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Last Updated on November 2, 2018

17 Types of Online Work at Home Jobs that Really Pay Off

17 Types of Online Work at Home Jobs that Really Pay Off

Some of us prefer the stability and certainty of a nine to five office job. However, increasingly more people choose the flexibility of freelancing and online work over fixed office hours.[1]

Have you decided to change the dull office scenery to an alternative workplace? Are you a work at home mom looking for a profitable side job? Or do you merely feel that it’s time for a career change?

You are in luck – today switching to working from home is easier than ever. In this list of 17 types of online work you are sure to find at least several suitable and fun jobs you can start doing today. And earn some good money while you are at it:

Starting your online business

If you have chosen to work at home instead of having a regular office job, chances are you’ll prefer to be your own boss while doing online work as well.

These online jobs will let you manage your own time, realize your potential, and, in many cases, earn good money.

1. Creator (selling your art online)

If you are talented in any crafts or design, there is definitely a market for your art.

Surely, you can sell your creations in offline events like crafts fairs or Christmas markets.

However, selling online will probably be more profitable and may even turn into full-time online work. Especially if some of your art is digital.

Some great platforms for selling your work online:

  • Facebook is the most obvious place to start. Create a page for your product or brand, invite all your contacts to join and come up with a contest with free giveaways. This way you will spread the word about your product and get your first fan base. You can also add a shop to your Facebook page or join Facebook Marketplace that enables buying and selling right in the app.
  • Etsy is the most famous platform for showcasing handmade items. But even if your artwork is digital, you can sell it here. Some examples are wedding invitation templates, digital posters, journals, goal planners and to do lists, design maps, etc.
  • If your art is less tangible, you can create your online store with Sellfy. Creative entrepreneurs use this tool to sell digital products like video or photo presets, e-books or copywriting templates, animations, jingles, beats, or even knitting patterns. Get inspired by this list of 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money.
  • Sell T-shirts, posters, mugs, hats, or even bags with your design or beautiful quotes. Drop shipping services like Printful handle all the printing, packaging, branding and even sending in your place. You just have to upload designs, attract buyers and then receive your profit. Some users have reported earning over $1,200 in three weeks with this service.[2]

2. Online course tutor

Online learning is a booming market projected to reach $240 billion by 2023,[3] so there’s a lot of money to make for anyone who has skills to share.

If you are knowledgeable in design, photography, health and fitness, business, personal development, music, fashion, technology, writing or another topic, thousands of students may be waiting, eager to learn from your course.

You can start by applying as a tutor in popular online course platforms like Skillshare and Udemy.

Also, make sure you create a trustworthy LinkedIn profile and offer a free intro video to your course.

There are teachers making over $30K a year on Skillshare[4] while Udemy’s top 10 tutors managed to earn $17 million in one year.[5] Even if these numbers are probably hard to reach for a beginning teacher, you can aspire to earn between $100 and $1000 from your first relevant lesson.[6]

3. Product reviewer on YouTube

Most of us have checked a product review on YouTube before making a purchase. Why not try being on the other side of the screen and offering your own product review videos?

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The good news is that you can review products in your favorite niche – be it tech, beauty, home decor, fitness or any other.

Here are some ways to earn by placing product reviews on YouTube:

  • YouTube ads – if you get a lot of views, advertising can be a good source of income.
  • Affiliate marketing – place an affiliate link in the video description and get a percentage of the sale.
  • Get paid to produce sponsored reviews – get hired by brands to do specific product reviews. Websites like Famebit and Grapevine are a good place to search for paid sponsorships.

With time, you can grow your audience, gain influence and work out more deals reviewing products that you love.

4. Affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is the process of helping another website to sell their products or services via special affiliate links. When you sign up for a company’s affiliate platform, you’ll receive your unique link or links, that will earn you a commission every time a user clicks on them (or buys something after clicking).

Many bloggers use affiliate marketing as an online work to earn money from their writing. But you don’t have to be a writer to make good money this way – you can promote affiliate links on your YouTube channel, social media, Facebook groups or forums, blog post comments, etc.

The biggest bonus of affiliate marketing is that it frees you from the responsibilities of traditional sales models, like having a product, website or sales engine.

