Five Ways to Earn Extra Cash on the Side

By Mike Haaren

Sept. 19, 2012

One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “How can I make some extra money from home?” With the economy stagnant, retirement plans iffy and wages unchanged since Noah floated, it makes sense. And not only do home-based micro-projects help pay the bills, they can often beef up your network, your references and your morale.

Bear in mind, however, that it’s still an employer’s market, so you won’t get rich, and it may take some time to land the work. But on the flip side, the web continues to enable companies to hire unlimited numbers of people for projects or operations of any size – aka crowdsourcing – and we expect this trend to grow.

FIVE “EXTRA MONEY” GIGS
You have many choices if you want to earn extra cash on the side, and more are cropping up each day. Besides the ones we list here and in our Directory of Jobs by Category, you can also Google terms such as “earn extra cash” and “earn extra income.” (Watch out for scams, though. Pyramid schemes in particular can pop up when you search with those terms.)

Ways to earn extra money from home are also often discussed on forums like WAHM.com and WorkPlaceLikeHome.com.

1. Be a “ticket-puller.” In the old days, if you were strapped for time, you could pay someone to stand in line for you to buy a ticket to a popular event. Now, it’s also done virtually. “Ticket Pullers” get paid to log on and grab tickets to concerts, sports games and other popular happenings.

To buy the tickets, Ticket Pullers use the account of the company; they don’t spend their own cash. They can be paid up to $50 for a successful “pull.” However, there’s no pay if they don’t nab the ticket. For more, see TicketPuller.com.

2. Be a website tester. These days, everybody has a website, from the one-person home-based company on up. But website owners also want to know how their site looks and works when visitors come. Can you navigate it easily? Is the message clear? Do the graphics look good?

Website testers answer those questions and others, recording video and audio clips as they review the site. Pay averages around $10 per review, and reviews take less than an hour. For more, see UserTesting.com and Userlytics.com.

3. Get paid to go look at stuff. If you want to rent a house at a distant location, how do you know if the reality is going to match the online image? Suppose you want to buy a used car or boat or high-end sofa, but you can’t check it out yourself? WeGoLook.com pays people to do the looking. “Lookers” receive $25 and up per completed assignment.

4. Get paid to give your opinion. Focus groups – people who give their opinion of a company’s proposed service or product – have been around for a long time. Now, however, many assignments have moved online and the work is often done from home.

Pay varies according to the duration of the assignment. For more, see Panel.focusfwdonline.com and 2020Research.com.

5. Do anything for $5. If you have a talent for singing birthday songs, or you can analyze dreams with your intuition, or you’re willing to do the chicken dance and record it on video, you can probably earn $5, too.

These are just some of the services recently offered at Fiverr.com, where people earn extra cash for an astonishing variety of skills. Good luck, and have fun!