If you feel like many of your friends post online about their “remote side gig” or “online side hustle” and it’s filling up your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, you aren’t crazy.  As of 2017, 36% of the U.S. workforce worked remotely doing freelance work and freelance work is growing 3x faster than traditional roles. Additionally, in 2017,        “remote work/work from home” was the fourth most searched job-related query.

If you want to make the jump to monopolizing on your free time on nights/weekends or whenever you're available for some extra work, here's what you'll need to do. Remote work is a great way to help with mortgage payments, student loans, buying a car, and more. 

First, evaluate your skills.

Are you a great illustrator? Super organized? Do you love personal shopping for others? There is a remote (online) side job for everyone. Start by writing down all the skills you have, even if they may not seem obviously lucrative to you. If you’re hesitant to start with a big project, or are having trouble identifying your skills, try exploring a site like Fiverr to see what types of things people are looking for. 

Then, decide what type of online side hustle you’re looking for.

Remote freelance work ranges from projects like temporary assignments working for major companies, consulting work, solo creative endeavors like an Etsy shop, to working for an agency that will procure assignments from you and take a cut of the profit. Consider the following when making this decision:

  • How much time do you have to find new work? Do you already have a full time job and this would be on the side? Or are you looking for something to serve as an entrance to more permanent work in the future?
  • Do you have certifications or degrees in the field you’re interested in, or would this be more of an exploration in trying to make money from a hobby?

A big mistake that new “side hustlers” make is taking on more than they can handle. New projects (and extra cash) sound great when you agree to them, but when the deadline is approaching, you may realize you bit off more than you could chew.

Next, explore some of the options for freelancers looking to find work.

You can also use popular career websites like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn and include "remote" and "freelance" as search terms.

Finally, make yourself a portfolio or personal website for potential employers to quickly evaluate your skills.

In the freelance economy, there are a lot of people who have the same skills you may have. In order to make yourself stand out and quickly showcase your skills, create a simple, high-quality portfolio to show potential clients why they should choose you. 

A portfolio typically consists of a resume or skills list, examples of your work, and how they can contact you. It can be formatted as a PDF hosted online, be a website, or an interactive site page. For the less creatively inclined, Wix (among other website hosting platforms) offers free online portfolio templates. For those with coding experience, here are some Bootstrap portfolio templates. Keep your portfolio up to date with new work and make sure to get clients' permission before sharing the projects you've done for them with others.  

Get online and start working with new clients today! With the right resources, hustle, and motivation, anyone can make money online while working from home and make side income for a home renovation, vacation, student loans, or whatever you may be saving for.

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