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The Best Remote Jobs: Work from Anywhere

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How do you find the best remote jobs out there? The best thing you can do is connect your passion with the world’s needs. Have freedom on top of that by being remote.

 

“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

Frederick Buechner

 

By the end of 2020, more than half of U.S. workers were doing their jobs remotely at least part of the time. Into 2021, the majority of those remote employees said they wanted to keep working remotely even when Covid-19 subsides.

2021 Remote Work Statistics

This isn’t shocking. Millions of people are finding they quite like working online. There’s a greater freedom to choose your lifestyle, from where you live to what hours you work. The ability to be closer to family and choose your work environment (and of course the lack of a lengthy morning commute) mean that working remotely is finding its way onto people’s lists of requirements.

If you’re interested in remote work but don’t think your current position is going to stay there forever, then you may want to put together a remote work career track for yourself. 

What are the best remote jobs out there?

I firmly believe that anyone who wants to work remotely and live and work from anywhere should be able to do so.  Not everyone’s remote work career track may look the same. The beauty of remote work is that most skills and work experience can translate to an online position fairly well.  Your offline skills, in one way or another, can translate to the online world.  

If you use social media, use a computer, and have a smartphone, for example, you already have a basic skill set that can apply towards getting a remote job.  And, if you don’t know what to do, you can take a course in a field of your choice and at any level to get you on the right track for finding a remote job.  It’s really just a matter of finding the best remote job or career for you. 

And you might be surprised where you fit in the remote job world. Many people look for an exact analog of their current job in the online workforce, when really you could be looking for remote jobs that value your skills and passions more than your current position.

Here are some (but not all) of the positions that excel in the remote working world.  We’ve compiled the best remote jobs that pay well, aren’t work-from-home scams, and allow you to have a healthy income while working from anywhere.  You might be surprised at the diversity of remote work. 

If you’re completely new and looking to build your skill set for remote work, you can also check out entry-level courses to help you learn new skills to jumpstart your remote career or to expand your existing knowledge base.

Writing

Writing gigs have had remote options even long before “work from home” was a phrase. Authors and newspaper columnists were mailing their work in to publishers decades before the internet. Now in the digital age, the opportunities for remote work as a writer have exploded. 

Email, shareable documents and online work platforms like Slack and Google Hangouts make writing from home a viable career path for more than just novelists. Businesses need copy for their websites, content for their blogs and someone to draft social media posts. 

And you don’t just have to look for someone to hire you. If writing is your passion, you can work remotely as your own boss by establishing your own website or blog. There are plenty of ways to monetize your writing

Find the best remote writing jobs on the LWA job board.

Sales

Working in sales is more than just sitting in a call center cubicle. Every company needs product specialists to work with their marketers to get leads through the sales funnel. As a remote sales employee, you may also work to generate leads yourself.

While this might seem like more of an in-person job, online sales positions are actually common. In fact, 16% of companies are completely remote and need work-from-home employees to help them make sales. 

You don’t need to be a seasoned sales veteran to land an online sales job. If you’re interested in sales as a career, brush up your current resume with an eye for transferable skills. “Sales” isn’t really something you’ll see many people with a degree or certification in. Instead, people who work sales come from backgrounds like communication, business or even customer service. 

A good option if you’re looking to burst onto the sales scene is to look for sales work in an industry you’re familiar with. For example, an experienced ghost writer might excel at selling copywriting services. 

Find the best remote jobs in Sales on LWA’s job board..

Tech and customer support

As companies grow, they need dedicated support staff. These positions exist to support both customers and internal staff. “Tech support” might make you think of someone on a headset asking a belligerent caller to try restarting their computer, but there are many positions beyond that. 

Sure, there are those callers and technical issues, but companies need tech employees to handle internal support, as well. 

As for customer support, it’s also about more than helping customers when products don’t work. There’s also product ordering support, which is a huge component of sites like Amazon. 

Customer support has a fairly low barrier to entry and makes a good starter job for someone wanting to test out the work-from-home situation. Here are some of the most common places or industries to find a remote customer support job:

  • Online shopping (Amazon, eBay, etc.)
  • Healthcare / medical 
  • The mortgage industry
  • Airlines (Delta, Alaska, etc.)
  • Travel agencies

Find the best remote jobs in tech and customer support here.

Software design and development

It’s no surprise that a lot of tech jobs have made the leap to remote work very smoothly. And it’s not just tech startups that are looking for remote workers, many established companies are also hiring remotely for these positions.  Some of the best (and highest paying) remote jobs are in the tech industry.  So if you have a desire or knack for tech, you like jobs that are challenging and feel comfortable in an industry that is always changing, look no further.   

Also, there is a definite increase in software engineering teams going remote.  Prior to 2020, before Covid, 13% of engineering teams were fully remote.  As a result of the pandemic, that number has increased to 74% and now 66% of engineering teams believe they will continue to allow remote work after Covid has subsided.

You have options when it comes to remote tech jobs. It’s not just late night coding with 3 big screens, no lights, and a giant pizza box next to the always-full coffee mug at your side. For example you can work in design, product management or project management.  

Design 

There are various forms of design in the tech world.  From graphic design and illustration to user experience and user interface design.  We talk about this a little bit more below for front end developers, which can also be called front end designers. 

Product Management

Every product that’s created needs someone to manage the flow of tasks, project deadlines, features being released, etc. A product manager makes sure that the software developers are developing what the customers want.  This is different from a project manager who makes sure things are getting done on time. Product managers are closely tied in to the development process.

Development

If you’ve got some development experience already, you may be wondering where to focus your skills to land the best jobs. Which coding languages you should master depends on what kind of development you want to do. For example: 

  • Front end developer

JavaScript, Elm, TypeScript.

  • Back end developer

JavaScript, Scala, Python, Go, Ruby

  • Game design

Unity, TypeScript

  • Mobile app development

Swift, Java, Objective C, JavaScript 

Your most sellable trait in the online development space is adaptability. Make sure you’re learning and growing with the times, keeping up with the latest advancements and newest technology. Even if you’ve got past experience, it’s a good idea to brush up on your skills. 

There are many programming and coding schools that will offer courses for more experienced developers as well as complete beginners. Codeacademy is a good example. If you’re not able to invest a lot of money into learning coding right now, you may consider options like Lamba School or Microverse, where they offer the education for free upfront and you pay them back after they help you land a job. 

A coding school is a great way to get started in coding for little to no money and have a nearly-guaranteed high-paying job once you graduate.  

You can find entry-level software jobs on Liveworkanywhere. Already a senior level engineer and need to be matched with the best remote jobs on the planet? Go to our partner site, fullstackremote.

Operations 

This is a good category for anyone with strong basic office skills and business experience. Operations is just career lingo for every position that works behind the scenes to make sure business processes run smoothly. This can be program coordination, office administration and much more. For example, a company may have an operations team that focuses on creating internal training materials and building in-depth client onboarding experiences. 

General positions in operations can include everything from a business operations manager all the way up to a COO.  

If you’re just starting out, you can look for an entry level position as an executive or administrative assistant. These positions are looking for people with a strong grasp of basic office suites like Microsoft or Google products. 

A general operations position might be that of a business operations manager or a company executive. You’ll need more experience and a solid resume for this position, so if you’ve got your sights set on a high remote work position, you may want to get your feet wet in a lower level assistant position first. This will give you a good opportunity to explore a new industry at relatively low risk. 

Find the best remote jobs in operations. 

Virtual Assistant 

Virtual assistant is another term for an admin or executive assistant, but, of course, virtual. And again this can be anything from entry level to more advanced. This is one of the best starter jobs for people who want to enter the virtual workforce but aren’t sure where to start or get experience.  

How does a virtual assistant job differ from the admin assistant positions we just talked about? A virtual assistant involves freelancing multiple clients whereas an operations admin assistant is a remote job where you’ve been hired by one company. There’s even the possibility that a freelance VA gig could turn into a permanent remote position.

Search for the best virtual assistant or admin assistant remote jobs here

Freelancing 

The gig economy is growing. Even prior to the pandemic, freelancing was projected to make up more than half the workforce by 2027. So if you have specialized skills, you can get started working for yourself. You’ll need to brand yourself and gather clients. We talk more about this process here

If you don’t have the time to invest in becoming a completely independent freelancer, you can go to a business for help. Freelancing for a company like Upwork or Fivrr can help get you work fast. There are more specialized sites, as well, like Behance, Textbroker or Content Cucumber.

Marketing

Every company, non-profit and brand out there needs marketing, and marketers have traditionally fared pretty well in online spaces. With tools like 5g tech and the near omnipresence of Wi-Fi, many marketing positions have dropped the in-person requirements. 

You’ll find that many smaller companies are on the lookout for a “jack of all trades” or “full stack” marketer who can do a little bit of everything, from social media, to brand design, lead generation, advertising, messaging and content creation. 

Once you move up towards the larger businesses and corporations, they’ll be wanting marketing specialists. These are marketers who focus on one area, such as social media. You may see these two types of marketing jobs referred to as generalist marketing and specialist marketing.  

If you’re just starting out, you may want to cut your teeth on several varieties as you figure out what best aligns with your skills as passions. Then you can focus in on that specialization. In other words, start off as a general marketer and move towards a specialist track later on. Having a wide variety of skills is great, but in order to move up in your career you’ll want to focus in on an area of expertise and develop that more fully.  

Find the best remote marketing jobs on liveworkanywhere.

Finance

You may be surprised just how many remote finance jobs are out there. While the traditional image of a finance employee might be someone locked in a small work cubicle in a suit at the back of the office building, more and more companies have been hiring out their financial needs to remote workers or even remote finance companies. In fact, more than 70 percent of financial executives outsource at least some of their work remotely.

There are a few paths for a remote career in finance: you can look for remote accounting or bookkeeping positions, a Controller or even a CFO. You can work for startups providing accounting services or even more traditional accounting firms. 

Find the best remote finance roles on our job board.            

Human Resources 

The more that companies go remote, the more support they need for things like hiring and managing remote talent. This means handling benefits, salaries, payouts, employee training materials, onboarding processes and more. 

Human resource jobs can also earn you a nice stable salary, anywhere from 30k-100k/year.

And of course, many companies are looking for H.R. specialists to manage their increasing number of remote employees. Facebook recently hired their first Director of Remote Work to do this very job.  

Find the best remote jobs in Human Resources. 

Legal services

If you have a background in law, there are a lot of opportunities to take those skills remote. Paralegals and attorneys both fit nicely into the remote landscape, particularly for consultations and other services that can be offered over the phone or via Zoom. 

During the Coronavirus pandemic, many legal services (and even full court cases) transitioned to videoconferencing. And while in-person trials and consultations will resume again once things have calmed down, many law firms are finding that keeping remote options available to clients allows them to connect with global legal teams, reach out to more diverse clients and ultimately serve their communities better. 

There’s good room for crossover here, as well. For example, if you have a legal background and writing skills, you may be perfectly suited to an online legal writing position. 

