Social media isn’t just a fun thing you do with your friends. It’s a competitive marketing space where thousands of brands and businesses are competing for, often times, the same audience. If you can help a business get a leg up in that environment, you can carve out a valuable position within a company. However, one of the most important aspects of a good social media manager is someone who understands the tone and voice of the business he or she represents. For example, a social media manager at Wendy’s should use a different tone from at McDonald’s, even though they’re both fast-food burger restaurants.
Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.
With Izea, you are getting paid for whenever a company wants to advertise themselves through your blog and/or social media accounts (such as your Twitter account). You get paid electronically, and they always pay. They partner with big name companies such as Marriott, Netflix, Walmart, Kraft, Lego, and more. It's an EASY way to make money through your social media accounts, so I highly recommend you check Izea out.
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Evaluate Web sites. Another way to make extra cash in a short amount time – $10 for about 20 minutes of work – is to sign on with UserTesting and evaluate Web sites. You need a computer with a microphone and Internet connection, and you’ll have to fill out a one-page demographic profile. You’ll receive work if your profile matches that of the target audience of sites being tested. Then it’s just a matter of using UserTesting’s screen recorder, which you'll need to download to your computer, to record your verbal comments and on-screen movements as you click through a site. Site owners typically are looking for feedback about whether the Web site is confusing to navigate.
You can generate a small side income taking online surveys — but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, unless you invest a lot of time, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Global Test Market. Read our analysis of a dozen survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
However, people can still do webinars without all of that. For example, you might have a sizable social media following and you train them every week on something to do with social media. But you will need a product to embed and sell at some point. Don't worry about it in the beginning. And by far, the best webinar platform out there is certainly GoToWebinar. Hands down, there isn't even another platform that comes close.
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You can use your phone to receive assignments for short tasks that you complete on the phone itself—app testing and surveys, for example—or location-based gigs, such as mystery shopping or gathering information about merchandising displays at stores. You can even sign up for rewards programs that give you points toward gift cards just for walking into certain stores with your phone (no purchase necessary).
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
Do your friends look to you for advice on things you're passionate about, such as which car to buy, how to repair appliances or how to make a killer cheesecake? Whatever your area of expertise, if you are also a seasoned writer with an infectious enthusiasm for a particular topic, consider becoming an online expert guide. Guides are freelancers with an ability to communicate well and good grammar and spelling skills.
We’ve all seen posts on Facebook from our friends showcasing their new calligraphy skills. Widely popular calligraphy pens allow users to create unique, hand-written fonts that can be used for special occasions, such as wedding invitations, home decor, and various other Pinterest-inspired ideas. Anyone with a need for a creative hobby can learn and monetize this skill. All you need are a few special pens and a boat load of blank paper to get started. Launch a calligraphy business, and you can make cash per envelope addressing wedding invitations.
Tools. You don’t need much to work as a home-based freelance writer, but there are some tools that you must have. The most important will be your computer. Get the fastest Internet access that you can afford. It doesn’t matter what kind of computer you get. Just make sure you’re comfortable enough to spend a lot of time with it. Most clients will request that you submit your work as a Microsoft Word document, so make sure that whatever programs you use are compatible. In addition, because you’ll be spending so much time at the computer, make sure that you have a good work area with proper lighting. Some clients will want to be able to reach you by phone or Skype, so have both set up and accessible. You’ll need an invoicing program, such as Freshbooks, and a good bookkeeping system to keep track of sales, orders, and accounts receivables.
To do this job, you need a pleasant voice and personality, and really thick skin—you're bound to encounter some hostility. Still, it's a good way to earn income. Many large companies now outsource their cold-calling campaigns to third parties who hire home-based workers to place the calls. Telemarketers are typically paid by the hour, and they may earn incentives and commission based on performance.
As the Internet continues to evolve, opportunities to earn supplementary and full-time online income will grow. The very definition of work in an information-based economy is evolving, with traditional full-time jobs disappearing in favor of different arrangements (e.g. self-employment, flexible schedules, changing skill sets, etc.). In this respect, giving it a try can open up new career and business options.
Selling clothes you no longer wear is a quick way to make some money. Start with local consignment shops for faster cash, or use sites like ThredUp and Poshmark to find buyers. If you go the online route, be sure to take clear, well-lit photos of your pieces and research similar items to set competitive prices. Get tips on how to sell your clothing.
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For example, if you type in “banana bread recipe,” search engines should pull up recipes from major sites first. Posts from smaller blogs or recipes for other, related dishes—like zucchini bread—should fall toward the end of the list. As a search engine evaluator, you’ll be asked to enter specific words or phrases into a search engine, then assess how appropriate and informative the sites it pulls up are.
No extra rooms, beds, or couches for a weary traveler to rest his head? No problem! You can still rent out another space: your parking space. Homeowners who live within walking distance of major tourist attractions or sports venues will often sell parking spaces in their driveways or on their lawns. But even if you don’t live just down the road from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or a major music festival, you may still be able to profit off of a parking space. Why not park on the street while you rent your parking space to a neighbor? Sites like JustPark, Parklee, and SpotHero can all help you find a renter for your primo parking spot.
Again, video is much more expensive to produce than written content, so while it’s always good to be versatile, it’s especially important as a video editor or producer. Try to become an expert in every aspect of video production, from lighting to sound to editing footage. Know the difference between what works on a Facebook Live and what works on YouTube.