Best Remote Side Gigs: Earn Top Dollar with These Jobs

In today’s digital age, more and more people are shifting away from the traditional 9 to 5 and preferring to work remotely. It’s way more flexible; you get to work anywhere you want, and–if you find your own niche–you can even earn more than you would with a regular office job. 

Some of the highest-paying remote side gigs include Web Developing, Graphic Design, Writing, Translating, and Digital Marketing. Depending on your expertise, you can earn anywhere from $30,000 to upwards of $100,000 a year doing these remote jobs. Some companies even provide bonuses and benefits.

If you’re new to freelance work, breaking into it can seem daunting, especially with literally millions of people looking to work remotely these days. However, as long as you know what you can bring to the table, there’s no reason why you can’t find a well-paying remote side hustle. To help you get started, here is a list of the best remote side jobs right now.

home office for remote job

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. 

1. Software Engineer   

If you have a computer science or software engineering background, you can easily ditch the routine office job and work as a remote software engineer earning anywhere from $100,000 up to $200,000 a year instead.

As a software engineer, you will be working to create software or network systems to meet your client’s needs. On a day-to-day basis, this involves writing code, programming, and maintaining systems (among other responsibilities).

While there still are companies that require their software engineers to work in-office, more and more are transitioning to work-from-home arrangements for positions that can be accomplished remotely. This way, you can manage your own schedule and work anywhere you want (as long as the Internet speed is fast enough for heavy tasks).

Pro tip: The more problem-solving skills you have, the better (read: higher) your pay will be. Being a software engineer is relatively stress-free, especially if you genuinely enjoy using computer science to create software solutions. However, some types of software are more complex than others. The more sophisticated the programs you’re working with, the higher the pay grade. 

How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

The competition is pretty steep when you’re trying to land a Software Engineering job, whether part-time or full-time. To give your application an edge over others, here are some things that you will need:

  • A degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Software Development. Many relevant skills can be gained through training and self-learning, but most recruiters still prefer applicants with relevant educational backgrounds.
  • Sharpen your skills through training. Programming and software development in general evolve at a very fast pace. Make sure to keep up by attending as many coding bootcamps, trainings, and internships as you can.
  • Spruce up your portfolio. The thing about freelance work is you’ll have a hard time landing a job when you don’t have the experience to show. So make sure to gain as much experience as possible. And create an impressive portfolio to showcase all the work you’ve done so far. If you’re just getting started as a freelancer and want to learn more about freelancing with no experience, check out the guide I wrote here.

2. Web or Application Developer    

Closely related to the first option on this list is the Web/Application Developer position. A Web Developer creates websites and web-related applications to match their client’s needs. This involves both the technical aspects of building a functional website, as well as ensuring that a website looks good from the outside and is easy to navigate.

In some cases, Web Developers also create content for the sites that they work on, if their job description includes management of that website.

While the competition for a web developer job is quite steep (as with any other job), the good news is that every company needs a web developer. At least, that is if they want to remain relevant in this day and age.

And another great thing? A Web Developer job pays really well. You can easily make about $80,000 a year working remotely.

How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

If you’ve been sending out applications left and right yet can’t land a job, your application just might not be as impressive as your competition’s. It’s time to allow your creativity and passion for problem-solving to shine in your applications. 

Here are some other tips to get you noticed by recruiters:

  • Show lots of practical experience. A degree in Computer Science or Computer Programming may be important, but chances are the competition has that and more. What recruiters want to see is what you have done so far: What websites you’ve built, for instance.
  • Start working early. You need to beef up your portfolio to convince recruiters that you’re the person for the job. So put your innate love for computers to good use and work on building websites early. Some jobs may be pro bono, while others may be for a tiny fee. What’s important is that you build your portfolio as soon as possible.
  • Be specific about unique skills. Don’t be shy; show off what you’ve got. Be specific about what you can do that you think others can’t. If you are particularly good at website security, for instance, highlight that.
  • Follow tech news. If you want in, you have to know what’s going on in the tech world. This will come in handy for making a positive impression during interviews and knowing current trends.
woman working from home as a freelance writer

3. Writer

If you have a way with words, you can capitalize on that to land a freelance writing job. And if you’re worried that you may not fit the bill, there are different types of writing jobs too–from technical writing to medical writing to blogging. So you can do whatever type of writing job you’re most comfortable with.

You can even try your hand at proofreading and editing if you have a good grasp of grammar and a keen eye for detail.

Freelance writers make an average of over $68,000 per year, which is huge if you’re going to do it as a side hustle and still maintain a main source of income. Plus, there’s very little stress involved when working as a writer because you own your time, can accommodate a workload that fits your availability, and can work anywhere you want. 

You don’t even need access to the Internet all the time. So if you’re a digital nomad who also loves traveling, or you want to have a job that’s very flexible, being a freelance writer will definitely work for you.

How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

Once you decide that freelance writing work is for you, how do you get clients to notice you? And more than that, how do you land clients that can provide long-term work? Here’s how:

  • Attend as many writing workshops as you can. Most clients won’t know the importance of a writing workshop (or that you even have to get accepted to be in one), but it will show that you’re serious about honing your craft. Moreover, more discerning clients will know you can put words together.   
  • Show your best work. When building your portfolio, show off the finest writing that you’ve ever done. And more than that, show your clients as many types of work as possible. If you have technical writing as well as creative writing experience, don’t leave that out.
  • Highlight other relevant skills. Being an SEO expert is a big plus when you’re looking for freelance writing work, so don’t forget to include that. Other relevant skills are content management, research, and social media management.
  • Start a blog. Your blog can be about anything you want. But it has to be well-written and current. It’s a great way to show clients your writing style, tone, and subjects of interest. But it’s also a great way to keep practicing. Gotta keep that pen sharp.
  • Know the industry rates. You might think being the cheap option can increase your chances; it won’t. Asking for rates that are too low communicates that you don’t know the industry or that you simply aren’t any good. Do your research and ask for rates that match current industry trends.

