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5 Practical Ways to Earn Money Online

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Follow these 5 practical ways to earn money online to earn a little extra cash!

Christmas is right around the corner, which means there are now suddenly gifts to buy, parties & gatherings to plan for, charities to give to, and additional expenses of all kinds. All those extra costs add up quick! Every little bit helps, so if you are struggling to find a little extra room in your budget, you may want to consider one (or all) of these five practical options for earning extra cash, gift cards, or prizes online:

1. Get Paid to Take Surveys

The perks of becoming a survey-taker are pretty great considering that it takes absolutely no expertise beyond knowing how to use a computer. You can fill them out in your downtime–after the kids go to bed or while you are watching TV–and earn cash or prizes just for sitting around and answering questions. Lots of people even think it is fun! Payment can vary from $1-$50 depending on the survey, and on average a survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Depending on the company you are working with, you will be paid in cash or points that can be redeemed for prizes or gift cards. Sometimes you will even receive free products to sample.

While there are many good and legitimate survey companies to choose from, there are also some not-so-reputable companies you should avoid. Never sign up with any company that requires a membership fee or that doesn’t tell you how much you will earn per survey. Always look to make sure the company you want to work with has a posted privacy policy. Savvy Seekers keeps a current list of legitimate paid survey companies & is a great place to research reputable companies.

2. Earn Inbox Dollars

Another one of my favorite ways to earn easy money is by earning Inbox Dollars just for doing the things you already do online, such as using search engines, printing coupons, watching videos, or making online purchases. Unlike other rewards programs, Inbox Dollars pays you in cold hard cash, not points that need to be redeemed for gift cards! I have found that Inbox Dollars are very easy to earn and add up quickly, and for me the easiest ways to earn additional cash is by using Inbox Dollars as my search engine instead of Google or Bing. You can even download their toolbar so that you don’t have to go to the Inbox Dollars search engine page every single time you search. For some great tips on how to earn more Inbox Dollars, check out this post.

Signing up is super easy. Just fill out the form here. Right now you can even get a $5.00 bonus when you confirm your email address after signing up!

3. Enter Sweepstakes & Online Giveaways

Taking advantage of online sweepstakes and giveaways is another fun and easy way to earn cash & prizes. There are literally hundreds of contests and giveaways going on at any given time, and it only takes a few minutes a day to submit entries online. Because sweepstakes are a great way for companies to promote their products and websites, many companies will actually set aside a section of their budgets to award prizes. After all, what better way is there to draw people in than to offer them a prize?

Like online surveys, however, you do have to be careful about which giveaways and sweepstakes are legitimate. For more details and tips on entering, check out this post on how to stretch your dollars through online sweepstakes.

7 surefire ways to boost your blog income overnight!Because my time is limited, and because my main focus is on and the audience I serve here, Elite Blog Academy® only opens for registration twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. If you would like to join our waiting list, you can do so by clicking the button below, and when you do, you’ll also get instant access to my latest free eBook, “7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight.”


4. Blog for Profit

While becoming a survey taker, earning Swag Bucks, and entering online sweepstakes are all quick & easy ways to earn some extra pocket cash or prizes, they probably won’t ever be able to earn you a full-time income. Blogging, on the other hand, does have the potential to become a full-time job you can do from home, if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

As I share in my bestselling book, How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul), blogging for profit is certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it does have amazing potential over time to allow you to do something you love while earning a sustainable income. If you have a passion or hobby you’d like to share with others, consider putting it into blog form. Starting a blog is really easy and practically free, but what blogging lacks in start-up costs you will more than make up for in time & effort. That said, there are currently thousands–if not millions–of people who are earning money from their blogs. If you are willing to work at it, chances are you can too!

5. Become a Virtual Assistant

Another great option for earning money online is becoming a virtual assistant. If you have a small blog that is not earning much money, but that has given you some experience in the day-to-day responsibilities of operating a blog, consider finding a job working for another blogger. It is not only a great way to earn additional income, it is a great way to get more exposure, advice, and experience that can be applied to your own blog. Most big bloggers that I know love the opportunity to mentor the people working for them! And don’t worry, if you are not a blogger but have other administrative skills there are plenty of non-blogging virtual assistant opportunities available as well! Lisa Morosky’s book, The Bootstrap VA, is a great resource for anyone looking to become a Virtual Assistant.

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There are no shortage of ways to earn money online from the comfort of your own home, and how much you are able to earn will usually be dependent on how much time you are willing to take. Each of these ideas can be done independently, or you can start by taking advantage of some of the quicker and easier ways to earn money online–through surveys, earning Inbox Dollars, and entering sweepstakes–while also working towards some long-term goals, such as starting a profitable blog or creating your own virtual assistant business. The fact is, the money is out there….are you willing to go for it?

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Have you ever thought about making money online? What are some things that have worked for you?


  1. Holly
    November 8 at 10:28AM

    I’m excited to try some of these! Thanks Ruth!!!

  2. November 8 at 01:04PM

    Great post! I entirely work online now, and it has been amazing. I do many things: blog, staff write, virtual assist, manage social media, and more.

    • Josh
      February 8 at 09:23AM

      Great post, thanks for letting me know.I still can’t believe but I make $100/day.You can start doing this today.Here is the company that offers you money to upload youtube videos

      Just join today and start making money in 10 minutes …

  3. November 8 at 01:18PM

    I would like to try Virtual Assistant work and start entering sweeptakes and online giveaways. I started my blog this year and look forward to see where it can go. I’m currently reading your ebook for tips.

