One of the prime strategies in business today is to outsource work wherever possible. Many employers, particularly small ones, don’t have enough work to warrant a full-time job. But they may parcel that works out to virtual assistants. You can become a VA with just about any type of skill. Administrative skills are most in demand, and usually involving working on very specific projects. Many times, those projects will be assigned because the business owner either lacks the time or the skills to perform them.

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.
Hey, Elna! I appreciate your input more than you can imagine. I graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment, and while my focus is mainly writing scripts for film and commercials, I also blog. (Mostly for my own entertainment.) Still, it’s good to know there are ways to get going. Believe me, I’ve tried. But being a graduate with two kids and no hubby makes the task a bit daunting when I’m a “lone pilot.” Thanks again for your inspiration.
Fay — I have a few posts up that list ways to get fast cash, but if you’re looking for bill money, those might not help much because the things I listed there are mostly good for gas money, pizza money, etc. Just a little extra. I know that with the phone positions there’s often a few weeks or more worth of wait time while you’re getting a background check done, training, and so forth. The sales positions (things like Helios, which has actually received negative feedback lately from some of my readers) could probably have you up and working and making money quickly. I do have a post on this blog covering Helios. But not everyone likes sales, so that may not be the route you’d want to take.
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/

Kelly, I 100% agree with you about staying away from content mills. I would add staying away from Yahoo! voices too for the low pay along with some of the shady posts on Craigslist (although I do sometimes find gigs worth going for). I’ve also had some luck with Ebyline, and a string of luck lately approaching businesses directly about blogging for them resulting in multiple and ongoing work for at least $50 per post.
5. DionData Solutions – DionData Solutions is currently looking for Data Entry Professional Operators who type 60 WPM with a high degree of accuracy. You should be proficient with computers, able to handle Internet, email attachments, and both downloading and opening files. You’ll be working independently, so you should have a high degree of self-discipline. They also expect their data entry specialists to work on multiple projects simultaneously while sticking to deadlines. U.S. citizenship is a requirement for the position.
Thank you for the tips. I am handicapped and a fairly new mom at 41 to our 9 month old first and only son. I have been wanting to start a blog so I can have more time for my son since I have heard that with patience you could earn okay from blogging but, I for now, I can’t let go of my day job that pays $4.50 an hour because it still pays the bills. However, after the recent typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines, I know I have to pursue blogging or find a better paying writing job that doesn’t require me to sit in front of the computer for 8-9 hours a day anymore. Can anyone give me additional tips on the best way I could start a blog aside from wordpress or blogger please? Thank you.
What’s more, it’s time to get those list-making muscles in working order. Without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks, so you’ll need to find ways to be as organized as possible. You might find that you like to write things down in a notebook, or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications. Find what works best for you to keep you organized and on task.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by the site. I’m sorry about the difficulties you’ve faced with the Nigerian laws. Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done if laws like that are in place. Why those laws are there, I don’t know. Many Nigerians seem to have the same problems. Instead of looking at general ways to start businesses or make money, you might use the internet to find strategies that are specific to Nigeria. Hopefully, in the future we can find a way to help more people start businesses in that country.
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!

Hi Elna. Great post. I’ve been a freelance writer, and digital nomad for three years now. I, unfortunately, started out on one of the writing mills that pays very little. I made quite a bit on there, but eventually left as I was writing 8-10 hours a day for next to nothing. I’ve tried a number of your suggestions and the one I’ve had the most luck with, by far, was cold contacting. I’ll contact 10-12 websites a day and send them a sample of my work. I get a few new clients a week, plus all of my repeat customers. It’s gotten to the point I need junior writers to pick up some of the slack. For anyone out there interested in being a freelance writer there’s plenty of work out there.
Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I’m so happy you are thinking about freelance writing! It really is a great way to work at home! As for your questions, clients won’t be bothered if you contact them in the evening. I work with clients in the UK, Germany, Tel Aviv and more! So, what’s my time is not their time! I would suggest though to try to wake up before you work to answer emails and pitch, even if for 30 minutes in the morning.

At Preply, we are always opening vacancies for experienced teachers of different subjects in Skype. Preply offers fair pay and an excellent schedule. You can write to the student first to get more info about their needs. Then you both can negotiate on the class. To apply for this job, you need to have a Profile. The profile shows the price of your hours, and the most convenient day and time for lessons. We wish you with Good luck!
Hi Elna! Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, informative article. I am a full time paralegal with a B.A. in Journalism. I’m about 5 years away from retirement…and would like to shift from full time paralegal work to freelance writing. I’ve been writing a column (“Throwback Thursday”) in the local paper for a year now, for free, but of course I get the bylines from those which is how I’ve built my portfolio. How would you reccomend I transition to freelancing. I’m interested in writing about legal topics for lay people…such as how to find a good attorney…and small community life…and parenting.
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.

I have been interested in writing extensively since a very young age, writing either poetry, novels, short stories etc. Eventually I ended up in the corporate sector writing business plans, marketing plans and various other corporate documents. But freelance writing has been in my blood, just never really had the inspiration to follow this dream of mine. I will apply your guidelines and intend to forge a new career path in freelance writing. I don’t think it would be a problem that I am living in South Africa since the internet has created a global community…
If there’s one course I’d recommend to anyone starting out as a freelance writer, it’d be yours. It was exactly what I needed when I started out and it’s helped me immensely over the past few months to put things into perspective. This post is just a teaser of what to expect from Writeto1K, but then again, all your blog posts are packed with the most useful tips you can find online. I can only say thank you for sharing them with us!
I appreciate the idea behind this, but I’d like more information on where these jobs can be found. I am a writer and would like to do freelance writing work, but while you mentioned that there are such jobs available, there wasn’t much to say where to find those jobs. I’ve tried to seek them out before, and done writing for places where I got paid (usually not very well), but many of those have dried up or weren’t much to begin with. Are there suggested places to go to do some freelance writing? I’d love to ditch my poorly-paying job, where I have to spend a lot of time away from my family, and do something I actually enjoy doing. Thanks.
Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I’m so happy you are thinking about freelance writing! It really is a great way to work at home! As for your questions, clients won’t be bothered if you contact them in the evening. I work with clients in the UK, Germany, Tel Aviv and more! So, what’s my time is not their time! I would suggest though to try to wake up before you work to answer emails and pitch, even if for 30 minutes in the morning.
Hey Elna, thanks for all the advice and jam-packing this article with so many resources! Thanks for asking what I plan to do to start finding jobs! I’ve shared your article on FB while letting my friends and family know my endeavors and joined a few writer groups. I even cold pitched to my client today whom I’ll be catering a private event for! I plan to make use of all the tutorials and online courses you shared to learn me into a high paid freelance writer and will start free guest posting on blogs asap, peruse the job board sites and start making pitches. Right now I’m networking with other experienced freelance writers ;)!
From my own experience, I’ve used Textbroker to make quick cash for bills. They pay every week on Fridays and if you work a lot every day, you can usually have a substantial amount accumulated by the end of the week — definitely more than the $10 cash out threshold. The only bad thing there is you never know how much work they’ll have up to grab from the order board. But I would say that for me Textbroker has been an excellent source for getting bill money together when I need it quick. Amazon Mturk is another idea. You can cash out there at just $1 and it transfers to your bank account. There is an entire sub-forum about Mturk over at the Work Place Like Home forum where people discuss the best tasks to accept to make the most money. Mturk has a reputation for being just an extra money option, but I know for a fact there are some people making more than just extra money over there.
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