This is going to be a departure from my normal eclectic posting style. Yes, I know that eclectic by its very definition means that the collective group is mix and match. However, this is something that I never write about. I am going to write about jobs and money.
Most of my readers probably know that I make the bulk of my income with geeky stuff. What they don’t know is how I supplement that income. I was reading yet another tale of woe from someone who was reduced to working minimum wage after a lay off and it occurred to me that perhaps most people are not aware of the opportunities that exist online. If you need a second or supplementary income? I have the hook-up. I have been telecommuting doing one thing or another for 20 years so that I can afford to live in the lifestyle I am accustomed to.
First up, Needle.com. Needle is a new kid on the block for me but you can’t beat them for part time income. The concept behind the business is that they hire fans of certain things to provide product support and sales to major brands. The pay is 9-12 dollars an hour and the work is dead simple. You schedule yourself, login to take chats and answer questions about things you already know about. In addition to the hourly pay they also engage in what is called “gamification”. Yes, I know that grates on the English majors amongst us…but it is still a good thing. For every customer you help and certain chat behaviors you earn points. With these points you can get things like an iPad 2 for free. You also get discounts on any product the company you are working for sells.
I signed up on a Tuesday, was contacted for an interview on a Thursday and by the next week found myself the proud owner of a certification to be a Norton AV fan/product specialist. It isn’t all tech, either. They also provide service for Urban Outfitters, Skull Candy, Astro Gaming, Coach, Timex, uSell, Episencial, Pyramyd Air, Gallery Direct, and many more deals in the works. So click the Needle.com link. It costs you nothing and could give you a part time income that helps.
If you are a decision maker in your company? You should surf on over to the business front of Needle.com and check out what they offer. Their philosophy is that you make more sales by providing interactions with people who actually love and understand the products you are selling. They are not your typical customer service agency. They train fans of your stuff to be engaging and friendly. Not just to answer questions like an AI program could with all the personality of a pet rock. Which is, sadly, what traditional customer service tends to be like. From what I have seen their philosophy works and is cost effective. Plus their interface is really well put together.
Second offering is multi-part. Many of my readers and friends are writers of one type or another. I will explain them in the order I value them.
CloudCrowd is an excellent source of supplemental, or even primary, income for writers, editors and others. They pay the next day by PayPal and just as an example of the potential I earned 60 dollars out of the gate after I passed their credential test for writing two 1,000 word articles. No, it isn’t freelance rate but…nice to have something that pays off within 24 hours if you have a cash emergency. If you aren’t a writer they also have lesser paying projects in areas such as SEO, categorization, translation and things I don’t know how to categorize. Worth a look just because.
Textbroker is another content generation option. They don’t pay as well as CloudCrowd but the assignments tend to be less rule bound. Most of their projects are web content related.
Clickworker also offers writing projects. Their pay is all over the map. Some of it pays very well, some of it pays so little my eyebrows go hide in my hairline. My favorite project for them so far was the Groupon content. I was able to use my bizarre sense of humor to my little heart’s desire and also be paid a reasonable amount. They do things other than content generation, as well. Worth a look and a registration because you never never know when a project will pop up that you like.
Third option is customer service sites. Most of these require phone skills.
Working Solutions is primarily a phone based customer service company. The client list is incredibly varied. They also do sales and focus group recruiting amongst others. They pay hourly and the two gigs I did for them I really enjoyed.
So there you have it. This is how I afford things like frivolous vacations to hotels that have Japanese soaking tubs. Or electronics I really don’t need. I also run a content company on the side. I don’t have a large volume of clients but if you are an editor or a writer, feel free to apply here:
Any project I take on pays a living wage. It is part of the philosophy I live by. Pay your contractors what you would want.
I generally hire people I know but if your resume/application is outstanding? You never can tell. The site also has a job board for independent contractors that is updated daily and offers many different opportunities in creative fields.
Hopefully this will help someone to find the income gap bridge they need. At the very least I hope it enlightens people to the fact that there is more out there than just local employment. You can make money in your undies from home, too, no phone sex required. Heh.