Is it really true that you can earn online? How can you really make money online?
That’s the exact question this post is about to address. The one particular area of interest which every new freelancer seeks to really understand. Yes, it’s very true that you can earn online. Things have changed with internet connectivity and the presence of social media platforms. The online space is not what is what 5 or even 10 years ago. Today you can transact straight from Paypal direct to Mpesa and vice versa, yet a few years ago – this was only just but a dream!
The truth is; today more people across the globe prefer the online model of working.
Here’s a recent post by the Forbes magazine that explains why working online is more than just a trend, why it’s something bigger!
The numbers are increasing over time, even for those who graduated with highest paying college majors. Firms accustomed to the 9-5 jobs are loosening the grip in favor of the freelancing models. What matters to a business is that work gets done at the end of the day, regardless of whether one is at the office or at home!
People working for own businesses from home are full-time freelancers. There are those who also do it on a part-time basis (Part-time freelancers). That’s just but a tip of the iceberg of how you earn from home. Full-time freelancers offer their services as their main core business.
For part-timers, they can carry on with full-time engagements and still offer some services in their free time: after work, while on vacations or holidays or similar arrangements.
Secondly, part-time freelancers may have some arrangements with a formal workplace where they attend office meetings maybe one day a week.
The rest of the week they can choose to work from home and still deliver their work via the internet.
Whatever arrangement that suffices, earning online is a reality.
To earn online, you have to sell something with value. That can either be physical goods or a service which in turn gets you rewarded for the time and quality.
Here are avenues that you can explore to make an earning over the internet.
Put simply, you get contracted by clients who you offer your services and after satisfaction; the clients release the payments to your end. Most services can be completed offline and then submitted via the internet. Those include, but are not limited to content writing, graphic designing, data entry among others.
Freelancers have an opportunity to agree with clients on the nature of work to be accomplished within timed schedules that fit the interests of both parties. Over time, a freelancer is able to decipher the market demand with seasons at hand. That allows them to plan adequately.
For instance, one can have a pack of three “close” clients who offer long term contracts. Then on the sidelines, one can get several clients on an on-off basis to help fill in the incomes.
Here, you do everything that’s a pre-requisite to own a website and populate it with helpful content. After the site is well established with content and traffic, you can apply to join the Google AdSense program which populates your site with advertisements which you’re paid for as a publisher.
Your payment is commensurate with the number of website visits that come your way. The more views and clicks on the pages and posts, the better for your earnings. Google monitors the models of payment based on PPC or PPI CPC and so forth. (To discuss these in the future posts).
Earning from a blog is a living reality. Some smart entrepreneurs build up and then sell off blogs with a huge following in traffic. The owners benefit from what we can term as passive incomes.
Building blogs require great planning with good tools.
The key selling point is posting evergreen content. This is content that keeps visitors and buyers bookmarking and continuously visiting your posts/pages.
With affiliate marketing, you allow other companies to sell via your website. The companies remunerate you via a portion of the sales in the form of a commission for the sales made through your site.
It serves as a great way for you to market products and services that you have experienced at a personal level. For instance, if you have used a certain WordPress theme and loved the experience, you can contact the owners to see if they have an affiliate scheme in place.
A good blog attracts many viewers and in return, other bloggers may approach you with offers to place adverts within your blog. That works for the owner, who can then charge for the service.
Filling online Surveys and Reviews
Marketers are ever studying the intricate minds of consumers. They require your hand in filling up surveys and reviews. When you sign up for a survey, it takes up your time, filling up the data forms and you get paid for that.
Other product sellers or service providers request you for descriptions which take up time and expertise to review, and the clients pay for that too.
The online surveys are viable but one has to pay attention to scammers who come in with deals that are too good to be true.
Being a Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant is one position that is gaining in popularity with time.
It comes with a variety of roles attached to it. You can be hired to monitor schedules of prominent personalities and alert them of the scheduled meetings and fast approaching deadlines.
You can book flights for them or undertake high-level logistical planning, like booking hotels and settling payments. Virtual assistants are personal assistants online.
Some personalities also require virtual assistants with knowledge in financial analysis or accounting. In them, they find useful hands to assist them in daily business while facilitating accounting.
The list of the exact tasks for a virtual assistant is broad. Those venturing in that niche out and narrow down to the tasks they perform best at. Most of them are taken in as extra hands to assist high level or very busy officials to accomplish sensitive tasks that are core to their business. They may include as simple as posting social media updates to complex ones like bank/credit card reconciliations.
