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.

For example, let’s say that your washing machine at home broke down and you need to fix it. Instead of calling the handyman to come, your husband decides he’s going to fix the machine. He ends up spending half a day figuring out the machine, and does eventually fix it. He did however have to make a trip to the tool shop to buy some extra tools and parts for the machine. Now, if you had called the handy man, it would probably have taken the handyman much less time, and he would have all the necessary tools and parts already, because that is his job. So in this instance, was your husband’s time and effort worth it? Oh, and because he took half the day fixing the machine, you now had to take over his duties of dropping the kids off at soccer and swim practice.

Although many medical transcriptionists work for hospitals or physician’s offices, most are able to work at home, and at a time or place of their choosing. Since their tasks involve transcribing recorded medical dictation, a computer, desk, and earpiece are generally the only requirements after completing a postsecondary medical transcriptionist program.


Just one day so far… I guess I figured that with in 24 hrs you would be accepted and ready to get started. Since so many people speak of how quick and easy it is to get going with them… I would like to work for them for years to come and find me another stable customer service job like my old one also that’s long term land consistent. But I also am looking for the quickest and fastest way to make real money now. Where would you suggest I start? Need fast cash for some bills right now as well….
“Join my team” pitches – There are plenty of real ways to be your own boss and work for yourself. Unfortunately, these opportunities are often drowned out by the “join my team” pitches common at multi-level marketing jobs (MLMs). While not necessarily a scam in all cases, many of these companies require you to buy product, which means you’ll end up spending far more money than you’ll ever earn. If there is more money to be made by recruiting others to join your team than there is than by actually selling the product, it’s probably an MLM and best to just stay away.
Thanks so much for this amazing list. I am new to the “leap off the bridge” mindset that is doing freelance writing for a living. I have made my living in the past in management and small business ownership (aftermarket automotive parts store, a NAPA to be precise). I have a BA in Sociology and I have also worked in non-profit management and social work but my dream has always been to write. So after selling the business I decided to follow my dream of being a writer. I have done some blogging and have a novel I’m working on along with a few academic papers that were published while in college. I also have written curriculum for young adults that was published by a Christian publisher some years ago. However, even with some marginal knowledge about writing for a living, I found the amount of information out there to be overwhelming and much of it is people simply promoting scams or trying to sell you on their program. Your post is a breath of fresh air compared to much of the other “content” out there about freelancing. Thank you for taking the time to share
Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. With his wife Holly, Greg co-owns two websites – Club Thrifty and Travel Blue Book. The couple has also co-authored a book, Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love. Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ClubThrifty.
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.

I actually want to reply to David Russell but can’t seem to. David, you should write to the editor of MedicalExpo e-Magazine and propose your journalism services. Take a look at the magazine first (emag.medicalexpo.com) to see what they’ve recently published, get an idea for the kind of info, and pitch a potential story. I know the editor and they pay well.

FlexJobs, the Boulder-based remote-friendly career postings site, is cutting through the complexity of this question. Each year, they compile a list of the top 100 companies hiring remote workers. This year, though, they’ve created a special list of all the companies who have made their top 100 lists for each of the past five years. While many companies require you to clock in and out each day, the employers on this list don’t care whether you do your work from Santorini or Shanghai.


Thank you for this post. I just recently got into freelance writing and I feel so stupid already. I found a blog that suggested odesk so I signed up with them and since I didn’t have a portfolio yet I applied for a job paying $20 for 10 articles due in one week. I’m halfway done but after reading this I don’t even want to complete the rest. I feel so cheated. I thought it would be a good way to get some experience under my belt but I have put so much time and energy in the articles I have done so far and it doesn’t even seem worth it. Should I even complete the job?
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!
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: Check out K12 (K12.com) and Connections Academy (ConnectionsAcademy.com). Both organizations offer various benefits — including health insurance, retirement savings accounts and paid time off — depending on where you live. As in any job where you work with kids, there will be a background and reference check as well as interviews. You may also need to be licensed to teach in the state where the students reside.


What It Is: Companies like Google and Yahoo give you information to search for, and you tell them how closely their results matched what you were looking for. Does a search for Lady Antebellum turn up sites about the music group or links to pre-Civil War period information? If you are Latina, for example, you might be asked to search the way a Spanish speaker might perform a search in English.
Thank you so much for this information. I’m currently a massage therapist and pregnant with my first child. Knowing I’ll need extra income for baby expenses has me searching for alternative ways to make money before the baby arrives. I’ve always enjoyed writing and hope to finish my first book within the next two years so getting paid to write seems fabulous. From the tips you’ve provided, my first steps will be to google “publication pay submission”, check Craigslist and Sophie Lizard’s newsletter. I look forward to getting back to you shortly with an incredible praise report!! Thanks again!!
If working for yourself sounds like a major pain, don’t worry. There are still plenty of real work-from-home jobs in which you can work for an established company. These are more traditional jobs where a company hires you and pays an hourly wage. Typically, these jobs involve addressing customer questions and calls which are directed virtually to your own phone.
I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so. Far too often we get treated like the “red headed step children” of the creative industries and many of us allow it. I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. One of them even said outright that we should be grateful to make five dollars an article (for well researched, 1,000 word pieces) and how their last writer was far too “uppity” for his tastes. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. LOL. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated.

