I originally wrote this for my column on Entrepreneur, and it was later picked up by Business Insider. It performed very well so I figured I would share it here as well.
Does working from home or any remote location of your choice, while dictating your schedule and having complete control over your career sound good?
If so, you should consider starting an online career. It’s a lot easier than you might think — thanks to the internet, it’s actually quite simple, requiring much less startup capital than you might imagine.
With a combination of drive, determination and skill, your online career can start almost immediately.
Here are 10 that you could literally start today.
1. Virtual Assistant
With so many companies operating these days without a physical office location, it has opened up multiple remote opportunities for virtual assistants to handle a wide range of tasks. These include customer service duties, answering phones, setting appointments and screening emails.
You can start small with a single client and then once you identify your specialty or an area you want to focus on — social media customer service, for example — you can then begin to take on more clients, thus increasing your earning potential.
2. Business Coach
If you are an expert in a particular field, leverage your knowledge and become a coach, teaching students form all over the world. The internet allows you to reach anyone that is interested, regardless of their geographical location.
Take fellow Entrepreneur contributor Timothy Sykes for example. He is a very successful penny stock trader that used his knowledge and expertise to create a program that teaches his strategies to students that sign up for his challenge program.
3. Freelance Content Creator
Virtually every business is doing some form of content marketing these days — it’s been the buzzword for the past several years, but for good reason — it works. With everyone trying to capture attention, demand for excellent writers is at an all time high.
Anyone can publish content, but very few businesses are creating compelling content that commands attention and converts their audience into revenue. If you are a skilled writer there is plenty of lucrative opportunities waiting for you.
4. eBay Store Owner
Gary Vaynerchuk is a huge fan of garage sales, saying, “The garage sale eBay conversion has some of the biggest margins in the world.” The concept is very simple: buy low and sell high.
This is also a very viable option if you’re looking to raise startup funds. It’s a great bridge for those looking to start an online career but don’t want to abandon the security and paycheck of a 9 to 5 job, because you can hit garage sales on the weekend and handle your auction listings in the evening.
5. T-shirt E-Commerce Store
With several print on demand solutions available, it makes starting a t-shirt company much more affordable than it was years ago. In the past, you would have to order large quantities of shirts, in multiple colors and sizes, forcing you to guess what was going to sell.
Now, creative designs and the power of social media can get a t-shirt brand up and running — and generating revenue — almost overnight. Chummy Tees is a great example of how you can turn catchy tag-lines and creative designs into a profitable online business.
Consulting can prove to be a very lucrative business, granted the person offering their service knows what he or she is talking about. Everyone seems to be a consultant these days, and not only do you have to be able to actually provide value and deliver results, but you need a way to stand out and separate yourself from all of the mediocrity out there.
Over the past year I have transitioned my company from a service provider to a consulting firm. It took over five years of brand building to get to the point we are at now, where companies want to hire us to guide and advise their in-house marketing teams.
7. Affiliate Marketer
There is a wide range of affiliate offers to promote, each paying you for every lead or sale you are responsible for generating. You can promote these offers to an email list that you build, via a blog that you operate or across social media.
This will require more startup capital than the other suggestions on this list, because to really be successful you will need to do a lot of split-testing across multiple paid channels. The really successful affiliates aren’t afraid to spend money on testing and optimization.
8. Social Media Influencer
Yes, this is a real career in 2016. If you have a large and loyal following on social media, you could be earning money promoting products. A lot of money, in fact. Some social media influencers with high engagement are earning thousands of dollars per post, but for good reason: it works. Brands wouldn’t be shelling out that kind of money if they weren’t seeing a return.
YouTube creators who crush it can make millions of dollars a year in advertising revenue. Now, these are few and far between, but there is also a healthy population of creators that are making a comfortable living vlogging.
You have to have an interesting concept or story — people subscribe to channels that they can relate to. Just like a company needs a unique selling point to push a product, you need a have unique angle if you want to gain traction and attract a vlog following.
10. Graphic Designer or Web Developer
If you are a graphic designer or know how to write code, then there is a massive audience just waiting to hire you. As a freelancer, you control your hours and you get to pick and choose who you work for. You set your price, pick your projects and end up doing what you love while earning a comfortable living.
Just like in every industry, there are good freelancers and there are bad ones. Take a look at these tips on hiring a freelancer to see what people are looking for when seeking to hire.