Paralegals and legal support can earn 40-60k/year and attorneys can earn well into 6 figures. 

Find the best remote jobs in legal professions on our job board.

Medical 

Telehealth options have risen more than 50 percent since the CDC recommended these options to areas affected by Covid. However, telehealth was already a rising trend before that. While it’s not projected that telehealth will replace in-person care, it is a helpful tool for hospitals and clinics to have, and many of them are investing long-term. 

This is because telehealth options help doctors and other medical professionals reach a wider audience, including lower-income patients and those who cannot travel. 

Remote medical jobs exist for licensed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, counselors and physician assistants, but you can also work in this field doing the “behind the scenes” work. This includes scheduling, claims reviews, insurance work and more.

Go to Remote Medical Jobs to get an idea of what telehealth jobs are out there. Or search for the best remote jobs for medical professionals on our site

Teaching  

Nearly all schools had to transition to online when the pandemic hit, but we’re not talking about that. There are many teaching positions that are permanently remote, and were long before Covid struck. 

Of course, if you’re already a seasoned teacher or professor, you can look for remote teaching positions at universities or even high schools. But even if you don’t have a long background in teaching, there are jobs out there that make great side hustles (and can even transition to full time careers). 

Most common are tutoring and teaching English as a second language. The demand for native English speakers who are available to teach remotely is incredibly high. The pay can range anywhere from $10/hour to $40/hour or more. How much you make will depend on who you work for, what experience you have and even what hours you choose to work. Some of these positions may require that you have a TEFL certificate, and these are usually the ones that have higher pay. 

You can often set your own hours for these kinds of positions. However, keep in mind that many English teaching positions might need you to be working early in the morning or very late at night due to the time difference between Asia and North America or Europe. 

Next steps: How to Get Started with Working Remotely

All this might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the remote work scene. To start making progress towards your dream job, you’ll need three things:

  1. Be remote ready
  2. Know your strengths
  3. Know what job you want

1. Remote Ready: How do I prepare for remote work?

Home office

Set up a home office or workspace that’s going to help you be productive. Whether this is a dedicated room in your house or just a desk in the corner is up to you. However, all home offices need strong Wi-Fi and a steady source of power. 

Ready to take your remote career on the road? First be sure to check out our Mobility Criteria to make sure you can successfully live and work from anywhere in the world.

Tools

Your job may supply you with work from home tools or it may not. Applications like Slack, Zoom, and others allow you to be connected with your team and keep on top of your work. You will want to look into which pieces of software are most necessary for your position and then familiarize yourself with how they work. 

Communication

Over-communication is the name of the game here. If you’re silent, your clients or teammates won’t know what you’re up to. Be extra responsive to emails, don’t leave messages on read and reach out to those you work with regularly. It takes motivation to succeed in remote work, so be sure you’re ready to take initiative.

Limited distractions

Working from home can be distracting for some people. Here’s how you can identify and prevent common distractions:

  • Set up your office in a low-traffic area of your home
  • Talk with your housemates or family and explain what your availability will look like on work days
  • Consider getting a dedicated work phone

Calendars and time management

If you’re new to remote work, don’t jump into it without first preparing for a major shift in time management. You’ll be on your own getting your work done with no coworkers or a boss to look over your shoulder. Some people thrive in a self-starter environment and others need a little extra help.

Give yourself every advantage by:

  • Over-communicating 
  • Setting up a work calendar
  • Testing your internet and power supplies
  • Practicing using remote collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.

Not sure if you’re ready for remote work or not? Take a moment to really analyze your passions and your career strengths. 

2. Know Your Strengths: What is the best remote job for me?

Looking for remote work but not sure where to start? It can be overwhelming, but the key is to zero in on what you need. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I looking to transition my current career online or start a new one?

It is easier to search for a new remote position that matches your current one because you know exactly what you’re looking for. But you shouldn’t be scared to jump into something new if that’s what’s going to keep you happy and motivated. 

  • Do I want to be my own boss or work for someone else?

There are varying degrees of independence within remote work. Finding a remote job in an existing company is usually an easier path but may not give you all the freedom you want. For example, you may still be tied to traditional office hours and availability. 

Embarking on a truly independent remote work track means going into freelance work or starting your own online company. Both of these require a bit more of an initial time investment on your part. A freelancer needs to establish credibility and start selling their brand. Starting your own business means coming up with a product, developing your brand, setting up a website and more.

It all depends on what you’re looking for. Which of these paths is going to be the most rewarding for you? Answer that question, and then don’t settle for anything less.

Looking into building your own startup? Go to Anywherestartup.com for more help.

  • What are my current skills and what skills do I want to improve or learn?

You want a job that’s a good fit now but with room to grow. Identifying your strengths as well as weaknesses you want to work on will help you narrow down your search. We’ll go into more detail about skills and personality below.

  • What excites and motivates me? 

You’re transitioning to remote work because of the freedom and flexibility it offers, but it’s not just the “remoteness” of the job that’s important. The work you’re doing matters, too. Settling for a position you’re not interested in just because it’s remote will not make you happy in the long run. Instead, identify your passions and find remote work that lets you utilize them. 

How do I assess my skills?

“What are you good at?” is such a daunting question. If you’re struggling to pinpoint your professional skills and goals, you’re not alone! It can be tricky to identify just what you’re good at and even trickier to match your answers to the language you find in job descriptions. 

An online skills assessment can help you crack the surface. And once you get going, you’ll find that figuring yourself out is an exciting, lifelong journey.

What’s my work personality? 

“What’s your personality?” is even vaguer than the last question, but equally as important for finding your ideal job–online or otherwise. People are diverse and no one fits perfectly into any single category. However, an online personality test might be a good place to start if you need a general idea of the work environment where you’re most likely to thrive. 

3. Know What Job You Want: Where can I find the best remote jobs?

You can find remote work positions practically anywhere jobs are posted. All the common sites like Monster, Flexjobs and Indeed have remote jobs and you can usually filter your search to find just these positions. You can also take a gander at the Liveworkanywhere job board for remote positions in different fields. 

Still feeling lost?

You can start by taking some courses and dig in a bit more into skill development to see which path suits you best.

A career coach may be able to help you get started. If you’re dedicated to finding a new online career but still feel overwhelmed by the scope of your options, talking through your needs with a professional might be the jumpstart you need. However, to make the most out of a career coach, you may want to first  identify your skills and basic job needs and go to your coach with these answers already in your mind.

laptop running online video conference in a remote office 2021

Remote work 2021 and the Future of Remote Work

laptop running online video conference in a remote office 2021

Remote work is more common than ever, and it’s showing no signs of slowing. Remote work in 2021 is more robust and versatile than ever before, and it’s changing the professional landscape as we know it.

With companies like Twitter, Nationwide, Shopify and many others offering remote work options to all employees, it’s clear that what’s happening isn’t just a trend. While the Covid-19 pandemic has obviously spurred things along, the rise in remote work was always on the horizon. Even without the pandemic’s influence, remote work options were still projected to increase more than 80 percent by 2025.

Important remote work statistics 

  • Remote workers save approximately $7,000 every year on transportation, food and childcare (TECLA)
  • Working remotely just half of the time saves people on average 11 days each year by reducing commute time (State of Telecommuting)
  • Remote workers are 24% more likely to report being both happy and productive at their job (Owl Labs)
  • By 2028, 73% of business departments will have at least one remote worker (Upwork)

The three kinds of remote work

Remote work is a very broad term that includes a lot of different online jobs. These positions can be fully remote, hybrid or flex. We’ll go into each type of remote work below.

1. Fully Remote

Fully remote is just what it sounds like: a job or business built with the intention of being remote. 

These jobs will already be equipped with the proper tools for you to succeed virtually. Companies with fully remote positions will likely also have a better understanding of what to expect of their remote employees.

2. Hybrid

The key difference between hybrid remote work and fully remote work is the company. With a hybrid position, some of your coworkers may be in-office, as opposed to an all-remote staff. This changes the general culture of your workplace.

Almost any type of job can be a hybrid position, it just depends on the company. The CFO of a large hospital may be fully remote, so might an entry-level assistant position. No matter what your skills and work experience, there are remote jobs out there for you.

3. Flex

Some positions offer flex work. This means you go into the office some or most of the time, and have the opportunity to work remotely, as well. The number of remote days for a flex position could range from one or two a month to several a week! 

While flex work still requires you live near to your business’s office space, it does offer many of the other benefits of remote work like increased flexibility and the potential for greater productivity. With a flex job, you may be able to travel more, spend more time with your family or just get away from the noise of the office every now and then. 

Forced Remote

One more kind of remote work is forced remote. This is when a traditionally in-person position is forced online due to circumstance. Many people are finding themselves in forced remote situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not all companies were ready for the sudden switch to online work, and without the proper infrastructure and procedures in place, their employees had a difficult time. Odds are you may already be one of the more than a million people forced into online work by the pandemic, and you may have found it frustrating and difficult. 

The good news is that this doesn’t mean you aren’t cut out for remote work. You may just need to find an online position that was designed with remote work in mind. This is where remote first work and flex work come into play. 

The truth about remote work

Remote work requires just as much dedication and skills as working in a traditional office. Sometimes even more so. You need to be self driven and able to keep on top of your schedule and time management. 

And while you can work from anywhere given the right tools, transitioning to remote work probably won’t mean you’ll be putting together that project report from your beach towel. Remote work, like traditional office work, requires good lighting, internet and diminished distractions.

woman with outdoor remote office
Looks fun but full of distractions and shoddy internet.

Is remote work for everyone?

No. As exciting as it is that more and more people are being offered the chance to work remotely, some people–like some industries–are better suited to working on site. According to Buffer, loneliness, communication and the ability to separate work from one’s home life are the biggest challenges that remote workers face. 

The most helpful thing you can do now is make an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to time management and remote work. If you’re unsure where to start, try matching your personality type to your ideal remote career.

We also have tips and advice to help you stay productive while working remotely.

General trends of remote work

Industries embracing remote work in 2021

According to Owl Labs, the health industry, tech industry and financial services have the highest rate of remote workers.  But web development, design, copywriting and finance are also big players in the remote space. 

Some industries are less of a good fit for large amounts of remote workers, especially those involving events and activities. For people in these industries, there may be fewer options for remote work. Notice we said fewer, not none. You might be surprised how many traditionally in-person industries have remote options. 

Remote work encouraging exodus from large cities

One of the most exciting aspects of this changing work landscape is how cities and towns are adapting to these changes. Years ago, when remote work was rare, there were many jobs that were locationally locked to certain areas. Once upon a time, your only shot in a given industry might have required you pack up your things and move. Today, this is less and less the case.

With work no longer as rigorously tied to location, we’re seeing something of a migration as people choose to move to more rural areas to save money on housing, to be closer to family or just to get out of the city.

