Monthly Archives: August, 2016

Digital Entrepreneurship for Parents and Students

Many homeschooling parents have expressed to me that they would like to be able to have the freedom to work from anywhere int the world or earn extra income from home.  Also, we want our children to learn skills that allow them to earn their own money.  Here are five real ways that you can begin to do that, along with how I personally got into these fields and how much you can expect to make.

Greetings,

I hope that your school year is off to a great start.  My son and I are enjoying our semester so far.  We are officially commencing formal lessons on September 1 this year, but we have been doing some fun educational activities such as book publishing, video game creation, and DIY technology projects (such as making a smartphone speaker from a toilet paper roll and two cups).

We have not left the country yet and have delayed our departure to mid-September.  While we are still here, I have been participating in a number of local events.  For example, this past weekend, Houston activist Deric Muhammad hosted a free seminar for youth titled Digital Entrepreneurship.  The core goal of the seminar was to empower urban youth to utilize their phones and computers to engage in productive and profitable activities (rather than for wasting time or over-sharing).

As a contribution to this event, I wrote up five ways that I actually do use the internet to make money.  If you enjoy this post, let me know in the comments, and I will do a part two to share more.  Many homeschooling parents have expressed to me that they would like to be able to have the freedom to work from anywhere int the world or earn extra income from home.  Also, we want our children to learn skills that allow them to earn their own money.  Here are five real ways that you can begin to do that, along with how I personally got into these fields and how much you can expect to make.

Five Ways That I Have Actually Earned Money Online

With a quick Google search, you can find thousands of legitimate methods for earning money online ranging from taking online surveys to serving as a virtual assistant.  Some of these avenues are more effective than others and some pay much more than others.  I would like to offer five ways that I have actually earned significant amounts of money online.  The last time that I worked for a company full-time was February 2016.  Currently, I work 100% online and have been able to support myself, my 12-year-old son, maintain consistent volunteer work, operate on a flexible schedule, and travel internationally freely.

Graphic Design:

How I Got Into It: When I was 19 years old, I began teaching myself graphic design using Adobe PhotoShop.  To help facilitate this process, I interned with a tee-shirt and design company in Greenspoint Mall for about 6 months.  I was able to earn a little money from the internship, but more importantly, gain experience.  By the time that I was 20 years old, I had begun taking graphic design clients on my own.  My first clients were friends who needed fliers or album covers, and could only afford to pay $20 or $30.  Now, ten years later, I continue to do graphic design part-time.  You can also go to school for Graphic Design, but it is not really required.

How Much $$$: My fees range from $50 – $125 for simple designs using stock images or provided photos (logos, business cards, event fliers, etc.), but the cost can rise much higher for original art or complex designs.  This is a part-time gig for me, but if you start your own Graphic Design Company, you can make $200 – $300/day easily once you build up your client base.

How I Get Clients: My clients come from word of mouth mainly.  I am also signed on as an Independent Contractor as the graphic designer for two Black owned marketing companies.  If you start your own Graphic Design company, you can advertise through cards, fliers, social media, your website, and paid print or web ads.

Flyer I created for the University of Houston African American Studies Program using Adobe PhotoShop.

Flyer I created for the University of Houston African-American Studies Program using Adobe PhotoShop.

Web Design:

How I Got Into It: When I was in high school, I was intrigued by the web.  The web really had just gotten popular around  that time, and I wanted to be able to interact with it in every way possible.  My first site was a Geocities Blog that I set up to share some of my poetry.  Over the years, I continued blogging on various sites.  Eventually, I started my own website using the content management system WordPress.  As time went on, I got more ideas for new sites, and created them on my own using existing systems such as WordPress, Wix, and GoDaddy.  I recognized that if I paid someone to create my website each time that I got a new idea, I would end up spending thousands of dollars a year on projects that I could not be sure if I wanted to commit to long-term.  By designing the sites myself, I only spent $18 or so per site (for the domain name and hosting).  Once I became very proficient at creating websites, others began asking me if I could design their sites.  Currently, I design websites part-time.