Offering Translation Services
As the world accelerates towards being the global village, translations services gain traction too. Sound knowledge of a dialect and its contexts gives you an upper hand in translation. So does the knowledge and coherence of common languages used across the globe.
Do you have a good understanding of English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and German? Translation could also come in many forms; website pages translated from one language to another novel from say English to Arabic.
Offering Online Classes
The internet is a marketplace for every skill you can think of. You can get a tutor to help a child catch up on mathematical subjects like Algebra, or learn and brush up on skills on a new programming language. So you can offer your skills via the internet for payment for offering whatever tutelage you’ve been contracted to offer.
Over time, more people are embracing online models of learning.
Online classes range right form college/ varsity units to other informal arrangements of tutelage. You can team up with a pro in programming you to guide you on a few hacks. You can learn new languages to other sets of skills like baking and knitting.
Established institutions also roll out Massive online courses (MOOCs) to help students through academic and professional requirements. You can tie up with instructors who take you through vigorous on-the-job projects to make you ready for the emerging workforce qualifications.
Posting Social Media Content, News & Updates
Businesses have taken to social media to get brand visibility, enlighten prospects, clarify issues and engage with customer complaints or compliments. To keep the readers hooked up the channels are updated constantly or on a need basis.
You can hold such roles like Social Media Manager to meet such deliverables for various businesses, for payments. Post within the social media domain never existed before the internet age. Ideally, it goes well with brand ambassadors or social media influencer with a huge online following.
Social media channels allow businesses to gain organic traffic (traffic they’ve not paid for). From the engagements, they are able to share useful information about what they offer. Another huge cohort of businesses relies on social media to fix their customer care gaps.
A good business should realize the huge opportunity with online engagements, and further position them to reap from by nurturing leads from the followers. Serious businesses have linkage to social media through Facebook.com, twitter.com, instagram.com, Pinterest.com, Whatsapp.com, Instagram.com, redditt.com among others.
Key point: There’s no established school for Social media content creators and managers. Most people explore and learn online. You can, however, access some few courses via established platforms. Social media is an emerging field that didn’t exist a decade or so ago. That’s why you are most likely never going to find a formal degree course for it.
Web and App Design Services
Firms need to have sites or blogs as part of their online presence. Since web design takes more than just a WordPress template, you can specialize in some of its niches and get paid up for deployment and maintenance.
You can explore complex niches like API integration, Payment gateways, database maintenance ‘users experience and much more.
Looking at tools like WordPress, it’s free; however, it may require massive customization for it to meet the unique needs for a business. That’s where web designers get into the picture.
A great designer is able to tweak things to suit your brand. That may take you ages to learn and maybe faultily implemented. A good web developer is able to save you the time and that allows you to concentrate on other special issues relating to your business.
With more businesses getting online, more and more are finding value in communication channels such as apps to link users with fast and uninterrupted services. Apps range from banking to traffic monitors.
Within the field, freelancers can get huge projects where business people aspire to get maximum customization while serving customers at their comfort zones. Apps make users able to accomplish tasks while using lighter hardware like tablets and mobile phones.
Content Writing Services
Every page including this has been achieved through the efforts of written content. Fitting words into the contexts of businesses online is the role of a content writer.
In real business scenarios, the content writer takes titles like copywriters or bloggers and each play key roles in capturing the attention of customers through the set strategies.
Content writing offers writers a huge array of opportunities to assist business content needs. Here is a list of what you can do as a content writer:
- Writing Blogs
- Business landing pages
- Email campaign content
- Facebook Page Content
- Twitter feeds and updates
- Newsletters scheduled periodically
- Copywriting content
- Tutorial Content
- Product review and descriptions
- Policy documents, Operational manuals
- Grants and Concepts for seeking funds
- Strategic plans
- Contracts… This list is almost endless
Content marketing skills can really give you an edge when working for online clients. Businesses compete by posting helpful content online.
Key takeaway: SEO, in long Search engine optimization, is a skill that writers and content marketers rely on to appear among the top-ten pages in search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO skills are mostly acquired via online pieces of training as well as on –the jobs.
If you are new to SEO and SERPs, here are two pages you can bookmark for that.