  4. November 8 at 02:37PM

    Hi Ruth,
    The Virtual Assistant thing you mentioned is definitely something moms or people just looking to make a side income should consider. It’s not only legit but also a great way to learn online marketing by doing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. November 8 at 04:31PM

    I recently created my own VA business! I read The Bootstrap VA book months ago after I decided to go into this direction and it was a great resource. I’m still trying to build up my business and gain steady clients but I know I will be successful if I keep working hard!

  6. November 8 at 06:12PM

    Thanks! this is great. i think you can also add the fact that if you find additional savings on presents, this is essentially equivalent to making money..

  7. November 9 at 12:57AM

    You have provided valuable information for online visitor who are actually searching for earn money from home part time.

  8. Amy
    November 9 at 08:48PM

    Sweepstakes really do work sometimes. I’ve won a $1000Kmart gift card and several T-shirts

    • November 15 at 04:47PM

      They really do Amy! Most of the survey companies posted on have sweepstakes as well as points/cash for taking surveys. I used to work at one of them that gave away a new car every year. There’s one on our site that is giving away $40,000 this year. That would be great to win.

  9. November 9 at 11:40PM

    Hi, I have been doing paid surveys for years now and highly recommend it. I get to give my opinions about products, issues, etc. and have earned enough “points” to buy Christmas and/or birthday presents; earned Pay Pal credit and Amazon gift cards. Be aware though that some of the surveys are long and time-consuming. I have found that most are a reasonable length (say 15 to 20 minutes) so don’t let a really long one scare you off. It is rare. I started with My Survey over 13 years ago! I am still a member there but have joined YouGov, Opinion Panel, Ipsos, and others. These are legitimate survey companies. By “legitimate”, I mean they NEVER ask you for money! If you find one that does, don’t join – it is a scam.

    • November 10 at 07:53PM

      Glad to hear you are enjoying your survey experience Steph. You can definitely earn great rewards by joining online survey panels. MySurvey is one of our favourites too, but we also really like VIP Voice (formerly NPDOR) they’ve got some great sweepstakes and auctions, Springboard America is relatively new in the US, but has been in Canada for several years, and Toluna which is great if you like product tests. All of the surveys on SavvySeekers are legitimate and we 100% agree with you – you should never pay any money for surveys. Sign up on our site or do some googling. You should find many surveys that are free to join.

  10. November 12 at 06:15PM

    I adore SwagBucks!! This is the third year we’ve used it to buy our daughters Christmas Gifts!!

    I’ve often thought of being a virtual assistant, I may have to snag that book!

  11. November 14 at 02:21PM

    I’ve been blogging for over a year now. I know a lot of experts say making money on a blog can take some time and that has been proven true for me. However, in the last couple months I’ve seen some income from advertising and it’s been so exciting! Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  12. loreen
    November 15 at 07:04PM

    Are you looking for some extra money for the holiday season sign up and do simple tasks easy

  13. jizky
    November 30 at 02:59PM

    And this one, seriously i get 305 dollars this week,100% not spam! please check here

  14. December 12 at 10:01PM

    These are great ideas to work from home. I work from home myself in my own graphic design business. I just recently started up my own blog (click on my name to see) and could definitely use some help on getting it up and running to help other individuals who are interested in working from home in their own creative career. I may have to check out your ebook too for further help! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Dru
    January 2 at 07:51PM

    A big prob with swag bucks is it does not work with anything Apple based…no iPads, iPhones or desktops.

  16. Angela
    February 4 at 11:23PM

    A great way to earn extra money is to get a job outside the home! Get a job that will let you work a schedule opposite your spouse and you won’t have to pay for childcare. Even if you just wait tables at a restaurant a couple nights a week or over the weekend, you’ll be earning some extra money and contributing to your household income.

  17. February 23 at 04:28PM

    I’m a freelancer writer from home. I do blogs and such too. I tried surveys and never made any money or qualified for any that offered money. I’m glad others have had good experiences with those.

  18. Amanda
    March 20 at 08:20AM

    When I went to swag bucks through your link, they say they collect your personal info (understandable) but it also included your credit card as personal info, why would they need that?

  19. April 19 at 11:23AM

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  21. May 19 at 11:59AM

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  22. May 19 at 05:22PM

    The second thing you can do with your expertise is you can probably provide a service.
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  23. Heather
    June 5 at 07:57PM

    I’d like to read your book about blogging but don’t have a kindle. Any other way to get it? Can it be downloaded to my laptop or purchased as a hardcopy, by any chance?

    • Ruth Soukup
      June 6 at 08:14AM

      You can download the free Kindle reading app for any computer, tablet, or smart phone. However, the second edition of the book will be coming out in a paperback version next month! 🙂

  24. Thats amazing, Let me tell you… there is nothing else that works like our system! In fact, Get Paid Taking Pictures has already been rated one of the Best Work at Home Opportunities of 2014.

  25. August 14 at 02:18PM

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  27. May 27 at 02:23AM

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  28. June 30 at 06:15PM

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  29. Matthew Corgan
    August 18 at 04:51PM

    One site that people have success with making money from surveys is The results vary from person to person but people do make money off completing surveys.

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