When career librarian Rachel Singer Gordon, 40, of Lombard, Illinois, quit her job in 2005 to take care of her children and pursue freelance writing, she knew she’d need to find other sources of income to supplement her writing. She dove headlong into couponing and frugality, and became a wizard at finding ways to earn money online. Soon Rachel was bringing in small amounts of income from lots of sources she calls “multiple profit centers.” “They’re the equivalent of a nice, steady part-time job,” says Rachel. In 2009, she started the blog Mashup Mom () to share all the stuff she was learning. In fewer than two years, the blog has become yet another profit center for Rachel, as has her first book, Point, Click, and Save: Mashup Mom’s Guide to Saving and Making Money Online. Tap into multiple profit centers with Rachel’s favorites.
At Fiverr (), you can offer services that use your skills — designing a business card, creating a podcast jingle, planning a trip — for five bucks a pop. Fiverr keeps $1 and the seller gets $4 per gig. Stefanie Strobel, 28, of Newport Beach, California, writes people’s messages in the sand at the beach and takes a picture that she then emails to them. “I make about $300 per month and can do about 10 to 15 messages per hour, depending on length and complexity,” says Stefanie.