A college student's guide to making money onlineAbraham Lincoln once said, "Whatever you are, be a good one." Perhaps this is the concept behind fiverr.com, a website where people can sling whatever wacky talent they may have for the low price of one of Lincoln's namesake bills - $5.

I bet you didn't know you wanted a beautiful confetti necklace, someone to potty-train your cat, or a video of someone's bird named Pickle flying around your advertisement. All of these things could be yours for $5.

But this column is supposed to be about making money, not spending it on useless things. So, get on and make your own offers! The opportunities are endless and if you get lucky, you'll make a quick buck. Or browse through the requests. See if you can do any of them, and decide if you are willing to do it for $5. Fiverr, however, is just one of many websites that taps into the infinite talents floating about cyberspace.The concept of crowdsourcing was coined in 2006 by Wired magazine. It is the Internet age's alternative to outsourcing. Companies can put out a call for content and replies come pouring in. This is great for the companies; they have throngs of people offering up their talent in the hope that they will get picked and make a profit.

What does this mean for you as a college student? You have the opportunity to compete with professionals. Crowdsourcing removes a lot of the limitations of job requirements that create hurdles for college students who lack experience. Of course, you should still finish your degree and fine tune your expertise, but when it comes to crowd-sourced projects: if the company likes what you give them, they will buy it -– regardless of whether you have a PhD or a high school diploma.

Are you a writer? Check out Helium, Seed or Demand Studios. You can do some freelance journalism, copywriting or blogging. If your work is good, you'll get paid and published –- which is that experience you need on your resume to move up the job ladder.

Got a keen eye for design? Go to 99 Designs, crowdSPRING or logo tournament. Here you can work on identity branding, print design, t-shirt design, web design and more. Some of these contests get hundreds of submissions, so pick your battles wisely. Maybe no one wants to design the flyer for the murder-mystery-novel-anime-convention. Give yourself a challenge and take it on.

Don't feel like being creative? Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk program was one of the original crowdsourcing applications. It is a marketplace for robotic-like tasks that require human intelligence. This could be identifying photos, transcribing audio or researching data details. Although you will not rake in big bucks here (try 47 cents an hour), it might be more productive than staring at your Facebook newsfeed for hours on end.

Use common sense and beware of scams that promise quick ways to make money online. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Otherwise, good luck, and may you stand out from the crowd!

Sarah Smith is a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in international studies and visual communication. She writes for Money College about her personal finance experiences as a student.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Carrie Kase

Excellent post, thank you Sarah.

I know that I as a college student struggled quite a bit making ends meet. I found good opportunities selling my used textbooks after the semesters ended and this gave me an idea.

There are actually books that you can buy for less than the trade -in price that give you an automatic profit. These deals are not easy to find, but the website www.moneyfrombooks.com shows all of these deals.
Hope this helps someone out and hopefully someone makes money this weekend.

November 08 2015 at 9:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Shirley Lo

How to Earn $2,500 every month without Investment through part time jobs?

You can earn $2,500 the very first month from data entry jobs on internet. This is an easy work from home form filling job. Work less than 1 hr daily. No investment. Open for anyone, worldwide. Please visit the website http://www.earnparttimejobs.com/index.php?id=5437436

May 16 2015 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Meetra Menon

Dear friends and students,

Are you looking for work from Home part time jobs? Home based typing jobs for students are now being offered by many Companies! Receive your paychecks every month! Full training provided by the company itself. No Selling Required. earn up to RM 1500 per month.... Please visit the website http://www.earnparttimejobs.com/index.php?id=5309685

January 10 2015 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jatra Chea

There is a new social media app called tsu. It's like how YouTube pays it's user money if they get millions of views. But tsu pays for inviting, posting, liking, and sharing. You won't make millions but problably enough to pay a phone bill each month. Depending on how active a user you are. But catch is you have to be invited to sign up. And once you do, you will receive a link to invite others too. Tsu.co/cheaboii Use my invite to start inviting

November 09 2014 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shamir Devnath

Fiverr is an online freelance platform that allows you to offer your abilities and abilities for just $5. You will be given to be able to promote them without any cost upfront. Given that there are clients who are willing to purchase your gig, you will generate income on http://gigmom.com/.

October 16 2014 at 1:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Olamide olayinka

I like this cashcrate

October 08 2014 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tody Taylo

This is a site that you can use to EARN things that you would otherwise have to pay for.

I know, you’re probably thinking ‘How is that possible!’ well, it’s possible because advertisers place their links on the points2shop website. Then members like myself go and complete the offers that we are interested in. When I do an offer, points2shop gets paid for bringing me to that advertisers website. When points2shop gets paid, they give me a portion of that payment so that I can then get things from Amazon.com.

If you need to know more information you can check their forums where members post the things that they have received. http://www.points2shop.com?ref=MeltedClock USE THIS EXACT LINK TO RECEIVE 250 POINT UPON SIGN UP. (That’s already enough to make your first FREE purchase).

You can also try http://www.cashcrate.com/2181470

Thank you for taking the time to read this information and I hope to see you earning points soon!”.

September 20 2014 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura Lemons

I second the cash crate idea. I use it on top of mturk to make a little extra cash. I wouldn't expect tons but used in conjunction with other sites it's a legit way to get some extra spending cash on top of your (hopefully you have some) other online incomes.


September 16 2014 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tressea Deloach

I do surveys online to make a few extra bucks. I make around $200 a month or so. It wont make you rich but it is easy. Check out cashcrate it's the best.


August 29 2014 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Henry Malone

Cashcrate is my favorite site and the one that I’ve received the most checks from. I’ve been doing it for about a year now and honestly have never had a problem with it.You earn money by doing free offers, surveys, watching ads, shopping online, participating in live contests and referring your friends and family members to the site.Cashcrate is one of the most popular GPT sites having 990,000+ members.I have made close to $3000 using this great Get Paid To Site. The amazing part is I've spent only about 6 hours a week on this site and I've earned $300 in 1 month! I can't urge you enough to try it out for yourself.

July 10 2014 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply