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Making money online has never been easier! Sure, it’s not necessarily easy, but it’s easier than before and has certainly become a feasible option for anyone looking to earn some extra side money. I’m going on a whim here and say that today there are more legitimate ways to e-riches than there are scams, at least compared to the ratio from a decade ago.
On the flip side though, online income has become more competitive and overwhelming than ever before too! Blogging has become the new hot career of the 21st century and freelancing – or rather e-lancing – is right there too. What this means is that you need to clear out all the noise and figure out a way to stand out.
Sure, you can just go to some e-lancing platform, post up your profile and hope someone bites. Quite honestly though, you may be waiting a long time or ending up pulling your hair out. You need to know a few things before you try making money online and I can help you with that.
Before you spread yourself thin and create more stress than money, you need to ask three very basic – yet crucial – questions if you want to start out on the right foot.
1. What are your interests?
In other words, what is it you want to? Do you like to write, or maybe sharing your opinions about products, social issues, or what have you? Do you like to create visuals for different purposes?
I find that it helps to go over your life and think about the things you have done, professionally or even for fun, that have made you feel fulfilled.
Alternatively, you can also look at the things you do almost automatically, without thinking – your tendencies. For instance, do you immediately start looking for spelling errors in any news article or post you see? If you do, maybe you should look into proofreading.
2. What are you good at?
It’s nice to go over all the things you like and would like to do for a living – becoming a professional writer sounds a like a dream, no? But be honest with yourself, are you a good writer?
As pessimistic as it sounds, the truth is that we’re not always good at the things we like. Take me, for example, I have always been deeply interested in Psychology. So, I went on to university and got a Hon. B.A. in Psychology.
I did well, finished it on time and really loved everything I learned during those 4 years. But I also learned that while I’m good at being a student of Psychology, being a clinician is whole different ball game – one that’s not really for me.
After my graduation, I got a job as a research assistant in the Psych department at my university, and I’ve been there ever since – it’s been 4 years! Every day someone asks me when am I applying to graduate school, or what is it I want to do beyond this job. (insert annoyed face!)
Well, honestly, I like my job as it is! I love Psychology, but I don’t see myself treating mental health patients, nor am I interested in leading a research study or teaching. What I do enjoy and am good at is doing all the endless behind-the-scene tasks that get a research study going! From the data entry to the wet lab tasks, I love it all.
I guess my point here is that you are not always good at what you like and even your likes can change over time. Ultimately, you have, to be honest with yourself.
All right, that’s a very nice self-reflection, but how does that help YOU, you ask?
Well, to put it bluntly, if you don’t know what you like or are good at, then you’ll be wasting your time! You’ll be spinning on a wheel and going nowhere.
And that brings me to the 3rd question, which may actually help you with the first two.
3. What do you NOT like to do?
I just told you how I found out I rather be the research assistant than the Psychologist or leading researcher. I discovered these new preferences of mine by realizing what I don’t like to do! I’m not interested in clinical work, but on the research side, I also don’t like presenting in front of a crowd (I hate public speaking!) or being the lead researcher because I just can’t handle the stress. So, I knew these things needed to be crossed out and with it some career options.
In fact, it may be easier for you to identify the things you don’t like than the things you do like. That’s just human nature. Ask someone what they don’t like, and they’ll give a list of things. Ask them what they do like or would love to do for a living, and they’ll get lost in their thoughts and don’t know where to start.
If you ask these questions seriously, you may find that you need more time to figure it out. That’s perfectly normal. Take your time.
One thing that is almost always overlooked when thinking about online income is that it does take some self-exploration. I also ignored it in the beginning! But I didn’t start making money until I sat down and made a list of my skills, likes and dislikes. It’s simply easier to create an e-lancing profile or put yourself out there with confidence when you know the answer to these questions.
Here’s the Recap in a nice Pic:
I find it easier to grab a piece of paper and just write things down as they come to you. I also suggest starting out with easy, factual things, like any diplomas or degrees you might have, or even job-specific skills like IT, customer service, etc.
Now that it is all in bullet points, you can take different coloured pens: red for dislikes, blue for what you’re good at, and green for what you like. Cross out in red what you don’t like, underline in blue what you are good at (whether you like doing it or not) and then circle in green the things you enjoy doing. Ideally, you will have a few items both underlined in blue and circled in green. Those are the ones you should focus on!
What did you come up with? Let me know in the comment section.