Many people who know me know I love legit ways of winning things and making money on the Internet — the trouble is finding the legitimate sites. For the most part, you can’t go wrong on sweepstakes and contests sponsored by corporations. For instance, I won the Razer Carcharias headset from Mountain Dew when they were running their Game Fuel competition with Blizzard Entertainment. By watching videos and clicking around the site you made points each day. Those points were essentially like raffle tickets that you could use on their hourly drawings for lots of gamer and Mt. Dew loot — e.g. entering 200 points put your name in the drawing 200 times.

On Twitter, I have won free domain names from NameCheap (yes, this very site is a result of that) and a World of Warcraft prize pack from Blizzard, although it took its sweet time showing up.

MyLikes, formerly Likaholix which I posted about before, has been pretty sweet to me. I’ve won a lot of money (that’s right, cash) through their contests, which simply require that you make a list of likes for specific categories in the contest like “favorite beaches” or “best beer.” The webmasters choose the best lists, usually the most diverse and with the most detailed comments, and send money by Paypal or Amazon gift cards to the winner.  They have recently come out of Beta and are focusing on a new method of earning money by sharing sponsored “likes” on Twitter and blogs. The “influencer” (average Joe MyLikes user) then can make money for clicks. I’ve only made about 80 cents so far with this method, but I love the concept of changing advertiser/consumer relations on the web and I hope it works out for everyone. Don’t worry, the list contests are still around too.

Another site attempting to change the advertiser/consumer relationship is YouData. You download an application that will send targeted ads to you based on surveys you have filled out and your location. When you click the ads, you earn money that is transferred to your PayPal account at the end of the week. In the beginning, I made about $3, but now I’m lucking if I get 9 cents a week. I think it’s a great idea, they just need to get more advertisers on board. For the record, the advertisements I’ve received have all been within my interests and I have bookmarked some of the sites.

Big Prize Giveaways, a Facebook application where you enter drawings for prizes like gift cards, laptops, iPods and other cool items, seems legit to me. The idea is that after you enter the drawing, you see an ad by the prize’s sponsor, which they hope you click. The drawings are simple to enter, you can enter once per day and you can also enter a friend’s name who will also win the prize if you do. Of course, you’re competing with almost 3 million fans as of this blog post so your chances are pretty slim, but that’s true in almost any online drawing.

Stay tuned for my next post where I tackle Lockerz.

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