- Neil Patel from neilpatel.com
- Brian Dean from backlinko.com
In Kenya, you can find awesome content writing trainers like:
- Walter Akolo from freelancerkenya.com
- Mary Peter from mary-peter.com
- Denzil Otieno from Denzilfreelancekenya.com
- Robert Maina via Facebook page among many others
YouTube Video Creation and Channeling
This is a rising model where there is less content writing but more of exploring through coated video content. For you to earn from Youtube, you have to create, upload and share valuable content. Videos are a good way to make others learn by capturing their attention through visually appealing content.
Channels are monetized and owners receive a portion of the advertisement commissions from Google based on viewership. Google algorithm or formula captures the number of views per video. Therefore, the more views you get the better for you. Viral content works well here with many viewers sharing and commenting.
However, one must be careful not to upload content that flouts the policy setting of the Google platform. For instance, nude photos/ videos, “potentially shocking (negative) content”, drugs and arms etc. Be sure to be clear with the policies otherwise you can be severely penalized, suspended or your account terminated permanently. Video creation requires good cameras, narrations, and editing skills.
Selling of eBooks Online
If you have some expertise in writing you can do eBooks for sale at a price commensurate to the content you‘ve provided. People come looking for the special knowledge and expertise which you offer for payment. Recipes do really well in this area.
Other areas revolve around eBooks that promise the hidden tricks in doing virtually anything, from playing chess to being a good husband/wife, literary. You can also find eBooks that teach programming courses. An eBook with the title – How I became a pro in Python language can trigger a programmer to buy such a book.
In case you do not find enough content to self-train for skills, eBooks can fill into the gap. Professional eBook developers require professional knowledge to create content that is helpful to the readers.
Ebooks also help people who thirst for skills, yet do not have much time to commit to one-on-one training. Ideally, eBooks can be accessed by a variety of audiences, offering anyone around the globe with internet access to part of the readership.
Performing Online Data Entry Tasks
Some businesses require heavy input in extraction and upload of data. In data entry jobs, you are typing in data into programs such as Microsoft Excel as requested by clients.
You help ease their workload by finding, verifying and updating the content, as they concentrate on other business functions. They pay for your quality work and time.
In special cases, data entry requires heavy specialization, like knowledge of medical terms and metrics. So you must hire either a nurse or even a medical doctor who can relate to the level of coherence required. Unlike what most people think, data entry is not always typing data. It can get a bit technical and when it does, the rate goes higher.
Transcription is also an online goldmine. What does it entail? Transcription is the act of converting video or audio files into corresponding written content. It’s a great field for freelancers to explore.
Most developed countries have workers like Lawyers, Doctors, Lecturers, and Podcasters who are busy with other stuff, yet they require their content written up for them to tap more audience.
If you are a fast typist with sharp pears and good grammar, transcription befits you. Again, you can get trained through leading online courses/platforms or invest in good courses from distinguished Kenyan trainers like Nelly Mutua and Sheero Kiarie.
There’s also a special kind of transcription known as medical transcription. Due to the sensitive nature of this, it limits the freelancers to those with medical professional qualifications/background or related stuff like pharmacists.
They deal with linking medicos and nurses to help patients even without the physical presence of the patient or the physician. So if you’re a nurse, a doctor, a pharmacist who has always wondered whether these kind of tasks are available, here you go.
In summary- Earning Online and its realities
Earning online is a reality. It’s a no-brainer that it requires you to dive in to understand what it really is about. For some, it’s so passionate that they’ve left formal employment for online jobs. However, online jobs do not fit into everybody’s plate. This is a sad truth. Here’s why.
There are people who cannot work without the little shove from a boss; definitely, they cannot resonate with online stuff. There are people who would stay behind to complete an urgent online task as opposed to another who would rather go out and party then come back later and figure out things.
Working online requires proper time management, discipline and financial planning. You have to act in every capacity for business when working online. You are responsible for your tax returns, office space, power, water, internet connections, computer hardware maintenance, etc. If you’re the type that likes to take matters in their own hands and run them, this could be what you’re looking for.
You are your own business as a freelancer, responsible for every risk that may come your way. But the more risks you can handle the more earning capacity you have at your disposal.
Pro Take Away: As an aspiring business owner, do not shy away from your valuable skills. Interestingly, the above list is not exhaustive. Explore new fields like the emerging AI (artificial intelligence) and Blockchain applications.
For some individuals, their expertise may span multiple fields. So explore and find out what works best for your case! There is an old saying, “You can only know it’s sweet if you use your tongue.” There is just no other way. So, dive in! Curious about anything? You’re the type of person the online space wants!
James Maina Mwangi is one of our established guest freelance content writers. Reach out to him via:
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