I've been working from home as a small business owner for 9 years now. Here's what I think is the quickest and easiest way to get started and how to get the capital you need to buy time or fund your ventures.

I got laid off in 08. The job market was shit then so I started looking into how to make some side money online.

I found upwork.com (formerly elance) and mturk.com and realized people would pay me to transcribe. I made 15k that way over 4 months doing it from home. This is something I would definitely recommend to anyone because we can all type. And while it is slow at first, I eventually got to the point where I could type 1 hour of audio in 75 mins.

I chose transcribing. But what’s great about upwork is there’s literally hundreds of things people are willing to pay someone to do. Whether that’s grammar, editing, graphic design, website building, literally anything and everything. So think of what skills you have and search on upwork to see if people will pay for you to do it.

Once you’ve found something someone will pay you for, the hard part is actually getting the gigs. There will definitely be other people trying to get the job too, and everyone submits an application with what’s called a bid. Which you have to pay for, but they are cheap.

Here’s how you can increase your chances of landing your gigs.

It will be slow at first, but as soon as you complete a couple you will get reviews and it will become much easier to land others.

First things first, whatever thing you decide to do or focus on, look at the profiles of top workers / freelancers in that space and try to make yours as similar and professional looking as possible. There’s good advice on YouTube so I recommend checking out some videos (both when it comes to crafting your profile, and submitting proposals for gigs. However, you can do just fine by using others as an example or starting point.)

Next, you need to craft your proposal.

This can seem daunting at first. But instead you can be smart about it. Create a separate account on upwork as a job lister and list your job for free. (You may even be able to list your job w/ the same account.) Find people who submitted and are the highest rated and craft your proposal after theirs. You should be able to list jobs for free still.

Once you have your proposal, the next is getting jobs.

It will be tough at first. But to get around this in the early stages I always told people I was willing to do it for a discounted rate of 30% or more if they would leave an honest review. After I did 5 of those and finally had some reviews, it then became much easier to get jobs.

Another thing I would focus on is getting repeat business.

When I sent the work to the job provider I would tell them if they are happy with the work I would be happy to continue to do any future work for them so they knew they would have quality they rely on and so they wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of listing a job each time on upwork. They could just email me and I’d get it done right away.

Once I obtained their private email address, I would then take jobs outside of upwork and accept payment via PayPal and google and Amazon payments. I would also offer them discounts if they referred anyone. This encouraged people to send their friends my way, especially because I always focused on making it the best quality I could. Which, you should focus on quality too. Good work makes happy customers and happy customers makes more customers.


After a while, I was able to charge a premium for my work because I had so many reviews. I went from making $20/hr of audio to $60-$80 minimum depending on the job. Sometimes I even made $100 or more per an hour of audio. So while it does take a little elbow grease at first, consider it as an investment in yourself that will pay off a little down the road because you’ll be able to charge a premium for your work.

Whatever you do, if you decide to take this route, DO NOT get involved with the people who promise to show you ways of making money online if you buy their book or whatever. It’s 95% of the time a scam and they are very good at manipulating people to spend money they don’t have.

After a while you will have a consistent list of repeat customers, a strong profile with good reviews, and you’ll even be pulling in more work through bids. You can then hire people to work under you, or simply work as little or as much as you want.

You could even take this formula and make a business out of it full time if you wanted. That’s up to you.

This gave me the money I needed to live frugally, and fund my other ventures. Now I own a website or two and have several different ways of making money from home. I run a two man operation, just me and my support guy… and I am able to pull in a decent six figure income.

I could make a lot more, but I focus more on time rather than money at this point in my life. So, I only work on average 10 hours a week. However, with more work I could easily double or triple what I make. It tooks me all of 7 months to get to 100k/year. Now, I make more than 100, but less than 400. So working from home is VERY doable as long as you are dedicated and put in the work.

