In today’s society, many people find themselves feeling lonely. Each year, millions of people suffer from loneliness and depression. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50 million adults in America are affected by chronic loneliness.
The main reason for this is that we have become a culture obsessed with busyness. We work long hours at jobs where there is little room for human interaction. In addition, we are increasingly spending more time on our electronic devices than we do interacting socially or going outside in the sun.
The recent lockdowns, coupled with workplaces (and schools) increasingly adopting working from home policies, have made many of us even lonelier as we spend less time socializing face-to-face with others.
The result? Many people feel isolated and alone.
People are now increasingly turning to online friend services as a way to fill that void of loneliness and isolation.
Thankfully, this also provides new opportunities to get paid to be an online friend. This is a great opportunity if you’re someone who wants to help others feel less alone while making some good money at the same time. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to make money online in 2022.
In this post, we go in-depth and share everything you need to know about how to get started in this interesting and growing field.
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Becoming A Virtual Friend
In our fast-paced and technology-driven society, more and more people are turning to the internet for socialization. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2021, 72% of American adults use some form of social media. This number is only going to grow as more and more people get comfortable with online communication.
If you’re looking for a way to make money and you’re good with people, becoming an online friend could be a great option for you.
While getting paid to be a virtual friend sounds easy on paper, it poses quite a few challenges which you need to be aware of and something that not a lot of other sites discuss.
If you’re only looking to become an online friend with the main intention of making money fast, then this will likely not be a good opportunity for you.
This opportunity suits people who are genuinely interested in connecting as well as socializing with people. It’s a great way to get paid to talk to people.
To be honest, it tends to suit extroverts more than introverts due to an extrovert’s innate ability to make friends easily without much effort. However, if you feel like your personality is naturally suited towards being an online friend, then you can still get involved.
If you’re more on the introverted side, it can still work out well for you as well. A lot of people online do enjoy and even prefer connecting with introverted people compared to extroverted people.
If you suffer from social anxiety or general shyness, this can be a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and work your way up that step ladder to becoming socially confident.
Here are generally the main requirements for successfully becoming an online friend:
- You need to have good written and verbal communication skills in order to communicate with your potential clients. This could mean using email, instant messaging programs, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Google Talk, video chat, etc.
- It is important to build trust between you and other members so they feel comfortable enough to share their personal information.
- Be honest about who you really are and what kind of service you offer. If you don’t do these things, it will be difficult to become friends with others on social media platforms. Pretending to be someone you’re not will break that trust and affect your reputation on the site, which can prevent you from getting more clients.
- Be a good listener. People like talking to those who show an interest in them. Listening is at the heart of every great friendship. Listen carefully when people talk to you and ask follow up questions to show you are interested. When you ask questions or make comments, let the person know that you care by showing empathy towards him/her.
- Being an online friend is purely platonic. There should not be any other ulterior motives. People are paying for that genuine connection, so they expect nothing else but honesty from their friends. If there is anything wrong with someone’s character, don’t hide it behind a computer screen. You have no idea how much damage you could do if you reveal something about another human being without knowing all the facts.
Having a good profile and online presence overall can help a lot with getting more clients and increases your chances of earning even more. If you have a website that you can showcase your work, that can help as well. Eventually, you can use your own website for your visitors to book directly with you rather than through a website and turn your side gig into a full time business.
You can quickly create a professional website using Groove. Groove also allows you to setup everything you need to run an online business like payment processing, email lead generation, video hosting, etc while being super fast to load. Check out my review of Groove here: Everything You Need To Know About Groove.
Can You Get Paid For Just Talking to Someone?
Yes, there are a growing number of websites and apps that connect you with potential friends and pay you for it. This has come about due to the increased demand for online friendships.
There are many reasons why people would pay for an online friendship. This includes:
- They have a job where they work from home all day and don’t get as much social interaction as they used to.
- They recently moved to a new location and don’t know anyone or any place to meet people.
- They have social anxiety and are looking for a way to fulfill the basic human need for social connection without having to face it in a more intimidating environment.
- They are entrepreneurs running a business on their own, which can get lonely, and they are willing to pay to get that social interaction they once enjoyed when they worked a 9-5.
- They need help with various aspects of their lives and would like to learn from someone who can help them with that.
How Much Can You Get Paid To Be An Online Friend?
Different sites offer different rates for being an online friend. Most of the sites generally pay for your time and pay by the hour.
Some of these sites charge a small commission, which you would need to be aware of before committing to a platform.
To answer the question, it depends how much you can get paid to be someone’s virtual friend. You can expect to earn, on average, about $20 per hour. However, if you have a particular skillset or specialized interests that your clients really want to learn more about, you can earn up to as much as $80 per hour. All these sites charge an hourly rate.
How many clients you get depends mainly on the experience you’ve had with your current and past clients. If your current and previous clients enjoyed interacting with you and had an overall positive experience, you would gain more clients over time.
