The Internet Goldmine: online work demystified

There are over 1 billion websites and hundreds of thousands new ones are developed daily. There are also over 1 billion people who use social media as well as billions of emails that are sent every single day. The fact that online content is being churned out constantly translates into millions of jobs around the world.


I get many people contacting me to ask about working online. The easiest way to understand online work is by understanding what online content is. If you visit a website, what sort of content do you find? Probably photos, videos, podcasts and writing.  

What are websites, blogs and social networking sites used for? They serve purposes such as marketing, publicity and customer care.

Online work involves the process of producing online content as well as its application. It brings together a combination of skills such as developing the content, making it user friendly and connecting with the audience.

To be involved in the development and application of online content requires specific skills, some which require at least a degree in the field. It is easier for those with training in relevant fields such as a degree in computer science or graphic design, but the truth of the matter is that one can build a successful career even without any formal training in the specific field. With careers that are based on creativity as most online jobs are, one can learn through online tutorials, mentorship by someone who is good at it and practice.

The most critical thing when it comes to getting online jobs is one’s online portfolio. Clients are looking for proof that the person they hire can do what they want to be done and do it well.

1.      Content writing

An online content writer’s job is to research, write, edit and produce content for websites, blogs, articles, newsletters, marketing and advertising material. One critical skill is an excellent command of the English language.

This is an ideal line of work for people who are trained in journalism, communication or English. Being a good writer is just one of the skills one needs. Having a curious mind and staying up to date with what is happening in the field one writes about is very important.

A good writer is a widely read individual. Practice by writing about everything and anything; a scene you witnessed on the street, some new equipment you purchased, a movie you watched or the experience of being stuck in traffic while you had an important appointment. Write in season and out of season.

I do content writing and every time an idea crosses my mind, I write it down whether it is relevant or not. Sometimes I get out of bed or pull out my notebook while queuing in the supermarket to jot down an idea before I lose it. At any one time I have several article outlines that I can pick and develop further. Those drafts come in handy when I need to come up with some content.

2.      Software development

Software developers are the people who conceive, design, program, test, maintain computer applications and trouble shoot problems. Computer programmers need to be good in Mathematics and usually require a degree in computer science though one can acquire the skills even without formal training in the field. They require computer programming skills and knowledge of some of the widely used programming languages.

3.      Web design

The process of developing and maintaining websites usually requires a team of professionals with an assortment of skills such as web graphic design, software development, market research and search engine optimization (SEO). A web designer requires skills such as use of coding software such as HTML and CSS, use of design software such as Illustrator, and Photoshop, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing and use of social media.

Web designers create the layout that the online content is placed in. A degree in a field such as computer science, graphic design or web design is helpful but not mandatory as with determination the required skills can be learned. Having all the skills required to design websites successfully is challenging so it helps to team up with a few other people who are good in the skills you lack. Being a team player is as important as developing technical skills.

4.      Photography

Photographers take photographs of people, places, objects and activities. A photographer needs to be competent in using different kinds of cameras, using natural and artificial light correctly and editing photos. Being creative, a team player and having attention to detail is mandatory.

5.      Videography

Besides knowing how to use a video camera, sound and lighting, a videographer needs to be able to edit videos. Editing includes sound and colour mixing. A videographer needs to be a good communicator and a team player, besides being highly creative and having a high level of attention to detail.

Life Coaching

Just about everyone has expertise in something and can guide someone else to become better in that area of life. Someone who has had a successful career can coach others who are starting out in their careers. A parent who has raised children can coach younger parents. As long as you are a step ahead of someone else, you can help that person.

Life coaching is basically a process that helps people to improve their lives. Too many people struggle through life like they are groping in the dark trying to find their way in a forest with no marked path. A coach is the lighthouse that illuminates the way for them, helping them to avoid many unnecessary mistakes.  

Any business is started because there is a need for the services or products it is offering and not just because someone wants to make money. Money is a reward for doing something successfully.
A successful coaching business begins with caring about people and genuinely desiring better lives for them. That is the only way to effectively work with people to help them transform their lives. 

Many people get into life coaching because they overcame something and would like to help others not to go through the same struggles they went through. It starts with sharing of one’s experience and grows into something bigger.

To develop the passion for helping people into a successful business, it helps to begin by joining a credible coaching program in order to get the right kind of training. Life coaching is a profession like any other so it is crucial to invest in the necessary skills. 

Training can take 6 to 9 months or longer and normally costs less than investing in a degree course. Besides formal training, a life coach needs to commit to continuous learning. It is critical to have value to give to other people. One cannot serve others from an empty cup so it is a must to fill one’s cup first.  

6.      Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the world of middlemen in ecommerce. If you have heard of Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos, then you know something about affiliate marketing. Jeff Bezos is now the world’s wealthiest individual, having overtaken Bill Gates. Jack Ma is one of China’s richest men. Affiliate marketing means being a marketer on a platform such as Amazon, Alibaba or Jumuia. It is normally free to join but is not easy money since it does require investing in skills such as blogging, online marketing and people skills.

Technology has caused disruption in all areas of life and will continue to do so. Jobs will become obsolete, thanks to technology. Jobs that are dependent on technology have a great future so it pays to invest in skills now 

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