Conversely, this leaves more of an opening in larger cities for people who truly want to live there. People are leaving San Francisco for Sacramento, New York for South Florida, and all in record numbers. According to CNBC, 14-23 million Americans are in the midst of planning a relocation thanks to more flexible remote working schedules. 

Technology is innovating to support the growing online workforce

New innovations like 5g and satellite technologies are making it easier than ever to stay connected to your coworkers and career from anywhere in the world. Today, hopping onto an online workspace is quick and painless, and your team can coordinate work easy through e-mail, Dropbox, shared files like Google Docs. and the hundreds of other companies providing similar tools.

Video conferencing software like Zoom make synchronized online meetings a possibility. These technologies and remote work form a symbiotic relationship: as remote work options grow, bolstered by all these new tools, tech companies are encouraged to innovate even more to keep up with the rising demand for work-from-home software.

Remote work in 2021

  • 16 percent of companies in the world are entirely remote (Owl Labs)
  • 52% of employees work remotely at least once every month (Owl Labs)
  • Approximately 62 percent of employees work remotely at least some of the time (Owl Labs)
  • 18 percent of people globally work remotely full time (Owl Labs)
  • Less than half of the world’s companies (44 percent) don’t allow any form of remote work (Owl Labs)

How to work remotely

If you’re interested in working remotely, you have three options: working from home from your current job, finding a new remote job or starting your own online business and becoming your own boss.  

1. Transition your current job to remote work

Your current job may be able to accommodate a remote work lifestyle. Many companies are seeing the benefit to staffing more of their employees remotely. However, if your employer is one of the 44 percent that don’t allow any remote work, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your skills and experience elsewhere. 

2. Look for a new remote position

If your job won’t allow you to transition to remote or flex work, then there’s nothing wrong with pursuing other opportunities. Go to online job boards to see what positions are available in your field. Since you can work from almost anywhere for a remote position, you’ll likely find you have more options than you would were you looking for in-person work.

You can start your job search here, on the Liveworkanywhere Job Board.

3. Start your own online business

You also have the option to cut completely free of your employer entirely and start up your own online business. The possibilities here are virtually limitless, so much so that we have an entire post on getting your remote business off the ground.

Getting ready for remote work in 2021

home office with laptop desktop and notebook
A solid home office is key to successful remote work. See how you can take yours on the go with our mobility criteria.

What do I need to work remotely?

I’ve learned that although you CAN work from anywhere, you aren’t very productive working from the beach with sand blowing on your laptop and overheating or from your car or from the rock of Gibraltar. This kind of setup puts you at risk of running out of power, losing your internet, getting distracted, or simply not having access to all the supplies you need because you left them in the other room.

A change in scenery now and then can be good for your productivity levels, but it’s best for you to set up a good home office first.  

Necessary home office supplies:

  • Your computer
  • Comfortable/supportive chair
  • Appropriate lighting
  • Good internet (you can write off part of your internet bill on your taxes)

As you work, you’ll find additional home office supplies that make sense for you and your job. Do you need a paper shredder? A filing cabinet? Don’t go overboard buying too many things beyond the necessities until you know you’ll need them.

You can see our full guide on setting up the optimal home office here. 

What does remote work mean for you

Your path into this new work world is yours to make. If you have the desire to embrace online work, then you may find yourself enjoying the freedoms remote work entails. You can write your schedule more freely, travel and live wherever you want to be, and accomplish all your career goals from your own home. 

Even if you don’t switch to remote work, the future is still exciting. As the urban-suburban dichotomy begins to shift with remote workers relocating, you may find an opportunity to seek out an in-person job in a place you never thought you could move to before. And your workplace will likely have more remote employees in the future, even if you remain in the office. 

No matter what your career, the changing work landscape may be your chance to get out there and reshape your career however you see fit.

FAQ

What specific skills do I need to work remotely? 

Remote work requires you to be self-motivated and a good communicator. Without being surrounded by coworkers or supervisors, you’ll need to keep your own schedule and know when to reach out to colleagues. 

As for job-specific skills, you’ll find that nearly all career skills can translate nicely to an online career. Some of the most sought-after skills in remote workers include:

  • Technical and computer skills
  • Writing skills
  • Design skills

Remote jobs exist for all positions, from beginner to expert, so don’t think so much about how you can gain remote work skills, and instead focus on how you can transition the skills you have to an online job. 

What remote work jobs can I get?

The sky’s the limit! Whatever your passion, you can find an online job that taps into your skills and career goals. Some of the most common online positions right now are:

  • Web developer
  • Recruiter
  • Writer
  • Accountant
  • Engineer
  • Finance
  • And even nursing!

Check out the Job Board on Liveworkanywhere to see where you might fit in.

Are remote workers paid less? 

No. Depending on your remote job, you may make more, less, or the same amount as an in-person position. In fact, on average remote workers actually see an annual income that’s $4,000 higher

It can be hard to say for sure whether transitioning to remote work will see you bringing home bigger paychecks or not, because there are so many variables. Some companies pay employees different salaries based on where they live, which means that if you live in a rural area but your coworkers are in the city, there’s a possibility you may be offered a comparatively lower salary. This is a company-by-company decision, however, and you also have to factor in the cost savings of remote work such as:

  • No commute
  • Opportunity to live in a cheaper area
  • Lower childcare costs
  • Home office tax deductions  

How much does it cost to set up a home office?

The answer is as much or as little as you need, depending on your job. You may need $3,000-$5,000 if you’re investing in a new desk, a new computer and upgrading your internet. 

If that sounds like a lot, don’t panic. Many people start off their their existing laptop and phone setup and pay very little for their home office. Doing so allows you to give remote work a try without being too financially invested. If you end up going back to the office, then you’re not out anything. 

Are remote jobs less stable?

No. A remote job is no more or less stable than its in-person equivalent. How stable your remote job is comes down entirely to the company you’re working for (or the industry you’re in if you start your own business). 

Know your worth as an employee and always do your research into a company before applying to work remotely for them. Remote work scams are a valid concern, so make sure you’re ready to spot and avoid them.

 

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The Best Hosting Options for Online Business

The Best Hosting Options for Online Business 

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Conducting online business means staking out a domain name and then finding a service to host it. Everything on the internet has to physically exist on a server somewhere, and unless you have thousands of dollars’ worth of high-end computer equipment in your basement, you’ll need to look for external hosting from a third-party company. Don’t fly into this decision blind, though. Take some time to decide which hosting options is best for your online business. 

What are hosting services?

A website is really a collection of files, images, buttons, forms, etc that communicate with servers.  

All the data it takes to run a website has to be stored on a server somewhere. If you’re like most small business owners, you don’t have these mighty servers hiding in your basement, and so you’ll need a company to host your site for you.

A good web hosting service will have strong customer support, trustworthy security, the ability to scale with your business and guaranteed uptime for your site, meaning it never crashes.

Types of Online Businesses

First, you’ll want to identify just what kind of business you’re running. Are you going to be selling things in an eCommerce store? Making money off affiliate links on your blog? Or something else? If you’re still looking for inspiration in this area, see our guide to all the different online businesses you can start.

Each business has unique needs, and you’ll want to keep yours in mind as you pick out a hosting service. 

What kind of site do I need for my online business?  

Depending on the type of business you plan to launch is how you’ll select your host.  

If you’re looking to start a blog, you’ll want a WordPress site. My favorite hosts for WordPress are Bluehost, WP Engine, and Kinsta. See how Bluehost and WP Engine match up.  Also, see why I’m switching to Kinsta for one of my sites.  

First, just a quick overview on the types of hosting.  

Types of hosting services

Hosting has four main flavors: shared, dedicated, managed, and all-in-one. There is some overlap between these terms, so let’s dig into them one at a time to clear things up.

What is shared hosting?

Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like. You and a number of other sites are hosted on the same server. Think of it like having a bunch of roommates all on the same wifi. You can save a lot of money by splitting costs, but if one of your friends starts downloading and entire library, it can slow down whatever you’re trying to do. 

For just getting started and a low budget, shared hosting is the best way to start, and you can upgrade as you grow.  

What are the best shared hosting options for my online business?

Bluehost

$2.95-13.95/month

Bluehost offers hosting starting at $2.95/month if you sign up through this link. 

If you start with Bluehost on a shared plan, through this link, you also get a WordPress installation. 

HostGator

$2.75-5.95/month

Another good option is HostGator, which offers only budget options. That doesn’t mean the hosting is sub-par, though. They have similar uptime to other providers and offer solid performance. Where HostGator shines is in their customer support, which is very good, especially for a budget option. Hostgator offers multiple real-time ways to communicate with customer support like live-chat or phone in addition to the traditional ticketing system and email options. 

HostGator does not offer the same scalability as Bluehost, however. If your company grows, you’ll have to switch hosting providers at some point. 

What is dedicated hosting?

Dedicated hosting is the other side of the coin from shared. The entire server is dedicated to your business. This type of hosting is typically going to run you hundreds of dollars a month, making it not a very good choice for a business starting up on a smaller budget. Dedicated is when you run a large scale operation. 

However, more popular are cloud hosting services like AWS (Amazon Web Services) that allow you to quickly scale up, or scale down, based on the amount of traffic you have.  

You probably won’t be in the market for dedicated hosting until your business is much larger, if ever. For the purposes of getting your online business off the ground, we’ll stick with the basics: managed and shared hosting.  

What is managed hosting?

Managed hosting is an all-in-one package for a company to manage your site for you. This takes a massive load off of you and can be the difference between going strong and burning out, especially if you’re working alone or with a very small team. Delegating the management of your site to a trusted hosting service frees up your time to focus on growing your business.

Bluehost also offers a fully managed solution.  I use a managed solution because it includes things like: 

  • Automatic daily backups 
  • Security – SSL certificates – making sure my site is secure
  • Plugin updates
  • Dedicated support

You won’t have to think about what you need or install anything extra, it’s all … well, managed.  

What are the best managed hosting options for my online business?

If you have a larger budget, there’s no reason not to get started with managed hosting. As your business grows, you will want to get a managed solution eventually to free up your time and energy for other things. 

Bluehost

$19.95-49.95/month

Bluehost’s managed WordPress options are their newest hosting option. Right now they only offer options for managing a single website. 

Kinsta

$30-1,500/month

Kinsta’s more expensive packages are enterprise solutions for companies needing dozens or even hundreds of different sites managed. For a single website, Kinsta is very affordable. 

WP Engine

$25-241/month

Like Kinsta, WP Engine is a WordPress-exclusive hosting company. This means more specialized tools for WordPress sites, but you cannot host a non-Wordpress site with them.

Site Ground 

$6.99-14.99/month

Site Ground has the cheapest managed hosting option on this list, however, their $6.99 tier lacks a staging site, an important hosting feature. 

Does my WordPress site need hosting?

Yes! As we’ve established, hosting is one of the two key components of a functional website, along with a domain name. When you set up your website via WordPress, you will still need hosting. Now, whether or not you get that hosting externally is up to you. 

First, is your website on WordPress.com or WordPress.org? This is a big difference. 

