Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. If you decide to clink on the links and purchase a product, I may receive a commission. I only promote products that I believe in, and honesty is very important.
Recently, the Bureau of and Labor Statistics released the latest unemployment figures. As of November 2011, the general unemployment rate is 8.6% for the U.S. The figure improved slightly but it is still high, which means that millions of Americans are still out of work. For these folks there is no economic recovery, but rather an ongoing Great Recession. Unemployment benefits aren’t enough to support a family and pay bills. Yet, certain members of Congress are reluctant to extend unemployment compensation. If you want to work and still can’t find work, then I am going to suggest some out of the box ways to hustle and create a job or extra income for yourself. Don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself or become depressed. Don’t wait for the government to bail you out, like it did for the big banks.
Ebay.com, Amazon.com, and Craigslist.org are the most popular websites that allow private people to sell used or new merchandise online. You can sell just one item or many, it does not matter. Ebay.com allows you to sell stuff in auction listings or at a fixed price. There are usually listing fees and final value fees charged after the item sells. Amazon.com allows you to sell almost anything at a fixed price. Amazon.com charges a listing fee and a percentage of the sale price for the item sold. Craigslist.org is a website that functions like an online classified ad. It is free to use, but exercise good judgment when it comes to dealing with strangers. There are some sick puppies in this world. By the way, Craigslist has an employment section, as well.
3. Sell goodies or home cooked meals from your home.
This takes me way back to when I was a child. My friends and I would walk to “store houses” in “the hood”, where people sell candy, chips, pickled eggs, hot sausages, soda, and other junk from their home. Elderly people and mothers are known to operate these types of enterprises. A business license may or may not be required for this type of operation. Did you know that Paula Dean started her empire with just $200, by selling sandwiches and cooked meals from her home?
4. Clean homes or wash windows.
Print up some flyers and business cards and leave them in places where people would be interested. You can order some good quality business cards for pretty cheap at Vistaprint.com. If you are short on cash, ask your customers to provide the cleaning supplies. You don’t have to operate from an office, and may be able to operate as a home based entrepreneur. It is best to get a license prior to starting a cleaning business, so that everything is legit. A business license should not cost much. Also, most customers will want you to be bonded and insured to protect against property damage. I think that it is risky to do business covertly, without a proper license, but it would be your choice if you did.
5. Donate blood plasma.
There are FDA licensed, biopharmaceutical companies that collect blood plasma from donors and pay the donors. Plasma is the liquid part of the blood that contains antibodies, clotting factors, and other valuable plasma proteins. Some patients who are deficient in plasma proteins need plasma donations in order to live. When you donate blood plasma, you go through a process of plasmapheresis, whereby, some of the blood plasma is separated from the blood cells. The liquid portion of the blood is collected in a 1 Liter container. The red blood cells are returned to the bloodstream. Except for the initial vein stick and set up, the rest of the process is virtually painless. You can earn about $200 a month by donating plasma. Some donors are able to earn more if their blood type is pretty rare. Do a Google search to find out if there is a plasma collection/ donor center near you.
6. Take online surveys and participate in local market research.
Companies are very interested in learning what consumers think about products and new product concepts. These companies hire market research companies to host consumer research surveys. The market research company is paid by the company that contracts with them for the data. The market research company would then pay the consumer for their opinions. Payment can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars per research study.
7. Sell stuff at the local swap meets.
Pick up your local paper and find out when the next swap meet goes down. Many swap meets allow merchants to sell on location for free. Others may charge merchants a small fee. In Fort Lauderdale there is a very popular swap meet at the Thunderbird Swap Shop. Merchants sell stuff both indoors and outdoors in the garage sale area. I used to sell at the Swap shop a few years back, but did not make enough money to justify continuing. However, you might not experience the same result. It depends mainly on the demand for the types of goods that you are selling. I think that crafts, antiques, and electronics do very well at swap meets. Be sure to bring your own tables, canopy, and chairs.
8. Do freelance work.
The Internet is brimming with opportunities to make money by doing freelance work. Some of the most popular websites for finding freelance jobs are eLance and Odesk. Most of the freelancers on these sites place a bid to do work. The employer will choose from among bidding freelancers. There are thousands of opportunities available from all over the world. Some of the freelance jobs available include virtual assistant, website design and coding, graphic design, copy writing and editing, marketing, etc. You have a better chance of snagging a job if you have experience and a portfolio or references for perspective employers.
9. Recycle scrap metals.
Walk your neighborhood or drive a small pick up truck to scour your area for aluminum cans and discarded scrap metals. The vandals and thieves are even hip to this, as they are stripping abandoned homes for metal plumbing, AC units, and electrical wires! I have seen guys on the streets pushing shopping carts full of scrap metals. Of course you won’t go to these extremes. Ask your family and friends to save their soda and beer cans for you. Every bit adds up, plus you are helping the environment by recycling.
10. Pick up a paper route.
You will need to be an early riser to do this work. The newspaper publisher will want delivery people whom are able to start work in the wee hours of the morning. You also have to have your own transportation and automobile insurance. Most people that deliver the paper in South Florida make decent money (about $800- $1000 per month depending on the route).
11. Work as a Disc Jockey
Do you love playing music, and hyping crowds? If so, then working as a freelance disc jockey may be perfect for you. There are some upfront start up costs required for equipment and a music collection. Many DJs work part time at night clubs and parties. This man that I knew had a side gig as a DJ. He advertised by word of mouth and business cards. He managed to accumulate thousands of dollars worth of music over the years. In his free time, he charged $150- $200 or more per hour for his work at weddings, family reunions, and parties. Not bad for a few hours of work.
12. Build a website or a blog.
This involves thinking of a unique topic or niche to design your website around. One trick is to try and find a niche that is not overly crowded. Once you get that out of the way,you'll need to build the website either from scratch using a programming language like CSS or HTML or you could use a platform like Wordpress, which takes most of the work out of building a website. Here's a helpful beginner's guide to get your started with creating a niche website. It is best to optimize the website for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and drive traffic to your blog or website. Most website owners make money off the website through ads or selling a product or a service.
13. Sales : Network Marketing or MLM opportunities
Some people have a natural knack for winning others over and persuasion. Selling might be a great way to make good money, if you are great dealing with others. Most great salespersons are extroverts (but not always- there are exceptions to every rule) and very competitive. Good sales people also need to have a thick skin, and overcome fear of rejection. As for Multi-level marketing opportunities or MLM, there are some reputable companies that have jobs available as independent sales reps. It's like running your own business, but representing another company at the same time. Multi-level marketing is not to be confused with pyramid schemes. Examples of well known, established, reputable MLMs are Avon and Mary Kay. However, don't act solely on anyone's words. Always do your research, before invest time and money into an MLM.
If you are good at spelling, grammar and writing then this might be a good choice for you. Your writing skills don’t have to be perfect, but good enough to be intelligible. You should write well enough to convey ideas in a coherent, concise and easy to understand manner. Some of the most popular websites that will pay you to write content are Demand Studios, Associated Content, Hubpages, Helium, Squidoo, Bukisa, and Suite 101. There are several websites that pay, and these are just a small sample of the most well-known ones to get you started. The payment structures for each website differs; Some will pay an established amount per page view, and some pay based on revenue sharing structures.
© Copyright 2011 Susan Broadbelt