Computers break and software gets more and more sophisticated. Computer and software vendors have to constantly update and increase the features of their products to attract more buyers. And no matter what they advertise, computers and software don't get easier to work with. If you add more features, you add more ways to drive many people crazy.
The best example I can give you is a program called iTunes by Apple. It works on the Mac and Windows platform and the basic intended use is to play music. But then you throw in the syncing with portable MP3 players, different play lists and libraries, multiple MP3 players and the problems start. Many people buy music online or copy in their CDs and have a serious investment in their music.
Apple upgrades iTunes so often you never know when you are going to get a little pop up that says, "There's a new version of iTunes, do you want to install now?" And then this new install screws up their play lists, syncing with MP3 players, and maybe their entire library of music. They have tons of time invested getting everything just right, not to mention the cost of the music, and in 2 minutes it all goes south.
Trust me when I say they would be eager to pay someone to fix this problem. The same goes for photos, videos, documents, or other user created data. When something goes bump in the night and they no longer can use their data, most people are eager to get help.
Then there's the spyware or malware traps all over the Internet and through emails. These guys work 24/7 on figuring out new ways to trick people into clicking on or downloading software to do damage to their computer and data. Some just irritate, some just want to track your interests and present ads that apply, and some want to kill your computer and erase your data.
There are software programs that claim to protect people from any of these problems but most don't work due to lousy updating methods, the user lets them expire, or the latest version of the malicious software has figured out a way around them. There is no bulletproof software and it often takes an expert to go in and remove this software and recover any data or software.
The opportunities are out there for someone who is well versed in a few popular programs like iTunes, MS Office, Digital Photo and Video editing, spyware and malware removal, and back up programs. There are also many utilities that can help with many of these problems and with a little hands on practice anyone with a little computer snap can be an expert.
Depending on where you live and the going rates for this type of service, it's possible to make a pretty good chunk of change helping people out. Since it's a part time job, you may only be able to do it for 10-12 hours per week but the extra money can add up quick. Say most charge $50-75 per hour for this in your area, if you offer the same service by project (in other words you charge a flat rate for fixing particular problem) and keep it reasonable you'll do well.
Regardless of the individual charges, if you can work 10-12 hours a week and make an extra $350, that's a great part time income. If you made an extra $1,000 plus a month, would it help make ends meet in these tough times? I'll bet it would for most. And you can barter too. Instead of getting paid in cash, you can make a deal to receive goods or services from your client. That helps you save money and is almost as good as making the cash.
Using you computer skills working part time helping people is a great way to make extra income. Since you are selling knowledge and time, there's little cost involved. There's little or no overhead and with a little practice and the right tools it's possible for anyone with a little computer savvy.
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Article Added on Monday, February 22, 2010
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