Tory Johnson's Work-From-Home Tips

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National Telecommuting Institute, Inc. connects Americans with disabilities to employers willing to hire employees and contractors for home-based assignments. The database is small, but it's proven to be a smart resource for many workers. They may also be able to refer you to other resources as well.

Transcribe Audio to Text

Speeches, lectures, television and radio programs and interviews must be converted to text that's delivered in a timely and accurate way. If you possess exceptional English language and grammar skills and you're an experienced typist with a speed of at least 75 words per minute, you could transcribe audio to text. Some businesses may require you to take a transcription test before offering you opportunities to work. Most assignments are handled on a freelance basis. Sites to explore include ProductionTranscripts.com, TigerFish.com and AliceDarling.com. Find others by searching online.

Talk Tech

If you're an experienced information technology professional and you enjoy problem-solving and quality customer service, you may be able to work from home providing tech support via phone, online and in person to customers nationwide.

As an independent contractor or employee (this varies per company), you'd work from your own home office, set your own hours, and service clients in your area. ComputerAssistant.com, GeeksOnTime.com, PlumChoice.com, SupportFreaks.com are some of the companies to explore

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Driving for Dollars

I'm not talking about becoming a taxi driver or chauffeur -- you can make money by driving your normal route while allowing your car to feature advertisements.

Specially created decals are provided to drivers to affix to the back window. Depending on your location and the amount of driving you do -- usually a minimum of 1,000 miles a month is required -- you can earn $50 to $150 a month by "renting out" this space on your car. You can make even more money -- up to $500 a month -- by allowing your car to be fully wrapped with an advertiser's images and message.

Search online using keywords "car wrap advertising" to locate opportunities nationwide. Don't be shy about calling around to compare rates and advertising opportunities to find the best fit for you. Never settle on the first company you find since there could be a more lucrative option available to you.

Mystery Shopping

Get paid to shop and eat at great restaurants, and then report back to the corporate headquarters on the level of service and cleanliness to help improve the experience for future customers. There are opportunities to earn small amounts of money -- and get free products and services -- here and there, depending on where you live.

While there are some people who've managed to make a living at this, I don't recommend that you rely on it to pay the bills, especially because assignments can be sporadic.

Don't get hooked into paying $25 to $100 to become an "official" mystery shopper, assuming you'll automatically get hired. A legitimate opportunity should not cost you any money. It should give you the chance based on your profile, interests and background. One helpful resource in learning more about the industry and finding links to opportunities is Mysteryshop.org.

Nurses on Call

Registered nurses who don't want to work in traditional hospital settings or doctors' offices -- or who want to supplement their income -- can put their knowledge to work at home.

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