Setting up a site on WordPress.com is like renting or borrowing a website of your very own. You don’t have to worry about the hosting. You’ll be stuck using a WordPress subdomain, and there’s no plug-in integration, which severely limits your options. This is a setup that may work well enough for someone running a personal blog with limited advertising needs, but it won’t be able to keep up with the demands of a scalable eCommerce store or other business. 

WordPress.org on the other hand allows you to buy your own domain and get outside hosting. So unlike the .com option where WordPress was hosting everything for you, with a WordPress.org site you’ll need to get that hosting on your own via Bluehost, WP Engine or another option. 

I don’t have WordPress, do I have to use a hosting provider?

The answer is no. There are many all-in-one site builders that act as a sort of “complete package”, eliminating the need for separate hosting. So instead of creating a WordPress site and then looking for a hosting site like Bluehost, you can commit to an all-in-one package. 

Companies like Weebly function much like WordPress.com, allowing you to build your site with user-friendly tools and then doing the hosting for you via a shared platform. The biggest difference is that while WordPress uses open-source templates and themes, sites like Weebly may use proprietary ones, which can limit your design options.

The best hosting option for your online business may be a site builder

You may want to choose an all-in-one package from the start, before you have even designed your website. Using a comprehensive site builder can help keep things simple and get your site up and running even sooner.

Squarespace 

$12-40/month

Squarespace is really popular for its user-friendly interface. They also have extensions, SEO tools and access to experts to help you. You can view Squarespace’s available templates here.

Wix 

$14-39/month

What sets Wix apart from Squarespace is that it is unstructured. This means you can drag and drop elements anywhere on the page, while with Squarespace they “snap” into place, limiting your options. 

Wix can be chaotic at times and a little bit harder to get to grips with than Squarespace, but it remains one of the most common website builders for a reason. Wix also has more templates to choose from, though Squarespace’s templates are a bit more polished. 

Weebly

$6-26/month

Weebly’s biggest advantage is its lower price (Weebly also has a free plan which Squarespace does not).  Weebly’s other major selling point is that it is incredibly easy to use. If you’re not tech-savvy and the idea of designing your website seems daunting, it may be worth giving Weebly a try. 

If you have advanced technical skills you can build full scale web applications and apps on some of these no-code builders like Webflow and Bubble. 

Disadvantages of comprehensive site builders

So if Squarespace or Wix will do it all, why would you ever choose anything different? Well there are some disadvantages to the all-in-one platform. 

With complete site builders, you have less control. Your choice of themes, while broad, is still limited to pre-built options. Ultimately, a site created with these tools won’t be as scalable as one you create using a hosting site. Remember, the best hosting option for your online business is one that grows as you do. 

Should I use an all-in-one site builder or a separate hosting service?

If you’re just starting out, you want to choose a website option that won’t overcomplicate things. You want to focus on getting your business off the ground, finding your audience and starting to make sales. A website builder that comes with hosting can definitely save you some time.

However, you will have more control and customization options with separate hosting. So there’s no right or wrong answer. You just need to know your business and your own comfort level.

Conclusion: What is the best hosting option for my online business?

You want to keep it simple when you’re just starting out. Getting too tangled up in expensive hosting options can hamper your new online business. If you need to get off the ground really quickly, choose an all-in-one site builder with built-in hosting like Squarespace. 

If you need a little more flexibility but still don’t want to be overwhelmed, then Bluehost is your best option. Through them you can get managed or shared hosting and can get hosting for non-Wordpress sites, as well. 

And remember, you’re not locked in to a hosting service for life. If your business grows or changes, you can adapt along the way. So don’t panic too much over what your hosting needs might become, and instead focus on getting your site off the ground and running today. 

Disclaimer – affiliate links are used on this site as a way to pay for hosting and occasional snacks.  

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Setting Up a Website for Your Online Business

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Once you’ve decided what online business you want to run, you can focus on setting up a website for your online business. 

Your website is your business’s home, its virtual place on the Internet. Having a well constructed and user-friendly website lends you credibility. Setting up your website is a chance to build your own unique brand, as well as earn revenue.

You’ll need two basic building blocks to get your own website up and running: a domain and a host. Once you have this setup and out of the way, you’ll be able to focus on designing and promoting your site.

Setting up your site and getting it hosted doesn’t have to be confusing or expensive. Even if you’re completely new to the game, you can get up and running in a single business day. In fact, the trickiest part about setting up your website is just choosing which site and hosting options are best for your business and budget.

Does my Amazon store need a website?

Yes! A lot of eCommerce sellers get started on large third party seller sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and others because of how easy it is to get started there. However, once you’re comfortable with your third party storefront, you’ll still want to set up your own site. There are numerous benefits to selling on your own site including a more professional image, no listing or selling fees, and more control over your layout. 

Setting up a website for your online business

You can set up your website and get started growing your business with four steps:

  1. Acquire a domain
  2. Get hosting for your site
  3. Design your site
  4. Promote your site

Domain

When setting up a website for your online business, you’ll want to first pick a domain name. As long as you choose one no one else is using, you can buy it and get your website off the ground. 

How to pick the perfect domain name

Until someone knows your brand, they will have to remember how to type it in, how to spell it, etc.  Remember, the point of setting up a website for your online business is to make it easier for people to find you, not harder. So in terms of easier searching, you may want to choose something that represents what your brand will offer or even the exact name of your business. If you already have a name for your business, this will be easier. If you’re starting from scratch, try to think of something unique but uncomplicated. This is what people will type into their browsers to find you, so make it easy for them to do so!

Also think about the long term. If your domain name is too specific, it can limit your business’s potential. For example, you may start off selling dog food, and so registering dogfood.com seems like a good idea. But then what will you do when a few years down the line you start offering leashes, toys and dog beds, too? Your name will no longer be accurate. For this example, something like allthingsdog.com or dogsandmore.com would have been better choices.  

You can also use your name (i.e. johndoe.com) but if you want to sell your business someday, you won’t want your name to go with it.  

Try first for a .com domain name, but consider other options, as well. While .com is the biggest player right now, other endings have become more popular, like .co, .net, and .io. So if you don’t find the perfect domain on a .com these domain extensions are other viable options. Just remember to stick with something that people will find easier to remember and also that google and other search engines will find friendly for searches. If you’re interested in learning more about SEO or ranking your site a great blog to start with is neil patel’s marketing blog, neilpatel.com 

Buying your domain

Getting a unique domain name isn’t free, you’ll have to buy it. But don’t worry about digging into your savings, because you can typically license a domain for around $10-15/year, and with many hosting providers, the domain is free. 

There are many different domain options, but .com is the most common and you should try to get a .com domain if you can. Right now, nearly 50 percent of all websites end in .com. This means most people will assume .com and use it automatically when looking up a website.

Does my domain name affect SEO?

Don’t stress too much over perfecting your domain name for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In the past, search engines like Google used to prioritize domain names when loading results for people’s search queries, but that isn’t the case anymore. While having an important keyword in your domain name can certainly help, content is the name of the game now, and populating your site with SEO-friendly content is what’s going to get you seen on search engines. 

Other factors like how often your site is updated and how user-friendly it is are also much bigger influences on your search rankings. So pick a domain name that’s catchy, memorable and tied to your brand.

How to find a domain 

Before you get too attached to a domain name, you’ll want to make sure it’s available for purchase. I prefer Bluehost’s domain checker for this.

It’s incredibly simple. Type in the url and the search will tell you if it’s available.  You will get a list of potential domain names. If your domain name is already taken, there will be suggestions which may help get your creative juices flowing.  

Many hosting companies will also allow you to register a domain with them, and also host your website.  

Hosting 

After you’ve secured your awesome domain, the next step is hosting. Hosting simply refers to the servers that store all your site’s data. 

This can sound complicated, but it’s really very simple. There are a wide variety of hosting options, ranging from a few dollars each month to a few hundred. When you go looking for a hosting company, you might be overwhelmed with options. 

Shared or dedicated hosting

You will have the choice to opt for shared hosting or pay extra for dedicated hosting. Shared hosting means you are literally sharing a server with a bunch of other websites. 

The price difference between the two options can be quite extreme. Shared hosting may run you less than ten bucks a month while dedicated hosting is usually closer to a hundred dollars or more. 

There is nothing wrong with choosing shared hosting to get your site off the ground. As you grow, just know that you can change your hosting later if you need to. 

Managed hosting

Another option you’ll see is managed hosting. Managed hosting just means that there’s a team at the hosting company that has your back. Managed hosting plans have extra security and support. Each plan is different, but you’ll probably get backups and extra marketing tools. Managed hosting can be shared or dedicated, and this will affect the price. 

Below are Bluehost’s prices for shared managed hosting:

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Compared to their dedicated hosting prices: 

liveworkanywhere setting up a website for your online business

Site-specific hosting options

You may also come across hosting services that cater towards a specific type of business. Some hosting providers tailor their services towards specific kinds of sites like e-Commerce sites, WordPress sites, online courses, etc. 

Setting up a website for your online business using Site-Builders

All-in-one site builders like Wix and Squarespace can also offer you a quick, drag-and-drop site builder with hosting included. These effectively bypass the need for the two-step process of creating a site and paying for separate hosting. The trade off is that you have much less control and fewer customization options. 

Which hosting is best for my online business?

So are the more expensive options better? And do you need one of these specialized hosting services? Not necessarily. The best online hosting is whichever option is best for your business. Depending on the type of website and business you’re running, you may have specific needs. For example, an eCommerce site may be best served by Shopify or another hosting provider that caters towards online storefronts. With an online blog, you will probably want to start out on WordPress.

However, if you’re looking for a good starting place for almost any online business, I’d recommend Bluehost. While other hosting options may have more specialized benefits, Bluehost is a great way to get your site up and running with minimal costs. They’re easy to use, secure and you can always upgrade to another host provider later if your traffic grows and your needs change. 

If you want to learn more about your options for upgrading, you can check out our in-depth hosting comparison. But for now, just know that Bluehost is a good place to start. 

Design: Setting up a good-looking website  

There is more to setting up a website for your online business than just the technical elements. You’ll need to design your site, as well. If you went with an all-in-one site builder, then you’ll be limited to drag and drop design elements. If you’ve decided to design your own site from scratch and pair it with Bluehost or another hosting provider, you’ll have a lot more options. 

The easiest way to design your own site is to pick a strong theme and build within that. There are several sites where you can find themes, such as 

Some themes are free while others might cost some money. Again, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a free theme for your new site.

What should I include in my online business website?

This will vary depending on your brand. However, most themes will provide you with a pretty standard set of pages and building blocks. So you’ll be able to effortlessly create a main page, contact page, and pages for your blog or products, as well. 

Good video and written content is essential for your site. You want high-quality, SEO-rich writing and solidly produced images or videos. Remember, the more professional your site looks, the more trustworthy your business will seem to potential customers. Consider colors and fonts carefully. 