Ultimately, what you earn depends on how much you charge per hour for your online friend’s time, as well as how many online friend clients you get.
It’s not uncommon to make anywhere from $300 – $2000 per week being an online friend. In fact, it can be enough to replace a full time job.
Can you really make good money being an online friend to someone you don’t really know? Yes! You just need to do some research before signing up with any site so that you are sure they will provide you with quality clients.
It may sound strange at first to charge someone for something that we humans have been getting for free for decades. But just know, that if someone is willing to pay good money for a friendship, it means that they are serious about it and you have less chance of coming across weirdos like you would with popular dating apps.
Ways To Get Paid To Talk To Lonely People
Let’s check out some sites that currently pay you to be an online friend.
If you’re looking for a friend to hang out with, Rent A Friend is a great option. The site is legitimate and one of the most popular ones out there. Just as the name of the site implies; it lets you rent a friend for companionship.
The majority of interactions on this site are in-person, but you can choose to limit yourself to online conversations with people.
Rent A Friend is available worldwide and has over 600,000+ friends that are available to rent.
One great feature of the site is that all the money you charge is yours. The platform doesn’t take any commission of any kind.
How Much Does Rent-A-Friend Pay?
It depends. You can charge your own rate. Typically, this can range from as low as $10 an hour, up to over $50 an hour. If you have special skills that may be highly sought after by your clients, you can charge higher. There has been a case study of someone who actually paid $47 an hour to rent a friend on the site.
Is Rent A Friend safe?
Rent A Friend charges a small fee to members, and this helps to weed out anyone with any ulterior motives. People who pay to rent a friend are generally serious about it. The higher someone is willing to pay per hour, the less “shady” they generally tend to be.
Having said that, there is still that small risk when meeting someone online. Due your own due diligence and thoroughly check through the profile of your potential client before accepting any offers.
Compared to the other virtual friendship sites, Rent A Friend is considered amongst the most reputable and safest.
Rent A Local Friend is similar to Rent A Friend, however, it tends to be more focused on renting a local friend rather than a virtual friend.
This site tends to be best for new overseas or interstate travelers who don’t know anyone or what to do in the area. This benefits travelers a lot, especially if they are travelling solo and don’t want that dreaded, isolated feeling in a new place. This can be a great way to make some good side money on the side while going sight seeing in your local area as a tour guide with someone new each time.
Although its focus is mainly on local friends, they do have the option to rent virtual friends too.
Rent A Cyber Friend focuses purely on online friendships only. The way you would meet up is through WhatsApp messaging, text messages, phone calls, Facebook chat, or even video calls.
If you want to gain the attention of more potential clients, it’s important to make your profile stand out and that you share interesting information about yourself. You can search other people’s profiles to see how they’ve set up their profiles and emulate it for your own profile too.
FriendPC is another fast growing site that aims to help people make friends and even help them achieve a major goal in their lives. This can be anything from helping someone become more confident, or just needing to fill that void of companionship in their life.
It tends to be a site aimed at life coaches or people who have experience in life that they can pass on to their potential clients.
FriendPC is mainly online only. It allows text messages, phone calls, FaceTime sessions, video calls, or any other form of communication that is preferred between you and the client.
If you’re a life coach, or do online gaming of any kind, this can be a great option.
College Pirates is not really dedicated to renting online friends. It’s mainly aimed at university and college students who need advice about pursuing a particular degree or major (or any other advice related to uni or college in general).
At this point in time, though, the site does not seem to be working, and it seems in general that the business is no longer in operation.
Fiverr is one of the largest marketplaces in the world where you can hire someone to get almost anything done for you. This can be anything from posting content to your Facebook account to creating a professional voiceover or song for your wedding video.
However, it’s not only a place where you can get business-related stuff done. It’s also a place where a lot of people go to look for new friends.
Fiverr has massive traffic and is among the top 1000 most popular sites in the world. It was ranked 539 globally by SimilarWeb at the time of writing.
You are more likely to gain regular clients through Fiverr, but keep in mind that fees tend to be lower on the site. They recommend charging $5 (hence the name “Fiverr”), but you can go higher if you want to.
You can also offer more premium tiers where people pay you more if you offer anything extra that your potential client would like to know about on your meet up.
PenPal World offers options to make new friends virtually and seems to have been around for a while. However, it’s mainly aimed at making new friends for free (aka, they won’t pay you).
If you’re looking to dip your toes and see if this is something you want to get into, you can always start with PenPal World to get some experience before diving in and applying for the other ones above.
How Do You Make Money Talking To Someone Lonely?
There are a few steps you need to take in order to start making money by talking to new people.
- Sign up to one of the sites above.
- Fill out an application form and then wait to be approved.
- Enter your payment details.
