When comes to different ways of making money, does it get any better than getting paid to surf the web?
You’re already searching and browsing anyway, so why not make some extra money while you’re at it?
In this article, we’ll look at the best realistic ways to get paid for surfing the web.
Now, to be completely upfront, you’re not going to get rich from these methods. There are many other side hustle ideas that give you the potential to make more money, but there are a few very enticing reasons to consider the options listed on this page:
- Some of them will pay you for the things you’re already doing. Even if it’s not a huge amount of money, it takes no extra effort.
- The options that do involve a little more work are extremely flexible, and just about anyone can do them.
How to Get Paid for Surfing the Web
Now, let’s take a look at the specific ways you can make money for using the internet.
1. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)
Swagbucks is a very popular website that allows you to make money in several different ways. Anyone can sign up for free (and there’s even a $5 bonus if you sign up through this link). Once you’re signed up and logged in, you’ll see a variety of different ways to earn points (they call them Swagbucks or SB’s).
The options include things like taking online surveys, playing games, watching videos, and shopping online. You can also earn SB for using Swagbucks as your primary search engine. You can use their browser extension to make it easy to earn points every time you search.
Another way to earn with Swagbucks is through online shopping. They have thousands of partner websites and you can earn cashback by making purchases at those stores. Install the Swagbucks button in your browser to be notified whenever you’re browsing a website that participates in the program. Simply click on the button when you’re notified, and you’ll be able to earn cashback on any purchase that you make.
The amount of money that you make from Swagbucks will depend on how active you are, and how many different ways you earn SB. Of course, you’ll make more money if you’re using several methods rather than just relying on using Swagbucks as your search engine to get paid for browsing the internet.
Once you’ve earned some SB, you can redeem them for your choice of gift cards or cash (through PayPal).
BONUS OFFER: Get Paid for Playing Games on Your Phone!
Mistplay is a free Android app that allows you to earn points simply by playing games on your phone. You can then redeem your points for prizes like your choice of gift cards. All you need to do is get the app, then play some games in your spare time, and you’ll be earning rewards while having fun.
MobileXpression is a research company that will pay you for access to your mobile browsing data. They won’t collect personal or sensitive data, but you will need to be ok with sharing your browsing activity.
You can install the MobileXpression app on your mobile device and earn 5 points each week that it’s active. Once you have 30 points you can redeem them for a $5 gift card, or you can wait until you get 50 points and use them for a $10 gift card (a better value). If you wait until you have 50 points, you can earn about $50 in gift cards per year, and there are several different gift cards that you can choose from.
In my opinion, MobileXpression is one of the easiest ways to earn free gift cards and get paid to surf the web. You don’t need to do anything except install the app and occasionally open the app to claim your points.
3. InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)
InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks in a lot of ways. After you sign up for InboxDollars there are several different things you can do to make money, including taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and trying a variety of different offers. You can also make money by using InboxDollars as a search engine. You can set it as your homepage or set it as your search engine in the Chrome browser.
The money that you earn from InboxDollars can be redeemed in the form of a check or a gift card (there is a $3 processing fee for any payout).
Like Swagbucks, the amount that you’ll make from InboxDollars depends on how active you are and how many different ways you are trying to earn money.
4. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)
MyPoints is also similar to Swagbucks and InboxDollars (all three are owned by the same parent company). With a free MyPoints account, you can earn points for things like watching videos, playing games, taking surveys, printing coupons, shopping online, and more.
Once you’ve racked up some points, you can redeem them for prizes like a wide selection of gift cards.
UpVoice will pay you (up to $70+ per year) for visiting popular websites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and LinkedIn. You’re not going to get rich with UpVoice, but money doesn’t get much easier than this and you can get paid to surf the web by using sites that you already visit every day.
All you need to do is sign up with UpVoice (you’ll need a Facebook account) and then you’ll install a Google Chrome extension. The extension will track everything, so you simply visit these sites that you probably already visit, and you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards.
Nielsen is a research company that gathers data on internet usage (you may be familiar with the Nielsen TV ratings). They are willing to pay you to install their app on your computer or mobile device (tablet or smartphone). The app will collect your browsing data, but will not collect or store personal or sensitive data.