This is by far the easiest way you can make side income or even a full time income on the computer. I hope this helps! I’m happy to answer any questions about running an online business or starting a freelance business.

p.s Transcription Is just what I chose to focus on. There are many other things you could do instead, and the same focus and methodology applies as above. Someone commented saying they made a full time business via upwork through voice acting. Someone else made money doing investment presentations. There’s tons of possibilities. Also keep in mind there will always be people trying to lowball. But they get what they pay for which is a ESL person who may not speak well or even do the work well. There are good jobs out there. Be sure to broaden your scope to other freelancing sites as well. For example I have friends on Fiverr who make $1k to $2k sales doing video animation with a software and it only takes them a day of work. There’s plenty of money to be made.

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5 Entrepreneurs Whose Ambition Has Helped Turn The World Into A Better Place

History has given us countless examples of entrepreneurs who have helped to shape the world we live in today. The likes of Edison, Ford and Disney, to name but a few – all with inventions and business ideas that have hugely impacted our daily lives. But who are the modern day entrepreneurs who have used their ambition to turn the world into a better place?

Here, we take a look at five individuals who have not only changed the way we live, work or think, but have had a positive social impact too. Prepare to feel inspired!

1. Mark Zuckerberg

This list would not be complete without a mention of Mr Zuckerberg, the 31 year old billionaire. Love or hate Facebook, you can’t deny that his creation definitely changed the world we live in.

Before the social media network, people relied on emails and phone calls to keep in touch with friends and family around the world. But the launch of Facebook in 2006 brought people across the globe a lot closer together. Now it’s easier than ever for its 1.5 billion active monthly users to keep up to date with friends and acquaintances.

From a business point of view, Zuckerberg arguably helped to launch the power of content marketing too, with 100 million hours of video watched on the channel last year. In addition, advertising revenues on Facebook top $26 billion, as businesses clamber to connect with their customers on a personal level.

What is humbling about Mark Zuckerberg’s story is the fact that he has gone on to use his success for good. In 2009 he founded the Chan Zuckerberg initiative with his wife, which has since supported a number of health, education, scientific research, and energy projects.

One of the foundation’s main aims is to pledge $3 billion over the next 10 years to help cure, prevent and treat diseases. As Zuckerberg says in his own words: “If we can develop new tools, we can empower scientists all around the world to make much faster progress and breakthroughs”.

2. Blake Mycoskie

Everyone needs shoes, but what if buying shoes meant that you could make a difference in a developing country? This is the idea that Blake Mycoskie had when he created his social enterprise TOMS in 2006, with the aim of donating one pair of shoes to a needy child in the developing world for every pair bought.

Known as the pioneering ‘one for one’ company, TOMS was founded after Mycoskie visited Argentina. Here, he witnessed many children growing up without shoes, and wanted to do something to help. Since then, the company has grown into one of the world’s most recognized social brands, with over 75 million pairs of shoes donated to children around the world.

As well as making a difference to many lives, TOMS has grown into a successful retail business, with annual sales of $500 million made through its ecommerce store and retail outlets. In addition, it has also positioned itself as a cult fashion brand, with awareness at the same level as brands like Nike and Converse (according to Mycoskie).

3. Arianna Huffington

In recent years the media industry has seen a massive shift. Nowadays, 38% of people in the US go online to get their daily dose of news, with The Huffington Post being one of the prime sources.

Created in 2005 by Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post is a news and blogging website with over 200 million unique views a month globally. After a failed campaign to run for Governor of California in 2003, Arianna and co-founder Ken Lerer came up with the idea for a combined news and collective blogging platform – and the rest, as they say, is history.

With over 4000 contributors, the news organization allows both well known and lesser known names to have their voice and opinions heard on a range of liberal topics. Over the last 12 years, The Huffington Post has redefined the way that people receive their news, with local versions now available across the world too.

4. Steve Jobs

How many people do you know who own an iPhone, an iPad, or an Apple Mac computer? Well, that’s all thanks to a guy called Steve Jobs.

