At Jewelry Wonder ( jewelrywonder.com), 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 ( artfire.com) 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.
Make money from your talent At Fiverr ( fiverr.com), 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.
More From Today: The 4 Best Ways To Make Money from Home
Be a nurse on call If you’re a registered nurse, consider a company like Fonemed ( fonemed.com), 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.
demandstudios.com) and Associated Content ( associatedcontent.com) 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).
Design graphics and websites Elance ( elance.com) 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.
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. Give advice Know a lot about medicine or car repairs? JustAnswer ( justanswer.com) 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 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.
Provide customer service Many retailers are outsourcing their customer service operations to third-party companies like Alpine Access ( alpineaccess.com) and Working Solutions ( workingsolutions.com), 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 ( liveops.com) 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.
Make a little spending money When career librarian Rachel Singer Gordon, 40, of Lombard, Illinois, quit her job in 2005 to take care of her children and pursue freelance writing, she knew she’d need to find other sources of income to supplement her writing. She dove headlong into couponing and frugality, and became a wizard at finding ways to earn money online. Soon Rachel was bringing in small amounts of income from lots of sources she calls “multiple profit centers.” “They’re the equivalent of a nice, steady part-time job,” says Rachel. In 2009, she started the blog Mashup Mom ( mashupmom.com) to share all the stuff she was learning. In fewer than two years, the blog has become yet another profit center for Rachel, as has her first book, Point, Click, and Save: Mashup Mom’s Guide to Saving and Making Money Online. Tap into multiple profit centers with Rachel’s favorites.
- Launch a blog. “If you have something interesting
to say, grow your readership, post ads and earn some dough,” says
Rachel. Start your blog at a free site (go to
wordpress.com ), then go to Google AdSense (
google.com/adsense) or the affiliate program at Amazon.com (
to feature advertising on your site. With AdSense, you make a little
bit every time someone clicks on one of the ads hosted on your site.
With Amazon’s program, you earn a small commission when someone clicks
through on an ad and makes a purchase at Amazon. The income will start
small, but if you build your following, your cash flow will increase.
Rachel typically makes several hundred dollars per month from ads or
affiliate links on her blog.
- Give your opinion. At MySurvey.com, Surveyhead.com
or ValuedOpinions.com, you can sign up to take surveys about products
and services and get paid for it. Sites typically pay $2 to $5 per
completed survey and will send you a check or deposit to your PayPal
account, or gift cards or merchandise once you reach $20 in your survey
account. Scam alert! There are lots of survey sites out there, but not
all are trustworthy. Avoid participating in anything that charges a fee
up front to participate. “I try to take three or four surveys each week
while the kids are watching TV, and that brings in $20 to $30 per
month,” says Rachel.
- Search the Internet. Rachel loves to scour the Web, and one of her favorite things to do is use Swag Bucks (
swagbucks.com) as her search
engine instead of, say, Google or Yahoo. By doing this, she earns Swag
Bucks points — called “SBs” on the website — redeemable for merchandise
like Target gift cards and beauty products. (Maximize the number of
points you earn by installing the Swag Bucks toolbar on your computer.)
You can also earn more Swag Bucks points by taking the site’s daily poll
and by participating in the company’s “trusted surveys.” But be warned,
it could take awhile to accumulate SBs. A $300 Apple gift card, for
example, costs 37,000 SB. If you don’t want prizes, you can trade your
Swag Bucks points for PayPal deposits into your account.
- Do online tasks. Have a few extra minutes with nothing to do? Companies like Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk ( mturk.com) will pay you to complete little tasks that they need done, such as searching the Web for certain products or answering questions and giving opinions. There’s usually a time limit of anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, and pay ranges from a few cents to a few dollars. This may not sound like a lot, but do enough tasks and you’ve earned yourself some extra spending money.