Freelance Gigs Img

Part 1

When I became an Independent Contractor, my pay did not just decrease in dollar amount but in frequency as well. Yes, it’s hard to make ends meet but having a flexible schedule is well worth not having to put your child in daycare, in my opinion. Out of near desperation, I have discovered different ways to earn extra income during my idle moments. Just like other jobs, some worked and some ended up being a waste of my time. Here are some gigs I’ve done and still don’t mind doing whenever I get a chance. They are all relatively easy and pay CASH on time.

Fancy Hands

If you have always wondered what Virtual Assisting is all about, this company will give you a snapshot of some projects you may have to tackle if you decide to become a VA. The ones I’ve done involved:

  • Research
  • Data entry
  • Transcription
  • Making, cancelling, and/or modifying reservations and appointments
  • Composing and emailing letters
  • Creating vCards
  • Social Media posts, etc.

The types of tasks are ever changing and new ones are being added to the queue as they come in. A quick tip: Always make sure to read all the instructions before clicking the Accept button and make sure it is something you can complete. Claiming a task and then unclaiming will only do harm to your trustworthiness and Fancy Hands’ system response time.

(Click here for a list of the most common requests)

So is it worth your time? This gig seems promising. The pay rate is anywhere from $2 to $8 per task (via Dwolla or PayPal). Since the company has grown a great deal since they launched, they have rolled out other ways for assistants to make even more money. They have an Assistant Referral Program, which pays you a fixed amount for every new customer you get to sign up. You can also get a slight pay increase by moving up to Mentor status. It’s worth checking out.

Field Agent

This is a free smartphone app that pays you, the shopper, to gather information for their clients – Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, Walgreens, to name a few.

Getting started is a piece of cake – download the app and as soon as you complete your agent profile, you can immediately start looking for jobs near you. The majority of the assignments are easy and only take a few minutes to complete (considering it does not take you an hour to find the product in question).

The majority of the assignments I’ve completed have been audits, which require you to check the status of something like a product, display, or section of the shelf. Pay attention to the directions. They are easy, but specific (store address, department, etc). Make sure to take the picture(s) exactly as you’re instructed and don’t forget to include all of your answers to their question(s) or you will not get paid.

They have recently added other task categories like Scavenger Hunts and Photo Shoots. Unlike Audits, you’re able to complete Scavenger Hunts at your own home or even at a friend’s if you can get a hold of the item Field Agent is looking for. Make sure the UPC matches before accepting a job. A picture of the UPC/barcode on the actual item must be submitted along with other images they ask for.

Photo Shoots are not common, but pay pretty well. As I’m writing this, I have one available to me and it pays $15. These jobs require you to go to a specific location and take several pictures in order to complete the task- typically 8 images (6 specific and 2 that are up to you).

Pay range for this gig is anywhere from $3 to $12 each (via PayPal or Dwolla). Worth it? No doubt. Why not make money while running errands?

Paid Viewpoint

I don’t usually do surveys. Most are not worth it to me, but this one is different. It has been the only survey website I’ve stayed with. It is straightforward, user-friendly and it can easily be done on your computer or smartphone with their mobile friendly website.

Once registered, you will start receiving alerts via email. Click the link provided and it will take you straight to the survey. Some are quick screeners and some are more detailed. Survey topics vary – I’ve had some asking about my aromatherapy fragrance preferences, auto care habits, and I’ve even been asked to help name a new mobile app.

The questions are short, and so are the answers. You’ll never have to guess how much longer you have left with the built in timer provided on the bottom of the screen. If you feel it will take too long, you can back out and come back at a later time, if it’s still available. Keep in mind that most surveys disappear after some time so if you get an invite for one that pays at least a couple of dollars, do it. Most of them only take 2-3 minutes on average. Also, the ones that pay higher tend to be on a first come/first serve basis, so get clickin’ as soon as you get that email!

The pay is different for each survey. From experience, I can say anywhere from .10 for quick screeners to about $3 (sometimes more) for the more in-depth ones. They let you cash out once your earnings hit $15 via Paypal.
Last minute tip for this one: Keep your Traitscore high (max is 10,000) by being honest and consistent with your answers. The higher this number is, the higher the rewards and more money making opportunities.

You can click here if you’d like to sign up. Once you’re registered, you are welcome to post your referral link in the comments section below to share for others to use as well. If not, that’s fine too. :-)

Browse through these gigs and let me know which ones worked and which didn’t. Part II will be posted soon.