Most people work with more than one affiliate marketing sites. You can use an affiliate marketing network to search for offers to promote.

Shareasale, CJ Affiliate, and Amazon Associates are some of the most popular affiliate networks today.

5. Blogger

As described above, affiliate marketing is a widespread source of income for bloggers. However, you can earn money as a writer using other ways too.

Some other ways to earn as a blogger (besides affiliate marketing):

  • Placing ads on your blog, and getting paid every time a visitor clicks on them.
  • Writing reviews about other companies’ products or services. Make sure they are relevant to your audience and that they are not your only content.
  • Offering additional paid content within your articles (e.g., downloadable e-book, online consultations or related products).
  • Doing content marketing for your customers. You can either write articles for your client’s blog or pitch guest posts to reputable platforms including links to your client’s site. Your customer will pay you for spreading the word about their services and improving their ranking in search engines.
  • Writing for other blogs and media outlets that pay guest contributors.

The most significant benefit of blogging is that you don’t need any budget to start it – only good writing skills and expertise in a niche topic or some sort of unique experience.

6. Reseller

Reselling means finding low-cost items that you can sell for more. This can be a feasible online work if you have special skills or knowledge that lets you find products that are less accessible to other people. Thus they would be happy to pay more to have these products brought to them by you.

For example, you may be a guru in finding specialty items, great garage sales or antiquities. Or, you may be an intermediary between states or countries – finding something cheap in one place and selling it to another audience.

You can even start by selling the items you have at home and no longer want. For reselling, you can either create your own online store or sell items on sites like eBay.

7. Photographer

If you love taking photos, you can quickly turn this hobby into a source of income. Here are some ways photographers can earn money online:

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  • Teach photography. Share valuable tips and techniques that aspiring photographers would love to hear about.
  • Sell posters or digital artwork. See point No. 1 (Selling your art online).
  • Sell your photos on stock websites. ShutterStock, iStock, and BigStock are the most famous photo databases. The quantity paid for each download is generally low, so you should bet on quantity and upload new batches of photos regularly. The key to getting noticed on stock websites is adding many relevant keywords that people would search for.
  • Offer your photography and photo editing skills on freelancer platforms (see the following section about Finding online work on freelancer platforms)

8. Website tester

Many websites lose money due to a poor user interface, lousy navigation, unclear copy or bad design. Therefore, companies search for people to test and review their site before launching it.

In most cases, you’ll need to speak your thoughts out loud and record your screen actions as you browse the website. Usually, tests take between 5-25 minutes to complete, and the pay is an average of $10 per test.

Here’s a list of platforms that unite website owners and testers and can offer good online work to do on a side.

Finding online work on freelancer platforms

If you aren’t ready to venture into your own online business, offering your services on freelancer platforms is a good place to start online work. Some of the most popular freelancer platforms include Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.[7]

Generally, Upwork gathers more professional freelancers and has a broader earning potential than Fiverr. But, even if the majority of Fiverr users make under $100 a month,[8] 30% manage to earn between $100 and $499, and above. And why shouldn’t you be among the top earners?

Besides joining these platforms, there are other ways to find your first customers. For example, via your friends and professional contacts; by sharing your portfolio on your social media; or by reaching out to companies directly (e.g., offering a copywriting service to a website with poor copy).

But first, define your skill and make it your profession.

9. Copywriter, translator or proofreader

If writing is your strength, you can easily turn it into a source of income.

You might be taking good writing for granted – everyone can write, right? In fact, many people are not skilled in crafting sales messages, comprehensive descriptions or even social media posts. There’s a large audience happy to outsource such tasks.

Similarly, many entrepreneurs write their own website texts or blog articles that just need editing and proofreading, or translation for other markets. All you need to do to capture that clientele is offer them your skills and experience.

State your areas of expertise in your resume and share examples of your work – this way you’ll stand out from the competition.

10. Web or Graphic designer

In our digital era, graphic design works are more demanded than ever.

