If you’re stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be dealing with the inconvenience of being cooped up for potentially weeks on end. Staying inside and practicing social distancing is the responsible thing to do. While some employees have been able to transition into working remotely while maintaining their current positions, others haven’t been so lucky. The pandemic has triggered an unprecedented number of layoffs as many brick and mortar businesses shutter due to lack of customers. Workers in retail, hospitality and foodservice have been especially hard-hit.
If you’ve lost a major source of income and are struggling to make ends meet during this difficult time, there are a variety of online platforms to turn to. One silver lining is that this pandemic comes at a time when there are more resources than ever to help you find temporary online work. Working remotely allows you to make money without ever leaving the house. While some skills, such as programming, copywriting and marketing are in especially high demand when it comes to remote positions, there are opportunities in many different niches. If you’re looking for remote work online, these websites are some of the best places to start.
Fiverr is one of the most well-known freelancing platforms around, and it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for part-time remote work. Jobs on Fiverr range from data entry to copywriting and everything in-between. There is a range of tasks to choose from, including reviewing businesses online, writing short blog posts and articles, translation gigs and more. If you have a special skill or area of expertise, consider looking for tasks in your field. As with many online job platforms, you should be judicious when it comes to accepting and applying for jobs. Make sure that you will be fairly compensated for your time and that the amount being offered is worth the effort it would take to complete the task.
Freelancer.com is an online platform that connects clients with freelancers. Available job categories include graphic design, website development, internet marketing, data entry, search engine optimization and copywriting. After signing up for an account, job seekers can browse job listings and advertise their skills. Freelancers can bid on job postings and potential employers can view bids and interview promising candidates before hiring a freelancer to complete a task. Job seekers can only place a limited number of bids a month before they must upgrade to a paid account, so be sure to only place bids for jobs with fair compensation that you are highly qualified for. The website takes a cut of freelancer profits ranging from 10%-20%, and payments are made through PayPal.
Upwork is another freelancing platform similar to Freelancer.com. Formerly called Elace/oDesk, Upwork allows freelancers to set up profiles and apply for positions. Job seekers must purchase tokens called “connects” to apply for jobs, with more competitively priced jobs often costing more connects per application. Upwork rewards promising candidates through their Top Rated and Rising Talent programs, which grant applicants increased visibility during the application process. Upwork charges a tiered service fee per client, charging 20% for the first $500 earned, 10% for earnings between $500 and $10,000 and 5% for earnings above $10,000 per client.
If you have a crafty hobby or a burgeoning small business, consider selling products on Etsy. Etsy is specifically designed to help small creators and artists access a wider audience. You can sell everything from custom artwork to hand-made clothing to jewelry and accessories on the platform. Etsy charges a small fee to list products and also takes a cut of any sales you make. If you plan on shipping physical merchandise to customers through Etsy, be sure to follow proper safety protocols and sanitize all products to the best of your ability.
eBay is another option when it comes to selling products online. Unlike Etsy, many sellers on eBay specialize in selling everyday products like furniture, clothing and other household items. If you’re looking to make a little extra money selling items online, it’s a good idea to go through your possessions and make an inventory of things you could part with, then look up what the going rates are on eBay. Demand for certain items may be higher than others. In other cases, regional brands or products may find a market in other parts of the world where they are harder to find. Popular items to sell on eBay include craft supplies, kitchenware and clothing. As a new seller, you should try to sell popular items at reasonable prices. As you become more experienced, you can try branching out into specific niches or raising prices for in-demand items. As with Etsy, make sure to sanitize all items that you’ll be mailing to customers.
The bottom line
The websites listed above are a great way to dip your toes into the waters of freelancing and remote, online work. They can be a great way to earn a little extra income if you’re struggling to make ends meet, or a way to develop your skills and create a portfolio of digital work to show future clients. Whether you just want to make a little extra money while you’re stuck at home or are looking to develop a remote freelance career, these platforms are a good place to start.
While freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork may not always offer the best rates, they can be a great way to gain experience and get your foot in the door. Once you’ve established yourself as a freelancer and have a few clients and projects under your belt, you may want to consider seeking out private clients. While finding private clients can be difficult when you’re just starting, they usually pay better than the work available on freelancing platforms and may even develop into long-term relationships. Look for remote clients and job listings on websites like We Work Remotely, Flex Jobs and even Craigslist. It’s a good idea to protect yourself against risk by not relying too much on any one client or platform and staying on the lookout for future opportunities. In some cases, you may even be able to parlay your freelance experience into a remote full-time job!