Making Money While Researching On the Web: Is It Worth It?

Writing Web content requires endless hours of mind numbing online searches. Night and day fly by as you sit glued to the Web winnowing through useless content and cheesy advertisements for facts on odd ball topics like painters in Patagonia and cheap cruises to the Caribbean. As a content writer for hire, you quickly discover many tricks for making your searching time more meaningful. One delightful way is to earn money each time you blast off using the search button. Discover the types of programs that legitimately will pay you to use their search engine, and determine if it’s worth it after all.

Sites Offering Rewards

Curious to know where you can find these sparkly sites that want to pay you to use their browsers? Get started by searching out these sites:

  • Swagbucks
  • Zoom Bucks
  • My Points
  • Scour
  • iRazoo
  • Blingo

How It Works

After you sign up with one of these reward programs, you have to download their preferred search bar or you will need to have access to the site’s home page in order to search via their system. Each time you click ‘search,’ you have the opportunity to earn a sweet reward in terms of points or prizes. For instance, some sites, such as Swagbucks and Scour, give you points that you rack up and trade in for prizes. Other sites including iRazoo and Blingo randomly award searches with lollipops that range from $5 gift cards to luxury cars.

How Much Can Be Made?

Here is my personal experience. In 2011 and 2012, I used Swagbucks exclusively for all my web research for writing content, and I produced over a thousand web based articles for various publications. For each search, I earned anywhere from zero to 100-odd points. Additionally, with Swagbucks you can earn a couple of points each day for answering a poll question that is submitted by fellow Swaggers. There are other ways to earn points, but for my personal research needs and so to save valuable time for writing, I stuck to these two methods for earning points. In 2011 and again this year, I have earned $100 each year in $5 Amazon gift cards using Swagbucks, which I used to fund my coffee and book habit.

Is It Worth It?

While these types of sites dole out treats in the form of PayPal payments, Apple products and sticker sheets, is it worth it? Consider that you have to use one of these sites as your sole search engine, which can be tedious when you are working on a library, work or borrowed computer since you have to download the appropriate tool bar for searching and sign into your account. Also, as there are other ways to gain points, such as by completing surveys, watching videos and shopping online, you can find yourself sucked into spending all of your time playing for points rather than actually writing. Your label of “content writer for hire” will soon be replaced by “unemployed and starving writer wannabe.”

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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