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10 Ways to Build an Online Career

Updated on August 28, 2013

The internet has opened a window to the world; it’s the place we go to socialize, learn and laugh at cats but it’s also a huge opportunity for a life-changing career move. So whether you’re struggling to make a solid career decision or you’ve finally had enough of your 9-5, these 10 ways to make a living online might be just what you need to branch out, broaden your horizons, find a job that you love and show the world what you have to offer! Surprised Cat

1. Publish a Vlog

Do you have a big personality, a wildly witty sense of humor and aren’t afraid to embarrass yourself in front of hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of viewers!? If so, a career in video blogging might be your thing!

Vlogging on platforms like YouTube means you don’t need to wait in line at nerve-wracking auditions to get an extra spot on daytime TV. A video blog, or vlog, is a form of web TV and has made it possible for anyone, anywhere in the world to become the star of their own online channel and, if done well, could turn you into an international celebrity almost overnight! Most vlogger channels involve some basic video editing, supporting text and images on videos ranging from observational comedy, spoof cooking shows and adverts, how to guides, advice on everyday dilemmas and videos following the lives of popular vloggers.

If you’re thinking you’d need to spend hours studying editing or programming to have a successful vlog, you don’t! Play around with some of these user-friendly video editing programs; get the hang of them and you could be uploading great content sooner than you think. Most vloggers use MPEG Streamclip, iMovie and Final Cut Pro.

Once you’ve got a good reputation in the YouTube community, with at least a hundred thousand subscribers, become a YouTube partner and they’ll pay you for allowing them to display ads on your channel. Your videos will appear more often in search results and a decent income will start trickling in. Make sure to update often and don’t neglect your viewers!

2. Publish a Blog

If you’re a little camera shy but are determined to get your thoughts, opinions and recipes for French toast out there, try starting a blog.

A blog, or web log, can be anything from a daily diary of stories about your life to serious articles on different topics that are important to you. Blogs can also take the form of a cartoon strip, somewhere to exhibit your artwork or just a place to throw yourself into the world in any form you think is right for you.

Like vlogging, once you’ve successfully established a blog following, you can start getting sponsorships, join affiliate programs, sell your own products or allow advertisers to post ads on your blog and, anytime they’re clicked, you get paid.

Most blogging platforms are extremely user-friendly, so you can get started whenever you’re ready; in fact, you could have your first blog post online by the end of today! There are so many blogging success stories; bloggers who have gone on to publish books, become guests on popular talk shows and have been given opportunities to write columns or guest articles in top magazines.

For an example of some great blogs, check out:

· 1000 Awesome Things

· Hyperbole and a Half

· Chipper Things

· The Everywhereist

· Serious Eats

3. Sell Stock Photography

If you prefer the dark room to the bright lights of internet celebrity culture and you’re a talented picture taker, try selling your images online as stock photography.

Keep in mind that quality trumps quantity in this field and stock photo websites can turn down an image submission if it doesn’t meet their standards.

Bad luck for the Instagram fan.

But if you’re an avid photographer with fairly decent equipment and a portfolio build-up you’re not quite sure what to do with, submitting them as stock photography could have you snapping shots for consistent cash in the future.

Check your options out with these stock photo sites:


4. Sponsor your Tweets

Do you tweet more than you speak? If you’ve managed to gain a decent following on Twitter, you may want to consider getting your tweets sponsored for cash.

Sponsored Tweets.com is an online platform that charges sponsors for communicating their advertising messages to your followers. Don’t be scared off if that sounds too much like selling out to suits and turning your Twitter feed into an ad agency’s puppet. You maintain full control over your account by choosing which category and keywords you want to work with, the wording of the ad and you set the amount you want to get paid for every tweet you post on their behalf. Once you’ve submitted your criteria, wait for advertisers to take you up on an offer and you could be tweeting for a living!

5. Write an E-book

If you’re a struggling writer, having finally finished your story, about to set sail on the rough seas of traditional publishing, take a minute to consider your options. Self-publishing has exploded online, with more people downloading e-books than opening printed ones! With the help of sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, you could self-publish with commission rates of around 70% on every book sale. You’re also given the freedom to control your own marketing strategies and, with success stories like Colleen Hoover’s “Slammed” making the no. 8 spot on the New York Times bestseller list, it’s easy to consider online self-publishing as another route to published writing.

6. Work Freelance

For the starving artist or digital designer, working in a 9-5 creativity strangling office environment might be something you think you have to do.

But with a little research and the help of sites like Elance, you could be leasing your skills on a freelance basis to clients around the world. Setting up a freelance portfolio means the potential to earn foreign currencies with a high exchange rate, making a fairly decent income with working hours that suit you!

Check out these freelancing sites for more options:

· Elance

· Odesk

· Behance

· 99Designs

· DesignCrowd

7. Sell Something on Ebay

Although it might seem like the place you go to get rid of your original, slightly broken iPod Shuffle, when used with a little business savvy, could become the platform to start your own online shop.

If you’re a crafty character making useful things people hadn’t thought they wanted, but soon realize they need, why not start a home-based craft business? If you’re slightly less inclined to crochet mini monkey key rings or fashion photo frames from recycled bits of your old shed, try saving a bit of capital and buy wholesale products you’re sure are in demand to sell at a mark-up price on Ebay. Your shop will probably be cheaper than premises-owned stores and you’ll save hard earned cash you would’ve spent on rent!

8. Become an App Tester

If you find yourself swiping, tilting and dragging your way through the day, tempted by tantalizing thoughts about how awesome life would be if you could play with apps for a living, become a mobile app tester! If you’re willing to take on possibly buggy apps to test their potential on the market, sites like Utest offer the opportunity for people to sign up and build a reputation based on the apps they’ve tested to date. A better reputation means high pay potential!

9. Design T-shirts

If you’re looking to stroke your artistic streak, create a brand of original, funky t-shirt designs, submit them for sale to sites like Cafepress and your clothing line could go viral!

Check out these distributors to help get your designs to the masses:

· Threadless

· Design By Humans

· Cafepress


10. Be a Virtual Assistant

If you’re a PA and have always thought that you could do everything you do in the office (including those hours on Facebook) from home, why not look into becoming a virtual assistant? The internet offers lots of opportunities for employers to hire people on a part or full time basis. Virtual assistants do everything, from dealing with clients over the phone to booking business trips and taking care of company admin needs, all in the comfort of their PJs and slippers.

Read up on Michael Hyatt's experience working with a virtual assistant to find out what the job’s like from an employer’s perspective.

Check out your options at these virtual job sites:

· Hirevituralassistants

· IVAA

· Virtual Assistant Jobs

With a global audience, an unlimited client base and a platform that markets for you 24/7, spending a little time finding your niche online might be worth the work. Whether you’re a bubbly personality bursting for a shot at the limelight, an introverted genius waiting for a chance to share your thoughts with the world or a savvy salesmen looking for the opportunity to sell plastic surgery to Joan Rivers, financial freedom is at your fingertips – the power is in your hand.

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