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.
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.
One of the top job boards for telecommuting, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs. Select your categories (there are several under “Writing”), your preferred work schedule, your experience level and more to hone your search results down to those that best fit what you’re looking for. You can also set alerts so you’re notified when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.
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.
Microjobs can involve a huge range of different tasks. Some are quite fun, others are bitterly monotonous. One day you might be categorizing YouTube videos, the next writing short product descriptions, and the next recording your voice over and over again to help train Siri-like recognition systems. Many people look for online data entry jobs, and some microjobs are along those lines.
Sound up your aisle? Fill out an application through the site, which pairs brides and bridesmaids based on personality and location. You could make between $200 and $2,000 per month, says Glantz, working anywhere from a few hours a month to a couple of hours a week, and you'll generally handle everything on nights and weekends. Most projects—er, weddings—require between 3 to 11 months of your time.
A wide range of businesses need workers to enter various data into their systems, whether that data are used to track inventory or shipments, create business plans, or measure performance or output. And since a computer and typing skills are the most important requirements for this job, many data entry workers are able to work at home, and on a schedule that fits their lives.
One of the posts reads: “You are SO write about valuing your work. I’m actually writing a post on that to appear here soon, so keep your eyes pealed. Undervaluing our work (especially when we’re just starting out) is a huge problem for freelance writers.” Hopefully the author has already been advised of the, shall we say “typos,” and not “senior moments”? I am referring to “write” and “pealed.” Maybe Rule Number One for a writer would be to proofread first?
What It Pays: Though it's completely subjective to the company, you'll likely be paid per post or hourly. Factors that could increase or decrease the pay scale include word count, research, interviewing an expert, and more. Many freelancers are full-time, but if you're looking for a side-hustle to make some weekend money, this is a great option too. According to Pay Scale, the average salary for a freelance writer is about $24/hr.
The online application process for these jobs—or perhaps “gigs” is the better word, since they're all for independent contractors—is pretty simple and straightforward with very little required of candidates. Some of these opportunities—like the micro-jobs—you could very well apply and start the same day. And these jobs require very little commitment and can typically be done on your own schedule.