How To Make Some Extra Money When You Are Unemployed

       Being unemployed can take its toll, not only on your career, but also on your finances, your skills, and even your motivation. Watching bills pile up and your bank accounts dwindle can be utterly demoralizing. Spending all day writing cover letters and answering job ads (most of which you will get no response from) can drain your will to live. Sometimes, all you want to do is feel useful again. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make some extra money while you are unemployed. You probably won’t make enough to live comfortably on, but here are some ways to keep the cash trickling in while you work toward your next permanent gig.

1. Freelance

       No matter what your skill set is, there is a good chance that someone in your area needs your help on at least a temporary basis. If you have creative, administrative, or computer skills, you can start with places like Elance and oDesk, which specialize in connecting companies with freelance talent. Contractors bid on jobs posted by companies, which then choose the candidate with the best skill set and hourly rate. This can sometimes result in a race to the bottom of rates, but most jobs have preset minimums, so you’ll rarely end up giving away your services for free.

       If your skills are more practical, like bookkeeping, legal, or sales, you can use resources like AppleOne, which specializes in placing temporary office help. Not only will the experience pad your resume a little, you might just luck out and end up with a permanent job. You can also ask around with your friends to see if their employers need a little help either off-site or in the office a few days a week.

       If your skills are more manual, look in the gigs section of your local craigslist site. You can usually find multiple listings for drivers, welders, fabricators, or just general labor on a short-term basis.

       Like any internet service, you have to be careful of scammers when looking for temporary work. If a job search or placement agent tries to charge you a “placement fee” for their services, avoid them. These sites are typically ad-supported or charge companies to post ads, and should never charge job seekers.

2. Minigig

       You can perform simple tasks on the internet to earn a few bucks here and there. Harvard Business School’s Computer Lab for Experimental Research pays a $5 electronic gift certificate for participating in a research study. You can also complete surveys for Lightspeed Consumer Panel, Pinecone Research, and SurveySpot to earn cash, gift cards, and prizes.

       You can make a little extra money to pay off that new, higher iPhone bill by using it to complete small tasks with the Gigwalk app. Jobs include photographing streets, storefronts, and signs, mapping areas, getting price information, and secret shopping. Tasks range from $3 to $90 each, and the more you complete, the more lucrative gigs you have access to.

3. Monetize your blog

       If you have a decent following on your Blogger, WordPress, or personal blog, you can leverage that into some extra money with ads, affiliate programs, and donations.

       Google’s AdSense is a free service that will automatically display ads on your blog based on the content, and will pay you a small commission per reader who clicks through it. Blogads pays you a percentage of revenue from ads they sell for you.

       If you do a lot of entertainment or product reviews on your blog, an affiliate program like the one Amazon offers will link readers to those products so they can buy them directly. If they do end up buying, you get a small commission.

       If you don’t like the idea of selling ads like corporate TV networks, you can always go the PBS route and solicit donations. Paypal donation buttons give your readers the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are by monetarily supporting the content they love.

       These options not only give you the chance to make a little cash doing what you already enjoy, they also serve as great incentives to improve your blog and expand your following. If your following is good enough, you may not need to get a new job after all.

4. Sell something

       If you are artistic, crafty, or skilled at fabricating, there are places online that give you the opportunity to sell your handiworks to the general public. Etsy, Supermarket, and similar sites give you the opportunity to sell handmade, vintage, and unique items through their sites, or open your own eCommerce store.

       If you are less artistically inclined, or just overburdened with junk, you can line your wallet and clear the clutter by selling your old stuff. You can sell CDs, DVDs, Video Games, or Textbooks them on Small stuff that you can ship sells nicely on eBay, while you can unload bigger stuff locally on craigslist.

       Again, you probably won’t be able to sit back and live off any of these solutions, but a combination of ingenuity and a little legwork can ease the burden of your bills until you find something more permanent and lucrative to do with your days.

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