Athlyn Green has written extensively for the web and shares tips and tricks about online writing and blogging.
I'm pushing the curtain back and discussing how you can make real money from home. No fluff or scam sites that promise the moon but fail to deliver the goods. If you want to work from home, the following information may help you to start earning and/or start a home-based business working as an independent contractor for certain clients or companies.
As times have gotten tighter and expenses have continued to rise, many individuals are looking for additional methods to supplement their incomes—and they wonder if they can somehow work from home, freelancing online to earn more money each month.
How to Earn Extra Income From Home
The thought of drumming up extra income from home is an attractive concept and most people know that freelancing may be their ticket to earnings. And this is not a stretch. Most people own computers and most have seen work-at-home jobs advertised, so it's only natural to wonder if there is a way to break in and actually earn money.
Someone who has never worked from home, though, may have questions as to how to actually get started. So many so-called opportunities either petition you for an up-front fee or suggest costly training materials or are thinly disguised pyramid schemes. Or you may find a site that actually pays but earning amounts are laughable. Another version of this is the outfit that demands flawless grammar and spelling but does not feel the need to compensate you for your skill, experience, hard work and time. For example, have you ever seen compensation at $1.00-$5.00 for a researched 500-word article? This is an insult.
Many so-called opportunities are not, in fact, and if you aren't careful, you will end up trading your skills for pay that is lower than what unskilled workers bring home.
This article will discuss opportunities that are open to you. By the time you've finished reading, you'll have a better idea of what's available and how to actually make money.
Is it easy? No. But if you work at it, you can make money from home, and depending on your motivation and skill, you may be able to turn this into a full-time endeavor.
The Real Deal
What You Bring to the Table
- Computer—Many have wondered if they could use their home computer—a piece of equipment they already own and have mastered the necessary skills to operate—to generate income. After all, you've already invested in a piece of expensive equipment that provides incredible functionality, one that gives you instant access to potential employers and sites that may be outsourcing certain tasks.
- Time—You may have time available that you would be willing to invest to make money freelancing, or you might be willing to buy out time from other activities because you have bills you have to pay.
- Skills—You may have certain skills, such as word processing, typing, sales experience, office management, etc., that you feel you could use to "hop-scotch" over to freelancing. Rest assured, if you already have a skill-set, you are in an ideal position to make money freelancing online. And even if you don't, you can still break in.
Being Willing to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you plan to transition to online freelancing, it is doable but what you'll have to bring to the table is a willingness to learn new skills. The good news is that whether you have a skill-set or not, you can still break into freelancing. Many opportunities offer entry-level positions and often, your own determination is all that is needed to scare up work online. As long as you are willing to read through instructions and learn how to complete tasks, you can earn money. But, and here's the important "but" you have to know where to look online and register at the right sites to make real money freelancing.
You're Online Anyway
Ready to Make Money Freelancing?
Okay, let's get to the meat and bones. Where do you start? This next section will take a look at types of freelance work available online. I haven't included actual links to these sites because of the HubPages policy regarding outbound links but you can find these companies by searching out their names in your browser.
Use the information in any section below for the type of work you would be interested in doing. Find the applicable site, register, and work through the requirements. Soon, you'll be earning money online.
You can make money for your honest reviews... Reviewing products can be lucrative, depending on what site you review for. The following review opportunity pays a decent amount.
Ciao! offers to pay members for reviewing certain products. High-quality reviews may garner ratings such as helpful, very helpful or exceptional, and when they do, reviewers are awarded small cash payments.
As stated at the site: "Ciao is a multi-million-strong online community that critically reviews and rates millions of products and services for the benefit of other consumers."
This site appears to be UK-based so check to see if you are able to write reviews if you live in Canada or the U.S.
Other review companies require that you buy a product but will pay you very well to review that product. This type of opportunity is suitable for those who know they will buy certain products anyway and don't mind reviewing these products to earn extra cash. Payment typically ranges from $10—$100 per review.
Social Media and Web Search Evaluators
Appen offers work from home opportunities for flexible, short-term projects to those who are social media and net savvy. One can go to their site and search opportunities available in their own country and relevant to their skill set. Appen is looking for part-time Social Media Evaluators, Web Search Evaluators and more.
Check their Current Opportunities at the site to search a number of different opportunities. Some jobs may require you to use a mic and to speak as you evaluate. Some jobs may involve 4 hours per day or one day on the weekend.
You can make money keying in data... In amongst all the scams are a couple of legitimate data entry positions. You may be required to key in what you see on a screen to test your ability to accurately input data, before you are hired.