How Much $$$:  I personally have charged from $99 – $450 for a website, depending on the complexity needed.  Websites can range from $99 up to thousands of dollars, depending on what your client needs and the budget for their company.  For example, if you have a web design contract with Coca-Cola, you will charge them several thousand dollars.  On the other hand, if you are doing a website for your cousin, you can charge a quick $99.

How I Get Clients: Word of mouth and social media works fine for me.  However, if you want to start a Web Design company, you would want to put together a portfolio and advertise.

blackhomeschoolmom.com, the site that you and I love!

 

Writing Services:

How I Got Into It: I love writing; however, it is an area in which many people struggle.  People need assistance with writing proposals, resumes, blog posts, content for magazines, essays, books, and more.  I assist in all of these areas currently, on a part-time basis.  My first paid writing gig was in high school.  A fellow student paid me $30 to write an essay for him.  That same year, a teacher who was impressed with my writing skills paid me $180 to edit his book manuscript.  Since then, I have continued to not only write for myself (I am a published author with books available for sale on Amazon), but to provide writing services for a fee for others.  I also edit for clients who just want to polish their current writing.

How Much $$$: Writing projects that I have taken on personally have ranged from $20 (for resume assistance) to $2,000 (full book assistance).

How I Get Clients: All word of mouth for me here; however, you can advertise through social media, your personal website, business card, advertisements, etc.

nik

Writing is a great skill to hone.

Publishing Assistance:

How I Got Into It: I published my first book in 2012, a short collection of my poetry and stories – Graffiti Nommo.  After mastering this process, I was able to publish four more personal collections as well as facilitating the publishing process for others.

How Much $$$: For someone with a finished manuscript who simply needs help with the publishing process, I charge no more than $300.  I also teach publishing classes where I walk others through the publishing process for only $50 – $100 per class.

How I Get Clients: Word of mouth and social media.  However, if you want to start a publishing company, you can go through the full process of advertising through all mediums.

 publishyourself

Book Sales:

How I Got Into It: Outside of writing, publishing, and selling my own books, I have sold used books in the past for profit.  I purchased books from the clearance section of Half Price Books or from other discount booksellers and sold them at a profit on Amazon.com.  Also, I set up vending tables at local events and sold books.

How Much $$$: I make no less than $60 – $100 selling used books for a few hours at a local event, and $1 – $10 per book profit for selling used books online.  I have made up to $300 in one day selling used books at a local event.

How I Get Clients: To sell used books on Amazon, you can do a bit of research on Google about how to set it all up.  The clients are already there.  To sell locally, you just need to show up, be personable, and have books that people want to buy.

This is me selling used books and original posters at the 2011 S.H.A.P.E. Pan African festival. I miss this haircut.

Art Sales:

How I Got Into It: I have always loved drawing and recently began painting (in 2009).  My first paid art project, if I recall correctly, was a coloring book about the Ancestors in 2009.  After this, I illustrated a young adult book, Carved in Stone, in 2010.  Also, I have served as an Art Instructor for a tutoring company, for local afterschool programs, and for local summer programs.  Once I learned to paint, I sold my first painting in 2015.

How Much $$$: For the young adult book, I drew about 20 black and white images plus a color cover, and was paid $800.  I have sold my original paintings for as little as $60 and for as much as $500.  All of the arrangements were made online.

How I Get Clients: Word of mouth mainly for me; however, you can start an art website where you advertise and sell your art.  You can also advertise on your social media pages.  Are you good at drawing or painting?  Can you learn these skills?  Start selling your art.  You can also take pictures of your paintings to sell them as “prints”, in addition to selling the originals.

One of my original paintings.

Thank you for reading.  Again, please let me know if this is helpful to you.  If it is, I will share more.  Also, check out Dr. Samori Camara’s entrepreneurship class, The Warrior Startup for more great info to move towards location independence.

Love and Light,

Nikala Asante