How To Work Online
Best Use of Your Skills Online

How to work online depends on the work you plan to do.  For just about any online work you need a well-equipped computer with a high-speed internet connection, a telephone and appropriate skills.  You can get started more easily if you have some computer experience, an academic degree that can be employed online, or you have solid experience in a field that is in demand. 

But don’t be discouraged if you have none of the above skills. Where there is a will there is a way. You can learn the skills you need and you can start an online business.  Some online businesses are easier to start than others. For example, setting up an eBay store is fairly simple. Also, you can hire someone to set up a web site and let them do other tasks to get you started.

One of the secrets of how to work online is persistence.  All businesses require some amount of persistence to get them started and keep them operating.  You can decide on the type of business that interests you, and then find out what you need to get started and to operate it. Online businesses, such as those listed below are relatively cheap to start.

If you have technical skills, such as computer aided drafting (CAD) or knowledge of other technical application programs, you can turn this into an online job.  It may be necessary to personally introduce yourself to prospective clients just to get started with them. You will need to have an idea of how much to charge for your services and you may find it useful to have a portfolio of examples of your work.

Translation and language services, such as document translation, are another area of online work.  You will need proficiency test results, other certifications, and examples of your output to show potential employers.

Teaching and preparing courses online.  Check with your local community colleges and other educational institutions for online work.    

Transcribing of interviews and medical narrations. If your have experience in one of these areas be prepared to show examples and /or have a resume prepared. Courses in these areas may be available at your local community college. Contact companies that are actively conducting interviews (that will require transcription). Contact hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices for transcribing narrations.

Writing, of all sorts, works well online. You can write an instruction book or how-to book on any subject with which you are experienced and then sell it online.

For a list of online book publishers that make print-on-demand, POD, bound books see Online Book Publishing Top Ten Reviews. Lulu is another example on-demand bound book publishing.

ePublishing or digital publishing produces publications that can be read on digital devices such as phones, tablet reading devices, and computers. The most common file format is .epub.  You can convert files .doc or .docx (MS Word), or PDF manuscripts to an ePub using for a fee.  Free epub software is Atlantis Word Processor, Pressbooks (WordPress), Booktype, calibre, Sigil.

You also may be able to find work writing content for publications or websites. Contact online journals such as Helium, Hubpages, Bukisa, Associate Content, Triond and Examiner to enquire.

Virtual assistant provides general assistance from your home office, including admin, scheduling, bookkeeping, event planning. Find work with an online staffing agency like Team Double-Click or Aspire Lifestyles.

Freelance work:  computer problem solutions online, software programming, website design, customer service.

Affiliate Blogger. Develop a free blog site and monetize with affiliate marketing and Google Adsense ads. Infolinks and Kontera for text ads with blogger content.

Online reseller sells online the items unwanted by owners. Can work through Ebay Trading Assistant and Allyou Home Business.

Call center agent answers questions according to a script in a customer service capacity or to sell products. Sign up with Working Solutions.

Answering service independent operator, possibly with dispatching capability.  Start an answering service online and work from home for one or more companies.  A variety of companies can use this service, such as air-conditioning & heating, plumbing, taxi service, installation services, other dispatched vehicles, professional offices, and manufacturers.

For all online jobs. You can advertise your services online, with your state employment agency for free, though technical and other types of headhunters (there will probably be a fee), and by cold calling potential employers in your area.  See also the book “What Color is Your Parachute” by Nelson Bolles for job finding ideas that can be adapted to how to work online.

Finding Online Work offers a Work-at-Home Jobs Company Directory that lists about 400 companies. 

Many people are using the internet to to learn how to work online.  Some of the above suggestions may fit you.  But if not, your skills or interests can probably be adapted to online work.  Start by doing a Google search to see what others are doing in your areas of interest and also to find potential positions.

Go from How to Work Online (this page) to Starting a Online Business the first page of this section.