If you are in the same age group as me, you may still shake your head in wonder or awe at the speed at which computers have evolved. For instance, when graduating high school 1.5 million years ago, my school’s computer systems were run on DOS commands. Disks were used, and were almost the same size as a Kindle (at least around 75% of one, anyway). There were no real graphics and any printing was done using an array of dots that were spewed out of the printer that made more noise than a marching band.
Though that is all a bit exaggerated, it is without a doubt that computers evolved at an astonishing pace. Back then, the idea of making cash via computer was straight out of science fiction, except if you were adept at programming. Fast forward to today and the computers in most smartphones make my high school computers look akin to dinosaurs. What that means for most of us, though, is that it is now quite easy to find ways to use a computer to earn cash, and in this article, I want to go over some of the simplest and most readily accessible.
Yet, we need to look at this issue with a bit of skepticism. That is because there are a nice array of legit work at home opportunities and just as many (if not more) scams. Most of them will ask you for money in order to give you some work, and many scams are wrapped up to look authentic. To avoid the work at home scams, simply follow these tips:
- Do the due diligence – Look at the company’s listing on the BBB or check for any fraud alerts. Take time to find out if they will offer you contact information for fellow employees. If you cannot get much background, it is a no go!
- Do not pay – As we already said, paying to work is a big sign of a scam. No one asks you to pay them in order for them to hire you, and none will ask you to cash checks or pay for “listings”.
- Double check the terminology – Did you know that some data entry jobs are actually just glorified advertising scams? Do not take any data entry offers at face value. Instead, find out exactly what is involved before you even get started. The same goes for envelop stuffing gigs – this is now an entirely automated position, and no one is ever going to earn money stuffing envelopes.
So, what are some ways you can authentically make cash with your computer? We are going to explore the options in:
- At home editing and proofreading jobs
- Online surveys
- Website evaluator jobs
- Freelance transcription
- Affiliate marketing
There are simple and valid ways to get started doing such jobs part-time (or in spare time) and even as full-time work. Even more exciting (and as I am so glad to emphasize in many of my articles) is the fact that you can often combine them to boost your potential earnings.
At Home Editing and Proofreading Jobs
With the advent of the Internet, the need for well written websites, blogs, eBooks and other content just continues to grow. A lot of companies might ire in-house writers, but just as many subcontract this work. That means you might create a website, blog and Upwork profile and begin offering freelance writing.
Of course, if you are more of an eagle eyed reader, then you can just as easily position yourself as a freelance editor and/or proofreader. The same steps can be used for both, and you can take work whenever you would like. A good approach, though, is to start small. Take the “same day” gigs that need to be done in a brief time, and then build up good feedback on the freelance site. There are others besides Upwork, but it is the most viable for the beginners.
Be aware that you do have to pay to submit your bids on projects, but never to actually do the jobs you win. At the same time that you are doing initial jobs, be sure you build a simple website through which you can be contacted for additional work, and by all means start blogging about your specialty.
Don’t blog about what you do, though. Instead, create blogs that look at things like common grammatical questions, top issues that editors correct, tips for better fiction or non-fiction work, and so on. By offering free and useful information (and especially if it is entertaining, humorous and truly informative), you build an audience. Then, when that assortment of potential writers needs someone to look over their work, you are one of the first they consider.
Building an audience also lets you develop a stronger reputation and can even establish your site or blog as one with authority. This can help you earn a strong amount of passive income if you also pair your blogging with affiliate marketing (something we’ll consider in a few moments).
Taking Online Surveys
I like to think of this as one of those “sounds too good to be true” opportunities. Yet it doesn’t live up to the reputation of most of those classic examples. For instance, you can start to accumulate a bit of extra cash in your spare time by simply registering at InboxDollars and taking their brief surveys while waiting for dinner to cook, waiting to pick up the kids after school, waiting for your train to arrive, and more.
