I'd encourage you to be optimistic. I had a high school student working for me for several months - and the only reason why he's not getting more of my money is because he had to prepare for exams. I'd encourage you to check:
odesk.com (set a really LOW hourly rate - like say $4 - initially; then, once you get a track record, you can charge more)
If you can write well, try the buy/sell/trade section at wickedfire.com. You'll have to give free samples of your work but after a while - if you are good - you can build up a lucrative client base. As an example, I had a 19 year old Romanian kid doing work for me for a while. His impetus for working was that he needed to earn money to pay for his mother's operation in Vienna. Now the guy's making close to 5 figures per month. When I first hired him, he was writing for about $.02/word. As you can imagine, $10,000+ for a Romanian teenager without a college degree can create a standard of living equal to $30-$50,000/month in the USA (depending of course on the fact that you are not in DC, LA, Boston, San Fran, etc).
If you have an affinity for the quantitative, try offering some kind of excel-based service. Also, don't buy all this talk about "boo hoo, there's a recession, nobody is spending money, blah blah blah". That's utter balderdash. Now's the best time in the past 70+ years to make money. So much so it causes one to sweat because you realize in a short time everyone else will awaken to the reality and all that easy cash will be gone....
You can make money for yourself online if money is what you require. However, you will need to learn how to package your skills/core competencies/talents, in such a way that it can be effectively monetized; this means learning and speaking the language of people who have the money and are willing to spend it. So you can either become an "independent wage earner" and sell your services on the open market vs. an employer (i.e. check those sites above); or you can set upon the task of owning some of the factors of production, i.e. your own business. Both choices carry a distinct level of uncertainty/risk and reward/$$$. I'm not doing anymore hiring at the moment - else I'd tell you to send me your CV.