I’ve had quite an expensive August so last week I was looking at some opportunities to make some extra cash online. I’ve tried the online survey thing before and all the sites I tried seemed to promise a lot but rarely delivered. I looked around a bit and I came across Swagbucks, and everything I read was positive so I decided to give it a try. I’ve been using it for a week now, so I thought I’d give you my impressions.
I know that a lot of my followers are writers, and obviously it’s not the most lucrative endeavour for most of us so it’s always good to have a bit of extra money. Plus, we’re online a lot so it makes sense to to be rewarded for something we’re already doing. Swagbucks is a website that gives you rewards for searching, playing games, taking surveys and watching videos. It has a good vibe and over 1 million likes on Facebook. Swagbucks are points that you can trade for rewards, usually they’re e-giftcards but if you get enough swagbucks they do have cash rewards available. I managed to reach 849 swagbucks in 5 days, and that’s enough for a £5 Amazon gift voucher. 3 days later and I’m almost halfway there again, so if I keep this up I’m looking at £20 in Amazon vouchers this month!
So, how do you earn swagbucks?
Surveys: This is where the big swagbucks are. When you join you fill out personal information and Swagbucks will send you surveys they think will suit you, according to the information you provided. So far I’ve been getting at least one a day, and some of them have been worth 100-200 swagbucks. They’re simple and won’t take up much time. It’s important to answer honestly, but I think you can fudge the answers a little bit, especially in order to qualify for the survey. If you don’t qualify you still get a swagbuck, and usually it won’t be long until another survey is available.
Special Offers: Swagbucks works in conjunction with some other companies to bring you special offers. If you sign up to one you’ll be able to earn swagbucks for doing so. For example, at the moment you can earn 714 swagbucks for signing up to Lovefilm and get 2 months for the price of one. Some of the offers are entering competitions and honestly some of them do seem a little scammy, so use your best judgment if you decide to sign up to these. Usually if they ask for my phone number I’m wary, and I never give out my card details. I’ve also set up another e-mail account just in case I get hit with a lot of spam.
Shopping: I haven’t tried this yet, but for those of you that shop at certain stores you can earn swagbucks for shopping. Starbucks are offering 2 swagbucks per pound spent, Kobo is 3 swagbucks per pound and Body Shop is 5 swagbucks per pound. If you’re planning to shop through one of these stores it’s nice to get a little something back.
Playing Games: There’s a game section of the site where you can play casual flash games. It’s nothing too intensive and you can earn 10 swagbucks a day. They do claim it’s possible to win up to 100, but that’s only by entering tournaments, and judging by the high scores some people get I don’t think it’s worth it. There are a number of games that are quick to play, and you earn swagbucks by playing a game two times. For example Fyoozd is a game that has a 1 minute time limit, so I play that to speed through them and get my 10 swagbucks.
Search: They like you to use their search engine and at random intervals (usually three times a day) they’ll reward you with swagbucks, just for searching! It’s not quite as accurate as Google, but it turns up reliable results. Don’t keep repeating searches just to earn swagbucks, just search normally and if it hasn’t happened come back and try again later. One day I earned 52 swagbacks (that’s not the norm though, but usually I get 10-20 a day from searching).
Watch Videos: The basic idea is that you watch 10 videos and receive 3 swag bucks for doing so. It sounds like a waste of time right? I mean, who wants to sit through ten videos for a measly 3 swagbucks. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. The video counts after at least 20 seconds, and then you can skip on to the next one. Some of the videos are actually quite entertaining, there are a lot of “Top Ten Fun Facts” about celebrities, and they have movie trailers too. You only get rewarded for watching each video once per day, but it’s easy to rack up the swagbucks. I just mute the sound and leave them playing in another tab while I do something else. It’s quite handy, especially for us writers; I often just flick over and skip to the next one while I’m thinking about the next sentence to write. If you’re on the computer a lot this is a good way to make the time count, and it’s just great that you can leave them running while you do something else.
Social Media: Liking them on Facebook gives you an extra 5 swagbucks. It’s good to keep up with the news and postings anyway, and sometime they’ll have hints or tips to give you some extra rewards. They have a twitter page too, and a blog, which is worth checking out.
Swag Code: Every day (I think it’s just once a day, but I’ve only been using it a week so sometimes they may have more) they’ll release a code, which can be found either on their blog, the Facebook page or the Twitter page, that you can enter into the site and get a reward (usually it’s only a nominal amount, but hey, might as well right?)
Daily Poll: They have a daily poll that is just a question posed by another user, and by answering it you get one swagbuck. You can also submit a question and if it gets chosen to be the poll of the day you get a bonus reward.
Toolbar: By installing their toolbar you get one swagbuck every day you open the browser that it’s used on. Honestly, I’m not a fan of toolbars and I’m sure many of you savvy computer people share my disdain for them, so I was reluctant to install it at first. However, it is quite handy. There’s a search bar so you don’t have to keep going to the main search page, an icon that keeps you up to date of how many swagbucks you have in your account, and a button that lets you check if there’s a code available. Having said that, I did notice that it slowed my browser down and in the end I uninstalled it from Chrome. Now I just have it on Internet Explorer and open that up once a day to get the swagbuck (again, it may not seem worth it, but over a year that’s 365 swagbucks).
Daily Goal Bonuses: On the top left hand corner of the main page there’s a tracker that tells you of the daily goal. So far it has ranged between 50 and 100, and I’ve made the daily goal every day bar one (my time was limited that day). You get a 10% bonus (today’s daily goal is 90, so I get 9 swagbucks as a bonus for reaching it) and these bonuses are dished out at the end of the month. It’s a nice little incentive and it’s quite easy to reach the goal.
Referrals: If you refer someone you they will match every swagbuck that person earns through search. So if you do decide to sign up I’d appreciate it if you use this link – Swagbucks. :)
Overall, I’m glad that I signed up. It’s reliable, rewarding and there’s a sense of fun and community about the whole thing. They give their users a lot of little bonuses, which I really appreciate. With a lot of these things it takes a long time to actually see any return, so it was refreshing that I’ve already been able to cash out in my first week of use. I’d definitely recommend it because it’s just a good idea to be rewarded for things that you’d normally do anyway.