1. Sell Your Crafts
Do you knit? Make jewelry? Sew? If so, there are lots of opportunities to sell handmade wares online. As a member of Etsy, you’ll have your own online store to showcase your items. It’s free to become an Etsy seller, but you’ll pay a fee of 20¢ to list an item with up to five photos for four months. When the item sells, you pay a 3.5 percent commission to Etsy. There’s no limit to how much you can charge, and what you earn is based on how your crafts sell. At Jewelry Wonder, sellers must have at least 30 items to open a free online store. There’s no charge to sellers—no setup fee, monthly or transaction fees, or listing or hosting fees. And sellers set their own prices, so the sky’s the limit. ArtFire is the home of artists, crafters, suppliers and media creators from around the world. Sellers can choose either a basic free account that includes unlimited listings with four pictures per item plus the ability to sell directly from your blog or website, or a Pro account for $15.95 a month with 10 pictures per item plus a customizable “store” and promo features. There are no transaction fees on ArtFire, so you keep what you make. The site also offers online training in merchandising and marketing.
2. Make Money from Your Talent
At Fiverr, you can offer services that use your skills—designing a business card, creating a podcast jingle, planning a trip—for five bucks a pop. Fiverr keeps $1 and the seller gets $4 per gig. Stefanie Strobel, 28, of Newport Beach, California, writes people’s messages in the sand at the beach and takes a picture that she then emails to them. “I make about $300 per month and can do about 10 to 15 messages per hour, depending on length and complexity,” says Stefanie.
3. Be a Nurse On Call
If you’re a registered nurse, consider a company like Fonemed, which provides phone-based triage and medical information to their customers in Canada and the U.S. These companies contract with medical-related clients, mostly doctor’s offices and especially pediatrician’s offices, to answer questions when the offices are closed (the work hours are typically evenings, nights and weekends). You must be licensed in the state or province where you are located and have at least three years of recent clinical experience with adults and children. Fonemed nurses are paid an hourly minimum plus a fee per call, and are eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid leave. A typical Fonemed nurse makes $27 per hour, according to Fonemed owner Charlene Slaney.
4. Write, Edit, Proofread
Sites like Demand Studios and Associated Content hire experienced freelance writers, editors and filmmakers to work on projects for sites like eHow, LiveStrong.com and YouTube. At Demand Studios, assignments pay anywhere from $15 to $100; if you meet tenure and activity requirements, you can be eligible for health insurance plans. At Associated Content there are three ways to earn money: upfront payments for content you write ($2 to $15 per article), assigned articles ($10 to $100 per article) and performance payments ($1.50 for every 1,000 page views of your article if it’s posted online).
5. Design Graphics and Websites
Elance works like an online marketplace, setting up designers and computer programmers with companies that need their services. Companies post jobs and freelancers bid on them, listing their experience, portfolio and the price they will charge for the job. If your bid is chosen, you’ll pay Elance a commission of 4 to 6 percent of what you earn.
6. Tutor Kids or Adults
If you have a college degree or are currently enrolled in college and think you have the skills to tutor math, science, English or social studies, tutoring online might fit you perfectly. Check out Tutor.com, where tutors work as independent contractors and earn around $10 to $14 per hour based on the subject and hours worked. Very active tutors can earn anywhere from $800 to $1,600 a month.
7. Give Advice
Know a lot about medicine or car repairs? JustAnswer is a paid question-and-answer site that’s growing its community of experts in the medical, legal and financial fields, as well as in other specialties like car repair and home improvement. Registered customers ask a question and then name the price they’re willing to pay (usually from $10 to $40) for an expert answer. The expert usually responds within an hour, and once the customer accepts the answer, keeps from 25 to 50 percent of what (Please turn to 44) the customer pays. How much experts earn depends on how many questions they’ve had accepted by customers. Experts are vetted through a fairly grueling process, with credentials, education and background verified.
8. Provide Customer Service
Many retailers are outsourcing their customer service operations to third-party companies like Alpine Access and Working Solutions, who in turn contract with home-based workers. The reps, who typically work 20 to 40 hours a week, take calls for large and small companies. The hourly rate is about $9, but agents can earn up to $13 with incentives and bonuses or up to $30 for special projects. Some companies offer benefits like health and dental insurance and a matching 401(k) plan. LiveOps is similar, but service reps operate as independent contractors, typically invoicing LiveOps $10 to $15 per hour depending on the type of call and performance. And with LiveOps you can work as many hours as you want. The hiring process is rigorous: Expect a comprehensive written or online application, skills exam, phone interview and background check.