 

10 Tips Blog Image 650x429

When I first started dreaming about working from home, I had all these perfect images in my head that made me even more desperate to be a home based worker. I thought about sitting in front of my computer in my pajamas, lounging while sipping on some delicious beverage, maybe even slack a bit…I mean, take my time. Well…my dream came true, but not completely. I was finally offered to telecommute by an awesome company! I thought to myself “It will be perfect. What could go wrong?” A few months into it I came to a realization – working from home does not exempt you from burnout. It WILL happen if you don’t make an effort to help prevent it. Through the years, I’ve developed my own ways to cope. Here are my top 10 tips to avoid burnout while working from home.

1. Take breaks – Be sure to leave your home office/desk. Do something non-work related (don’t even check emails). If you need to check your personal emails or if you must check Facebook, do it on your phone but stay away from your work area.
Take a quick walk and do some stretches while you’re at it. It’s necessary to get the blood flowing especially if you’ve been sitting in front of your computer for a while. An app called Focus Booster has helped me better manage my time.
2. Socialize – I personally never thought this would help, but you’ll be surprised. If you don’t have anyone else in the house to talk to, try calling friends, chat with your neighbors, or other parents at your kid’s school (if your lunch hour includes picking up your child). It helps take your mind off work.
3. Keep your energy level up – Stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks during your break(s). Avoid heavy carbs like bread, pasta, or rice – these have been the reason for my intense desire to doze off in the middle of my shift. Think fruits and nuts.
4. Get dressed as if you’re leaving the house. Getting dressed naturally boosts confidence, which will help you get you into work mode.
No matter what you do, do NOT turn your computer on before doing this…or you will get sucked into that vortex. Before you know it, it’s 5pm and you still haven’t taken a shower.
5. Unplug at the end of your work day – turn off your work computer when your shift ends or if you’re a freelancer, set a “closing” time and stick to it. If that time is at 5:30, then by 5:31 you should not be checking any more emails or responding to any more calls. They can wait. Your sanity is more important.
6. Sleep is not overrated – If you want to function well the next day, get at least 7-9 hours per night. No ifs and/or buts.
7. Cross train – Learn a new skill and set a new goal for yourself. Take on a new client or a side gig. Changing it up a bit helps fight boredom
8. Don’t push it – When you start feeling overwhelmed, learn how to walk away and regroup. Seek emotional support from family members and/or friends. Venting and talking things over with a loved one has ALWAYS helped me. Don’t keep it in. Always ask yourself if the stress is worth your health. The answer will always be no.
9. Have a plan B – if you’re unhappy or just can’t stand your job, then it may be a good idea to look for another one. Don’t ever think you’re stuck. There are other opportunities that may be better suited for you.
10. Create a comfortable & clutter free workspace – invest in some type of file rack/drawer – it will save you a LOT of time in the long run. Make sure your work area is set up properly. The last thing you want is an injury. Pay attention to your posture and how everything is set up. There’s a ton of tips for effective ergonomics out there. Here’s an example of how your desk should be set up:

(Click Image to Enlarge)

importance-of-posture

(Image from: http://happyhomeoffice.com/latest-articles/)

Hopefully this helps! If you have some that you would like to share, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Top Telecommuting Companies Offering Work From Home

Work from home is not as underground and mysterious as it was in previous years. Leading fortune 500 companies that offer remote based work is on the rise. In fact, a study by the software company Wrike,  shows that 83% of employees work remotely at least part of the day. So ignore the next person who tells you to forget about working from home, claiming real telecommuting jobs don’t exist. It’s not just a misunderstanding- it’s an out-dated mindset. In fact, here are just 3 of the leading companies you are familiar with that regularly offer work from home positions.

 

1. AppleCare

Apple is possibly one of the most forward-thinking companies in the world. Which is why it shouldn’t be surprising to learn they offer work from home jobs. Not only does Apple have telecommuting positions, they have some of the most sought after work. Current and previous Apple workers are claiming to be satisfied with their jobs and most would recommend to friends and family.

AppleCare is the customer service side of Apple products. Customer service is the type of position that can usually be done from a home office with a computer, internet and in some cases – a headset. AppleCare and iTunes hire phone and chat agents to assist with customer service and tech support issues.

 

2. Amazon

Amazon needs no introduction. From selling us low-cost products, books, Kindles and digital services like movies and tv shows, Amazon is a household favorite. With Amazon’s net sales amounting to $25.59 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, it’s no reason telecommuters are eager to land a job with the successful web business.

Amazon, just like Apple, hire remote workers to handle customer service from home. Additionally, Amazon hires for many other remote based positions- usually more technically related. While some of their remote jobs will require you to live in specific states, Amazon hires remote workers from all around the US and on a fairly regular basis.

