Can You Recognize a Pyramid Scheme Scam?

Pyramid schemes often look like good moneymakers at first glance, but you’re much more likely to lose money if you participate in one. Before you can avoid pyramid schemes, you need to understand what they are and how they work.
Pyramid schemes are a hierarchical moneymaking system where people at the top of the pyramid recruit underlings to do all of the hard work while the money funnels upward to those at the top. The people at the top can become wealthy, but those under them rarely make money at all. Continue reading Can You Recognize a Pyramid Scheme Scam?

What Is Passive Income?

Passive income is money you make without putting in time or effort to maintain the flow of cash.

Generally, you have to put in time or money to set up the source of your passive income, but once the setup phase is over, the money rolls in without extra effort on your part. Another common name for passive income is residual income.
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7 Reasons Why You’re Failing at Your Moneymaking Gigs

Thousands of people make extra cash with side hustles and part-time gigs every month, but thousands more fail miserably at the attempt. If you feel like you’re putting effort into moneymaking gigs but getting nothing in return, maybe there’s a reason you’re failing.

Here are 7 reasons why you aren’t succeeding at making extra cash:

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What is Crowdsourcing and How Can You Find Crowdsourced Work?

blogging pic Crowdsourcing is when a company uses a large pool of workers to complete simple tasks quickly and efficiently. Usually, these tasks require a human to complete them because a computer cannot handle them. The tasks tend to be repetitive and there are often too many individual task items for a single person or small in-house team at the company to handle.

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Making Money from Amazon MTurk: Tips and Tricks for Mechanical Turk

Photo by @Saigon on Flickr
Photo by @Saigon on Flickr
When it comes to commerce, Amazon is one of the biggest players around- but if you’re looking to make extra cash, Amazon also offers plenty of opportunities. MTurk is Amazon’s gig marketplace, which means they work with other companies to provide small gigs for workers to complete for money.
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Five of The Best Survey Money Making Sites

Following up on our last post about completing surveys for money– If you’re interested in paid surveys, here are five of the best survey money making sites to get you started.

1- Harris Polls

Earn points that you can trade in for gift cards and prizes. You also get a sweepstakes entry for each survey you complete. (The sweepstakes prize is cash) Gift card options include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Groupon, Chilis, Applebees, Starbucks, and others. The surveys are in-depth but fun- as an example, you might need to read an ad about an upcoming product or service and answer questions about whether you’d buy it and what you think of the ad. Harris Poll Online typically sends 3-4 survey invites a month.

2- Survey Savvy

Earn points, which you turn in for cash paid directly into your Paypal account or for gift cards and prizes. Survey Savvy also has a sweepstakes component, giving you another way to score some extra cash. The surveys are easy to fill out, but there isn’t always one available. This is a good one to have in your stable of survey opps, but don’t rely on it for regular income.

3- Opinion Outpost

This paid survey company will inundate your inbox with survey offers, which makes it easy to cash out quickly as long as you grab the surveys as soon as they appear. Surveys fill up fast, so if you notice an offer dated a few hours ago, you probably don’t want to waste time because it’s likely to be over already. Check every few hours or once a day and complete the most recent survey offers to build up your points and get a Paypal payout or reward as soon as possible.

4- Paid Viewpoint

This survey company pays cash via Paypal. The amount you’ve earned is displayed on the site and you can cash out after you’ve made $15- so it’s easy to keep track. You’ll get notified about new surveys via email. Paid Viewpoint has a “Trait System” that tracks your reliability (consistently reporting the same demographic information, for example) and the higher your trait score, the more you can make.

Cash Crate

Cash Crate features surveys as well as other offers- such as accepting free product samples or watching videos- in exchange for cash. You get the money via Paypal and there is a $20 payout threshold. Lots of surveys are listed on the site itself- so you can get started right away without having to wait for an email alert.

Can You Really Make Money Filling Out Surveys?

You’ve probably seen the email pitches or ads, but are all those “Come make cash filling out surveys” come-ons worth real money? Well, the answer is a qualified yes. Money making surveys definitely are not a scam- marketing departments and agencies use them to get quick data about how real people feel about products and services so they can improve their ads or alter their products in ways that would make more people buy them.

