3. Birch Creek Communications – BCC periodically looks for people to do data entry; when they do, they’re looking for independent contractors just like everyone else. Pay is by the job and your performance, with their uppermost pay range going to those with consistent near-perfect accuracy. You can set whatever schedule you wish with them, but it looks like work is most widely available Monday through Friday on a corporate schedule.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
Something else I recommend is taking the free 7-lesson mini-course on general transcription offered by Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere. This will help you to understand if you're a good fit for a transcription career, what you can potentially earn, and also where to get started. Janet also has free legal transcription mini-course if you're more interested in going that route.
How to Get It: Customer service is the biggest work-at-home field, with companies including Spiegel, Hilton, Best Western, HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS and many others using at-home reps. Fill out an application with staffing companies such as Arise, Alpine Access, VIPdesk, LiveOps, and Convergys, all of which vet the companies who are hiring through them. If you need benefits, search through a staffing company that will hire you as an employee (Alpine Access, VIPdesk and Convergys do this) rather than an independent contractor. If you're a contractor, you may be asked to pay a small fee (between $15 and $35) for a background check. While a fee can be a sign of a scam, independent contractors are responsible for their own expenses.
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.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work.
Hi Elna, This was all very helpful. I’m a science writer by trade in the government sector and recently began searching for ways to make some extra income writing evenings and weekends and came across your article. Do you have any feedback about what type of contract I might be expected to sign. I interviewed over the phone for a non-science editing position yesterday and they expressed interest in hiring me as an independent contractor. Within the day I received an Adobe Sign editor’s contract with a number of my responsibilities to the Agency laid out, as well as expected pay and notice that I don’t get paid unless the Agency gets paid by the Client. So my question is, Is a contract pretty standard for independent contract writing jobs, in your experience?
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.