How would you like to get paid to surf the web?
Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, surprisingly, there are quite a few companies that will pay you for doing this sort of work online!
These work-at-home opportunities range from beginner (payouts in gift cards and sweepstake entries) to intermediate and part-time gigs. Some jobs require only basic web skills, and others require more in-depth experience, analytical skills, and tech-savviness.
Most of us spend a lot of time on the computer: reading, checking email, and sharing pics on social media; you may as well make money while you’re doing it.
Here are 15 legit ways to get paid to surf the web during your spare time!
Swagbucks is a popular site where you can earn points called SB for performing basic tasks like playing games, taking surveys, and shopping online. Your SB can be redeemed for gift cards from Amazon and Starbucks or cash via your PayPal account.
In addition to earning money by doing simple tasks, you can also earn SB by using Swagbucks as your default search engine. Every time you search using the Swagbucks search bar, you earn more SB. Users report they can earn between $50-$100 a month, but some users earn even more. New users will also receive a $5 sign-up bonus when they join and earn 2,500 SB within their first 60 days.
2. Microsoft Rewards
With Microsoft Rewards, users can earn points for surfing the web, shopping online, and taking quizzes. To earn points for surfing the web, sign into your account on any device and use the Bing search engine. Depending on your browsing activity and level, you can earn up to 600 points a month, which can be traded for gift cards or donated to charity.
According to their website, it takes 5,000 points to redeem a $5 gift card. While you won’t earn very much from Microsoft Rewards, you certainly can earn a little money for something you’d probably be doing anyway.
3. Nielson Computer & Mobile Panel
Nielson has been performing market research to analyze the preferences of TV viewers for years. Nowadays, with Nielson Computer & Mobile Panel, you can share your opinions by downloading their app to your phone, computer, or tablet. Watching videos, playing games, and posting on social media are counted as demographic research, so you can earn points for nearly everything you do online.
The points can be redeemed for sweepstakes entries into the $10,000 monthly giveaway, instant win game tokens, and gift cards from retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Google Play, PayPal, and more. Again, you’re not going to get rich using their app or software, but on average, users will earn $60 a year.
InboxDollars is a digital platform that pays you to read emails, play games, take surveys, shop online, and surf the web. Instead of using Google, Yahoo, or Bing as your search engine, use InboxDollars as your search engine, and you’ll earn money for your qualified searches. With InboxDollars, you’ll need to earn $15 before you can cash out, but new users get a $5 bonus just for signing up! Dollar amounts earned on InboxDone can be traded in for gift cards from American Express, PayPal, eBay, Home Depot, and more.
Qmee is a market research company that rewards users for taking surveys, shopping online, playing games, and surfing the web! All you have to do is sign up for an account and download the app to your desktop browser. They also have mobile apps for both Android and Apple devices. Payouts are available through PayPal, Venmo, and gift cards, and there’s no minimum point requirement.
6. Survey Junkie
With Survey Junkie, you can earn points for taking surveys, participating in focus groups, and sharing your digital browsing behavior — AKA surfing the web! When you choose to share your browsing behavior through Survey Junkie Pulse, you’ll install an extension on your computer or mobile app that tracks your web searches and shopping activity. Your account must reach 500 points ($5) before you can cash out via PayPal or purchase gift cards from major retailers. Be sure to check out our full Survey Junkie review.
7. TELUS International
TELUS International hires individuals from around the globe to evaluate the accuracy and relevancy of search engine results. This position offers independent contractors a chance to conduct Internet research and provide evaluations for companies like Google and Bing on how well they’re meeting the needs of customers and their performance results.
To be a search engine evaluator, also called an online data analyst, you must be 18 years of age or older and own a computer with high-speed internet and anti-virus software. Evaluators must complete a qualification exam before they start.
Appen is another company that hires web search evaluators. Contributors complete projects to gauge how well search engines and ads are performing. Appen also offers opportunities to become a social media evaluator. Contributors should have a computer that’s less than three years old, high-speed internet, and a strong understanding of technology, social media, and search engines. There is an initial screening process and a qualification exam. Appen contributors can expect an average workload of four hours a day, plus there are bilingual work opportunities.
Teemwork.ai is a crowdsourcing platform where freelancers can make money completing tasks like search engine evaluation, transcription, data collection, and translation work. To apply as a search engine evaluator, you must be able to work 10-25 hours per week and have a PC with a Windows operating system. Independent contractors will earn an hourly base pay plus bonuses for meeting productivity goals.
On UserTesting, users evaluate websites and give their opinions via a recording. Each test takes between 10-20 minutes, and user-testers earn $10 per video or task. One great thing about UserTesting is that you can set your own hours and complete them in your own timeframe. The number of opportunities varies based on factors like your demographics, skills, and quality rating. Payments go through PayPal within one week of completing tests.
11. User Interviews
User Interviews recruits individuals from the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, France, and the UK for focus group studies, paid surveys, and website testing gigs. With the website testing gigs, you’ll browse a specific website or app and answer questions about the platform’s usability. Some tests require you to record your answers or screen searches via webcam. Online user tests and surveys pay $20-$300 for 10 minutes to a few hours of your time. Be sure to read our full review here.
12. Ask Wonder
If you’re good at internet research, Ask Wonder might be a great opportunity for you. Active researchers can make up to $2,000 per month by answering questions with credible, researched answers and providing references. Questions are located on a central dashboard, and researchers can pick and choose which ones to answer. Researchers must have a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate that they can research a topic thoroughly and provide succinct, well-written answers.
Ask Wonder isn’t currently accepting new applicants; however, you can bookmark their site for future openings.
Clickworkers perform short tasks like creating texts and documents, proofreading and making corrections, taking surveys, and categorizing data. The work is research-driven, and you set your own schedule. These tasks can be done from a laptop or mobile phone, and your earning potential can grow based on the size and difficulty of the task. The average worker earns around $9 per hour. There’s an initial screening process, which includes an evaluation of language and writing skills.
14. Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands hires US-based independent contractors to perform one-off tasks like online research, data entry, and scheduling appointments. You must have good communication skills and have reliable internet and a computer. You’ll earn $3-$7 per task, and payments are distributed every other Tuesday. The nice thing about Fancy Hands is you can log in to work any hours you want.
15. Start Your Own Internet Research Business
If you’d like to make a full-time income from surfing the web, consider starting your own internet research business. There are many small business owners, including writers, editors, lawyers, marketers, SEO specialists, and more, who need skilled web researchers. For this option, you can choose to search for freelance research gigs on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Or, you can create a dream list of clients and pitch them with your service offerings.
Another way to make money surfing the web is by starting a virtual assistant business, where web research is just one of the services you offer. Again, you can pitch clients, or you can look for gigs on the sites mentioned above or sites like My BTLR or Great Assistant.
Final Words About Making Money Surfing the Web
Working online, doing internet research, and surfing the web can be a great way to earn extra money from home, especially if you need flexible scheduling. While most of these sites aren’t going to make you rich, they are good for adding extra money to your wallet. To make the most of these work-at-home gigs, be sure to sign up with multiple platforms, as opportunities tend to be sporadic.
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Have you earned money by surfing the web? Drop us a note below; we’d love to hear from you!
Originally published June 19, 2017. Content updated February 2023.