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At the last company I worked for, I spent hours bored at work. One day, it just clicked in my head that I needed to start something. I began by blogging and making money on the site. That turned into real cash, to the point where I was making more outside work than inside work.
No matter what your status in life, we could all use a little extra money. College students need cash for pizza. Homeowners could use some assistance for inevitable home repairs. If you’re unemployed, you may have to rely on a part-time job to pay the monthly bills.
Related: Do the Side Hustle: 5 Better Ways to Earn Extra Cash
There are, of course, several different ways to make money. You could sell unwanted or unused items on eBay or Craigslist; donate blood or plasma; rent out a bedroom or parking space; or just go out and land a part-time gig. While these tried-and-true methods can put some additional cash in your pocket, you can’t do all of these while sitting there, watching the clock slowly tick by, during your full-time gig.
If you have a job that is a little on the boring side, or you’re bored at work with nothing to do like I was, here are seven ways you can turn boredom into cash.
1. Work freelance
There are more than enough websites that offer freelance work. When you join sites like Elance, fiverr, Rat Race Rebellion, TaskRabbitt, Gigbucks, FlexJobs or Amazon Mechanical Turk, you’ll have access to hourly jobs that include everything from writing, customer service, graphic design, data entry, and transcribing material into different languages.
What’s great about these jobs are that they are based on your skills and talents and you can work on them whenever you have free time at work.
2. Take online surveys
Another popular option to make money while at work is by taking online surveys. Just like the amount of companies that offer freelance work, there are a lot of companies that will pay you for simply taking a survey at your own convenience.
Some suggested sites are SurveyMonkey, SurveySpot, My Survey, Lightspeed Consumer Panel, Pinecone Research, Opinion OutPost, MyPoints, Springboard America and Toluna. Just keep in mind that prices vary from company to company and you may only earn a few cents or couple of dollars for your time – sometimes you’ll receive gift cards as compensation. However, if you have a lot of free time at work, taking online surveys can add up.
3. Become a virtual assistant
From personal experience, I can attest to the importance of having an assistant help me out when I get swamped with work. For example, while I’m busy designing an app for my latest business endeavor, I don’t always have the extra time to handle some minor, though important, daily tasks. This could be anything from providing research, sorting the emails of potential employee candidates or making lunch reservations with a prospective client.
Thankfully sites like Red Butler, oDesk, LinkedIn and Zirtual are available to connect busy people with individuals looking to make a little extra cash on the side as a personal assistant. Try to use tools like Marketing.ai to track this.
Related: How to Brand Your Side Gig While Working a Full-Time Job
4. Sell Your Expertise
We’re all experts in one field or another. And while you may be making a decent salary putting that talent to use from 9 to 5, there are plenty of other companies that would be willing to pay you for your services for providing advice.
Sites like JustAnswer, HourlyNerd, Helpouts by Google, eHow, 12ish and Rocket Lawyer will actually compensate you for the knowledge and experience that you already possess by answering questions, offering advice or writing educational content.
5. Test websites/apps
If you’ve ever built a website or developed an app, you already know how difficult it can be to make sure that everything works. Actually, making sure everything works can be tedious work. That’s why companies like User Testing, Whatusersdo, Enroll and YouEye make life a whole easier.
If you want to make sure a website is easy to navigate or an app works properly, then getting paid as a tester is a great way to burn some time at work.
I’ll be honest here. Blogging takes a lot of work. You can’t just launch a blog and attract a massive amount of followers without putting in the time and effort. But, how can that make you money? For starters, you can place advertisements on your site or become an affiliate partner.
While blogging will take more time to earn money, it’s something that you can work on everyday. Furthermore, because you’re running your own blog, you have the option to discuss whatever it is that you want. I personally have been making money online for years, but here are a few peeps that I follow that make a living blogging: Zac Johnson, John Chow, Ian Cleary, Tim Sykes, Michael Stelzner, Syed Balkhi and Lewis Howes.
Who would have thought sharing your love for knitting could lead to some additional income?
7. Turn your passion into money
This goes hand-in-hand with blogging, but it takes it a step further. If you have some creative ideas for clothing or home decor, you could sell your finished items on sites like Etsy, Zazzle or CafePress. While you probably won’t be able to create your product at work, you could spend those long hours designing and planning your finished work.
Other ways you can turn your passion into money is by selling or licensing photography through Shutterstock or listening to new music on Slicethepie.
Hey, sometimes it pays to be bored!
Related: Should an Employer Allow an Employee to Work on a Side Business?