As one of the founders of Apple, Steve Jobs has become known of one of the greatest tech entrepreneurs that the world has ever seen. He has arguably helped to change the way that millions of people live their lives on a daily basis. His vision paved the way for category-changing products that also looked visually appealing. In the process, Apple created a cult-like following across the world, going on to achieve a total value of over $600 billion in 2015.

As he said in his own words, “people are basically good and smart, and if you give them the tools, they’ll do wonderful things”.

5.  Oprah Winfrey

This media mogul has become one of the most recognized faces in the US. Not only has she helped to develop and change the talk show genre with her 25 years in the business, but she has spread messages of positivity and self-improvement across the country by sharing her own personal experiences.

Born in 1954, Oprah overcame poverty in Mississippi to pursue a career in journalism. The Oprah Winfrey Show debuted in 1986, and that same year she created Harpo Productions Inc and began producing the show herself. Amassing a wealth of a staggering $3 billion, Oprah is also a keen philanthropist and has donated an estimated $350m of her own money to charitable causes through three foundations.

In addition to her media success, Oprah has helped to change the way that Americans access the publishing industry. Through her popular book club (where a book was picked each month), bookstores started dedicating entire sections to the books she had recommended to viewers. Achieving $55 million worth of book sales in the process, it’s fair to say that Oprah has reinvented reading for many people.

This list barely scrapes the surface of the many inspiring entrepreneurs who are shaping the modern world. Who inspires you? Tell us about your own role models (and why you respect them) in the comments.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer.

I work with small businesses and young entrepreneurs to create effective content and digital marketing strategies. Always happy to share my knowledge – ask me anything!

Your Instagram Account Is Getting Killed for Buying Likes! Do these instead.

I want to let you know that buying likes, or automation (bots) is never the way to go to the explore page! It’s not worth the money! You really should never ever buy likes! Because a lot of services promise real likes and that you will hit the explore page and the engagement on your account will be sky high, but this isn’t true at all. Most of the accounts are fake and it’s a temporary boost for your account. I will tell you what you should do instead!

I will explain you how to understand the algorithm works.

Instagram wants to make sure that their users are on Instagram as long as possible. (When you click a link, you are still on the IG app). So to make sure you stay around for a long time, Instagram is tracking how much users are engaging with a certain account, and when more accounts engage with this account, the account will be higher up in the news feed. (So if you like a picture, you give Instagram a signal that you like this account and this way you will be longer on the platform)

Instagram also uses this information to show you similar accounts on the explore page, because you showed that you like the account. This will make sure you are longer on the platform. Get it now? ;)

Second of all Instagram has a niche categoriser which means that when you start your Instagram account the algorithm will start tracking all your actions in order to categorise your account:

  • what posts you comment on
  • what posts you view
  • what posts you like
  • what people like your post
  • what people comment on your post
  • who you follow
  • who follow you
  • what type of content you post (this is calculated by their pixel calculator, so Instagram actually knows if you post a Lamborghini or a lipstick or anything)
  • what type of captions you use
  • what hashtags you use
  • and a lot of other things

All this information is being used to categorise your account and put you in a certain niche (for those of you who don’t know what a niche is, a niche is a specific type of something like luxury, travel, photography etc.) You have 2 types of accounts; instagram users and instagram influencers.

These 2 types of accounts are put into the same niche box if they have the same interest, so if you’re a luxury Influencer you want to end up in the luxury niche box in order to get seen by your targeted audience that’s been proven to like luxury content. So what you want to be doing if you’re an influencer:

  • Like, Comment & view content within your niche
  • Follow other influencers in your niche
  • Post content in your niche
  • Use hashtags in your niche

If you do this right Instagram will categorise your account in the niche box you want to be in order to get engagement from your targeted audience, because when your targeted audience (the users) starts engaging with your account your account will spread on the explore page of the niche you’re in.

Third thing I want to discuss is getting on the explore page. Many people find this difficult to do, but there is a secret formula you want to be using and it’s very simple.

