Online Cash On The Side!

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Many college students are worrying about their finances as they hear reports from their parents that their college savings accounts lost a lot of money when the market bubble burst last fall. In addition, some parents have lost their jobs and aren’t likely to find a new one for some time, perhaps not even finding one that matches their previous payscale.

Truly, these are difficult times all across America, but please don’t despair — American ingenuity finds a way to work through problems, a skill savvy college students can employ as well.

piggy bankIn the Tuesday, March 3, 2009 edition of The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper published article, Selling Expertise On the Internet For Extra Cash (page D1) where they outlined three ways to make money through specific websites. I took a look at each site and am offering my own suggestions to students who might find one or more place to be of interest to them.

Read on and we’ll explore what each site offers along with some other options available to you:

LivePerson.com — Are you an expert or fairly knowledgeable in a certain endeavor? Lots of students may think otherwise but if you’re a ham radio pro, can offer advice when buying a new car, know a lot about personal style, or have some other sought after skill, then you just may have what it takes to offer per minute advice online. This site allows experts to dispense advice online, permitting you to set up your own fee structure. A portion of what you earn is kept by LivePerson, but you’ll get the chance to promote yourself on a site that reaches thousands of people.

AssociatedContent.com (AC) — As freelance writer starting out, I might be attracted to a site like this one, but I have my own customers with whom I deal with. Although I’m not particularly a phone of paid article sites, if you have a flair for writing and can cover a variety of topics, then AC could be right for you. Just keep a few things in mind: your articles may not get accepted and you may get a small amount of pay for your work. Then there is disclaimer you’ll want to keep in mind in what you are granting AC: “…a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and fully sub-licensable license, to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, create derivative works from, transfer, transmit and distribute on the AC Network…”

Mechanical Turk at mturk.com — I’m not particularly thrilled with this site although it is operated by Amazon.com. Essentially, you’ll be asked to complete a bunch of mindless and pretty much meaningless tasks which, when done alone, can seem pointless. Then again, if you’re particularly adept with your mouse and work fast, your income can add up. Just be careful — some of the visuals are adult and the pay out per task can start as low as a penny!

Craigslist, et al — A fourth option, not mentioned in The Wall Street Journal article, is for you to seek part time work online yourself. One of the best sites for connecting with people is Craigslist. A recent survey of the site revealed people asking for help on writing a resume, assistance with a term paper, help for a grad school entrance letter, and more. Just be careful: scams abound on Craigslist and on sites just like it.

You won’t get rich using any one of these sites, but you could make enough money to help defray some of your college expenses. Minimally, you could earn enough money to cover your personal expenses which can include a pizza with the guys.

Adv. — Need additional student income ideas? Visit SayHomeBusiness.com for ideas which you may be able to apply while away at school!

Photo Credit: Eylem Culculoglu

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Categories: Personal Advice