Obviously, you do indeed need to invest something, in terms of time. With that being said, we have a modern web-based global economy where more people are turning to side gigs and odd jobs for part-time income, and many even quitting their “day job” to work full-time. Here are some starting points for quick cash and places to develop a micro-career, starting with little more than an Internet connection and zero investment:
These are small tasks distributed for spare change, but they can be done quickly by anyone and it all adds up.
- Amazon Mechanical Turk – Complete tiny tasks like captioning pictures or filling out surveys.
- Fiverr – Complete small tasks for an average of $5.
- Swagbucks – Get paid to watch videos and other micro-marketing tasks.
- User testing – Apps and games will pay you to test their products.
- Teaching English – There is a giant international market for English tutors. Platforms like VIPKid are great to get started.
Skilled gig labor:
These are a class of minor freelance professions which pay slightly higher and can develop into full-time careers. Talent pays off here, but hard work and diligence take you farther.
- Blogging – Blogging for other businesses is a nice handy living. You don’t need to be Stephen King here; as long as you have good English skills, you’ll always find work.
- Shutterstock or iStockPhoto – The web needs images, and anybody with a camera and some rudimentary Photoshop skills can sell images of almost anything.
- Camming – While it’s not for everyone if you’re attractive and not shy, you can help feed the Internet’s appetite for adult content.
- YouTube – Video-blogging and podcasting are a cottage industry. Your income comes mostly from advertising or Patreon sponsors.
- Webmastering – Head over to UpWork and offer your tech skills. You don’t need to be Bill Gates here; there’s a huge market for anybody who can figure out WordPress alone.
- Social media manager / virtual assistant – Managing the online portion of just about any business.
- Translation – Can you speak two or more languages? You have a career for life then.
- Graphic design – If you can draw literally anything, markets like DeviantArt are a marketplace for design talent of every style from drawing to 3D modeling.
A whole micro-economy has grown to replace a large chunk of the service economy. These can turn into decent part-time gigs.
- Uber – With a car and a mobile phone, you’re a freelance taxi driver.
- Food delivery – A big second market for drivers is delivering for restaurants and stores. Works almost like Uber, but you’re transporting cargo instead of people.
- AirBnB – Rent out the extra space in your home. Most anywhere qualifies.
- Handyman and labor – Help people move, repair screen doors, and tinker in general with tools.
- Tutoring – Both children and adults in your area can use whatever knowledge you can lend, especially for homework and study help for grade school through college.
Buying, selling, and trading:
This involves either crafting material good to sell online or trading your way up from trash to treasure. Craigslist will likely be your chief marketplace.
- Flipping – Flipping is the art of taking free supplies and remaking them or reselling them at a cost.
- eBay or Etsy – The large online marketplace. You can buy and sell anything here. If you’re an avid hobbyist with an eye for collecting and appraising, you can trade your way to fortune.
- Arts and crafts – Shopify and similar sites are great for selling the labor of your niche hobby.
There’s a surprising variety of ways we can all trade and sell our skills, knowledge, or just plain time. The work marketplace has changed for the better with the online world. No matter how niche your skill or interest is, you can probably find a market for it out there.