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Seeing Opportunities in Making a Salary Online

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Thursday, 12 November, 2009

Content Work talk in the blogosphere often revolves around making money online. Whilst this invariably reflects the multitude of get-rich-quick-schemes involving affiliate marketing, running your own blog or selling your own product, in a broader sense I see it encompassing the paid-for service industry too.

Selling Services

People sell their consultancy, production skills, and journalistic endeavours (to name a few) directly to paying clients. Delivery online, whether it be via email or content depository via a web service, has become second nature. For people who utilise the internet for work, location isn't therefore as much of an issue.

Laptop-CardTo use experience as an example, I can only reflect on my own design-skills-based profession. Everything I do, I've manouveured towards online delivery. It's simply become more satisfactory and convenient with regards to client work. I used to do a little print work that required a few trips to the printers next door, but as fun and as interesting as my visits were (I got on well with the litho operators and the boss), even with the deliciousness of tactile design, they were not enough to keep me from streamlining my work to online.

Laptop Office

You see, I've always liked the idea of running everything from my laptop. There's a certain dependence on the machine but at the same time, its liberating to know that the portability means I'm mobile enough to stay fully connected away from a fixed office location.

Of course, this is nothing new, as more people steadily have been working from home or on the road for years. But the good thing is that this trend has simply popularised the growth of services online to facilitate working online. Add the increasing connectivity of the world and with this growth has come opportunity.

Online Opportunities

I've found that there's wheat to be sort from the chaff, but opportunities do lie in blogging, Twitter and affiliate marketing. It's possible to make an income online and people have found ways to prove that they're making alot online.

Personally, I don't think it's as easy as many people make out. There's hard work involved, but to me, that makes it all the more "honest" (depending of course, on the method). But the point is that with all the prolific services, opportunities and technology involved, there's an ongoing cycle of learning that's kept persistent with the net's development.

Micro-Incomes

But as the population's net-literacy improves, whether they're in it for the money, there is money to be made online. However, the motivation has to be there for the cycle of learning to take place. As more people devote time online, there could be a possible trend in more people starting to make their living online. In a number of ways, creating micro-incomes that collectively give them a salary they need. Would-be-entrepreneurs won't necessarily make a million overnight, but then a collection of micropayments is much more realistic.

Since my work revolves around design and websites, I deliver online both via email and in updating client websites. I complement my client income with income from my blogging activities too. How people make their money is of course personal, but blogging and web design work is most definitely not the only way.

Travel and Work

With just my laptop, its become realistic to work whilst I'm traveling and also travel whilst I work. The strategy has become to diversify the work as this balances both the variation in income levels and the time I can actually commit to spend on working.

Whilst traveling and visiting new countries for example, the last thing I'd want to do is spend all day in a hotel room working. However, an hour or so in the evening tending to a few small jobs doesn't bother me. In between constant traveling, I've been able to devote full-time hours to projects.

If the truth be told, it's actually a freelancer's life more than anything and the struggle to take control of the feast-or-famine work structure that comes with it. But struggle is eased with a diverse work / income flow that results from working online.

Seeking Opportunities Online

With the economy the way it is and the misnomer that the company-job-is-for-life, I often try to encourage friends to find their way online and seek opportunities that match them. It's not always directly to do with making money, as it could even be as simple as nurturing a profile on LinkedIn and expanding their online social network.

However, things take time and I'm constantly aware that time spent online working is often an investment. Not everyone is prepared or even willing for this kind of investment it seems and would prefer the stability of a conventional job.

But the internet has become a way of life for Generation Y and will be for the generations after them. Anyone outside of this net risks a disadvantage in their own offline working world but even more, might be missing out on opportunities that fit them online.

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