How to make money online

Illustration file picture. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files)

Every week on my national radio show, someone calls to ask about legitimate work-at-home online jobs. There are some great opportunities, but just like a landing a real job, you need the desire to make things happen. And since these are online opportunities, you also need a decent internet connection along with a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop.

Getting started is always the hardest part. To help you, here are ways you can put extra cash in your pocket.

1. Do small jobs in your hometown

If you don’t mind getting out and about, there are people ready to hire you right now.

Field Agent: Field Agent needs you to help it gather information it provides to businesses. For example, you might get hired to go to a store and take photos or shoot video of a product’s display. You can also earn money answering consumer surveys. You apply to be an agent, find jobs, and get paid using the Field Agent app. Expect to earn $2 to $12 per job.

TaskRabbit: Ever need a hand getting something done? TaskRabbit puts you in touch with people in your area who need immediate help. To become a “Tasker,” you complete an application, have an in-person interview, and pass a background check. You also take a short quiz to prove you read the Tasker handbook. Tasks range from assembling furniture, shopping, helping with a move and planning a party to doing small repairs.

Thumbtack: If you have a particular skill, Thumbtack helps you create your own source of income. It’s an online marketplace geared specifically for local professionals looking for new customers. You’ll find personal trainers, makeup artists, painters, florists, roofers, pet sitters and many others using the site. Prospective customers answer a few questions detailing what they need. Through the website, you see their requirements and bid on jobs you’d like to do.

2. Sell handmade crafts

Selling handmade items is a fun way to earn money online.

Etsy: How’d you like your own online store for selling your crafts? Etsy makes it easy to create a full product catalog where buyers can view and buy your items. It’s free to create your shop, but Etsy charges a small fee for each item you post and takes a 3.5 percent cut of anything you sell.

Handmade at Amazon: To be considered to sell products on Handmade at Amazon, you have to apply here. Once you’re accepted, there’s no charge to list your products, and Amazon takes 12 percent of your sales. It’s similar to Etsy, but Amazon is a much larger site, which means there’s the potential to be seen by many more customers.

3. Get paid to write

If you have a way with words, look at sites that pay you to write.

WriterAccess: This service connects freelance writers with businesses that need written copy. Freelancers send their resumes to WriterAccess and complete a screening process that tests and confirms their proficiency. WriterAccess assigns a star rating to the writer so clients know exactly what they are getting, and prices are adjusted accordingly. For example, a 2-star writer will cost $0.02 per word, whereas a 6-star writer will cost anywhere from $0.10 to $2.00 per word.

ListVerse: Look online and you’ll see a slew of articles that start with the number 10. If you can put together 10 fun facts about things, this is for you. ListVerse will pay you for a well written list of any kind. Looking at their site, subjects range from “10 Paranormal Events Witnessed by the Police” to “10 Strange 20th Century Ruins.” ListVerse pays you $100 for any article it publishes, provided it’s more than 1,500 words and, of course, isn’t plagiarized.

Write and sell eBooks: You don’t need to write a novel. It could be something as simple as 20 dynamite recipes. Whatever your topic, no matter how big or small, there’s most likely an audience. Click here to learn how to write and sell your own eBook.

Bonus: Make and share videos

The next time you catch a once-in-a-lifetime moment or a silly event on camera, share the video online. You might just get lucky and have it go viral. Of course, it doesn’t happen for everyone. But you can still earn money by sharing videos on social media.

YouTube: Whether it’s a short clip of your pet or a fully produced product review, you can make money with it on YouTube — and you don’t need a television studio to create it. Click here to listen to my free podcast for a detailed breakdown on how to make money on YouTube.

Amazon Video Direct: While everyone knows about YouTube, Amazon Video Direct is almost a secret. Here, you can post videos for free, and anyone around the world can watch them. If your video is free to the public, Amazon Video Direct will keep 45 percent of the advertising revenue it generates. If you make a video that’s available for rent or subscription, Amazon will keep 50 percent of advertising revenue. For videos that only Amazon Prime members can watch, Amazon will pay you $0.15 for each hour that someone streams them.

Copyright 2016, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show as she takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle. Visit for free podcasts, videos, product reviews, shows, tips and advice.