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Making Money Online in 2020

Updated on July 16, 2020
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Hey! My name is Claudiu Radu and for the past decade years or so, I've been working as an article writer and blogger, among other things.

401(K) 2012 - Money in hands via Wikimedia Commons
401(K) 2012 - Money in hands via Wikimedia Commons | Source

With today’s economical, medical and social issues there is an unprecedented need for an extra income for most people while companies are, in some cases, forced to think outside the box. Many companies have now seen the benefits of hiring people that will work online from home while others are forced to do so by the current circumstances. Either way, working online is far more appealing to both companies and employees that didn’t consider this option in the past. In this article I’ve written some tips I’ve discovered while working as a freelance programmer, economist, graphic artist and blogger for more than a decade.

What can you do online?

This is the most common question I get from people wanting to learn more about this subject. There is a vast numbers of jobs that can be done online from the usual ones like programming, 3D generated graphics and animations, writing, blogging and video blogging to the more unusual ones like accounting, IT Support, recruiting or even financial trading.

The bottom line is, if you had a job that implied working on a computer or via a phone it can be done from home and not necessarily from your office.

If you're working for a company that hasn't collaborated with freelancers in the past there is the need for some investments or, at least, some careful planning between you and the company you work for but the switch is far harder than most people think.

I’ve worked on many projects in different fields like programming, 2D and 3D graphics, writing, accounting and if you take precautions to make sure data isn’t lost or stolen and keep a good communication with the client the project flows extremely well from one end to the other.

There’s also the possibility of using one of the many existing platforms that offer the possibility of working from home like:

If you're planning in signing for one of the web services I've enumerated before you must keep in mind they don’t work from day one and you will have to put some time into them to get the ball rolling, as the saying goes. Because of that reason, more experienced programmers and creators usually advise against these kind of programs but, if you’re just starting up and need some experience, these platforms can be the best option for you.

While working for a web service like the ones I've mentioned before, or between two projects, you can also work on your own, but be wary of scams. This is a good direction to take because you can find additional work and will help you get a taste of how negotiations and transactions work online without the support of a platform which is useful in some cases but also takes a percentage of every project you complete and can slow you down when working with clients you already know.

When trying to work online on your own, it is very important to develop your portfolio because when it comes to working as a freelancer, the more presence you have online, the better.

Geralt - Freelance Worldwide via Wikimedia Commons
Geralt - Freelance Worldwide via Wikimedia Commons | Source

How can I stay clear of scams?

In the last chapter, I've mentioned the word 'scam'. Scams are a common problem in the online world. If you haven’t heard the term before, it refers to people trying to con you out of your hard earned cash and, just like in the real world, there are numerous scammers in the virtual world as well. There are several types of scams circulating the world today, especially because the authorities do very little to counter this kind of cybernetic theft.

I’ve encountered my share of scams during my time as a freelancer and I still do every now and then, but I’ve never been fooled by a scam so far so here are my top tips in avoiding them:

  1. Use your common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Scammers will promise you winning large sums of money for small or medium investments or ask for your personal data for various reasons. NEVER give your personal data, pictures of IDs and other sensitive information to strangers. This is a healthy habit to follow in the real world as well as the online world. I know it sounds trivial but you’d be surprised how many people fall for such scams. Scammers will appeal to your feelings like guilt or empathy or trying to make you feel comfortable in their presence (so be wary of strangers who use an unnecessarily friendly language). Remember that a legitimate businessman or businesswoman will make you business offers that make sense from a financial point of view and won’t appeal to your feelings.
  2. In the same way a person will try to scam you, there are also so-called “services” that make claims to get you rich for a small fee. Do some research before joining a website or service that asks for your money. By Google-ing the website’s name with the word scam added after it, you’ll usually find out if other people have been mistreated or even scammed by the said website or service.
  3. There are also web services out there that will use your content without giving any payment for your work. Some by incompetence while others by intent, the bottom line is that you won’t be rewarded by those platforms. Again, to spot the frauds you need to do some research before joining any platform. If there are more user complaints than congratulations, then, there is a problem with the platform. Note that there will always be happy users on any dodgy platform because some pay people for good reviews while other platforms are just Pyramidal Schemes that reward a minority of users while scamming the majority.

As in real life, lots of research and keeping your eyes wide open will spare you of any disappointments in the future.

Poll of the day

Why are you interested in working from home?

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What are the downfalls of working from home?

When working from home, whether you are paid per contract or hourly, you may find yourself procrastinating. It happens to the best of us :D as our homes can offer numerous distractions from work. It’s not that strange if you think about it as we build our homes for fun and relaxation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also work from there.

The easiest way would be to create a room specifically built for that purpose, you know, and office and create a schedule or your daily things-to-do and, easier said than done, stick to it. Self restrain is vital for any functional freelancer or online worker as no company will pay for us to relax and enjoy life :)).

Conclusion

Working from home can be a strange world to enter at first, but in the long term is more healthy (especially if you have the freedom to create your own schedule) and will offer you and your family more time reducing many chores like preparing for work and, especially, driving to and from work.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Radu Claudiu

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