Kim Komando Special for USA TODAY
Updated 10:06 AM EDT Jul 22, 2016
Not a week goes by that someone does not call my national radio show asking about legitimate work-at-home online jobs. There are truly great opportunities but just like a landing a real job, you first must have the desire to make things happen. And since these are online opportunities, you also need a decent internet connection along with a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop.
Getting started is always the hardest part. To help you, here are ways you can put extra cash in your pocket.
1. Do small jobs in your hometown
If you don’t mind getting out and about, there are people ready to hire you right now.
Field Agent: Field Agent focuses on giving businesses information. They need you to help them gather this information. For example, you might be hired to go to a specific store and take photos or a video of a product’s display. You can also earn money answering consumer surveys. You apply to be an agent, find jobs and get paid using the Field Agent app. Expect to earn $2 to $12 per job.
TaskRabbit: Ever need a hand getting something done? TaskRabbit puts you in touch with people who need immediate help in your area. To become a “Tasker,” you complete an application, have an in-person interview and pass a background check. You also take a short quiz to prove you read the official Tasker handbook. Tasks span the gamut from assembling furniture, shopping, helping with a move, and planning a party to doing small repairs.
Thumbtack: If you have a particular skill, Thumbtack helps you create your own source of income. It’s an online marketplace geared specifically for local professionals to gain new customers. You’ll find personal trainers, makeup artists, painters, florists, roofers, pet sitters and many others using the site. Prospective customers answer a few questions detailing exactly what they need. You see their requirements and bid on jobs that you’d like to do through the site.
2. Sell handmade crafts
Are you a crafty person looking to make extra money? Selling handmade items is a fun way to earn money online.
Etsy: How’d you like your own online store to sell your crafts? Etsy makes it easy to create a full product catalog showcasing your crafts. Buyers purchase items directly through the site. It’s free to create your shop, but Etsy charges a small fee for each item you post and takes a 3.5 percent cut of anything you sell.
Handmade at Amazon: To be considered to sell products on Handmade at Amazon, you have to apply here. Once you’re accepted, there’s no charge to list your products on Handmade. Amazon takes 12 percent of your sales. It’s similar to Etsy, but Amazon is a much larger site, which means there’s the potential for many more customers.
3. Get paid to write
If you have a way with words, look at sites that pay you to write.
WriterAccess: This service connects freelance writers with businesses that need written copy. Freelancers send their resumes to WriterAccess and complete a screening process that tests and confirms a writer’s proficiency. WriterAccess assigns a star rating to the writer, so clients know exactly what they are getting and prices are adjusted accordingly. For example, a 2-star writer will cost $0.02 per word, whereas a 6-star writer will cost anywhere from $0.10 to $2.00 per word.
ListVerse: Look online and you’ll see a slew of articles that start with the number 10. If you can put together 10 fun-facts about things, this is for you. ListVerse will pay you for a well-written list of any kind. Looking at their site, subjects range from “10 Paranormal Events Witnessed by the Police” to “10 Strange 20th Century Ruins.” ListVerse pays you $100 for any article that you write and it publishes. But it can’t be plagiarized and needs to be more than 1,500 words.
Write and sell eBooks: Writing a book is one that many people overlook. You don’t need to write a novel. It could be something as simple as 20 dynamite recipes. Whatever your topic, no matter how big or small, there’s most likely an audience. Click here to learn how to write and sell your own eBook.
Bonus: Make and share videos
The next time you catch a once-in-a-lifetime moment or silly event on camera, share the video online. You might just get lucky enough to have your video go viral. Of course, it doesn’t happen for everyone. But you can still earn money by sharing videos on social media.
YouTube: Whether it’s a short clip of your pet or a fully produced product review, you can make money with it on YouTube. You certainly do not need a television studio to create moneymaking YouTube videos. Click here to listen to my free podcast for a detailed breakdown on how to make money on YouTube.
Amazon Video Direct: While everyone knows about YouTube, Amazon Video Direct is still a secret. Here, you can post videos for free and anyone around the world can watch them. If your video is free to the public, Amazon Video Direct will keep 45 percent of the advertising revenue it generates. If you make a video that’s available for rent or subscription, Amazon will keep 50 percent of advertising revenue. For videos that only Amazon Prime members can watch, Amazon will pay you $0.15 for each hour that a person streams your videos.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com or send her an email.