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.

post by s1wg4u

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