If you have some design skills and experience, these are just some types of online work you can do:

  • Website & landing page design
  • Logo design
  • Mobile app design
  • Business cards & corporate souvenirs
  • Ads, banners and marketing materials
  • Leaflets, brochures, e-books
  • Packaging design
  • Presentation design
  • Diverse illustrations

Besides freelancer platforms, there are other reliable ways to make some extra money with your design work.[9]

For example, try adding your designs on illustration databases, 99Designs platform or Creative Market where designers set their own price for their artwork.

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11. Language tutor

People have been eager to learn new languages since ancient times. Luckily, it’s much easier to master a new language today than it was centuries or even decades ago.

Doesn’t matter if your mother tongue is English or any of the world’s 7000 languages.[10] You are sure to find students willing to learn or practice with you.

Even better if you already have some teaching experience. If you don’t, add a distinctive element to your resume.

For example, you may include some cultural facts in your course, or make your classes extra fun, informal, or flexible for any hour of the day – whatever is your thing.

12. Voice over

Numerous businesses are searching for male or female voices to narrate their marketing or explainer videos.

Furthermore, audiobooks, podcast intros, TV/Radio commercials, tutorials and even voicemail all require professional voice overs.

If you have excellent vocal skills in your native language, there’s a vast opportunity for you to earn money with them. The best part – this job is easy to do as all you need is a computer, a good microphone and a room with decent acoustics.

13. Customer support representative

Many companies are looking to outsource customer support – especially if their client base is global and they cannot provide round the clock support with their own team.

If you are into helping people or would like to build experience in this area, offering your services on freelancer platforms is a good place to start.

Email, social media and chat support as well as lead generation are the most common tasks of an outsourced customer service representative.

However, the wider the range of services you offer, the higher your chance of getting hired. For example, you can add data entry jobs, social media management, report preparation and other responsibilities to your resume.

On the other side, you can work as a mystery shopper evaluating the customer service quality of other online shops and websites. Mind that to have this as a serious online work, you’ll need to do quite a bit of mystery shopping.

14. Consultant, advisor or coach

If you are an expert in literally any area, there are people who want to hear your opinion and learn from your experience.

These are just some examples of different areas you can consult on:

  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing & sales
  • Freelancing
  • Relationships
  • Health & Fitness
  • Fashion & Style
  • Parenting
  • Interior design
  • Writing

Explore the categories on freelancer platforms and offer your advice in the ones relevant to your profession or experience. For example, if you have managed a small business, offer your consultations under Business or Marketing categories.

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15. Accountant

Budgeting and finances are the nightmare of many entrepreneurs; no wonder countless businesses are looking for ways to outsource these complex tasks.

If you are good with numbers and have some accounting experience to show, your clientele is surely out there.

Even better if you have legal knowledge, like setting up a business, preparing contracts or registering your trademark. This may be a skill relevant in your location, but still highly demanded.

16. Virtual assistant

The functions of a virtual assistant can range from simple tasks like data entry or transcribing conversations to more complex web research and analysis, lead generation, Photoshop edits, travel planning, in-depth LinkedIn search and accounting.

Start by defining your expertise and offering it on one of the freelancer sites. The wider your skill set and the better your reviews, the more likely you are to make a living from this type of online work. On average, virtual assistants in the United States earn $15.57 per hour.[11]

17. Social media manager

This job is sometimes listed under virtual assistant. However, as social media management is a highly demanded skill, employers often search for it separately.

If you are a connoisseur of social media, you can create service packages that businesses could buy from you.

A basic social media management monthly package could include:

  • Setting up a social media profile (if necessary)
  • Monitoring 3-5 social media platforms, by answering comments and messages
  • Creating content and posting several times per week
  • Adding relevant hashtags, images and links

Social media management is a well-paid type of online work that is in high demand. It is also a very flexible job as you can schedule the posts anytime and anywhere.

If you choose this path, consider working with several customers at the same time to maximize your income.

The online work of your dreams is waiting

Being a pro at online work starts with determination.

Once you promise yourself to work for your own benefit and growth, you should organize your life in a way that fosters productivity and efficiency. There are also numerous apps and resources for freelancers that will help you to achieve more by working less.

Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Ieva Baranova

Ieva helps tech startups access big markets and is a passionate advocate of alternative work formats.

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Last Updated on April 23, 2019

How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

Stretch goals are a lot like physical fitness. When you adopt a physical sport such as running, continual practice leads to increased stamina, growth and progress.