- Axion—not hiring presently but it might not hurt to add your details for future openings for data entry operators.
- Key for Cash—if you can type, you can enter data for Key for Cash. You'll have to take three tests to determine your percentile but if you don't quite make it the first time, you can retest. This gives you a chance to become familiar with the site's requirements. The tests are somewhat longer so be prepared to spend time taking each one. It might be a good idea to break it up a little because the information for keying in words and numbers can be a lot to digest all in one sitting.
Data entry jobs are often hit-and-miss but it doesn't hurt to apply for these jobs and complete tasks as work becomes available. Data entry is a relatively easy way to earn money trading your time. The work is rather repetitive but it does allow someone to earn income from home.
Editing Articles for Clients Who Struggle With English
A great little gig for those who would prefer to read through and edit an article rather than to have to actually write it from scratch is to edit articles for clients who create web content or marketing copy, but who struggle to do so because English isn't their mother tongue.
You may be able to contact webmasters and offer your services. I've had success doing this and have managed to scare up clients. You may even end up with return clients who count on you to proofread and edit their articles before they publish them. I have a client who does this and we have been happily jogging along for a number of years.
If you don't feel comfortable contacting webmasters, another route is to advertise your services at Fiverr. Fiverr is a legitimate site that brings together those offering their services and those willing to pay for those services.
As I touched on in the section above, if you have a skill, you can advertise it on Fiverr and turn that into a source of income. Gigs start at $5.00 but that is just the starting point. You can offer more comprehensive gigs and include additional services and extras for much higher pay. Some people have built a good reputation and attracted a sizable number of repeat clients and are generating full-time incomes by using Fiverr to advertise their offerings.
You can make money creating blog posts for companies that are seeking content for their sites... There may still be "paid-to-blog" sites out there but for the purpose of this article, I'll skip these, since payments were/are very low, and very infrequent and one had to have their own blog and be willing to clutter it up with posts promoting companies or products.
Sites that offer greater earnings potential are sites that pay bloggers to create short posts (articles) for their sites (not the blogger's own blog) on a regular basis, and they offer either an upfront payment per article and/or revenue sharing. These are a good bet for someone who can type fast. Another plus is that you concentrate on writing while the site takes care of promotion and traffic generation.
Why these types of blogging jobs are ideal is that word counts are generally lower. It is much easier to create a 200-500-word blog post than it is to write a longer, more comprehensive article that might require detailed research. Additionally, the nature of blog posts is such that many of these can be written from personal experience and/or minimal research.
- Wise Bread—for those writers who make the cut, Wise Bread offers 100% revenue share on articles posted on the site. This is a good deal because writers earn indefinitely.
- Families—Families bloggers create 300-word posts around family topics and are paid $4.00 per post. New bloggers undergo a 90-day training period. Hardworking bloggers can create as many posts as they like, and, of course, the more posts they create, the more they stand to earn.
- SocialNexus—if you can create at least 10, 300-word posts for SocialNexus each month, you stand to earn $15.00 per article. For those who can write a large number of articles, this could be a good source of revenue.
You can make money writing articles for different companies... Did you know that you can write articles and you'll receive payment for these? And you don't have to have a degree to do so. As long as you can craft properly spelled and grammatically correct articles, you can sign up with a number of sites online and generate income. A word of warning: make sure you don't waste time at sites that offer a pittance for your hard work. Article writing is hard work and you should be compensated accordingly.
- Textbroker—hires beginning and experienced writers to create content for clients.
- QualityGal—$12.00-$18.00 per article. SEO training.
- iWriters—it takes just minutes to register and you can start checking out paid article writing jobs. Pay rates are on the low-side but writers who rise through the ranks earn more over time. A video explains how to use the site.
- Scripted—Scripted offers decent pay rates.
- HubPages—if you haven't done so already, HubPages is a great site to write articles and earn money doing so The great thing is that you can pick and choose what you want to write about, without the pressure of having to meet deadlines. Additionally, once you create your articles, you are free to go in an edit them later. You can flesh out your articles to improve them, all on your own time, and build residual income.
You can make money transcribing lectures, sermons, interviews and other audio files. If you can type what you hear, you can transcribe. Some sites allow newbies to break in, while others have a higher criteria but pay more. Most sites require a skill test but this is usually not overly difficult. You may be asked to listen to a short audio recording and then type what you hear. Some sites require a typing speed test, but not all.
