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 13 legit ways to get paid to surf the web!
Swagbucks is a popular site where you can earn points called SB for performing basic tasks like playing games, taking surveys, or watching videos. Your SB can be redeemed for gift cards from Amazon and Starbucks or cash via PayPal (in $5 increments). In addition to earning money by doing simple tasks, you can also earn by using Swagbucks as your primary 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.
Microsoft users can register their accounts to earn points for surfing the web simply by signing in. Users can also earn points for buying Windows and Microsoft products and using their preferred search engine, Bing. Microsoft rewards points can be redeemed for gift cards for movies, apps, games, and retail stores. Depending on your level of use, you can earn points for completing 10-50 searches per day. Earn 5,000 points, and you can redeem them for a gift card worth about $5. So, while you won’t earn a huge amount off Microsoft Rewards, you certainly earn a little money for something you’d probably be doing anyway.
Nielson has been performing market research to analyze the preferences of television viewers for years. Nowadays, with Nielson Digital Voice, you can share your opinions by downloading their app to your phone, computer, or tablet. Watching videos, playing games, and posting on social media is counted as demographic research, so you can earn points for nearly everything you do online. The points can be redeemed for sweepstakes entries into $10,000 monthly giveaways, plus several chances to win $1,000 every month. You may also be invited to take other surveys for chances to win even more sweepstakes entries and prizes.
InboxDollars is a digital platform that pays you to watch videos, play games, take surveys, read emails, 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 $30 before you can cash out, but new users get a $5 bonus just for signing up!
Qmee runs in conjunction with search engines like Google or Safari. When you search for sites, Qmee shows relevant results in a sidebar on your screen. If you click on those results, you’ll earn points to be traded in for cash or gift cards. You can receive additional points for more engagement with brands, taking surveys, and you can also receive money-saving offers. Payouts are available through PayPal, or you can exchange points for gift cards (and there’s no minimum point requirement).
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 here.
If you’re internet-savvy and familiar with research, you can make an hourly rate to perform searches and tasks to help improve the quality of Internet search engine results. This position offers independent contractors a chance to conduct Internet research and provide evaluations for companies on how well they’re meeting the needs of customers and their performance results. To be a search engine evaluator, 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. According to Glassdoor, the average search engine evaluator earns $15 per hour.
Appen is also a web search evaluation company. 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 are an initial screening process and qualification exam. Appen contributors can expect an average workload of four hours a day, plus there are bilingual work opportunities. According to Glassdoor, Appen pays between $12.90-$13.72 per hour.
User-testers 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 on 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.
10. 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 will 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 of User Interviews here.
11. Ask Wonder
If you’re good at Internet research and you enjoy learning about a variety of subjects, 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.
Clickworkers perform short tasks like creating texts and documents, proofreading and make 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.
13. 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.
Final Words About Making Money Surfing the Web
Working online, performing Internet research, and surfing the web can be a great way to earn extra money from home, especially if you’re looking for work that’s fun and offers a flexible schedule. While 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.
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 July 2021.