The allure of working and making money online at home is undeniable. A stressful, polluted commute, a long workday on the company’s schedule, and limited earning potential bring little joy to the average worker, who’d much rather be making their own schedule, diversifying their revenue streams, and enjoying more time to spend on the people and things they love. In today’s gig economy, turning your home base into your work base is an attainable goal. It’s all about finding and monetizing your special skill — and you’ll be amazed at just how much sells.
1. Start a Blog
Top Earners Make: $60K+
Relevant Websites: MakeaWebsiteHub
You’ll need: A domain and web hosting
If sharing your thoughts, opinions, and jokes on social media feels like second nature to you, you have almost everything you need to be a blogger. While it’s true that just about anyone can start a blog, in order to monetize it, it’s best to choose a topic you are familiar with, enjoy reading about, and that other people are interested in.
Getting started is a minimal investment — it’s best to have your own domain, which you can get for free from Bluehost when purchasing their $2.95/month hosting deal. If you’ve got experience with building websites, it’s a great time to let your skills shine, but Bluehost has one-click WordPress install which facilitates the use of the familiar blogging interface and templates.
In order to make money and create a revenue stream for your blog, you’ll need to start with the use of affiliate marketing and advertising. WordPress has a template-editing interface that allows for the insertion of Google AdSense codes, which places targeted pay-per-click advertising on your blog that’s likely to appeal to your users. Many affiliate marketers start by joining Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, where they can choose products that are directly relevant to their blog that can be casually marketed with a referral link.
It’s normal for revenue from a blog to start slow at first, and some bloggers choose to run a few blogs at once in order to target different visitor niches and demographics. Learning about search engine optimization, which will make your site more relevant in search results, can go a long way in improving your visitor numbers. Once you’re driving a decent income, write up a quick course on how you’ve done it to cash in even more!
For more inspiration, why not take a look this post – Examples of successful blogs, to help get the creative juices flowing!
I have also written a handy guide on naming your blog.
Also, try this handy tool to see if your name idea for a blog is available.
2. Start a Vlog
Top Earners Make: 50 million dollars. Around $57,200 a month for an account with 1 million subscribers
Relevant Websites: YouTube Video marketing stats
You’ll need: A decent video camera and microphone – See best vlogging camera guide.
You may never be cast in a network reality show, but sharing your vlog with the world is the next best thing. Believe it or not, sharing videos of your adventures, experiences, opinions, and feelings can really rake in the views on YouTube, which pays content creators that drive traffic to their site.
Part of the key to successfully monetizing your vlog is consistency. Much like blogs, users are much more likely to follow or tune in if your content focuses on a niche, aesthetic, topic, or general vibe; jumping all over the place can mean missed clicks, unfollows, and an inability to monetize your content. It’s also important to avoid using profanity, controversial images and topics, and copyrighted content, as YouTube will demonetize any video that violates their terms.
Another important aspect to being successful? Quality videos, which many starting vloggers lack. Shaky, grainy videos with bad audio don’t tend to get repeat views, which means if you really want to monetize your vlogging, you’ll need to invest in a quality camera and a decent mic.
3. Create a Niche Website
Top Earners Make: 25K+ per month
Relevant Websites: Amazon Niche Website guide
You’ll need: A domain and web hosting
You may be sensing a trend here. Part of the beauty of the Internet is that users can often find exactly what they’re looking for, no matter how obscure, because of the sheer volume of information and products made available globally. This means niches sell big time, with blogs and online sellers that focus on the specific rather than the general seeing a decent amount of success.
Whether you’re itching to talk about your topic of expertise or have an idea for a niche drop-shipping site in an un-cornered market, there are opportunities to create a revenue stream. Like monetizing a blog, it may be a slow start, but focusing on SEO using free tools like Google Keyword Planner and choosing a reasonably priced host like Bluehost means your up-front cost is minimal and you’re hitting the targets needed to be favored by algorithms.
4. Amazon FBA
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, with their popular Prime subscription service offering two-day delivery on millions of items to consumers around the globe. It’s not surprising, then, that people with something to sell want a piece of that action. Amazon established FBA, or Fulfilled by Amazon, to give sellers the opportunity to boost their sales and visibility through the service — and, of course, to take a sliver of the pie while it’s being served.
It’s a fantastic relief space-wise for online sellers, as the concept relies around offloading goods being sold to Amazon, who will then store the goods in any of a number of warehouses. Getting started is fairly easy — you’ll open a FBA account on Amazon, ship them your products, and create product listings. Amazon hangs on to the items until a customer orders one, and then ships it as-ordered to the consumer. If there’s ever an issue with damaged goods or postage, Amazon takes the heat and handles the refund, whether it’s to you or the consumer.
Of course, for all this, you’ll be taking a cut in the form of a 15% referral fee and an additional shipping and handling cost for each product, so it’s best to price your items accordingly. Likewise, if you’re keeping your products at fulfillment centers for long periods while they’re not selling, you can rack up storage fees — only send what’s needed on a month-by-month basis.
