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With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, many of us are now working reduced hours, if we’re working at all. One of the greatest things about the internet, however, is it’s possible to do a huge number of different jobs from the comfort and safety of your own home.
If you’re in need of a new job or career, or just need some extra money to make it through these tough times, maybe you should consider one of these work from home jobs. Here’s a quick rundown of some things you could do.
- 7 freelance jobs you can do from home
- 7 ways to open your own online store
- 2 ways to find work from home jobs
- 4 ways to create a passive income stream
7 freelance jobs you can do from home
Freelancing is a fantastic opportunity if you have any of these in-demand skills. The best part is that as a freelancer you’re able to take on as much or as little work as you like, so you’re in complete control of how much time you want to put in.
It can take a bit of determination and a lot of hustle, but freelancing is a great way to make a living if you have the drive and an entrepreneurial spirit needed.
Freelance writer or editor
Do you have a flair for the written word? A keen eye for grammar, and an ear for prose that sings? Freelance writing and editing might be perfect for you.
Freelance writing jobs come in a huge number of shapes and sizes, ranging from doing on-demand content marketing writing, to in-depth investigative journalism work, to highly polished sales copywriting for local businesses.
Freelance editing is similar, although there are generally fewer jobs available. One popular new option is to become a freelance copy editor in the growing self publishing industry.
With it being so easy to publish and sell digital books independently through Amazon, there are a huge number of new authors out there looking for some help polishing up their manuscripts. Look for self-publishing groups on social media and start making some connections.
If you have a talent for writing or editing, there’s bound to be someone out there who could use your help.
Freelance social media manager
Social media is an essential part of almost all modern businesses, and it takes a particular skill set to do it well. If you have a keen understanding of how social media works, becoming a freelance social media manager might be a great way to augment your existing income or to create a whole new career.
While the tech and internet giants probably already have this stuff covered, there are likely dozens of local businesses who could use your help. Try reaching out to a few who seem to be struggling with their social media and see if there might be an opportunity for you to work together.
Having an active online presence has never been more vital to the success and survival of so many local businesses, so why not give it a shot?
Freelance graphic designer, artist, or illustrator
Graphic design is a huge part of the internet, featured prominently on almost all blogs, websites, and social media accounts. If you have even rudimentary Photoshop skills and an eye for design, you may be able to get some work as a freelance graphic designer.
Similarly, if you’re a born artist and have a talent for doing digital illustration work, you can probably build a freelance career around those skills as well.
Just a quick search on the internet shows that people are looking for freelance artists and illustrators to work on a huge variety of projects, ranging from quick one-off logo designs to fully illustrated childrens’ books.
Photography, particularly product photography, can be a lucrative freelance career. It does take a bit of time to put together a really solid portfolio of work, and there’s going to be some hustle involved, but any business who is trying to sell products online is going to need some top notch photos.
As with many freelance opportunities, it might be easiest to start with local businesses and grow your portfolio from there. Watch your local social media streams and see if there’s an opportunity to work with a local shop that is trying to get online for the first time, or a local restaurant struggling with food photography for their new takeout business.
Freelance web developer or programmer
Web and software development has always been a work from home friendly career. If you have a computer, an internet connection, and the requisite experience, you can probably find some freelance contract work suited to your skill set.
Again, if you’re particularly good at setting up new websites, ecommerce shops, or weblogs, you might try reaching out to local businesses who may be struggling to get online while physical distancing restrictions are in place.
- Mandarin, and
If you’re bilingual or multilingual, doing freelance translation work might be a great way to make some extra money from home.
With the enormous number of audio and video recordings being produced in the world today, it’s not a surprise that transcriptionists are in high demand. Best of all? All you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection to get started.
7 ways to open your own online store
If you make things that you can ship by mail or download on the internet, you can open an online store and start selling them. It can be a lot of work to start making serious money with your own small business online, but there are hundreds of successful examples out there.
The trick is finding the right online store platform for you. Each of these has its pros and cons, but they’re all viable options for setting up your very own online store.
Etsy is an online marketplace for independent creators and sellers that has been around for years. It provides some limited but adequate tools for creating your own online shop and starting to sell things like handcrafts, artwork, and original digital products.
- Etsy is relatively easy to use, and if you’re at all comfortable with using these sorts of online applications, you can start selling in just a couple of hours.
- Etsy also brings customers to you – instead of having to worry too much about Google search results and advertising on the wider internet, you can focus on optimizing your shop and listings within the Etsy marketplace itself.
- Etsy’s pricing and fees can be pretty confusing, and it can be hard to know exactly how much you end up paying for the services they provide.
- There are a lot of shops on Etsy these days, so it can be hard to get seen even within that walled garden.
- Etsy doesn’t really allow for a lot of branding or customization. There are much better options if you want more control over that side of things.
Shopify is the largest and most successful ecommerce platform in the world, currently providing services for over 1 million businesses worldwide.
Unlike Etsy, Shopify is not a “marketplace” in any sense of the word. They provide you with the tools to build your own online store, and that’s it. They do not help promote or advertise your shop, nor do they bring customers to you.
- Easier to understand pricing than some options. Costs and terms are clearly stated and easy to keep track of.
- Much more customizable – you have a huge amount of control over the look and feel of your Shopify store, although changing some things requires some programming skill.
- You are entirely responsible for driving traffic to your shop, which can be tricky. If you’re good with social media, however, or have some money in your budget to buy online ads with Google or Facebook, you’ll have a clear advantage over many.
Wix is primarily a platform for building websites, but it does have features that allow you to build an online store quickly and easily with no coding at all. The drag-and-drop interface is very beginner friendly, and you can even play with setting up a full shop before committing to a subscription (but you can’t actually sell anything until you do).
- Easy to use and quick to set up.
- Simple pricing plans, with a range of options depending on volume and options.
- Lots of customization options.
- Isn’t really designed for shops with lots of products.
- You have to drive all of your own site traffic, which can be tricky.
Like Wix, Squarespace is primarily a platform for building regular websites, but they do have ecommerce features you can use to easily set up an online store. Customizing your site can be challenging, but they offer a number of free site templates that will help you get started.
- Squarespace offers a range of plans depending on what you’re looking to do with your site or store.
- Existing templates are all very well designed and easy to use.
- Relatively fast to set up and get selling.
- Limited template options out of the box.
- Can be difficult to customize just the way you like.
Woocommerce is an ecommerce platform built on WordPress, which is the most popular blogging software in the world. Both WordPress and Woocommerce are owned by Automattic Inc., so you know it’s going to have great integration and support.
- You have the option of doing a full, free, independent set up of your own WordPress weblog and Woocommerce store, if you have the technical knowledge and resources to do so.
- The process of setting up a full WordPress and Woocommerce site, even if you use their automated options, can be pretty intimidating for first time users. It’s really not very beginner friendly.
- If you don’t have the ability to set up your own website, hosting options can be pretty expensive and confusing. There are a lot of options on the website and it can take a bit of time to figure out exactly what you’re going to need and how much it will cost.
Bigcommerce is another ecommerce platform that’s been around for a while, and unfortunately it seems to be showing its age a little bit. Setting up a shop is a bit clunky, and customization options are confusing where they’re available.
- It can be very fast to set up a Bigcommerce shop if you use their existing default template.
- All subscriptions currently include 3 months free, so you have a chance to give it a really good trial before you start paying for the service.
- The interface is showing its age and is awkward to use.
- Customization is difficult.
- The website itself is a bit sluggish.
- Subscription fees are high for what you get.
Amazon Handmade is part of the larger Amazon site, which means any products you list on the site can be seen by a huge volume of potential customers. On the other hand, you’re also going to be competing with millions of other sellers and products.
- Amazon is, of course, an extraordinarily high volume site with the potential of putting your products in front of a huge number of potential customers. Lots of online sellers have great success there.
- You have to apply and be accepted by Amazon in order to sell on Amazon Handmade.
- There’s no ability to customize or brand your site beyond a few basic options.
- Amazon takes 12% of every sale. This is comparable to some other ecommerce platforms, but does put a significant dent in your profits.
- Amazon has generous return policies that generally favour buyers rather than sellers, which can be costly and difficult to navigate.
2 ways to find work from home jobs
If nothing else, the global coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that a lot of jobs can be done from home. Finding these jobs can be a bit tricky, but it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
Standard job search sites
We all know the standard job hunting sites are great for looking for regular jobs, but they can also be great for finding remote friendly jobs as well. For example, doing a quick “work from home” search returned thousands of results on these 4 job search sites:
An increasing number of companies are starting to support working from home, particularly since this sort of flexibility is in greater demand by top talent. Many of these companies are in the technical or customer service fields, but there are different opportunities arising every day.
Take some time and dig around on the “careers” pages of some of your favourite companies. There’s a good chance that you could talk your way into a remote job if you have the sorts of skills and experience they’re looking for.
But be cautious
There are unscrupulous people in the world who try to take advantage of honest folks who are just trying to make some extra cash. When looking for a job you can do from home, be sure to watch out for potential scams.
4 ways to create a passive income stream
Passive income sounds like a fairy tale, but not only is it possible to set up a passive income stream, it can be incredibly lucrative.
The trick is coming up with things that you can create once and then sell an infinite number of times. Anything that people can buy and download is perfect, for example, or buy and watch or read online.
Just make something that people want to buy and download, then sell that via any number of possible channels on the internet.
And once you’ve done the initial work, you don’t have to lift a finger. That is the magic of passive income.
Here are some ideas of things you could create and sell to set up a passive income stream of your very own.
Writing has always been a classic “work from home” job, in that writers can pretty much work from anywhere, any time.
If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at writing a science fiction novel or a non-fiction book about something you’re absolutely fascinated with, why not get started? All you need is a computer and some time, after all. True crime books are particularly popular these days.
And your books don’t even have to be that long – lots of people write relatively short works of both fiction and non-fiction and just adjust the selling price accordingly. Instead of charging $7.99 for a full length ebook, for example, some will charge just $0.99 for a small collection of short stories, or $1.99 for something that’s novella length.
There’s a growing market for short fiction out there, so why not give it a try and see how it goes?
Once you’re finished writing, Amazon makes it really easy to sell your self-published work on their site, giving you access to a huge number of potential readers.
There’s lots of information about this available, but here’s Amazon’s own page to help you get started.
Create planner pages and stickers
It may surprise you to learn that there’s an absolutely massive market for planner pages and stickers. A quick search for “planner pages” on Etsy, for example, returns over 53,000 results, and many of these shops have sold thousands of downloadable products over a relatively short period of time.
If you have a love for planners and a knack for graphic design, this might be a fantastic way for you to make some passive income.
That said, it can be a very competitive market to get into, but if you make solid use of social media and maybe get a few influencers to help you out, you can make some serious coin.
Design and publish craft patterns
While selling handmade crafts is pretty much the opposite of passive income, selling patterns to crafters is a viable option. If you’re an expert crafter who has the creativity to design your own patterns, you can write those up and sell them as digital downloads.
Some examples of craft patterns you can buy online include:
There are loads of other options, and designing patterns is a brilliant way to make some extra cash. If you publish enough of these and get a large enough following, it could be a whole new career. And who doesn’t love having a hobby that also pays the bills?
Develop tabletop role playing game modules
Did you know that tabletop roleplaying games are more popular now than ever? Every year it seems like new sales records are being broken, and not just because of shows like Stranger Things and the deep nostalgia factor they invoke.
Nope, tabletop roleplaying games are here to stay and there are new people diving into the hobby every day. And do you know what new game masters often need?
Content. Lots and lots of content.
So while this one may be a little more niche, if you happen to run a tabletop roleplaying game with your own self-designed content, why not write it up into downloadable modules that other people can buy and use in their own games?
There are a few places to sell these sorts of things online, or you can easily set up your own shop and sell them yourself. If you’re good, produce new content on a semi-regular basis, and get enough of a fanbase, you might be able to turn it into a full time gig some day.
We’ve really only scratched the surface of possible ways to make money at home here.
Freelancing is an amazing career choice if you have the hustle to make it happen.
There are thousands of independent business owners who have set up their own online shops and are making a solid living at it.
Finding a remote job is easier now than ever.
And while setting up a passive income stream can be a huge amount of up front work, the dividends can pay off for years to come.
And really, there are so many other ways that you can make a living from the comfort of your own home. With a little imagination and a lot of hustle, you can create the independent creative career you’ve always dreamed of.
What are some of your favourite ways to make money from home?
Do you have a side hustle you love that we haven’t talked about here?
If you’ve been recently laid off because of the pandemic, are you in the process of setting up your own business so you can work from home?
Let us know in the comments!