Hello! If you are reading this I think there is a good chance you just saw me on Kay2 TV talking about online work, freelancing and entrepreneurship.
It is fascinating how the work culture has changed over the years (thanks to social media) and therefore the trends have mostly changed which is why work is no longer about a ‘place’ rather an activity that you perform throughout the day to keep yourself active. Much thanks to the internet now you can make money through various legal ways online and the best part about making money online is that you can do it from anywhere as long as you have internet.
But lets get down to debunking the myths first. Online work and freelancing is not about easy or free money so if you want to start this just because you think you will spend a few hours online and become Pakistan’s first internet millionaire, you are in the wrong boat. There are people in Pakistan who make $10 to even $100,000 a month through online work and freelancing but you can’t even imagine sheer amount of effort they put in to achieve this and most of the ones I know in this field work as much as 16-18 hours a day. That sound crazy but that’s the truth about online work that it’s no easy money.
And so let’s get down to how you can really make money online? Well! Ideally there are like more than 200 proven ways to make money from the Internet but I will touch base with only a few of them, the one’s that I and many others in Pakistan have tried personally.
Freelancing with Elance
This one’s my favourite and works for those who have a skill to offer e.g. IT services, graphic design, web development, admin work, writing etc. There are more than 1 million freelancers working from Pakistan and I definitely recommend everyone to use Elance.com as it is the most clean, user-friendly and high paying platform for freelancing among its competitors. Here’s why I recommend Elance.
- Clean UI and a very clutter-free online work management portal
- Works for high-value individual freelancers and companies.
- Offers payment protection through Escrow.
How freelancing websites usually work is that you need to register, make a profile and offer a skill. Then you bid for projects that are relevant to your portfolio, write catch proposals and get selected to do a job. Most freelancers that I know from Pakistan started this casually and ended up getting fixed long-term clients and now they have quit their jobs and are doing freelancing full time.
If you wan to start freelancing, get online and register a profile on Elance.com
This way of making money online has been around for quite some time and works well for publishers (whether those who own a website or a blog).
All you need to do is have a website or blog with significant amount of traffic on it and then you apply to Google AdSense and get your website approved. Once approved, you place the ads on the website and AdSense will automatically start displaying contextually relevant ads for your viewers and visitors and based on clicks or sales from the users on those ads you will make money.
This method is working quite well for publishers in Pakistan and the most amazing thing about this is that is not just restricted to English content only. Even websites with Urdu content seem to be generating quite a good amount of revenue through AdSense and Urdupoint.com is one such example which is one the top three websites in terms of traffic in Pakistan.
Thought you could make a business out of selling lawn in summer? Well it seems like its the trend these days but its not that simple. On the other hand what local publishers, website owners and bloggers have now started doing is that they market a particular brand to their audience and generate sales. This way, they get a ‘cut’ or commission out of those sales.
Here’s an example. Google Trends shows you that womens’ searches go high for ‘lawn’ related stuff during the summer. That’s an opportunity for you to create a website that could help women with their choice of lawn (perhaps an infographic or comparison chart) and then you can help market a particular lawn brand and generate sales for them. In the end you will get a commission out of all the sales that you generated through the website.
My friend Momekh gets a special mention for this. He calls himself a professional “add-venturer” and he is one of the few people from Pakistan who make money online by selling knowledge and content. Here’s a quote from his online store:
More than 95% of the content on this blog is for free. These products are those 5% which are not. They are here because I believe they can help you. Please do read the details on the sales pages to make sure you know what you’re buying. All products come with a 30 day money back guarantee (I don’t want to sell to you if you don’t get any advantage). Thank you and I wish you nothing but the best. God bless!
There are a bunch of other amazing people in Pakistan who are making thousands and millions of $ through online products.
A few examples are Farrukh Zafar from Gagism and Haris from ThemeFusion, both of whom have been able to generate revenue in millions by selling their software online (websites, products, software etc). There are sites like Flippa.com that give you the opportunity to sell directly and get connected to thousands of interested buyers from around the world who want to purchase and acquire such websites for business purposes.
Or perhaps the easiest of all, you could perhaps launch your own online store to sell your fashion label or setup an online bakery. The possibilities are endless!
‘Gig?’. Yes, gig! Fiverr.com gives you the opportunity to sell anything for $5 and when I say anything, it literally means ‘anything’.
There’s this guy from Lahore who has made a business out of selling promotional banners in front of historic buildings. Crazy right? But that’s exactly what Fiverr is for. All you have do is come up with an amazing gig that you can do and sell it as a service and you would be surprised to know how many out there are just ready to buy such stuff from you.
And that’s pretty much it for now.
The whole point of this post is to introduce you to a few of the amazing ways of making money online and motivating you with examples of local individuals who have produced unbelievable results while living in Pakistan. You can do it too!