These days everyone is a little short on cash, I think. I know I am. I left my full time job back in January in order to be rid of the stress that was taking over my life. Along with the relief came some anxiety (although nothing in comparison to what I escaped!) about paying the bills with my two part time jobs. Things this month have been a little slow, combined with some scheduling snafu's, and now there's this class that I would love to take (more on that later!!)... Anyway, I've been brainstorming some ways of trying to earn some more cash to either supplement what I'm doing right now or to maybe even replace one of my jobs. Here are some ideas that I'm playing with...
ChaCha.com is a service where customer texts a question and receives an answer from a real person. I'm one of the people that will search the internet or ChaCha's database and reply with an answer. The pay isn't great, but it's easy enough to do while vegging out on the couch watching tv, you can do it any time of day or night, and anywhere you have a computer and internet connection.
I've applied my blog to Google AdSense. When approved, Google will provide me with html that will display ads related to the content on my blog. I get paid as people click through.
Soon, you may start seeing me talk about certain products: it may be a review or it may just be how I use that product in my life. This is through a program called Blogvertise. I will never recommend a product to you, endorse something, or review something that I haven't tried but I will be paid to talk to you about some websites, products, or services. Full disclosure, always.
I haven't applied for it yet, but I'm planning on checking out Amazon's Affiliate Program. I already include links to products on Amazon, so this makes sense for me. Basically, if someone clicks on my link and purchases a product then I would earn a commission.
Another program that I've heard about and plan on investigating is constant content. My understanding is that you basically provide articles to them and get paid when someone purchases it for use on their blog. Your articles can be published multiple times making it a repeated source of income for only one article.
As I continue to straighten up and redesign my blog, you may also see some Project Wonderful ads start popping up. I don't think that this will become much of a money maker or if I'll just use what comes in to re-invest in putting my own ad out there in the hopes that it will bring in some sales.
Other freelance websites that I haven't tried include ProBlogger and Craigslist (so far, Craigslist has only been a place for me to attempt to sell some stuff). Online placement firms like Elance or vWorker handle money and guarantee payment but will also take a percentage of your paycheck and may charge other fees (again, I don't have any experience with these websites, just heard about them).
And last, I plan to start including my herbal goodness and soap to Athena's Armoury Artfire & Etsy shops. I've been waiting to have pretty new graphics (banner, biz card, nice labels, etc.) but I don't think I can wait much longer for two reasons:
1. People have actually been asking for me to get things listed in the shop. I've used a multitude of people as guinea pigs (no animals were harmed in my trials!) and they have raved about my soaps and salves so much that they want to buy more.
2. Plain and simple: I need to start earning more money. I would *love* (as do many crafters) to make a living with my herbal goodness and maille but more than that, I need to start earning a living doing things where I can create my own schedule so I don't miss out on any more theater work.
I hope that you find something here that will help you out in these hard economic times! I'm really only just getting started with this stuff and will gladly give an update down the road to let you know how successful or unsuccessful any of these campaigns are. Please share in the comments below any strategies that you employ to earn a few extra bucks, too!