Make Money Online…Without Surveys for Money?

by Spencer Mitchell on August 13, 2012

Ipsos Banner 1If you’ve spent any time at all reading my blog then you probably already know that one of my favorite (if not my absolute favorite) way in the whole wide world to make money online is to get paid to take surveys. That being said, there’s just no way that you can pay the bills with paid online surveys alone.

And considering the amount of emails I get everyday from people asking me for other ways to earn some money, I think it’s about time I touch on some methods I use to make a living outside of the paid surveys arena.

But First, Let’s Get Personal

My first foray into making money online was a paid survey site that I still recommend known as I-Say. I still use and recommend them to this day. However, even with Ipsos and the other sites that I belonged to, I had trouble making enough to pay the bills with surveys alone. Like you, I have a mortgage, grocery bills (and worst of all from a financial standpoint) bills. There’s just no way I could make ends meet with $500-$600 per month.

That’s when I started doing a little research of other legitimate ways to earn some money online. I wasn’t expecting to get rich (and I didn’t), but these methods combined with the survey panels I still participate in allowed me to quite my job in early 2011. Here are some methods I used. Obviously I can’t guarantee you have the same success I did, but you’ll definitely learn a lot along the way and will help you earn even for slow months with your paid survey panels (which do happen now and again even if you’ve signed up to several panels).

Blogging

I started the blog you’re reading now, SurveySpencer.com, in May 2012 and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Even though I only get 100-200 visitors per day, the blog has been a way for me to write about a topic that I’m knowledgeable about — in this case, surveys for money –with others.

I highly recommend that you do the following if you’re looking to start a blog:

  • Write about your expertise/interests:The reason I went from nothing to having a semi-successful blog was because I wrote about a topic that I knew just about everything about. I notice that many people start a blog about something they think will make money (huge mistake). If you’re interested in dogs, write a blog about taking care of your dog. Once you get a following you can worry about monetizing it later.
  • Use Real Hosting:It’s cheaper and easier, but I would highly recommend hosting your blog on a real site (ie. myblogcom) vs. a self-hosting blog platform like WordPress. I’ve never heard of a famous blog that didn’t have its own domain name.
  • Learn Like Crazy:When I first started this site I didn’t know the first thing about hosting, social media or blogging. I’ve spent a crazy amount of hours learning the ropes. You’ll have to as well if you want to do well.

Here are some other helpful tips about blogging:

Become a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is a potentially lucrative way to make some money. While I’ve done well with it, please keep in mind that it’s not easy by any means and the competition is fierce.

Whenever I tell people I work as a freelance writer, I always get the same question: “Where do you find clients”. There are a few sites that I have profiles on, the most active of which is at Elance.com. However, you can also find writing clients through personal relationships and on other freelance websites.

The only piece of advice for you is to have a small niche and stick to that. People are much more likely to choose a writer that has a specific area of expertise (such as finance). While you may not be eligible for as many jobs you’ll have a MUCH higher success rate and will be able to charge more (something that all freelance writers are looking to do!).

While there are a million and one more ways to do it, these are the two that have worked best for me.

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