It's always good to not only seek financial freedom, but to achieve it, and when you can make a few extra coins from the comfort of your own personal laptop or computer, that's even better. The options online might seem endless, but there are a few things to consider before pursuing a money-making venture or opportunity that is solely based online. It's telling that recent Pew Research Center findings show that 24% of Americans reported making money from a "digital platform economy." And by 2023, the projected gross volume of the digital-based gig economy is expected to hit more than $450 billion.
If you haven't already jumped into an online-based side hustle, business, or career and you're still looking for more reasons, we offer 10. Check out how to make money online, with a key emphasis on fun and savvy:
1. Sell, sell, sell.
We're not talking about posting photos of your current living room furniture in a last-minute plight to get the rent money here, either. (That's definitely not fun, and oftentimes it's more frustrating than successful). Let's take things a step further. We're talking about offering creative works such as art, crafts, graphic works, fashion designs, photography, or templates. We're talking about trading stocks or selling products and services you actually love and care about. And you don't have to reinvent the wheel here. Try platforms like Shopify or Etsy that take the legwork out of website design and e-commerce tools, try affiliate marketing, or sign on to be an online influencer or team seller for your favorite brand.
Of course, you can still also make money as an online sales professionals for major companies including Google, GrubHub, and Neiman Marcus, making up to $84,000 a year.
2. Become a consultant.
True, there are a lot of coaches and consultants out there, but why not use the skills you've built working at your 9-to-5 or earning degrees to help individuals, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits? You would be hired to pinpoint an issue, analyze a problem, and offer solutions via a projected plan, and you can offer these skills via your own free website (try Wix, WordPress, or About.me). You can also use Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook to showcase your knowledge, build community, and attract clients, or you can work from home for companies who need to fill this role. Oftentimes, you don't even have to be the person executing the solutions plan. You're just the mastermind.
And please think outside the box on this in terms of what this could look like for you (i.e. using your graphic design skills to consult on a new logo or website rebrand or your journalism degree to offering project management consultations for church blog projects).
3. Build community and capitalize.
If you're a creative or personality who loves to build a vibe, who has a specialized skill, who caters to a niche crowd, or who is passionate about a specific issue, this is perfect because you can use your passions and unique abilities in a variety of ways. Brands and nonprofits will actually pay you to not only expand their audiences and draw more people to their products, causes, and services, but they will pay you for access to the community that you've built through your own content creation or creative direction.
They will also pay top dollar for the skills of creators who are able to tap into markets they've had difficulty reaching or who have the skills, methods, and tools they do not have. You'll want to be sure that the missions and values of any brand or org you work with match those of your brand and community, of course. So get those creative projects, advertisements, vlogs, and photoshoots out of your head and on somebody's computer or smartphone! You could rock out to making thousands of dollars if things pan out. You don't necessarily have to be an "influencer" with thousands of followers either. If you're savvy, great at showcasing who you are online, and are able to market yourself via pitch competitions, job openings, or meetings, you can still do this and be successful.
Major companies also pay a pretty penny for full-time community engagement roles, to the tune of up to $98,000 per year.
4. Learn coding, web design, or digital graphic arts.
Again, this is all about doing things you actually enjoy, so if you're not into creating beautiful imagery, concepts, animation, apps, digiprints, or games online, go ahead and skip this one. Also, you don't really have to know the ins and outs of programming or tech to do some of these jobs. Some successful app builders and game creators, for example, actually outsource the parts of the process that they're not great at (or have no interest in doing), so if you have a concept and want to bring it to market, go for it!
Digital graphic arts can be used for a multitude of things (like how this artist uses them for apparel), so, again, think outside the box on how these skills can be used to make money. If you want to brush up on your DIY design skills or simply want to learn something new in order to monetize coding, try Udemy or Codecademy and then flip that into your piece of the $100,000 per year salary pie for a career change.
5. Rent or source valuable spaces or items.
This makes sense for someone who has a fabulous home, backyard space, garden, garment or shoe collection, or office and has the flexibility to offer such items and spaces to others for a fee. The fun factor: Managing and witnessing how your spaces and items can be the cool-factor catalyst for events such as photo shoots, weddings, birthday parties, anniversary dinners, or ad campaigns. Your home could be the backdrop of a fabulous Halloween shoot (like this one Janelle Monae shot at designer Dani Dazey's spot) or you could source fab items for campaigns or projects (like how this power couple of Blk Vintage did for Issa Rae's Insecure.) This might be more of a hybrid offline-online gig, but it can still provide the time and creative flexibility you crave with the major aspects of operation being web-based.
6. Get into gaming.
Yes, you can get paid to play games, and though there's a lot of spam out there in terms of information on legit companies, you can find legit opportunities to make money this way. Try popular platform Twitch (and don't forget to read the rules and get to know the tax implications of earnings or donations) or you can try apps that pay you for how much time you spend fooling around with a game. (Check out reviews and do your research before downloading or participating.)
Another avenue is to create a YouTube channel---where all you do is test out, review, or simply play games---and build an accompanying Patreon where viewers can offer donations or pay for memberships to view specialized content.
7. Create adventures for others.
For outgoing types who still want to be able to tap into the introvert who would rather work online, making life that much more interesting for everyday folk by creating experiences or adventures is ideal. Airbnb offers a platform for doing this, but you can also set out on your own to create private picnics, plan parties, lead excursions, coordinate trips, or add to the offerings of others who provide specialized goods and services.
Take a nod from this entrepreneur, who offers exotic fruit tastings in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for example. If you're not into actually managing experiences or dealing with people, you can be the creative thinker and coordinator to turn dreams into reality, for a fee, corresponding only via the web and offering packages.
