The following is a guest post by Lisa at Car Insurance Comparison, an Australian personal finance blog created to help readers figure out how to properly compare car insurance options.
More people than ever are harnessing the power of the Internet and Web 2.0 to supplement their income (or create full-time salaries) by making money online. Far removed from the “get-rich-quick-schemes” once associated with making money online, internet-based jobs and freelance opportunities across the Web have opened a world of possibility to people who look to deviate from the norm.
Working as a freelance writer may sound like a daunting task if you’ve never been published or are not accustomed to writing for money. But it’s not so hard to do when you consider payment of $15 to $25 (US) for just 400-700 words. Write two, 400+ word articles and earn $30 to $50 an hour! In my opinion, the Yahoo! Networks are the easiest to begin with if you’re looking to supplement your income. When you apply to write for Yahoo! as a freelancer, you will define several of your strong suits and submit a brief writing sample. There is a wide array of topics to choose to write about, and I believe that just about everyone has knowledge of a topic which can benefit others. Another option is writing for Demand Media Studios. While writing for Demand Media is a bit more in-depth due to their formatting style and editorial guidelines, this experience definitely helped refine my web writing style and made me a better writer. Many of the articles I published through Demand now appear on eHow Personal Finance and eHow Business. One major perk I’ve received as a freelance writer for Demand Media is access to their corporate buying program. After six months on board, I received an invite – I have the chance to buy just about anything at a discount… from laptops to vacation deals, to dining out. Demand Media also offers health, dental and vision insurance for freelancers.
Enter the Virtual Assistant
oDesk and eLance are two sites which look for virtual assistants worldwide. Jobs from administrative to web/web development, social media, marketing, and freelance writing are offered, with the opportunity to set your own price. This is a great way to pick up anonymous work, and set your own pace. Once you join oDesk, for example, you’re able to complete a series of skills tests, which improve your rating and reinforce your desires for higher paying jobs. You can take as many – or as few – skills tests as you wish. Freelance administrative personnel are always in high demand… so if writing just isn’t your forte, consider data entry positions or working to help build the social network for an up-and-coming company.
Blogging for Money
If you happen to be an authority on one topic or another, blogging for money may be a quick and easy way for you improve your finances. So many niche blogs have popped up over the past few years, that finding a topic you can contribute to has become easier than ever. Some industry-specific sites like Problogger maintain a job board where it’s fairly easy to find internet writing gigs, positions as staff bloggers, and editorial positions. In taking the first steps as a paid blogger, finding a gig that pays at least $15 per post would be a great way to get your foot in the door. My main source of employment is in working as a Web editor/blog manager for a group of Australian personal finance blogs. The pay definitely meets the regional standard where I live, and the hours are completely flexible. I can work in my pajamas, or dress and head into the city to work from my favourite coffee house – the choice is mine. Keep in mind: while 99% of the job offerings are geared toward the telecommuter, the occasional job posting is region-specific – so be sure to read the job description thoroughly.
Monetize a Blog
You’re reading one of the top personal finance blogs as we speak. When you first found this blog, did you realize that even the powers that be at My University Money had to start somewhere? The majority of successful professional bloggers didn’t wake up one morning as the world’s leading expert in personal finance, business strategy, or online gaming, for that matter. They started small, used their personal experiences, and began writing from the heart – about topics which others truly wanted to know more about. Once you’ve set up a blog, making money by selling advertising, doing paid product reviews, and possibly even earning money through staff writing positions, can propel your finances into the green. Working to develop a dedicated following helps when monetizing your blog – the amount of traffic you get on a daily basis has a great deal to do with how much you can sell, or how much you can ask for an ad spot on your site. Affiliate links, Banner or Text Links, or selling products via your blog site are a few ways to create extra income. One way to get started in advertising that requires little effort on your part is by using Google Adsense. Adsense is a free program that allows you to enroll and potentially earn some extra money by allowing Google to place ads on your website.
When you’ve made the decision to take on a second job to earn extra money, and have defined the fact that you are able to commit to working independently from home, you’ll first want to consider your own talents, hobbies and passions. I originally made the decision to work from home as a second job back in 2006, when the economy began to take a turn. Once I narrowed down my talents and identified myself as an authority on a few relevant topics, I found it easy to begin earning money while working from home – and you can too!
In what ways do you find working from home, or freelance opportunities are important in earning extra money or supporting a household full time?
Editor Note: Since we don’t consider ourselves monetarily successful bloggers – yet, we thought we would get some outside input. We have done some freelance working, and it has been a nice little side income. I wish I had gotten into freelance work and blogging more when I was in school. I definitely had the writing skills, the necessary passion, and could have used the extra money. Entrepreneurially-motivated students out there definitely have a wide array of options to make money online, and the best part is that the flexible hours are absolutely perfect for the student lifestyle!