Online odd jobs/self-employment (sung to the tune of TMNT)
September 23, 2019 11:37 AM   Subscribe

I need to earn some money but I'm physically isolated and dealing with some health issues, at least for the time being. Is there online work that's somewhat flexible? Any income is better than none, so it doesn't need to be a miracle, just something to keep me busy and keep my head above water.

So far all I know about is, which lets you do online transcription work. They say people typically earn between $250 and $1350 a month doing transcription. Even the lower end of that would be a huge help for me.

Where else should I be looking?
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk to Work & Money (8 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How are your standardized test scores? I tutor for an online company that pays between $20 and $30/hour (more for college and graduate tutoring, less for elementary and high school tutoring), and they provide me more clients than I can possibly handle. You can make 2-3 times that tutoring on your own, but this is nice because I don't have to hustle for clients and the company handles the money and I can pick up work when my life is slow and ignore it when I'm busy. I'm primarily doing LSAT tutoring (it pays the best), but I also tutor undergrad and graduate world religions and theology students, and there's TONS of work for SAT/ACT tutors, writing tutors, etc. They provide a lot of the materials for you, although honestly invest $20 in an SAT prep book, distill the information into some teachable lessons, and have at it. I'm happy to refer you if you're interested, memail me.

They'll want to see your transcripts and whatever standardized test scores you can give them, and they'll have you teach a 10-minute recorded sample lesson on the topic of your choice. For some topics you have to pass a subject-matter quiz (10 questions or so) before they approve you to teach it, but I passed all the AP history ones on the fly without preparing (or honestly even realizing what I was clicking when I clicked it). And then I get probably 20 "opportunities" a day and I teach online via video chat on their platform, when my kids are at school. (I make about $100/week tutoring four hours a week in a slow week; in the leadup to the first LSAT of the year this past week I was easily clearing $500/week over the past couple weeks with frantic last-minute test takers but I was LOSING MY DAMN MIND because I have an actual job and children and a life. )
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:02 PM on September 23, 2019 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Check out the Rater job at Lionbridge. Work is part-time, up to 20 hours a week, and pays better than what you say transcription pays. Lionbridge has other jobs, too, but I know less about them. Appen has similar jobs.
posted by Redstart at 2:40 PM on September 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: pays a penny a word or more for writing, depending on your level of skill and the complexity of the assignment. A lot of it is blog posts and website content; sometimes there are other assignments. I have found it to be a reliable source of pocket money, on the order of ~$60/8 hours of work as a rough estimate. If you have more time, you can do better. Heads up that they take a while to approve you; it took a solid month to get approved to start writing and I had to nudge them a couple times. After you are approved, starting work is immediate and payment is within a few days.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:43 PM on September 23, 2019

Best answer: 3play Media is another transcription option; it takes a bit of time to ramp up but they are legit and friendly.

(Disclosure: I still transcribe for them, but I used to work in the main office.)
posted by gideonfrog at 3:08 PM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: check out r/WorkOnline or r/beermoney at least for feedback on any site you find. would highly recommend 3play over Rev if you can get in; i'm finding rev very underpaid for way harder work. if you'd like to do surveys for very very supplemental money on your slow days, mturk is the standby and i can make about $10-20 on a good day and there are some more reliable/standardized sites that people have various luck on
posted by gaybobbie at 4:54 PM on September 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: has a bunch of tech jobs but also some writing jobs and online English teaching jobs. I cannot vouch for any of it but I check it infrequently for myself. Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 5:26 PM on September 23, 2019

Best answer: Just a warning: based on recommendations on this site, exactly a year ago I tried Rev for a while. I found out via their employee forums that they had just slashed their rates, and most people were now making less than minimum wage on an hourly basis.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:37 AM on September 24, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations! I finally applied for 3Play and got the following message. For those of you who have worked for them, I was curious to know if you saw the same message, or if there really has been a sudden surge in applications.
We have received far more interest in this remote contractor position than expected. We plan to review preliminary applications as necessary to meet our workflow demands. Thus, it may be some time before we contact you about the next steps in your application process. We understand that in the interim your availability and interest may change.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:16 PM on October 2, 2019

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