The internet has been awash with promises of “Make money fast” and “make money from home” from the beginning. In the early days they were as common as crappy MySpace pages and blogs made with GeoCities.
These days the world is much more tech savvy and far less gullible (for the most part, anyway) so the fake money making schemes have all but been wiped out. However, there were some genuine schemes back then and these have evolved into even better money making schemes now.
In this guide we’ll highlight the best of them and show you a number of other ways to make money fast from the comfort of your own home.
1. Get Money for Exposing your Shopping Habits
Researchers are very interested in your shopping history. They want to know what interests you, what you spend your money on, why you chose a particular item over competing items, and how you were introduced to that item.
This information can help them to better understand shopping habits and it’s a prized commodity. You can sell it to them directly by using the ShopTracker app, which will glean information from your Amazon shopping history.
2. Complete Surveys
Completing surveys for money sounds like one of those “make money from home” scams, because many people don’t realize why that survey would be worth anything to anyone. But it all adds to the data that marketers gather to sell you more stuff. And as we mentioned above, that data can be a valuable commodity.
SwagBucks is one of the best survey sites out there. It is a mobile app that asks you basic questions, from your preference for certain foods, to what films you watched recently and what you think of the latest TV show.
There are other sites out there as well, the best of which are:
- MyPoints: This site gives you points that you can use to buy gift cards every time you complete a poll or answer a number of questions. There is a $5 bonus when you complete your first 5 surveys.
- Survey Junkie: There are a lot of surveys waiting for you here and you can earn points for each one, before “cashing out” those points for gift cards. They don’t pay a lot though and you need 1,000 points for a $10 gift card.
- Harris Poll: These surveys are a little more specialized and you will earn more from them as a result. You can earn up to $4 for a twenty minute survey and there are also bigger and better opportunities posted every now and then.
3. Sell Your Skill-Set on Fiverr
The writers amongst you will scoff at the mere notion of spending many hours completing surveys and earning what amounts to less that minimum wage. Sure, it’s very little work that you can do from the comfort of your own home, but there are better ways to spend that time if you have any talents.
If you have any skill as a writer, designer, coder or voiceover expert you can try your luck on sites like Upwork, Guru and Freelancer. These are sites for freelancers and if you put the hours in then you can make a very good living here, with some of the better ranked writers earning 6-figure salaries.
If you have the passion and the time but not necessarily the skill (or the confidence) then begin with Fiverr. You can sell anything you want for $5, whether it be an article, a comedy piece, a song or an image. Designers who are good at self-promotion and can up-sell can make a lot of money on Fiverr, but for writers it should really only be seen as a lesser alternative to sites like Upwork.
4. Get a Cash-Back Card
By signing up for a rewards credit you can take advantage of a host of benefits, including a huge cash injection after you spend a certain amount of money during your first three months.
How much you can get will depend on a number of things, from the type of rewards card and the amount you need to spend, to the type of rewards you’re being offered (cashback, air miles, points, etc.,)
The Chase Freedom Card, for instance, offers you $150 in cashback when you spend $500 during the first three months. This is a very generous amount for a target that most users will meet with ease, but if you’re confident that your spending will surpass $2,000 or even $5,000 in that time, then you could get as much as $1,000 in cashback.
5. Download the Nielsen App
If you download the Nielsen app then you can earn $50 a year, just from keeping it on your device. You can do the same on your laptop or desktop and when you do you will also be entered into monthly sweepstakes where thousands of dollars can be won.
You may recognize the name, because Nielsen are the company that tracks TV ratings and tells us what US families are watching. They will monitor your browsing habits in the same way, taking note of what you download and use, and what websites you visit.
Some users will feel a little uneasy at the knowledge that their actions are being monitored, but think of it this way: how many times have you shopped for an item for just a few minutes and then seen ads for that exact item everywhere you look for the next few weeks? Google, Facebook, Twitter—they are all already tracking you. At least with Nielsen you can get paid for it.
6. Sell Your Stuff
There are many apps out there that will let you snap a picture of your belongings and then sell them to interested parties in your local area and across the US. These apps include LetGo and OfferUp and we have discussed them at length in our guide to Apps and Websites for Selling Your Stuff.
Bonus: What Not to Do
We mentioned that make money fast scams still exist. If you are worried that you have encountered one, keep the following in mind:
- Google Them: If a program is legitimate, there will be a wealth of positive info out there. If it’s not, there will be a number of scam reports.
- Don’t Pay Them: They should be paying you, so be wary of any money making scheme that requests payment from you, especially if it’s a method like Western Union, iTunes gift cards or wire transfer.
- Don’t Give Them Too Much: These sites need to pay you, but they don’t necessarily need your debit card or bank account details. Most will pay in gift cards, which means they don’t need any sensitive information, and others pay by PayPal, which means they only need your email. If anything else is requested, it may be a scam.
- If it Sounds Too Good to be True: It probably is. You can’t earn $50 an hour licking envelopes. You can’t earn thousands a day sending emails. Don’t let greed get the better of you and know that if it sounds like a scam, it probably is.
We have read a few “make money fast” lists in our time and some of them include scams and dangerous so-called “money making” methods. Avoid any of the following:
- Matched Betting: This really only applies to our readers outside the US, but it should go without saying that gambling is never a certainty. Matched betting is touted as being risk-free and to an extent it is, right until the point you have your accounts closed because it goes against the Ts&Cs.
- Trading: Binary options, forex, CFDs, whatever they call it, it’s not a guarantee, it’s a gamble, and you can lose everything.
- Reshipping: This “job” involves receiving items and then changing the address and reshipping them. The problem is, those items are being sent to you by victims of fraud and you’re sending them onto the fraudsters. It’s not only highly immoral, it’s also illegal.
- Clicking Ads: Ad networks pay websites for every click or lead (everything from a registration to a sale) and some companies try to manipulate this by paying teams of people to make clicks and to fake leads. It goes against the Ts & Cs of all ad networks and you have about as much chance of being paid by these scammers as they do of being paid by the ad networks, which is to say, very little chance at all.