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Array of Home-Based "Minigigs" Expands
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
March 15, 2012
As the Net continues to redefine the way we work and live, we’re
seeing a steady expansion in “micro” ways to make money
from home. Apart from the home-based jobs you can now find with Amazon,
American Express and many other companies, these “minigigs”
range from getting paid to write handwritten notes to renting out your
They may not make you rich, but they can certainly help pay the bills
at the end of the month. And with gas edging up to $4 per gallon, not
only are expenses increasing, but anything home-based is looking better
FIVE “MISCELLANEOUS” GIGS
The Net is like a vast hand with myriad fingers, steadily unlocking
unexpected ways we can repurpose a skill or something we own, and turn
a dollar. Here are just a few of the many options we’ve seen in
our research. (For our much longer list, click here.)
1. Get paid to be an “expert.” JustAnswer.com pays people
to answer questions. Per the website, there are over 150 categories of
expertise, and you can qualify if you have “any license or
certification, or 2+ years of research-related employment (e.g.
librarian, analyst), or a Bachelor's or higher degree.”
2. Rent your spare bedroom short-term for extra cash. Got an extra room
now that a child has gone off to college? Or are you just the flexible
type? Either way, Airbnb.com lets you make some money from a travelling
guest. According to the website, 90,000 “hosts” from over
19,000 cities have opted in, and signup is free.
3. Get paid to critique websites. StartUpLift.com pays you to give your
feedback on websites and/or startups. UserTesting.com also pays people
for similar work.
4. Rent your car for extra cash. You’ll want to check out the
insurance aspects (according to the site, insurance is included), but
RelayRides.com lets you rent out your car by the hour or longer.
“You’re notified of, and get to approve, any reservation
requests. You’re in charge of who can drive your
5. Earn money as a mock juror. Lawyers want to know before they go to
trial how their case might fare. That’s where mock jurors come
in. TrialJuries.com pays you to look over the lawyers’ evidence
and theories and tell them what you
THE “CLOUD” WILL CONTINUE TO RAIN CHOICES
As the cloud (basically, the Internet) continues to soak up people,
businesses and processes around the globe, the ways to earn money from
home will steadily expand.
To put it in perspective, just before the Net, if you lived in the
suburbs, there was only a handful of ways to make money from home. You
could take in typing, be a seamstress or crafter, or perhaps give child
care. If you knew a musical instrument, you could teach music. Most
gigs fell into these categories.
Now, the home typist is a Virtual Assistant (see IVAA.org) and the
seamstress or crafter can sell things on Etsy or eBay. The child-care
giver has a blog, website and/or Facebook page (or has become an online
homework tutor), and a YouTube clip of a violin lesson can capture
As high-speed Internet access continues to spread, get ready for much
more of this brave (or strange) new world of work and commerce.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM