Regular readers will know that I’ve tested various free money sites.

Most people who want to quit a day job tend to look down on these sorts of sites. It’s understandable, after all you don’t make much at them. Generally 1 to 2 cents per ad you view, and the really good sites have at most 20 to 30 ads a day. Say $15 to $20 a month for a really good site.

Add in a few more really good sites, and get some referrals to them, and you’re probably looking at $100 a month. Definitely not enough to quit the day job on.

What’s missing in this equation is perspective.

Learning enough skills to be able to quit your day job and live from your online income is going to take time. See my post on How To Succeed In Internet Marketing for more details on the process. In the meantime, what do you do?

Let’s assume that you’ve got the right mindset, you understand that learning to make money online is going to take time, and you’re willing to put that time into investing skills. You’ll still have some online bills to pay during the process. Web hosting, ad tracking services, keyword research, etc.

All that can add up, starting anywhere from $25 a month for an all-inclusive site like SBI!, to as much as $50 a month or more if you get separate web hosting, ad tracking, autoresponders, etc.

Did the light bulb go off yet?

The proper use of various free money sites is not to replace your day job, but to allow you to bootstrap your other Internet Marketing efforts. While you’re learning how to get referrals to free money programs, you’re not only building skills, but you’re building an income stream that can pay for your entry into more serious Internet Marketing, such as building a quality niche site, or paying to have a product developed that you can sell.

You could pay for that effort with your own money, but how long will it take? Will your savings hold out? Building an online income stream using free money sites lets you have as much time as you need to learn Internet Marketing.

Some keys to doing this:

Pick only quality free money sites

Too many sites out there are scams, and won’t pay. Stick with sites that are known to pay out, and have a decent number of ads each day. I use Marketing Pond as a filter for free money sites. Marketing Pond only features quality sites that pay out, and you’ll have the added bonus that by promoting Marketing Pond you gain referrals in multiple free money sites at once.

Upgrade only when you can earn back the cost quickly

Free money sites make upgrades sound attractive, because they make money from them. You have to look, though, at the amount you’ll make extra per ad view, combined with the number of ads they generally have per day, to see how long it’ll take you to earn back the cost of the upgrade. If you have referrals, you can also figure in the amount extra you’ll make for each referral.

Some sites’ upgrade programs would take longer to earn back than the year that you’ll get as a premium member. Other sites offer lifetime upgrades that would take two years or more to earn back. Never assume a free money site will be around in two years…that’s an eternity for such sites.

The only site I recommend an instant upgrade at is ClixSense.

The ClixSense upgrade is $10 for 1 year, but you’ll earn it back within a month or two. You’ll immediately get access to about $5 worth of premium only ads, and then another 10 or so a day after that.

Most other sites’ upgrades don’t make sense until you already have a decent amount of referrals, and by that point you’ll probably be putting more effort into other Internet Marketing activities.

Never purchase referrals!

The free money sites often sell members who have signed up directly at the site, and don’t already have a sponsor. These members almost never earn back the cost of purchasing them. The same goes for guaranteed signups.

Remember that your goal is to make enough money to pay for other Internet Marketing costs, not to spend money you won’t get back.

So, if you’re just starting out in Internet Marketing but are in it for the long haul, start by marketing something like Marketing Pond. You’ll learn basic skills you’ll need later on, and won’t be leaking money out of your savings.

Eventually you’ll be able to pay for the more sophisticated tools you’ll need for other Internet Marketing efforts.

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