Sandy Ferguson Makes Thousands Surfing the Web


Do you love to surf the Web? Did you know you can get paid to do it? Sandy Ferguson discovered this several years ago quite by accident … and is now a “secret weapon” for A-level copywriters and marketers nationwide. She’s worked with master copywriters like Clayton Makepeace and Carline Anglade-Cole, as well as clients such as High Reach Media, The Bob Livingston Letter, and Health Resources, among many others.

sandy fergusonSandy is not a writer. But she’s discovered a way to live the Barefoot Writer’s lifestyle all the same.

She has the freedom to work when and where she wants … and still makes a great income.

So how in the world did you figure out how to get paid to surf the Web?

Actually, it just fell into my lap. The idea was presented to me by a well-known copywriter who had a client in the supplement business that was inundated with finding research to market his products.

She suggested that he hire someone to do that work for him to free up his time to run other aspects of his company. They offered me the job – finding information on folic acid for a marketing piece. I was a part-time bookkeeper at the time.

After thinking it over, I thought, “What the heck. Give it a shot and see what happens.” Was I nervous? YEAH! But once I got my first client under my belt and delivered what he needed, I felt pretty good about it. I’m glad I didn’t pass up this great opportunity.

What exactly do clients ask you to look for?

Anything and everything that will give them “weight” to be able to market their product. If they’re looking for a study that substantiates a claim they want to make, then I look for that – for example, the effect of vitamin C on heart health.

You’ve got to make sure you get specifics from your client so that you understand exactly what they’re looking for.

This keeps you focused as you’re sorting through the information.

What’s the most obscure information you’ve been asked to track down?

I did research for a client that was looking for the price of metals like gold, silver, etc. I had to find out what they were worth yeeeeeeears ago – I’m talking back in the early 1900s or so – compared to their current value. It was definitely challenging.

Who are your customers – why don’t they just do this themselves?

I work with copywriters and heads of companies that hire copywriters. Research is time-consuming. It’s more economical for them to hire me to do it so they can spend their time focusing on more important company matters.

Can you really make a living at this?

Absolutely, you can once you build up your client base and get your business up and running. Right now, I’m averaging $50 an hour.

Do you have to be a computer geek to work in this field?

Absolutely not! I’m computer challenged on soooo many levels. However, I do know the basics – how to turn on the computer, create a document in Word, and use email – and that’s enough for me to get the job done.

Editor’s Note: Check out Sandy’s program, Secrets of Becoming an Internet Research Specialist.



  1. Corrine Britton on

    Very interested in Web Surfing… Love the idea of searching for information on projects, that deliver content, satisfaction, facts, and to sell it without selling… It sells itself. To me anything that sells itself is a winner! I would be happy to start out like this. I think I would end up feeling very good about myself, to have engaged in a field that is not just rewarding to me, but that could be rewarding to many others.. It’s a good feeling…. I like it…

    Corrine Britton

  2. Rebecca Porter on

    This definitely interests me. I’m already a published author of fiction so that creative itch is well-relieved, but this … interests me.
    I research via the web all the time. For my writing. For my employer. For fun. It would be nice to get $$ for it.
    I’m going to sleep on it tonight. But …

  3. Deborah Wilson on

    Thank you for your unique answers and examples.I have been motivated. I have always wanted to publish a true story. Now with these ideas I can write better. Most interesting was the latter,selling your ideas first to establish a concrete basis for a writing based on humor,experience and facts. I thank you for helping me.

  4. Deborah Wilson on

    I have been motivated. I have always wanted to publish a true story. Now with these ideas I can write better. Most interesting was the latter,selling your ideas first to establish a concrete basis for a writing based on humor,experience and facts. I thank you for helping me.

  5. Jane Shafrin on

    “How does one get started” is a good question!. There’s really nothing in her article except that one needs a LOT of serendipity and being in right place right time … and knowing the “right people”. It’s a plug for a program she’s selling. How about some REALLY helpful support without having her hand in our pockets???? Or is Barefoot writer nothing more than a place people can sell? I get too many hard-sell emails from AWAI as it is.

  6. I haven’t started yet ,but i want to be a writer ! I have ever since i was a teenager . I hope you can help me and i pray it don’t cost much because i don’t have much money or i wouldn’t be looking for a real job.

  7. Channing Krulicki on

    Wow….. I’ve gotta say I am grateful for this article. Thanks, BWC; while I’m a little distressed over the switch in points of view by the author, I am enraged at the comment made by Jane S. Who knew that this would be the catalyst to me commenting?
    For anyone who is genuinely interested in getting paid to surf the web, I think the information provided would suffice as proof that this opportunity exists. I believe that if anyone is truly interested in earning their living this way, a query email or a simple letter of introduction to any one of the numerous copywriters involved with BWC would be a simple way to gauge interest or need from industry professionals. I would even be willing to bet that if this were the improper way to go about getting more information, someone would offer some feedback and/or advice on a better path to finding the information being sought.
    Why should Sandy Ferguson give anyone a roadmap for free? After all, she is making 50 dollars an hour providing a support service to people who are making much more copywriting…….I say, do your own research on researching or buy her course.

    • Well said, Channing. Success-minded people have the mind set “What does it cost? I’ll take it.” Done. Success follows.

  8. Many hanks for the tips:
    They were helpful, although
    I still have to admit
    That I just do not know
    How to best earn a living
    By writing in rhyme.
    I should start finding clients —
    It IS about time.
    Could someone inform me
    If doggerel sells
    And, if so, who might buy it?

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