If you’re trying to make a little extra money, whether it’s for “wants” in your budget or your monthly bills, you can do it right from the comfort of your home. You’ve probably heard about “making money from home” before, and who could blame you for being skeptical, given all the scams out there. The trick is knowing which opportunities are legitimate. Here are a few great picks.
1. Sell your crafts. Do you sew? Make jewelry? Create graphics? If so, you can sell your handmade products online. Create an online store on Etsy to feature your items. It’s free to become a seller and they only charge a fee of 20¢ to list an item with up to five photos for four months. When your item sells, they will charge a 3.5 percent commission. You can charge whatever you’d like for your items. You could post items on Craigslist too, with the hopes that you might bypass Etsy’s commission, though you’ll have a much smaller audience.
2. Be an online tutor for kids or adults. If you already have a college degree or you are enrolled in college and have the skills to tutor English, math, science or any other subjects, online tutoring might be perfect for you. Check out Tutor.com. Tutors work as independent contractors and earn $10 to $14 an hour based on the subject and how many hours you work. If you find out that you enjoy this type of work, you might consider tutoring offline, which might make you more cash (though it may not be as convenient).
3. Provide customer service online or by phone. Large retailers usually outsource their customer service calls to third-party companies like Alpine Access and Working Solutions. These companies then contract with home-based workers. Representatives can work 20 to 40 hours a week taking calls. The average rate is about $9 an hour, but with incentives and bonuses offered, you can earn up to $13. Some companies offer health insurance as well. The hiring process can be difficult. You can expect to complete a comprehensive online application, skills exam, phone interview and background check. Other retailers, such as Amazon, hire their home-based customer service representatives directly.
4. Make money from your talent. Put your talent to work on Fiverr.com. Design business cards or logos, create podcasts, edit videos or any variety of other tasks. Buyers only pay $5 for services, but you can offer upgrades for a higher fee. Fiverr will keep $1 and pay you $4 per gig. Visit the site to see what other sellers are offering and get creative ideas about what you’d like to offer. If you’re a teacher, you could also sell your work on Teachers Pay Teachers.
5. Give advice. Know a lot about health and wellness? Financial planning? Just Answer is a paid question-and-answer site that’s growing its list of experts. They hire experts in the medical, legal and financial fields, as well as some other specialties like home improvement and car repair. Registered customers can ask a question and name the price they’re willing to pay for an expert answer. Payments average $10-$40 each. The expert usually responds within an hour and, once the customer accepts the answer, the expert is paid 25-50% of the customer fee. Your earnings will vary depending on how many answers you have accepted by customers. Experts are evaluated through a fairly difficult process, and your education, credentials and background will be verified. Another similar website is About.com.
6. Use online rewards sites, such as Swagbucks. One of my friends swears by Swagbucks and once I learned what it was all about, I do too. You earn points based on performing tasks, such as online shopping, performing web searches, taking surveys, and watching videos. Points can be cashed in for e-gift cards at various online retailers or for Paypal cash. It’s easy to stream videos while you multitask on the computer or activate the Swagbucks code while you shop online.
7. Seek remote employment. There are many work-from-home scams out there, but you can weed out the scams by searching career websites such as Indeed and LinkedIn for “remote” or “telecommute” employment. Or, you can join a job board such as FlexJobs that provides job listings from legitimate companies (including Fortune 500 companies) for a small monthly membership fee.
8. Sell things you no longer need. Instead of holding a traditional yard sale, try selling your items on online barter-and-trade sites such as Facebook groups, Craigslist or eBay. Bonus: you’ll also declutter your house. Once you’ve cleaned out your house, offer to sell items of friends and family for a split of the profit.
9. Be an online juror. Are you a fan of “Law and Order”? If so, being an online juror might be up your alley. You can sit on mock juries to allow attorneys a prediction at how their case will go through websites such as eJury and Online Verdict.
10. Start a blog. As a blogger myself, I have to mention this. Unlike the other opportunities listed, this one requires a financial investment at the beginning. It can take a while to grow your blog’s readership, but once you do, you can make money through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertising.
These are just a few tips, but there are even more ways to make money online. Just be sure to research companies thoroughly, and find reviews from others who have worked for them. And if you want more help with your budget in order to make or save more money (maybe both!), be sure to check out Clearpoint’s monthly budget calculator.