Focus on making your site easily navigable and streamlined. A cluttered or confusing design is one of the top reasons why people leave a website. 

If content creation and web design isn’t your thing, don’t panic. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr offer a way to commission website content from freelance professionals for a reasonable cost. These sites can also set you up with professionals who know how to create branded colors and fonts, logos and marketing content.

Promoting your site 

Now that you’re done setting up a website for your online business, it’s time to make sure people see it! There are almost 400 million active websites out there. How do you make sure yours stands out? 

Promoting your website is an ongoing task, but here are a few quick ideas to get you started:

  • Use webinars to your advantage

Webinars are a great way to connect with others in your industry and to help get your name out there. 

  • Produce traditional ads

Google and Facebook ads can be very useful if you can get them in front of your target audience. Ads are another thing you can commission from professionals online. 

  • Create organic content

For long-term site promotion, you’ll want to fill your site with a robust amount of online content that encourages search engines to show your website to people. This can also help you build brand authority. So consider starting a blog, writing eBooks or white papers, or creating infographics. 

  • Sell on a third party website

If you run an eCommerce business, it’s worth selling on multiple platforms. So once you have your own site, you should consider starting an Amazon store (or eBay, Etsy, etc.) if you haven’t already. 

These third party sites are where many people first look for products, and they can work as effective marketing efforts. If someone finds your product on Amazon, they will be led directly to your website. You may consider offering special deals to people who choose to purchase directly from your website. 

  • Promote on social media

You should have a social media presence for your website. Choose platforms that your audience is likely to use. For example, don’t waste all your resources managing a Twitter account if your target audience hangs out on Instagram. 

Conclusion

Setting up a website for your online business can seem like a monumental task, but if you break it down, it’s very simple. 

  1. Pick a unique domain
  2. Sign up for Bluehost to host your website
  3. Enlist freelancers to help you design your site and business brand
  4. Promote your business
  5. Grow your business! 

Don’t forget to enjoy your business as it grows. Running an online business lets you take your job wherever you go. So whether you need to be close to family, or you’re just eager to abate your wanderlust, your online business will help you live and work from anywhere.

Is your website set up to start earning you passive income? Check out our complete guide to earning passive income online!

 

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How to Make passive Income Online

How to Make Passive Income Online

Learning how to make passive income online can help free you from the traditional daily grind of 9 to 5 work. Passive income is a wide topic that encompasses everything from selling a few eBooks to managing real estate.

The Internet makes passive income even more accessible to those looking to break free of regular paychecks. With 90 percent of adults online regularly, it’s no wonder that people find online passive income ventures to be so tempting.

Setting up and maintaining avenues of passive income can seem daunting, but there are a lot of options out there to fit with any lifestyle or background. Here we’ll go over some of the most helpful types of passive income for those looking for reliable sources of income that aren’t tied to a 9 to 5 time sheet. You can experiment with these different options until you find the passive income path that’s perfect for you.

What is passive income?

A great way to get started with earning passive income is to define just exactly what it is.

Passive income technically refers to money made from real estate or a business that you are not directly involved in. For the purposes of this article, we’ll broaden the definition just a bit to include any income you make without being directly involved on a daily basis. This means side gigs / side hustles and online businesses where you’re getting paid without having to clock in every morning after a grueling commute.

Of course you always need to be involved to some extent.  People over-glorify passive income to make it sound like you can just sit back and collect checks from the beach. But the truth is no business or venture is completely hands off. There’s always some level of management.

Just how “passive” is passive income?

Let’s say you have a property management company running your house, but that doesn’t mean you can throw your phone away and disappear to a jungle without ever checking back in. You would still need to be actively involved in managerial jobs like:

  • Managing repairs and remodels
  • Managing employees and contractors
  • Keeping up with legal requirements

Online passive income can come from two different sources. You may be earning money online in an online business or simply working in an online industry. We’ll go over both options here. Some ways of earning passive income online are side gigs, while others are fully-fledged online businesses.

What are the most common ways to make passive income online?

The world is your oyster here, and you can make passive income on just about any corner of the Internet. You can rake in some extra cash from online ventures. Or you can start taking in a regular paycheck from an online business that you start and run yourself from the comfort of your own home office. Don’t worry if it sounds daunting, there are scalable options for every skill set and budget.

Ways to earn passive income

Here are some of the most common passive income ventures and what you can do to earn passive income online.

  1. Sell informational products
  2. Sell digital goods
  3. Affiliate marketing
  4. Build an affiliate marketing niche site
  5. REITs
  6. Day trading
  7. Savings account
  8. Amazon
  9. Dropshipping
  10. Ads on your targeted niche website
  11. Rental income

Sell informational products

You’ve spent most of your life accruing unique knowledge and skills. Now it’s time to put that information to work for you! This can mean writing and publishing eBooks, creating online courses or selling other informational materials. You can sell your online classes via sites like Coursera or Skillshare, or you can run them through your own website.

Teaching isn’t just for university professors. People from all industries and walks of life can make money online by helping others hone their craft. As long as you can deliver solid information in a professional manner, you can sell a course on just about any topic.

Tip: Some informational products, like eBooks and white papers can double as marketing tools for your online business. You may even consider giving them away for free to qualified leads. This eliminates their use as passive income but turns them into high quality marketing tools, instead.

Sell digital goods

You can sell more than just eBooks digitally. A digital product is anything that exists virtually, with no physical components that need to be assembled or shipped. Examples run the gambit from media like podcasts and eBooks to web software.

The advantage of digital goods is that once you’ve created the product, you can sell as many as you want without increasing your costs, unlike traditional products which require raw materials for each copy made.

You can always choose to sell your digital goods through your own personal website, or you can opt into an established sales platform like Etsy.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn passive income online.  It is especially great for those who already have an established online presence with traffic and an audience.  By linking to products in your blog or on social media sites, you will get dividends from the sales those links attract.  However, you don’t have to have a site with a ton of traffic to get started in affiliate marketing.  There are several niche sites you can create to promote others products.

Amazon is known for its affiliate program and other sites like eBay and several online brands.  You can also select products from an affiliate network like Commission Junction, ShareASale, and so on.

The rule for affiliate marketing overall is simple: be honest with your audience and sell a product you genuinely care about and is useful to your audience.

Build An Affiliate Marketing Niche Site

Your website can take in money from multiple avenues, not just traditional ads. If you’re curious to try your hand at affiliate marketing, you’ll be pleased to know it’s incredibly easy to sign up for most affiliate programs.

Typically affiliate programs are free and you simply click to receive the special link for use on your site. The hard work comes into the picture when you have to actually design and maintain your site.

Going niche is ideal. Picking a niche topic will help you establish brand authority and give you more room to rank highly for keywords. What defines a niche site? Specificity.

Let’s say you’re crafty. Instead of trying to start up a website or blog about all things arts and crafts, focus instead on something more specific. For example, crafts that can be made from used clothing. Then you can pump up your content with targeted keywords related to recycling clothing. You’ll also be in a prime spot to use affiliate links for crafting tools or sites that let people sell their finished creations.

REITs (Real Estate Investments)

If you want to get into the real estate game but don’t have the capital or the desire to start buying and managing properties, you can look into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). These are companies that manage real estate ventures and you can buy into them much like how you might purchase dividend stocks. To further simplify the process and lower the barrier to entry, you can try eREITs, or online funds, that are crowdfunded.

I invest in Fundrise, an online investment option that you can buy into for lower minimums (typically 500-1,000 dollars). I have seen returns between 3-15% (and that 3% was during the height of COVID!). A much better investment than the bank and a one of the most passive ways to invest and watch your money increase.

I am a fan of investing in the real estate market over stocks due to real estate always increasing on average 3%, even with the upcycles and crashes. Stocks have much more volatility and are not asset-backed so if you lose money, you lose money. Also companies can go out of business or lose market share, whereas housing never loses its position as a necessity.

Day Trading

That being said, a lot of people are able to earn great passive full time or side income by trading stocks online. Sites like Forex.com allow you to try your hand at day trading.

Getting into the Forex market can be intimidating, but fortunately there are demo accounts for beginners. It’s advisable that you start with one of these limited demo accounts to get the hang of properly closing deals and managing leverage.

Savings account

Not everyone’s a big risk taker, and that’s okay! There are still opportunities to put your money to work for you and you can earn passive income online without risking your whole savings. A less risky venture than stocks or REITs is a simple savings account.

You have a ton of options in this area, so take some time to shop around for the best deals and lowest fees. Betterment Cash Reserve is one option that offers a competitive APY with no fees.

Amazon

You can earn passive income online by selling through Amazon or a similar site, such as eBay or Walmart.com. You have a lot of room to play around on these sites and design a custom online store that matches your lifestyle.

Some people pair with wholesalers and retailers to sell a consistent inventory of products while others use their Amazon stores to sell secondhand goods. To truly earn passive income with your Amazon store, digital goods are your best bet, because you can sell multiple copies quite literally in your sleep. So while you’re doing what you love, people are buying your goods and you don’t even have to bother with packing or shipping!

For digital goods like eBooks and online courses, you may also want to try sites like Payhip, which offers a set of promotional tools different to Amazon’s. Most sites do not have rules about exclusivity, so offering your goods on different platforms can help you cast a wider net for potential customers.

Dropshipping

There are many types of online businesses that you can start, but one of the easiest to slide into without a lot of startup capital is dropshipping. When you operate a dropshipping ecommerce store, you don’t have to worry about buying and stocking inventory. When a customer orders a product, you will then order it from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. This way you bypass the traditional model where you store goods at your place of business or in a warehouse somewhere.

The most obvious benefit of dropshipping is that you don’t run the risk of losing money on unsold inventory. You’ll get to run your own store with none of the traditional overhead like renting out warehouse space or worrying over which products to stock the most.

How to start dropshipping

Your first order of business is to pick a niche. Dropshipping ventures are most successful when they don’t spread themselves too thin. You don’t want to try and be the Walmart of dropshipping. Instead, focus on a niche product to sell. Remember, you won’t be stocking inventory, which mitigates some of financial risk.

Next you will need to partner with a supplier. In order to keep your prices competitive, you’ll need to get in touch with a manufacturer or wholesaler directly. You won’t make much money by buying things at retail price and trying to resell them for even more.

Fulfillment by Amazon

Amazon’s advanced fulfillment options is another way of dropshipping to earn passive income online. With FBA, you are responsible for procuring your products and sending them to an Amazon fulfillment center. Then, when you sell the products on Amazon, they will be shipped directly to your customers without any additional work on your part.

This is just another way of managing a digital storefront without having to turn your garage into a product warehouse.

Ads on your targeted niche website

It doesn’t get much more passive than traditional ads. If you’ve got a website, there’s no reason you can’t make some money off of it! And you don’t need any expertise or special business skills to do it. Here are just two of your options:

PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)

Signing up for Google AdSense means that relevant advertisements will be placed on your site. Then when people click on these ads, you get cash! Your profits on Pay Per Click advertising could be anywhere from $.05 to $5 for every person who clicks on the ad.