8. Chef it up.
A love for cooking, creating dining experiences, or providing diet and nutrition insights is a must for this one, and you can provide all of this from the comfort of your home. If you like vegan food, have a knack for creating recipes in a way that no one else has, know a thing or two about food chemistry or nutrition, or simply want to provide a space for the content you want but don't see, get up and offer it. You can make money selling recipe downloads, meal plans, or virtual consulting, and you can cultivate a client base that you're passionate about. You can also become a virtual nutritionist, food specialist, or culinary teacher. The online food community is growing, so get in where you fit in.
9. Build in a dance or fitness platform.
Sis, don't sleep on this. Billboard reports that the global dance music industry raked in $3.4 billion in 2021, and the fitness industry has reportedly hit almost $100 billion. We're not about that scarcity mentality over here, so there's clearly money to be made. If you love to dance, have experience, or just love to stay active and see results, this might be perfect for you. Go ahead and offer virtual classes, start that YouTube, or get into a gym or private space of your own. You could even host via sites like Zoom, Skillshare, and Teachable are great places to start. (You could even try OnlyFans if you dare.) Read the fine print on profit percentages, usability, and additional features like membership management.
10. Just sit...
Nah, not that, sis. House or pet sitting can not only be fun, but it can offer some spice to your life in terms of the opportunity to experience new things and diversify those experiences. Platforms like Nomador and Housecarers have been raved about among the OG house sitter tribe, and for the pet lovers, there are sites like Petsitters or Rover. You can also take a look at Care or TaskRabbit to find gigs. If you're living that nomad life, just want a chance of routine or scenery, or want to enjoy the company of an animal without the commitment—and get paid for it—this is worth a try.
For more job search tips, career advice, and profiles, check out the xoNecole Workin Girl section here.
Featured image via Getty Images
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Release Stress & Restore Harmony In Your Body With Shaking Meditation
When we reflect on our own path as women in light of the women who came before us, it’s easy to see that the loads we’ve carried haven’t always been the lightest. From everyday stresses to generational trauma with roots that are difficult to trace, one must ask where all that weight goes if we never release it.
The body holds the score for all the anxieties, worries, and unease that we’ve endured over time. Family and society often tell us to quiet our emotions, maintain a brave face, and keep our emotions bottled up within. But as we know, anything with too much pressure will eventually burst.
And while we are steadily discovering self-care methods like meditation to shed this emotional baggage, it may take a little more than sitting still in the quiet of our mind to let go of our deep-rooted tension. Fortunately, mindful movement could be an unexpected way for you to let go of worry and anxiety while building emotional resiliency, and such is the case with shaking meditation.
What Is Shaking Meditation?
Shaking meditation is a form of tension and trauma-releasing exercises or TRE that “assists the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension, and trauma.” This series of exercises of muscular shaking and vibrating activates a natural reflex mechanism that releases muscular tension, thus calming down the nervous system and encouraging your body to return back to a state of balance.
“Shaking meditation can be powerful because it moves your body — and in Eastern medicine, we say that moves your chi,” says Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, a ninth-generation doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and author of Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation.
According to Dr. Kim, understanding chi helps us understand our bodies and how we're feeling mentally, physically, and spiritually. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chi is known to represent your life force; it is the energy that flows through you and everything, and in many cultures, plays an essential role in our health.
“We have chi that moves in our blood and throughout our entire body; connecting our organ systems, muscles, and joints,” she tells xoNecole. “It allows everything to function and to be nourished. We know blood travels throughout our body through our circulatory system, but chi also travels through our body — much in the same way — through the meridian system. If you picture chi as vital energy, it moves the blood.”
It’s important for our body’s chi to stay in flow. When we go about our daily life with stress, trauma, or even mental injuries, our energy becomes stagnant. But various movement practices like Qigong or shaking meditation encourage your chi to circulate through your body which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which “is in charge of telling our brain and body to calm down, relax, ultimately, let go,” Dr. Kim says.
As Black women, there are times in life when it feels like we bear the weight of the world on our shoulders, with few spaces to go when we need to lighten the load. But as Dr. Kim explains, because women are “naturally yin beings,” we take on more because we can handle more. “According to the energies of nature that have been passed down for thousands of years, women are more complex. And what that almost always means is that we can think a lot more.” And while that speaks to the resiliency of our being, it can have a negative effect on our bodies when we store more than we release.
“If we don't have ways of releasing this, it will ultimately affect our lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then it passes on to our children, and that's where we get generational trauma,” she says.
Although shaking meditation may be a new and unfamiliar practice, it’s one that could prove to be beneficial to those who have experienced trauma on an individual and communal level. The movements are simple to follow and accessible, and in a matter of minutes, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed, while relieving any anxiety, frustration, and tension inside of you.
So if you’re ready to restore harmony within your body, here are the steps to perform shaking meditation on your own.
How To Incorporate Shaking Meditation Into Your Daily Routine:
Step 1: “Stand with your feet hip-width apart. You can do this while sitting or standing — depending on your comfort level. Make sure all of your joints are soft, so nothing's locked.
Step 2: “Begin raising onto your tiptoes and falling back onto your heels. Not so hard to where you're shocking your spine, but enough to just kind of wake up your body. Repeat three to five times, dropping down onto your heels.”
Step 3: “Next, start with your hands first and shake them. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Shake them and go up to your arms, to your elbows, and then up to your shoulders. Now your whole arms should be moving.”
Step 4: “Then you can start your legs, repeating the same shaking movement. You then move your feet moving, go up through your core, and then shake everything out through your head.”
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