If you’re looking to supplement your income with a little extra cash, then yes, they are worth it. They aren’t likely to become your primary income stream, but you can definitely make enough for an occasional splurge or some stress relief at bill-paying time.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Completing Surveys for Money

One of the big benefits of using surveys as a moneymaker is that you can do it just about anywhere- including while you’re doing something else like watching TV or listening to the radio. The extra infusion of cash into your bank account – and your ability to control how much extra cash you want to make- is another substantial benefit. One disadvantage is that the time you spend doing surveys could possibly be put to better use on more lucrative money-making ventures, especially if you have an in-demand skill that you could convert into a paying gig. Online survey work can also be frustrating at times because you sometimes don’t qualify for surveys you want to take, and finding surveys that interest you could take time if you’re picky. Some survey sites don’t offer cash, but instead offer gift certificates or points you save up to trade in for cash, sweepstakes entries, gift certificates, or specific products. If you plan to spend your money on these things anyway or would be likely to use the gift certificate, these can help you buy the things you need so you can spend your actual cash on other stuff.


How Survey Companies Work

Once you sign up for a survey company, they’ll send you emails when they have available surveys. You can also check the company website for current surveys. You can only take surveys you are qualified for (in the right demographics for), so fill out your profile on each site as completely as you can to qualify for the maximum number of survey opportunities. On the site or in the email you’ll see time estimates and the pay rate for each survey. Once you get good at them, you’ll likely be able to complete surveys much more quickly than the typical 5 to 30 minutes estimated time they suggest.

Tips for Making Money with Surveys

Sign up for a bunch of survey companies, not just one or two. Different companies offer different surveys and some have limits as to how many you can do a day. Maximize your time by completing the maximum on one site, then switching to another site to continue earning without excess downtime. I’d recommend signing up for at least 10 survey sites if you want regular work. with 15-20 sites in your paid survey portfolio, you’ll likely have a regular stream of surveys available and won’t have to worry about unexpected dry spells.


Use a separate email address for your survey emails. Otherwise, they’ll get overwhelming. If you set up a separate account using a free email service such as Gmail or Yahoo mail, you can just dip into that email stream whenever you feel like filling out surveys and earning some extra cash. The rest of the time, you can ignore that email account- and because those emails are separate, you don’t have to worry about important emails getting lost in the flood of survey company ones.

Watch out for scams. Fortunately, scams are usually easy to spot because they ask for upfront money to access the paid surveys. Honestly, it’s easy to find surveys that cost you nothing to access and complete- so paying to make money is a complete waste of both money and time. Follow my general rule for avoiding scams and you’ll be fine: The money always flows TO the worker. (So- if you find money flowing away from you to do ANY kind of gig, then it’s not a real gig)

Summing Up Surveys

Basically, surveys are an easy way to make money while watching TV, but they aren’t a big enough moneymaker to live on full time. Like all gigs, the amount you can earn is dependent on how much you put into it- although you can easily set up a fairly efficient system to keep a steady flow of survey offers coming into your email inbox without exerting too much effort on a day to day basis.


Seven Hobbies You Can Turn Into Gigs

The easiest gig to start is one you are already doing. If you’ve got a hobby, you’re way ahead of the game. Most spare-time activities can be turned into gigs, although it might take some creative thinking to figure out how. To get you started, here are a few specific hobbies that others have successfully used to generate extra cash.
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Gigs Are the New Work Lifestyle

In the modern world a 9 to 5 job just doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact you might have noticed that two or three 9-to-5 jobs aren’t enough to get by nowadays, especially if you have a family to support, debt to pay off, or a hope of someday retiring. That’s where gigs come in.

Gigs are little things you do to make extra cash between paychecks or sometimes instead of paychecks. Traditionally, the term came from music gigs, a one-time booking a band got to play for a crowd, but it’s expanded into being any kind of part-time, temp, or one-off work outside of a traditional job. A gig can be as simple as a hobby that you’ve turned into a money maker, or it can be an elaborate second career that you do in your off hours. Some people turn their gig into a full time pursuit, while others pursue multiple side gigs simultaneously. You might opt to work your gig for a few hours each month, or a few hours everyday. Simply put, a gig is what you make it.

So if a gig is a side venture you do during your down time, what exactly is a sweetgig lifestyle? Ideally, a sweetgig lifestyle is a way to maximize your potential for making money without having to rely on your employer for your entire existence. You don’t have to quit your job to have gigs, although it’s perfectly fine if you choose to go that route. The real point of having a side gig or two is that you know you’ll be OK if a sudden loss of income or unexpected expense throws your budget for a loop. That’s not the only benefit of course. You’ll also gain confidence and a healthy sense of accomplishment as you turn your skills and hobbies into gigs does that help you lead the kind of life you’ve always wanted to.