Many times, when you’re just starting out on your work-at-home career path, you simply don’t have any money to invest on the adventure. Customer service jobs are widely available, but what if you don’t have a headset and can’t afford one? (That’s why you need a job, after all, to earn an income for things like headsets and bills and cat food.) Those jobs often require a landline as well, and it seems like the majority of us skate by with mobile phones only these days.
Well, I’m here to tell you not to worry – there are plenty of options available to you that don’t require any significant investment on your part to get started! Let’s go through 8 jobs that could work for you.
1. FREELANCE WRITING
We’re starting with the most obvious one – as long as you have a brain and good language skills, you’re set to become a freelance writer. Yes, you’ll need a computer to be able to do this from home, but that’s true of any remote job – and I’m operating under the assumption that you have at least a laptop. With writing, that’s all you need; you don’t even have to buy any particular word processing software, these days! There’s plenty of freeware in the market that integrate well with Microsoft Word, so even if your clients are using Microsoft products, you don’t have to. You can use Google Docs or LibreOffice.
2. EDITING OR PROOFREADING
Springing off from freelance writing above, you can also offer your services as an editor or proofreader without needing any particular equipment. You can use the same freeware I mention above, and this is even something you can do from a tablet if you don’t have access to a home PC or laptop. Beyond that, all you need is an excellent command of English grammar and spelling (or skills in whichever language you’re proofreading and editing in). Depending on what you’re editing, you may need to understand what makes a story good or how to build a compelling argument. Either way, though, it’s all about brainpower and knowledge more than equipment.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Brands of every size need someone to manage their social media these days, and it doesn’t cost the manager anything at all. All you need is a solid understanding of various social media services and how they work – be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to have the strongest offering of services. Your job may be made easier with access to certain scheduling apps which might require a subscription fee, but that’s a bill footed by your clients (although, sure, you could pay for it yourself and then add a surcharge to your fees). However, there are free options for scheduling apps out there! Sprout Social and Edgar may be fantastically robust, but Buffer and HootSuite offer great support for free!
Where to find social media management jobs: check out FlexJobs.
4. ONLINE MODERATION
Where brands and companies interact with customers and fans online, there’s plenty of room for negative comments, abusive speech, or other unwanted interactions. To protect the community against bad behavior, moderators are needed: they monitor comments on websites and social media, check brand reputation on social media, respond to happy and unhappy customers, ensure the rules are being followed… and all this takes is the investment of your time (like any job). You don’t need any specialized equipment, and your client should provide you with logins to any software or apps you need to do your job.
5. SEARCH ENGINE OR AD EVALUATION
With so much commerce taking place online these days, it’s important to search engines that their search processes are optimized and working correctly – it’s equally important they ensure the ads running are relevant and effective as well. Search engine or ad evaluators perform Internet searches as instructed and evaluate the results – guess what you need to do this job? Nothing that you have to pay for! (Obviously apart from the home computer and Internet access you should already have.) You just need an Internet browser.
There are companies out there that want your research skills – which is especially great for recent college students who have had research practice hammered into them recently! You can find both companies and individuals who need help tracking down data and putting that information into an easily readable – and understandable! – form. You’ll find that you can research pretty widely and deeply via the Internet these days, especially if you’re researching trends in popular topics or specific product types. And while you’re getting paid for using nothing but the Internet and your research and writing skills, you’re also learning something new.
Where to find research jobs: Wonder is frequently hiring, or you could check Flexjobs.
7. CODING (COMPUTER PROGRAMMING)
If you know any programming languages – from SQL and Java to Python and C++, there is a remote job out there for you! And it doesn’t require more than the computer and Internet access you already have. You’ll need a code editor, of course, but there are plenty of freeware options out there – on Windows, you might use Notepad++ while on a Chromebook, you’ll use Caret. At some point, it’s likely you’ll need a compiler or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to translate your source code into machine language, and you’ll find there are some excellent freeware options out there to support you in this, too – from Dev-C++ to PyDev and more, depending on what you’re coding.
Where to find coding jobs: search Dice or Flexjobs.
8. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Do you know what a Virtual Assistant does? If you’re thinking “basically everything,” you’re correct! Sometimes “basically everything” might require some special equipment but, more often than not, it doesn’t. You can call clients, set up appointments, sort email, write blog posts, do online research, update social media accounts, and more with nothing but your computer and Internet connection. (Yes, being a virtual assistant bleeds over into many of the job types listed above.) If your clients need anything more specific, they’ll often have accounts on paid software that you can use to do the work – costing you nothing.
Ready to get started on that home-based workflow now? Good! Hit the ground running, and you’ll have an income in no time – with no investment on your part. Now drop into the comments and tell me all about it!