Make (good!) money working from home with our guide to the best online jobs
While some online job prospects are scams, there are legitimate, well-paid opportunities available. All they require is a
computer with a high-speed Internet connection, a telephone and your skills. Follow our guide to decipher the best online
jobs to pursue, what you'll earn and how to land these positons. The payoff is a flexible workday that fits your schedule—and
a job that might just afford you a better lifestyle.
The work: Ten years ago, this job didn’t exist. Today, however, demand is booming. You provide general assistance—administrative, scheduling,
bookkeeping, even event planning—from your home office.
What you bring to the table: Administrative experience; excellent organizational and time-management skills so you can juggle a multitude of tasks; a pleasant phone manner
Expect to earn: About $10 per hour at a staffing agency; up to $30 per hour if you work directly with clients
Sign on: To find work on your own, check out homewiththekids.com, which lists companies that hire assistants, or sign on with an online staffing agency, like Team Double-Click or VIPdesk, to get contract jobs.
The work: You can earn large sums of money selling items online by reaching out to people who want to get rid of their stuff but are too busy to do it themselves.
What you bring to the table: Experience selling goods through auctions on eBay; ambition; the business savvy required to promote your services
Expect to earn: Sellers determine the price by the market and the value of items they sell. Some charge a flat per-item fee (often $5 to $25), or take a percentage (20 percent to 40 percent) of total sales. Depending on the volume of your business, reselling on eBay and other sites could become a lucrative full-time job.
Sign on: Active eBay sellers with high ratings and sales can register to be listed on the website’s directory of trading assistants at ebaytradingassistant.com. You need to be a self-starter who knows how to spread the word—to friends, family members, acquaintances and strangers. Check out allyou.com/home-business for more tips on how to market your services.
The work: Customers used to call a company to complain or order a product, and they’d reach the main office. Now virtual call centers
route incoming calls to a home agent’s phone; agents receive a script on how to answer possible questions so they can respond
to routine customer-service inquries or sell products.
What you bring to the table: Professional, pleasant phone presence; the ability to read a script and make it sound natural; a quiet area in which to work; perhaps a headset attached to your phone
Expect to earn: $7 to $15 per hour, with some jobs offering incentives for high sales
Sign on: Enroll to become an agent at a call-center company website—such as workingsolutions.com, liveops.com or alpineaccess.com—that offers extensive training.
The work: In 2006, the global market for outsourced language services was almost $9 billion. If you speak a second language well enough
to translate documents from one language to another, there’s money to be made.
What you bring to the table: The ability to read, write and fluently speak more than one language. You can find plenty of work in Spanish, French and Chinese, but the more obscure the language, the higher the demand.
Expect to earn: $10 to $50 per hour
Sign on: Visit translatorsbase.com for a wide offering of gigs and an idea of what each job entails. A more direct route for go-getters: Contact the human resources department of a foreign company’s U.S. office to ask about opportunities.
The work: Companies are always on the lookout for people to help them “go digital” by typing paper documents into a computer. Many
outsource the task of inputting data to update their records on a regular basis.
What you bring to the table: A computer; typing accuracy and speed
Expect to earn: $6 to $20 per hour
Sign on: While jobs exist, demand is high and scams plentiful. The Work at Home Jobs page at homewiththekids.com lists companies that hire regularly. Also search Craigslist and Google (type in “online data input jobs”), and cold-call companies’ human resources departments to apply.
The work: When you call your doctor’s office at 3 a.m., the person who answers might be someone just like you, at home in her pajamas.
What you bring to the table: After-hours availability; a cheerful and calm demeanor; a phone and a computer
Expect to earn: $8 to $14 per hour
Sign on: Look for listings on these job boards: indeed.com, simplyhired.com and careerbuilder.com.
The work: Journalists and nonfiction writers conduct thousands of hours of interviews, and some have no time to transcribe them. But
thanks to the Internet, it’s simple to e-mail a digital file of an audio interview. You just need to listen well, type it
up and send it back.
What you bring to the table: Typing accuracy and speed; a good pair of headphones (which makes interviews easier to understand)
Expect to earn: From $5 to $40 per hour
Sign on: Look for regular work with a transcription service such as the ones at verbalink.com and scribie.com, or branch out on your own by contacting local newspapers, magazines and TV news stations. One enterprising way to find nonfiction writers is to check book publishers’ author websites (there are hundreds at harpercollins.com/author/websites.aspx). On the author’s site, look for an e-mail link or mailing address.
The work: Companies often don’t have the staff to create content for their websites, so they outsource the job to freelancers. With
new sites springing up every day, writers are in huge demand.
What you bring to the table: A talent for expressing yourself concisely, putting an idea into words and meeting deadlines reliably. Companies often want content pertaining to a specific field of expertise, so it helps to sell yourself in your areas of strength.
Expect to earn: There is a vast range of pay for writing Web content, from nothing up to hundreds of dollars per assignment. The median pay for a full-time content writer is $35,200. You can earn as much as $66,000.
Sign on: Check listings at indeed.com or register with the Yahoo Contributor Network (contributor.yahoo.com), which pays for assigned content; the more traffic a post gets, the more money the writer earns. If you think you're a fit for a specific company, e-mail a sample post and offer your services.
The work: Many websites offer how-to advice on just about everything. After registering as a guru on a specific topic, you answer questions
from the public.
What you bring to the table: Documented professional expertise (or you can take a test to prove your knowledge)
Expect to earn: You won’t work full-time answering questions, but you can get more inquiries over time. At sites such as justanswer.com, more experience and positive feedback earn you more money per question, within a range of $2.50 to $25. Other sites, including ether.com, take a commission on the rate you set.
Sign on: Go to justanswer.com and ether.com to find out whether you are qualified to be an expert at their sites.
The work: If you have a blog that attracts numerous visitors, many companies will pay you (or give you merchandise) to run advertisements
that link to their websites.
What you bring to the table: An audience that has a connection with the potential affiliate. If your blog centers on parenting issues, it's a perfect match for companies selling children’s clothing or toys, for example.
Expect to earn: The pay scale depends on the number of hits the ads on your site generate, often between $10 and $50 per 1,000 hits.
Sign on: Two excellent websites, earnersblog.com and bloggingtips.com, offer many ideas and resources for the aspiring affiliate blogger.
Do you love makeup? Consider joining Alcone at Home to earn extra money by selling their products. While still new, this program has a great reputation in the beauty industry
and provides those who join with tools that can help them become successful. Create your own personalized website to sell
products or buy a starter kit, which is essentially a "business in a box" and includes marketing materials, makeup samples
and more. As a seller for Alcone at Home, you receive 10-30% sales commission, making this a potentially lucrative way to
earn additional income.
Pictured: Alcone at Home 9-Shade Lipstick Palette