Customers pay for online chat time with experts and advisers in a wide range of categories.
It's great for the consumers because they can get help at their convenience and pay less for the information. And it's great for the experts because they can make money when they're available to work. Popular topics range from relationships to home repairs, legal and medical advice—you name it.
The experts are often college league-educated, stay-at-home moms or retirees, professionals with disabilities that make going into an office difficult, and even people who live in rural areas where there aren't client bases for their services.
There are a number of Web sites with these gigs. JustAnswer.com says many of its 20,000 registered experts earn between $20 and $1,000 a month, depending on the time logged, the feedback received and the area of expertise. Medical, legal and mechanical issues rank highest.
On Crossloop.com tech specialists provide instant message and chat support via its award-winning free desktop sharing software. The most demanded expertise involves problems related to Windows, Vista, networking, iPhones and virus/antivirus software. The new company says more than 3,000 home-based specialists are earning more than $1,000 a month for their expertise.
There are sites that offer a wide range of opportunities for tutors and teachers in subjects ranging from test prep to extra help in just about every subject for students of any age.
Two sites in particular -- SitterCity.com and Care.com -- feature more than 10,000 such listings a month. The average pay is between $10 and $15 an hour and up, and both sites feature salary calculators and extensive advice to help you determine your hourly worth based on where you live and the experience you bring.