Jan 212001

I’ve spent the last three months devouring Pay To programs looking for that ‘easy money’ that everyone promises. Have I found it? Yes and no. Am I rich now? Far from it.

There are a lot of different ‘Pay To’ programs, but some things appear to be universal, so we’ll start with those…

Overall Impressions:

1) You will not get rich using these programs! You’re probably not even going to make half of what their sites claim you make.

2) There is no such things as free money. Each of the 100+ programs I’ve looked at requires some action from you each time you generate a few cents. The question should not be ‘how can I get money for free’, but ‘how can I get the most money with the least effort’.

3) Ignore the onsite “profit calculators”. Every one of these comes with massive disclaimers that essentially say it’s worthless, so why bother for even a moment.

4) Referrals are the key! The more people who join a program under you, the less effort you must expend for the pennies you’ll be earning.

Pay To Surf:

I’ve given up on the vast majority of these already. Not a single one has even come close to reaching its projected hourly pay out rate.

I’ve earned between $0.015/hour and $0.10/hour from the companies I’ve tried. The most difficult to keep active (ie AllAdvantage) have had the highest payouts, but they’re also the ones that are the quickest to go out of business.

PTS Strategy:

If you’re just looking into starting with a PTS program now I would recommend against it. PTS seems to be dying a rapid death.
If you must use PTS your only real hop of income is renewals and/or running multiple AdBars simultaneously.

Pay To View:

I still use a few PTV programs. My favorite, Desktop Dollars is currently paying about $0.13/hour (and pays down to six levels of referrals. Considering its ease of use I still find this worthwhile. My next favorite, MoveAbout, has vanished entirely without a trace after being closed “temporarily” for upgrades. {sigh}

PTV Strategy:
If you’re going shopping for a PTV program, look for unlimited hours, ease of use, and how deep the referral program goes. Also don’t forget to see if the hours you get paid for your referrals viewing time is limited.

Pay To Read Email:

These are my favorite. Why? Low effort! Not to mention that I get more ads I actually have some interest in.

PTREM Strategy:

If you’re going to join the PTREM world I recommend you set up an additional email address or alias just for your Paid Emails. This permits you to access your regular email without having to wade through PTREM stuff and makes clearing through large numbers of PTREM easier.

Also, sign up for as many of these programs as you can find. Since your dedicated email address allows you to deal with them only when you have time, there’s no reason not to go for volume. Speaking of volume, if you’re just in it for the revenue I recommend you select categories like webmaster, small business, mlm, referral programs, etc.

Pay To Send Email:

This is another must-have category in a ‘Pay To’ participant’s arsenal.

PTSEM Strategy:

Create a PTSEM account (I recommend zwallet.com although epinions still doesn’y have a listing for it (hint, hint)) and send your PTREM mail there. That way you get paid twice for every message you send!

Pay To Instant Message:

If you already use instant messenger then these can be beneficial. If you don’t already use IM then this’ll probably be more annoying then profitable.

PTIM Strategy:

Sign up for as many of these programs as possible. It takes only seconds to click on the supplied link and an experienced IMer probably won’t even notice after a while.

Pay To Listen:

PTL is a fairly new concept in the ‘Pay To’ world. I’m not sure if any of these are actually paying yet (the ones I use aren’t), but if your connection can handle the streaming audio and you’re not listening to any now, then they’re a good bet.

PTL Strategy:

You can only use one of these at a time, so I recommend finding one with music you like and using it constantly. Also keep an eye on any hour/pay limits. Once you’ve met your quota on one program you can always switch over to your second choice for the rest of the month.

Pay To Click:

I have found these to be mediocre at best. Most PTC sites I’ve seen just don’t get enough new clients often enough for this to add up to any decent revenue.

PTC Strategy:

If you’re going to do PTC, then find as many companies as possible and check in every day if possible. Click on everything wether it seems interesting or not. Be sure to bookmark the sites so that you can get to them easily!

Pay To Join:

If you have the remotest hesitation with PTC programs then stay away from PTJ!

PTJ Strategy:

I don’t recommend PTJ in general, but if you’re going to do it then look for the offers that credit your account immediately as opposed to 10 days later. The internet moves at the speed of light, there’s no reason to wait 10-14 days for confirmation.
I’d also recommend setting up a PTSEM account if you haven’t already cause these companies generate a ton of email.

Pay To Search:

If you’re constantly using search engines, then these programs will pay off well. If you mainly find new sites through existing sites you visit or via friends, then don’t waste your time here.

PTS Strategy:

Book mark the search engines and do a few searched every day. Be sure to read the agreement carefully to determine if you get paid for the actual search or only when you click on a paid listing.

Paid Surveys:

Most of the PS programs I’ve seen aren’t actually paid. rather, they enter you in contests if you complete their surveys. Be aware of the difference.

PS Strategy:

Same as PTREM: volume counts! Sign up at as many of these sites as you can find and accept every offer they email to you. Again, you may want to use (or create) a PTSEM account for these so you get paid even more.

Pay To Write/Review:

These may actually violate my prime ‘Pay To’ commandment in that there is a significant amount of effort involved, but they also provide the largest returns overall in my experience.

PTW Strategy:

Write well, write often, read even more often. The key to big-time success here is (unlike all the other ‘Pay To’ programs) community, not referrals. The more you become involved in whatever community is available surrounding the PTW company the more successful you will become.
Warning! These can easily become addictive!


That covers the primary ‘Pay To’ genres currently on the net. For advice on specific programs see their individual listings.

I hope this was of some help. If you have any questions/comments feel free to drop me an email or comment when that feature becomes available again.

 Posted by at 11:23 pm

  2 Responses to “Explaining Online “Paid To” Programs”

  1. This is the most comprehensive explanation of the different kinds of paying websites I’ve ever seen–and written in such an interesting way too! :o)

  2. […] in an attempt to earn a little extra income online. {For a brief overview of these programs see my What You Should Know About Pay To Surf Sites – though it needs to be updated after six years}. I will be trying out several programs and only […]

  3. […] The Bottom Line A (hopefully) opinion-free look at what exactly ‘Pay To’ programs are. For my opinions, see my advice in Explaining Online Paid To Programs. […]

  4. Really a fantastic article on getting to know the nitty gritty of online surveys. In today’s scenario a company cannot survive without getting to know the opinion of customers and their preferences. Your article is helpful, simple and precise.

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