If you have specific writing/journalism skills or are adept in various IT/software domains, freelancing may prove to be a lucrative source of secondary income. Increasingly, companies are implementing a content marketing strategy and turning to outside sources for specific assignments, and if you can prove your worth there will be more work available. Even simple skills like data entry may be to your liking, provide you can offer at least 5-10 hours weekly.
Another good one for crowdsourcing is iSoftStone. You are actually an independent contractor for Microsoft. HitApps don’t pay much per hit but if you get good at it and are productive this is a very good way to work from home. I think I actually found them through you, Anna. Real money paid through PayPal. You have to wait about a month to get paid but it’s cash and the potential is huge.
ThredUp. Their tag line is "secondhand clothes, firsthand fun." And they have to get their clothes from somewhere. Are you catching on? You are that somewhere. The website sells women's and kid's clothes (sorry, guys). You send your clothes in a ThredUp bag with a prepaid mailing label, and ThredUp will decide the value. They're looking for nice clothes and popular brands, and there's a fee if your items aren't accepted. So if you have clothes better suited for a yard sale, hold a yard sale. But if you have quality outfits you no longer want, ThredUp will probably pay you enough that you can buy new threads.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
So, I had to do something. While some of these work at home sites (e.g. customer service companies) do require some type of training or experience, the ones that don’t were the way to go. Yes, it’s been a learning experience even for me and it’ll take some time for me to build my website (once I get around to it). But, I had very, very little options from the getgo. I was practically shoved out of the job market and that’s something very few people (especially those in my family) understood.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.