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Supplemental Income Ideas

10586 Views 52 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  pastornator
I don't have the knowledge or experience to contribute much to prepping questions, but this is something I can throw out there to maybe help a prepper or two.

I was thrown into the position of being sole provider for a while, and it took a lot of scrambling to find ways to work from home because our local job economy is nonexistent. None of these are scams or schemes and come from my own personal experience and none of them require up front investments - just a computer and Internet.

Search Engine Rating
There are three main companies that contract for the major search engines (Google and Bing). They hire human raters to evaluate web pages for relevancy to a search term. Some have other projects but that's the part I have experience in. They require you to sign a nondisclosure agreement so I can't talk about the work or pay specifically; just point you to their sites where you can apply.
I worked for Leapforce first, for probably a year or so. There was plentiful work and unless they've changed, they allow you to work full time.

Careers - Lionbridge Technologies
I work for Lionbridge now and am overall fairly satisfied. You can only work part time here, but I find that I enjoy the work far more than I did for LF. When I first applied, I found their job listings confusing and just emailed them - they sent me an application link for the correct job.

Appen Careers - Appen
I have never worked for ABH but have a friend who does and he says they're great at communicating and put a lot of time and effort into training their workers.

If you are familiar with search engines and have a fairly analytical mind, you can do these jobs. They all have very stringent quality standards and it's not unheard of to be let go with no notice. I don't depend on the income but use it while I've got it. :) Feel free to PM me for more info, but do look at their websites first to see what they have to say.

There is so much money to be made in freelance writing if you're willing to put the time and effort into it. To get started, you can work for content mills that do the marketing for you and pay a small price per word for the work you do. The articles you write at these places are not creatively satisfying really, because they're keyword stuffed for business content sites. Expect to write 100 articles on "bankruptcy attorney los angeles" or some such nonsense. That being said, there is decent money if you can type fast and have high school English proficiency. (I've also hired writers from these places, and I contest that fact, because I've received some really crummy stuff :D )

This is my favorite. They have a lot of writer-friendly features that make it easy to grow your own writing business and they have better volume than the others.

The Content Authority
TCA pays terribly to start but you can go up quickly to a livable rate and they also ghostwrite ebooks so you can get some larger jobs.

Content Marketing Software | Writer Marketplace
You can find some incredibly good (for these types of sites) paying gigs here, but they get snapped up very quickly.

There are a ton of content mills but you need to research each one because some are scams. The three I linked are legit. I've never not been paid. TB pays weekly even, so it's not a bad idea to sign up and jump on there any time cash is tight and you need a boost.

I made some decent money writing for clients when I had the time. Once hubs left for work I quit writing because I had no time, but I built a portfolio website with writing samples and then advertised in several cities on Craigslist. I charged far above what the content mills pay and got to pick and choose my projects.

I saved the best for last. Really, there are few online business models so easy and instantly successful as writing books for Kindle. I don't market or spend any time -- that is, no time at all, ever -- on my books once they're published and I make a few hundred a month. My smallest books are something like 20 pages and still sell. I don't calculate my income based on monthly but in how much time and cost I've invested in each book. I have one dud but the rest are giving me a return so far of $35-$100/hour for the time I spent writing them, and the income continues. If you can write at all, do some serious looking into Kindle. I'll help if I can.

Anyway, I know there are some folks on here who need some options. They won't necessarily get you rich (except Kindle) but they can add a decent sum to put toward prepping or whatever.
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I've built several websites and make a small income from them, but in my experience, they take a whole lot of work to see a decent income from. Unless you find a very tight niche topic, you're competing with some big names that have major cash to throw at marketing. If you do have a good niche though, there is money to be made but websites take regular, consistent work for months before they start paying off.
Amazon has made it so easy to publish via Kindle that literally anyone can do it - you only need very basic computer knowledge to get your book up and running. I prefer to write in Word but there are two free programs you can download that will perfectly format your book and save it in a format that you just upload to Amazon without any special steps. I buy my covers from and pay an extra $5 to get a stock photo, so the total cost outlay for my books is $10. I could go on and on for days about how awesome Kindle is. :lol:

I think a repair shop is a great idea. As the economy slumps, more people opt to repair than buy new, also, so you could easily grow a business of that type even in bad times.
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Curious about the kindle option. Is there a substantial cost to putting a book on there up front?
My post overlapped your reply, but let me summarize it a little better for your question.

You can use Word, which is costly unless you have it, or download Calibre and Sigil to write and format your book. They're both free and can handle image formatting better than Word so if your book is pic heavy, that might be a better option. If you know any HTML, you can also hand code your formatting options but you don't have to.

So once your book is written, the only cost you have is getting a cover. You can spend hundreds, even thousands, but I get good results from my $10 investment on Fiverr. Amazon does not charge for publishing but they take a commission out, which is based on your book's selling price. They want you to charge at least $2.99 per book so if your book is $2.99 or higher (up to some ridiculously high limit I can't remember but you'd never charge that much anyway so it doesn't matter), you get 70% royalties. If it $.99 (the minimum) to $2.98, you only get 35%. Also, there is a delivery fee which is based on file size. I don't remember what it is but it's nominal.

Royalties are paid at the end of the following month, so say you publish in December, you won't get paid for those until the last few days of January.
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I see one of those in my future, but I'm content in the world of non fiction for now. Sells better anyway, although I do think there is a gaping hole in offerings for prepper fiction. Anyone writes one, I'll edit it for free because I'm cheap and hate paying for books. :D
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That's helpful. I've never sold a book but written plenty I just share with family.
You should try one out on Amazon and see how it does!

On that note, I would caution anyone publishing on Kindle to edit, edit and then edit some more. After that, sweet talk friends and family into proofing it for you too. You might be surprised at how grammatical errors can tank the ratings on Amazon - folks are ruthless there.
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Can't possibly be as bad as Rawles. And even if you are, he has a heckuva following. Look at Jean Auel, too. She would fill pages and pages on the description of one geographic area but her books are almost classics now and get rave reviews.

That's kind but I'm told I'm full of minutia....I like details what can I say!
Have you tried Smashwords, MR? They syndicate to Apple, Sony and a handful of other small vendors. I've been meaning to try it out but never get around to it. Tweaking the keywords can help improve sales. I use the Google Keyword Tool to research search volume for different keywords related to my book until I find some that have both decent volume on Google and few results on Amazon. Also, using all seven of the keywords you're allowed can help too.

My books are under my real name, which is a unique one, and I'm not willing to lose my anonymity. I hope you understand.
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Hey, it's my thread, so where's my cut? ;)
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Awesome, Kanman! Good luck!
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