Daily Blog: One Musician's Quest to Make A Living
Making extra money online. No promises of millions on this blog. Just consistent streams of extra income to help make the ends meet. I am a professional musician and a grad student who started making extra money online when I became injured and couldn't work. All companies on blog are tested. If there is a company that is a scam or has hurt you in anyway, please let me know about it. I will investigate and give a full report on this blog.
Making An Extra Income Online...Can It Be Done? Yes!
Did you know that there are numerous, legitimate ways to make extra money round-the-clock without taking time away from practicing, playing gigs, or teaching music? Do you need something, ANYTHING, to add some extra cash while you're in between gigs and/or students? I started trying to find ways to make income online as a result of a performance related injury which has left me unable to perform as a full time concert pianist. I have been recovering for close to two years now. In the interim, I'm making this page in hopes that I will be able to help other musicians (college bound and non-, on the mend or not), We have to find a backup for income in the event of injury, layoff, and of course, this economy. I was losing income because I couldn't play and I was tired of struggling every single week, wondering when my next student was going to end their piano lessons. My remedy? Usually, I'd end up drowning my miseries by surfing the net until the wee hours of the morning. Finally, the revelation hit me. If I'm on the net so much, why not get paid while I'm there? Hence the topic of this lense. Basically, I'm doing an experiment to see how much extra income I could possibly generate from signing up to as many gpt/ptc/ptr (get-paid-to, paid-to-click, and paid-to-read) sites that I can at one time. Little by little, I feel like I'm digging myself out of this black hole. My hope is that something on this page will help your situation, too. Please, please if anyone out there has had a bad experience from a company...Tell me about it. I will be more than happy to investigate and post a full report on this blog site. I'm trying my best to weed out the good from the bad and I appreciate your help.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Have a blessed evening!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Some Details On Sites That Have Paid Me
This company is not a ptc, gpt, or a ptr. It is a research company which pays you for studies which you qualify for. I have been paid by this company once, and I was not even called in with the final selection group. All I did was show up. Myself, along with the other two people there, were paid $85 with a check. Awesome!
The receptionist explained that they always wait to make sure that everyone arrives however, they don't always choose you to participate. If you do participate in the study, you are paid (in this case $85 for tonight's group), and then you wait 6 months before you can be a part of another focus group. Even though the three of us did not get called back to take part in the study, they still paid all three of us $85 just for showing up at our appointed time. I didn't believe it until they handed us our checks. To make things even better, I don't have to wait 6 months to get paid like the others. She said that we were eligible right now, if called, to take part in whatever study we qualified for. All I can say is "this company ROCKS!"
You can apply online at the above link. I'm not sure if they only do in-person focus groups or not however, it would not hurt to contact them to find out. This made my week!
Their website states that, "20/20 Research provides qualitative research support services, including Focus Group facilities (in Nashville, Charlotte and Miami), a full-service online division (featuring Qualboard, the industry-leading discussion board software), nationwide recruiting and project management. The amount will vary depending on the type of study, location, duration, etc., but most studies pay from $60-$100, up to $200 for mock jury trials and up to $300 for professional or business studies."
I joined this site on 01/12/09 and immediately upgraded to Lifetime Gold for $12. On 2/12/09 I requested my first payment for $18.44, and received it in less than 24 hours.
Have any books collecting dust in your house? Your books may be actually money collecting dust! By just simply typing in the ISBN number of a book they will give you a quote for what they can pay you. Once you decide you want to accept their offer, you simply print out a pre-paid shipping label online, pack the book (s) according to their instructions, and mail it off. Once they receive your book (s) they send you a confirmation e-mail letting you know the status of your payment. They will either mail you a check or send you money via paypal. By choosing paypal, you get more money fast and also receive 3% more on your book. When I first tried this site, I was skeptical. Sending something of value to a stranger in hopes of receiving cash is kinda risky in my book. Therefore, I 'tested' this site by sending one of my lower quoted books first. From my state it took about 1 1/2 weeks to get to them using regular USPS ground mail. I called them to check on the package and payment, etc. and they immediately picked up the phone. They also returned all of my phone calls within 24 hours. This is a very friendly site. They buy a wide variety of books, but specialize in recently published textbooks, non-fiction, business and professional/technical books. What they purchase can change day by day or week by week depending on their resale values, their current inventory, demand, and other factors. They maintain a list however, which shows the most recent 500 books that they've purchased. You might like to think about using the "buddy system" where one person stays at the computer and types in ISBN numbers while the other person goes out and scouts. If not the buddy system, and you are doing the solo thing--they have a mobile phone link that you can use, which is for pricing books when you are out and about in thrift stores,etc. As before, you just type in the ISBN of the book, and it will immediately tell you how much it's worth. I panned out very well with 2 books I bought off the clearance rack from a local well-known chain. They cost me $1 each. When I sold these back to cash4books.net, I was paid $40+! I have sold at least 10-12 books to this company with no problem whatsoever. This company also lets you send a link to you friends that, if they sell something to cash4books.net, you make $5 per person. Please note that this company is accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and also Paypal Verified. Payments I've received so far: $4.38, $32.45, $28.78, $4.50, $6.84, $12.49, and $1.27.
