- Apr 16, 2018
In this age of widespread Internet access, there are unfortunately still some connectivity problems in many places. It could be due to economical, geographical, or other reasons, but when slow Internet connection strikes, it could prove to be vexing for those of us who work from home for a living.
Maybe it’s a temporary thing or maybe it’s something you have to deal with for a long time. Whatever your circumstances may be, a slow connection shouldn’t prevent you from earning money when you’re working from home. You just have to be aware of the kind of jobs available that don’t require fast Internet speed, and give one (or several) of them a try.
1. Hold a virtual garage sale
As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Now is your chance to declutter and get some additional income at the same time. Holding a virtual garage sale doesn’t require you to be online all the time. Just make sure to set up notifications for potential bids and sales which you can check once in a while.
Many sites today cater to the “pre-loved” and “gently used” market, which basically means used stuff that are still in good enough condition to be re-sold. So raid your attic, closet, basement, or garage for vintage clothes, toys, comic books, knick-knacks, and other things people might find interesting, and start setting up a virtual garage sale for them!
If you don’t want to specialize merchandise and just want to sell things wholesale, Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are some of the best places you can sell them. You just need to categorize each of your items and set a price, or sell them by the lot. Ebay is set up like an auction but you can always opt for the Buy It Now feature if you don’t want to bother with biddings. Facebook Marketplace allows you to immediately share your listings with people on your Friends list, but the search button also helps if you categorize your stuff properly. If you don’t have an idea how to price your stuff, Decluttr has a valuation engine where you enter the barcode of the item you’re selling, giving you a quick value so you can decide on your final price.
2. Be a phone mystery shopper
Phone mystery shopping is a great work-at-home gig because it works with a flexible schedule, doesn’t require fast Internet connection, and doesn’t even ask for work experience or a particular college degree to do it. All you need is a phone and to sign up for a shopper account.
The way it works is, a mystery shopper calls up a specific business and asks questions (based on a script), gauges how the staff answers the questions, takes down details, rates the call for satisfactory or negative experiences, and submits the report to the company that hired the shopper. Doing this helps the business brush up on first-impression phone calls and improve their overall customer service.
Companies like Mystery Shopper Services often look for shoppers to sign up with them, and offer specific training and their own reporting system. If you’re looking for a company with global opportunities, ARC Call Performance and Monitoring Analysis is on the lookout for independent contractor shoppers all over the world who are fluent both in English and in their native language.
3. Do freelance writing
Content writing is fast becoming a favorite task among freelancers. Sure, it requires a working knowledge of grammar and spelling, though not necessarily a degree in English or Comparative Literature. Knowing how to do proper research and the use of Internet tools is a plus, as is knowing how to express yourself clearly and creatively. As more and more online businesses and websites are put up, content providers and copywriters are increasingly becoming in demand.
If you think you have what it takes to be a freelance writer, consider submitting sample works to A List Apart, which, as they state in their website, is “always looking for new authors”. They accept pitches, partial drafts, and even rough drafts of original work, but you have to refer to their style guide and recently published works for guidance.
If you love and want to write about food, Cooking Detective is constantly on the lookout for food bloggers, recipe contributors, and product review writers. And if you love writing with a byline (and like the idea of getting paid for it), Cracked is a popular destination for writers of the hipster persuasion. They are also willing to pay $100 for every accepted article!
4. Be an online academic tutor
Even before the Internet, being a tutor has always been a favorite freelance job of many who specialize in specific academic subjects. While that required face-to-face sessions, sites and apps like Mentored are making it easier for tutors to give lessons from home using a virtual program that includes a “teachers’ lounge”, live chat and voice interaction, and social media networking to grow your clientele. Tandem also looks for qualified language teachers who are available to give lessons in either 20, 40, 60, or 90 minutes. Lessons are prepaid so payments are guaranteed, as long as you log in to teach on schedule.
There might be an issue with slow connectivity when it comes to voice chats with students, but a couple of hours in a coworking space with reliable Internet could be a temporary solution. Or you can choose to tutor during the hours when your connection is fastest at home.
5. Be an online editor
The great thing about this particular freelance job is that you only need to download what you have to edit or proofread, and do offline work the rest of the time. A slow Internet connection can still be a problem when it comes to downloading, but you once you’ve done that, then you’re all set.
Where to start? ProofreadAnywhere offers a virtual workshop for free so you can learn the skills and tools to become a good proofreader. Afterwards, depending on your educational background or experience, you can either submit your credentials to sites like the American Journal Experts, which looks for remote contractors to edit articles on business, engineering, chemistry, etc.; or try your hand at a proofreading test first over at Domainite, which isn’t very strict about past editing experiences but wants to know if you’re a good fit with their company.
Some of the jobs I listed above require some work-related experience, like tutoring, writing, and editing or proofreading. The others, like selling your stuff online and signing up to be a mystery shopper, look to be more doable for those who are new to the entire thing. The key is in playing to your strengths and using them as resources.
Have you ever had to deal with slow Internet connection while working from home? How did you resolve it, and were you successful? Please share your experience with us!