A while back I wrote a piece on easy ways to make a little money using the Internet. Two people passed along tips in the comments and told us about Swagbucks. I checked it out some, but life took a few turns before I could get too involved.
Of course if you turn left enough times, you get back where you started, which was me trying to figure out how to afford my taste in perfume (Bulgari, currently). When I cleaned out my bookmarks, I came across the link for Swagbucks and decided to give it another shot.
After a few days of (somewhat) concentrated effort, I realized it was easy to rack up points (“Swagbucks”). Plenty of surveys, sure, but many other easy enough activities. It gets a little boring in spots, but is there any way to make money that isn’t boring at some time?
So how do you earn points? There are a number of ways: surveys, shopping, watching video clips, playing games, searching the Internet, and special offers.
- There are two separate areas to take surveys – the Swagbucks portal and the Peanut Labs portal – and you can sign up to have surveys sent to your email. On-site survey points post immediately to your account; email surveys take a few days.
- Shopping at certain online retailers nets you Swagbucks for every dollar you spend. You have to go through the shopping portal and make sure what you want is covered by the deal (Amazon, for instance, allows only a few categories to earn points). Points post to your account four to six weeks after purchase.
- There are currently two ways to earn watching video clips: a main area with several different categories of clips and special offers that include a list of video clips (along with web pages to peruse). The main area lets you earn up to 150 Swagbucks per day. The special offers give you more bucks for your bang (more points for less time), but usually tops off at around 30 or 40 points a day.
- The games area gives you more than three dozen games from which to choose. Free play doesn’t net a huge amount of points – two for every two games (there is a cap, but I can’t remember what it is or find the info) – but if you’re a fan of flash games, it’s a deal. There are also tournaments, which give you the chance to earn more.
- Searching can be done using the site portal or toolbar. You don’t get points every time (somewhere between six and 10 searches is my best estimate), and when you do it’s usually between five and 15 points.
- Specials offers run along the line of signing up for newsletters or services or shopping at certain websites. Points range from one or two up to 1,000 or more.
The biggest boost to earning points is making sure to hit the daily goal consistently. Not only do you get bonus points (10% of the goal), but if you make the goal every day, you get additional bonus points (300 extra points if you hit the goal every day for the month). Points are awarded all together, usually within the first five days of the new month. Most of the points you earn count toward the daily goal – surveys, games, special offers and video clips all count. The email surveys count as well, just not on the day you take the survey.
So have I piqued your interest? Thinking about signing up? Do I have a deal for you! When I contacted Swagbucks to get an official image to use, the person I talked to graciously offered a sign-up code. When you sign up, look for the text “I have a sign up code.” Click it and enter 4PMagReaders (exactly like that) and you’ll get an additional 70 Swagbucks to add to the 30 you get for completing your profile. The code is only good through the end of the month, so don’t put it off too long.