3 Legitimate Money Making Methods to Supplement Your Income

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In a perfect world, when your landlord raises your rent your boss should raise your salary. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and you’re on your own to make up the difference.

Sometimes all you need is an extra hundred bucks at the end of the month. Short of asking for a raise, the best way to put some extra cash in your pocket is to generate side income from home, and here are three legitimate ways you can do it.

1. Participate in focus groups

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their products and provide a better user experience. They also want to know who is interested in their products so they can improve their marketing efforts and generate more sales. This is where you come in.

Market research companies conduct what they call focus groups on behalf of a manufacturer or retail store. These focus groups are pre-selected people who come together to test a product and provide feedback. To be eligible for participation, you just need to meet their demographic requirements.

What to expect in a focus group

When you’re selected to participate in a focus group, the activities you’ll perform can include testing a product at home and documenting your experiences, or attending a live meeting where you’re given a product to test and evaluate on the spot.

Compensation for participation in focus groups is usually cash, but can also be a gift.

Find out if there are any focus groups in your local area, and sign up for the ones you find interesting. While some of the group sessions can be long, they pay significantly more than online surveys, so it’s a great way to make some extra cash on a Saturday afternoon.

2. Sign up for Ebates

Ebates is a company that rewards you with cash back for making purchases through their affiliate links from websites like Best Buy, Amazon, and Lowe’s.

Because Ebates is affiliated with over 1,500 online stores, you’re likely to discover some of your favorite online retailers as partners. This means you can get paid for purchases you’re already making.

Some cool features Ebates offers are:

  • You’ll receive $10 gift card as soon as you sign up and it will be mailed to you the moment you make a purchase of $25 or more.
  • Their payouts occur only four times per year, but this means bigger checks in the mail.
  • Before you make a purchase, the amount of cash back you’ll receive is absolutely clear.

A thorough review by SurveysSay.com walks you through the process of how it works, including what to expect when it comes to getting paid. They also openly discuss the pros and cons of Ebates so you can assess the benefits and limitations in detail before making the decision to join.

3. Take online paid surveys

To generate feedback about customer satisfaction and acquire insights about their target market, businesses often pay people for sharing their opinions in the form of a survey. This is where you can make some serious cash once you learn the ropes.

Depending on the company, you can earn anywhere from a few cents to twenty bucks per survey, but the average payout on higher paying sites seems to be about fifty cents. Most survey websites pay immediately through Paypal once you’ve reached the minimum balance.

According to SurveysSay.com, Opinion Outpost is well worth signing up for and has a quarterly cash giveaway of $10,000-providing you with one entry into the drawing for every survey you complete. They also allow you to make a charitable contribution with your points instead of cashing out.

When taking paid surveys, you can expect to spend an average of fifteen minutes per survey. Although some surveys can take longer to complete, the compensation is usually higher.

There are plenty of survey websites out there, and while most of them are legitimate, some are better than others. Check out this large list of survey websites to get started.

Get started today

Thousands of people have been able to make a decent supplemental income from these three quick cash methods. All it takes is an extra hour each day, or even just a few hours per week.

Just don’t get discouraged if you don’t qualify for every focus group or paid survey. Remember, businesses want feedback from a specific target market, so it only benefits them when you’re a match.

Bonus method:

Remember when everyone started blogging back in the early 2000’s? There were millions of blogs created every single month. The internet has evolved quite a bit since then, but blogs can still be a good source of income. Check out this guide on how to make money blogging.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, always revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance producer for USA Today, and a contributor at Technorati. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband. Melissa Thompson can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter @melthompson88. Please follow and friend her on either site.