How I built an online career from home

Many thanks to freelance writer, Jess Walters, for sharing her blog…

“For much of the decade after graduating uni in the late 90s, I confidently predicted careers would be made using just the internet. As I progressed through a series of corporate jobs, first in the music industry and later in tech, colleagues, friends and family members would ask me if I could do it. Sure, I said. No problem at all. Then I was made redundant – the victim of a business leadership who overspent. They kept their bonuses and I was dumped on the scrapheap; a mother of two, looking for something to do.

All I had was a battered laptop and an internet connection. Well, I also had my husband’s salary and some child support, but that’s not so empowering. Basically, I had one tool and needed to earn some money to put it where my mouth was, so to speak.”

Some online jobs don’t work for everyone

“Not one to run before learning to walk, I did a big old search online to see what kind of jobs were going around and ways to earn online. At one point I did consider becoming an online tutor, but soon realised it wasn’t for me. I also tried entering contests and doing surveys. I put a lot of time and effort in but only got a few quid out of it, so it most definitely didn’t feel right for me. I knew there were a lot of side hustles out there for people wanting to work from home and online, so it was only a matter of time.”

First steps: learning the ropes

“It began to work for me properly when I joined a few freelance bidding sites like Odesk and eLance (now combined as UpWork) and took on low paying writing jobs. Sure, if I’d been alone they would not have been enough, but it got me building up my discipline and skills, and I was able to work my way up to better paying gigs, then branching out to find my own clients. This was my niche and continues to be today. I have finally used my university-honed research and writing skills, as well as building up a good reputation among clients for delivering on time and on point.

Now I’m branching out to use my writing and researching skills to build my own businesses. They will take their time, but the internet offers us a wide range of options for building our own websites and financing them using affiliate marketing, advertising, product and service selling, and more. By going through a wide range of writing jobs from blogs to product descriptions, I feel ready to really build something cool.”