Thrive online - Work from home and freelancing explored

Sam By Sam - Updated: September 22nd, 2017
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Thrive online - Work from home and freelancing explored

Market, Opportunities and Advice

Everyone wants more flexibility and freedom, that’s a fact. No one wants to be taken for a ride in partaking in a false opportunity. To better make sense of the online market for work at home gigs and freelancing, we’re taking a closer look at work from home opportunities and layering on some context wherever possible. We hope that you can get some real advice and interpretation to help untangle the work from home and independent opportunities in the online marketplace.

First we’ll look at the market place and how to get prepped. Then we’ll check out the top ten places to find work from home opportunities. Lastly, we’ll talk to real people who have participated in these opportunities and hear from them, what the real deal is. Whether you’re using online income as a side hustle or a main gig, you deserve something that is empowering and trustworthy, that is most important.

We all want to have financial freedom and independence. That is what the gig economy is all about. That is why people freelance, and elance. The prospect of freedom is what inspires people to search for that balance and integration, and harmony. There are many false claims, predatory practices, and dang right crappy opportunities out there, let’s see if we can remove those layers to find the hidden gems and find out what it is really like to work from home as a major or incremental source of income.

Look, it’s all about quality of life in the end. The reason everyone doesn’t work from home stems from the reality of demand vs supply and financial opportunity. There are fewer real work from home opportunities that have long term sustainability due to cost of living vs pay and region. The mid and low market roles have tons of competition and act as a race to the bottom, cheapening your time to where you cannot make any real money from home. There are tons of legitimate work at home and freelancing opportunities, but it can take a year or more to really build momentum.

Here are some framing points

Work at home is global, so you’re competing with the world, pay may reflect that

A lot of online jobs are boring as all heck (obvious I know)

Specializing and optimizing are key - for example, you may want to choose something you’re good at and just be the best at that niche, don’t dilute and try to do all kinds of random jobs as a hodgepodge, that may drive you crazy.

Search for the keyword ‘remote’ as work from home has a very negative connotation so providers have adopted remote as the main marketing trigger.

Everything is going remote, tele, virtual, these days… from legal to healthcare, there are tons of services, apps, and marketplaces to create a profile.

Think about what you would ideally want to do, that’s what you’ll be best at, and start there.

Some advice on getting started working from home

Decide if you’d like to freelance or be hired by a service provider for one or multiple online roles.

Write down what you’re good at and your experience, dust off that resume for your own personal untangling.

Your plan of attack should match your experience and interests..

Pick ten places to put up a profile, here are some: (these sources go well beyond work from home, and offer more independent freedom,) (service offer section in your region)

Your own site @ Or using a what you see is what you get (wysiwyg) platform like,, etc..

These days it's more about building a personal brand, but that doesn’t have to be complicated.

Get that twitter, facebook, and whatever you can up. Youtube is great for people to get a live view as to who you are.

Sounds like a lot of work right?

Don’t think or overanalyze, just take action.

You can do all of the above in less than an hour. Not that much time at all and you’ve now 10x’d your reach in the marketplace from 0-60 real quick.

Do some good will and start talking about yourself within the righ communities online.

This is important to start molding your pitch and your polish.

By now you may be thinking, can’t this be easier? No it can’t. It’s all the same work if you think about it. If you want to be a medical transcriptionist, it’s hard to find the right one that pays you well for your time, and you’ll get sick of doing one thing all the time based on endless repetitive tasks. Some people love that I will say, so it’s all about matching your abilities and interest as best as you can.

Check out mechanical turks from, it’s very laborious but you can work from home. But what about that quality of life long term?

Here’s what I suggest. Maybe a hybrid role. Some foot soldier work mixed with building your online brand presence. Just start. That’s the best advice I have for you. Ok let’s look at some work at home opportunities and where to get some reading and action going.

Some popular virtual employment subjects

Web development

Mobile development





Content Marketing

Virtual assistance

Customer service

Technical help desk


Cable & satellite

Financial services



Travel & hospitality



Social media manager

Data entry

Some context as we pause and think about what we’re looking at

This is a short list, there are tons of positions. Do not opt in for opportunities that ask for a credit card or personal information. Always look for platforms that have some sort of trust badge and use a secure connection on their sites. An HTTPS in the url, a TRUSTe, or BBB badge in the footer of their webpages. Things like this let you know something is legitimate. Try to get someone on the phone and some sort of guarantee. Really, really, try and avoid paying to work, that just sounds bad and is worse in real life. There are a lot of scams out there, ask someone to have a look if you are doubtful. If you have to pay something, use a temporary gift card by visa or mastercard with no credit and for the exact amount. Check out trusted advice on, and hear from people that have been there. Look at the comments and ratings to make sure you can trust that person.

Ok so now we’ve laid the groundwork, what’s next? Wait for interest while going on the hunt. At this point you can bid for business on many of the same sites we took a look at above, just like applying for a job. This is tedious work but works well alongside receiving interest from your profiles which are now live. Now you have both sides of the machine pumping opportunity for you. Let’s take a look at some legitimate work at home opportunities.

Top ten places to find work at home and flexible work opportunities

Around 9 dollars an hr with some benefits

A great list for work at home opportunities (one of our favorites)

Here is a list of 100 companies with remote friendly roles (from source: Frobes 2017)

If you have advice, drop that knowledge here:

Spend 20-40 hrs researching and acclimate yourself to the market if you haven’t done so. Ask for references, talk to your friends, and other professionals, to build your understanding. Then it’s time to start working from home and taking things for a test drive. Make sure to update your experience on all your profiles and ask companies that you have worked for to recommend you on and a referrals/recommendations document. Getting these recommendations are like getting reviews for your restaurant on yelp… you are better vetted when others who are in the industry vouch for you.

By now you can see the eco system in action. Prepping, digital presence, research, starting, capturing reviews, networking, evolving. Again, think of yourself as a brand, and a brand that keeps on engaging with a growing audience. Your audience is your network which leads to more opportunities. is a great place to meet others freelancing and thriving independently (San Francisco market shown)

Some advice from our platform regarding freelancing and independent success:

So let’s recap. There are a couple roads to travel when looking to work from home. Freelancing and working on a more permanent basis. Either way, don’t give out personal financial info if at all avoidable. If you do, make sure you are protected and engaging with a trusted business. Set aside some time to research and vet the opportunities presented. Try out some opportunities and capitalize any successes you have so you can build your online presence as a brand.

Try something low committal and part time to see how you like it. Here are some further thoughts

Some people discover working from home is the WORST. Separation of church and state is necessary in some ways. Leaving the house and having a ritual in the morning, heading to a separate space, and eliminating access to your own home full of distractions can be necessary for a lot of people.

A lot of people who work from home become experts at managing professional and personal life overlap. What I don’t recommend is having your laptop open all day. Enjoy the separation of professional and personal life at home, it will keep you from going insane TRUST ME.

Block off your calendar and let people know ‘NO’ when you can’t do something.

Give yourself a year to hit a stride and condition yourself to this new life.

Many people work from home part time to start off or if part of a dual (multi) income household.

You can rent work space in shared coworking locations but, these can chip away at your take home income in the end.

Get some me time in any situation… leave your home and do what you can if you are able. Go for a walk, do something, in any case, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE at least somewhat, you need to, believe me.

Think about what you can expense, there are tons of articles relating to this, but make sure you check out that research.

All in all, there are great opportunities out there. Think long term, and build up your flex resume so you can thrive working from home.