5 Ways You Can Make Money by Being Your Own Boss

Say goodbye to the traditional 9–5, and say hello to the Digital Freelancer era.

Photo by cottonbro

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, you could read plenty of stories about how ordinary people, without any special ‘conventional’ skills, other than their vision to make money out of a hobby they enjoy doing anyway, actually turned into a self-made multi-millionaire.

In the post-pandemic era, the so-called Great Resignation has exacerbated the transition from the ‘Old Economy’ of the 9–5 office job to the ‘New Economy’ of the Digital Freelancer. This ‘New Economy’ can be commonly described via two key attributes — flexibility in choosing your working hours and sourcing into more than one, oftentimes multiple streams of income. The change has been so rapid and innovative that even specialized names were coined to describe some of these newly invented professions, such as a Youtuber and a Tik-Toker.

So here are 5 ways you can make money by being a ‘Digital Freelancer’.

Way #1: Create the content on social media platforms in return for subscription or advertising fees.

Several options can accommodate various skills. For example, if you are talented at shooting and editing audio-visual content then platforms such as YouTube and TikTok would probably be ideal options for you. If only audio is your thing then you could create podcasts or online music playlists on platforms such as Spotify. On the other hand, if writing content is your niche then you would be better off focusing on publication platforms such as Medium and Substack. Other social media such as LinkedIn, a primarily professional networking platform, allow you to create and utilize a combination of written, audio and visual content.

Way #2: Working remotely for a fee by completing assigned projects, for example via professional outsourcing and task sharing.

This is the most common and relatively easiest way to come across and make some money on the side, although you shouldn’t expect to get rich from this. It’s best suited to those who want to replicate a 9–5 job but have the flexibility to do it on their own time and terms. At the same time, it provides the additional advantage of diversifying between several potential contractors instead of relying on just one employer. It’s quite common to work on several projects of varying size and importance at the same time, thus providing multiple streams of income. Platforms such as Upwork, Audacity, and Fiverr are some of the most popular choices here.

Way #3: Investing or trading online in traditional financial markets such as equities, or less traditional asset classes such as FX and cryptocurrencies.

This is perhaps one of the most challenging ways to make money online, in particular, if you are a day trader. Statistically, most investors who trade on a very frequent basis tend to lose all their capital. Therefore, and unless you consider yourself a true pro, you should be better off by implementing a long-term investment plan, such as dollar-cost averaging, or by utilizing the services of a professional investment adviser. Long-term investing can be potentially quite beneficial, taking into account the concept of compounded returns on your investments. There are several online brokers and other providers of investment services who can accommodate this type of business. Some, like Robinhood, claim to charge either very low or zero fees for their services.

Way #4: Drop-shipping is another popular way to make money online.

Platforms such as Amazon Marketplace and Shopify can provide the option of re-selling products via large marketplaces, thus allowing you to focus more efficiently on marketing to your target group of clients.

Way #5:Rent-to-let platforms such as Airbnb allow you to earn money by renting a property with the sole purpose of subletting it on vacation rental sites, or even your website.

This is not a risk-free business of course, and you should focus your efforts on marketing, aiming to generate more income from subletting the property than all your expenses related to the rent.

Key-take-away

The Great Resignation has created new opportunities for workers to explore and exploit. Freedom to pick your gigs and flexibility in choosing your working schedule should be weighed against the extra risk, and possibly stress, of relying on several streams of income to make it through the month.

However, the Digital Freelancer concept is essentially entrepreneurial and can thus provide you with increased odds of being both more financially successful and happier in achieving your own goals in the long term, as opposed to working as an employee in the traditional 9–5.

Finally, it doesn’t always have to be a choice of one over the other. A hybrid model may be a better fit for some.

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Legal Disclaimer: All views are strictly personal and intended for educational purposes only. Under no circumstances can information in this article be considered as advice, investment, or otherwise, nor can it be considered as a solicitation to trade in any securities. You should consult your adviser for any financial matters. Although the information has been utilized from sources that are deemed to be accurate, no liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies. The author cannot be held liable for any adverse impact due to any action or inaction by anyone as a result of consuming this information. All rights reserved.

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Spyros Ierides, CFA

Spyros Ierides, CFA

Sharing thoughts on financial markets, personal investing and self development.