how to find temporary or contract work??
October 25, 2011 10:17 AM   Subscribe

So I started writing online content, how can I get more of this type of work, or other marginally interesting ways to make money while unemployed?

On a whim, I recently started writing online content for travel websites, the pay is low but decent in the realm of churn-it-out content writing. I'm going to be unemployed for several months (or more?) soon and I'm curious what other legit, freelance, "make-money-from-home"-type enterprises exist out there? Selling stock photos, "blogging", online or real world, etc. And since I kind of just lucked into this first gig, any tips on how to make myself appealing/not get ripped off in this realm?

Sorry if this is too broad or vague, but I thought the MeFites might have some interesting suggestions besides just "Get a job!"
posted by dahliachewswell to Work & Money (7 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite is legit and it pays about $2-3 per article. It can be simple keyword repetition nonsense that you know will be used for websites to game search engines. You get to withdraw money after your account hits $10 via paypal.

Leapforce hires search engine evaluators. The work is tedious and boring. You need to pass an exam and read lots of training documents, the time is not paid for. Then when you work on reviewing sites, you have to keep very accurate records of time otherwise you cannot bill it and you cannot get paid. You have to maintain a very delicate balance between work quality and quantity. If you don't, they terminate your contract. They pay once a month and mail you a check. The rate is around $13.50/hr

demand studios is like textbroker, they pay you write articles on given topics, however the pay per article is better, but they have higher quality requirements and particular formats that your article must adhere to. They pay pretty quickly. I believe it's $15 per article.

There are several others that pay more or less, but I preferred these 3 companies because it was relatively easier to make money for a beginner.
posted by abdulf at 10:29 AM on October 25, 2011 [8 favorites]

Online surveys.

I know that online surveys are generally regarded as a scam, but if your expectations are really low, then it's not a complete scam. I have a friend who has been doing online surveys for a few years during lunch breaks at work and during TV shows at night. She has made quite a bit of side-money for fun stuff doing surveys.

Keep in mind that some sites ask you to pay money up front (sorta scammy), and you will have to fill out 20 surveys that end up not counting before you find one that pays a few bucks, but if you can put time into it while doing something else at the same time, it may work for you. YMMV, greatly, though.
posted by TinWhistle at 10:30 AM on October 25, 2011

For the surveys, I've had a really good experience with Synovate. They're fairly selective, and enrollment isn't always open, but once you get in you get money for taking surveys, and also the chance to do product reviews. It's an extra $15 every few months that feels like free money.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:34 AM on October 25, 2011

Oh, and definitely don't pay to take surveys. Synovate is free, as is HarrisPoll. There are others as well.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:35 AM on October 25, 2011

Demand is indeed selective -- I applied a few months back, thinking my post history here would make me a shoo-in for acceptance, and still got turned down. Professional publication is a huge plus -- if you don't have it, play up everything else you can think of but prepare for disappointment.

Textbroker is legit, but very tedious. So many of even the 4- and 5-star assignments are spamtastic SEO crap. But they do pay decently compared to similar sites if you can slog through it.

You could also try applying at an SMS Q&A service like ChaCha or KGB -- you'd be firing off quick researched answers to text message queries for ~25-50 cents a pop. More interesting than writing spamblog junk nobody will ever care about, at least.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:38 PM on October 25, 2011

Check the Craigslist gigs. There is often a number of online or computer-based gigs. I hired someone to scan a boatload of articles and organize them half decently.

Tips: write ASAP, but be extremely clear and thorough. Cover all the basics:
- who: who are you, what are your qualifications and what experience do you have?
- what: clarify the job. For my example above, state that you'd be able to come to me with ny scanner, or pick up the documents and return them with the thumb drive full of .PDFs
- when: when are you available? Give a bunch of good times.
- where: clarify any details about the location
posted by barnone at 7:47 PM on October 25, 2011

Thanks all! 42 favorites for 6 answers? Damn, guess there really are no jobs in America right now.

P.S.- These are great answers, but if anyone is still reading this feel free to post answers outside the online/content creation realm.
posted by dahliachewswell at 8:50 AM on October 27, 2011

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