In today’s world, the definition of ‘a job’ is fairly open. No longer is working for an employer synonymous with working hours, gaining experience and learning new things. Now, with the ever-changing digital landscape and social media, there is no expectation of ‘normal’ working hours – you can work when you want to work and choose what tasks you want to take on.
One area that has seen a huge shift in working style is in the world of online jobs or work-at-home jobs. For those looking to make quick money, these are ideal jobs – you won’t need to meet any minimum standards, as you’ll simply be producing something that can be sold to generate revenue. While this might not seem like a perfect fit for everyone, the opportunity to make a higher wage with fewer limits has proven to be a popular choice among job seekers.
Why Online Jobs?
Many people may be surprised to learn that the ‘traditional’ employment options available today don’t paint the whole picture. For centuries, being a wage earner has been a reliable way to make money, and historically this has largely remained the case. However, over the last few decades, increasing automation and the growing use of online marketplaces have certainly made a difference – more and more people are choosing to work remotely as a way to generate income.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2016 there were roughly 16.9 million Americans working remotely – either 100% or partly from home – the so-called ‘teleworkers’. This is a 12.9% increase from the year before, and it’s expected that the trend of remote work will continue to grow.
Why the shift to online jobs? While traditional employment options still exist (ie full-time jobs at traditional workplaces), the increasing flexibility and higher wages of online jobs has made them appealing for a wide audience.
The Growth of Online Jobs
It’s not only a trend that’s spanned the globe – in fact, the rise of online jobs can be seen specifically in Western countries, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 16.9% increase in the number of Americans working from home. The UK government has also reported a similar trend, with an increase in the amount of flexible work from 0.7% to 12.9% (mostly part-time) in just ten years.
What is responsible for this trend? One of the key factors is certainly the relative youth of today’s workforce – over half of Americans between the ages of 23 and 36 now work remotely, and nearly a quarter of the total U.S. workforce has seen some of their jobs absorbed by automation. For older workers, the flexibility of working remotely may not come as much, if at all, from their employers.
The Growth of Online Jobs – International Comparisons
It’s interesting to note that while the U.S. is one of the most affected countries when it comes to the growth of online jobs, the international comparisons aren’t too flattering – in 2015, India had the second highest rate of internet usage in the world, yet only around 100,000 people were doing any online shopping. The country is also home to some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Alibaba and TikTok.
In comparison, the U.S. has a comparatively higher rate of internet usage, with around 139 million people currently using the web compared to 100 million in India. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the growth of online jobs in India is something to behold, having increased by nearly 600% between 2010 and 2015, with around 300,000 Indian workers now doing some of their shopping online. It’s expected that as more people get online, the trend of online jobs will only continue to grow in this country.
The Increasingly Digital Workforce
The era of the ‘traditional’ hourly job is certainly not coming to an end, but it is experiencing a massive overhaul as more and more people look to remote work as a way to generate income. According to a study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 21% of American employees now work remotely, and another 16.4% do some of their work from home. Looking ahead, it’s estimated that nearly a quarter of the workforce will be doing some of their work remotely in just a few years’ time.
The growing use of the internet and social media in particular has had a significant impact on how people work – in 2015, almost half of American employees reported to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that they regularly used social media while working, with nearly a quarter using email and 15% reporting that they got work done remotely via text messaging or messaging apps.
While more and more people are choosing to work remotely as a way to generate income, the flexibility may not be suited to everyone – for instance, those who want to spend more time with their family or those wanting to travel the world. It’s also worth noting that some countries, such as Germany and Portugal, completely ban employees from working remotely. So, consider the local laws before you choose to take this option.
Top 5 Ways to Make Money Online
With more and more people turning to the internet to make money, here are five ways that you can join the workforce remotely.
1. Start a Blog
As discussed, the use of the internet and social media in general has revolutionized how people work – for those looking for remote work, blogging has become a popular choice. It’s a fairly easy way to generate an income, provided you’ve got the content to support your blog. You can find a plethora of niches to cover, from beauty to lifestyle, giving you a wide array of topics to write about. Furthermore, the opportunity to build a community around your blog and gain credibility is something that may entice those looking for work.
2. Start an Online Store
E-commerce or online stores are yet another easy way to make money, provided you’ve got the digital infrastructure in place to support your store. In addition to the countless online shops that sell clothing, accessories and small goods, millions of businesses sell their products online, and the global market cap for online stores is over $500 billion. Not surprisingly, nearly a quarter of the American workforce now sells something online, with around 16.9 million people using Shopify to build their e-commerce store. Etsy, Amazon and Alibaba are other popular sites for those looking to set up their own online shops.
3. Start an Online Teaching Store
With more and more people wanting to make money online, the rise of online education has also become a popular choice. Why? Well, just like with online shops, e-commerce and blogging, there is a wide array of niche topics to cover, from basic skills to in-depth lessons – even foreign languages can be covered via online learning. Plus, with so many platforms, courses and businesses willing to pay for quality content, it’s a goldmine for those looking to make money online.
4. Start an App Business
Mobile phone apps have risen in popularity over the last few years, with the number of downloads crossing the 1 billion mark in 2018. With all the demand, there is plenty of opportunity to make money from mobile phone apps. The popular Shopify app, for instance, allows users to create and sell products directly from their phone – if you’ve got an idea for an app, you can build it using Shopify’s app store, where you’ll find thousands of other businesses that are willing to pay for innovative ideas.
5. Start a YouTube Channel
An even easier way to make money is to create and host videos – the audience is essentially just a click away, with billions of videos being watched each month around the world. Many large businesses, such as Google and Facebook, make hundreds of millions of dollars each year from their online videos – if you’ve got a niche topic that you feel is worth discussing, you can create and upload a video to YouTube, making money off memberships, live chats and merchandise sales. Make sure you build a community around your channel – a lot of views can translate to revenue, but so can a engaged audience.
The world of online jobs is certainly not limited to money-making – if you’ve got a specific skill that you can utilize online, such as web design or copywriting, you can use freelancing platforms to connect with potential clients. Building a profile on UpWork, Fiverr or Freelancer.com, you can connect with potential clients, get paid for your work and build a portfolio to show off your skills and draw in potential employers.