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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'Queen Charlotte' Star Arsema Thomas Worked At The United Nations Before Landing Her Breakout Role
Actress Arsema Thomas (Arséma Adeoluwayemi Hamera) may be new to the acting scene, but the star's standout performance in Netflix's limited series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is already leaving a lasting impression among many.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, a prequel to Bridgerton, follows the young queen's life as her marriage to King George of England sparks an epic love affair and a societal shift.
In the drama, Thomas portrays the role of a young Lady Agatha Danbury, a close friend and confidant of Queen Charlotte, and it also depicts Lady Danbury's journey.
The series showcases the struggles Lady Agatha Danbury experienced in her lifetime. The list includes being forced to partake in a loveless marriage to a former African king Herman Danbury, becoming a widow, and possibly losing her estate and title following her husband's death.
Since Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix earlier this month, it has dominated the streaming service's top ten charts and piqued fans' interest in the show's stars, including Thomas.
Although many may not know a lot about the Atlanta native, who goes by she/they pronouns, and how she became one of the breakout stars in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, still, with the recent promotional tour Thomas has been doing for the show, she has shared some shocking details about her life.
Thomas' revelations within the past several months include details about her educational pursuits, previous work experience, her African culture, the steps she took to prepare for her role as Lady Agatha Danbury, and many more.
Arsema On Her African Heritage
Thomas, who is Nigerian and Ethiopian, is the daughter of diplomats.
The 28-year-old's parents, consisting of an Ethiopian mother and a Nigerian father, worked in the government to improve Africa's economic development.
Due to her parents' professions, the actress moved around a lot and lived in various countries like Kenya, Benin, Comoros, Uganda, and India, which exposed her to social issues. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Thomas opened up about having conversations about politics and government at a young age.
"Dinner table conversations were about politics, about African governance. I realized that in a lot of the countries I lived in, the effects of colonialism and imperialism were so blatantly obvious. That became the driving force for what I thought I should be doing as an adult," she said.
Later Thomas would ultimately reveal that her parents' work had inspired her to become a "doctor or something" because she wanted to make them proud.
Arsema Attended Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University
Prior to pursuing acting, Thomas revealed to Shondaland that she was a college graduate.
In 2016, she received her bachelor's degree in biophysics from Carnegie Mellon University. Following her graduation, Thomas interned at a mobile health clinic and a refugee camp in Kenya for over a year.
Around the same time, the star would continue her education by getting her master's in epidemiology and health policy at Yale University. Thomas disclosed that despite the educational success that she has achieved, acting became her main priority when she realized that this is something she could envision herself doing "100 percent of the time." This decision led Thomas to relocate to Paris, South Africa, and then to London to study drama.
"I packed up everything and moved to Paris because I wanted to do acting 100 percent of the time," she stated. "It was always something I had wanted to do, [but] I didn't think I would be able to. I thought it was going to be a hobby or a thing that I'd have to suppress in myself for the rest of my life."
Thomas would land her first role in 2021 as a guest star on the television series One Touch. Shortly after, she would participate in the 2022 film Redeeming Love as the character Rebecca. The rest would be history because, around that time, Thomas would receive the life-changing role of Lady Agatha Danbury in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
Arsema On How She Prepared for Her Role In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
When the opportunity for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story came along, Thomas took various steps to transform into Lady Agatha Danbury.
The actress, who has admitted to never seeing Bridgerton in the past, told Cosmopolitan UK's Up Close series that because she wasn't familiar with the fictionalized character, she decided to find things that she thought Lady Agatha Danbury would resonate with.
It includes reading books about women by well-known female authors who have made history in their own right, creating a Spotify playlist with music that Lady Agatha Danbury could listen to, and having waist beads made for her character.
"There was a lot of stuff I needed to get into this role because the character is fictional. So I read a ton of books about women or by women, that I thought that Agatha Danbury would resonate. So I read 'Ain't I A Woman' by Bell Hooks. I read Angela Davis' autobiography. I read Assata Shakur's autobiography, 'Tar Baby' by Toni Morrison, 'Eyes Are Watching God,' and 'Vaga Bonds' by Eloghosha Osunde. I made an extensive Spotify playlist, and I got waist beads made for Agatha," she explained.
Further in the interview, Thomas mentioned that she had waist beads made for Lady Danbury and wore them throughout the filming process because it helped ground her as she portrayed the character whom she described as entirely different from who she is as a person.
"It was a Nigerian woman threading these beads, and I asked her to thread beads specifically for this character, and I wore it throughout the entirety of filming," she said. "Because it was just kind of was a physical grounding point to this woman that is really, really actually far from who I am as an individual."
Thomas shared that talking to her grandmother, who had a similar background to Lady Danbury, such as having an arranged marriage at a young age, also helped her prepped for the role.
"I also talked to my grandmother a lot. I didn't realize how similar she was to this character. Because she was also married off when she was quite young," she revealed. "It was really interesting to kind of talk to someone in my life who I've known, who’s gone through something that is essentially the stripping away of their freedom, and someone who doesn't have any resentment or harbored anger towards the situation."
Arsema Worked At The United Nations
Thomas' work experience is an interesting one. Despite interning at three different health organizations, she previously worked at United Nations Population Fund, according to her Linkedin profile.
United Nations Population Fund's site states that the organization is part of the United Nation's "sexual and reproductive health agency." The gathered information on Thomas' profile says that she was an associate for the company from 2017 to 2018.
Some of Thomas' responsibilities included conducting "policy analyses" for United Nations Population Fund's sustainability and "supporting the regional desk specialist" in the program's division.
Arsema Speaks Five Languages
On top of Thomas' overwhelmingly impressive resume, the actress also speaks five languages.
According to the African publication Bella Naija, Thomas speaks English, Amharic, Yoruba, French, and Spanish. Although Thomas hasn't publicly talked about what inspired her to become multilingual, many can assume it is because of the various locations she has lived in throughout her life and her interest in learning.
Thomas may be a rising star now, but with the facts provided above, the actress has displayed through her work ethic and drive that she can soon become a household name.
Thomas' latest work Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, is now streaming on Netflix.
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