Surprising Odd Jobs that Can Earn You Big Bucks

By Donna FreeBring in bucks on your own time with these often well-paid mini-jobsdman

Whether you're having a hard time finding a 9-to-5, need flexibility because you're caring for a child or parent, or just want to pick up a little money on the side, a microjob might be right for you. These short-term gigs fit into the time you have available, and are easy to find: Simply go online to one of many sites designed to pair people with projects, and apply for jobs, advertise your skills, or set up a profile and offer your services for tasks that employers have posted. Once you land and complete the job, some of the sites have secure payment options, which makes getting paid hassle-free. Read on for reputable sites for any skill set, and find a job that is perfect for you. Photo by Getty Images

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If you have…No specialized skills but are game for anything

THE JOBS
Errand running and miscellaneous tasks

PERFECT FOR
People who are energetic and adaptable. You could organize a pantry one day and put together a crib the next. Sometimes the job is as simple as snapping a photo or picking up dry cleaning.

THE PAY
Varies depending on length and complexity of task. A few recently advertised jobs ranged from $8 to $81 per task.

WHERE TO LOOK
TaskRabbit.com, GigWalk.com. Don't rule out Craigslist, either: Becky Blanton, a freelance writer in Charlottesville, VA, once made $300 simply by talking into a digital recorder for a researcher who was developing voice recognition software.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Employers like it when they learn a little about you, so personalize the profile you post on the site. If you're home with your kids, or determined to pay down student loans, say so. "Getting to know people and their motivations for being on the site really helps with landing a job," says TaskRabbit marketing director Jamie Viggiano.

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If you have…Pets of your own or a great love for animals


THE JOBS
Caring for or boarding animals

PERFECT FOR
Someone unfazed by hairballs or who has to walk the dog anyway.

THE PAY
$15 to $50 per day (sometimes more).

WHERE TO LOOK
DogVacay.com, Rover.com and Care.com

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
You can charge more if you have cared for special-needs animals, such as those with chronic illnesses or age-related issues, says Aaron Hirschhorn, who founded DogVacay with his wife, Karine. Experience with birds and nontraditional pets can also increase your earning power.

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If you have…Great keyboard or organizational skills

THE JOBS
Data entry, transcriber, virtual assistant, researcher

PERFECT FOR
Someone who is fast, detail-oriented and computer-savvy.

THE PAY Typing and data entry jobs range from $10 to $20 per hour; virtual assistant and researcher jobs can go to $30 an hour and up.

WHERE TO LOOK
Try eLance.com, Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour.com and Guru.com

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Freelancer.com has seen a 145% spike in listings for copy typists (people who turn paper documents into electronic ones), says international director Adam Byrnes. Social media marketing jobs are big at Elance.com: Workers follow companies or topics online and then write up reports, which the businesses can use for Facebook posts and tweets.

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