Directly selling ad space

Google AdSense is very intuitive, but it’s not the only way to put ads on your site. If you’d rather, you can cut out the middleman entirely and sell banner ads or other ad space on your site directly to companies. In doing this, you have more control over your pricing.

There are two ways to charge for ad space. The direct route is an upfront monthly fee that you negotiate with the advertiser based on your site’s average traffic. Alternatively, you can charge a CPM rate. This second option means you are paid a certain amount per every 1,000 monthly visitors to your site, and your paycheck goes up or down depending on your traffic.

How much money you make from posting ads on your site is going to depend on the kind of traffic your website generates. Obviously, the more eyeballs you get on your site each month, the more money you can make from your ads.

Rental income

Establishing and managing a real estate portfolio takes a lot of time and a huge amount of investment capital. But you’ll be glad to know that it’s not a zero sum game. You don’t have to be the next Sam Zell to make passive income off of real estate.

The answer is renting the property you already own, or subletting your rental. This will provide you with extra income for your travels. If you’ve embraced the idea of living and working anywhere, you don’t have to don’t have to give up your traditional “home”. If you rent out your place while you’re fulfilling your workplace wanderlust, your property can essentially pay for itself. It may even earn a little extra!

This eliminates the worry of “what do I do about my house while I’m living or working abroad?”.

Why should I invest in earning passive income online?

Establishing and maintaining passive income still takes work. It’s not completely set-it-and-forget-it. But when you earn passive income, your paycheck is not strictly tied to your productivity for that day. With passive income, you’re typically reaping the rewards of hard work laid down in the past. This gives you much more flexibility over your work schedule.

For some people, passive income makes up the majority of their salary, but for most passive income earners, this money is used to supplement a more structured job. Passive income has a lot of perks!

Benefits of passive income

  • Earn extra cash

The biggest appeal of passive income is that it provides extra money without compromising your regular job.

  • Create a “buffer” of income between job changes

That dead zone in between quitting one job and starting the next can be frightening, but passive income offers you a safety net to carry you through transitional periods.

  • Be your own boss

Most passive income opportunities are solo acts, meaning the only supervisor you’ll be answering to is yourself. It can be a nice change of pace for many people.

  • Create financial security

Passive income can tide you over on a rainy day. If you lose your job or an unexpected large bill arrives, your passive income may be what makes the difference.

  • Live anywhere

Passive income allows you to unshackle yourself from the traditional work environment. Earning enough passive income lets you have peace of mind that your finances are taken care of. You can spend less time punching the clock and more time being with your friends and family.

Conclusion

Passive income is a great way to make extra money without overloading your daily work schedule. With most passive income plans, you can choose when you put in the work to create the passive income-generating product and then continue to make money off of it even after you’ve “clocked out”.

There is still maintenance work to be done, though. So I recommend investing in passive income that you won’t mind maintaining. For example, if you go with the eBook example, write about topics you’re genuinely interested in rather than just chasing trends.

You can also delegate and outsource. You may start off as a one-person show, but soon your passive income avenues will grow. Then you will be able to create a business structure that allows you the freedom to work where you want, when you want.

There’s a whole wide world of passive income out there, find your slice of it and take it!

liveworkanywhere_Personalitytraitsandtypesforyouridealremotejoborcareer

Personality traits and types for your ideal remote job or career

Matching your personality traits and types for your ideal remote job or career – Packaging your skills and finding a remote job that suits you 

Having a remote job is a dream for many.  Thanks to COVID-19 the coronavirus global pandemic, we’ve had to shift to remote much quicker than expected. You may be wondering if you have the personality type for a remote job. The good news is that there is remote work out there for you no matter what personality traits you have!

But how do you know which type of remote job is right for you?  When you’re just starting out it can be daunting to figure out what path to take to lead you to the right remote job.  And it makes sense to make sure your new remote position is one that’s well-suited to what you’re good at.  There are several jobs in which you can translate your skills from offline to online.  But first, we decided to take a look at how your remote career maps to your personality type as a starting point to look at the type of remote career that’s right for you.

Mapping a remote career to your personality type

We’re all a little bit different. Knowing your strengths is key to excelling in your remote work.

There are many online resources that can help you build and manage a remote-ready skillset.

We’ve provided a list of courses, broken down by entry level, mid level, and highly skilled, and by area of expertise: marketing, finance, programming, and so on.

Once you’ve found the career that’s right for you, take a look at the Courses on LiveWorkAnywhere to dig deeper into your next remote career.

Have you thought about what skills match your personality type?

Not sure what your strengths are yet? A lot of people don’t think they’re good at anything, when in reality, they’re just not aware of what their strongest qualities are. Taking a quick personality test can give you an idea of what kind of tasks and skills suit you best. You can then identify the personality traits for your ideal online career and see if they match up with your personality type.

This Hubspot blog details seven different career aptitude tests for recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike. General personality tests like this one from 16personalities.com can be helpful, too.  No one test is a perfect representation of you. These are just tools to give you an idea of yourself and your strengths and get you started on your path to a remote career.

Personality types and the remote careers that match

The most common personality and career aptitude test, the Meyers-Briggs test, breaks personality types down by four distinct categories.

  1. Introverted vs. extroverted
  2. Thinking vs. feeling
  3. Judging vs. perceiving
  4. Sensing vs. intuition

Here are some examples of remote jobs that pair well with these broad personality categories.

  • Introverted: Software developer, proofreader, photographer.
  • Extroverted: Screenwriter, Editor, Copywriter.
  • Thinking: Sales representative, project manager, public relations.
  • Feeling: Social media manager, translator.
  • Judging: Managing editor, statistician.
  • Perceiving: Film editor, journalist, archivist.
  • Sensing: Management consultant, sales manager.
  • Intuition: Budget analyst, database administrator.

Of course these aren’t laws! If you find you don’t have the personality type for the remote job you want, that doesn’t mean a career in that field is beyond your reach. Experience with remote work can help you get a feel for how your personality type best fits with your desired career. For example, an introverted person can still work in an extroverted field like copywriting or editing.

How to get started

If you’ve never worked remotely before, then you’ll want to brush up on some of the essential skills. Here are some resources to help you kickstart your remote career, no matter which industry you choose.

Finding a Remote Job

This is an all-encompassing career management course designed to get your remote career off the ground. You’ll learn how to ace remote interviews, the warning signs of sketchy job positions and how to master the technology required for remote work.

Introduction to Personal Branding

This might be especially pertinent to anyone looking to land a freelance position. Selling yourself and your services to online clients requires a masterful grasp of your “brand”. Learn to start leveraging yourself like a company.

Introduction to Time Management

Time management is an essential resume skill for those looking to land remote work. Since you won’t be punching a time card, you’ll need to motivate yourself to get everything done on time.

Also, look at LiveWorkAnywhere courses for general remote work skills courses around productivity, time management, managing remote teams, communication, and skill-specific courses for entry level, mid level, and highly skilled remote jobs.

Remote work traits employers look for 

  • Independent – Independence is essential. You won’t have a supervisor keeping tabs on you all day.
  • Self-starter – Remote work calls for a lot of initiative.
  • Responsive – Keeping track of remote workers can be tricky, and employers want to know they can trust you to be available.
  • Introvert – Introverts handle down time well and are less inclined to feel lonely working by themselves.
  • Extrovert – Extroverts tend to be great communicators, and can keep their remote coworkers informed.
  • Focused – There are a lot of distractions in the world of remote work. Employers want employees who can stay focused.
  • Self-disciplined – Remote workers have to serve as their own supervisors sometimes, keeping themselves on task. Not sure you’re self-disciplined and structured enough to thrive in a remote environment? Don’t worry, you can create this skill set by working hard and establishing a daily routine.
  • Team player – All-remote teams need extraordinary communication and cooperation to function properly.
  • Resourceful problem solver – Remote positions call for adaptable employees. There will be times where you will have to get creative to work around technology failings and other issues.
  • Experience working remotely – While you won’t have this starting out, employers look to see how well you adapt to remote work.  One of the most obvious ways is by having worked remotely in the past, and if you haven’t, proving you have the chops to do so by being communicative, resourceful, and a self-starter.

Are you ready to make the move to remote work? Most employers will be drawn to applicants with previous remote experience. If you’ve never worked a remote job before, then now’s the time to put a remote-ready plan in place.

liveworkanywhere_remoteworkstatistics

Remote Work Statistics – Why Remote Work is Here to Stay

Remote work was once the “Future of Work”.  Yet even a casual glance at current remote work stats shows that the future has become the now and working from home is is the norm for many people.  But just in case you needed some proof, we’ve compiled a few remote work statistics.

Younger leaders are embracing remote work

Remote work stats show that the younger workforce is definitely at the forefront of remote and flex work. As the younger generations come to occupy more managerial positions, remote work options for staff are becoming more acceptable.

  • 69% of younger managers have team members with remote work options (Source: Upwork)
  • Younger managers are 28% more likely to utilize remote workers than Baby Boomers. (Source: Upwork)
  • 68% of graduating college students listed remote work as the top benefit in their job search (Source: After College)

Flex work is bridging the gap

Flex work allows traditional businesses a sort of “practice space” for online work. By allowing employees to work remotely just part of the time, companies retain the benefits of both traditional office work and remote work.

  • In 2015, 30% of the U.S. workforce had the option to work remotely part time. By 2025, this number is expected to rise to 50% (Source: Flex Summit)
  • American Express saw a 43% increase in employee retention by offering flexible work options (Source: Flex Summit)

Remote work is only increasing

Remote work options are now the norm for many companies. Growth in this sector has sped up in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down. Remote work statistics show remote work options overtaking their in-office counterparts.

  • In the next ten years, hiring manager predict that 38% of their permanent, full-time employees will work remotely (Source: Upwork)
  • The U.S. freelance workforce is growing 3x faster than the overall U.S. workforce (Source: Fast Company)

Companies are seeing the benefits of remote work

Remote work can save companies a lot of money. While guaranteeing the success of remote work does require several unique investments, remote works stats show that these costs often pale in comparison to traditional office overhead.

  • Creative Commons went fully remote with a 25-person team and saved $250,000 (Source: Flex Summit)
  • 59% of hiring managers today are using freelance and contract workers, up from just 24% in 2017. This number is predicted to increase by 168% in just the next decade. (Source: Fast Company)

Culture is the key going forward

Remote work is fundamentally different from in-office work, and needs a different approach. Policies and work culture must adjust to accommodate an increasingly remote workforce.

  • Asking remote employees to “shut down” after work hours yields as much as a 20% increase in retention (Source: Flex Summit)
  • 63% of employers have remote workers, yet most currently lack defined remote work policies
Home office setup for working remotely - LiveWorkAnywhere

Home Office Setup for Working Remotely

Setting up a home office for working remotely? You’re not alone! Every year, more people are choosing to work remotely, whether that be a traditional office job in their homes or a social media-fueled nomadic lifestyle. In fact, the number of people working remotely has grown 173 percent in the last decade. That’s an 11 percent faster growth rate than the general workforce! 

