“I wish I could make money online, too, and have more time to travel the world!”
That’s a sentence that I hear almost on a daily basis. Many people find it hard to understand that remote jobs are actually not that hard to find. They are often surprised when they find out how many opportunities they have – high-paying ones, too.
If you can generate income online, you can easily work from anywhere in the world. You could travel to places you’ve always wanted to go and live abroad for a while. Or you could simply work from home, skip the daily commute, and get to spend more time with your family. A location-independent job has many advantages and is definitely worth having a look at.
In case you need some inspiration on what kind of remote job would be the best for you, read on. You will find the best ways how you can make money online and some of the most popular examples for each category.
If you need more information about how to make money online, check out my brand new online course “Zero to Remote Work Success.”
1. Keep Your Old Job
Who says you need to find a new job? If you like your current job, you could simply keep it but continue on a remote basis.
Of course, not every job qualifies for that. But if you think your job (or just parts of it) could be done online, talk to your boss. See, if there is any way you can switch to remote work. Often employers prefer to find a solution for it, instead of letting you go and having to replace you.
If you think that could work for you, check out this Harvard Business Review guide to learn some great techniques on how you can convince your boss to let you work from home (or wherever you like).
2. Remote Contract
In case you can’t or don’t want to keep your current job, you could also look for new employment with a telecommute option. You will have your employer, a fixed contract, regular income, and other benefits that come with permanent employment. Only that you don’t have to go to an office.
You could look for a similar position you are doing right now or change your career and start a new job. Pick something you are interested in that can be done online. Learn the necessary skills and gain experience if needed.
I know many people who changed their direction completely when they switched to a remote job. So don’t be afraid to start something new if your old job won’t work.
If you want to find more than 150 companies that employ people on a remote basis, check out the linked post.
Another option is freelance work, which gives you plenty of flexibility. You get to choose your own clients, your own projects, set your own rates and schedules.
On the downside, you don’t have too many securities. If you go for short-term projects, you will have to look for new clients all the time. In some industries, this can be more unstable than in others. You never know how much money you will make the next month. Not everyone would be happy with this situation.
What Kind of Freelance Jobs can I do?
Now you might be wondering “Ok, I might be interested. But what kind of freelance service can I offer?” Rest assured, there are plenty of things you can do. Just to give you an idea, here are a few of the most popular freelance services remote workers offer:
- Your old job. You have been working as a project manager so far? Simply offer your project management skills to clients. An accountant? Do accounting tasks on a freelance basis.
- Teach English. Or any other language you are proficient in. Platforms like VIPKID or iTalki are constantly on the lookout for freelance teachers and often pay between 15 and 25 USD an hour.
- Virtual Assistants. A great entry position as many clients don’t necessarily ask for too much experience. As a virtual assistant you will do things like admin tasks, organizing meetings or trips, sometimes do a bit HR, a bit social media, a bit product management – whatever your client needs help with.
- Social Media Management. Help clients manage social media accounts like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. Create content, interact with followers, engage in the community.
- Web Development. The classic. If you know how to code and are experienced with web or app or software development, you will find an abundance of open job positions.
- Content Writer. If writing is your passion, you can also start as a content writer and text for websites, magazines, blogs, online stores, or literally anything you can think of.
- Customer Support. Some customer support positions require to do phone calls, others are based on email support and live chats. You only need to be super friendly, service-oriented, and in a time zone that works for your client’s customers.
Need more inspiration? Check out this list with more than 40 popular online jobs for freelancers.
Where can I find Freelance Jobs?
There are plenty of ways to find clients that are interested in freelance services.
- For one, there is an abundance of freelance platforms online. Websites, such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, let you offer your skills and search for open positions.
- Another way to find clients is via social media. If your Twitter game is strong, send out tweets saying what you can offer and how you can help. Be a bit creative. Also, check out all kinds of different Facebook groups. That can be job groups like Freelance Jobs or specific groups, such as Virtual Assistant Jobs.
- Networking is always a great way to boost your business. Reach out to former colleagues or friends from university. Check your network on LinkedIn and see if there are potential job opportunities.
