Unconventional Ways to Earn an Income
What I loved (and what I hated!) because I’ve tried it all!
Actually, I haven’t tried “real jobs” online, I’ve spent hundreds of hours searching for and applying for legitimate part- and full-time jobs online, but I never heard back from any of them, or the ones I did hear back from came off as super scammy and I didn’t pursue it. I’m amazing at getting new jobs, so this just made me feel like maybe the market isn’t as far along online as we thought. Who knows.
Annnyway, I’ll include links where I can with these. There’s only one company I felt was truly rotten, and I’m going to be super blunt with you about it because I do not want you to have the same experience!
Here’s what I’ve tried
(and what I thought about it!)
captioning / subscription
I worked with Rev (and actually still do!) to caption and transcribe videos. Personally, I find captioning easier and more enjoyable, but to each her own! Rev offers captioning, transcription, and translating services.
Basically, captioning involves typing out videos word-for-word and then syncing the captions to the video as subtitles.
Transcription is usually just sound, no video- this means less time since you don’t have to sync the content to a video, but I find it more difficult because you have to get the words exactly right, and that’s hard without being able to see a video for context or peoples’ mouths moving.
Lots of companies offer and hire for this service. Rev is the only one I’ve worked with, and my experience has been fantastic. My only advice here is if you’re going to work for one of these companies, make sure you know when, what, and where you are getting paid BEFORE you start! More on this later.
Right, so freelance writing has been my least favorite way to make money outside of a typical job! I’m a writer, but freelance writing can be a LOT of work!
Truthfully, if I’d been more dedicated this might have been a more lucrative endeavor, but I signed up on this site, and my experience was terrible. People wanted articles written and provided useless, inaccurate sources. There was a large selection of article topics and clients to choose from, but they all felt pretty gross to me- like selling my soul. The people paying for these articles tended to just want more views to their site, whether the information was accurate or not.
The other piece that bothered me with this was the fine print- the site didn’t pay out until I earned a set amount of money- and I realized this after writing my first article! I had to write more to get paid at all and it. was. the. worst. Because as soon as I wrote my first piece for a client, I realized I HATED the type of writing this site wants.
This is why I say make sure you know when, where, and how you’re going to get paid BEFORE you start work for any online gigs! I wasn’t about to let the site just pocket the money I’d earned, so I did enough to get paid and then I never went back.
That said, I personally know quite a few highly successful bloggers making $2,000-$9,000 per month just by blogging and sharing affiliate links! This is something I’d like to grow in 2019, so I’ll be sure to share my progress. To learn how to do this I recommend joining blogger groups on Facebook intended to help new bloggers, and be sure to search Pinterest for a bazillion amazing ideas and insights on how to increase your income through blogging. If you look up Twin’s Mommy, she has some really great free (and also paid) blogging resources I’ve found really helpful!
A note of reality though: making money blogging doesn’t happen overnight! Do this because you love it, because it’s something playful and fun that you want to do long-term. That way, you’ll enjoy the commitment and dedication required to truly grow a profitable AND fulfilling blog. You don’t want your hobby to feel soul-sucking down the road, so approach it with love instead of trying to beat a profit out of it! Trust me on this one. ♡
This one can be a lot of fun! I like to search for people in need of assistants locally and I’ve actually found a few temporary VA gigs just by asking around when I noticed my favorite coffee shops didn’t have the best website or had never set up an IG or Facebook page. Currently, I’m working with VA clients who I’ve found through Upwork and who have found me through my blog, my email list via Pinterest, Instagram, and the Facebook groups I’m a part of.
I learned how to do all of this through my 18 months as an office assistant in a hospital, my first year as an online entrepreneur, and my 4 years of blogging- that’s it! No formal training necessary. (Yes I have my B.S. in Business Management, but it’s literally been useless when it comes to my biz.)
P.S. If you were wondering, VA is a broad term for anyone who does online work, really. Technically I am more of a social media manager and a graphic designer. Both fall under the VA blanket.
Ahhhh, life coaching! I actually loved being a life coach, but after a while I started putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself, and I found it really difficult to bring in clients when my own mindset was suffering.
Coaching is a ton of fun and it doesn’t require any certification or formal training. I don’t think I even mentioned my degree when it came to actually signing clients. If you are thinking about getting into life coaching, a great way to learn more about it and get a feel for it is to join a few coaching groups on Facebook, follow coaches on Instagram (I love Alessandra Braun @thethrivecoach & Niki Shepler @soaringselflove, but there are thousands of others with different styles and focuses if they’re not your style!).
You don’t have to hire a coach to become a coach, but that’s what I did and I was glad I had someone to show me the ropes and help me learn how to create and share my new business from day 1. If you do decide to hire a coach, check out my post on what to know before hiring a life coach!
I’m sure there’s someone out there doing nothing but surveys all day and kinda making some money, but honestly… my two cents, don’t waste your freakin’ time. That’s all I have to say here.
Surveys suck. Moving on.
This is one of my favorite ways to earn an income, the only drawback being that sometimes it takes a while to get started! I found most of my freelance work via Upwork or by directly offering to help with a problem I saw for a local business, like I said in the VA section above.
Upwork allows you to create a profile including jobs you’d like to do, skills and experience, and samples of your work. It also shows jobs people need done, and you can go through and apply to jobs. It’s free to use, but Upwork takes a percentage (which you find out about upfront before applying, I love that part!). This isn’t usually too high, and when applying you can bid for what you’d like to be paid.
So if they say they want the project done for $120, and you really want it you can bid a little lower for a better chance of being chosen, or if someone is asking $5 for a project worth quite a bit more, you can bid $15 and explain why! :)
There really are so many different types of jobs on Upwork. I’ve found editing, resume & cover letter writing, graphic creation (which is super easy and free using Canva if you want to learn!), and freelance writing gigs on Upwork. Just be sure you already know your own boundaries and are willing and able to stick to your guns when you go into these jobs. It’s important to be able to say no to jobs that you know aren’t quite right for you, rather than having an unhappy client and a poor review on your account.
There you have it!
Hopefully this has been helpful!! There are other jobs I’ve taken on along the way such as captioning videos and taking notes for students in my university working for the disability center, working part-time and hybrid jobs that perfectly matched my unique skillset of medical terminology/healthcare experience & mad writing talent…
My biggest piece of advice for anyone looking to make money from home or in ways that don’t feel like having your soul sucked out by The System is to just ask for what you want! Know that what you want is out there if you’re willing to work for it, and then DO THE WORK!
And if you like an idea but don’t actually want to do the work, let yourself play with it. But get to work on what you actually are willing to do. For me, this looked like truly dedicating myself to growing this blog and creating a steady income for it- and so that I could afford to put the time into it while still keeping my family supported, that meant working part-time. But you do what you gotta do!!
Wishing you the best of luck in creating your life & building a solid income your own way!
Feel free to share your own ideas, questions, and experiences in the comments below! I’m sure I’m not alone in this journey to creating a solid income outside of The System! It squashes my passion too, I feel you.