I would also recommend you check out FBA Stars. Its the most comprehensive video training course on the market. It’s produced by Vik JC who is a certified Amazon FBA business owner AND who actually makes his living from selling products on Amazon.
I’d certainly recommend getting his FREE ebook which you can get here.
Or jump straight in and Use this link to get $150 the full FBA Stars video course.
Average Pay: $34K per annum
Top Earners Make: $60K pa
Relevant Websites: Upwork, Freelancer, CareerBuilder
You’ll need: Grammar, spelling, and usage skills
If you’re an expert at the written word who often finds themselves taking the metaphorical red pen to the news and prose they’re reading, you may have a career as a professional proofreader. It’s an especially good pick for those who don’t excel at creating original content, but who have an eye and mind for the rules of grammar and usage. Unlike editors and copy editors, proofreaders aren’t responsible for adding or eliminating content, only editing for grammar, typos, punctuation, and spelling.
While some companies keep proofreaders who work remotely on their payroll, freelance and as-needed proofreading jobs are far more common. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are great places to get started — though you may make a low per-hour wage starting out, a high rating and good reviews from clients will quickly lead to opportunities to increase your rates.
6. Take Surveys
Average Pay: Anywhere from a few to a hundred dollars per month
Top Earners Make: 2-300 dollars a month
Relevant Websites: Swagbucks, Online Surveys Guide
You’ll need: A laptop, computer or smart phone.
It’s hardly uncommon to be prompted to take a survey online — it’s how many companies obtain market research data, like demographics and opinions. If you don’t mind clicking through them and answering a few questions, you can score a few bucks in the meantime when you choose the right sites.
Websites like Swagbucks and others provide users with the opportunity to take surveys for a predetermined amount of dollars and cents. After a user clicks on a survey, they’re usually prompted to answer some preliminary demographic questions to determine if they’re a respondent the survey creator is looking to hear from. If they’re not, they’ll be returned to the page they came from; some sites reward a few cents for this inconvenient. If they fit the criteria, they’ll have the opportunity to answer the questions for the indicated amount.
Though these surveys often have low monetary value, it’s not wise to rush through them in order to take as many as possible. Many surveys have control questions posed as logical inconsistencies or inquiries about fake brands that, if answered incorrectly, can disqualify respondents from their payout. Likewise, giving answers over time in different surveys that are inconsistent, especially about job, income level, and other demographic facts, can lead to disqualification from an entire survey site.
While there are some survey sites that pay handsomely for feedback from users of certain high-level software and engineering tools in their career fields, most surveys for the average person don’t pay enough to generate a full-time income. However, it’s a simple way to make money and earn a bit of beer tokens in your downtime!
7. Become a Virtual Assistant
Average Pay: $26K pa
Top Earners Make: $43K pa
Relevant Websites: Horkey Handbook, UpWork, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn
You’ll need: Experience in a business climate is helpful
Long gone are the days when an assistant needed a desk right outside the boss’s office. Now, it’s just as easy for a virtual assistant to facilitate business needs from home, and some of the world’s top companies and executives utilize virtual assistants to cut down on carbon footprints and the need for physical office spaces.
A virtual assistant’s duties are fairly simple — they’ll schedule meetings, arrange travel and accommodations, field phone calls, and answer emails for the person or people they’re working for. Some positions may include unique needs, but the position is basically secretarial, and it’s suitable for anyone with a stable, powerful internet connection, experience with VoIP communication software like Skype, and a timely, organized workflow.
VA positions are often on the payroll, so scoring a position can mean a bit more job security than the average freelance gig. Sites like Indeed and Monster often include virtual assistant listings from large international businesses, so they’re a great place to get started in your search.
If you want to find out more about how to become a VA and work from home, check out Gina’s awesome guide on working as a Virtual Assistant.
8. Online Tutoring
Average Pay: $25K pa
Top Earners Make: $50K+ pa
Relevant Websites: Kaplan, Tutor.com, GoFluent
You’ll need: Educational credentials, at minimum a high school diploma
If you’re a teacher or academic with skills and time to spare, working as a tutor online can help you monetize your brain power without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Jobs in the field abound, from organizations that are strictly tutoring-centric to major universities like Johns Hopkins, and they’re available for many subjects and skill levels.
If you feel like you’ve got the knowledge and patience needed to be a tutor, know that most reputable sites will ask for evidence of your educational credentials before taking you on, and some may even require a background check. If you’re looking to tutor a little more casually, it’s possible to set up a one-off gig for tutoring in your skill set on sites like Fiverr.
9. Social Media Influencer
Average Pay: $50K pa
Top Earners Make: $100K+ pa
Relevant Websites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat
You’ll need: Camera, social media accounts
If cultivating an envy-worthy social media feed is something you specialize in, being a social media influencer may be second nature to you. You’ve no doubt seen accounts loaded with pretty, poised pictures including products and brands that influencers are paid to market, and though the competition is fierce, there are always new, up-and-coming brands looking for influencers to showcase their wares.
Getting noticed is easier than you’d think — simply posting regularly with hashtags that reflect the brands and lifestyles you’d like to represent can net small offers of swag and follows. Taking the initiative to tag a brand when you’re repping their product even if you’re not being paid is also a gesture of good faith that may land you a social media influencer role. Those who work as social media influencers often diversify their income by representing several brands, but advertising for competitors is always a non-starter.
Average Pay: 30K
Top Earners Make: 44K
Relevant Websites: UpWork, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn
You’ll need: A degree in accounting, CPA or payroll experience
If you’re a certified public accountant or have experience in the payroll field, working from home as a bookkeeper is a career option you may not have been aware of. Balancing the books and doing basic accounting work can easily be done remotely here in the future, which means that an experienced number-cruncher can cozy up on the couch to do the same work and bring home a similar paycheck to their counterparts.
As we’ve established, this generally isn’t a job that just anyone can pick up, it’s reserved for those who are qualified. This means that online bookkeeping positions may involve being on a company payroll rather than being an independent contractor, which can make life a bit easier come tax time. Online bookkeeping positions are often listen on sites like Monster and Indeed, but they go quickly, so those on the hunt would be wise to check daily.
Average Pay: About $28.75 per hour
Top Earners Make: $60 – $70K pa
Relevant Websites: Scopists.com
You’ll need: Scoping software, a good headset
If this is the first time you’re hearing of scoping, you’re in good company. Although the skill can pay decent money, it’s relatively obscure, and its name isn’t very reflective of the task at hand. Scoping is the process of translating the spoken words that a court stenographer has taken down in court from shortened “steno” language to verbatim English for the purpose of creating a transcript.
As you might imagine, scoping requires training in order to be effective. There isn’t a degree program for scopists, but there are a number of online courses available that can prime takers in understanding steno and style and translating effectively. Scoping jobs can be both freelance and payroll positions depending on who is offering them — major job sites do list positions occasionally, but those interested may find more success by perusing online classifieds specific to scopist positions.
12. Freelance Writing
Average Pay: $52K pa
Top Earners Make: $85K +
Relevant Websites: Upwork, iWriter, Flexjobs, Freelancer, Textbroker
You’ll need: Writing skills
Those with a gift for the written word will be happy to know that being a freelance writer is one of the easier positions to net as a novice freelancer. Large work-pooling sites like Textbroker give new authors a chance to join with a simple grammar and usage test, rating those who pass and giving them the opportunity to pick up assignments from a pool given to those with similar skill at a pay rate the site determines. Authors can also create a profile stating their areas of expertise, offering samples, and citing their own price for direct orders.
On other sites like Upwork, writers can be a bit pickier about setting their rates when bidding on the projects of others. This can sometimes mean earning a higher rate of pay, but beginners who haven’t received much account feedback can count on having to work their way up the ladder before they see any three digit numbers. In most cases, freelance writing is done on a by-gig basis, meaning that those who choose the field are almost always stuck on the hunt for the next opportunity.
13. Social Media Marketing Manager
Average Pay: $50K pa
Top Earners Make: $90K+ pa
Relevant Websites: UpWork, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn
You’ll need: Social media skills, wit, oranization skills, Sendible.
Eager to corner every potential marketing avenue, most brands have wised up to the fact that a social media presence offers a chance to create a dynamic new face that can appeal to a generation that grew up online. The tongue-in-cheek humor that makes brand tweets go viral is no accident — it’s cultivated by talented social media marketing managers, who are experts at balancing wit with effective advertising strategies and knowledge of industry trends.
If you’re not a natural comedian, don’t worry; brands with serious faces also look to social media marketing managers to establish an online presence that’s shareable and provides opportunities to track engagement and receive feedback. As the name ‘manager’ implies, these tend to be ongoing positions, and previous experience with representing brands on social media and copy writing can significantly improve your hiring potential.
Average Pay: $30K pa
Top Earners Make: $50K+
Relevant Websites: Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, iStockPhoto
You’ll need: A decent camera
If you’re a hobbyist photographer who’s got an eye for angles and composition, selling your skills online is very possible, and beginners don’t even need to bid for a gig. Stock photography is a huge industry, feeding the needs of web and print designers who need general images for use in art and advertising. Sites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock allow freelance photographers to sign up for an account and post their high-resolution images for sale of usage rights — of course, in this instance, the sites take a cut of the profit.
Looking to hang onto your image rights and, instead, sell prints of your photos? You have two options: Invest in a home setup and deal with printing and mailing orders yourself, or outsource the work to a company like FotoMoto which can easily be integrated into a WordPress blog, allowing users to place orders for your prints which FotoMoto will print professionally and send directly to the client.
There’s a third avenue that’s gaining momentum as a side gig for some talented shutterbugs, and that’s portrait and event photography. Expansive engagement shoots, birthday party portraits, and maternity shoots are especially popular right now, and posing some friends for a quick sample shoot will net you some photos you can use to market yourself on social media.
Once you gain momentum, get positive reviews, and feel more confident, wedding and party photography gigs may be in your future. Again, offering to shoot a wedding for free — even just as a backup photographer — can net you a set of sample photos that are excellent for marketing.
15. Product Tester
Average Pay: Approximately $13/hr
Top Earners Make: $60K pa
Relevant Websites: American Consumer Panels
Before brands make major product launches, they look to feedback from small groups of market researchers reaching across varied demographics for guidance. Doing this helps them figure out what they’re getting right, but also illuminates which features still need tweaking. Whether it’s food, electronics, household products, or any of a wide range of other items, brands often look to market research companies for feedback — those are the companies offering positions to consumers.
Being a product tester generally means that you get to keep whatever swag you’ve tested, which is an added bonus if it’s something that fits into your lifestyle. While pay can be good for the minimal amount of effort required to test products, especially if you score an ongoing position by giving helpful and consistent feedback, it’s rarely enough to constitute a real full-time or even part-time income because of the infrequency with which you’ll be called upon to test.
Those on the lookout for product testing positions should beware of the fact that some don’t pay well at all, and other, less reputable one-off gigs on sites like Upwork and Fiverr might require you to purchase an item yourself in order to review it. The theory behind this is that your pay is both a refund and compensation for a positive review, but this can be a TOS violation on gig employment sites, and should be considered sketchy.
16. SEO Consultant
Average Pay: $50K pa
Top Earners Make: $100K + pa
Relevant Websites: UpWork, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn
You’ll need: Marketing experience, know how to rank websites in search engines.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of inserting key words and phrases into the text and meta description of a website in order to improve its ranking in search engine algorithms. Websites that don’t use it suffer profoundly in terms of web traffic, so it’s pretty much a given that successful businesses have SEO-geared websites.
Tech-savvy individuals can figure out the concepts of SEO pretty easily — free basic online SEO guides can offer up the most-searched and algorithm-favored keywords and key phrases, and using the guides quickly becomes second nature. If you have a background in web development, it’s possible to leverage your experience in both site management and SEO into a remote corporate SEO consultant position. However, the availability of fully remote positions is limited, so those on the hunt will need to be voracious in their pursuit.
Another option? Working as a freelance SEO consultant, helping those with smaller businesses to improve their web traffic and site content. Having success stories in your corner can be helpful when marketing yourself, so offering to help a friend for free can pay off handsomely down the road. So can investing in an SEO tool like Clearscope, which will make grading your content and intelligently inserting keywords far easier, letting you get more work done in less time.
17. Marketing Automation Specialist
Average Pay: $54K pa
Top Earners Make: $84K + pa
Relevant Websites: UpWork, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn
You’ll need: Online ad campaign experience
Workers with a background in online marketing are no doubt familiar with the execution of automated ad campaigns, in which a platform is used to set parameters like frequency of ad appearance, what images are being used, when campaigns go live, and when they end. This position requires a fair amount of specialized knowledge, and as such, tends to be an ongoing payroll position — however, it also requires little to no in office time, making it an ideal position for remote employment.
Like the majority of higher-paying remote positions, competition for job openings is fierce, and being vigilant is necessary. Candidates with especially impressive marketing backgrounds may provide the value needed to convince an employer to employ them remotely rather than in-house, but if ‘remote’ isn’t listed in the job description, state your intent in your cover letter. That way, if they aren’t open to the possibility, no one’s time is wasted.
18. Facebook Ads Consultant / Manager
Average Pay: 77K
Top Earners Make: 113K
Relevant Websites: Facebook, UpWork, Indeed
You’ll need: Facebook ads experience
Social media is a primary means of communication for many people, which makes it an ideal venue for reaching large numbers of people through advertising. Every social media platform has a different structure in place for the creation and structure of advertising campaigns, and knowing the ins and outs of a specific platform’s ad creation interface — in this case, Facebook — is a skill you can monetize.
Notably, it’s not likely that you’ll see a job listing that’s specifically for creating Facebook ad campaigns. This is because, while it takes experience, managing campaigns on one social media platform really doesn’t take up enough time to constitute a full time job. This means that Facebook ad consultants and managers are generally self-marketing entities, working with multiple clients at a time in order to build a business.
In order to market themselves, it’s up to Facebook ad consultants and managers to demonstrate why and how they can improve ROI on ad campaigns. If you’re trying to build a reputation as an expert at Facebook ad campaigns, taking on your first few clients at affordable rates can build goodwill, offer real numbers to share, and even lead to testimonials that can facilitate increased rates down the road.
19. YouTube Ads Manager
Average Pay: 70K
Top Earners Make: 103K
Relevant Websites: YouTube, UpWork, Indeed
You’ll need: YouTube ads experience
Video content that’s free and on-demand is an easy sell to consumers, who are always in search of new media entertainment to fill their down time. It’s not surprising, then, that YouTube quickly dominated the online video sharing landscape — nor is it surprising that the presence of ads on the platform makes it a perfect high-visibility location for user-executed marketing campaigns.
Experts at YouTube’s ad management interface will find themselves in a similar position to prospective Facebook ad consultants — while there’s work to be found, it doesn’t take long to meet a client’s needs, so marketing yourself to multiple clients is essential. Again, establishing positive client relationships and a willingness to match your rate to your level of experience and technical background is significant to success in this position.
20. Graphic Designer ( Freelancing )
Average Pay: $45K
Top Earners Make: 66K
Relevant Websites: Fiverr, Freelancer, UpWork, Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster
You’ll need: Skills and a good portfolio
Have a knack for Photoshop? If creating digital art is one of your skills, you’re a sale away from being a real life graphic designer. Of course, we don’t just mean adding text to a photo — at the bare minimum, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the program’s many image editing functions to have a full tool set at your disposal. If you’re looking for a long-term position rather than to sell image rights, it’s possible you’ll be expected to know programs like Adobe Illustrator and Blender, as well.
Whether you’re selling your images or yourself as an artist, having a portfolio is an essential starting point. This lets potential clients view a catalog of your abilities and styles, which can help them determine if you’re the right fit for their project. Companies hiring graphic designers for long term remote positions often list a degree in graphic design as a requirement, but if you have an especially impressive portfolio, applying regardless is worth a shot.
21. Voiceover Artist
Average Pay: $25K
Top Earners Make: $70K+ pa
Relevant Websites: Voices.com
You’ll need: A clear, pleasant speaking voice, a high quality mic and headset
Whenever a company needs to lend a voice to their brand, they go on the hunt for a voiceover artist. This is a person with a pleasant, unimpeded speaking voice who enunciates their words clearly and pronounces them correctly, making it easy for a listener to hear and understand what is being said. If you’ve ever been told you have a “radio voice”, you may have considered a position like this.
Because of the quick, singular nature of the work, doing a voiceover is usually gig work, like most performances. Freelancers can submit project proposals on sites like voices.com and UpWork, but they can also market their skills as a gig on Fiverr. Of course, no one wants an audio recording from an artist with a bad mic; you’ll need to skip over your laptop’s built in microphone and invest in a nice, high quality recording mic, but if you’ve got a voice that sells, it’s money you can make back fairly quickly.
22. Web Designer ( Freelancing )
Web design is a competitive field, and it’s also one that pays fairly well for candidates who are experienced. It’s not easy, however, demanding specialized knowledge of content management systems and coding that are typically obtained through degree or certificate programs.
As with most remote jobs, those wishing to work from home as a web designer have two options. For those with lots of credentials and an impressive portfolio, there are opportunities to score a remote web developer position with a corporation. The competition for remote corporate jobs is always fierce, and they’re more likely to be given to someone with a proven work record than someone who’s relatively new to the field.
It’s also possible to work as a freelance web developer, picking up gigs on sites like UpWord and Freelancer or advertising yourself on job sites and social media. The income stream is less steady and reliable, but it opens you up to be a bit choosy about your jobs and clients and to set rates for individual projects that you think are appropriate.
Whether you’re looking to work remotely for a company or as a solo entrepreneur, getting hired as a web designer is pretty tough without functional examples of your work. Building a sleek portfolio of your existing designs is an excellent way to draw potential employers in with your skills.
23. Video Editing
Average Pay: $53K pa
Top Earners Make: 85K+ pa
Relevant Websites: Fiverr, Freelancer
You’ll need: Knowledge of video editing software and a strong computer — also helpful to own Final Cut Pro or similar
Anyone who’s tried to film their own vlog or family vacation video can attest to one thing — it’s very hard to have a nice finished product without some video editing. This can mean trimming video clips down to cut out unnecessary footage, editing out undesirable audio, and blending clips together with seamless transitions using a video editing software suite. It’s a skill that’s not too tough for a tech-savvy person to pick up, but also one that’s in demand — especially by non-tech businesses looking to create videos for marketing and training purposes.
Video editing isn’t a field that always demands a degree, as it’s more an aspect of digital media creation than a broad field onto itself. If you feel you have the skills and experience to tackle professional video editing projects, a reel of your existing work is the best and most obvious way to sell yourself. Edits that reflect your ability to convey consistent tone and create aesthetically pleasing videos that flow smoothly are helpful. It’s also wise to demonstrate adaptability as an editor by choosing a variety of project types for your reel.
Although companies that produce a great deal of video content do sometimes hire remote video editors, those jobs aren’t common, with only a sprinkling being posted on major job sites per month. This means that amateur video editing is often a gig-to-gig job, but this also allows you to set your own rates and build a more diverse portfolio than a long term position would allow for.
24. Medical Transcription
Average Pay: 23K
Top Earners Make: 36K
Relevant Websites: LinkedIn, UpWork
You’ll need: a medical transcription certificate
One of the first positions to popularize remote employment, medical transcription involves listening to recordings created by doctors and other health care professionals, converting them into short reports that can be quickly referenced. The nature of the job means that it can easily be done in a home office, but unlike regular transcription jobs, it requires a knowledge base on topics like anatomy, physiology, and medical terms as well as standard grammar and usage rules.
The extra knowledge this job demands means it’s difficult-to-impossible to get hired for a medical transcription job without a certificate in medical transcription, which means those interested in pursuing the path would be wise to invest in training. The price to obtain a certificate can be upwards of several thousand dollars, but unlike training in medical coding, the information you’ll learn won’t be subject to future changes and require continuing education.
As you might imagine, a position that requires this degree of training doesn’t have much of a place in a gig economy. Those working in remote medical transcription positions are typically hired by third-party agencies which hospitals contract to create transcriptions affordably. Those agencies act as hiring parties, listing jobs online for qualified applicants. Unlike other skilled remote jobs, postings for work-at-home transcription appear fairly frequently.
25. Technical Writers
Average Pay: 57K
Top Earners Make: 79K
Relevant Websites: LinkedIn, UpWork, Monster, Indeed
You’ll need: Technical expertise, a portfolio, and/or a degree
Good instructions can make a complex task simple — bad instructions can make an easy task into a nightmare. What’s the difference between the two? Technical writing, which is a tremendous skill when it’s done well. A technical writer is responsible for compiling diagrams, manuals, how-to articles, and supporting work that helps end users complete projects successfully and understand complex technical systems.
As technical writing requires a bit more finesse than standard freelance writing, positions often look to candidates who have a degree in writing, technical communication, or the specific tech field being written about. However, a powerful portfolio that demonstrates your capacity for technical writing is enough for some gigs and positions, and diversifying your technical writing samples is likely to make you a more appealing candidate for the adaptability it demonstrates.
If you’re looking to work as a technical writer, your best bet is to try to score an ongoing remote position with a company, as this is usually where the highest paycheck can be found. However, these are the positions that will typically look to educational credentials over portfolio, so if you’re selling yourself on skills, working gig-to-gig is the best way to get your start. It’s likely you’ll need to bid for projects on sites like Upwork or Freelancer, as most technical writers don’t sell their own gigs.
26. Amazon Ebook Publisher
Average Pay: $45K + pa
Top Earners Make: $90K + pa
Relevant Websites: Amazon
You’ll need: A book to publish
Writing a book the old-fashioned way is a pretty huge undertaking. Producing content, editing, finding a publisher, ordering copies, and then selling your work takes a tremendous amount of time, and can require financial investments with no guarantee of return. Self-publishing an ebook through Amazon can save you a tremendous amount of stress and money, and it’s very possible for good writers who are technically savvy.
The first thing to know is that Amazon isn’t picky about the genre you’re writing — they’ll list any genre, so it’s an opportunity to write about what’s meaningful to you. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, recipes, anecdotes, and even romance stories are all a part of their lexicon, but they do have content and quality guidelines that prevent objectionable and truly bad work from going up for sale.
The second thing to know is that writing your content is only the first step in this journey. Once you’ve written a book that meets the site’s quality and content guidelines, you’ll also need to prepare your manuscript and its cover according to their provided spec. If you’re good with computers, this is easy enough, but if you’re not, you may need to hire your own freelancer for help with formatting and cover art.
Once the content and formatting of your book are to spec, you’ll be able to publish it in a few clicks through Amazon partner KDP, or Kindle Direct Publishing. You’ll set the price, choose areas where you have distribution rights (if this is the first time the content’s been published and it’s fully original, you retain global rights), and then click publish; at this time, the book is published by Amazon as an ebook with no cost to you.
Some advantages of selling your ebook through Amazon? The free publishing utility, the myriad of helpful guidance offered when formatting and editing your content, the quick rate at which you can go to market, control over your book’s price, and access to up to 70% of your royalties.
27. Textbook Seller
Average Pay: Varies
Top Earners Make: A grand or two per semester, more if you’re lucky
Relevant Websites: Bookscouter
You’ll need: fairly new secondhand textbooks
If you’ve ever had to buy college books or know someone who has, their exorbitant price tags won’t come as a surprise to you. It’s the reason many college students try to buy used copies of books at a reduced rate — depending on their field, it can lead to savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Online book sellers and buyers like Bookscouter can be a big help to students, both buying and selling newer textbooks at competitive rates, but fewer people take advantage of it than you’d think. Reselling your own textbooks after you use them can help you recoup your cash, but it’s hardly enough money to be considered a job — it’s when you can move books in bulk that you’ll line your wallet with cash.
This can seem like a tough proposition at first, but check out thrift stores, donation bins, sidewalk sales, and swap meets right before summer breaks, where some impulsive students will be offloading unwanted textbooks for pennies on the dollar to avoid having to find a space for them at mom and dad’s house. Scooping and reselling high value books can net you a nice part-time level income if you’re lucky, but remember to check ISBN numbers before buying when possible to avoid investing in a book with a low resale value.
Average Pay: Varies
Top Earners Make: 90K+
Relevant Websites: Poshmark, ThredUp
You’ll need: Secondhand items to sell
For those with an eye for quality vintage or resalable items, thrift shopping can be a fun adventure that results in profit down the road. Marketing, selling, and shipping these items individually to clients, however, can be an undertaking that turns a side hustle into a time-consuming and frustrating process, especially if it’s supposed to be a second job. This is where consignment stores come in.
When you sell goods at a consignment store, whether it’s a physical or online retailer, you’re signing a contract that says you’ll be paid whenever your goods sell. In exchange, the consignment store holds your item safely until it is purchased and takes care of shipping it to a buyer when it’s purchased, then passing the agreed-upon price onto you.
There are a few benefits to selling through a consignment store rather than on your own. First, you won’t need to make space in your home for the amount of items necessary to turn a profit when working in resale — that can be invaluable for people with apartments and small homes. Second, your marketing and shipping costs will be minimal or nonexistent. If you’d rather consign from home, of course, sites like Poshmark make setting up a profile simple.
29. Online Data Entry Jobs
Average Pay: 20K
Top Earners Make: 32K
Relevant Websites: Amazon mTurk, UpWork
You’ll need: N/A
Much like medical transcription, data entry is a field that’s been utilizing remote employees for some years now. It’s not an especially difficult field to break into, as fluency in English, computer experience, and a high school diploma are typically all that employers require of data entry clerks. However, applicants may be asked to complete tests to prove their abilities before being hired.
Data entry is a term that covers a rather broad series of tasks involving conveying information from one source into another on a computer. Sometimes, this information comes from non-technical documentation, but information may also be drawn from other online sources and compiled into single documents. Tasks can vary, but are generally straightforward for anyone with computer experience.
While there are legitimate remote data entry positions, the great majority of them do not pay especially well, and there’s not much room for advancement, so those low pay rates will stick with you. There are also scams out there that promise more than they can deliver, so avoid any company that asks you to pay for the tools you’ll need to make money — this is almost always indicative of a dishonest operation.
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the data entry pool with no commitment, mich of Amazon’s mTurk program is broken down into data entry “microjobs”; they’re short jobs requiring little skill, they pay small amounts, and there’s no penalty other than a lack of pay for rejecting or not completing a task.
30. Retail Arbitrage
Average Pay: varies
Top Earners Make: Six figures
Relevant Websites: Amazon, eBay
You’ll need: Startup money
Buy low, sell high — the adage defines the machinations of financial success, which is illustrated quite clearly by retail arbitrage. It’s a rather fancy term for the simple act of buying retail products when they’re priced at competitively low rates and proceeding to resell them online for a profit.
There are some grey areas when it comes to the legality of retail arbitrage, particularly when it comes to stores that set limits on the number of sale items you can buy. According to the Supreme Court, however, reselling legally purchased merchandise doesn’t violate the law, even if you’re making a profit and the manufacturer isn’t.
While you’re not likely to get in legal trouble, it’s still important to choose the products you resell carefully, particularly if you’re working with eBay and Amazon. They’re the two major online retailers most folks sell through, and they’re very picky about not reselling products that are only supposed to be sold through authorized retailers. Don’t get taken in by knock-offs for resale, either, as selling counterfeit items will result in a swift ban.
31. Etsy Store Owner
Average Pay: Varies
Top Earners Make: Six figures
Relevant Websites: Etsy
You’ll need: A product to sell, whether physical or digital
People who are makers — that is, those who love to produce art, crafts, and other unique creations — have almost certainly heard of online retailer Etsy, which changed the sales landscape for crafters by providing them with a global marketplace to buy and sell their goods. Setting up a shop can be done in a matter of a few clicks, but learning to sell effectively is another matter entirely.
While setting up an Etsy shop is free, actually listing items in it is not. However, each listing only costs a few cents, and shop owners aren’t required to pay fees immediately; instead, any fees incurred by the shop are added to a monthly “bill”, which is charged to the seller’s payment method on an indicated, recurring date.
Wondering what you can sell on Etsy? The list is long, with art, jewelry, and handcrafted items being some of the most popular items. However, the site also advertises itself as a vintage marketplace, providing a space to resell a curated collection of cool finds. Digital artists can also sell stock photos, graphic elements, brushes for Photoshop, and other DRM content, creating one listing with one fee that can be sold many hundreds of times.
