How do I earn extra money?
January 14, 2010 7:22 PM   Subscribe

How do I earn some supplementary income?

So I work five days a week, 38 hours, at an indie video store here in Los Angeles. It's crap work for okay pay, but I did just get my overtime cut which was really helping me out. I would try to find a new job entirely but 1) There ain't much out there, especially for a film school grad with no discernible skills and a lack of experience in any major job & 2) I'm hopefully leaving Los Angeles within the year to attend grad school in the fall.

So at the moment, I'm essentially just looking for something - anything - to supplement my income. I don't really care what it is buut if anyone has any ideas of any solid go to part time things or can recommend something it would be greatly appreciated.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth to Work & Money (9 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Ramit, over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich, has been doing a little bit of a special on exactly that topic for his last handful of posts. Check those out, he normally says some pretty reasonable stuff, and has a knack for dispelling a lot of commonly held beliefs and myths.
posted by milqman at 7:48 PM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

The U.S. Census Bureau (Los Angeles office) has been looking for part-timers to help with the 2010 census.
posted by netbros at 8:30 PM on January 14, 2010

Since work-from-home options intersect this question I'll just link my answer to a related question, which links to another relevant question and tag searches for you to explore. There have been several questions around the topic, but I can't find more than the one link just now.
posted by nanojath at 9:11 PM on January 14, 2010

2nding the Census Bureau. I have a friend in Texas who works for them and really seems to enjoy his job.
posted by 2oh1 at 10:34 PM on January 14, 2010

I've had a pretty good experience with Textbroker. It's a freelance writing system for U.S. authors, but one with very reasonable policies that don't make you race against others for the lowest common denominator.

You first submit a writing sample, which is graded by the editors at the site and assigned a quality grade of 1-5. This first grade determines the level of assignments you can undertake on the site's marketplace. Once you're approved, you're shown a grid of topics sorted by category and quality level. You're free to choose any topic from your assigned level on down (higher topics pay more per word).

When you select an assignment for review, it's removed from the system for ten minutes so you can decide whether it's for you. You're free to accept or reject it. This removes the element of competition for work that a lot of similar sites I've seen have.

From what I've seen, the average pay rate is one cent per word. So a 350 word piece will earn you $3.50. The rejection rate is very low -- only 1-2%. All money is deposited in your PayPal account, and is withdrawable after you earn at least $10. After you're done, the article is reviewed and graded by the Textbroker editors and assigned a quality grade. Your four most recent grades form a rolling average that determine what level of assignment you can take.

The only negative is that most of the assignments have an automated, spammy feel, and can be pretty mind-numbing to write about sometimes. For instance, here are some of the topics from the "Home & Family" category:
Quartz Countertop Care   	4  	3 day(s)  	350 - 400       4.90 $ - 5.60 $
quartz countertops vs granite 	4 	3 day(s) 	350 - 400 	4.90 $ - 5.60 $
Granite Countertop Edges 	4 	3 day(s) 	350 - 400 	4.90 $ - 5.60 $
Laminate Countertop Edges 	4 	3 day(s) 	350 - 400 	4.90 $ - 5.60 $
Painting Laminate Countertops   4  	3 day(s)  	350 - 400  	4.90 $ - 5.60 $
Laminate Countertop Repair 	4 	3 day(s) 	350 - 400 	4.90 $ - 5.60 $
But still, those are pretty good prices, and their standards aren't that high. If you can write coherent English and are willing to churn out copy and do a little research, you can make some decent money on the side.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:27 AM on January 15, 2010 [6 favorites]

start a blog and become an affiliate marketer - it really did work for me
posted by madeinitaly at 2:22 AM on January 15, 2010

Guinea pig. I don't know what big schools or hospitals are near you, but most of them normally have some studies going on. Even non medical schools can have econ/decision making studies which are worth checking out.
posted by anaelith at 4:15 AM on January 15, 2010

If you can write, check out (Disclaimer: I work for AOL, who owns Seed. I'd actually love to submit articles to Seed, but can't' since I'm an employee.)
posted by nitsuj at 6:05 AM on January 15, 2010

I don't know much about Seed, but you want to be extremely careful when looking at sites like Textbroker. Read their Terms of Service, carefully, and then think about whether you really want to be involved with a site that makes it clear that the author has "no moral or legal right" to be named as the creator of the texts. You lose all copyright to the work you submit, as it is marked as 'work for hire' by Textbroker.
posted by Concolora at 11:04 AM on January 15, 2010

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