If you don’t mind sharing your data for research purposes, this could be a way to make some serious money. As a participant, you will be entered into their $10,000 monthly giveaway.
The best thing about Nielsen Digital Voice is that it takes no additional work after you install the app.
Microsoft Rewards is a program that allows you to earn points just by using the Bing search engine. You’ll need to register for Microsoft Rewards, and then you just need to be logged in when you are searching. As long as you’re logged in, you’ll earn points for searches on Bing.
There is a maximum number of points that you can earn per day from searches, and that number increases when you reach different levels. At the start, you can earn up to 50 points per day from searching (5 points per search). At higher levels, you can earn points for up to 50 searches per day. Once you’ve reached 5,000 points you can redeem them for a $5 gift card.
Obviously, you’re not going to make a ton of money with Microsoft Rewards, but Bing is a good search engine so it’s easy to earn these points.
Qmee offers a browser extension that will show select ads when you search so you can get paid for browsing the internet. You can make money by clicking on the ads. You don’t have to use a different search engine, it works on Google, Bing, Amazon, Ebay, and more. The ads will appear on the side of your browser. It’s a really easy way to make some extra money from the browsing and searching that you already do.
There are also some other ways you can make money through Qmee, like taking surveys on a mobile device.
9. Work as a Search Engine Evaluator
Did you know that you can get paid to evaluate the results of a search engine? It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. Companies like Appen, Lionbridge, and iSoftStone hire people like you for search engine evaluator jobs.
This opportunity is a lot different from the others listed earlier where you are just getting paid or earning rewards from the searching and browsing that you’re already doing. This job involves real work, but the work includes searching and surfing the internet. Because it involves real work, it also allows you to make more money that options listed earlier, so if you’re looking for something more substantial, this can be a great choice.
10. Test Websites
Another option that involves some work is to get paid to test websites. Many businesses are willing to pay people in order to get feedback about their website. The testing may take as little as a few minutes, or it could take 30 minutes or more. In many cases, you’ll need a microphone (the built-in mic on most laptops will work fine) and the testing will include recording a video of you using the website. You’ll need to do some specific things on the website and share your experience and your feedback. Overall, it’s a pretty easy way to make some extra money online.
There are several different sites where you can sign up for this work. Some of the best ones are WhatUsersDo, Userfeel, and User Testing. You can earn $5 – $60 per test, which makes it a great side hustle!
To learn more, please read How to Get Paid to Test Websites.
11. Sell Your Junk Email
The Small Business Knowledge Center will pay you for sharing your junk mail and junk email. Apply to their program and you could start making money from the emails that flood your inbox every day.
They are interested in your mail and email from many different categories for research purposes. Participants can earn as much as $20 every 6-10 weeks. If you’re a business owner or self-employed, you could earn even faster.
12. Perform Online Tasks
One of the easiest and most flexible ways to make money online is to perform various tasks through sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Clickworker, and Figure Eight. There are some differences between these sites, but they offer essentially the same thing. You can sign up and work whenever you want, as much or as little as you want. There are different tasks (or micro tasks) that you can complete, and you’ll be paid a small amount for each of them.
Most of the tasks are small and quick, so if you’re an active user of these sites you’ll probably complete a lot of tasks. The types of tasks will vary, but it can include things like categorizing data, moderating content, taking short surveys, etc.
While it’s certainly not the most lucrative side hustle, tasking is very flexible and people with all different backgrounds and experience levels can do it. You can work on the tasks around your schedule, whenever it fits in.
13. Research for Wonder
Through Wonder, you can get paid to do online research. You can sign up for free and work whenever it fits into your schedule. When you are able to work, you’ll login to the dashboard and Wonder will assign you some work. You’ll do some research to find answers and sources, and then submit your findings. You’ll be paid for any completed work.
In order to be accepted and eligible for work, you’ll need to pass a simple online quiz and complete a trial assignment.
If you’re looking to make a little extra money while you’re surfing the internet, be sure to try out the suggestions listed here.
As I mentioned in the intro, you’re not going to make loads of money with any of these options, but these are flexible opportunities that anyone can use to make something extra. If you’re looking for a more significant income, please see our list of side hustle ideas or take the free side hustle quiz to find your ideal side hustle.