Some of the companies on this list are those you’ll recognize. Dell, still one of the largest PC vendors in the world, regularly hires project managers, business analysts and systems engineers for remote work. Salesforce, which came in at #3 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most innovative companies this year, hires telecommuting account executives, product designers and even upper management positions like regional vice presidents. Xerox, Adobe, SAP and American Express also make the list with their own distinct sets of work from home and remote work agreements.

Care.com does not employ any care provider or care seeker nor is it responsible for the conduct of any care provider or care seeker. Care.com provides information and tools to help care seekers and care providers connect and make informed decisions. However, each individual is solely responsible for selecting an appropriate care provider or care seeker for themselves or their families and for complying with all applicable laws in connection with any employment relationship they establish. The information contained in member profiles, job posts and applications are supplied by care providers and care seekers themselves and is not information generated or verified by Care.com. Care.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment or engage in any conduct that requires a professional license.
Hello, I'm looking for a high quality ghostwriter to write a gripping, page-turning urban romance story. It will be ~50,000 words in length, and please be familiar with urban/AA/interracial romance and their tropes. You will also have to sign a contract/NDA to assign rights to the work. I'm reasonable and flexible when it comes to deadlines: I understand that real life can happen and I always strive to preserve a business relationship where possible. I'm also an author and I get it. Please apply to this job if you think you would be a good match. I will have to see an example of your writing, preferably in this genre. Get paid to write what you love! less more
Hi! I'm looking for a reliable math tutor for my 7th grader. I need someone with experience teaching 7-8 grade math who can come twice a week (Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) for 1 1/2-2 hours each time. Please contact me if you are interested. P. S: I'm looking for a Spanish language tutor as well, if you can do both that would be great. If not that's OK. Thank you!

Fiverr is a huge freelance services marketplace where you can offer practically any online service. It started with folks doing gigs for just $5, hence the name, but you are no longer restricted to charging just $5 per job. You start by listing your Gigs, which you fit into one of their many categories, and immediately can start selling. The categories include everything from Graphics & Design to Writing to Video to Music to Programming. It really spans the spectrum.
Thanks a lot for the article. Am a journalist by profession. I was writing for major print newspapers in Kenya East Africa plus online news agencies before I moved and settled in the US in Seattle together with my family. I haven’t written since 2014. Your article comes at the appropriate time for me since I have been looking for ways to break into fulltime freelance; copy writing, web content, editing and proofing. Back in Kenya I was writing about climate change, environment, agriculture and other related topics. Now I want more of a niche area and that is why I will look at your course to start. Thank you.
With a record number of open positions in the job market today, economists say now is the perfect time for job-seekers to not only negotiate the perks and benefits they want, but also their pay. To see what jobs are offering the work-from-home flexibility that many professionals desire, as well as a high salary, FlexJobs created this list of remote positions that pay $100,000 or more.
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.
When I started to work from home, I missed talking to people. A lot. But I soon found a friend. Every day, I would hear the UPS guy gunning his motor as he drove down my long driveway to deliver my packages. As soon as I would spot him, I’d fly out of the house and chat him up. And now he leaves the packages by the curb. Sure, the one big bonus of working from home is that it gets you away from the petty office politics and never-ending gossip.
This is the first post that I’ve read of yours and I just want to say thank you for publishing such an informative piece! I’m currently entering my senior year of college and I have recently become passionate about getting started with freelance writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and would like to turn it into a career that allows me to pursue my goal of traveling to every country in the world (or most countries at least haha). I have no writing samples/portfolio and that’s where I’m kinda stuck right now. Im going to check out your blog for more tips on getting started! Thanks again!
I am looking for an excellent and experienced blog writer who also must love cats to write for my company's blog on an ongoing basis. We are a pet sitting company that caters exclusively to cats in the San Francisco Bay area (www.comfortedkitty.com). I am looking to have fresh and unique content that helps increase our business visibility in our service areas, especially those we are struggling to gain clients because they simply don't know that our company exists and gladly serves their area. And of course to give helpful information to prospective customers. Obviously content needs to center around cat-oriented topics. So someone very knowledgeable with cats is preferred in order to supplement my knowledge and ideas for blog topics. less more
Being busy is good, it’s better than not having anything to do and letting time slip away. But, what many people don’t realize is, being busy doesn’t always mean you’re being productive. The more time you take to complete something does not equal to more success. Many people end up falling into this trap as they pack their day with tasks and errands that may sometimes produce little outcome or output for the effort that they’ve put in.
These little jobs are done by people who log on to a company’s site and choose tasks, which could be as simple as clicking a link. Amazon's Mechanical Turk is one of the most well-known sites of this type. Also, there are crowdsourcing projects, which are similar to data entry, where companies engage an army of virtual workers to each do one small part of a larger project.
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