Unless you're obnoxiously affluent, you could probably use a little bit of residual income — especially if you can make that extra cash without changing anything about your daily routine. Whether you're a thinker, a sharer or an aspiring photographer, there are ways for you to score a bonus paycheck simply by being you.
SO YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS?
On any given day, I have 10 genius (if I do say so myself) ideas for new products or businesses that would make the world a better place. For instance, I would love to have a locator beacon for my always missing sunglasses, or headphone cords that never tangle. I swear I've thought of 'the next big thing' a dozen times …. only to do nothing but kick myself when someone else actually comes out with it.
We all have great ideas and now — and thanks to a new company calledWayFounder — we have a way to actually get something out of all those genius thoughts in our heads.
Through a series of regular competitions, WayFounder seeks out good ideas — people who have the brain power to dream up original business or products, but lack the cash or know-how to get it off the ground.
If your plan is chosen, you'll score a $10,000 paycheck just for your idea, along with royalties, if WayFounder manages to evolve your concept into a living, breathing business. If your idea really takes off, you'll score equity in the company you helped dream up, which could mean a healthy payday for life.
Sure, there are other companies that already do this, such as Quirky, and even the TV show Shark Tank. What I like about WayFounder, though, is that there's a chance you can get paid a pretty penny just for a good idea — without a lot of work.
A huge downside is that not everyone's ideas can be chosen, meaning you might suffer a heartbreak. However, if you're one of the lucky few with the right answer to an everyday problem, it could change your life.
FOR THE FACEBOOK FANATIC
We already know that you're on Facebook for roughly 17 hours per day, so why not cash in on all that time spent in the social scene? UP(Upshare.co) incentivizes sharing by letting you earn points for promoting things you already love. The more you share, the more you earn, and every time someone interacts with something you shared, you get additional points. If you're a social diva, this one's for you.
You can use UP via a standard Web browser or through a mobile app, so you can score points while you're sipping a brew at the local coffee shop or sitting in your salon's waiting room. As you rack up points, you can redeem them for everything from free merchandise such as high-dollar gadgets, big discounts at your favorite stores and exclusives that are only available to UP members.
UP is currently in beta, and it has a lot of potential, but the current rewards options are a bit limited. You also might end up feeling obligated to share stuff you don't have any interest in, which might put a damper on your adoration of social networking. If you're interested, sign up to request an invite and get in on the heaps of sharing rewards right now.
ONLY SHUTTERBUGS NEED APPLY
You snap a selfie with your cat when you wake up, take a photo of your omelette at breakfast and capture a shot of your coffee cup when you arrive at work. You're addicted to your smartphone camera, and now your obsession can score some serious cash, thanks to Snapwire.
Snapwire turns anyone into a freelance photographer, letting paying customers request custom photos from anyone willing to provide them. Each request takes the form of a brief contest, with a theme and a basic set of guidelines. Submissions are judged after the content window has closed, and the winner (or winners) walks away with cash.
Snapwire requests range from around $10 up to $1,200 or more, so rethink that casual photography hobby of yours and consider making some serious cash with your love of the lens.
It's really never been easier to find people willing to pay you for something you already do, so if you're willing to cash in on something you never considered to be "work," your paycheck is waiting.
Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy Award-winning consumer tech contributor and host of USA TODAY's digital video show TECH NOW. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferJolly.