More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
The virtual assistant workforce is global, which means two things. First, if you’re in the U.S. or another high-cost country, you’ll likely be undercut by English- and Spanish-speaking professionals in cheaper markets. Second, you’ll need to either stick to clients in or near your time zone or be willing to work odd hours. A reasonable starting wage for North America-based VAs is $10 to $20 per hour, but competent VAs command much higher rates.
The most common way to earn cash back on purchases is with a cash-back credit card. But while a credit card is a great tool for building credit, there are many legitimate arguments against using one. If your spotty credit or personal preferences preclude you from applying for a credit card, don’t sweat it. You have plenty of other opportunities to earn cash back on purchases made in the comfort of your own home. Look into these options:
Protect Yourself With Enforceable Contracts. You don’t have to be a lawyer to draft an enforceable freelance contract. You just need to find a legitimate freelance contract template and modify it for your use. It’s fine to use a client-provided contract as long as you review it thoroughly, ask piercing questions if necessary, and seek an attorney’s advice when in doubt.
Many people who list jobs on Fiverr are graphic designers, freelance writers, and virtual assistants. But some people have fun, random gigs such as doing celebrity impersonations, writing business tag lines and slogans, doing genealogy research, and delivering messages as a character like a cowboy or cop. Think about what random skill you have and start listing it. You can have multiple gigs, so list as many items as you can think of.
As with online teaching, to maximize your chances of success as an online tutor, stick to subjects you know well. Use a reputable and high-visibility venue, structure your sessions sensibly, price your services in line with the market, follow scheduling best practices, and promote yourself enthusiastically (or choose a platform that does so on your behalf).
Another vehicle-related passive income opportunity is your home’s parking space. In crowded cities like Chicago and Boston, parking spaces are valuable commodities. If you’re fortunate enough to own or have guaranteed access to an on- or off-street parking space, you can earn money by renting it out to folks visiting or passing through your neighborhood.
When it comes to at-home income, selling your unwanted stuff is the definition of low-hanging fruit. Even if you’re intentional in your purchasing habits, you likely have possessions you can do without. Examples include old kids’ clothing and toys, sporting goods you no longer use, out-of-fashion wardrobe accessories, electronics, valuable but nonsentimental keepsakes such as watches and jewelry, old furniture, dusty tools and outdoor equipment, and perhaps even big-ticket items like a motorcycle or second car.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world (and document it by starting a travel blog if you’d like). While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like Preply, VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.
If you love kids, sign up for Care.com or SitterCity to spend a few hours a week babysitting. These websites verify both babysitters and those seeking sitters with background checks, so you can ensure you're conversing with a reliable source. Babysitting rates vary based on years of experience, number of children, and hours per week. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for a babysitter is $28. Use Care.com's calculator to plug in your experience and find out how much your should be making an hour as a babysitter.
But first, a caveat: Meal sharing platforms operate in a legal gray area. The food service industry is heavily regulated, and many jurisdictions make it all but impossible for home cooks to profit from their passions. At a minimum, you need to make sure you comply with all local health department directives and obtain all applicable licenses before you begin inviting diners into your home.
If you do any shopping online (and if you don’t, who are you?), you are probably familiar with cash back apps. The premise is pretty simple: find something you like online, buy it through a cash back portal like Rakuten or find a coupon code, and save some money you would have otherwise spent. The rewards are usually modest, but they add up over time.
Recording Others’ Work. If you’re a trained voice actor or narrator, or you think you have what it takes to break into the niche, you can use ACX and other outlets to find audiobook recording jobs. You’ll need to audition for each role, but once you land a gig, you’ll earn money two ways: at an agreed per-hour rate for the actual job and a shared royalty arrangement with the rights-holder and others involved in the production. If you’re a union actor (SAG-AFTRA), you’re required to charge a minimum fee (variable, but above $200) per finished hour (roughly two studio hours). On a 10-hour audiobook, that’s a minimum payday of $2,000 before royalties.
Know What to Charge (and When to Charge More). Setting freelance writing rates is notoriously challenging. The value of your work depends on many factors, including your writing style and quality, your niche, your subject matter strengths and professional credentials, your research skills, your production speed, and your ability to work on deadline. As a rule of thumb, licensed professionals (such as lawyers, CPAs, and physicians) can charge more than nonexperts with above-average writing skills. But don’t assume your earning potential is static. As you gain skill and familiarity within your niche or with individual clients’ needs and your professional visibility improves, you’ll become more valuable to current and future clients.
Venue. When you’re first starting out, choose reputable, high-visibility venues for your classes. Don’t expect students to find their way to your personal or professional website before you’ve built a reputation for yourself. Udemy is a great option for budding at-home teachers looking to earn real money from their work. YouTube is another viable option, though you can’t directly charge people to watch your YouTube videos. You’ll need to monetize them indirectly (we explain how in Section 12.)
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
If you’re looking to build a new career online or test your way into launching a small business, the first ten ways we just ran through are some of the best, long-term plays for making money online. However, for a lot of people (myself included), you probably want to find other, quick online business opportunities where you can start seeing a return faster.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make money online is to do surveys. You can use sites and apps like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, or Opinion Outpost to fill out questionnaires and get paid in cash or other rewards, like gift cards. However, it can take a while to find a survey that’s a good match for you, and you may need to make a certain amount before you can get your payout.
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17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.