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Updated on Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Many high paying work-from-home opportunities are just elaborate schemes to dupe innocent (sometimes desperate) people out of cash. Usually a company charges you some sort of fee for training to launch your work-from-home career and it never actually pans out.
The truth is legitimate work-from-home jobs get overshadowed by these scammy ones because they’re not as alluring. They won’t replace your full-time income right away or make you quick money. An advertisement that promises you a luxurious lifestyle for minimal work has much more click-bait potential.
We did a post on all types of work-from-home scam jobs you need to look out for, so make sure to do your due diligence before signing up for any gigs. If you’re looking for real jobs that will pay you real money from home as a supplement to your full-income, read on:
Performing Small Task Based Gigs
These work-from-home jobs pay you for small errands or microtasks online and offline:
Mechanical Turk is a scalable workforce for businesses and developers created by Amazon.com. You sign up to do Human Intelligence Tasks or HITs which are easy jobs usually research related. For instance, you may be asked to rate the search results for a keyword, research websites in a certain niche or translate a paragraph.
TaskRabbit is a site where you sign up to do chores for people near you. Some common tasks are cleaning, handy work, delivery services and even waiting in line in someone’s place. The first time you work with a client the TaskRabbit service fee is 30%. If you work with a client more than once the fee is 15%.
UserTesting is a nifty tool where website owners get a user’s opinion of their website during a 20-minute video. You can sign up to be one of the user testers and earn $10 per 20-minute website review.
CheckPoints is an app that rewards you for doing assignments like shopping in certain stores, taking quizzes or watching videos. You can cash in rewards earned for gift cards.
SwagBucks is another app pretty similar to CheckPoints. You get rewarded for doing different activities online like shopping, taking surveys and using search engines. You can shop with points at places including Amazon.com or you can earn gift cards.
EasyShift pays you for doing microtasks in local stores. Tasks are things like taking photos of products and checking prices. Pay is through PayPal.
GigWalk is similar to EasyShift. Companies use these sites to check the condition of certain products on retail shelves. You also get paid from GigWalk through PayPal. Tasks pay $3 to $100.
Full-Time Virtual Work From Home Gigs
Interested in working from home full-time instead of taking on a bunch of random gigs? Try one of these companies:
Zirtual hires virtual assistants for entrepreneurs and business owners. You will need some experience to qualify for this job. Zirtual puts candidates through some pretty serious testing to make sure you’re prepared to handle the job. Pay ranges from $13 to $18 an hour. Zirtual is currently looking for assistants in the Portland, Oregon and Columbus, Ohio areas.
Convergys takes the customer service rep out of the call center and into their own home. The job comes with a full benefits package and 401(k). If you’re looking for a cushy full-time job at home this could be a good choice.
Apple will pay you to do customer service from home. Even better there are multiple roles available including management positions. Your job would be to provide support for Apple products, quite possibly a dream job for Apple enthusiasts.
TutorVista is a virtual tutoring space for children and international students. If you have a postgraduate degree, you can go online to teach students in various subjects and set your own hours. According to the site, pay is relatively similar to that of a schoolteacher.
Outsourcing Your Expertise as a Freelancer
Freelancing is a popular and legitimate way to earn income in addition to your regular job. It’s also possible to turn freelancing into a full-time business if you grow your client base enough to replace your main source of income. Getting the first few freelance gigs is the challenging part and that’s where freelance job boards come in.
Use a few of these sites to gain clients, experience and work samples:
Guru is a marketplace where companies look to hire designers, writers, engineers and more. The site has thousands of job listings and you can submit quotes for ones that match your skill set. Guru takes an 8.95% to 4.95% cut of your earnings depending on your level of membership.
Upwork (Formerly) Odesk/Elance is another place for web designers, writers, virtual assistants and other creative workers to hunt for customers. You create a resume with samples, the type of work you’re looking for and the price you charge. Clients can search for you or you can apply to job listings. The Upwork service fee is 10% of what’s paid to you by the client.
Fiverr is a good place to promote your skill if you have something a little more obscure to offer clients like voice over work, psychic readings or parenting tips. (I even found a woman who will act as your Facebook girlfriend for a week.) The name of the site is Fiverr because you can price your services starting at $5.
Hunting for Your Own Clients: Ultimately, you’ll make the most money from freelancing hustling for your own clients outside of these websites since each one takes a cut of your profit. Plus, businesses that hire from these job board sites are usually looking for a bargain. This makes it harder for you to increase prices as your business grows. Once you get some work under your belt, pitch businesses directly using your samples and get paid more for your work.
What to Look Out For in Legitimate Work-From-Home Jobs
You may run into other work-from-home opportunities that aren’t on this list. That doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate. You just need to do your homework to make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam.
Know that you should never have to pay someone to hire you unless you’re paying for a valid reason. Going through a background check is one of very few justifiable reasons to pay a company to hire you. The second thing you need to be careful of is giving out your personal information during a hiring process. Don’t take your chances with a company that doesn’t appear reputable, your identity could be at risk.