- Direct Approach. From my experience and in my industry (which is mainly content writing), you will get the best rates when you contact potential clients directly. I’m not going to lie, you will also get many rejections. But when you contact the right people the right way, this can be your most profitable chance.
Head over to Lizzie from Wanderful World to learn more about how you can position yourself as an expert and score the best freelance jobs.
Again, don’t be hesitant to learn new skills. There are many courses out there you can do online, too. No need to commute anywhere. For instance, check out Coursera to find online courses from some of the best universities and organizations around the world. Whether you want to improve your language skills to work as a translator or learn how to code to work as a developer, you will very likely find a great course on there.
4. Business Owner
If the above-mentioned options are not for you and you are looking for something with the maximum amount of self-determination and flexibility, you could also start your own business (or a few of them).
Again, your possibilities are almost unlimited. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular options:
- Dropshipping. You can set up an online store and sell non-digital or digital products. You don’t need to own these products or handle the logistics with this retail system. As soon as your customers place an order, your partnered retailer or manufacturer sends out the products directly to your customers.
- Blogging. There are also many people out there who make money blogging. You could, for instance, make money with affiliate links, advertisements, or sponsored posts. Although only very few people stick around long enough to make a full-time income with it, once you have the hang of it, your potential income is almost endless. Check out rockstar bloggers like Scrivs or Sharon Gourlay.
- Domain/Blog Flipping. Another popular idea to make money online is blogging or domain flipping. Simply put, you buy a blog, improve it (SEO, design, content, etc.), and sell it again. Similar to a domain, you buy existing or new domains and sell them again at a higher price level.
- Online Courses. You could also create and sell online courses on learning platforms like Udemy or Amazon or in your own store. They can be based on videos or text. You can either create them yourself if you are an expert in a certain area or hire someone to do it for you.
- EBooks. Similar to online courses you could also write eBooks and sell them. Platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing make it easy for everyone to upload text and sell it as an eBook. Again, you don’t need to write them yourself. You can also get someone to write it for you.
- Sell Own Designs. To make money with customized products you need to be quite a bit creative these days. Having an awesome design and printing it on t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases isn’t enough. You also need to be smart in promoting these products. If you think you can master that, have a look at platforms like CafePress or Teespring to offer your goodies.
5. Passive income
I know, I know. Absolute passive income doesn’t exist. You always have to invest either time, effort, or money in the beginning and it usually takes a bit of maintenance work, too. But the following ideas are at least as passive as it gets and great ways to make money online while you are traveling or staying at home with your family.
- Swagbucks.Our all-time favorite. Although you might not get filthy rich using Swagbucks, it is by far the best way to make up to a couple of hundred dollars a month extra with hardly any effort. You can get paid for using their search engine instead of Google, get cash back for using certain retailers when online shopping, or get paid for watching short videos or playing easy online games. Legit and lucrative.
- Run a Blog. As mentioned before, blogs can bring in lots of money. To keep your work with it as low as possible, you could buy an existing one that already makes a regular income, and “simply” keep it running.
- Outsource/Automate. If you already have a profitable business, you could also outsource most of the tasks or automate them. You will surely have to pay for the outsourcing but if you still make more profit than you spend, it could be a nice income for little effort.
If you want to find out more ways to make passive income, check out the linked article with more than 30 ideas.
Making Money Online the Easy Way
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to make money online and travel the world or simply stay at home with your family. There is no need to commute to an office every day to work 9 to 5. Luckily, there are plenty of ways today to work remotely. In general, your options are:
- Continue doing your current job on a remote basis
- Get a permanent remote employment
- Start offering services as a freelancer
- Start your own business
- Passive income
All you have to do now is to sit down and think about what would work best for your situation and your personality. And don’t worry if you can’t decide. You can, of course, try out a couple of things and see how you go. Many remote workers or digital nomads also have several income streams, which means, for example, they work as a freelancer and have their own business.
With so many options to generate money online, I’m sure you will find the right one for you, too, in no time. Remember, you can always start slowly and build your remote career part-time parallel to your current job. It’s not all or nothing. You just have to start somewhere; the rest will fall into place.