Make Your Knowledge Pay
(Photo Credit: Max Crowe)
The purpose of this page is to showcase practical ways in which students can take control of, reduce and perhaps even completely eradicate their student debt.
Share Your Passion Online
This first section relates to the e-mails I receive asking questions about this website. In particular, did I build it? And do I earn any money from it? The answer to both of which is yes.
We are extremely fortunate to live in the Internet age. The information super highway has not only transformed the way we communicate and learn but it has also made knowledge a commodity that anyone can share and profit from.
Whatever you are passionate about you can absolutely guarantee that there are thousands, perhaps even millions of people who share your passion. The World Wide Web allows you to connect with these people, and that means that it is now possible for anybody to make their knowledge pay. Particularly as you don't need to have any technical knowledge or expertise to build a website these days. There are a number of hosting/website building companies that provide you with all the tools you need if like me you have no website building skills or experience whatsoever.
I use a company called Site Build It (see their promo video below) and I strongly recommend you do the same. I'm living proof that works. I use Site Build It to put together all my websites and I can't begin to tell you how good it is. So good in fact, even my mum has her own Agatha Christie website.
My Site Build It Websites
Another way for students (or anybody else for that matter) to earn money online; is getting paid to do online surveys. Market research is big business and companies pay out millions each year to find out what consumers think.
There are literally hundreds of good and not so good survey companies, offering a range of incentives to get hold of your opinions. What follows, therefore, is advice based on my own experience as to the best way to go about earning additional income in this way.
As a student, I spent well over 3 years earning money by filling out online surveys and questionnaires. It's arguably not the most exciting way to spend your spare time, but if you get organized it can turn out to be the most valuable. We're not talking thousands of dollars a month here, but you can earn enough to make a real difference.
Get yourself a new e-mail account to use exclusively for your survey work.
I call it survey work because you should treat this as a proper part time job.
You know your schedule better than anybody else, including the times when you could be doing something more productive! Set aside a regular amount of time each day or week and stick to it as best you can.
Do not do survey work when you should be doing college work. This is particularly tempting when the money starts coming in, but don't lose track of the bigger picture. Your education takes priority; your survey work should simply viewed as a way of earning a bit of extra cash in your spare time.
When you register with a survey company Complete your registration details as fully as possible. Each time you register with a survey/market research/consumer opinion company you will be asked to provide information regarding your hobbies, interests, lifestyle, family etc.
This information is needed so that a relevant match can be made between you and the subject area of the survey.
With this in mind, the more background information you provide, the more likely it is that you will offered paid survey opportunities.
Complete your registration details honestly. Surveys are much quicker to complete when you actually know something about the subject matter.
To guarantee regular survey work Register with at least 3 survey companies.
It's easy to lose track of which companies you have joined, how many surveys you've completed and how much you've earned, so Keep a written/electronic record (preferably both) of the company name, website address, your username and password.
About once a month quickly check each company, making a note of how many surveys you were offered and more importantly what you received in return.
You'll soon get a feel for the company or companies you like the best and conversely, whether you should consider dropping or replacing others.
Incentives vary, so make sure that some of the companies you register with pay cold hard cash for your time.
Best Survey Companies
Greenfield Online Surveys (USA & Canada Only)
One of the best in the business, provides a regular supply of cash paying survey invites, some of which involve watching and commenting on movie trailers before they hit the cinema.
Lightspeed Consumer Panel
Excellent consumer opinion company. For each survey you complete you earn Lightspeed Points, which you can redeem for cash.
If you live in the USA or Canada. Click here to get started
Opinion Square (International)
OpinionSquare is a research panel that collects data for a U.S.based market research company that is a nationally-recognized authority on Internet and general economic trends. OpinionSquare data is used extensively by the largest Internet services companies and Fortune 500 companies. over 2 million members worldwide.
Permission Research (International)
Like Opinion Square, PermissionResearch collects information on Internet and general economic trends. Major media outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and CNBC routinely cite the data obtained from survey respondents.
Incentives include free software downloads, 500 MB of free online disk storage, Free software to password protect important documents and folders, Over 450 free online games, free email virus protection, free and points redeemable for merchandise and gift cards.
Survey Annex (USA)
Survey Annex is the largest database of survey companies, reward programs and focus groups where users get unlimited access to over 700 companies that will pay cash, incentives and rewards for their opinions.
Users can potentially make from $4 to $20 an hour working part time, In addition they receive full support and a complete guide on how to make this a part time or full time business from home. Please note that a one time lifetime membership fee is required to access the Survey Annex database. At the moment this is just $39.97 (Usually $79.95).
American Consumer Opinion (International)
American Consumer Opinion is owned and operated by Decision Analyst, Inc., a major international marketing research firm. Incentives typically range in value from $4 to $50, per survey or focus group, depending upon the length of the questionnaire and the time it takes to complete it. Participants in online focus groups generally receive more than $25.
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