How I earned money using Craigslist to find jobs

Before you jump the gun and think I was doing something illegal, I assure you, everything was on the up and up. I did nothing illegal to earn this money. It was just a really good month and I used Craigslist to fuel that extra money. I’ve always been a fan of looking around to find ways to earn more money. You don’t always have to get another job in order to earn more cash. Being in over $75,000 of debt ($50,000 in just credit cards), you don’t feel too many jobs are beneath you. Nothing should be below you if you need to pay off debt. I hustled for years to earn extra income on the side from my day job. I didn’t want the debt to take over my life.

I wanted to share how I used a section in Craigslist to earn almost $1,000 in one month. Now, to be upfront, I didn’t earn this much every month, but a few hundred here and there wasn’t a bad way to go. This particular month was in the summer and Craigslist was humming with people looking for help.

The Craigslist Gig Section

I’ve talked about the gig section before, but people still ask me about it. It’s pretty easy to find, but have you looked there? There are can be some crazy gigs placed in there, so as with anything, weed out the crazy and keep moving.

The craigslist gig section


When you look at your local Craigslist site, you will see the ‘gigs’ section near the bottom. I believe every local site has the same gigs, which are:

  • computer
  • creative
  • crew
  • domestic
  • event
  • labor
  • talent
  • writing

These are just how the gigs are broken down. I stayed in just a few categories, such as computer, event, labor, writing, and crew. I found domestic to be a little strange and not something I would entertain. I found the other two looking for models and the like. I’m not a model, nor have I ever been.

What I Did to Earn Nearly $1,000

Craigslist Gig FiltersAlright, so you figured out I used the gigs section on Craigslist. Good for me, right? Well, they do offer a few ways to make sure you’re not going to be looking through a bunch of junk. You need to use the filters they provide on the actual gigs page. You can search for gigs, but why not use the filters to help you choose between paid and unpaid. Unpaid was automatically thrown out (obviously) and I wanted to keep the gigs within a certain driving distance. That was important as you don’t want to spend more in gas than what you’re paid.

You see, in the summer time, there are a lot of gigs available for those looking for people willing to help them with yard work, mowing lawns, moving, cleaning cars, and other things. You’d be surprised what people ask for on there. For myself, I knew I wanted to look for things I can do quickly or get paid well to do. I looked for helping people move, running errands, and doing some yard work here and there.

I even did gigs on my lunch break at work. It was easy to head out, go shopping for someone, then drop off their stuff at their location and get paid. Beyond picking the right gigs and actually getting them, I made sure I did a great job for everyone because that was the way to earn a little extra on top. People who you take care of and are nice to tend to tip very well. Remember, you just helped them when they needed it, so tips just would come. You don’t ask for them, but be grateful if they show up.

I can break down my earnings in a few different ways here:

  • Writing: $235
  • Yard Work: $185
  • Personal Shopper: $370
  • Moving: $195

Grand Total: $985

As you can see, the personal shopping was the most popular. This was before services like TaskRabbit came to town and before other people entire business models on personal shopping. The field was small and I was willing to help people out when I had free time. Why not get paid if you’re going to be in some location and you can pick something up? I mean, it’s all about adjusting your schedule and time to make these things work. If you can earn $985 in a month doing some extra work, would you? It did come from about 20+ different gigs, but they didn’t take up much of my time.

We talk about making money here all the time. We even have an entire category for it. I do this because I want you to know there are legitimate ways to find money making opportunities. I didn’t have to spend a time on advertising, business cards, or promotion. I used a popular and free website, Craigslist, to do the work for me. Once I found a gig, I contacted them through Craigslist or with their phone number and worked it out. While people like to haggle, they are the ones looking for help, so you have more bargaining chips.

Just Remember…Be Safe!

This is of the utmost importance to me. If you’re going to take some gigs off Craigslist, no matter what they are, make sure you are safe about it. There are some creepy people out there that use services such as Craigslist to lure people in. If you feel strange about it, then just leave. Making extra money doesn’t make it worthwhile if you’re putting yourself in danger. You only want to work with people you get good vibes from. Trust me, I’ve left a few jobs because it just didn’t feel right. Someone was off and my brain was telling me to leave. I typically don’t fight it when that feeling comes over me.

While it’s not as easy to protect yourself, like when you buy/sell a vehicle on Craigslist, you can still make sure you tell someone where you’re going. Tell them when you think you’ll be back and be aware of your surroundings. I don’t want anyone getting hurt just to make a few extra bucks.

OK, so there’s how I made nearly $1,000 using Craiglist. Yes, it was on the up and up and I do report all my income, even when in cash.

Have you tried using the gigs section in Craigslist to earn money? Would you consider it in your spare time?


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