Working from home: the pros

So what makes remote work so popular? For most people it’s the freedom that remote work affords you. There’s no supervisor breathing down your neck, and you can get your work done your own way with no fear of judgement. Many people thrive outside of a corporate office and find that they get more work done. 

Working from home means: 

  • Increased productivity
  • No commute
  • Fewer distractions
  • Set your own schedule

Working from home: the cons

Nothing in life is perfect, and there are some downsides to working from home. For some people, home can be filled with more distractions, especially other members of the household. Many people unfortunately hold the assumption that because you are home, you are “not really working”. Striking that ideal work/life balance can be more challenging when you work remotely. 

Working from home can also mean:

  • Increased distractions
  • Loss of social connection
  • You may overeat
  • Can be hard to stop working

I attended the Boston Flex Summit in 2019.   At the summit, one of the main talking points was burnout.  Burnout can affect people in all types of work, but it can especially creep up on people who work remotely. Since your home and your office are one, you may start to feel obligated to work past quitting time and to take your work with you everywhere.  There’s no “off” button unless you are very intentional.  

That’s why it’s so vital to set your schedule and stick to it. Take the time to get plenty of sleep, exercise and fresh air. Burnout is an enemy of remote work, but you can tackle it with some determination. It’s up to you to decide for yourself whether the pros of working from home outweigh the cons.  

General work from home productivity tips

While you set up your home office and transition to remote work, here are some additional tips to help you avoid burnout and keep yourself focused and productive. 

  • Do not mix work and sleep

Creating a strong mental association between your bedroom and sleep is essential to getting high quality rest each night. Ideally you should be using your bedroom only for sleep. Bringing work into your bedroom will only make sleeping more difficult. 

Having a dedicated office space is ideal, so you can keep work separate from your home life. This isn’t always possible, depending on where you live, but make an effort to create a separate “work zone”. This can be as simple as packing up and putting away your work supplies every afternoon to help signal to your brain that you’re done working. 

  • Set a schedule and create routines

We humans are creatures of habit. Our brains love routine. In a typical office environment, there’s usually a very rigid schedule and many people take up remote work looking to inject a little flexibility into their work. This is great, but don’t completely do away with routine and schedule. You’ll be much more productive if you budget your time while you work from home. 

Here are some tips on setting up an effective work-from-home schedule

  • Set boundaries with housemates

This might be the trickiest part of all. While most people would hesitate to call your office or stop by your work normally, once you start working from home, there can be some issues with interruptions. To keep yourself productive and to avoid frustration, you should be upfront and clear with everyone else in your household about your work schedule. Make sure they understand that you are at work even though you’re physically at home, and that you shouldn’t be bothered. 

Having a dedicated home office can help with this because you can close the door. Another helpful tip is to set up a simple “yes, I’m in”/”no, I’m out” system. You can use colored cards – red for busy; green for it’s okay to interrupt.  

Home office setup for working remotely 

But one thing remains the same no matter what kind of remote work you’re doing: you need a solid office. 

Ideally your work from home space should meet certain criteria. I’ve talked about these mobility criteria before and they include access to things like: 

  • Power
  • A solid internet connection
  • Sufficient physical space
  • A structured schedule

In an office setting, you would have all of this provided for you, and there would be an unspoken guarantee that you would never be expected to complete a task outside of the capabilities of your provided office hardware. But when you work from home, a lot of the onus is on you to make sure everything is working smoothly. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific hardware and supplies you’ll need to really be able to effectively work from home. 

Computer hardware

A laptop or desktop is a must-have. Which one you go with depends a lot on your job’s specific requirements. For the digital nomads out there, you’ll want to focus on something light and portable. (I’ve been reliably using a Macbook Air for years. IBM Thinkpads are also incredibly durable.)  

Don’t skimp on the power of your machine. If you need something beefy enough to run multiple applications at once, put the money into getting a dedicated machine. 

Make sure your computer is all your own. Don’t try to work on a shared laptop or a family computer. There’s too high of a risk that your work will be messed with and it will cause friction within your household if you’re all fighting over the computer. 

A good chair

You really want to invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair. You will be sitting at your desk for hours, and if you’re not properly supporting your body, you’ll be sore, tired and achy. Definitely not the conditions for doing your best work. 

Noise-cancelling headphones

Unless you’re working from home in a quaint, European villa (in which case, congratulations!) you’ll likely be putting up with noises and distractions as you try to get your work done. Cars, neighbors, the sounds of the city, there are a lot of noisy distractions out to slow your productivity. 

Get yourself a nice pair of noise cancelling headphones. AirPods and Beats are both fine choices, it just depends on your personal preference: do you just want headphones or do you prefer the feel of a full headset? Having a quiet workplace will make a huge difference in how much work you’re able to get done.  

Software

Consider the apps and programs you need for your remote job. What kind of work are you doing? What pieces of software are essential to your job and which will help you work more quickly and smoothly. 

Internet / Wi-Fi 

Obviously you’ll need internet to work from home, but not all providers are made equal. I know a lot of areas don’t have a great deal of variety, but if you can, look for a provider that offers fiber optic. If there’s no fiber, then sign up for the strongest broadband connection available. You’ll need these faster speeds to remain productive. The minimum you should settle for is: 

Download: 20mb

Upload: 4mb

Not sure what speeds you’re currently getting? Don’t rely on your internet provider to tell you. They’ll give you “maximum” numbers that won’t be very accurate. Instead to go speedtest.net to see what kind of speeds you’re getting. 

We’ve also got a handy guide here to show you exactly what speeds you’ll need to comfortably run video meeting programs like Zoom and Skype. 

In rural areas where great internet isn’t readily available, consider mobile internet or satellite options, like Hughesnet. You can use your phone as a mobile hotspot or invest in a mi-fi device to assist you while you’re traveling.

If you end up using your phone as your sole source of internet while you travel, then I’d definitely recommend a T-mobile phone plan so you can get online without paying through the nose. 

Powering your remote office

When you work from home, you are at the mercy of your power company. If anything goes wrong and the power goes out, you’ll be left in the dark, literally. I’ve had many an important conference call be interrupted because some random event killed the power. 

While your old office job had some guaranteed stability surrounding these things, working from home means you just can’t ever know for sure. So err on the side of caution and set yourself up with some fail proofs. 

Pay the extra ten bucks and get a decent surge protector. Be sure you work on a dedicated outlet to minimize the risk of overloading. If you use a laptop, be sure to have a spare battery fully charged and waiting should the power go out (it’s not a bad idea to keep a fully-charged portable phone charger on hand, as well). 

But even with spare power, you might not be able to work because the internet will be down. It’s a good idea to take one of my travel hotspot suggestions from before and have it on hand in case you ever find yourself without internet. 

Additional tools

Here are some extra remote work tools that you can live without, but which do make your life easier. 

External monitor

Once you’ve experienced working with two monitors, you’ll never want to go back. You can get a second monitor and hook it up to your laptop or desktop fairly easily. 

Ergonomic keyboard

Similar to the ergonomic chair, an ergonomic keyboard may be what saves you from an expensive and bothersome carpal tunnel procedure. 

External USB microphone

You might not need this for regular meetings, but if you host or participate in webinars then you’ll really appreciate the extra clarity of an external microphone. 

External speakers

If you use a laptop, then external speakers are a good idea. Most laptops don’t have great sound to start with and even on those that do, the speakers tend to be one of the first parts of the machine to break down. 

Back massager 

This is a personal favorite of mine, but it’s just an example of one way to pamper yourself a bit. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself and to find things that help you relax and ease any stress tension you may have built up over the course of the day. Maybe you won’t end up with a massager exactly, but make sure you find something that helps you unwind each day. 

Treadmill

Again, you might not need a treadmill exactly, but make sure your home is equipped to help you get some exercise. If you’ve got access to outdoor recreation, that’s great, but if you’re cooped up in a small home without a gym or park in sight, then get a treadmill, an elliptical or some other piece of equipment that allows you to get your heart rate going. 

Summary: 

It’s important to have a home office setup for working remotely that enables you to be productive.  

    • Desk and space in separate area of house/condo/van/boat/RV etc 
    • Ergonomic chair – for the amount of hours you’ll 
    • Upgraded hardware with ability to use the applications you need for work 
    • Software – the applications you need to install for work
    • Ergonomic chair, headphones, mic, monitor
    • Internet – strong internet with backup wi-fi using mi-fi, hotspot, or satellite
    • Power – devices fully charged, backup power, surge protectors 
Company responses to remote work COVID-19 Coronavirus

Remote Work Tools – How Companies are responding to the CoronaVirus

With the spread of COVID-19, many companies are being forced to adopt remote work options and policies. Even industries with poor remote infrastructures have found themselves scrambling to give employees a way to work from home. 

Even when the dust settles and we are no longer in the midst of a pandemic, I believe a lot of this remote work will stick. When people realize the benefits of working from home, there will be an increased demand for remote work from here on out.

How companies are responding to COVID-19

Many companies are sending employees home with laptops and forcing them to adjust to remote working at an extremely fast pace.

To help this massive transition go smoothly and quickly, several companies are offering their remote office tools for free.

Here’s a list of what some companies are offering to help you work from home

Adobe

Adobe’s Creative Suite (including Photoshop, Lightroom and more) is available for free to students. Adobe’s web conferencing service, Adobe Connect, is now free for all until July 1.

Airtable

For the next three months their online databases and spreadsheets are free for any non-political, humanitarian efforts combating COVID-19.

Atlassian
Team collaboration and project tracking softwares are free for teams of ten people or fewer. There is no “trial” limit to this offer.

BlueJeans
For 90 days, BlueJeans’ video conferencing service is free for all first responders and NGO’s.

Box
The business edition of Box, which allows for unlimited cloud data storage and protection, is also free for 90 days.

Calendly
This scheduling software is no longer charging for integration with remote meeting tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting. Its premium services are now also available for free to all teams working against COVID-19.

Carto
Carto makes spatial-analysis software and these visualization tools are on offer for free to all public and private organizations combating COVID-19.

Cisco
Cisco’s video conferencing software Webex no longer has time limits and can now support up to 100 people on a single call. All this is offered on the free version of the product.

Comcast

Comcast has a few services they are offering to provide people with access to Internet. Xfinity is offering free WiFi for everyone at Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country.  They are pausing data plans for 60 days giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge. There are no disconnects or late fees during this period. Internet Essentials new customers receive 60 days of complimentary service.  

Dialpad
Dialpad Talk Pro is a cloud-based phone system and video conferencing tool now free for two months to any business in North America or Japan.

Dropbox
The uber popular cloud content collaboration tool is now offering HelloSign Enterprise, which handles electronic agreements, free for 6 months for qualifying nonprofits and NGO’s.

