How to Get It: You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website—all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
Event planning is a bit like wedding planning, just on steroids. The scope of this idea is so large that it includes everything from cheesy stag and hen do parties to sophisticated product launches. Again, the entry barriers are rather low, but a flush work portfolio and a few glowing testimonials are something you need to consider to get a good head start in this field.
If you’ve got gift cards lying around that you never manage to use – maybe you’ve got $50 to Longhorn Steakhouse, but you’re a vegetarian – you can sell them at a discount through gift card exchange sites such as CardCash.com. Once the site receives and verifies the balance on the card (e-cards are obviously handy, but they’ll pay for you to mail in physical gift cards), you can get paid in as little as two days.
As an Instacart personal grocery shopper, you will actually be doing the grocery shopping yourself (so don’t crush anyone’s avocados!). Your compensation depends on several factors, like the average size of your orders and average number of miles driven per trip. You can also get tips in addition to the pay that comes directly from Instacart (most people report an average earnings rate of $15 per hour).
The big thing I want to emphasize is that this process took time. It didn’t happen overnight. If I had I spent a little bit more money to hire a team earlier on, I don’t know if I would have succeeded any sooner, because I was building authority in my niche and trust with my audience—two things you can’t buy. There are indirect ways to build authority and trust, through buying exposure on Facebook, through advertisements, or other advertising platforms so that people can find you sooner, but you still have to earn that trust. You still have to provide value and actually help people in some way.
Noticeably absent from my list is “blogging”. I enjoy blogging and sharing with readers ways to save money, inspiring success stories and of course geek culture. However, blogging is not the path to quick money online. Despite what many bloggers and peddlers of courses may suggest, blogging is very hard work and it takes a sizable audience to make even a modest return.
If you’re passionate about writing and feel strongly about certain subjects, type your way to riches by creating your own blog. Launching your own blog doesn’t require a great deal of technical or computer skills. It is important, however, that you do know what you’re talking about relative to the subject you’re writing on. Over time, you’ll start to develop an audience since people will trust your expertise and knowledge.
And while you’ve probably heard of selling sperm or eggs, don’t get your hopes up: Yes, the young and the healthy can sometimes earn good money as sperm or egg donors, but such opportunities require extensive screenings and long-term commitments. Donating blood (sans plasma), meanwhile, is a great and altruistic thing to do, but you generally won’t get money for it.
Honestly, however, this may not be very realistic for a lot of people. I wouldn’t count on this if you’re trying to make your rent, and you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. First, someone has to look at your location and listing photos and say, “Sure, I’d like to stay there,” and that may or may not happen within a month. It may never happen.
While most of these companies advertise that you can earn upwards of $18 or so an hour, the reality is that you're not going to make that much once you figure in your gas expenses and wear and tear on your car. Also, work may not always come in consistently. I would recommend doing more than one of these if you really want to make it worth your while.