In order to hit the explore page and reach your targeted audience there’s a few things you want to do/get:

  • Get influencers in your niche to engage with your content, here’s an example: If you have a luxury account and you get liked by another luxury account that for example has 100,000 followers and 20,000 users that are actively engaging with that account, the post that got liked by that account will show up on the explore page of their 20,000 active users, however if the account for example likes 1,000 post per day of luxury accounts those 20,000 people will get divided by those 1,000 posts which means your content will only get shown to 20 people hence you want to get as many accounts in your niche to engage with your content so your content shows up on the explore page of as many people in your niche as possible.

Now you got on the explore page however, there are so many posts the user can choose from so you want to be using viral content. But you might be asking, how do I find viral content?

  • Find a page in your niche that’s already performing really good then calculate the average likes of their recent 12 posts, so for example if 12 posts got a total of 94,547 likes you do: 94,547 likes/12 posts = 7,878 likes on average, now put 30% on top of that so 7,878 x 1,30 = 10,242 likes… Find all pictures with more than 10,242 on that page because your targeted audience already showed you that they like that picture more than the other pictures which gives you a higher chance of going viral.

So why should you never buy likes!

The average account you get likes from when buying likes has 100 ‘followers’, ZERO engagement, super inactive, like 10000 posts every day which causes them to be categorised in 100’s of niches because they like so much different content in different niches every day… Just to come back to all the sections above and put it all together:

  1. Getting likes from those fake accounts screws the categorisation of you account and makes it harder for Instagram to put you in the correct niche box and you won’t be able to reach your targeted niche box to get the engagement from your targeted audience.
  2. You’ll never ever hit explore page by using these likes and here’s why: These accounts have ZERO active users and they like thousands of posts every day, so lets say they do have 2 active users and they like 5,000 posts every day which means your post will be on 2/5000 = 0,0004 people’s explore page IF they are in the same niche box as you which they’re not so just equals 0,0000000000000000000001 people….
  3. it hurts your goodness score because Instagram tracks EVERYTHING, Instagram literally stalks you… Instagram actually knows when an account is fake and it also knows when you’re receiving fake likes which causes your goodness score (score that gets calculated by instagram by tracking all negative and positive activity data on your account) to go down drastically because Instagram doesn’t like fake likes…. So what does it mean if your goodness score goes down, it means that Instagram will favour other accounts in your niche over yours, which causes that the audience you actually want to target to end up on a competitors page…

Conclusion of this: you should never ever buy likes and don’t believe people that tell you they will help.

So how do you want to actually get to the explore page, it’s quite simple:

  • Get categorised in the right niche box using the methods described above
  • Get likes from accounts in your niche (by getting into engagement groups with accounts in your niche, if you need help with those engagement groups, contact me :))
  • Be consistent, so post on the same times every day so your audience know when to expect a post from you

How to get most engagement from the explore page:

  • Post Viral pictures and use engaging captions with a good CTA (‘click to action’, so put something in the caption like tag 3 friends … )
  • For content creators: Find an account that is similar to yours and that is already performing really good, like Picasso said: good artist copy, great artist steal, I’m not saying you should steal their content, but steal their content strategy and make it even better

Why didn’t I mention hashtags:

  • Hashtags don’t get you to the explore page, hashtags are a tool Instagram uses to categorise your account which eventually plays a big part into getting to the explore page and you can leverage hashtags in order to make people find your content through them searching on certain keywords in Instagram’s search bar. Make sure when you’re using hashtags that you don’t use the biggest possible when you’re just starting out and have low engagement, see it like this: Using big hashtags is like whispering your message during the Super Bowl, no one is going to hear you, same goes for when you don’t have a lot of engagement, your post will float down the hashtag feed within seconds, use smaller hashtags when you don’t have a lot of engagement on your posts yet in order to get some attention to your post.

All credits to Sem Buit and his team! <3

posted by SevenForces