Did you know that 43% of American workers will take on freelance work in the next 5 years? There are good reasons to start earning money online, too. Whether you’re looking for a new career or just some extra cash, having multiple streams of income provides security in an unstable world.
And entrepreneurship is the American dream. It’s making the most for yourself in this world. Carving your own way and never taking “no” for an answer, so you can set yourself up for success without relying on anyone else.
So what are some of the best ways to make money online in the US?
Whether you are looking for a side hustle to earn some extra cash or the start of a new career, the following options have been selected and researched for you, and they show promise in the coming years. All you need is a strong internet connection and a laptop. These jobs are flexible, too, so if your kids or partner is working during regular business and school hours on your laptop – you can work at different times to not overwhelm your internet.
The reality is that the pandemic has changed our economy, and it won’t ever go back to the way it was. Now is the best time to jump on the new opportunities this economy has created. The following are some of the best ways to make money online in the US.
Copywriting is closing the sale in writing. Essentially, it’s a form of writing designed to sell products or services by speaking to a specific audience.
Copywriters write online articles, emails, landing pages, video scripts, website copy, and more. They often specialize in a type of copy or an industry.
So why should you consider copywriting?
These writers can work with businesses all over the world. They choose when they work and what they charge, and they can make a 6-figure income. Because they drive revenue for businesses, they can charge a decent amount.
All you need to get started is a laptop and some good copywriting training.
Is there a future for the copywriting industry? Absolutely. Media consumption has doubled during the pandemic, and companies need to take advantage of that screen time. They should be launching courses, running ads, dealing out special offers, and providing free, highly valuable content.
So they need copywriters.
2. High Ticket Closing
Copywriting is closing in writing, so you may wonder, “Can I just be a closer?” You definitely can. High Ticket Closers sell expensive items for companies. They find ideal prospects and close the deal – taking a percentage of the sell. And it’s definitely one of the best ways to make money online in the United States.
A closer sounds like a salesman, right? But it’s different. Salesmen come with the image of being slimy and selling snake oils, but high ticket closers are ethical and seek to genuinely connect their prospect with the solution to their problem.
To be a closer, you need some training and a laptop. And that’s it. You can work from anywhere in the world.
3. Technology Support Services
2020 has shown us one thing: the internet and business do mix – and it’s going to stay that way. Companies are going to be online. Now and in the future. In a Topline survey, 22% of business owners say they will keep much of their operations remote.
And that’s not even tapping into the number of businesses who now have an online presence (and sales system) that they didn’t before.
Do all these business owners know how to troubleshoot Zoom issues? Do they know how to solve their technical problems?
No, they probably do not.
Some businesses may have an IT department, but many smaller businesses and start-ups are either shifting completely online or starting online in the first place. They can’t afford an entire IT department.
So they’ll be looking to outsource that work.
If you have a knack for digital skills, you can start a technology support service. You could help people set up their online workplace and troubleshoot problems. You don’t even need a degree, but you will need a laptop and the skills to go with it.
This could even provide a more stable income than most freelancers or service-based companies. Instead of charging per project, you could keep businesses on retainer to help with problems as they arose.
4. Web Design
Speaking of businesses moving online, more and more businesses need websites. And not just an “under construction” page they’ve had up since 2008. They need real, quality, working websites that highlight their products and invite sales.
Web design is a high income skill that will only increase in demand as more businesses move online. But you could also work with businesses that need a website renovation.
What do you need to get started? You can begin by learning from a website host and builder, like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. Then, you can market yourself as an expert in that service.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could even learn to write HTML code. For most websites, one of the aforementioned builders will work just fine. But for more complex websites, having this skill is a huge bonus. But having an understanding of code is a good idea even when using a website builder.
5. Digital Marketing
Have we mentioned that businesses are moving online? And that more people are spending time online?
This has led to a huge demand for digital marketing professionals in a plethora of industries. And digital marketing is never boring.
There are a number of avenues in digital marketing that you could specialize in – and they all allow for creativity.
For instance, you could be a social media manager. This is a creative job for those who enjoy staying up on trends and content creation.
Instead, you could specialize in running ads for businesses. Facebook ads, Google ads, or Bing ads are all popular ad categories. You’ll want to learn some copywriting skills or team up with a good copywriter to write the ads.