Real success on Etsy depends on some willingness to learn and use SEO, and tools like Marmalead can help you identify the best keywords to use in your item’s heading and description. Keeping things short, sweet, and product-focused and using clear and attractive sales images also does wonders for attracting prospective buyers.
32. Create an Online Course
Average Pay: Varies, successful courses can net between 1 – 4K monthly
Top Earners Make: 200K + pa
Relevant Websites and Resources: Teachable, Thinkific
You’ll need: A knowledge base on a sought-after subject
People with valuable information to share don’t need a classroom to teach their very own course of study. Non-accredited online courses have grown in popularity as sources of expert information that can be learned at home without the higher costs associated with formal classroom learning. While your knowledge base is a great starting point, successfully creating and marketing a course does require a good bit of technical skill.
The first step is a website, which can be obtained cheaply through Bluehost. Their one-click WordPress installation can set you up with a template-driven blog that has a user-friendly interface, which is a perfect place to launch your course. You’ll want to use SEO keywords to drive traffic to your site, placing them in headers, meta descriptions, and copy in a way that flows naturally. Then, of course, there’s the course! It will require generating and editing content, whether it’s audio, video, or written word.
Creating an email list of interested clients can help drive continued interest in a course, especially if you plan to continue releasing further segments in the future. It can also keep your work fresh in the minds of today’s learners, who see new ideas and content every day.
33. Virtual Recruiter
Average Pay: $49K pa
Top Earners Make: $80K+ pa
Relevant Websites & Resources: Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, UpWork
You’ll need: Human resources and hiring experience, usually a degree.
Recruiting is a bit like matchmaking, without the flowers and romance. It’s the job of a recruiter to help both companies and job-seeking individuals, pairing them in combinations of skill set and salary that meet their mutual needs. Virtual recruiters are typically responsible for writing quality job descriptions for online posting, identifying and interviewing possible candidates, keeping open communication with upper management and staffers, being aware of job requirements, performing interviews, and taking on other tasks related to onboarding of new employees.
As you might imagine, the detailed knowledge this job requires means it’s not available to just anyone; however, those with a degree in human resources management are ideal candidates for remote work as a virtual recruiter. It’s often an independent contractor position, but it’s one that’s in a fair amount of demand, as staffing is a constant need. Another note: depending on whether you’re working for an agency or a company, you may be matching applicants against one or many sets of jobs and requirements, so a focused eye for detail is necessary.
34. Events and Wedding Planner
Average Pay: $49K pa
Top Earners Make: $65K+ pa
Relevant Resources: Fiverr, Freelancer, Social media
You’ll need: Party planning skills and a portfolio to back them up
Whenever there’s a wedding or event, hosts strive for it to be memorable, bring joy, and flow smoothly. This requires a lot of tasks and efforts to come together seamlessly, and it’s where professional event and wedding planners can make things a lot easier on those who don’t have the time to execute a flawless event.
Party planners have long been behind the scenes of successful events, but the advent of virtual event planners is relatively new. It’s a role that involves making calls, fielding emails, scheduling services, identifying venues, and communicating consistently and professionally with the hosts of the event and the hands that will be on the ground executing on the day or days being planned.
As it’s a fairly new concept, listings for virtual events coordinators are few and far between. This means marketing yourself as a gig worker, which can be difficult, as there are still a fair amount of people who’d rather work with planners they can sit down and talk to in person — especially for weddings. Making a point to make yourself available for video chats and having a portfolio of past events with positive feedback can make you a more attractive sell to prospective clients.
35. Shopify Store Owner
Average Pay: Varies
Top Earners Make: Millions, but it’s very uncommon
Relevant resources: Shopify, Oberlo, How To Start An Online Store, Shopify Review
You’ll need: Products to sell, or listings to drop-ship
Building a legitimate online storefront is much simpler today than it once was. Services like Shopify eliminate the need for users to be expert web developers, allowing you to generate an online storefront, populate it with your products for sale, and even use marketing tools to track and manage the sales of your business.
If you’re producing legitimate products and are looking to establish a personal brand that doesn’t rely on sites like Etsy or Amazon, building a Shopify storefront is an ideal choice. Their basic plan, which is the lowest of their three tiers, provides users with an easy-to-generate, customizable storefront and a simple interface for setting up products and prices.
Don’t have a product to sell? Don’t scroll away just yet! It’s very possible to partner your Shopify storefront with a service like Oberlo, which instead allows you to sell any of a wide variety of products through drop shipping. Drop shipping means that when someone orders a product from you, it is being shipped from your supplier’s warehouse. They’re charged their fee, and you collect the profit.
No matter your skill set or educational level, ditching the 9 to 5 is more attainable in today’s employment climate than ever before. Some companies prioritize virtual hires for the precedent they set in reducing environmental impact, while others have made the move to reduce their day-to-day business costs. An entrepreneurial spirit, eye for detail, and ability to be a self-starter are the main prerequisites for successful virtual employment — if you bring them to the table, you’re well on the road to satisfying clients and employers.
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