 

3. American Express

American Express is more than just a credit card company. They offer their customer’s services that range from travel planning to assisted shopping. Customer support is important to this respected business ranking 13th in the Forbes top 50 list of 2013.

American Express hires a lot of home workers including customer support, travel agents and planners. There is a variety of positions available to remote workers and they pay above standard in the industry with top work at home workers earning as much as $28 per hour for basic customer support and sales.

 

The hottest work from home companies are offering more than just customer service based positions. Watch our job board for other respected and recognized companies offering work in positions ranging from social media, writing and more. The world is evolving with the technological advances- making telecommuting not just the way of the future but standard and common.

We list available work at home positions from all three of the listed companies in today’s article on the job board and we alert job seekers via email if they are subscribed.

how to work from home with infant

5 Ways to Work at Home With an Infant

From Jess Weaver

Most mothers who work at home will be faced with the struggle of trying to work at home with an infant. Pregnancy is one thing, but when that baby comes home, working from home can be a bit of a challenge. However, just like any other form of opposition, you will be able to overcome it and these tips will help:

#1. Be Patient

Being patient can be a really hard virtue to keep whenever you have a little person running your schedule. Although the upcoming weeks and months will be hard, you have to be patient while your little guy or girl gets used to the world. Just remember that your old ways of working have been thrown out the window and now you are faced following your infant’s schedule.

 

#2. Obtain Flexible Work

Although this may be a little harder, having a job with a flexible schedule is a little easier with an infant. You want to know why? In the beginning infants have their own schedules and it’s hard to commit to jobs, when you do not know what the next moment holds. When you have a flexible job or schedule, you can keep your boss and baby happy.

 

#3. Get Lots of Fun Gadgets

They say that baby accessories are not necessary. But when you work from home, you need many baby toys! You do not have to spend a lot on these toys. Ask friends and family to borrow baby toys that they are not using. You can also go to garage sales and thrift shops to find a variety of toys. Keep in mind, your baby is not going to love every baby accessory you have, which is why you need to have variety. Sell what your baby doesn’t like and keep the rest.

 

#4. Put Your Spouse to Work

If you are a work at home, you may have a spouse who thinks you are super woman. However, now is the time to make them aware that you need their support more than ever before. Have a chat with your spouse and let them know when and how you need their help. If you do not communicate with them, then how will they ever know how to help you? Your spouse can help with the baby while you get small chunks of work time in. Speaking of smaller chunks…

 

#5. Work in Smaller Time Chunks

While working from home with an infant, you will not be able to work in longer stretches, unless they are sleeping. That’s why you should get used to working in smaller chunks.  The baby might only be able to stay occupied for a ½ hour or so at a time. Use your time management skills to help you decide which projects you can do in smaller periods of time. This will help you save your larger projects for when the baby is sleeping and you can work for a longer slot of time.

Working from home with a baby is not easy, but you can make it work. Just remember to be patient, work in smaller time chunks, and ask for help from your spouse when you need it.

Have you ever worked from home with an infant? Please share your tips!

After reading through the tips to be a pro eBay seller, you may be ready to get started making money from home by selling items on eBay. However, you will also want to be sure to avoid these commonly made mistakes new eBay sellers make.

Drop Shipping is one of the Top Mistakes eBay Sellers Make

This may sound appealing to new eBay sellers because you can get an abundance of items for a low price. However, what if you purchase a good amount of items and put hundreds of dollars into this investment and the items will not sell! It is much safer to start off by selling items you already have and buying items from garage sales and consignment sales. By playing it safe and staying conservative with your purchases you will be more successful in the long run.

 

Not Keeping Track of Ebay Fees

A good idea when you start selling on Ebay is to set up a simple system on Excel to track all of your seller fees. Many new Ebay sellers can easily make this potential money draining mistake. The fees will not be a huge amount, but every little bit does add up after time and it is wise to keep an accurate track of your profits so you know what is selling well and what is not.

 

Setting the Starting Bid Too High

When I first started selling on Ebay, I always set my auctions at .99, which is the lowest amount you can start your auction at. This also keeps down your fees, because the higher you start your item the more Ebay will take from your profit. However, if you are selling something that is very expensive and you are worried it will not sell for as much as you would like then by all means start the auction at a higher price. Another easy fix is to set the auction up as a buy it now price so it will sell at the exact price you would like it to go for and sometimes when selling an item this way, it can sell quicker.

 

Not Being Specific on Description Of Items Selling

Lacking enough specific information about your item/s is another major mistake that ebay sellers tend to make, especially when just starting out. If you are lacking information on the description of your item, then it is more likely the people bidding on you auction may be afraid to bid because they do not have the info they want on the item they would like to purchase. Some very important item specifics to add, would be measurements, lengths and the age of an item.