An account at this site does not pay a lot per month, though, and if you are willing to invest a bit more time, you can quickly accumulate a lot more in earnings from the following sites:
Pinecone Research – Become a product evaluator and earn $3 for every survey you complete. You can empty your account whenever you would like and get the payment delivered via PayPal. There is no limit as to how many you can do, but they are not always available.
eMiles – This is not a cash for survey arrangement. Instead, it gives you points towards flights and hotels. You take surveys, watch ads and do some of the same stuff you normally do over at InboxDollars. Those who use this site in their spare time (and who spend around an hour at the site) agree that each hour can translate to $20 or more in savings.
Ipsos – Spend around 15 minutes and earn a few dollars taking their never ending array of unique surveys. This is the group that does a lot of political polling during the regular campaign season, but you can also find just about any other subject to explore. You can take cash via a PayPal account or they will pay you in gift cards if you prefer.
Swagbucks – This is one of the most famous of all of the survey sites and is also a popular app. It asks fun and relevant questions about many consumer products, but also a few more involved questions. You get Swagbucks for every survey and then you can translate that into cash when you take the funds out of your account. The ratio is around $5 in Swagbucks for roughly 30 minutes of work on the site.
VIP Voice – The more time you spend on this site, the more they pay you in points. You can then use your points for rewards, to enter sweepstakes or to trade towards goods and services.
Website Evaluator Jobs
In my article about search engine evaluation, I answered that question with a resounding yes. However, I did point out that there are some caveats. While it is 100% true that you can be paid to evaluate search engines and other sites, and that it is an ongoing need by almost every big engine or site out there, it is not as simple to do as you might think.
Firstly, the work is done to ensure that search engine algorithms are doing as they are supposed to do and deliver the right responses to specific searches. Doing the work requires that you are detail oriented and willing to both work fast and follow up on your findings. You will do keyword searches but also look at images, news stories that result from a search, scan social media results and more.
The work can pay around $13 per hour, which is pretty amazing when you consider that you are able to work from home and do little more than evaluate the results of a search. Because of that, there is a lot of competition for the work, but if you are serious about quick ways to make cash with your computer, it will pay to examine the opportunities from such companies as:
If you are someone who is really interested in specific tasks, this could be one of the best ways to make cash with a computer.
You might be surprised to see that transcription is among the quick ways to make cash with your computer, but there is a demand for it from almost every industry. There are people who want their voicemails quickly turned into text based messages and there are doctors who want medical notes turned into paper documents. There are authors who hate to type and who dictate every word and there are meetings and hearings that are recorded and which need to be turned into accurate documents.
In all of that you find a lot of opportunities for making money with your computer. In my article Is Transcription Work a Real Thing? I looked at what it takes to become a qualified and competitive transcriptionist. It is not as cut and dry as it might initially seem. However, once you have developed the skill, you can find work via a surprising array of sites. The top opportunities include:
You should also look for opportunities to make cash with your computer doing transcription at the famous Amazon MTurk site, as well as Upwork. Both have opportunities for beginners, and this could be a great way for you to build your skills, earn some good feedback and discover if it really is the route for you.
Don’t overlook the fact that you can also use both sites for evaluator jobs, writing and editing, and more.
Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing
Earlier, I mentioned the ways that affiliate marketing can be used to help build your streams of income. It is, in fact, one of the best opportunities for what is known as passive income. That is money that you can make once you have effectively become a publisher.
Here’s how it works:
You become a publisher. That means you create content such as blogs, online articles, social media posts, videos and more.
In your content, you embed links to companies with which you have affiliate relationships. These are as recognizable as Amazon, but can also include reputable affiliate products from:
You have no limit to the products or services you might mention in your content, but the key is to ensure that all material is valuable, entertaining and relevant. This ensures people feel trust about the information and use the links.
If you spend time growing the audience and creating content that others will share, read and act on, it soon becomes a steady stream of income for you;allowing you to use these quick ways to make cash with your computer to effortlessly generate ongoing income over the future.
Take some time to see if any of these opportunities are a good fit to your interests and skills. If so, it is likely that you will also be able to pair them up and soon (even if you were around when computers were little more than DOS calculators), you can be earning nice returns from your laptop, desktop or mobile device.