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Frugal Earning Online


Ultimate Guide To Making a Living Online. Accurate as of 01/01/17

 
This is a new guide I'm creating for complete newbies to Pros.

 You aren't going to be rich working online. I mean, you can be. But naturally, you're not going to get rich from it. Don't expect to even make 6 figures unless you're an extremely good business-savvy freelancer or doing risky affiliate marketing (unlikely). In my opinion, the true benefit of working online is accessibility and consistency, not the pay. You can work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, that's benefit enough. Now, the way I see it, there are four big models on how to earn money online and I'd like to address all but one of them in this post. The four are Affiliate Marketing, Freelancing, Multi-level Marketing, and what I like to call "Instant Sites".  I want this post to be focused on freelancing because

Freelancing:

Benefits:
  • Usually higher paying. For freelance writing $0.10 a word and for web development $40+/hr is absolutely standard and is considered the minimum rate.
  • Can choose how much you want to work
  • Set own rates
  • You can choose to do something you enjoy
Drawbacks: * Depending on market it may be over-saturated * A lot of clients will try to undercharge you * Third worlders may take some of your business (but on the plus side when they do a shitty job you'll get hired to fix it, which will usually be the same price as doing it in the first place) * You need to have an actual skill (and no, your bullshit gender studies or ancient art history degree isn't a skill)
This is one of the least talked about models on this sub. In fact, I don't think I've seen a single post about how to start up as a freelancer. It always puzzled me why people raved about sites that they make $3/hr on but I've never seen anyone talk about freelancing that way.
I've only personally done freelance writing and freelance web development, but some other avenues include graphic design, virtual assistance, among many other skills. I personally prefer freelance writing as well, I like to write and I feel I'm pretty good at it. Web development clients can be very... not good with the technical stuff and it is frustrating to explain when they wish to micromanage. I don't consider sites like textbroker or content mills in general to be freelancing - they fit more into the 'instant sites' category.
The keys to freelancing are knowing your stuff and setting your rate so that you can actually live on it. For things like graphic design/writing/web development, this should be no less than $40/hr. If you aren't making $40/hr, you're setting your rates way too low. You don't need your rate to be hourly (ex: can still charge writing by the word), you just need to make at least that hourly.
Your first steps to starting up freelancing should be as follows:
  • Sign up for most of the freelancing sites. Guru, upwork, freelancer, sign up for them. They're mostly garbage but you may be able to find a diamond if you search well enough. I got my first freelance web development client on eLance (now upwork, but I think the elance site is still up). $100 for a 2-hour job, pretty good for a freelancing website.
  • Make your own website/hire someone to make a website for you. If you aren't into web development, please hire someone else to do it for you. As a freelance web developer myself I would charge around $500-700 to make a website, but I personally would give a large discount to someone wanting a website for their own freelancing. I imagine a lot of others would feel the same.
  • Accept a few jobs under your pay grade to get a reputation/portfolio. This does not mean work for $5 an hour. Maybe make a design 50% off, maybe write at $0.05 a word for an article for charity.
  • Establish relationships with customers, try to get them to come back. This one is simple enough. If someone seems like they would have a lot more work available for you (usually other freelancers outsourcing some of their work, or something like an affiliate marketer who constantly needs articles), then try to establish a more personal relationship with them and they might just throw you a bone in the future.
  • Market your services wherever you can. I don't mean spam websites. Google "web developer needed" or "need a writer" and email the person who needs it, it's that simple.
The biggest issue I see with people freelancing is that they give up after a couple days of not getting any work. You're just starting out with no portfolio and no reputation and competing with people from the third world for jobs, of course starting up is going to be difficult. Stick to your guns and try to market yourself as much as possible.

Multi-level pyramid sch-I mean marketing

I'm not even going to go into detail about this. Take this as more of a cautionary warning. 99% of MLM companies are pyramid schemes that are slightly less schemey and slightly more pyramidy. Very few of these can the average joe earn a living actually selling the product without referrals. If you can find the 1% of MLM companies that aren't over-saturated and actually have a good product, go right ahead and go for it. But you're most likely not going to and you're gonna end up wasting time and possibly money.

Instant sites

Despite what I've said about freelancing, these are my favorite money makers.
Benefits: * CONSISTENT, this is the best part about it * Usually able to earn at least $6/hr * Able to make money almost instantly, no marketing required * Don't have to deal with clients
Drawbacks:
  • Usually lower paying
  • Learning curve (especially with survey-focused sites)
  • Can sometimes take a while to pay out (CW pays out like 3 weeks after you earn it)
  • It's pretty hard to explain your money comes from a combination of crowdsourcing, taking surveys, and clicking ads.

Instant sites are just that, sites that you can go on and instantly start making some bucks. Even though I'd say my profession is a freelancer, most of my money probably come from these sites. It's a lot easier to just go on one of these, bang out $6+/hr, then go out and get coffee with my girlfriend than it is to market and deal with clients. I've already went in-depth with instant sites in my previous guide so I'll just list and say a little bit about my three favorite ones. And yes all of them are available outside of the U.S.

Other sites worthy of mention

  • mTurk (somewhat low paying depending on skill)
  • Sliceofpie (very low paying)
  • Transcribeme (I couldn't get past the test)
  • If you're experienced in InstaGC or GPT sites in general you probably don't need to read this. Remember on InstaGC there are no weird points systems, well you do get points but it's not confusing at all. 1 USD 1 Cent equals to 1 point. 500 points equal to a 5$ Amazon Gift Card.
    Getting Started Go To InstaGC  : Referral Link 
    When you first sign up for InstaGC you'll be greeted by an "Answer Yes To The Following Offers" things. Press no to all of these.
    When you get to the actual website there will be a "Take the tour" window. For beginners, I highly recommend doing this as it gives you free points.
    After you take the tour complete your profile. DO NOT put fake information in this. If you put fake info in this but put other info in the surveys the surveys will end immediately.
    After this, it's pretty straight forward.
     The easiest way of earning points is doing the daily surveys. Doing daily surveys every day you can earn 200 points a day up to 800 (if you're good enough.


