Turning the Liberal Arts into Ways to Make Money from Home

by WorkFromHome on December 17, 2011

It’s the complaint of many college students around the country: liberal arts colleges focus too heavily on things they swear they will “never use.” Those things might include reading literature, being proficient in constructing a proper sentence, solving difficult equations, learning the justice system both at home and abroad, or learning the history of things that don’t pertain to a future career.

Well, those skills have gained a significant value as the employment market has shifted from traditional offices to home-based businesses that provide major sources of income for Americans in trying times. Whereas sentence structure used to be worth a roll of the eyes, it’s now got a per-word price — and can even draw residual income to those who really dedicate themselves to it. And the justice system has its own perks, with jury duty essentially being turned into a freelance, online skill.

Liberal arts students should thank their colleges for unwittingly preparing them for a fast-changing job market. So, which skills are the most useful in this new, online economy?

  1. Writing and Proofreading for a Price
    There’s never really been a downside to being well-spoken and able to construct a gramatically-proper sentence: employers find it attractive and worth paying for, while friends and potential romantic partners all aspire to date someone who is intelligent and sounds that way when they speak. But now an increasingly large number of companies are asking those who know the English language well to turn that skill into money.

    Search engines have long required websites to have good copy in order to rank highly in search results. These search engines are not interested in spam that simply repeats a keyword fifteen times, and they’re intelligent enough to detect when that’s the case. For this reason, marketing professionals are increasingly seeking people who can write about a large array of topics and make it sound professional, well-spoken, and authoritative.

    And, even outside of these applications, proofreading online is becoming a booming business of its own. It’s easy to make money from home when a large number of high school and college students can’t quite grasp the difference between “your” and “you’re” and need someone to help them write a good paper at the end of their semester. Proofreading, like writing, generally pays on a per-word or per-article basis and can lead to a sizable monthly income.

  2. Working as an Online Juror
    No one likes to lose, especially attorneys who require a good reputation in order to keep their high per-hour billable rates. For this reason, lawyers across the country are increasingly hiring online jury panels to sit in on their case, hear both sides of the argument, and reach a mock verdict. This is much like the mock trials people would attend in college — usually for a fee — and it pays about the same rate. Attorneys usually pay between $5 and $50 per case in order to have their argument evaluated by the “average” citizen. And, because these trials are far more brief than their real-life counterparts, several of them can be completed per day. It’s a great way to make extra money from home, usually providing enough income to count as a solid second job.
  3. Writing an Electronic Book and Collecting Residuals
    Remember all of those papers you had to write as an undergraduate student who was navigating the halls of the liberal arts curriculum? It’s likely you not only learned some very useful things, but also became quite adept at writing about your expertise at length. You learned how to cite sources, how to be informative but brief, and how to phrase things for easy understanding.

    Those skills don’t have to be tossed aside when the long-awaited undergraduate degree is in hand. Instead, they can be turned into real sources of income. Writing electronic books has become a great way for professionals to make a one-time, up-front fee on their work, and follow it up with a lifetime of residual income that they earn every time someone purchases the book they’ve written. And these books can be on just about anything: from collector’s items to life skills, from nonfiction historical works to engaging works of fiction with a whole slate of characters.

Put General Education Classes to Use

Stop thinking about how “useless” those general education classes were in college, and start thinking about how basic, everyday skills can be turned into profit. The key to making money from home is to do something that you find basic and day, which others may not — and attach a price tag to it. With a little hard work, and a bit of monetization, these skills are easy to turn into supplemental income.

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