The Internet has opened up a world of opportunities and given enterprising men and women some surprising ways to bring in extra cash. Some of those opportunities, from making and monetizing YouTube videos to writing content for local entrepreneurs, are obvious enough, but others are a bit more unusual.
If you are looking for a way to bring in some extra cash and have fun in the process, you might want to explore these unique avenues to success. Not all of these ideas will make you rich, but they will bring in some extra money, so you can pay off your debt, start an emergency fund or even save for retirement. Here are ten of the most unusual job opportunities in the 21st-century economy.
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1. Get Paid to Lose Weight
If you need some extra motivation to drop those last few pounds, the idea of extra cash may do the trick. There are number of websites and apps, such as Pact, that actually pay you for losing weight, so you could gain money while you shed those extra pounds.
These sites generally work in the form of a wager. Participants put up money and bet that they can lose weight. If they succeed, they get the cash; if not, they lose their ante.
2. Get Paid to Watch Videos
If you love to watch videos, you could get paid for it. The makers of online videos are always looking for feedback, and they are willing to part with some serious cash to make it happen.
InboxDollars is one of the most popular video watching sites, but there are others as well. Some movie studios even offer cash for in-home previews. You may not get rich, but you will have some extra cash — and enjoy lots of fun content.
3. Be a Human Guinea Pig
You need a bit of courage to make this one work, but taking a gig as a human guinea pig could fatten your wallet and boost your bank account. Drug companies and always on the lookout for healthy individuals to test the efficacy of their new pharmaceuticals, and the amounts they pay can be quite generous.
There is some risk in this unusual occupation, but plenty of people make a living this way, and far more use clinical trials to bring in extra cash. Potential guinea pigs can search for trials in their area by going to clinicaltrials.gov.
4. Play Video Games
Are you an ardent gamer? If so, you could turn your love of gaming into some extra cash. Game developers are anxious for feedback from ordinary people, so much so that they are willing to pay for that impartial advice.
One of the most popular ways for gamers to make extra money is with the appKarma app. Users earn points for watching videos, playing games and giving feedback. Those points can be redeemed for things like gift cards and cash.
5. Get Cash Back from Online Purchases
You shop anyway, so why not get paid for it? There are plenty of places to sign up for money-saving coupons, rebates and cash-back opportunities, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start making some extra cash.
The Paribus app has long been a favorite with online shoppers. This tool tracks your online purchases, scans for lower prices and refunds the difference when it finds a lower price. Ebates works in a similar fashion, but it offers a percentage of cash back for various online merchants.
6. Become a Product Tester
What could be better than trying out new products before the rest of the public? How about getting paid to check out those new products? Becoming a product tester is a great way to make some extra money, and you get to enjoy some great food, exceptional cleaning products and other items in the process.
When consumer brands release new products, they want to test them first, and they do so through a network of focus groups and product testing companies. Businesses like Pinecone Research and Resolution Research connect the businesses that make the products with the consumers doing the testing, and signing up can make you some extra money.
7. Do Your Neighbours' Laundry
If you have a washing machine, you could make extra money by taking in laundry for your busy neighbors. Many people — especially those who work hectic schedules — would be more than happy to farm out this tedious task.
There are plenty of ways to get the word out about your laundry for hire service. You can spread the word at church, post on the bulletin board at the grocery store or even pay for an online classified ad. Once you land your first set of clients, word-of-mouth advertising could help you expand your business.
8. Profit from Your Camera Skills
These days everyone is a photographer, but some have better skills than others. If you are adept with a camera, you could sell your shots to advertisers, owners of online stores and others who need great quality photography.
Sites like Shutterstock give photographers a chance to post their favorite images. When someone downloads one of your shots, you share in the proceeds. You may not get rich doing this, but you could bring in some extra money doing something you already love to do.
9. Open a New Bank Account
Did you know that some banks will pay you to open a new account? It is true, and the bonus offers can be quite enticing. In some cases, these bank opening bonuses can be as much as $250 or even $500 depending on how much you deposit and the rules of the promotion.
Some bonus offers are predicated on a specific opening deposit, while others also require an ongoing direct deposit. Be sure to read the fine print carefully, but if you meet the requirements, you could pocket hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars over the course of a single year.
10. Care for Others
If you have a background in nursing or have worked as a caregiver, you can parlay your skills and compassion into a great part-time job. (I'm just happy that I found a way to use parlay in a sentence). There are a number of websites that bring together eligible caregivers with the families who need them, and plenty of agencies as well.
You will need a solid background as a caregiver or experience in the medical field, but for those who qualify, this could be a great opportunity. These part-time caregivers can choose their clients, set their own hours and know that they are making a difference while making money.
If you are looking for some extra cash, the ideas listed above may be all you need to get started. The online world has created a number of great opportunities for motivated individuals, and there is money out there just waiting for you to grab it!