    .



    Register Here Clixsense Refer Link

    Clixsense is my personal favorite site and it's the one I'm missing most since I've been on vacation (can't use it since I'm outside of the U.S. currently). You can always, always earn at least $10 a day on this site if you live in the U.S. I've seen people earn that much even living in eastern European countries. There are a few steps to this, however.
    First off, you're going to want to start off with the idea of completing the checklist bonus every day. This adds a 7-16% (depending on if you're premium or not) bonus to whatever you earned that day. If you earned $30 doing surveys that day and got a 16% bonus, congratulations you get an extra $5. Though, you'd have to be doing surveys for about 4-5 hours to get that much.
    Secondly, get a premium account but only if you're willing to commit to doing the daily checklist bonus at least once or twice a week. There isn't really any benefit to the premium account unless you're doing the checklist, which you should be. If you earn $10 a day (which you should be) you'll be earning an extra $1.6/day from completing the checklist while premium. You can also buy premium with money you make from the site as well, so if you aren't sure just do $17 worth of surveys and then buy it at virtually no cost.
    Lastly, look for the higher paying surveys. I never have a problem qualifying for them on ClixSense, but it may take up to 4-5 days of consistently doing surveys to qualify for them. The way CS and other survey sites work is the more surveys you do the easier it is to qualify for other ones. This also contributes to the 'learning curve' aspect I talked about. Starting off you may only earn like $3-4/hr, but once you've been doing it consistently for a few days that should shoot up to $6-7/hr or even more with the daily checklist bonus.


    Register HERE Clickworker/UHRS Link


    There is a whole wealth of information on clickworker/uhrs. I was hesitant to add it to this guide because registration is down for the U.S. and there's just so much on it. But I felt it was necessary to add as it is a big source of work for me. Check the sidebar or /u/UHRSwork for more information, if registration becomes available in the future I'll edit my post with a more thorough guide. I know it's open elsewhere but I don't have much experience with their hitapps as I do with the U.S. version.

    Register HERE Cashcrate Refer Link

    Cashcrate is definitely more of an offers site and it's one I check out daily. They give you 0.03 a day just for signing on and hitting the check in button on their home screen. What you'll want to do after signing up is immediately filling out your survey profile. This will match you up to some higher paying surveys in the future. I'd say hop on any survey over $1.25 or so as fast as you can as cashcrate surveys usually only take about 10 minutes, and are usually pretty easy to qualify for. 
    However, surveys are not the golden goose of cashcrate. Not by any means. What's really key here are the offers. You'll see offers like "try a free sample of this" for $1 or "buy this for $3 and get $5". Those are alright, but the best offers are the ones where you simply sign up for something or download an app.
    Another nifty feature which I consider to be just cashback is the shopping page. They have some pretty big names on their last time I checked, namely Walmart, Newegg, Walgreens, Gamestop, Sears, etc. If you're buying a $300 console from Gamestop that 2-4% cash back is going to be pretty significant. This feature is only really useful if you shop online. If you're looking to buy something it would be useful to look at this page to see if you can buy it with cash back.



    Register Here Swagbucks Refer Link 


    Swagbucks at first seems too good to be true right? They are just going to give you free stuff for just searching for a word in their search engine, watching videos, answering a few simple questions. Well, it turns out that is exactly how their site works. Swagbucks is no Scam! I know have been using their site daily for the past few months. I don't make a ton of cash but hey its money. I usually take in anywhere from $1.50 to $2.00 a day. Again not a ton of cash, but that more than pays for my cell phone bill each month. And most of what I am doing I would be doing anyway somewhere else for free. I will warn you at first its really difficult to get things rolling. 


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How do I use this information to make a living online?

This is the main topic of this post. I just gave you insight and a guide on starting up with two very good models of making money online. Now, how do you put it all together? I know what most of you may be thinking at this point, and you may or may not be surprised to my answer. A lot of you are probably asking "which one should I do?" The answer is this.
Both. Do both of them. Freelancing and instant sites go together like peanut butter and jelly, like oxygen and hydrogen, like money and people who want to be able to pay rent and eat food. How much time you allocate to each is truly up to you. You don't want to get rusty on either front, however. Do not rely entirely on freelancing or entirely on one instant site. The key here is diversity in where you get your income.
What do you do now? I'll give you a step by step guide. What do you have to lose by following it exactly? Nothing.
  • Register on at least three of the freelancing sites. Guru, upwork, freelancer, I'm sure there are others too. Be sure you have a skill that you can market first.
  • If you don't have a skill, develop one. Writing or web development or graphic design or anything. Check up on the sites to see what is needed.
  • Register on some of the instant sites I provided, at least two of them.
  • Bid for work in your skill on freelancing sites if you have a skill already.
  • Start learning the instant sites, how to do surveys on CS, do hits on clickworker.
  • Determine what your daily money goal is
  • Make at least $15/day from instant sites, fill the rest in with freelancing and go back to instant sites if there are any gaps.
  • If you have no freelancing jobs, split your effort on marketing and making your daily goal through instant sites. It is not impossible to make $50+/day on instant sites, but it's fairly difficult without clickworker/uhrs to be honest.

FAQ

  • Can I be a freelancer if I'm from -country-
  • Of course, there is nothing stopping you from it. As long as your English skills are good no one should have qualms about hiring you, assuming you do a good job at least.
  • How do you get paid from freelancing/instant sites
  • Typically all transactions are done through PayPal



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