Enview by Civic Eagle
Enview is legislative policy management software.  Now more than ever with a global pandemic policy is being written daily and Enview is offering its policy software for free through the end of April.

Facebook
Facebook’s Workplace Advanced, which offers video calls and file sharing is free for emergency services and government agencies for the next month.

Google
Educational services can now use the advanced version of Hangouts Meet (which allows for conference calls of up to 250 people) for free. Meetings can be recorded and saved on Google Drive.

Headspace
Headspace isn’t strictly for “work” purposes, but it’s pretty handy for helping you weather the storm of uncertainty and stress as you shake up your life and work routines. Headspace offers guided meditations for those who may never have tried mindfulness before. Here’s a Business Insider article that explains it pretty well. Right now they’ve increased their number of free meditations.

Hubspot
Hubspot helps businesses manage communications and customer support. They’re offering three months of their video software free and decreasing their starter package price from $112.50/month to $50/month for the next year.

Jamm
All of Jamm’s voice and video collaboration tools are free for the next three months.

Krisp.ai
Krisp.ai lets you easily mute background noise so you can get your calls done with minimal “I’m sorry, what did you say?” interruptions. They’re offering 120 minutes per week to hospital staff, students, teachers and government workers.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn hosts professional development videos on working remotely and is offering many of them free of charge.

LogMeIn
LogMeIn offers software for managing the many devices and apps remote workers have to juggle. They are offering a three-month license for free to healthcare, educational and some government programs. Some of these extra tools are available for free to regular site users, as well.

Loom
Through July 1, Loom will no longer limit its free users on how many videos they can make. The free trial period has also been extended to 30 days.

Mailchimp
Governments, schools, healthcare providers and nonprofits will have access to free mailchimp accounts to send newsletter communications out throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Microsoft
There is no longer a user limit on Microsoft Team’s free version. Programs like Word and Excel are free for six months to organizations.

Panopto
Panopto allows users to record and send video content and is free for three months with no limits on content.

Salesforce
All existing customers and nonprofits get Salesforce collaboration software for free through the end of September, 2020. Salesforce is also allowing free access to its Health Cloud service for all response teams and health systems.

ServiceNow
This software helps teams digitize their tasks. ServiceNow has developed more apps alongside the Washington State Department of Health to help emergency agencies manage incident-response workflows.

Shopify
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that is now offering 90-day free trials instead of 14-days.

Slack
Slack’s premium online workplaces and communication tools are being offered as free upgrades to all organizations involved in COVID-19 research or response.

Stripe
Stripe is helping offline businesses transition to online payments.  They are fast-tracking supporting telemedicine platforms providing consultations for COVID-19.  Many businesses in the US can proactively add funds to their balance to cover refunds or chargebacks.

TechSmith
TechSmith Snagit is a screen recording software. The company also provides collaboration platforms for video review. These softwares are both free through June.

Threads
Similar to Slack, this online collaboration tool will be available for free through July 1.

T-Mobile
T-Mobile offers free international calling to help you stay connected to everyone in your personal and professional life.

Vidyard
Vidyard’s new services, a remote video communication tool meant for internal use is free through June 30.

Zoho
Zoho is offering to waive application fees for up to 20,000 small businesses and has created a new set of tools for online meetings, calls, file sharing and more, all of which are free through July 1.

Zencastr
This is a lot like Zoom except that there’s no need for a download. Create videos as well as podcasts with their simple, easy-to-understand interface. All recording limits have been waived.

Zoom
Zoom is a go-to for many companies when managing remote meetings, and now the 40-minute meeting limit has been removed for all students and teachers in U.S. K-12 schools.

 

Do you have a service to add that we missed?  Reach out

How You Can Use a SIM Card with Your Smartphone Overseas: Unlocking, Local & International SIM cards

Running a business as an international globetrotter has never been easier, there’s no question. Getting from A to B is more convenient and more affordable than any other point in human history, and the Web means we can communicate with ease no matter where in the world we end up.

While the Internet has made overseas communication a lot easier than it used to be, there are still some gaps when it comes to convenient chatting.  There’s the struggle to find decent WiFi in many parts of the world, the need for the right kind of power cord or adapters, and a few other hiccups you can run into when trying to get connected away from home. And the biggest pain in the neck by far is using the same smartphone both at home and abroad.

Use-a-SIM-Card-with-Your-Smartphone-Overseas-LiveWorkAnywhere

 

Use a SIM Card with Your Smartphone Overseas

The first major problem is that not all phones work with all cell networks. If you’ve ever bought a phone from someone other than your service provider—Amazon, eBay, a guy in a parking lot, whatever—you may have already run into this difficulty. Even if you’re staying in the US, you have to make sure your phone has the right hardware to work with your network of choice, and it’s not always as simple as it should be.

Second, assuming you’ve found a phone that works with all the networks you’ll be traveling through, there are roaming costs that can quickly send your bill through the roof. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, “roaming” simply means you’re using a cellular network that you don’t normally pay for. If you pay T-Mobile each month but end up making calls that go through a Verizon-only cell tower, T-Mobile has to pay Verizon for the use, and T-Mobile will pass those fairly significant charges on to you.

If you have a strictly US-based plan, you’ll be roaming anywhere else in the world you go. Even if you’re using your smartphone while connected to WiFi, you might not be safe—texting and phone calls might still end up on your cellular service plan, and they won’t be cheap.

There are a couple solutions to these international cell phone problems. Here are my two favorites—if you’ve found something you think we should know about, let me know in the comments!

T-Mobile Simple Choice Plan

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint we could say have had a more US-centric approach to cell phone service. T-Mobile has long been owned by Deutsche Telekom, a German company that operates cellular networks and provides customers service in countries all over the globe. It makes sense, then, that T-Mobile is the most international-friendly of the major US service providers—if you’re on one of their Simple Choice plans, you already get unlimited data and texts in more than 140 countries (as long as you’re using one of T-Mobile’s networks—it’s still possible to get caught roaming, so be careful).

I was in Doha, Qatar recently and my T-Mobile plan allowed me to text friends, post to Instagram and Facebook, and do most of what I typically do with my phone without spending an extra dime. After years of unreliability when it comes to staying in touch while abroad, it was nice to be able to rely on!

using-phone-while-traveling-LiveWorkAnywhereThe clear downside is that calls made over the cell network aren’t unlimited. In fact, they aren’t included in the plan at all and cost $0.20 per minute. You might be able to get around using a VoIP app like Google Voice or Skype, but these services tend to charge for international calls, too. And if you forget to use the app to make a call or pick up an incoming call without thinking, you’ll be hit with a surprisingly large bill.

T-Mobile ONE

Starting September 6th, T-Mobile introduced its T-Mobile ONE plan. At a glance, it seems pretty similar to the Simple Choice plans in terms of international benefits—unlimited text and data in most countries, but without calls included. You can also add a plan for your tablet and/or any wearables nice and cheap, though, so this might be worth looking into if you’re not already with T-Mobile.

AT&T Passport and Sprint Global

AT&T also has a Passport plan that offers unlimited texting and reduced prices for calling and data usage. There’s also an additional monthly fee, however, and all in all it’s pricier than T-Mobile. If you’re already with AT&T and only planning on traveling for a short while this might be your best bet, but if you’re willing to shop around I think you can do better.

A friend using Sprint also just informed me that they have a very similar plan to T-Mobile.  It just launched a few months ago.  So, T-Mobile now has some competition.  But the fact that all the major carriers are recognizing international calling and communication via your smartphone and allowing you to use a SIM card with your smartphone overseas (in fact, the same card) while traveling is a giant leap forward in international communication.

 

Unlocking Your Smartphone and Getting an International SIM Card

T-Mobile’s plan is plenty for many, but there’s another way to achieve true smartphone freedom that any might find more appealing: an international SIM card for unfettered travel and spontaneity.

We won’t get too technical, but basically your phone’s SIM card allows it to”talk” to a cell network. If the network doesn’t recognize the SIM card, it won’t let you connect, or it will notify the network to charge those pricey roaming fees. You can get local SIM cards for each place you’re traveling, but you’ll need to get a local service plan, and international calls will still be expensive. An international SIM card that is designed to work with cell networks around the globe means you can use one phone to connect virtually anywhere.

Unlocking Your Smartphone

The SIM card is only one barrier when it comes to using your US-bought smartphone on international networks. You also need to make sure your phone has the right hardware to connect to a particular international network, which is pretty easy to do once you’ve selected an international SIM provider. Service providers also install software on their phones that can prevent you from using other carriers, so you’ll probably need to “unlock” your phone—mess with the software so your phone can work anywhere.

Unlocking your phone is perfectly legal and, when done correctly, perfectly safe. Digital Trends put together this awesome and updated unlocking guide that covers every major US carrier. You might have to bug your service provider a bit—they know that unlocking means you’ll be using someone else’s services—but they’ll get it done if you keep at them.  T-Mobile may take up to 6 weeks to unlock whereas Sprint will unlock instantly with a phone call – but, they will only lock for overseas and disable unlocking on US soil.  Once unlocked, you simply swap out your SIM card for the international SIM card you’ve purchased, and you should be good to go!

Getting an International SIM Card

Not all international SIM card providers are equal, of course. They all have their own coverage areas/countries and their own prices, and you should definitely research your selected provider based on where you want to travel. My personal favorite, and so far the one that has beat the competition hands-down for the places I’ve traveled, is OneSimCard.

OneSimCard sells you its international SIM cards for a flat rate of $29.95. There’s no monthly charge or connection fee, and your SIM card will work for calls and texts in more than 200 countries! You get both a US and an EU number for your phone, and incoming calls to the EU number are completely free, as are incoming text messages. Outgoing calls cost $0.25/min.—not bad when you consider you aren’t paying ANY monthly service fee—and you can also purchase them in bundles at a discount. Calls are even cheaper using OneSimCard’s VoIP app, which comes free with the SIM card.

Your international SIM card from OneSimCard will also give you access to mobile data networks in up to 180+ countries, depending on which SIM card you select (they have three available), with data rates as low as $0.02/MB. And of course, you’ll still be able to use data via any WiFi spots you find in your travels absolutely free.

For convenience and ease when you’re traveling to multiple countries, it really doesn’t get any easier than OneSimCard. When you’re back in the States you can swap out your cards again, and if you tuck your international SIM card somewhere safe—in a baggie with your passport, perhaps—it’ll be there for you the next time you’re ready for an international adventure!

Get Unlocked and Go International Today!

unlocked-your-phone-liveworkanywhereThe barriers to international travel are falling every day. Whether you’re a business of one, have a small office you need to keep in touch with, or are a key figure in a multi-billion dollar enterprise, there are plenty of ways for you to stay connected as you travel. The Internet makes document sharing, social media, and a whole lot more readily accessible from your smartphone, and now you know a few tricks when it comes to texts and calls, too.

So what are you waiting for? You’re running out of excuses—stop reading, go get your international SIM card or switch up your phone plan (hint: try T-Mobile), and start booking those tickets today. The world is waiting!