In a nutshell, Cash4Offers is the place where you can make money online for reading paid email, signing up for online surveys and offers. Your actions are valuable to the sites you find on the web. Cash4Offers lets you capture that value by paying you each time you read emails, take paid surveys and offers from these sites. Cash4Offers is free to join. Advertisers are welcome
I receive my first payment on 02/17/09 via paypal. To be honest, I had forgotten about the request for my payment. However, obviously, they didn't. In fact, they paid right according to schedule (please see below for first payment explanation).*
Word to the wise: You will not get credit for filling out to test a trial period offer, only to immediately cancel.
*To avoid any confusion/frustration this site clearly says under the FAQ section:
"...This means that your first payment will be processed 15 days from the end of the month in which you requested payment. This waiting period is necessary in order to prevent fraud. Any subsequent member payments requests are processed within three (3) business days.
Clear Voice Surveys is an easy way to earn cash and rewards just by voicing your opinions. Companies need your help to improve their products and services, and in return you get paid for answering their surveys. Simple as that. Clear Voice Surveys is different than other survey sites for the following reason: Other survey sites only pay you for surveys you qualify for and complete. This site pays you for each survey you participate in. Rewards earned can be taken as cash and their partner Payoneer will mail you a prepaid debit card or use your cash to buy gift certificates at Amazon or even exchange them for gift certificates to your favorite restaurants. On 2/25/09 I received my pre-loaded Mastercard debit in the mail. The card worked without any problem.
A worldwide ptc site with minimum payout of $2.49. They also offer weekly payouts and random contests. You can also advertise here. I received my very first payment on 042909.
I joined this site in December 2008, and on 020509 I received my first check ($9.41) in the mail. Good going Clixsense!
This site has been around for quite a while. Each ad on this site earns you $.01. If you wish to get anywhere fast with this website, I suggest that you immediately upgrade your account to Premium (cost $10 per year). Immediately, after I upgraded to Premium, I had 594 ads to view. No, that is not a typo. As you can see, I basically earned my upgrade cost back almost immediately. Clixsense offers incentives for each referral that you send their way. Also, you are paid automatically by check, which is mailed out on or before the 10th of each month for earnings of the prior month provided that your account balance has reached the minimum payout level of $10*. Great rates for advertising on this site, also.
Per their website, "Free members (Non-Premium members) will receive $0.01 for each referral and will receive $2.00 if their direct referral upgrades to a Premium account. You will also receive 10% of revenues generated from your referrals' ad purchases. Premium Members are paid affiliate commissions 5 levels deep! PREMIUM MEMBERS – You are instantly paid $0.10 for each new referral. When one of your direct referrals upgrades their account to a Premium membership, you are instantly paid $2.00 for that member's upgrade. When that member refers a new member who upgrades to premium you are instantly paid a $1.00 override commission. You just got paid for doing NOTHING! Even better, that same scenario pays FIVE LEVELS DEEP! And now, level five referrals pay as much as your direct referrals: $2.00!!"
*They do charge a small $3 fee to process the check, but for me, that's no big deal. On average, I have been able to successfully find, at the minimum, 13-17 ads each day. The trick with this site is to check back often, as they constantly keep adding new advertisements throughout the day.
I received my very first commission check from Eye Earn on 042009. It wasn't as much as I had hoped for however, my point in testing this company in the first place was to see if they were a scam or not. Fortunately, I can verify for you that they are not a scam. This is a big relief because I put alot of time into getting set up, etc. with this company. Thank goodness I don't have to list them under "Scam Busters". Now I will work a little bit harder in promoting and see how much I fare in the coming months.
