If you’re great at finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, keep reading! We’re answering a question from a reader on how you can become an online researcher and find work from home internet research jobs!
I found your advice in the Woman’s World Magazine and searched all through Pinterest for work-from-home jobs. There are so many to go through, some want money, and others I’m not sure are real jobs. But Holly, I LOVE to research and would like to start a business doing research, but I have no idea how to get started. I thought I would ask if you had any ideas since you are seeking ways of possible employment for people.
I hope you will have some ideas and share them with me as I am very eager to get started.
Sincerely, Judy L.
Internet research is an excellent way for you to work from home! Many companies hire freelancers to do their research for them — you just need to know where to look.
Law firms, marketing departments, insurance companies, academic institutions, healthcare providers, political groups, real estate agents, writers, editors, and college students all need researchers.
If you have background experience in one of the areas above, I suggest starting there first, as you’ll have a leg up on your competition.
How to Become an Online Researcher
If you’re looking for a full-time research job as a W2 employee, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree in your desired area of expertise. For instance, if you want to work as a remote clinical research associate (CRA), you need a degree in nursing or another scientific field like biology.
Or, if you want to be an academic researcher, you’ll need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in a specified area of expertise. Or, if you want to do research in the legal field and already have a degree, you can obtain a paralegal certificate.
Don’t want to get a degree or go back to college? No problem. There are ways for you to work on more generalized research tasks. Options for this route include freelancing, starting your own business, and working in roles like virtual assistance, where internet research is a small part of what you do.
Where to Find Internet Research Jobs
You can try searching for internet research jobs on traditional job sites like Indeed or LinkedIn, but these sites are so big that it can be challenging to find these positions. You’ll also have to thoroughly research each job posting as they don’t screen companies very well.
Here are some other sites that I recommend using to find online research jobs.
FlexJobs is a paid online job board that caters to flexible work arrangements. I like FlexJobs because they screen every job for legitimacy, so you never have to worry about falling prey to a scam. They also have great sorting options, so it’s easy to locate what you’re searching for on their website. You can sort jobs by type, schedule, job category, career level, job title, location, or a combination. Some keywords you’ll want to explore include internet research, online researcher, web researcher, and research assistant.
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace where you can list and sell your internet research services. When Fiverr first came on the market, the premise was individuals would sell their freelance services for $5 (hence the name). Freelancers would keep $4, and Fiverr would take a $1 administrative fee. Today freelancers sell their services for anywhere from $5-$10,000 a pop, and Fiverr takes a 20% administrative fee. Fiverr is free to join, and it’s an easy way for you to list your freelance research assistant skills and the niches you specialize in.
Robert Half is a staffing agency that is an excellent place for finding those one-off research jobs! When writing this article, they had 395 remote research jobs. Some positions include UX researchers, research administrators, data scientists, paralegals, and more. On Robert Half, you can find permanent, temporary, and temporary-to-hire positions. Positions are location-dependent, but Robert Half has a remote job search button that makes finding their virtual jobs a snap!
Upwork is a freelance job board containing different tasks for freelancers to complete. Register for an account (it’s free), search for Internet Research positions, and submit your bid. If your bid is accepted, you’ll complete the work and get paid through the platform, minus a small fee (5% to 20% based on the total sale amount). While many freelancers complain of the low rates on these sites — it can be an excellent way for you to establish yourself in the field and to work with repeat clients. Also, check out this article from Danny Margulies and how he was able to earn six figures from Upwork — he has a smart strategy for using the platform!
Companies That Hire Internet Researchers
Cannabiz Media hires part-time virtual data researchers to collect, fact-check, and analyze license info in the cannabis industry. Applicants must have a strong business or legal research background, excellent communication skills, and be able to work 20 hours per week.
Clickworker is a short task platform and smartphone app where you can make money by completing microtasks like text creation, categorization, copy editing, proofreading, internet research, and more. You won’t be able to earn a full-time income using this platform, but it is a nice way to bring in a little extra money. Sign-up for a free account, fill out your profile, complete short skills assessments, complete work, and get paid weekly or monthly via SEPA or PayPal. Before you join Clickworker, be sure to read reviews. Some people have had a great experience with them, others not so much.
