Thursday, September 04, 2008

Have I sold my soul to Satan - or

am I conducting some sort of maddening experiment?

Work from home. Yeah, sure.

Make money RIGHT NOW. You have to make enough $$ to pay your health insurance premiums.

I have been working from home for the past four years writing my novel. I just haven't been paid for what I do professionally. Yet.

But it doesn't help us pay our monthly bills which due to all the inflation, now exceed our income.

Thousands, if not tens of thousands of "work from home" offers bask along the world wide web highway. They try to lure desperate, hurting people with claims like - "Make up to 5K in one month!" Almost all of those are either scams or multilevel marketing ploys in disguise (john checked a few out, can we say MISLEADING advertising?)

One thing that kept popping up was the chance to join marketing research groups and take surveys online. For money. No promises of instant wealth, just a few hundred extra dollars a month or more. Depends on how many surveys one submits.

Pressure of a zero balance and real fear of loosing health care pushed me to fill out that first "profile". One profile leads to two hundred more. I'm not kidding.

I reek at managing my normal e-mail inflow. My poor ADHD self is paralyzed by the spam.

Here's how the survey system works.

Earn $30 immediately by completing and submitting this survey about your favorite toilet paper.

So, I go to the survey site, spend who knows how long filling out all the info.

Much to my horror, I'm expected to sign up for monthly TP delivery costing $80/yr.

Spend $80 to make $30.


Um, I'm not making money.

Other surveys require me to sign up for Blockbuster or Netflix to get paid $50. So there is a 14 day free trial period. I have to remember to cancel before my poor credit card is charged.

Spend to get paid. Spend more than I'm getting paid. I don't think so!

Now, every company from colon cleansers to gormet coffees are spamming my inbox.

Want a $500 Visa gift card?

Just fill out this "simple" survey (which requires you spend at least $200 on "sponsors" special offers).

What have I done to myself? I'm spending hours declining offers for mentholated cigarettes and Viagra (mentholated Viagra?).

Which takes time from writing. Which makes me cranky after I force myself to write until my shoulders revolt. Which makes me bare my claws and fangs at any creature who approaches within twelve inches of me.

I'm freaked b/c I feel like I was duped. I did do something stupid b/c I need to stay home with Kyle and my "real job" isn't going over well with the finance czar.

Maybe I can use this disasterous mistake for an article pitch. I'm experiencing the horror of 21st Century advertising.

If you don't see me, I'm lying dead and crushed under a heap of spammy e-mails demanding something I don't have.


Jan Parrish said...


I hear you and I feel your pain. For years I looked into things such as this. I found only three things that made me any money.
1. Alpine Access - work from home on your computer.
2. Daycare
3. Tupperware
Call me if you want more information. Either option will earn you about $500 a month. I haven't done daycare in 18 years so things may have changed by now.

Megan DiMaria said...

I think there's a great article in the experience for you. Go for it!

A prisoner of hope,

WordVixen said...

Actually, that WOULD make a great article- either online or in a print mag (maybe a mommy mag?). Also, while it's definitely not much, there's always which pays both up front (usually around $3 but can go up to $20) and for page views ( 1Cent per 4-6 page views). Again, it's not much, but you can write about almost any topic, and they rarely turn down articles.

There's also,, and a few others that will pay you to post on their subjects on your blog. Again, it doesn't pay much, but if you have a PR1 or higher, it's a nice way to make a little extra dosh. Not a living, but it's quick, and should help. AssociatedContent pays faster though (May take 2-3 weeks your first few times, but now I get paid usually within a week of submission).