oDesk has put me under supervision based on negative feedback from clients even though my rating is 4.77. One client said that he already had 700 words. When I looked at what he wrote, it was on a sixth-grade level. No research, statistics, compelling copy, SEO keywords, etc. So I had to start from scratch. I ended up acting like a tutor. Another client loved my work but kept disappearing. I asked for her website address, information about her company, etc. She let another week go by then disappeared again. I could go on and on. I think that clients who use the content mills do believe that they can get stellar writing for peanuts. I believe these incidents are blessings in disguise. I’ve had my wake-up call. I follow top-notch bloggers and copywriters and hone my skills continually. It is up to the freelancer to determine his standards and ultimately his worth.
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?
Don’t pay for opportunities: It is sometimes worth making investments in your online business – such as taking courses or paying for extra bids on freelance work platforms, but you should run a mile from anything that requires you to pay to work, such as survey sites that promise to offer lucrative opportunities but only if you pay for a subscription. With very few exceptions these are scams.
Because of the booming popularity of audio and video, transcriptionists are finding work through a variety of different means. Many companies hire transcriptionists to turn their audio or video recordings into marketing or training materials. Video marketers (think YouTubers) may also hire transcriptionists to transcribe their recordings into written form so they can sell their services and products online. Law firms and government agencies also hire qualified legal transcriptionists to work for them.
Another flexible non-phone option in the educational field is test scoring. There are a few reputable companies that do hire home-based workers to score everything from standardized tests to essays. Before you apply, you should know that ETS and Pearson (listed below) do require that you have certain qualifications and/or past teaching experience before they'll let you become a scorer. WriteScore on the other hand requires just a two-year college degree.
As for writing courses, I don’t think it’s necessary. Instead I would do more of a freelance writing business course like mine or others. Write Your Way to Your First $1k helps you with getting your business up and some writing tips for blogging. This blog also has some great resources for writing: https://elnacain.com/blog/improve-samples-new-freelance-writer/ and https://elnacain.com/blog/writing-mistakes/
Elna, thank you for this wonderful article. It is full of resources, and it has motivated me to begin work as a freelance writer. I am currently a single parent of two witty little boys, who works full time outside of the home. In reading this article, I have found a renewed strength and a bit of a push to move forward with optimism to start little by little until I am able to eventually work more time from home. I appreciate you sharing this information.
Lots of people are creating videos on YouTube as a hobby. But some are earning money, and some are earning a lot of money. You can create videos yourself, promote them, and then monetize them through Google Adsense. You’ll get paid every time someone clicks on an ad on your video. The more clicks, the more you’ll make. If you get several videos going, you’ll be earning ad revenue from various sources.

What an informative and fun article. While I’ve been writing for years, I’ve never had the courage to venture out because I haven’t got a degree, and feel very intimidated by a lack of formal education. But, when I say I’ve been writing for years, I mean I have been asked by everyone to write almost everything…including breakup up letters, condolence cards to the family of a murder victim, return texts in the middle of a text-fight (those are fun) and even an anonymous letter to a woman who’s best friend spotted her husband with another woman. (Not fun.) I’ve written proposal letters for house-hunters, eulogies, on and on and on….and I love it. I’ll write anything (within my knowledge base) and be happy doing so. Finally, after my last request from a long ago former coworker, to write a plea to Salvation Army for assistance, I decided to try to finally do what I love and learn to profit from it.


Many ESL tutoring sites provide everything you need in the way of lesson plans, and you just follow along. In order to teach, you’ll generally need a home computer that can do video chat along with noise-cancelling headphones with a microphone. Some companies require you have a college degree. Find out more in my Teach English Online post, or click through to see if these sites are hiring right away:
As for spelling and grammar, I’m not the best writer either! I make a ton of spelling errors (probably in this post too!). I use Grammarly and I have a proofreader (my hubby!) so as long as you use an editing app or have someone look over your writing you should be fine. And the act of writing every day will help improve your writing skill! Good luck!
Thanks for this list. It is really helpful. I recently decided to try freelance writing, and I was accepted for an online writing gig site. This acceptance has boosted my confidence to much. Just to know they liked my writing sample and said yes means a lot to me. Now, I am sure I can apply anywhere, and even if it is a no from others, I still have my yes to hold on to that keeps me going. Great post.
For many of us, to work from home is the ultimate indication of freedom. It means that you own both your time and your space, that your life is firmly within your control. Yet not every job can be done from afar. Some jobs, like being a pilot or a flight attendant, must be done from a certain place at a certain time, while others, like being a security consultant or a software developer, are extremely remote-friendly.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010, who is always in need of stylists. A few others include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website — all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.

Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
Thank you for the post! I’m a bit overwhelmed at the wealth of content I am about to scour on your site. Hours of learning, here I come! I received my first two clients a month ago (one from my dad who is a web developer and the other upon referral from my first client). I am serious about gaining more clients and setting out as a full-time writer, but the process of finding new clients has always intimidated me. I am excited to apply your advice. Congratulations, you just won a new “stalker.” 😉

Completing surveys is similar to microworking in many ways – it’s good to sign up with more than one service, and it’s wise to keep an active eye on new incoming surveys so you can grab them before anyone else can. There’s also the added benefit that completing surveys really doesn’t feel like work – it’s a pretty mindless thing you can do whilst semi-concentrating on something else. If you’re handy with your computer, you can usually blast through them a little quicker than expected too.

Get professional: Even if you’re only planning to do some surveys or microtasks, you’re still going to need to set up online accounts, save files and keep track of passwords. Make sure you’ve got all the necessary email accounts ready and that you have plans in place to organise your work. Going about this in a half-hearted way will never make you much money.
It doesn’t take much for equipment to get started. Your home computer must be able to play audio files and most companies use transcription software that is available for free. Having a good set of computer headphones will help you better hear your audio files. Some positions additionally recommend a foot pedal which can help increase your production, but this can usually come later.
Thank you so much for writing this post Elna. It has been really very helpful indeed. I have been a part time freelance writer for about 6 months now but still feel like I am finding my feet. This post has given me a boost and some new options to follow up. It certainly seems like the strategy should be to go at it hammer and tongs and never, ever give up! Thanks again. I look forward to exploring your website some more.
I need someone to pick up my 4th grader after school (Monday through Thursday each week) from the neighborhood school, bring her home, and work with her on improving her reading skills, completing homework assignments, practicing for spelling or other tests, etc., until my husband and I get home from work between 5:30 or so. On Friday afternoons, rather than pick up the 4th grader, I need you to come to the house to sort, wash, dry and fold our laundry. * My 4th grader is often eager to please, but on occasion (like if she needs a snack), she can be a bit of a challenge. She loves sports and singing and dancing so a willingness to entertain little study breaks is a must. * My 8th grader may need a little help in pre-AP classes. * Our last tutor/assistant's class schedule next spring conflicts with the times we need her. :(
Have lots opinions on what works and what doesn't on the web? Then you might just be right for a "career" in remote usability testing. Actually, no one really makes a career at it, but user testers can pick up some extra work reviewing websites or mobile applications that may still be in development. You don't even necessarily have to be very knowledgeable about the Internet because some developers want the beginner's point of view.
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