One in four Americans will be working remotely in 2021. Really.
While making money from home was less common in the recent past, 2020 swiftly upended the working world and it looks like some of those changes will stick:
By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to Upwork’s ‘Future of Workforce Pulse Report.’
‘Our research shows the long-lasting impact that remote work and Covid-19 are likely to have on how hiring managers think about their organizations,’ says Upwork chief economist, Adam Ozimek, in a statement. ‘As businesses adapt and learn from this remote work experiment, many are altering their long-term plans to accommodate this way of working.’ (Source)
More companies have embraced new ways of working and have recognized that employees can still be productive outside of the office. Of course, you can make money from home in a wide variety of ways, which does not necessarily have to include a work-from-home job. You could become an entrepreneur and make money online, or if you’re a student, you could find part-time sales jobs that allow you to create your own schedule (without any up-front investment).
Recently, I decided to jump on the Marie Kondo bandwagon, and minimize my life, starting with selling everything I don’t use.
Marie Kondo didn’t really trigger my intrigue though. What actually triggered my interest was this post I found while researching another article, about a girl who made $2,400 selling random items—even used gym shorts—from her closet on Poshmark.
I signed up for Poshmark in 2016, but had never actually used it. I kind of just wrote it off.
But after reading that article, I thought, “Hey, I have so much brand new, nice stuff I never use, and I want to reduce the clutter in my apartment, so why not try to make some extra cash instead of just giving/throwing it away.”
Plus, I wanted to see if this “thrifting” lifestyle was actually as lucrative (and easy) as all the “money” bloggers claim.
Since joining a few months ago, I’ve made $1,191.60. I’ve sold clothes, purses and watches, to name a few.
Poshmark takes 20% of the listing price for anything over $15. I’m okay with that fee, because they have a built-in audience, which means stuff sells faster, and they also email you a prepaid shipping label, which is convenient.
Join the Posh parties.
Share a lot throughout the day.
Search for stuff like yours. Click on the “Likes” to see who likes the item, and then follow them.
Respond to comments in a timely manner.
Ratings are important, so show any flaws in the pics beforehand, and ship fast.
Review websites and apps
Websites, like UserTesting, will pay you to review its clients websites and apps. You must be approved, but the registration process is pretty quick and easy.
User testing marketplaces:
UserTesting: You’re paid $10 for every 10-15-minute test you complete. No webcam required.
Enroll: Get paid to test websites before they are launched.
Userlytics: Both webcam and microphone are required to test. Get paid $10 per test.
Testing Time: Get paid to conduct user testing studies, and earn up to $50 per test, paid via Paypal.
Create an asset
According to a report by Degreed, nearly 85% of people said they learn things for work by searching online, at least once per week, and nearly 70% of them learn by reading blog articles weekly and asking for recommendations from peers and mentors.
One of the best ways to learn new things is to actually do them. No coursework or degree beats working with actual clients doing real projects. You can build a portfolio that will impress prospective employers.
You can do it on the side
If you’re in school or working a full-time job, freelancing is a great way to test the waters of a new career or specialized skill. When you’re starting out—and you’re working for yourself—you can decide how much (or how little) you want to take on.
You have the freedom to choose
As your own boss, YOU get to decide which projects to seek out and which ones to turn down. Learning something new? No problem. Get started charging a lower rate and as your skill and speed improve, you can charge more (and have more satisfied clients who will recommend you to others).
You can make good money
While you may start out freelancing part-time, many people choose to freelance as their full-time career—and bring home a solid income—especially as you gain skills, experience, and confidence.
Potential freelance services
General computer assistance
Advanced computer skills
For a deep dive on how to make money from home by freelancing (and all of the services above), check out our related post: How to Make Money Online.
Work from home jobs
Transcribe audio files
If you want a flexible, work-from-home job that requires little to no experience and doesn’t involve sales, consider transcribing audio files on transcription marketplaces, like Rev.
Transcription jobs are generally divided into three categories: general, medical and legal. The latter two usually require schooling and/or previous related experience, so I recommend focusing on the general bucket to start out.
Listening and converting audio files to text may sound like a pretty easy gig, but for some people, like myself, it isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
You’ll likely have to transcribe files that are of poor quality and/or that feature a speaker with a heavy accent that’s different from your own. Another con? The work is very repetitive, which means you may not want to make this your only income stream, so you don’t get bored or burned out.
It could take you anywhere from two to five hours to transcribe just one hour of audio, depending on the complexity of the file and your transcription skill level.
According to The Penny Hoarder, transcriptionists can make anywhere from $15-$25 or more per hour. How much you inevitably make will depend on the marketplace you work for, the amount of work available, and (obviously) your speed and skill level.
Usually, transcription companies pay per audio hour or a rate per page. Let me elaborate with an example.
If you’re paid $25 per audio hour, you’ll earn $25 for every hour of audio you transcribe—NOT how long it takes you to transcribe the file. So, if it takes you two hours to transcribe one hour of audio, you’ll still only earn $25.
Experienced transcriptionists often consider rates below $45 to $50 per audio hour too low. But if you’re brand new to the industry, you may find it’s worth working for a lower rate to get your feet wet and learn valuable skills that could help you land a better-paying transcription job later on.
Freelance Transcription Job Marketplaces for Newbies:
Selling CUTCO allows you to work part-time as a student, on a flexible schedule, and you get paid weekly.
To learn more about making money selling CUTCO, go to this page.
Make your friends’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles
Take advantage of the career center in college. It’s free, and it’ll teach you a lot of valuable professional skills.
Before dropping out, I met with one of their consultants, and the lady showed me how to make a *good* resume and write a phenomenal cover letter. Consider doing the same.
From my experience, I know most experienced resume writers charge a LOT of money for a single resume. Why not go to the career center, learn how to make a good resume, create a template, and charge $50 a pop?
Fifty dollars for a night’s worth of work… not too shabby.
Of course, you’d have to spend about 30 minutes to an hour gathering their information prior to sitting down to write it, but I think it’s worth it.
You could always sell custom cover letters as well, or maybe offer “job search as a service”—and apply to jobs for people. Say you’ll apply to X jobs per month for a flat fee of a couple hundred dollars.
As you gain more experience, you can apply to list your services on marketplaces with large audiences, such as The Muse.
In the meantime, find clients by:
Spreading the word on social
Telling your friends to tell their friends
Posting fliers on-campus and local Starbucks
Listing your services on Craigslist and Fiverr
Searching gig websites, like Upwork and Craigslist “gig” section
Asking professors to recommend your services
Bonus: Spruce up your resume template design, and then sell it on Creative Market, Themeforest, or Gumroad.