While commitment to the sport improves performance, true growth happens when you are stretched beyond your comfort zone. I know this from personal experience.

For years, I was an avid runner. I ran with a variety of running groups in the Washington, D.C., area and in Columbus, Ohio, where I lived prior to moving to the nation’s capital in 2011.

While I was initially fearful about slacking off on my exercise habit when I moved to D.C., running enthusiasts in the area provided continual motivation, inspiring me to lace up my shoes day after day. Much to my surprise, many of the area’s running stores (including Pacers and Potomac River Running) boasted running groups that met in the mornings and evenings. So, it was relatively easy for a newcomer like me to connect with like-minded peers.

I was never a particularly fast runner, but I enjoyed the afterglow of the sport: being completely drained but feeling a sense of accomplishment; setting and reaching goals; buying and wearing out new tennis shoes. The sound of throngs of feet pounding the pavement in semi-unison is still enough to bring tears to my eyes. Yes, I sometimes tear up at the start of races.

Of all the groups I ran with, the Pacers Store group that met on Monday nights in Logan Circle boasted the fastest runners. I met up with the group week after week only to be the slowest runner. It was difficult to muster the courage to get up every week and meet the group knowing what was waiting for me: sweating and watching the backs of fellow runners.

Each time I joined the group, I was stretching myself without even realizing it. Instead of feeling like I was transitioning into a better running, for a long time I felt I was torturing myself.

Then something remarkable happened. I went for a run with a different set of runners and noticed my time had improved. I was running at a faster pace and doing so with ease. What was once uncomfortable for me I now handled with ease.

The reason I was becoming a better runner was because I was taking myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself physically and mentally. This example illustrates the process of growth.

Fortunately, we can create situations that stretch us in our personal and professional lives.

What Is a Stretch Goal?

A stretch goal – as authors Sim B. Sitkin, C. Chet Miller and Kelly E. See detail an article “The Stretch Goal Paradox” in Harvard Business Review[1] – is something that is extremely difficult and novel. It is something that not everyone does, and it’s sometimes considered impossible.

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In general, you establish stretch goals by doing things that are difficult or temporarily challenging.

For instance, when I was first promoted to a senior communications management role, I knew I needed to beef up my relationships with media personalities. I set a goal to once a month book a day of media interviews in New York City – which is home to many media outlets, including SiriusXM radio, CNN, NBC News, HuffPost, VIBE.

This was a huge goal because it meant not only identifying the right people to meet with but convincing them to meet with me and my team. While I didn’t end up meeting the goal of doing a full day of media interviews in New York City, I met more people than I would have met had I not established the goal and instead stayed in the comfort of my D.C. office.

It is important to note that just because you establish a stretch goal doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the goal each time. However, the process of trying is guaranteed to provide some level of growth.

The Importance of Creating Stretch Goals

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to assess where you are excelling and where there is room for you to grow. I typically start the year by creating a yearlong strategic plan for myself.

I think about the things that are necessary to do and things that would be cool to do. I assess the people I should know and think through how to meet them. Then I ask myself if the goals are realistic and what would need to happen for me to achieve them.

Over time, I have learned that there are five things I can do to set stretch goals:

1. Get Outside of Your Head

If I exist within the confines of my imagination, I imperil my own growth and creativity.

If I examine my accomplishments and celebrate them in isolation of others’ accomplishments, my vantage point is limited.

I want to be comfortable with what I accomplish, but I also want to be motivated by watching others. In some respects, stretching is about expanding your network of friends, associates and mentors. These are the people who will propel or slow your growth and development.

Since two are better than one, I always value being able to share my progress with others, seek feedback and then map a plan for success.

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2. Focus on a Couple Areas at a Time

When setting goals, it is important to focus on a couple of areas at a time. Most of us are only able to focus on a few things at a time, and if you feel you are unable to tackle all that is before you, you may simply disengage.

I see this in so many areas of life:

When people get in debt, if they believe the debt is insurmountable, they refuse to look at incoming bills for fear of facing down the debt. Unfortunately, many businesses go awry when setting stretch goals.