I joined this affiliate program on 021209. I had seen their logo and advertisements around so much, that I was curious. I just figured, what the heck. Anyway, I signed up, ordered the start up kit, took a picture of myself with my car (1 bumper sticker and back window decal in place), uploaded the form plus the picture to SFI (the main company) and waited for my check. That was it.
According to their website, SFI (Strong Future International) Marketing Group was launched in 1998. Starting with just one product, sold only in the United States, SFI has now grown to more than 6,000 products and services sold in more than 190 countries around the world." Also, "SFI is now in its 11th year, with millions of dollars in annual sales and millions paid in commissions to thousands of affiliates around the world. SFI's parent company, Carson Services, Inc., is in its 24th year of business. It's a longtime member of the Better Business Bureau and is registed with Dunn and Bradstreet. SFI affiliates operate with the peace of mind brought about by assiciating with a proven, debt-free organization with a long, successful history." The following are all part of SFI: EyeEarn, TripleClicks, and MaxMalls.com.
I am in the process of testing each component of their business. Currently, I am under the EyeEarn component only. Yes, I will be fair and give my 100% on each component of SFI. Otherwise, my review could never be completely accurate.
LightSpeed Consumer Panel
Lightspeed Research is one of the world's leading online market research companies. They collect information about people's preferences for products, services, and marketing programs (such as TV advertisements). As a member, you are part of a group of people who have agreed to participate in market research studies. You receive Lightspeed Points for completing most surveys. Then, your points can be redeemed right on their site for cash, online gift certificates, music downloads, and hundreds of other prizes. Or, you can just allow your points to build up for bigger prizes. Personally, I always, always use the cash option.
This site has been online since 2002 and have an incredible track record. Advertising packages are also offered. I have been paid several times from this site without any problems. They are very dependable and their admin is always on top of their game.
This site has to be one of my favorites. You earn points for taking surveys and for referring other people. Your points can be redeemed for cash, prizes or charity donations with just a few simple clicks. One member wins 10,000 points every day! Automatic entry into the Daily Give Away each time you log in or take a survey at the site. I have also been paid by this site many, many times. I enjoy their surveys because they are both interesting and just the right length.
If you asked me which site on this page makes me the most extra income it would be this one. As of 072909, I am averaging about $5 per day. Neobux has the bragging rights for being the largest and fastest ptc site on the web. They have over 3 MILLION members. I joined this site on 10/15/08 and have received over 50 payments so far. They always pay on time, have many click pack options and levels to choose from, and their support is very efficient. Neobux is also an excellent spot to advertise your website or blog. Obviously, this site is worldwide and not confined to the USA.
Pinecone Research is at the forefront of "online research", today's sophisticated and leading-edge approach to gathering consumer opinions Consumer input is vital to the development of new and improved products. Joining a new products panel like Pinecone Research lets you voice the opinion of households that are similar to yours. you directly influence which products get developed and help ensure that these products meet consumer demands. Your opinion will have an impact on everything from product performance to style, varieties, features, pricing, etc. Generally, they will send you an e-mail 2-3 times a month. Also, sometimes this company sends you products in the mail to test. They pay $3 per completed survey. I have never had a problem getting paid with this company.
There is no minimum amount for cashout on this site. Quickrewards pays immediately through PayPal. There are numerous ways to generate money on this site. You get paid to read e-mails, sign-up for offers, watch videos, print coupons and once redeemed you make cash back, daily surveys, etc. They also enable you to shop at hundreds of online vendors and get cash back from your purchase. I tested this out myself. I went on ebay by first going through the link on the QuickRewards website. It took maybe about a week. Sure enough, I did generate some cash back for what I purchased. They have most of the vendors out there that as online shopper's we already use anyway. In this economy, anything extra will help, and I appreciate this feature about Quickrewards. I also appreciate that you never have to worry about there being enough clicks (if this is all you want to use the site for). If you just go to the site and check it out, you will see what I mean. Extra money I've made from this site has helped me many, many times when I needed it. Great, dependable, and trustworthy site.
This site is alot like QuickRewards however, the big difference is that you have to build up to thirty dollars before you can cash out. Personally, I don't mind that so much because I see it as putting cash in a small nest egg that I shouldn't touch, anyway. Also, they charge a $3 fee to process your check. I have been paid twice through this site. They pay by check. Payments so far: $27.01, $27.77, and $36.82.
This is another ptc site that has been online for quite some time. In regards to payment schedule, according to their TOS:"Your payment will be processed and issued within 14 business days. Usually in less than 24 hours. You can only request one payment at the time." However, it has been my experience that I always receive my payment the same day. I enjoy this site very much, almost as much as Neobux.
