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5 Freelance Jobs You Can Do Online to Earn Decently

5 Freelance Jobs You Can Do Online to Earn Decently

Nowadays, since there are numerous ways to earn money online, many people are self-employed. This is not really surprising since being a freelancer can give you a lot of flexibility in terms of working time. You gain useful experiences for potential jobs in the future, and you still get to have some fun and earn money on the side.

Even though it’s not as secure and lucrative as a real job, freelancing has its perks. Since we live in an age of technology and almost everyone has access to the World Wide Web, you can easily find tutorials and learn a lot of useful things on your own. Here are five jobs you can do as a freelancer and earn a decent amount of money.

1. Become a freelance writer

Alright. Since you already know how to write, this one should be the easiest to pull off, in the event you do not possess any other skills. The only problem with writing is that you’ll have to do a ton of research since no one wants to pay you to write what you think is interesting. It would be wise though to think about your own field of expertise, and start to develop in that department as a blogger. It will be a good exercise for your writing career, and you will increase the chances of getting a writing job on a topic you actually like.

People usually find writing jobs through online job finding platforms, so you should start by making a profile there. Before you do that, you can open up a couple of accounts on blogging platforms to submit your work and to have something in your portfolio. This will increase your chances of landing the first few jobs. These are quite crucial since people go through your work history and reviews before they employ you, therefore make sure you do your best.

Alternatively, you can immediately make accounts on blogging platforms that pay for content, like Cracked or Listverse for example. Bear in mind that these people are in search of really good content, and just rewriting a few other interesting things you’ve read online won’t cut it. You’ll need to be very well-informed, and respect their writing rules, and try over and over again before your content is accepted and published. On the plus side, it will look good on your portfolio and you will get a decent amount of money.

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Once employers on these job platforms start to give you jobs, you’ll have to do thorough research on the topics they need you to write about. These can be health, lifestyle, technology related, or texts for their own websites that they can use as good material. Once you get a hang of it, a lot of them might give you more writing jobs in the future, and it becomes easier to find new clients with similar requests.

2. Become a web designer

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    If you have some basic knowledge of coding, or if you are willing to start learning some coding basics, then you can become a web designer. WordPress is not too difficult to learn and you can easily become proficient and start offering your services. There are, of course, some possible obstacles you’ll have to face.

    First of all, the competition tends to be tight, but on the plus side, there are startups that pop up on a daily basis, and they usually need a website for their company. Moreover, even individuals ask for websites, since they use it as a place to save their treasured memories like weddings, baby pictures, etc.

    Considering that you are a beginner, much like with writing, you’ll need to do a couple of jobs at a lower price first. You can also find clients on Freelancing platforms, or you can do your own outreach, either by e-mails, or contact them on social media. There are a lot of business owners who have a Facebook page, but do not have their own website. So, you can reach out and tell them that you offer services at a lower price because you are trying to create a portfolio and earn money along the way.

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    Alternatively, you can do some research and learn how to impress potential clients. Show them that you can do more than simply follow their instructions and give them tips on how they can actually improve their design. For example, you can tell them how to strategically organize their layouts.

    Lastly, it would be wise to go through all of the themes and plugins, to know how to pitch your ideas to potential customers, and to know how to cater to their needs. There are specific themes for various types of websites, whether it is for a restaurant, for a personal blog, or for a magazine, etc. So, depending on the type of business owner you are negotiating with, you can suggest a corresponding theme to secure a better outcome.

    3. Become a graphic designer

    Graphic design is another skill that is highly sought after. Game developers, book artists, music artists, and many others need someone who can do concept art and full drawings for their products. It can be difficult to get good at this, if you have never nurtured your drawing talents, or if you are bad at drawing in general, but there are ways to work around these problems.

    Nowadays, you draw using gadgets. Since you can undo your previous move with a simple push of a button, the whole trial and error process goes a lot faster. So, even if you are not good at it, you can still get a hang of it more easily using current technologies.

    You should definitely go through drawing tutorials in order to pick up some useful techniques and become more efficient. When it comes to creating a portfolio, you do not need to do jobs for free like with the previous examples. You can create a DeviantArt account and Pinterest as well, which will be a good place to upload your work. You can also communicate with members there, to see what they think of your work, and to give you some guidelines on how to improve.

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    There are a lot of opportunities for graphic designers today, so if you master the art of drawing, you can look forward to a very lucrative future. Moreover, you don’t even have to work as a freelancer; you can start creating your own comic books for example, and become a renowned artist. Who knows? It’s definitely a good opportunity, and if you do possess some creative talents, it would be a shame not to pursue this passion.

    4. Become an online tutor

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      You’d be surprised just how many people are interested in learning the English language. You do not even have to be a native speaker to be a tutor. You just need to know English grammar and have a good vocabulary and decent pronunciation. These classes are mostly done over Skype, and your audience is primarily Chinese or Japanese people.

      Another good thing about these classes is that they rarely need actual English lessons; these ‘students’ mostly want to practice their conversation skills. Therefore, you won’t have to prepare like a teacher for a regular class. Just think about the topics you want to talk about and how to keep the conversation going.

      Basically, you need to find an agency that employs teachers who will give classes online. You will have to submit your application and do an interview with them online. Remember to be enthusiastic, to smile and not to rush while you speak. Speak clearly so that they can see how you pronounce words. You will have to go over one English lesson during the interview. Once they evaluate you, you will know whether you got the job or not. Do not worry, even if you fail, you’ll have an opportunity to repeat the interview.

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      Once you begin to work, you’ll need to work on your presentation, because it is really important that you are likable. If students like you, chances are that you’ll get more classes, and therefore more revenue. It is a great job if you want to be a teacher someday, and you can work on your people skills as well. You might think this looks like a full-time job, but it is not. You simply open up your schedule and wait for students to sign up for classes. You are the one who determines when the class will begin.

      5. Become a photo editor

      If you are not good at drawing, you may be good at photo editing, since it doesn’t require as much skill as drawing. It will however, be really bothersome, when you start learning how the photo editing tools function, and before you get used to the interface, etc. You’ll see just how creative you can be and what you can do with ordinary pictures.

      People also need photo editing services, when they post product pictures online, when they need an album cover, a movie poster, etc. This skill has a lot of potential to be monetized, and it is a talent that most definitely won’t be overlooked. Much like with the previous examples, the same rules apply. You download or watch online tutorials, and once you leave behind your training wheels, you’ll get to be creative and experiment a bit.

      Conclusion

      So, these are some skills that can easily land you a job. You can try them all out and see which one of them fits you best. You can also browse freelancing platforms to see what else you can do as a freelancer. There are different requests out there, but you will need a portfolio or work samples before you can get a job, so make sure you start creating something at the earliest.

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      Djordje Todorovic

      Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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      Last Updated on December 5, 2018

      How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

      How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

      Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

      We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

      How do they do it?

      By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

      1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

      There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

      If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

      2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

      Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

      According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

      Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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      3. Demand Learning from Your Team

      CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

      “The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

      His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

      Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

      “We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

      Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

      4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

      Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

      Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

      • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
      • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
      • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
      • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
      • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
      • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

      5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

      Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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      Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

      • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
      • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
      • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
      • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
      • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

        “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

      Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

      6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

      The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

      Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

      You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

      7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

      Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

      But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

      On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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      • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
      • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
      • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
      • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

      8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

      Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

      When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

      9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

      The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

      What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

      Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

      10. Empower Your Employees

      Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

      They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

      Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

      You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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      If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

      11. Nurture Your Company Culture

      Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

      Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

      However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

      Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

      Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

      Be a Leader, Not a Boss

      Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

      However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

      In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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