While medical transcription necessitates training in use of medical terms, other general-type transcription jobs are easier for someone who has a good command of English and who can touch type. For someone who likes typing, this kind of work may be ideal. Be forewarned though, transcription is not as easy as it sounds. It can be time-consuming listening and typing out audio and each site has different criteria, which much be followed.
A good way to start is to get your feet wet with companies that are willing to work with new transcribers. Once you feel comfortable with the process, you can move up to higher-paying transcription jobs. You will need a good headset and a foot pedal. You can get by without these but they are recommended, both for accuracy and for speed. Before investing in either, though, it's a good idea to try transcribing before investing in equipment.
Scribie is open to newbies wanting to break into transcription.
- You can pick the files you would like to work on, rather than having these assigned to you.
- Short audios of 6 minutes or less.
- Easy formatting, i.e. no having to add in speaker identification or inaudibles.
- You can work as often or as little as you wish.
Scribie has a good system of checks and balances, wherein each file is checked and corrected before it's ever passed on to the client.
- Pay rates are very low.
- Recently, they've changed their pay structure of a fixed $10 per audio hour to a fluid system, so some 6-minute files are now only worth $.50. Most people won't invest 15-20 minutes to be paid a mere 50 cents—the time it would take a newer transcriber to complete a 6-minute audio.
SpeakWrite—SpeakWrite may or may not be hiring presently, but you can enter your email address to be notified of future typing/transcribing jobs. Pay rates, as stated at the site, are @ $12.00-$15.00 per hour, once you become used to the SpeakWrite system. Experience with word processing and 65-words per minute typing speed is required. You can work as little or as much as you want.
Tigerfish—Open to newer transcribers.
QuickTate—Transcribe voice mails, letters, documents. Choose how many hours you work. QuickTate hires in U.S. and other countries.
My Tips for Earning Money Onine
- Try to secure at least some online work that involves revenue sharing, so that you'll have income coming in each month.
- Take on-spec work that can also help to supplement your income.
- Try to increase the number of sites or clients you work for.
- If you create online content for revenue share, try to spend a few minutes each day promoting it.
A Final Word of Advice
One of the best things you can do to help yourself if you want to work from home online is to increase your typing speed. I can't stress this enough. All of these jobs require keying in letters, no matter whether you answer questions, enter in data, transcribe, create posts for blog sites or write articles.
If you are serious about earning real income from home, the quickest route to doing so is to bump up your typing speed. Why muddle along and spend four times as long to complete any task? You are slowed down significantly if you have to watch your fingers as you type. Hunt and peck can seem daunting and can consume huge chunks of time; whereas, if you can crank out 60-80-100 words per minute, only having to look at your computer screen, your work time will be vastly reduced and the whole process will become that much easier.
If you practice touch typing for 5—10 minutes each day, in a few weeks you may be able to transition to touch typing. Once your fingers "recognize" the letters, typing becomes easy. As you improve, you don't even have to think about what your fingers are doing. While you can find typing practice sessions online, these are not as comprehensive as the exercises you would find in a typing book. Typing exercises are geared to teach the right fingers to find the right letters and keys, starting with easy drills and progressing to those that are slightly more challenging. By having a book on hand, you can practice and finally transition to touch typing.
Fast Fingers: Free Tool to Check Typing Speed
Fast Fingers is a neat little tool that allows you to take a typing speed test to see how your typing stacks up. You can take the test as often as you like and check your progress. You may be surprised at just how many words-per-minute you are actually able to type.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Athlyn Green
What's Worked for You?
Ben from UK on April 17, 2013:
Well researched and informative article filled with actionable ideas. Thanks!
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on March 06, 2013:
One of my top recommendations for earning money from home is transcription. For those looking to replace lost income after the algo, transcription is a legitimate way to earn income. Writers are in especially good shape because they have the typing speed and grammar skills under their belt, so transitioning to transcription is far easier for those who work with words.
Janelle Coulton from Canberra ACT Australia on March 06, 2013:
Great post Athlyn some really helpful stuff there. thanks for sharing. Jel
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on May 04, 2012:
Yes, one really can make money freelancing if they know where to look.
Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on May 04, 2012:
Wow, this is wonderful. I love it when people ask me questions and I go on a search, and it brings me right back to hub pages. Awesomeness!
bborrello on February 28, 2012:
Thanks, very informative.
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on February 28, 2012:
I'll be adding many more resources to this page, so bookmark it and check back. Thanks for stopping by!
Sandra Busby from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA on February 28, 2012:
Thanks for the tips. I'll check them out. Sandra Busby