Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.

Many retailers are outsourcing their customer service operations to third-party companies like Alpine Access () and Working Solutions (), who in turn contract with home-based workers. The reps, who typically work 20 to 40 hours a week, take calls for large and small companies. The hourly rate is about $9, but agents can earn up to $13 with incentives and bonuses or up to $30 for special projects. Some companies offer benefits like health and dental insurance and a matching 401(k) plan. LiveOps () is similar, but service reps operate as independent contractors, typically invoicing LiveOps $10 to $15 per hour depending on the type of call and performance. And with LiveOps you can work as many hours as you want. The hiring process is rigorous: Expect a comprehensive written or online application, skills exam, phone interview and background check.
If you’re a registered nurse, consider a company like Fonemed (), which provides phone-based triage and medical information to their customers in Canada and the U.S. These companies contract with medical-related clients, mostly doctor’s offices and especially pediatrician’s offices, to answer questions when the offices are closed (the work hours are typically evenings, nights and weekends). You must be licensed in the state or province where you are located and have at least three years of recent clinical experience with adults and children. Fonemed nurses are paid an hourly minimum plus a fee per call, and are eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid leave. A typical Fonemed nurse makes $27 per hour, according to Fonemed owner Charlene Slaney.
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