Posted by Pamela Swift in Online Business
Article Contributed by John Stone
The internet has revolutionized the way we shop, watch TV, play games, interact with other people and many other aspects of our lives. As traditional employment opportunities and careers become rarer turning to the internet to make money makes sense in our web-friendly society is becoming a natural step in the evolution of the workforce.
The number of people, who work online, either part-time or exclusively, can’t accurately be judged at this moment. As in all things, human beings have outstripped society and found new ways to make money that are neither controlled nor tracked by their local and national governments. As long as a nation has unrestricted access to the internet, someone will be making money online. Until the government designs a way to track that work, the total online workforce numbers will remain unknown.
Making money on the internet can be as easy – or as difficult – as you want it to be. There are specific advantages to working online; flexible hours, the ability to do something you love and others, but there are also disadvantages including lack of regulation, the low pay of gig economy work and a lack of long-term work.
However, there are ways to make continuous money through the internet that are not reliant on gigs. Let’s take a look at some of the examples.
Become a freelancer
For many people with skills, making extra money is as easy as joining a freelance community. The merger of Elance and ODesk into Upwork in 2015 brought the two biggest names in online freelance work and joined them together. It makes it easier to market your services and reach a much wider audience for your skills.
Selling a Product
Whether you sell on eBay, through your favorite social media site, or through a ecommerce platform like Shopify, selling a product over the internet is an easy and profitable way to get rid of excess ‘stuff” or to sell products you create yourself. Starting small and building up a customer base is the tried and tested way to sell anything, but competition is fierce. There aren’t many people left who don’t or can’t use eBay. Selling in a niche market is a good strategy, but you have to have the product to sell and a decent customer base to do it over the long-term.
Create a website
The only difference between this method and the preceding one is what you are selling. Personal websites and blogs sell your opinions or writing through banner ads and sponsors. This money can be a very reliable income, but you have to provide a service or site of interest to a lot of people.
Create an app for your website
A web page might look alright on a mobile internet device like a smartphone or tablet, but turning it into an app can make a huge difference in the number of hits your site and your sponsor’s site receives. App development is a specialized field. If your web-based business is ready for an app, consult the professionals. The money you spend on the app can quickly and easily be recouped.
Although it can be difficult to compete with the thousands of free blogs out there, if you enjoy writing and are good at it, there is a market online for you. Many companies offer web sites for bloggers at no charge, building one of these blogs is simple and by selling banner space and accepting sponsors, you can combine income streams to make even more money.
Although the risks of stock or forex trading can be substantial, as long as you stay within your means and make the effort to understand how the markets really work, a steady income can be generated. Of course, there is no telling who is going to discover the next big stock deal and we can always dream.
Writing, editing and proofreading
If you love to write, but don’t want the hassle of running a blog or website, there are a number of sites that pay bloggers or article writers. In addition to Upwork, there are many national and international online companies that put writers together with companies or groups that need blogs, articles and even books. Finding an online company that needs editors or proofreaders can be more difficult, but those jobs are out there.
A picture tells a thousand words
The ubiquity of digital cameras has revolutionized marketing photography. Professional photography has become more of a niche market while passionate and talented amateurs produce hundreds of pictures that find their way into the market through the new generation of photo websites.
Teaching, training and tutoring
One area that the internet is still revolutionizing is education. The virtue of being able to find a teacher in any subject, anywhere in the world with the click of a few buttons is such an unexpected bonus of the internet. Of course, the reverse is true as well. If you have a skill and the desire to teach others, you can make money through the many online educational programs.
Be a virtual assistant
No matter how big – or small – a company is it needs help doing the day-to-day administrative tasks that keep businesses running. The online economy has created a demand for administrative assistants that work are neither full-time nor onsite. These virtual assistants perform the same jobs online that they would in person, but the company can avoid paying benefits, healthcare or providing the assistant a physical place to work. Since most tasks that admin assistants traditionally do don’t require them to be physically present, it has created another way to make money online.
None of these jobs are difficult. Some require specialized skills, but those can be learned. What they all require, however, is the desire to prosper in a non-traditional workforce that has an uncertain safety net and a large degree of self-confidence that you can not only survive but thrive, in fields that most workers wouldn’t even recognize.
Author bio: John Stone is an SEO Consultant from Sydney, Australia. Through years of experience, he became a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur. You can find him on Twitter.