Want to learn more about how to get started? I wrote a complete guide about working from home as a freelance writer (even if you have no experience) — click here to check it out.

4. Digital Marketer  

Gone are the days when people go to actual malls and stores to go shopping. Today, the biggest marketplace is the Internet. It’s where everyone goes to buy just about anything you can think of. And it’s no longer the big e-commerce websites that are on the playing field anymore. More and more websites now cater to online shoppers.

And with the way things are going, it looks like this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. People are spending most of their time online, and companies are making sure that they meet their target audience where they are.

Digital Marketers make that happen by building brand awareness and online presence and reaching out to customers through social media and communication channels. You can make about $60,000 a year working as a Digital Marketer at home. All you need are a computer, a stable Internet connection, a great deal of creativity, and top-notch communication skills.

How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

If you have a passion for telling compelling stories that make products and brands relatable to a target audience, developing strategies to reach as many people as possible, and converting traffic into paying customers, you’ll love working as a Digital Marketer. 

Here’s how you can get ahead when applying for a job:

  • Do other related jobs in the meantime. If you can’t seem to break through, consider taking short-term projects that are relevant to your desired position. Jobs like content writing, social media management, and data analysis can be good starting points that will show clients you have the right skills.
  • Know where you’re good at and highlight that. There are different ways to do digital marketing, such as SEO, PPC, and more. Highlight one or two that really interests you and that you excel at. That way it’s easier to find a client that matches your strengths.
  • Take a Digital Marketing course. If you don’t have a lot of experience, acquiring a professional certificate will help make your application stand out and give you a better grasp of digital marketing tools and techniques.

5. Project Manager

Another remote side hustle that pays really well is Project Management. If you have a knack for managing all aspects of a project–from strategic planning to completion–then you would be great at it. You may even enjoy it if you like keeping things organized, making sure that every member of the team is aligned, and all deadlines are met every single time.

That sounds like a lot of work, but in practice, project management can be a breeze, especially if you get the hang of workflow and know your tools like the back of your hand. Some seasoned freelancers can even handle working with more than one client. 

Work management apps, for one, are a great tool that Project Managers use to stay on top of everything. Today, these types of tools allow them to do that even when they’re away from the office.

On average, Project Managers earn $60,000 to $70,000 a year.

How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

The thing about being a Project Manager is you can’t really tell for sure when one will be good at it unless there’s practical experience to show for it. And even when an applicant has some experience, it doesn’t always mean that they will be great at the job.

So how do you make sure to communicate that you’re The One?

  • Highlight previous work milestones. An effective way to show that you’re a good fit is by highlighting measurable project milestones that prove that you’re able to meet your targets, achieve goals, and work well with a team.
  • Get experience through other related jobs. If you don’t have previous experience as a Project Manager, you can highlight experience doing relevant work, like virtual assistance, content management, or any leadership role.
  • Show a positive attitude. Project management can be a stressful job. So in order to excel at it, you have to have a great attitude, be able to manage stress and expectations well, and be a strategic planner. Show your prospective clients that you can handle the work.
  • Share what project management tools you’re familiar with. Most clients want freelancers who are already adept at the tools that they are currently using. That way, transitions take less time and are generally smoother. Be specific about what tools you already use, from project management software to report generators.

6. Virtual Assistant

If you’re looking for a part-time job that doesn’t require any specific educational background or previous experience, working as a virtual assistant would be great for you. As long as you’re organized, can keep up with deadlines, and are detail-oriented, there is no reason why you can’t excel at it.

Virtual assistants (also commonly called “VAs”) help companies handle simple but very important tasks that happen at the back end of businesses. These include appointment setting, taking calls and answering emails, and fulfilling other routine tasks that help clients stay on top of their work.

They can be dedicated assistants for one client, but they can also work for a team. This job will require a work setup at home that includes a fast computer, a stable Internet connection, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones for when you take calls and attend meetings. This remote job has great income potential, with the top virtual assistants making over $100,000 per year

How To Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

If you don’t have any experience as a Virtual Assistant, how do you make your application stand out from the rest?

  • Show off previous projects that you worked on. They don’t have to be freelance work or actual office jobs. You can talk about volunteer experience and extra-curricular projects that you worked on that highlight the skills that the job requires. 
  • Take training courses. Virtual Assistants offer various services–from data entry to billing to bookkeeping. You can be a stronger candidate by taking courses that sharpen your skills and help clients find you.
  • Know your niche. Find out what services you’re good at, and apply to jobs that need 
  • those, instead of sending out applications to any posting you see online. 
  • Be proactive. You don’t have to wait for an opening to pop up or to compete on an opening with already too many applications. You can email recruiters directly instead and sell yourself! Make your pitch convincing, clear, and short–you don’t want to bore them.
  • Be flexible. There may be instances when a client will ask you to perform tasks that you have no experience in. Instead of saying no, be willing to learn new skills instead. Doing so will also be good for your portfolio.

Want to learn more about learning the ropes of becoming a virtual assistant? Check out this post, where I go over the top virtual assistant training course out there.

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