One of the biggest misconceptions among people who reach out to me is that there are no sharing economy income options in rural areas. Certainly the options are fewer, but there many remote work options available for those with an internet connection or simply a smartphone in some cases.
Today, we are going to talk about what remote jobs you can do from home. These are by far the best jobs for rural workers and those who don’t live in a city setting.
So let’s get started with our top four remote work options you can consider starting now.
Do you have experience with research? Data entry? Administrative skills? Accounting? Writing? The list goes on and on. Check out Upwork’s job category directory here.
Margaret, a Casual Capitalist community member, retired three years ago from a 35-year career as an Administrative Assistant. Margaret wanted to retire, but also wanted a flexible work option to keep her busy and to supplement her retirement income.
She recently got started on Upwork by becoming a virtual assistant. Before she knew it, Margaret had two full-time clients which took up three hours a day. This provided her with an extra $1,200 a month. Not bad at all!
Think you could do virtual assistant tasks? Maybe there is something else that would work for you. Check out Upwork to see the major categories of freelancing opportunities. Once you find one that fits your skills, sign up and then you can start bidding on jobs.
For more on Upwork, check out this resource.
While Upwork is by far the most popular freelance platform, it’s not the only option for those looking to make some extra money in rural areas. The following are some other platforms to get you started on your freelancing career:
To succeed in freelancing, it’s best to get good at something. For example you can offer services in something that you like to do, or something you are passionate about. Alternatively, aim to use your existing skills and experiences but adapt them to the digital sphere. The more skilled you are at a specific skill the higher the rates you are likely to command. This should be a good boost to your income.
Chances are, living a rural lifestyle, you may have an abundance of specialized tools. If this is the case, there are a number of websites that will allow you to rent out these tools for a fee.
Do you have heavy farm equipment or specialized landscaping tools? Yard Club is also a popular sharing economy platform that will facilitate transactions between farm equipment owners, and renters.
For the Australian readers, check out Openshed, which is a similar website to Yard Club.
Although we’ve touched on this in detail in earlier articles, a great option for rural folks is pet sitting.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans own 83 million dogs and 95 million cats. In 2014 alone, pet owners spent three billion dollars on boarding. This is a significant market that you can tap into!
Instead of boarding their animals, people are electing to leave their pets in the homes of others. This is where you come in. As someone who lives in a rural area, it is likely that you have a lot of space to accommodate dogs, particularly outdoors.
On average, pet sitters on sites like DogVacay and Rover, earn $30 a day per dog. Does this sound like an interesting idea? Check out the above websites for more details on this rural employment option.
The online tutoring industry was worth seven billion in 2014. By the end of 2015, this industry was worth over $13 billion.
If you have a teachable niche, then online tutoring in the sharing economy can be very profitable. The average wage varies greatly, from $5 an hour to $50 an hour, depending on the topic and your background. Do you have a teachable skill?
This could be anything, from traditional topics such as English, math, science, to non-traditional topics such as farming, gardening, painting, woodworking, cooking, and much more.
And you can teach from the comfort of your own home via Skype! Check out the more popular tutoring sites below to see the types of teaching subjects they cover.
Do any of these teaching categories sound familiar? Do they? Then sign up!
For all my handy Casual Capitalists in the UK, check out DAD, an on-demand DIY advice network where you can sell your advice via video chat. For instance, someone needs help installing a dishwasher, they get matched with someone on DAD who can walk them through the process via a video chat. Pretty cool!
Click here for a more in-depth look at the tutoring option.
If you are good at making stuff, then you can make some extra money with your unique items and crafts. Beautiful handmade and unique crafts are all the rage nowadays and this is something you can do even in rural areas. For example, you can make jewelery, clothings and accessories, knitted bags, furniture among other items. You can sell your creations through platforms like Etsy, Artisna, Artfire among others.
If you need a bit of inspiration, check out how this lady makes over $20K selling crafts online.
Check out these guide and other platforms on how to get started selling crafts online:
How to Make a Living Selling Your Crafts – Complete Guide
Despite the proliferation of cheap cameras and smartphones, a need will always exist to capture those special moments in a unique way. Family events and gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties, engagements, graduations etc are special occasions whose memories need to be captured in the best light.
If you have the artistic skills and the right equipment, this is a relatively easy remote job to get started with. Do a great job for each client(s) and through word of mouth you can expand your business in your rural community. Find out how to get started with professional photography here.
Additionally, you can offer some of your shots through online platforms that pay a certain amount when your photos are used. Check out some of the top sites that pay for images and get a feel for the quality required for top shots.
The internet and the sharing economy has opened even rural areas to opportunities that could only be enjoyed by urbanites. And while the opportunities in rural areas might not be as many as those in urban areas, you can still make a decent side income with a remote job in a rural area.
Sometimes it might require a bit of creativity to make a decent income in a rural area. Other times you need to repackage your skills and expertise for the digital space. What is evident though is this, where there is an internet connection, you can do some amazing things with the resources that you already have around you.
There you have it folks, a number of remote work options that could be your next killer side income gig. Take action now and commit to testing out at least one of these options in the next few days. What do you have to lose?
Good luck and let me know how it goes!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in Feb 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.