There are no doubts many people who would like to earn extra money doing something that is flexible enough to fit around their jobs or other commitments. Increasingly people are realizing that almost everyone has a number of skills and assets companies or other people are willing to pay for – especially online. These can range from people’s opinions on consumer items, to photos taken on one’s cell phone. Here we look at some of the more unusual ways there are for people to earn money.

Paid Surveys

Companies are always keen to get insights into what consumers think about their products. An increasingly popular way for businesses to carry out this market research work is by using websites where consumers are paid to complete surveys. In the USA there are a number of sites offering surveys and you are free to sign up to as many as you like. Some of the major sites include; SurveySavvy, Brand Institute, SurveyHead, Valued Opinions and Harris Poll Online.

To be eligible to complete the surveys you will always be asked to register with the site, although no reputable company will ask you for payment as part of the registration process. Sites pay anywhere between one and ten dollars per survey, depending on the complexity and length of the questions. Some companies have a minimum payment threshold which must be reached before you can cash out your earnings, and this is typically around the twenty five dollar level. The more companies you are registered with, the more you will be able to earn. There are also sites that, instead of paying you, have you build up points for items or cash coupons for specific online companies.

Earning Money through Photography

Fotolia is a website where people can upload their pictures for sale for a percentage of the commission. To use the site you must first set up an account, which is completely free, after which you can upload as many pictures as you want. Any pictures you take on a digital camera or even your cell phone can be uploaded to the site. There is no charge for uploading the images, but commission is paid on any sales you make. Pictures can sell for as little as one dollar and up to two thousand dollars for an image by an established photographer. To increase your chance of making money from this site, consider the types of photos people will want to download, for instance photographs of family holidays are unlikely to be as popular as those of iconic landmarks.

Freelance Work

There are a number of freelancing sites available which all work in a similar fashion. Freelancers register with the site and then bid on jobs which become available. The type of work offered covers almost anything that can be done from home and includes jobs such data entry and accountancy. Registration will be free, but if you do successfully bid on a job then commission is deducted from your fee. The amount you can earn depends on the type of work you are doing, as jobs which require specialist skills will pay a greater amount than data entry jobs. When you first join the site it is common to have to put in some low bids to ensure you are successful in securing your jobs. This will allow you to receive positive feedback if you complete them well. As your rating increases you will be able to increase the amount you charge for jobs. Popular websites offering this service include PeoplePerHour and Elance.


If you have a skill, Fiverr is a website which allows you to offer services and tasks to users for a payment of five dollars – although it is possible to charge more. Examples on the site include people offering to draw caricatures, record voice overs and print t-shirts. Each service offered on the website is known as a ‘gig’. Essentially, Fiverr is a large marketplace which allows people to sell items and use Fiverr’s infrastructure to collect payments and communicate with their buyers. Registration on the site is free for the basic account, though if you want to offer additional services then you can pay for a higher level account. For each gig you sell, your account will be credited with four dollars.

Selling Items

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and the reality of this means that selling items is definitely one of the most reliable ways to earn extra money. A quick review of sites such as eBay shows that people will often pay for things that others might throw out – even used jam jars! Make the most of free listing weekends to put those things you thought you would toss out with the garbage up for sale. Alternatively, if you are good at making craft items, then the site Etsy is popular with people who sell homemade goods as it enables them to reach a wide marketplace without having to set up their own websites.

Guest post written by Agnes Geka. She is Online Marketing executive for which is a work-at-home community representing some of the biggest market research companies online.

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