In “The Stretch Goal Paradox,” Sitkin, Miller and See note:

“Our research suggests that though the use of stretch goals is quite common, successful use is not. And many executives set far too many stretch goals. In the past five years, for example, Tesla failed to meet more than 20 of founder Elon Musk’s ambitious projections and missed half of them by nearly a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

Goal-setting is like a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t all need to happen at the same time, and pacing is extremely important if you want to get to the finish line. It is better to focus on a couple goals at a time, master them and then move on to the next thing.

3. Set Aside Time Each Year to Focus on Goal-Setting

When I was a managing director for communications for the Advancement Project, I spent the first part of every year facilitating a communications planning meeting.

The planning meeting began with the team members assessing the goals the team had established in the preceding year, and whether those goals were realistic or not. If we failed to meet certain goals, we broke down why that happened. From there, we brainstormed about possibilities for the current year.

For instance, one year we set a goal of pitching and getting 24 opinion essays published. This was audacious because no one on the eight-person team had the luxury of focusing exclusively on editing and pitching opinion essays to publications around the world. We would need to focus on pitching in between the rest of our work.

We hit this goal within the first eight months of the year. Remarkably, in total, we ended up getting 40 opinion essays published that year, which was an indication that our original goal was too low. We upped the goal to 41 the next year, and amazingly, we hit 42 published opinion essays or guest columns.

From this experience, we not only learned what was feasible, we also learned the power of focus.

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When we focused as a team on getting the commentary on our issues out in the public domain, we were successful. The key in all of this is that there was a ton of discussion around which goal we’d pursue and why.

Equally important, as a manager, I didn’t set the goals alone; the team members and I established the goals collaboratively. This ensured buy-in from each individual.

4. Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Model to Set Realistic Goals

S.M.A.R.T.

is a synonym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. For the sake of this article, the realistic portion of the acronym is most important.

While you want to set audacious goals, you want to ensure that they are realistic as well. No one is served by setting a goal that is impossible to accomplish.

Failing to meet goals can be demoralizing for teams, so it’s important to be sober-eyed about what is possible. Additionally, the purpose of setting goals is to advance and grow, not depress morale.

For instance, my team would have been discouraged had I begun the year asking it to pitch and place 40 opinion essays if we didn’t already have a track record of placing close to two dozen essays.

By using the S.M.A.R.T. formula, we were able to achieve all that we set out to do.

5. Break the Goal up into Small Digestible Parts

I am a recovering perfectionist. As a writer, being a perfectionist can be counterproductive because I can fail to start if I don’t see a clear pathway to victory.

The same is true with goal-setting. That’s why I join Lifehack’s fellow contributor Deb Knobelman, Ph.D., in noting that it is critically important to break goals into bite-sized chunks.

When I had a goal of doing daylong media meetings in New York City, I had to think through all the barriers to achieving that goal and all the steps required to meet the goal.

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One step was identifying which reporters, producers and hosts to engage. Another step was writing a pitch or meeting invitation that would capture their attention. Another step was thinking through the program areas I wanted to highlight and the new angles I could offer to different reporters.

Since reporters want to cover stories that no one else has written, I needed to come up with fresh angles for each of the reporters I was engaging. An additional step was thinking through who from my team I’d take with me to the various meetings.

I was clear that, as a talking head, as public relations reps are sometimes called, I needed the right spokesperson in order to land repeated meetings with different outlets.

A final step was thinking through what I needed to bring to each meeting and which reports, videos and testimonials would buttress our claims and be of interest to media figures.

As I walked through what was needed to bring my goal of doing daylong meetings to reality, I realized that not only was the idea within reach, but I was excited to tackle the challenge.

From that point until now, I have learned to break down goals into smaller parts and tackle the smaller parts on the path to knocking the goal out of the park.

The Bottom Line

These are my recommendations for setting stretch goals, and there are a ton of other resources to support you in the workplace and in your community.

For instance, LinkedIn’s Lynda.com platform has a wonderful suite of leadership development videos, including ones on establishing stretch goals. This is a paid resource but may be worth the investment if you lead a team or want to invest in tools for your own growth and development.

Featured photo credit: Avatar of user Isaac Smith Isaac Smith @isaacmsmith Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: The Stretch Goal Paradox

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