1. Launch a Blog
"If you have something interesting to say, grow your readership, post ads and earn some dough," says Rachel. Start your blog at a free site (go to or ), then go to or the affiliate program at to feature advertising on your site. With AdSense, you make a little bit every time someone clicks on one of the ads hosted on your site. With Amazon's program, you earn a small commission when someone clicks through on an ad and makes a purchase at Amazon. The income will start small, but if you build your following, your cash flow will increase. Rachel typically makes several hundred dollars per month from ads or affiliate links on her blog.
2. Give Your Opinion
At , or , you can sign up to take surveys about products and services and get paid for it. Sites typically pay $2 to $5 per completed survey and will send you a check or deposit to your PayPal account, or gift cards or merchandise once you reach $20 in your survey account. (Scam Alert! There are lots of survey sites out there, but not all are trustworthy. Avoid participating in anything that charges a fee up front to participate. "I try to take three or four surveys each week while the kids are watching TV, and that brings in $20 to $30 per month," says Rachel.)
3. Search the Internet
Rachel loves to scour the Web, and one of her favorite things to do is use as her search engine instead of, say, Google or Yahoo. By doing this, she earns Swag Bucks points—called "SB s" on the website—redeemable for merchandise like Target gift cards and beauty products. (Maximize the number of points you earn by installing the Swag Bucks toolbar on your computer.) You can also earn more Swag Bucks points by taking the site's daily poll and by participating in the company's "trusted surveys." But be warned, it could take awhile to accumulate SB s. A $300 Apple gift card, for example, costs 37,000 SB . If you don't want prizes, you can trade your Swag Bucks points for PayPal deposits into your account.
4. Do Online Tasks
Have a few extra minutes with nothing to do? Companies like Amazon.com's will pay you to complete little tasks that they need done, such as searching the Web for certain products or answering questions and giving opinions. There's usually a time limit of anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, and pay ranges from a few cents to a few dollars. This may not sound like a lot, but do enough tasks and you've earned yourself some extra spending money.