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5 Freelance Jobs You Can Do Online to Earn Decently

5 Freelance Jobs You Can Do Online to Earn Decently
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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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      Published on July 27, 2021

      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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      During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

      But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

      Put the Pro in Professional

      After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

      1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

      The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

      Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

      2. Dress the Part

      While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

      Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

      For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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      Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

      3. Stage Your Workspace

      Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

      Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

      4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

      Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

      Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

      Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

      Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

      5. Arrive on Time

      In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

      Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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      6. Turn on Your Video

      Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

      If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

      Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

      7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

      Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

      Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

      Attend to the Pesky Details

      8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

      With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

      Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

      9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

      Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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      Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

      10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

      As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

      Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

      Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

      Talking Has a Time and a Place

      11. Chat Appropriately

      Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

      At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

      12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

      The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

      Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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      13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

      In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

      Manage Yourself

      14. Minimize Distractions

      While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

      Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

      15. Save Snacking for Later

      Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

      However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

      Final Thoughts

      Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

      Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

      Reference

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