Finding ways to make money for what you already do

Gift Cards

Many online programs will offer you points or gift cards for tasks that you do every day. Image: Flickr / 401K / CC-BY-SA

One of the best things about the internet is that it is possible to make money doing things that you already do. With some careful research and a small amount of effort, you can start making money for the tasks you would do every day anyway.

How money-for-tasks works

Online systems that pay you in cash or gift cards for doing things as simple as tracking weight loss or shopping work through affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are, essentially, freelance advertising programs. A company will pay a small percentage of a sale or a commission on sales or views on a particular advertisement. Affiliate marketers put a company’s advertisements on their website. Points programs or rewards programs are built on this same system that trades some of your information or online activity for cash, gift cards or affiliate programs.

[Even searching for short term loans can lead to affiliate payouts.]

Look for ways to self-track

Many affiliate programs or pay-for-activity programs are looking for a way to track your information. Most of them are built around goals or everyday activities. For example, many weight-loss programs online will reward you for tracking calories eaten with points that can be traded for gift cards. Programs such as SwagBucks are search engines and online portals that reward points for activities such as searching the web or purchasing daily deals. Decide what information you are comfortable with sharing and look for a program that is based on that information.

Things that can get you rewarded

If you are comfortable sharing your information online, then the programs that provide points or gift cards are the ones that usually take a while to build up rewards. Look for programs that give you points for things such as:

  • Shopping online – some systems will give you a cut of their affiliate income just for shopping online using their links.
  • Take surveys – Surveys are used by marketers and market researchers to measure trends and market demand for particular products. These surveys vary in length, complexity, and personal information, so watch carefully.
  • Play games – games, especially games with advertisements, sometimes pay in points and rewards. Look for games that you want to play, but be careful to not waste too much time in those games
  • Get a search bar – browser add-ons and plugins that track your everyday searches will pay out for the information that they collect. These add-ons can also slow down your browser, so be careful about which ones you install.


B A Wiggins
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