“Online work” used to mean “money grabbing scam.” You might find a job selling things online for a commission or writing blogs for money, but these rarely provided a living wage, or even enough spare change to justify the time commitment. Times have changed. The internet has finally become profitable, not just for startup entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, but for regular people with everyday skills.
That’s not to say the scams are gone. In fact, you need to be more careful than ever as the fake opportunities have become more sophisticated in their marketing. Click here for 5 online job scams and learn how to spot them.
You don’t have to build your own website or incorporate a business (although these things certainly help.) You can enroll in a ready-made network and ply your trade among similar-minded craftspeople.
What are these services? How can you sign up? Here’s a list of side-gigs to get your hustle on.
You’re an ace with a camera. You capture eye-catching images, and you know how to set the scene. You can turn that skill into online income by listing your images on stock-photography sites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. You receive a royalty when customers purchase the right to use your work. These sites are always looking for a variety of images, whether it’s lavish food photography or eye-catching scenes of natural beauty.
These services don’t want pretty snapshots. Sellable stock photos are professionally shot and edited, and they often require certain file formats. Review the companies’ requirements carefully before uploading. If you cannot afford Adobe Photoshop, click here for a free program that does basically everything it does.
You already watch plenty of videos online, so why not make a little extra money while you’re doing it? Swagbucks is a site that rewards its users with gift cards for taking surveys, watching certain videos, or conducting web searches with its search engine. You earn points by participating in Swagbucks activities and you can then redeem those points for gift cards or cash back from PayPal.
Do you have blazing fast typing fingers? Online transcription company SpeakWrite hires independent contractors and lets them set their own hours and work from home. SpeakWrite says its typists on average earn around $300 per month, while the top earners pull in over $3,000. You must first pass a typing test that judges you for speed and accuracy and requires you to have some previous experience in transcription and word processing.
Artists and designers upload their original work to Society6, which then prints the images onto a variety of products. Society6 offers an incredible range: T-shirts, pillows, wall hangings, duvet covers and iPhone cases, among countless others. Society6 handles all the fulfillment; artists can focus on their designs and receive a commission on anything sold. It’s a little like Etsy, but you don’t have to deal with physically creating or shipping your work.