5 Internet Based Home Business Ideas

In India, many Hindus celebrate a day called the ” Vishwakarma Puja“, wherein tools and machinery are worshiped as a mark of gratitude for the livelihood earned through the functioning of these pieces of equipment. In my opinion, this concept should be extended to the internet as well. Thanks to the internet, millions of freelancers are able to do business with clients located globally.

I know it is probably an obvious statement to make, but I am grateful to be born in the time of the internet. Most women of the generation before us, especially those who were married to men with transferable jobs, did not have this flexibility. They were either restricted to being full-time housewives or teaching in schools where they earned far below their potential.

An internet-based home business is an ideal option for young mothers ( like myself) who often find themselves with limited spare time and energy. It provides flexibility of working hours, whilst giving the opportunity to put your professional skills to good use.

Of course, as with any other career, it is not easy to make money via the web. To get work through the web, you must be well-trained in the service you are providing. You must be a thorough professional. For instance, in the way you communicate with clients, negotiate pricing and meet committed delivery dates.

internet jobs

As a freelancer, I am often approached by acquaintances for information on home-business ideas that could work for them. This prompted me to start writing my next eBook, which is tentatively titled, “How to Choose a Home Business Idea and Become a Homepreneur. Plus – 50 Home Business Ideas!”

Here is an extract from the eBook on internet-based home business ideas. I hope you will find the information useful.

  1. Online Tutoring or home tuitions: If you have an interest in the education space, starting a home-based coaching centre is ideal. You can also expand your reach by enrolling with online tuition platforms such as My Private Tutor,  Udemy, and Eduboard.
  2. Online content writer: Start sourcing online content jobs through sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. My first eBook ” Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer – Use Freelancing Websites to Source Content Writing Jobs and Make Money from Home” is a ready reckoner for anyone looking to become a freelancer using websites such as Upwork.
  3. Editor: If you are good at identifying a badly written sentence, an editing business could be for you. There are two types of editing work- the first is copyediting, where you are checking for accuracy of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other writing style issues. The other is developmental editing, where in addition to copyediting, you also add, change, or delete content to improve readability. Apart from a good understanding of grammar, punctuation, you need to be familiar with the different international writing styles.
  4. Blogging: If you are passionate about a topic, start blogging. The key is to write just not what you know, but write blogs that answer questions/ concerns that people may have about your passion. Before you begin a blog, learn the technical aspects of blogging such as using the right keywords, and how to search-engine optimize your blog (to make it more searchable).
  5. Virtual task provider: Small business owners often lack the time, the resources, or the skill to handle routine tasks of their business. Depending on your skills, you can start a remote assistance business that handles these business tasks such as social media marketing, responding to customer emails, calling a customer base, data entry, writing blogs, creating powerpoint presentations, and writing standard operating procedures.

Apart from the above five, the other freelancing options that are in great demand on the internet are website design, mobile app design,  graphic design, social media marketing and SEO services.  If you have skills in these areas of work, you can pitch for international projects on freelancing websites such as Upwork and Freelancer.

Freelance websites for writing

Comparison of Popular Freelancing Websites for Writers

I wrote the post ‘ Comparison of the Top 4 Freelancing Websites‘ just over two years ago. Since then Elance and Odesk have merged and the two comparatively less popular sites Guru and Freelancer have seen their numbers grow. So I felt it was time to recompare the freelance writing opportunities on these portals.

Comparison of Popular Freelancing Websites for Writers

Number of freelance writing jobs:  Upwork ( formerly oDesk) continues to have the highest number of jobs in the writing and translation category. However it is a case of quality versus quantity because Elance with fewer writing projects tends to have better paying jobs.

Competition:  Compared to Elance, Guru is the more competitive website with higher number of potential bidders for each ‘writing and translation’ job. 

Information on number of registered writers was not available for Upwork and Freelancer.

Writer Profiles: What I really like about Freelancer and Guru are the dynamic contractor profiles (much like your Facebook business page) with a header and profile image. Also you can use your business logos instead of a photo which Elance insists on. Writer skills and experience are much more neatly categorised and available for viewing on Guru than on Elance or Upwork.

Cost: The cost of using these websites has two components –

  • Membership fee: You can get started for free on all four sites. However, given the high proposal reject rate, you will need to upgrade to a paid membership plan to be able to apply for higher number of writing jobs.
  • Website Commission: Apart from the membership fee, all websites charge a project fee, which is deducted as a percentage of your project earnings. Freelancer and Guru have higher paid membership plans where the project fee becomes substantially lower. For instance, Guru’s free plan has a job fee of 8.95%, and its executive plan at $39.95 per month has a job fee of 4.95%.
  • Payment protection: All sites offer some form of an escrow payment system. The employer funds the project when the work begins. As approved milestones are completed and the employer approves the work, the website releases the payments.

The infographic below is based on review of ‘freelance writing and translation’ jobs listed on the four sites (Elance, Upwork, Guru and Freelancer ) as of 10th June 2015 –

Freelance websites for writing

As a freelance writer based in India and as someone whose location changes every few years, it is difficult to land writing projects. Moreover, most Indian companies still prefer in-person interactions. Freelance websites like Elance, help overcome these obstacles and offer an excellent platform to work remotely with international clients.

What has been your experience in using freelance job portals like Elance and Guru?  


Addition date: 03 July 2015

I just received this email from Elance confirming that I can now replicate my Elance to Upwork.

Hi Rhea,

We’re excited to invite you to copy over both your freelancer and client profiles to Upwork. To access your client account once you’ve joined Upwork, simply click on your name in the top right hand corner of your Upwork screen.

We make it easy to create a stellar reputation on Upwork.  If you already have an Upwork account, you can choose to combine your Elance and Upwork work histories, or replace your existing Upwork account with your Elance profile.

Leverage your Elance reputation today to start working on Upwork, the world’s
largest workplace.