This auction site is verified by the BBB (Better Business Bureau), and is only a very small part of SFI (Strong Future International) Marketing Group was launched in 1998. Starting with just one product, sold only in the United States, SFI has now grown to more than 6,000 products and services sold in more than 190 countries around the world." Also, "SFI is now in its 11th year, with millions of dollars in annual sales and millions paid in commissions to thousands of affiliates around the world. SFI's parent company, Carson Services, Inc., is in its 24th year of business. It's a longtime member of the Better Business Bureau and is registed with Dunn and Bradstreet. SFI affiliates operate with the peace of mind brought about by assiciating with a proven, debt-free organization with a long, successful history." The following are all part of SFI: EyeEarn, TripleClicks, and MaxMalls.com. Also, TripleClicks donates a portion of every sale to the international charity CARE. This is a great, exciting spot to list anything that you'd like to sell online. If you're tired of Ebay and/or need another place to list items you have for sale, it definitely would not hurt to try this place. I'm selling my things as I type this to you. One thing I know for sure: It is much, much cheaper to list items on this auction site than on Ebay.
Minimum payment for this site is $10. On the request screen it gives you two choices. If you request instant payment, they charge a 5% fee. However, if you request a manual payment, there will be no fee and you will be paid within 30 days. I received my first payment from Wordlinx on 03/09/09. Advertisers welcome: Yes.
YouData is a new program that pays you to view ads, and visit websites. It's not like a regular paid-to-read or paid-to-view ad website. Right now it is only set up for USA citizens. You can view advertisements either by visiting their website, or downloading an application. I made $2.75 in under a few minutes. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself! I joined on 042909 and was paid automatically on 050209.
This is a survey site that sends more than enough surveys to keep you busy. I received my first payment from them on 042509. The surveys are never very long and they are not difficult to qualify for.
Sites Currently Being Tested
American Consumer Opinion
I am almost at cashout level for this research company. American Consumer Opinion is a worldwide
network of people who help shape the future through participating in online opinion surveys. There is
no fee to be a member of American Consumer Opinion Online. And once you've joined, you'll be
eligible for monthly drawings and survey participant incentives. You will never be asked to buy anything from them or from companies who sponsor surveys.
American Consumer Opinion does not post open surveys on their website. Panel members who are invited to complete a survey are sent an email from Anne Parks that contains the web address of the survey they are invited to complete. They use the information from the registration page (such as age, gender, geographic location, type of employment, and more) to match against the criteria for each survey on a case-by-case basis. You can win money in monthly drawings for just being a member, when you fill out a screener (a short questionnaire), and earn money each time you fill out a survey (a longer questionnaire).
Seanybob, the founder and owner of AdverBux says: "I (Seanybob) have been a coder at heart for several years now. I was looking for a challenge, and found the PTC/GPT industry. This entire industry has been overwashed by scandalous website owners, immoral hackers, and just greedy cheaters. Big sites, such as Paypal and Google have completely disowned the PTC/GPT industry due to all the issues they have had. I have come to bring a revolution to this industry, and show PTC/GPT admins that they can honorably run their sites and benefit much more in the long run. I've been blessed in that I do not need to milk this site for money. I have other, real life jobs that more than take care of my rent and other costs. I'm able to help other people make money on this site and set an example for other PTC/GPT site owners." Advertisers: Yes
How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet by David Nevue
The Neatest Little Guide to Making Money Online by J. Kelly
After reading this book, I immediately began to put the information to use. This little book got me so inspired, that I have already started putting together my very first website. To some, this may not be that big of a deal, but to me it has been a long overdue goal of mine. This book is only 187 pages in length however, it is packed with so much information! It takes you from start to finish in developing your website. It goes all the way to the point of selecting your computer system, domain name, affiliate networks, advice on website design, various avenues to get your site found on google, yahoo,etc. There are plenty of websites and freebies the book mentions to help assist you in creating your own space on the web. The main point that this book keeps reminding readers is that your main focus should be a well designed website filled with good content. The author cautions against overdoing search optimization and/or paying the large sums of money to the company with the best-sounding sales pitch, who tries to promise you a guaranteed #1 spot on a google search. For me, this book made the process of beginning a website not seem so scary. After reading this book, it should be clear that you do not have to be a html genius or computer programmer to create a very impressive site. I will keep you posted as my site is nearing the LIVE stage. I give this book 4 1/2 stars!
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