The fastest, easiest and most guaranteed way to earning a remote income is freelancing. It took me only 6 months to establish a consistent income through freelancing and it is now my primary source on income. It just comes down to:
- Learn A Skill
- Get Hired
- Work Remotely (Travel or From Home)
Step 1. Pick something that can be done remotely and that you are naturally suited for. In school were you better at maths and logic? Then anything with programming is great for you. Did you have a knack for English (language)? Copy writer or SEO specialist (very lucrative) would be your thing. More artsy? Graphic designer or web designer. Good with people? Marketing or Google adwords specialist. There are literally hundreds of opportunities. Here is a list of 50+ jobs that you can do remotely. It only contains remote jobs and ranks them by medium income and skill level.
Step 2. Start learning something that interests you. Don’t listen to the noise and self doubts. Focus only on being better today than you were yesterday. This is a mantra I like to say to myself when I wakeup.
Learning any of these remote skills online is an absolute breeze now. YouTube has countless free resources and channels of every single topic. Lynda.com (Click here to try free for 10 days) is a more complete resource and comes at a small price. I’ve often asked myself that if these tools were around when I went to college, would I have gone and spent $40k? Or would I have spent $200 and a year learning a skilled craft?
Step 3. Build a portfolio. It doesn’t have to be big. Just something to show people. Reach out to friends and family and ask if they need *blank* – Do they need a website built? A new logo? Some copy? Whatever you have chosen to build a portfolio.
Step 4. Get that first client! You know where I got my first client? Craigslist. I put up an ad for web design and priced really low. I wasn’t concerned about making money yet. I still needed to grow my skills and portfolio but it was time to start making a small supplemental income from it. Put up ads on Craigslist, sign up with Elance or Odesk and start bidding. It only took me a few days to get my first client. Use this momentum. As you are working on this project keep looking for more. Post at least an ad a day and bid on 5 projects a day. If you are getting nothing double your posts and double it again.
Remember to be confident in your writing even though you might be unsure of yourself and new path.
Step 5. Keep building. Now that you have a few clients under your belt, you know the routine. You know what to expect and your skills and portfolio has grown. The good thing about getting those cheap clients in the beginning is that they have friends. I don’t know about you but when a friend recommends a barber, an accountant, a trainer, 9 times out of 10 that is who I am going with. Shoot them an email a few weeks later and ask for them to keep their ears out. They will often refer you to someone.
Step 6. Slowly raise your price. As you start relying on referrals (more referrals beget more referrals) you can start upping your price. You are also getting better at what you do. It is the natural progression of things.
Step 7. Go full-time! When you are able to pay your bills it is time to quit your old job and focus solely on this. You might be taking a pay cut initially but the ‘raises’ that you get as a freelancer dwarf the 3% a year a standard company offers. My income has been rising about 25% per year.
Better still is if you choose to take full advantage of the geo-independence of working remotely and live in a developing country. You are able to double your effective income in a just a few hours. $5,000 in Indonesia gets you what $10,000 might in the US. As an example, when I was living in New York my expenses were about $180 dollars a day. I was living quite cheaply too. Not super cheap but not glamorous either. A shared apartment in Brooklyn, eating out a few times a week, going out twice a week. Compared to when I was living in Thailand for $50/day. For $50/day I was renting an entire house, a scooter and eating out EVERY single meal. So not only was it cheaper but the quality of life was higher too.