A few other things I plan to try: 1) buying cheap advertising in some niche publications where writing services aren’t usually advertised but the need is high; 2) adding an online content store to my author’s website I’m developing, so I can sell ready-made content directly to clients (kind of like Constant Content but without the middle man); and 3) pitching to website developers who might want to offer content services as a package deal to their clients. I have no idea if any of these strategies will work, but it’s always better to do something than nothing, right?
These are all great ideas. The problem, which I haven’t heard anyone address, is that all these places want to see a portfolio of your work. If you’re just starting out, it’s not likely you have one. In my case, I did extensive technical and creative writing for my previous company but it was all considered intellectual property for them, thereby preventing me from including it in any personal portfolio of mine. How does one build a portfolio if you already need one to get started?
It is essential to check the policy of your individual school or tutoring agency however, as some establishments place limits on teachers ability to tutor children from their own class or school. You may want to limit your tutoring to students outside your class or school even if not directed to do so, to avoid any conflicts of interest such as perceived favouritism that might arise.
A work from home job can be any position that does not require you to be in an office. There a wide range of work from home jobs. Some companies offer opportunities for employees in traditional roles to work remotely for all or some of their workweek. These jobs often use technology for meetings, assignments, and collaboration. This practice is called telecommuting. Other work from home opportunities may include jobs such as customer service representatives for which companies will hire remote workers, or part-time virtual assistants to manage work which does not require a physical presence in the office.
Working remotely for an established company is similar to working a desk job except you get to work at home. Most jobs require you to chat with customers online or via the phone, but their biggest draw is the fact that you’ll earn an hourly wage and receive a (relatively) steady paycheck. You’ll usually be asked to work regular hours, but you can do it in your pajamas if you’d like. Even better, some companies might actually provide you with benefits.
Transcription doesn’t require a lot of technical skill — you’re essentially just typing up what you hear. Every now and then you may need to take a critical ear to what’s going on if it sounds garbled, and the better you’re able to do this, the better your transcriptions are. But it’s not usually too challenging, and there’s a transcript “code” you can include in your transcript in any section that’s too garbled to understand.
Online tutors are needed for a wide variety of subjects. Some jobs require you to tutor high school or college students in what can be considered “standard” subjects. Other tutoring jobs, like Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), require interaction and instruction with students from around the globe. These types of positions are more specialized and may require additional training.
While most of these companies advertise that you can earn upwards of $18 or so an hour, the reality is that you're not going to make that much once you figure in your gas expenses and wear and tear on your car. Also, work may not always come in consistently. I would recommend doing more than one of these if you really want to make it worth your while.
Like virtual assistants, proofreaders can find jobs with almost any business that publishes content online. They provide a second set of eyes for publishers, and can help them create content that looks more polished and professional. Those with specialized skills, like transcript proofreading, can also find work proofreading transcripts for court reporters.
Because the fee is so small but the task takes so little time, the strategy is to do as many of them as possible. However, be sure to read the fine print because many of these companies have a minimum payout, meaning that if you earn $8.55 doing 20 micro jobs, you may have to wait until you’ve earned as much as $50 to actually get your money. Read more about some of the pitfalls of this kind of work.