Most people know how to enter keywords into Google to gather information they need. But if you're looking to take that skill a step further, consider a career as an online researcher. Depending on the industry you work in, you could put your research skills to work -- and many jobs let you work at home. Here are tips on how to be an online researcher.
Becoming an Online Researcher
Learn about the online research field. There are many instances where conducting online research can be useful. For writers, it can be necessary to gather facts or learn about a new field and then apply it into writing. There are also people paid strictly to research online. But because this is typically a work-at-home field, you must be leery about the sources you use to find jobs. Additionally, you must possess advanced research skills and know more than how to type keywords into a search engine to be a solid researcher.
Analyze your credentials. While you do not have to possess a degree to be an online researcher, it can certainly be useful to have one. If you are doing research for an academic institution, it will likely require at least a bachelor’s degree. If you are conducting research on a freelance basis, you likely will not need a degree. It all depends on the job you’re seeking.
Browse websites to find jobs. I recommend searching job boards that have a strong reputation to find jobs, instead of a niche board. This is because there are many market research/survey-taking scams related to the concept of “online research.” To find legitimate opportunities, stick to websites such as www.monster.com or www.indeed.com. You can search terms like “online researcher” or “online research,” and also "market research” or simply “research.” If you want to enter into market research, for example, you can use “market research,” but if you want to be a researcher for an academic avenue, try “research and writing” as well.
Market yourself as an online researcher. Instead of simply applying to jobs, you can also set yourself up as a researcher. With this format, you are reaching out to clients to let them know what you have to offer. Maybe you can compile research for business plans and pitch yourself to small start up businesses. Creating a website and listing your credentials on it will go a long way to help you position yourself as an online researcher.
Go to your library or explore reference portals on their website to learn about other avenues for research.
Beware of websites that promise jobs but require you to pay to be considered.