Fancy Hands hires independent contractors to provide virtual assistant services to individuals and small business owners. In this position, you’ll work on tasks like scheduling appointments, internet research, data entry, and making phone calls (so it’s not just research). Assistants are paid $3-$7 per task, and payments are distributed every other Tuesday via Dwolla. This is another site that gets mixed reviews, so be sure to do your due diligence before joining. For more companies that hire virtual assistants, check out this post.
I know I mentioned FlexJobs above as a great place to find legitimate work-from-home positions, but they also hire part-time, freelance job researchers to research and source legitimate jobs, companies, and opportunities for possible publication on their website. Pay is $15 per hour, and you must reside in one of the following states: CO, CT, FL, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MN, NC, OR, PA, TN, TX, or VA.
TELUS International hires online data analysts, sometimes called search engine evaluators, to conduct research on search engine results. In this role, you’ll perform search queries on various terms to verify the relevancy of the provided search engine results. To qualify for these jobs, you must have good research skills and a strong understanding of local and national events and trends. With these positions, you have a flexible schedule, and they hire worldwide, but you’ll be working as an independent contractor, so you’ll need to set aside money for self-employment taxes.
One company that hires internet researchers to gather information and find credible sources is Wonder. In this role, you’ll work as an independent contractor earning $8 to $35 per question answered. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and prior research experience. As of right now, they are not taking new applicants. However, you can bookmark their career page and check back periodically for openings.
Start Your Own Internet Research Business
If the above options aren’t what you’re dreaming of — you can always start your own internet research business in the niche of your choosing. Here are some simple steps to get you started.
1. Educate Yourself on Running an Internet Research Business
No matter what type of business you’re starting, you need to educate yourself on the best business practices. Here are a couple of resources that can help you understand and implement the basics for starting and running an internet research-based business.
- Start & Run an Internet Research Business (Start & Run Business Series)
- Secrets of Becoming an Internet Research Specialist: How to Surf the Web for Freedom and Profit
2. Write Your Business Plan
Once you understand the basics of running a business, you’ll need to write your business plan. Your business plan doesn’t have to be a formal document, but you will want to create a list of steps to take. If you need a business plan template, grab our free template here.
Here are some common questions you’ll need to address:
- How will you structure your business?
- What should you name your company?
- How will you accept payments?
- Do you need any license or insurance?
- What office equipment do you need?
- How will you handle self-employment taxes and bookkeeping?
- What marketing methods will you use?
- How will you determine your prices?
3. Set Up Shop
After you have the preliminary framework in place, you need to set up your digital footprint, which will include your website and social media profiles. You should also think about which communication, marketing, and organizational tools you’ll need to run your business.
Here are some helpful articles and resources:
- How to Build a Website For Your Home Business
- A HUGE List of Free Resources to Help Run Your Home-Based Business
4. Get Clients
There are many ways to get new clients, but probably the fastest way is to reach out to family, friends, and past colleagues and let them know you started a new business. Just think, if you send an email to 100 contacts, you’ll likely have at least one person who needs or knows of someone who needs your services!
When I started my blog, here is the email I sent out. This is how I was able to build my blogging audience so quickly. Oh, and feel free to use this template and modify it for your business.
Hello Friends & Family,
As many of you know, for the past 16 months, I’ve been researching, writing, and working with a graphic designer to launch a website for women and mothers who would like to work from home.
As of today, all of my hard work has finally paid off, and I’m proud to announce the official launch of The Work at Home Woman! An online resource for women who wish to work from home or become self-employed.
Please visit my site and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions!
I would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this link to anyone you know that could benefit from this site.
Feel free to keep up with The Work at Home Woman, and follow me on Twitter or Facebook
Thanks for your support, Holly
There are many different routes you can take to becoming an internet researcher! Whether you want to freelance, find a telecommuting position, or start your own business, there are many viable options available. Choosing a niche where you have experience will help you hone in on the opportunities that are best suited for your skills.
Originally published January 9, 2015. Content updated June 2022.