Making money online isn’t easy—if it were, we’d all be rich. Many websites offering money for completing surveys (or other simple tasks) are scams. But if you need quick cash and would rather not go door-to-door offering to wash people’s cars or mow their lawns, there are legitimate ways to make money online—just don’t expect a huge amount of money.
- Mechanical Turk (from Amazon): The highest-paying “Human Intelligence Tasks” (HITs) tend to be transcription from voice to text of hour-long (or longer) video or audio recordings. Unfortunately, payments are not necessarily quick—“Requesters” have up to 30 days to decide whether to pay you for completing a HIT.
- Online tutoring: I personally have worked as a tutor for Tutor.com, and while I can’t really go into much detail due to confidentiality agreements all tutors (as independent contractors) must abide, I can say that my experience as a (contracted) tutor was generally good. You can find out more by reading their FAQ page.
- Translation work: If you know a second (or third, or fourth…) language, you can make money online by providing translation services. (Gengo is a relatively new but popular service.) Just be aware that languages whose translations can generally be performed by Google translate (e.g., English to Spanish or vice versa) probably aren’t going to be in high demand.
- Sell stock photos: Are you a good photographer? Try selling your photographs to stock photo galleries. Popular websites include Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and Flickr.
- Sell your stuff: If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 15 years, you’ve most likely heard of eBay.
- Start a blog: Earnings on a new blog won’t be nearly as immediate as, say, Mechanical Turk or Shutterstock, but you can monetize a blog by selling advertisements (e.g., through Google’s AdSense program) or by selling eBooks. Either way, to make more than pennies you need a good flow of customer traffic. It requires a solid time commitment, but if you think you have valuable advice to offer the world on some subject, why not give it a shot? Popular blogging platforms include WordPress (which is what this website uses), Blogger (from Google), and Typepad.
- Enter a contest:
Which of these has worked best for you? Is there another method that you’ve found to work even better than anything listed here? If so, let us know–shout out on the discussion forums!
Photo by: Tax Credits via Creative Commons license