 

Poor Customer Service

Not responding to customers in a timely manner and simply not responding to customers at all is a pretty big mistake to make when selling on Ebay. Your customers are your business and if you neglect them, you are basically neglecting your business.

 

By learning the common mistakes that people tend to make on Ebay, it will hopefully assist you in being a more successful and profitable Ebay seller. The items you are selling should sell at a higher price, which is the main goal when selling on Ebay, you certainly do not want to loose money!

6 Website Usability Testing Sites

Posted by | April 22, 2013 | Blog Post

website usability testing sites

Usability Testing Sites

Usability testing sites are a popular way to make money online. These companies hire testers to test websites and software to determine how user friendly they are, as well as to find potential bugs. The work can be difficult and tedious, as often there are very detailed instructions that must be followed. Typically there is a “test” to determine whether or not potential testers possess the attention to detail that is necessary for these types of jobs.

Another thing that is a drawback for some is that some of these sites require the work to be done while being recorded, often on video. Those that have an issue with being recorded, whether visually or vocally, may be uncomfortable with this. They do not all have these types of requirements however.

The work can be patchy, with plenty of assignments one day and none for a few days. If you enjoy the work and are good at it, you may be able to work for a couple of different companies and let the incomes supplement each other. Most of these have an average pay of around ten dollars a test.

The Following are 6 Usability Testing Sites

Find more Usability Sites at the Work at Home Job Directory

 

These all hire at various times and have varying hiring techniques and policies. If you are interested in this type of work, review each site to become familiar with their application requirements and keep an eye on them so you will know when hiring opens.

Usability testing can be a great way to make some cash online if you enjoy the work. There are several sites that hire testers, and while few offer a ton of steady work, having a few usability eggs in your basket can result in a nice income if you are diligent. If the work interests you, these 6 companies should definitely be on your list to take a look at.

Popular Items to Sell online

In my 6 of years of selling experience I have come to know some of the best selling items on eBay. I will not guarantee that if you sell these items you will become an instant success on eBay, but it definitely is possibility. Make sure to do your research on items that have already sold on eBay to check what prices you should be paying for your products that you are going to sell. Most importantly always remember to have fun on your eBay hunting adventures!

 

Name Brand Toddler Girl Clothing

My top pick for toddler girl clothing to sell on eBay is by far, Gymboree. I am choosing this brand because of it’s popularity and also because it can can be found with some effort for low prices at garage sales (be sure not to over pay!) and I have even found beautiful Gymboree dresses at Goodwill and other thrift stores.

Another popular brand and good eBay seller is Baby Gap, which can easily be found at garage sales and thrift stores. One important tip to remember about selling any type of clothing on eBay is that you list items 1 to 2 months before the new season begins. You will get top dollar this way for your items. By following this rule you could see your clothes as being a highly profitable item that you are selling on eBay!

 

Collectibles are Highly Profitable Items to Sell on eBay

This is always a good area to start with because many people today have collections of different toys, books and other vintage items that can possibly sell very well on eBay. Even if you have collectibles that you think no one would ever want, you may be wrong. You never know, that old smurf doll that you had as a child from the 1980′s, might be worth $50.00 to someone! I truly believe that someone’s trash can be another person’s treasure.

 

Antique Furniture and Housewares

Antiques sell exceptionally well and are very profitable items to sell on eBay. The reason for this that many people collect a wide variety of antiques. Even people who do not collect antiques may be looking for an unique lamp or piece of furniture at some point in their life. I personally purchase antique furniture because I know it will last forever and this is the general thinking of most eBay purchasers.

Even though antiques are very popular on eBay, antiques can be a bit more tricky to find at low prices. The one place to never purchase antiques to resell is from dealers because they know what the top dollar is going to be for the items they possess. I found many awesome deals from garage sales, estate sales and sometimes from thrift stores.

If you do not wish to trouble yourself with selling large pieces of furniture, you may want to look for items like lamps and antique toys.

 

Name Brand Shoes

Good name brand shoes have always sold well for me on eBay. I have sold mens, womens, and toddler boy and girls shoes with much success. I usually find them at thrift stores and garage sales. I do usually have to clean them up a bit unless they are brand new. You can also buy an inexpensive pair of laces to spruce them up a bit!

A good brand to look for is Nike shoes, these generally sell really well if they are in good condition.

 

The great thing about selling on eBay is that not only can it be a very profitable business, but you also get to set your own hours. It is also a lot of fun hunting for your items!

If you follow my simple rules for buying and selling the most profitable items on Ebay, you could be another Ebay success story in no time!.

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