Making (Or Saving) Money

Get Paid For Tasks You Now Do For Free

There are people with careers they absolutely love, careers they’d do even if they were independently wealthy. We know doctors, teachers, architects and lawyers — yes, lawyers — and many others who don’t do their jobs for the money.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have a career such as that. And, unfortunately, this article probably won’t help most people find one. (Though, not incidentally, please click here if you are looking a hiring manager looking for an online travel content and social media expert).

Instead, for this post, what we did was think through tasks people do everyday — for free — and ask can you get paid for doing some of those?

It turns out that the answer we found was: Yes! To be clear, the odds are long that you’ll make a living doing these things full time. But you can put some extra money in your pocket.

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Best. Websites. Ever.
Fantasy Sports Betting

In the United Kingdom and several other countries around the world, citizens enjoy unfettered access to sportsbook websites and online casinos. Not so in the United States, where the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Act not only prohibits gambling online but also makes it extremely difficult for Americans willing to break to the law to use their credit cards to fund an online gambling account.

The Unlawful Internet Gaming Act, however, included a curious exception: fantasy sports.

Placing an online bet with a bookie for a particular team to win a sporting event is illegal in the United States. But choosing a group of sports players, earning points based on the performance of said players, and then winning money from other participants who selected a different group of sports players—that is completely, 100% legal.

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Fiverr: The $5 Microtask Marketplace

What would you be willing to do for five (American) dollars? What would you be willing to pay five dollars for some one to do for you?

At the nexus of those two questions, there’s Fiverr, a cool online, community-driven “microtask” marketplace where most everything costs five bucks.

For example: For $5 a professional graphic designer will create 3 different logos for your company. For $5 an artist will draw you into a still image from The Simpsons. An actor will do a voice over on your video. A musician will compose a 10-second jingle using your lyrics. A computer programmer will build you an iPhone and Android app for your website.

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3 Up-And-Coming Social Media Networks

You might think that the internet needs another social media website about as much as it needs another blog with photos of cute cats. But, unlike cat photo blogs, social media websites keep evolving. Remember when Friendster, MySpace and were at the fore of online social media? Technology and website functionality gets better over time. And once you start to look at some of the more creative social media start-ups, you start to see how many things the established social media sites aren’t doing well  — or at all.

With that in mind, here are three new and growing social media websites that Spot Cool Stuff believes could make it big over the next year:

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The Best Websites For Selling
Used iPhones, Electronics

Spot Cool Stuff just got a new Apple iPhone. Which begs the questions: What should we do with our old one?

Turns out, that old iPhone is worth some money. There are dozens of websites through which you can sell old electronics. And not only iPhones, but MP3 players, calculators, gaming consoles, computers—both desk and laptop—external disk drives, cameras and camera lenses, printers, eBook readers, DVD players and more.

Once bought, your item will either be refurbished or recycled. So it’s a win-win. You get money for something you won’t use anymore anyway. And the planet gets one less toxic piece of a landfill.

After researching all the used electronics buying services we could find, Spot Cool Stuff found four that we can especially recommend. Here they are, in order of preference:

Note: The prices listed below are for a working 32GB Apple iPhone 3GS with a few small-ish scratches on the front and many more in back. Prices seem to fluctuate quite a bit. All the websites reviewed here will pay for your shipping costs but are based in the United States. In fact, for all but one you must be in the US to sell them your gadgets.

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Quirky Crowdsourced Products

Moments ago, Spot Cool Stuff placed a pre-order at the Quirky online store for a Trek Support Backpack. The waterproof, airport-friendly backpack comes with a form-fitted electronics dock and a 7-hour battery. You charge up the backpack and then can use the dock to charge up to three gadgets at once while on the go.

The Trek Support Backpack is very cool. Or, we should say, it seems to us like it will be very cool. And we aren’t the only ones who think so. Afterall, the Trek Support Backpack is the product of virtual crowdsourcing—it was proposed, vetted, designed, refined and branded by a diverse online community. All the other items sold through Quirky are communally designed too.

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Sell Old Electronics via Gazelle

If you are like us you buy a lot of gadgets. Which means that you, like us, have a lot of old gadgets you no longer use filling drawers and cluttering closets. Sure you’ll sell the higher value ones on eBay—or think about selling them on eBay, maybe, possibly, someday—but often it doesn’t seem worth the hassle. And what about that long outdated laptop or camera that won’t even turn on anymore? Throwing out your old electronics isn’t a good option, not for your wallet and not for the planet. (Do you know how long it takes a toxic battery to decompose in a landfill?)

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Cool Sites For Finding Blog Jobs

Not a lot of companies are hiring these days, certainly not banks or car manufacturers or airlines. Blogs are one of the few growth sectors for employment.

Spot Cool Stuff, not incidentally, is looking for a writer for our Media department. Which lead us to think about blogging jobs in general. And then that lead us to research and write this post.

Thanks to that karmic cause-and-effect, here’s our overview of the sorts of blogging jobs available and the best websites for finding them:

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