So how do you get started? You can get certified in a number of popular ads sites. The Facebook Blueprint certification does come with a cost, but the Google Ads Certification through their Skillshop is free. The Microsoft Advertising Certification is also free.
If running ads isn’t your forte, but you understand the marketing process, you could offer your services as a consultant. Some businesses don’t want to outsource their marketing entirely, but they don’t quite know where to get started. Consultants are able to help them evaluate where they can improve and give them a blueprint for future success.
Does consulting stop at marketing?
No, absolutely not. You can consult in whatever you are an expert in. If you’re working for another company, you may have a Do Not Compete clause, so make sure to check your contract first. But if you’re free to consult, then you can offer advice in just about anything.
Businesses need advice in management, marketing, technology, branding, accounting, and more. This is especially true for small businesses who need help in certain areas but who cannot afford to outsource or hire professionals. They just need help to get started.
That’s where you come in.
So why is this one of the best ways to make money online in the US in 2020 and beyond?
In years past, business owners may have chosen to consult with a local professional. But as people are more apt to do things online now, they are willing to reach out to people in other places. So you could work with businesses all over the world. Your reach is limitless.
7. Online Tutoring
COVID-19 and social distancing rules have changed schools across the country. With parents returning to work or attempting to work from home, they cannot try to homeschool their kids and work. Plus, sometimes, it’s just better for relationships if they don’t.
But the teachers don’t have time to tutor each individual student.
While the industry may hurt slightly this year due to a decrease in household income, the industry is still expected to grow over 15% in the next 5 years.
Online tutors need a high school diploma; although, a bachelor’s degree or teaching certificate may be required. You could work for an established online service or branch out and start your own business.
We tend to be a big proponent of entrepreneurship, so we’d encourage you to set out on your own and establish your own business. But working for another business may be a good way to get started.
8. Teaching English Online
If you decide that teaching online may be for you, you could also consider teaching English online. There are over 1.5 billion English learners all over the world, leaving a huge demand for English teachers.
Do you need to be a certified teacher to make money online this way? No, you don’t. You may need a college degree and the ability to prove English language proficiency.
While the growth in this industry is not the same as maybe a digital marketing agency, it’s a convenient way to earn extra income.
The following websites have opportunities for English speakers to teach English online:
9. Graphic Design
Are you a creative person? Do you have some artistic skills? Then, you can work as a graphic designer.
If you haven’t noticed yet, businesses are moving online. They could use this as an opportunity to rebrand. A new, fresh look. As a graphic designer, you could help with that.
Graphic design goes beyond just making logos, though. Graphic designers can work with marketing agencies, brand experts, ad experts, copywriters, website designers, and more.
For instance, copywriters know how to write. But they may be woefully lost when it comes to making the creative for an ad. And it’s not their job to provide creatives. So what’s stopping you from reaching out to a copywriter and asking them to team up? Together, you could offer a powerful package for a new business.
The same goes for a code-based website designer or funnel creators or branding experts. They all need your specific talent.
What do you need to get started? We recommend you learn some basic marketing and business skills, then branch out as a freelancer. You’ll need some software to start designing, but the start-up cost is still relatively low.
What Do You Need To Know About Making Money Online By Working Globally?
What do all these opportunities have in common? They allow you to work globally. There are millions of businesses in the world, so your growth is basically uncapped when you can work with anyone anywhere in the world.
But that comes with some challenges.
You cannot necessarily approach global work like you would domestic work. It also creates some difficulty financially. You need to pay more attention to your business and contracts.
First and foremost, you need to pay attention to currency conversion. If you’re working with businesses in other countries, you should clarify in your contract and initial interaction what currency you expect to be paid in. You should also clarify who is responsible for conversion charges.
This is where using an online payment system is often the most convenient option. PayPal, for example, allows you to automatically convert currencies at the most recent exchange rate. You could also do it manually. But there is a charge for that transaction – a percentage of the amount converted.
Stripe is another popular payment method for freelancers. It integrates well with many contract and invoice services. It allows for conversions but again, at a fee.
If you are working with people often in one other specific currency (like euros), you might save money by opening a bank account with that currency. When you exchange the currencies, you’ll still be charged a fee. But you can choose when, where, and how your money is converted instead of accepting a fee from a payment processing service.
So if you’re working with people internationally, be aware of what you’re charging in your currency, their currency, and any adjustments that need to be made for exchange rates. Also, be aware of your state tax laws around accepting untaxed income from other countries.
