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Real Ways to Make Money Working from Home

Real Ways to Make Money Working from Home

    Most of those “work from home” opportunities that you see on TV, in the newspaper, or online are scams or pay you so little for the time you’ve invested that it’s not worth your while.  In my quest to figure out a way to ditch the 9 to 5 job so that I could work from the comfort of my own home, I have come across many different opportunities.  Whether you want to work from home so that you have more time with your kids or because you’d rather wear your jammies instead of a suit, the following are some great ideas on how to earn your living by working from home.  I can’t promise you’ll get rich overnight or quickly earn enough to replace your salary, or that it will even be easy, but if you stick with it and keep trying you’ll eventually have achieved your goal.

    Start your own website.

    There are two kinds of websites – the ones that sell products and the ones that provide information.

    If you can think of a good idea for a webstore and invest enough time and energy into marketing it, you might do well.  But keep in mind, you will have to constantly keep at it.  There will be orders to fill and plenty of accounting and inventory work to keep you busy,  provided you have a good product, there’s demand, and you’ve marketed yourself well.  The “If you build it they will come” slogan does not apply to websites.  If no one knows you’re out there, the chances of them accidentally stumbling upon it are virtually nil.  It can also be expensive if you don’t know how to create or operate your website, or how to market it.  You may very likely need to enlist the help of paid professionals.

    If the idea of running an online store does not appeal to you, perhaps you’d like to create a website that offers information, rather than products.  It could be that you make brilliant cartoons and think that would get a following, or perhaps you’d like to start up a news blog or maybe even a site for dog owners.  There’s no limit as to what topics you have to choose from, but my advice is to choose something that you love.

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    My experience:

    I started up a news website along with my husband in 2006.  We are both news junkies who love to write.  I always wanted to be a journalist,  but I knew where that career field was heading and I didn’t really want to be an intern or do time as the obituary writer.  So we took our passion for news and for writing and our love for our hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and we started up a news site.

    I can’t say that we’ve gotten rich off of it,  but it helps pay the bills.  It’s daily traffic rivals and surpasses that of established news media outlets in our market, and we’ve brought on board some award-winning journalists in recent years.  It’s also gotten us other opportunities over the years, such as press passes to concerts and sporting events, chances to test out new products or listen to unreleased CDs, and so on.

    We’ve stuck with it for so long because it is something that we enjoy.  I can’t stress this enough – if you start a website about something that you are not passionate about, chances are you will burn out pretty quickly.  It takes a lot of work to build up a successful website, and you have to be willing to put in the time yourself until it is big enough that you need to bring in some extra help.

    We’ve saved a lot of costs because I know how to build websites and have a background in graphic design and a bit of SEO know-how. If you don’t have these skills, or a friend who might be willing to lend some of their talent, it will end up costing you more.

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    Answer questions, do surveys, and conduct searches.

    This tactic to making money online will most definitely not make you rich, but can help you earn enough to pay for the little things you’d be buying anyways, or give you some extra spending money to treat yourself every once in awhile.

    There are plenty of opportunities to take surveys for money.  This has never appealed to me, so I can’t honestly direct you to a legit one.  They’re out there, but do your research first.  Otherwise you might just find yourself added to another spam distribution list.

    If you’re good at searching for information online and have an interest in a wide variety of topics, becoming a ChaCha.com guide might be up your alley.  People ask questions, you find them the answers, and then you get paid.  The more time you spend working, the more you will make.

    If you use the internet, you probably use a search engine regularly.  Well what if all those searches you conducted could earn you money?  With SwagBucks.com, you can earn money for your searches.  It pays you to do what you’d already be doing on Google, Yahoo, Bing or whatever your favorite search engine is. You again won’t get rich by doing this, but you can build up enough points to score gift cards to Amazon.com and other places.

    My experience:

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    I did a few surveys for AOL way back in the day that they paid me for, but these kind of things haven’t interested me all that much because they don’t pay out all that well and I’m more interested in making a living online than earning some extra spending money.  But I know people who have done these and are pleased with it.

    Find a work from home job.

    They are out there, but they’re hard to find and pretty darn competitive.  These jobs can range from a medical transcriptionist to a search engine optimization specialist.  Or, perhaps, you could find a position as a social media consultant.

    My experience:

    I’ve seen these from time to time posted on Craigslist, but I’ve never actually gotten one yet.  My advice to finding them is to scour the job postings on not only your local city, but some big cities like New York as well.  Often times there will be work from home jobs posted on only the NYC Craigslist because that’s where the company is based out of, that’s their local Craigslist, and they don’t want to go to the bother of posting it on all of the cities.   You’d apply for these jobs the same way you’d do any other job, and your interview will likely be over the phone, unless you happen to be near where the company is based.

    Write about what you know.

    Do you have a degree in nutrition?  I know Livestrong.com is hiring writers for their site through Demand Media Studios.  DMS also hiring writers and editors for every other topic under the sun to be published on eHow.com and their numerous other web properties.  You can make about $15 or more per article, and a few dollars for each article that you edit.  You can work as much or as little as you want.  Once you “claim” an assignment, of which there are tens of thousands, you have 7 days to complete it.

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    Yahoo bought up Associated Content and have amassed their own army of writers to create articles on numerous topics.  They also utilize their writers to do local feature stories for Yahoo Local cities.  They work similarly to Demand Media Studios, in that you can “claim” assignments.  I signed up to see how it worked, and it seems as though most of the payment for them is “performance based”.  In other words, you get paid based on the number of hits your article gets.

    Scour the blogger job postings on ProBlogger.net.  There are lots of people hiring everyday for people to write blogs for them on numerous topics.

    My experience:

    I signed up with Demand Media Studios and was accepted, but I haven’t done much since. The number of assignments available and is somewhat overwhelming, but I could easily earn the equivalent of a 9 to 5 salary by writing articles every day.  I’ve written for many, many blogs and websites over the years about everything from lawncare to nursing school and mobile phones.  There are topics, such as new technology, that I consider myself to be well-versed in and there are others that I am not that familiar with, so I do a lot of research to write well about them.

    Turn your talent into cash.

    Most people have at least one talent.  Figure out what yours is, and come up with a plan to capitalize on it. This is what finding a work from home job is all about.  If you love to knit, why not sell your goods on Etsy?  Are you an awesome coder?  There’s more work out there than you’ll know what to do with.  Are you an expert gardener?  Start a blog and share your tips, or maybe even make some expert how-to videos for eHow.com.

    You don’t have to quit your job and start working from home overnight.  It will likely take you some time to progress to a full work from home job, so start out small and work your way up.  If what you do is something that you love you’ll be more successful.  You need to be dedicated and motivated, and not easily distracted by the freedoms that working from home offers.  Successfully earning a living by working at home CAN be done, but it will most certainly take a lot of hard work.

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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    Last Updated on July 4, 2019

    25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

    25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

    Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

    Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

    1. Coursera

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      Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

      Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

      Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

      2. Khan Academy

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        Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

        Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

        3. Open Culture Online Courses

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          If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

          Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

          4. Udemy 

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            Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

            Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

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            5. Academic Earth

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              Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

              Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

              6. edX

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                Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

                7. Alison

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                  Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                  It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                  8. iTunesU Free Courses

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                    A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                    Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                    Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                    ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                    9. Stanford Online

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                      Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

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                      Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                      10. Harvard Extension

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                        Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                        Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                        11. Open Yale Courses

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                          Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                          12. UC Berkeley Class Central

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                            Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                            13. MIT OpenCourseWare

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                              Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                              14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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                                Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                                15. Codecademy

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                                  Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                  The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

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                                  16. Code

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                                    Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                    In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                    Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                    17. University of London Podcasts

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                                      The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                      18. University of Oxford Podcasts

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                                        Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                        The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                        19. BBC Podcasts

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                                          For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                          Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                          20. TED-Ed

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                                            Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                            Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                                            21. LessonPaths

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                                              LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                              22. Memrise

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                                                Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                                Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                                23. National Geographic Kids

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                                                  The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                  National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                  24. Fun Brain

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                                                    Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                    Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                    25. Whyville

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                                                      Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                      Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

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                                                      Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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