- Set up an online profile and make sure your description highlights your best traits and interests to attract the right kind of people with similar interests.
- Wait until you get prospective offers.
- Review your offers to make sure your prospective friend appears legit and also to get to know them a bit more before the meet up.
- Accept the offer and discuss the method of communication (texting, video chat, messaging, etc) and a time and date to meet online.
What You Need To Know Before Becoming An Online Companion
There are a few things you need to know before you start getting paid to be an online friend.
Do your own due diligence when meeting new people. First and foremost, never ever share your most private information or even personal information such as where you live. You don’t truly know the person you are about to meet. Always keep it professional, since at the end of the day, you are only providing a service that they are paying you for. You are not there to make lifelong best friends with them.
If at any time you feel uncomfortable before or during the meeting, end it straight away. This will be hard at first, but the more people you meet, the easier it gets.
The sites listed above mainly prioritize platonic friendships, and their main aim is to provide emotional support to people who need it in real life. Your clients need to be aware of that, and if they are looking for anything more, that’s where you draw the line and make it clear that they can go to a dating site to help them with that.
While there are some dodgy people online, there are way more nice people.
Again, use your common sense when it comes to safety online. Always keep a look out for yourself and prioritize your safety above anything else (even money).
Like I mentioned above, you need to have a certain level of confidence in order to make good money by being a virtual friend. You don’t need to be the super confident, “life of the party” extroverted type. Not at all.
However, you would need to know the basics of handling conversations, such as steering a conversation down a different path if those awkward silences get a bit long.
If you have social anxiety, this is definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges you face. Unless you have severe social anxiety, this can be a great opportunity to work on your confidence since you can always bank on the fact that you never have to meet that person again if you mess up badly. With repeated clients, I’m sure that social anxiety will be greatly reduced and will improve your confidence and social skills significantly in real life too. It’s a new skill you can acquire without having to face it in the real world.
First, you’ll need to have a good internet connection. People are paying for your time here. If your internet is super slow or laggy, you’re going to get poor ratings, which would hurt the number of clients you can potentially get.
Second, you’ll need to be comfortable with social networking platforms. You’ll need to know how to text, video chat, and so on. If you’re older and not so great with technology, then make sure to sign up for a platform that allows phone calls.
How To Get Setup With Becoming A Virtual Friend?
Provide your personal information
When you sign up to be an online friend, you will need to provide your name, email address, and phone number. You will also need to provide a brief bio about yourself. Make sure the bio is written well and showcases your major strengths and highlights. These can help potential clients find out and know more about you. If they like what they see, they will want to connect. Don’t try to pretend or be fake here. This can cause you to hate the job which is not what getting paid to be a virtual friend is all about.
Putting up an honest profile also helps when it comes to matching you up with a good friend with common interests.
Going through a background check
A lot of these sites will want to make sure you are legit and not there for any suspicious purposes. They need to uphold their reputation to make sure their members are only paying people who are real and there to genuinely make friends. In order to achieve this, they may carry background checks. This would usually involve providing a passport or driver’s licence with a photo of yourself attached. This is usually a formality to ensure you are who you say you are.
A lot of people think this is unfair, but it is not. It is actually a great deal for the people who are there to genuinely make friends. They would never have to worry about the person they were talking to being a fake or, even worse, someone with malicious intent.
Submitting your payment details
Once you’ve entered your personal information and successfully completed background checks, you then need to enter payment details so that the site can pay you when you fulfill your services.
Typically, this would involve giving your bank account details via wire, PayPal (if the site accepts it), or through cheques. Make sure you enter all this information correctly, or someone else might end up getting paid for your hard work!
The easiest way generally, is to create a new PayPal account and use that to receive payments.
Giving your bank account details
Make sure that the site where you want to provide your services is trusted and legitimate. The sites listed above are all legitimate. You will need to ensure the details you enter, such as your bank account number, SWIFT code, etc., are all correct.
After you complete your services, make sure to check your bank account to see if the money had come through. If not, reach out to the site’s support area, and let them know that you haven’t been paid.
Your clients will never know your bank details. The site (e.g Rent A Friend) acts as the middle man and handles all payment related activities.
There are many people out there that willing to pay just for the privilege of meeting people that they otherwise can’t do based on their current circumstances. There are way too many reasons why someone would need the company of an online virtual friend. This could be looking for a friend to attend a sporting event together, or learning a new language in another country.
Renting out your services online is an excellent way to make some extra cash, and you are doing a great thing for people who need this service. The sites listed above are a great place to start.
It’s a great side hustle to make some extra money outside of a 9-5. However, it isn’t truly passive income or online income that can scale since you would rely on your time to make you money.
If you’re looking for a passive income opportunity, then check out something like affiliate marketing. I’ve created a post about it here which you might be interested in learning more about: How To Make Your First $1000 With Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner.