Thanks to the internet, the idea of telecommuting for work is becoming more and more popular. A recent report on the status of telecommuting work in the U.S found that telecommuting has increased 115% since 2005 (Flexjobs, 2017). So it’s no surprise that a host of websites have started up that offer to connect you with the employers out there looking to fill part-time remote positions or complete certain tasks. There are several ways you can get in on this trend and use your spare time to make money online. While most “make money fast” gimmicks are too good to be true, the biggest red flag is that they require no investment from you. That is, if you expect to get money for nothing, you’re probably going to find yourself caught up in the vast world of internet scams. But if you’re willing to invest even just a little time, you’ll find yourself making legitimate money in several ways:
This is a great way to make some fast money, particularly if you have some useful or unique skills. While not totally necessary, the things that you know how to do that can’t be done by just anyone make you more attractive to prospective clients and minimize your competition for jobs. Things like writing, social media management, 3D modeling/drafting, academics, programming and marketing are all especially in demand. Many of the skills you can market in freelancing can be acquired using resources online like YouTube tutorials and other articles, so don’t worry too much if you have no particular talent in any in-demand field. Look for tutorials, learn a few tricks from the professionals and you can put these skills to work in no time. As you build up your experience, you can start looking for bigger and better freelance projects. Sites like www.freelancer.com and www.upworker.com can help you get started.
- Crowdsourced Data
But even if you don’t want to take on learning a whole new skill which can take time and effort, there are also websites meant to connect you with smaller, low-skill jobs. If you’re not a robot, then congratulations! You can be hired to do work in digitally sourced micro-tasking. This means doing the grunt-work of the internet that computers can’t do. Think of all the times online that you have to verify that you are not a robot by doing things like recognizing common images in photos: artificial intelligence is great, but it’s easy to fool. Sites like www.clickworker.com and or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk at www.mturk.com can set you up with tasks as simple as data validation and survey participation.
- Virtual Personal Assistant
If you’re looking to make extra money online and manage an online career, you’re probably a pretty organized person. Put those skills to use helping someone else keep their life on task! This may mean taking phone calls, answering emails, making appointments and reminding your client of upcoming tasks. Valuable tasks for a busy person, but just not worth paying someone full-time hours to sit around in an office waiting to be needed. Like most legitimate ways to make money online, the more work you do, the more you establish a reputation as a person who can get things done and the better the jobs that will come your way. Sites like www.zirtual.com or www.getfriday.com are established to help connect you with remote personal assistant jobs.
If you want to make REAL money while working online, there are no shortcuts. Trust your gut when anything seems too good to be true. Using professional websites like those listed above will help you weed out scammers, so we definitely recommend going through a site like those, if not the ones we suggest. If you’re dealing with clients directly, these sites usually provide a platform to chat that provides support should you need to dispute any fraudulent or illegitimate jobs you are offered. Some of these sites even act as an intermediary between you and the client, doing this selection for you so you never even have to talk to the client. An extra layer of protection like that can make the difference between your online career being a boom… or a bust.