one's own on April 19, 2013:
Always enjoy info on how to raise my income. Thanks for sharing this.
chriscamaro (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 19, 2013:
Glad you found it handy. I find webanswers best for more immediate cash while hubpages requires investment but pays off with time and effort.