What is a Paid to Read Site?

Sherry Holetzky

As millions of people scour the Internet looking for ways to make money online, various opportunities pop up daily. Paid to read or PTR sites offer computer users ways to make small amounts of extra cash for engaging in a variety of activities. Some paid to read sites offer cash for reading emails while others simply ask users to click on ads and visit sponsors for a set amount of time. Some use a combination of different activities and offer users a small percentage of ad revenue for participating.

Some paid to read sites offer cash for reading emails while others simply ask users to click on ads and visit sponsors for a set amount of time.
Some paid to read sites offer cash for reading emails while others simply ask users to click on ads and visit sponsors for a set amount of time.

Other methods for users to earn small amounts of extra cash on paid to read sites include clicking links and visiting sponsors’ websites, taking part in surveys, or completing offers. In some cases, offers simply consist of testing a free sample of a product and giving feedback. Some offers will cost money, even if only to pay for shipping of the test product, but many do offer good benefits for the cost. Of course, there are those that will not be a good deal and consumers should be aware.

Skeptics wonder why sponsors are interested in paying for clicks. It may seem that people are only clicking in order to get paid. If a site uses this kind of set up without the advertiser’s knowledge, doing so would be unethical and may well be considered “click fraud.” However, in many cases, sponsors are aware of the paid to read system and they simply try to target ads to those most likely to have a real interest in the products or services offered. In other cases, companies are simply looking for consumer feedback rather than sales and this kind of system seems to work well for that purpose.

Many people also worry about giving out too much personal information since paid to read sites often do require that you submit a good deal of information about yourself. While it may be necessary for paid to read sites to give sponsors a better look at demographics so they can target advertisements, some people are going to be uncomfortable. There are always concerns about identity theft or having your information sold to other companies, so it is important to check paid to read sites out thoroughly before registering.

If a friend invites you to become a “referral,” or sign up under him or her in order to get credit for your membership, you might want to wait awhile and see how the experience works out for your friend before submitting your information. Some red flags to look for include paid to read sites that charge you to join, sites that claim they don’t pay now but will soon, or sites that promise large amounts of money. There are some paid to read sites that are decent, but to make real money using them you need to be very active and sign up several referrals.

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Discussion Comments


@pastanaga - Scams are my big fear, because you often have to give them quite a lot of information if they are basically hiring you and that information might not be safe.

I always double check and triple check with search engines to see if other people have been burned by a particular site before I even consider signing up with them.


@clintflint - Yeah, I find it too easy to say, well something is better than nothing. But your time is actually valuable, particularly if you could be doing other things to make money. Many of these are targeted towards people who will find the compensation to be worth it because of the exchange rate.

With that said, I am signed up for a couple of sites with paid surveys and paid to read email options and I've cashed out a few hundred dollars from them, so they aren't all scams.


These sites can sometimes turn out to be a good opportunity, but you've got to know when to stay with them and when to leave. If they aren't giving you many good opportunities, or the opportunities take too long for the compensation, you're better off without them.

I used to get so invested that I kept pumping time into something that wasn't paying off at all. I guess I would blame myself for not reading fast enough or something like that. But paid to read sites are what they are and if it doesn't work out within a week, it's unlikely to be worth it.

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