Freelancing is the next best thing to being paid more for your full-time work, because professional work always pays more than unskilled. To find opportunities, let former colleagues or other personal connections that you’re available for freelance gigs. (Here are some ideas on how LinkedIn could be useful for that.) Or, post on marketplaces particular to your field. For instance, Mediabistro, a journalism site, allows freelancers to post profiles of their experience and services. Though these are more up to chance, designers can bid on jobs at 99Designs.com or submit a design at Threadless, to see if it will be crowdfunded. Elance-Odesk also lists many freelance opportunities, and you can also post your own services on Fiverr, although some freelancers say these services create a race to the bottom on fees and so are not very lucrative. If you're new to freelancing, here's how to set your rates, and here's how to negotiate raises with clients.
Do you love getting refunds? How cool would it be to get money back on stuff you’ve already bought? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund. It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts. If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you. Try out Paribus.
If you've ruled out survey taking as a legitimate way to earn money from home, listen to Bonnie Alcala. She and her daughter Andrea Spain, an elementary-school substitute teacher, take surveys online for fun and a little profit. They are careful to avoid any scams by refusing to pay an upfront fee or other charge. Bonnie and Andrea pocket around $100 a month for spending two hours a week taking surveys, which gives each of them extra pin money. In addition, they collect all kinds of gift cards and other prizes.
WeReward: This iPhone and Android app allows you to complete small tasks (ex. taking a photo of yourself with your favorite beverage or eating at a new establishment) for points that translate to cash. Though the per-task reward is small, there are millions of participating businesses and the points can add up quickly. The location-based rewards are best if you already have an active lifestyle and won’t have to force yourself to starting eating/drinking out all the time.
If you're an exact size 4 or the perfect size 8, fashion designers need you to try on their designs and give feedback on what does and doesn't work for your shape. The pay is great—between $2,000 and $3,000 a day—but you need an agent. MSA Models (570 Seventh Ave at 41st St; 212-944-8896, msamodels.com) is the gold standard and holds open casting calls (show up at 10am on Tuesdays). Mary-Evy McNenny, a 51-year-old Upper East Sider, has works as a fit model for Lafayette 148 and Ellen Tracy—and she admits it's not easy. "You cannot lose or gain weight. Just a few pounds and things won't fit the same," she says. "I weigh myself every day. When I go on vacation, I bring a scale in my carry-on bag."
Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:
I’m a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people all over the world. To give you an idea of what is possible with blogging, DollarSprout.com is part of a group of blogs that routinely brings in over $100,000 a month in revenue. While it takes time to build your blog up to that income level, you can get the initial set up done in under 30 minutes (no experience needed).