— -- Boy, I love working from home! And, man, do I love doing it in 2015! When I bother to venture out of my house, I bump into all sorts of other assorted business owners, freelancers and make-it-up-as-you-go-alongers who are thriving as they do their own thing on their own terms. All hail the Internet, which has made all this possible! Want to join us? Not sure what your DIY venture would be? I’m kicking off a three-part series to give you websites that have worked for others — along with inspiration and motivation.
Sell your services. When I began working for myself, with clients such as the Dr. Oz show, at first I felt like a flake. I mean, shopping for birthday party favors for my daughter at 2 p.m. on a weekday gave me guilt sweats! No longer! More and more people run their businesses in their jammies — and you can too. Here are two sites that match up service providers with service needers, with sometimes stunning results.
UpWork.com: Formerly ODesk and before that Elance. The name has changed, but the core concept hasn’t. My cousin has done some interesting projects through this site. She is a copy editor extraordinaire (and would have a field day with all the made up words in this article). You simply post your availability and skills. Clients can then hire you. Things really start to pick up once site users give you good ratings for your professionalism.
Fiverr.com: You’ve probably heard of Fiverr. Catchy name, but who wants to make just five bucks a job? That’s what I thought too, but here’s the deal: every assignment on Fiverr starts at $5 in pay, but you’re allowed to sell upgrades, do-overs, and so on for more. The inexpensive-sounding name brings clients in and your stellar skills keep them coming back.
Check out these real-life examples:
•Daniela sells research and web analysis on Fiverr, which makes up 60 percent of her income and she says last month alone she made more than $5,000.
•Suzi is a songwriter and musician who has written songs for a BBC reporter, a yoga studio and a famous German band through Fiverr.
•Tom, a graphic designer, says he’s made $100,000 since joining and even tells offline clients to purchase his gigs through Fiverr because it keeps him organized.
• Redd, a voiceover actress, has had more than 11,000 gigs on Fiverr, which she used to pay off her credit card debt.
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.
Elisabeth Leamy is a 20-year consumer advocate for programs such as "Good Morning America" and "The Dr. Oz Show." She is the author of Save BIG and The Savvy Consumer. Elisabeth is also a professional speaker, delivering talks nationwide on saving money, media relations, and career success. Elisabeth receives her best story tips from readers, so please connect with her via Facebook, Twitter or her website, to share your ideas.