I hired Alex from Bucharest, Romania for a quick graphics design job for $10. He was the first person to reply to my job posting on Upwork. He had no proven experience and no profile reviews. But he had the qualifications I was looking for so I gave him the opportunity to complete the job.
There are a lot of different ways to make money online from the comfort of your home. Some require fewer skills than others and can earn you a little extra income immediately (filling out surveys for example). Others require vision and long term commitment. For example, becoming a professional blogger (or online business entrepreneur like myself) may take years.
But what if you have no money to get started?
What if you live in a country where there are fewer opportunities to sign up for some of the work from home jobs?
There are hundreds of thousands of part-time and full-time contractors working online around the world. And they all started exactly where you might be right now – with no experience, with little or no money, and few prospects.
But they still found a path to financial freedom. Like most good things, it will take time and commitment. Here is a step-by-step process to get started as a contractor so you can start earning money online from home.
All you need is a computer. There is no money required to get started. In fact, if someone asks you for money up-front, it’s probably a scam.
1. Take an inventory of your skills
- Design graphics
- Do Internet research
- Sales and marketing
There are hundreds of job categories you can do online. The quickest way to earning money is to use the skills you already have.
2. Take free online courses to increase your knowledge
What if you want to get into a field where you don’t have the necessary skills yet? There are no shortage of free university courses where you can learn any skill you wish to develop. Here are a few:
3. Apply for jobs on Upwork.com
I hire people from all over the world on Upwork (like Alex from Romania). It’s one of the largest sites that offer contract labor for all kinds of tasks.
In my businesses I’ve spent over $50,000 on contractors I found on Upwork (formerly oDesk and eLance). I’ve been using the service for more than five years now. And I’m just one business owner!
4. Work for free to get started
But I have to pay the bills!!!
Yes, I get it. But if you continue to do what you’ve always done you will continue to get what you’ve always had.
In my first business I was a partner in, I had a day job. I worked on my side business nights and weekends. I didn’t get paid for three years. And while that might be a little extreme – today I’m financially free and work because I want to and not because I have to.
Sacrifice is required if you want to get ahead.
It’s easier to break into freelance work if you have experience. On Upwork if you can do a couple of small jobs for free in exchange for a review, you’ll break into paid gigs faster. Many times I’ve posted a job and had a candidate do the work for free before I’ve even hired them. It’s always a quick job that will take them 5-10 minutes, but it would take me hours. In exchange, I hire them for $5 and give them a good review. It’s a win-win.
That doesn’t mean you have to work for free for months or years. But you do have to stand out from the crowd and be willing to do some quick jobs for free or for very little to start building your reputation.
See this post from my friend Dolores who did exactly what I suggested and how she got some extra money:
You might even consider some of the other ways you can be your own boss and make money from home:
There is no shortage of opportunities. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection to get started.
The one thing that separates those who will make it and those who will be wondering a year from now why nothing has changed is your beliefs and your persistence. Don’t wait another day – get started right now by following the steps above.