(As a side note: When you move money through any payment service like PayPal or Stripe, you will typically be charged a percentage of the transfer. This is standard practice and something you should account for.)
If you’re working internationally, it’s always a good idea to specify what language you are going to be writing in. This is especially true if you’re working with a business in a country where English is not a commonly spoken language.
If you’re a native English speaker, you will most likely have a leg up in many freelancing industries. People often look for native English speakers to write copy, build websites, teach English, etc. But you might be working with clients whose first language is something other than English.
In that case, you need to be extra cautious in negotiations and contracts. Be careful to make sure you’re on the same page without being condescending. Also make sure you are spelling words in the same format of the country you are working with. This cuts down time spent editing a piece.
Do you speak another language other than English? You can also offer services in that language including translation.
Working internationally also comes with time zone differences. It can be extremely powerful to have a team spread out across multiple time zones – that basically means someone is working for your business 24/7.
But it comes with its own set of challenges.
When setting up a meeting, make sure to establish the meeting time in both of your time zones. Also, don’t be afraid to let them know what time zone you are in. You can tell a potential client that you can’t meet at 1:00 pm their time because that’s 3:00 am your time. And you’re just not at your best in the wee hours of the morning.
On the other hand, be ready to get up early to make it to a meeting. Or work after traditional work hours.
If you are working a regular 9 to 5 and a side gig, you can use time zones to benefit you. If you can’t make it to meetings at between 9 and 5 in your time zone, you can work only with people in other time zones. Then set up meetings for before or after you go to work.
This is by far the most important thing you need to be aware of when working internationally and making money online. Your culture is not the rest of the world’s culture.
Not only does this matter in how you complete your work, but it matters in how you communicate with your clients.
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions are a good place to start – and they even offer a comparison calculator so you can compare your country to others.
The cultural dimensions include…
- Power distance
This measures how readily people in the culture accept differences in power and hierarchy. A country with a high power distance score accepts an unequal distribution of power and recognizes each person’s place in that hierarchy.
- Individualism vs collectivism
This score represents how much a person identifies with people other than themselves or their immediate family. A high score indicates that someone does not feel responsible for others or their actions, whereas a low score indicates a country where people take on more responsibility for each other.
- Masculinity vs femininity
This score indicates how the country interacts with traditional gender roles. A high score would show a culture that places heavy emphasis on masculine traits and, often, differentiated gender roles. A low score indicates a deeper importance on a more relationship-oriented society.
- Uncertainty avoidance
This measures how the country handles anxiety. A high score indicates a culture where people want stability and predictability.
- Long term orientation vs short term orientation
Basically, this measures how people view the future. In long term oriented societies (high score), people tend to be more pragmatic. Short term oriented countries usually place their emphasis on morals and convictions.
- Indulgence vs restraint
This is a measure of how a culture or country views gratification. A culture with a high score places an emphasis on personal gratification, drive, and emotions. Inversely, a low scoring country usually has stricter cultural norms and more regulated behavior.
So take the time to evaluate your own culture. The US is a short-term oriented country with high individualism and low uncertainty avoidance. In other words, the US is a country of passionate people who don’t settle for injustice, don’t mind some uncertainty, and focus on individual success.
This might not sound true for you, but it’s important to recognize that your culture has impacted you to some degree. Especially when interacting with other countries.
For example, France is a more collectivist culture than the US by a substantial amount. So when speaking to a French client, make sure to place an emphasis on the “we.” South Korea is a much more long term oriented culture with a very high uncertainty avoidance. So when speaking to a South Korean client, focus on community, long term success and growth, and offer some kind of guarantee.
You should also research any offensive gestures, terms, or sayings in the other culture. You never know what a thumbs up or the peace sign could mean in another country.
How Can You Get Started Making Money Online In The USA?
First, decide the path you want to take. What business is right for you? Are you looking for a side hustle or a career change?
Second, make sure you are not violating a Do Not Compete clause in your employment contract.
Third, invest in training to begin your new business.
Fourth, speak to a lawyer or government official about what you need to start a business in your state. Your secretary of state probably has a ton of information about this on their website. Also open a bank account specifically for your business.
Finally, start finding clients. You can look online for jobs all over the world.
So what’s the right business for you to start making money online?