I may as well start with something I know well. When I started out as a freelance writer 20 years ago, things were very different. I wrote mostly for magazines, and I had to rely on snail mail to send out drafts and queries. I’d wait weeks for a response from my editors. Not many people had the patience for it, and few stuck around long enough to ever start earning a real income from it.
Become a moneylender. If you already have some extra cash on hand, you can earn even more by lending it out and charging interest on your loans. There are many companies, the largest of which are Prosper and Lending Club, that match prospective lenders with prospective borrowers. Although the industry has been shifting away from private investors, there are still opportunities to be had.
And while you’ve probably heard of selling sperm or eggs, don’t get your hopes up: Yes, the young and the healthy can sometimes earn good money as sperm or egg donors, but such opportunities require extensive screenings and long-term commitments. Donating blood (sans plasma), meanwhile, is a great and altruistic thing to do, but you generally won’t get money for it.
Sell your eggs. This is much more timely than selling sperm, but for any ladies who want to make a lot of money and don’t mind selling their eggs, you can earn up to $10,000 for a single treatment. The process of selling eggs takes several weeks of injections and a minor outpatient procedure, and may be slightly uncomfortable. The upside is that you make a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time.
Upwork: This website offers a great marketplace for selling just about any professional service. You don't need a merchant account, website of your own or anything else for that matter. All you need to do is be able to provide a high-quality service at a reasonable price. But be informed, you will have to compete with many others that are constantly bidding on open jobs.
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers (a.k.a. you). Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.