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How To Make Money Online and Grow Your Career

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

Are you tired of juggling a 9-to-5 job with everything else life throws at you? Sounds like you might be looking for information on how to make money online.

After all, folks from every corner of the professional world are doing just that and creating a better work-life balance in the process.

The tricky part? Sorting through all the sketchy get-rich-quick schemes and scams. But don’t worry, this guide (and FlexJobs) is here to help you cut through the noise.

You’ll discover tips and strategies to help you build a rewarding online career that plays to your strengths.

Lay Out Clear Goals Before You Venture Online

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Going digital to earn your income isn’t a wild stab in the dark, it needs a game plan. Maybe you’re in a spot where you need to make money online fast. That’s where gigs and side hustles come in handy.

But keep in mind that these are usually quick fixes and won’t offer the same stability you’d get from a steady remote career or freelance business.

So, to balance making money right now with setting yourself up for the future, consider this list of actionable steps before you dive into your online job hunt.

1. Outline Your Objectives

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Knowing what you want to achieve will keep you motivated and on track. Before you start firing off job applications or mingling at networking events, get clear on what you’re aiming for and map out a plan to get there.

Ask yourself: What kind of job am I after? What skills or experiences do I want to shout about? By breaking your job search down into bite-sized chunks, you can set achievable targets for yourself.

For instance, you might decide to send off a specific number of job applications each week or connect with a specific number of professionals in your field every month. With measurable goals, you can evaluate how you’re doing and tweak your game plan if you need to.

Remember, it’s all about setting realistic goals that match up with your skills, experience, and career dreams. Don’t pile on the pressure — concentrate on one or two objectives at a time.

2. Network, Network, Network

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Whether you’re after a short-term gig or long-term career progression, networking is your secret weapon.

Get involved in online communities and forums. Show up at professional events. Connect with the movers and shakers in your industry. These activities can lead to job opportunities.

But networking isn’t just about landing an opportunity for work tomorrow. It’s also about building relationships and creating a support network. The insights and advice you’ll get from these connections are invaluable in helping you navigate long-term remote work.

Put time and effort into your network, and you’ll be in a stronger position to succeed in your online career.

3. Give Freelancing, Gig Work, and Consulting a Whirl

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If you’re after flexibility and fast income, freelancing, gig work, and consulting could be just the ticket. These options let you offer your services on a project basis, freeing you up from the constraints of a regular job.

Instead of competing on low-pay platforms, focus on building relationships with long-term clients to ensure stable growth and income. Freelancing can also help you build a strong portfolio and expand your network.

If you’re looking at freelancing as a long-haul gig, get into the routine of seeking out and pitching to new clients. This strategy will help you steer clear of the feast-or-famine cycle many freelancers fall into.

4. Research Company Recruiting Processes

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When you’re on the hunt for remote jobs or side gigs, it pays to know how the companies you’re interested in hire people. With this insider info, you can tailor your approach and boost your chances of success.

Doing your homework on companies is as simple as visiting their websites and reading what current or past employees have to say. Also, LinkedIn can be a gold mine for connecting with people who’ve worked there before.

Make sure to find out who calls the shots on hiring and what they’re looking for.

Also, get a feel for how long it usually takes from job posting to kickoff and what the company’s pay cycle is like. Knowing these details will help you manage your expectations and plan your finances.

5. Make Your Application Shine

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You’ve done your homework and understand the company’s needs and expectations. This is your moment to bring out your secret weapon — your tailored job application.

Spruce up your cover letter and resume to highlight how you can be the missing piece in the team. Show hiring managers you’re not just after any job — you’ve set your sights on this job.

Once you’re all geared up with clear goals, an ever-growing network, and a strategic game plan, it’s time to find your best job fit.

Whether you’re in the market for a gig or a long-term commitment, the world is your oyster.

Explore Specific Remote Work Options

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As you launch your online career, it’s crucial to keep an open mind and stay adaptable. You might need to tweak your strategy now and then to reach your goals.

But the good news is that today’s digital landscape is full of opportunities for online services and remote work. No matter your area of expertise, there’s an online role perfect for you.

1. Consulting Jobs

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Think about specialized consulting services, for example. Whether you’re an HR professional, a marketing guru, or a supply chain specialist, numerous companies could benefit from your services.

Connect with companies to help them streamline their operations and devise effective strategies to reach their goals.

2. Data Entry Jobs

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Data entry offers one of the most direct yet effective ways to make money online. Without the need for extensive skills or experience, data entry opens doors for remote or freelance work.

Plenty of data entry jobs can be completed from anywhere, requiring only a reliable internet connection and keen attention to detail.

If you’re longing for a job that allows you to travel while supporting yourself, data entry should be high on your list of considerations.

3. Online Content Jobs

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If you have a flair for writing, digital content creation is one of the best ways to make money online. From blog entries to newsletters, every business needs content.

Mastering the craft of compelling writing and understanding SEO strategies and content structure are keys to success.

There are multiple paths to building a successful career in digital content writing. You can pursue freelance writing to have complete control over your schedule or work as an in-house or agency writer.

4. Project Management Jobs

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Remote project management is on the rise as companies recognize that effective coordination and execution of projects can happen from anywhere.

If you have experience managing projects or possess certification like PMP or Agile, there are opportunities waiting for you in nearly every industry.

5. Translation Jobs

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As technology brings the world together, there’s an increasing need for skilled translators. If you have bilingual language skills, there are a variety of online income opportunities.

But even if you’re not proficient in more than one language, consider offering transcription services. Companies like AlphaSights, Gengo, and Literably are great options to launch your search.

6. Tutoring Jobs

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If you’re a subject matter expert or skilled in a particular area, online tutoring can be an ideal way to earn money while supporting students. You’ll discover multiple companies that connect tutors and students in the FlexJobs database.

Offering individual sessions or creating online courses can significantly enhance your earnings.

7. Virtual Admin Jobs

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You can make money from the comfort of your home office by offering virtual assistance services, such as managing social media accounts or emails for international clients. All you need are clear communication skills and strong time management abilities.

Leverage Your Creative Interests To Make Money Online

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You’re not limited to strictly professional ventures either. You can use your artistic and creative talents to bring in some online income as well.

If you dream of bringing your creative vision to life, the online world of work is full of potential. No matter your craft, there are nearly endless ways to turn your passion into profit.

1. Music Jobs

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Are you a musician or composer with an artistic flair? The digital world offers several ways to make money online.

For example, have you ever thought about teaching music? With the convenience of online learning, companies are often looking for professionals to teach music lessons to students worldwide.

Beyond teaching, explore the technical side of music as a sound designer or technical artist. Keep an eye on companies like TELUS International, Warner Music Group, and Fender for online, music-themed gigs.

2. Photography Jobs

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Photographers, get ready! The internet is a limitless canvas to display your work and generate income. Platforms like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock are excellent places to sell your stock photos, providing a steady source of passive income as they’re used across various media outlets.

If you’re interested in sharing your photography skills with others, educational companies like Stride, Inc. look for experts to teach online classes.

You can also offer your photography services to various companies, such as Zillow in the real estate field. With home sales stretching across every state, it’s one of the most consistent ways to utilize your skills to quickly supplement your income.

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