While it might sound odd that someone might need to pay to have a friend, paying someone to be a friend is a common online job that you can earn from.
An online, cyber, or virtual friend all mean the same thing. These are people that work online by being friends with other people.
This works typically through a website that links people looking for virtual friends with their contracted employees, who can be termed as the ‘friends’.
These sites provide this service at a fee to people looking to hire virtual friends. This allows them to cater to their overheads, including making payments to their friends (you).
Why Would One Need To Pay A Cyber Friend?
There are numerous reasons why someone might need to pay for an online friend instead of making friendships the traditional way.
The first is isolation. With the world being a global village, people have become increasingly isolated. It’s not uncommon to find someone whose family and friends work in different parts of the world, making it difficult to link up.
Other people are extremely shy or introverted and are uncomfortable with in-person interactions. For them, having an online friend works much better than fostering typical friendships.
A different group of people would like companionship but on their own terms. This means they do not want to commit to a full-fledged relationship, nor the things they need to do to keep it going. Instead, they opt for online friendships where they can reach out at their convenience, with no obligations.
Get Paid To Be An Online Friend:
A few decades back, it would have been unheard of that you could get paid to work as an online friend and support yourself from an income earned in this way.
Not just that, but without even leaving the comfort of your home. Well, technology has made such odd ideas a reality.
Today, people work full-time or part-time and earn money by giving companionship online. These are purely platonic friendships where the parties talk on the phone, hold video calls and even play video games online. All interactions are online, and online friends don’t typically meet in person.
However, while it seems pretty straightforward, there are some things you would need to understand and processes you have to go through before you start earning and working as an online friend.
Legit Ways To Get Paid To Be An Online Friend
To provide online friend services, you will need to sign up with companies that provide platforms for you to become someone’s friend. These companies will have specific requirements and conditions that you need to meet and adhere to.
Some of the most common ones are:
Rent A Friend
Rent a Friend has a vast network of users with over 600 friends for hire as of February 2022. These friends are spread out in different countries, states, and towns, and you can practically rent a local friend regardless of where you are in the world.
This is one of the sites that offer in-person meetups. The site is highly adaptive and moved to virtual friending during the Corona pandemic. As states slowly lift their restrictions, the site has also reinstated its in-person meetings. However, unvaccinated members are still required to social distance and affect other safety measures.
People can get on the site to book you as a friend. There is no limit on what you can get up to. Some of the more popular activities include:
- Playing online games
- Chat Online
- Wingman/wing woman
- Visiting amusement parks
- Going clubbing
- Attending family/work and school functions
- Working out together
- Going on outdoor excursions, trips, and vacations
- Sporting activities
- Talking, video calling, and playing video games online
Basically, you will be contracted to do everyday things that ordinary people do with their friends. However, let’s focus on the online friend bit.
Once you enlist your interest in becoming an online friend, the site sends you a questionnaire to fill in. The site will then use your answers to find possible matches. Once you are matched, you can begin communicating with your online friends.
The site earns by charging a membership fee to the client. This means you get to keep all your earnings. Most new online friends start at $10 per hour and go from there. You can set this as your base pay but bill higher for activities.
Rent A Local Friends
Rent A Local Friend is much like Rent A Friend, and people can rent friends from an hour to a week.
This site’s primary focus is on people who travel a lot and seek companionship in different destinations. Of course, it helps to be bilingual.
To get started, you need to create a profile on the site. Try and make this as detailed as possible to allow people with similar interests to find you. This site tags its average rate at $35 but only allows you to bill a maximum of $20 per hour.
Once you create an account, it will need to be verified before you start picking jobs. This will require what the site calls a ‘contribution’ to the Rent A Local Friend Network.
There are different membership levels and contribution amounts. Unfortunately, the site does not clarify which plan gets you which benefits. The minimum contribution is $55.
Even with the $20 hourly rate, you can make good money working on the site full time. You will similarly recoup your contribution within hours.
This site can offer opportunities for work because the membership fee puts off some workers. On the flip side, being a site primarily targeting travelers, you will get fewer virtual friend jobs if you live in a town or city that is not a popular tourist destination.
This site also has fewer scammers than Rent A Friend.
Besides chatting and sharing your culture, you can also use the site to work as a remote concierge. As someone that knows your city well, you can offer travelers tips and tricks on how to navigate the city, places to visit, safety tips, and so on.
Rent A Cyber Friend
Rent A Cyber Friend matches you to friends based on shared interests and hobbies like the two previously mentioned sites. However, one differentiator with this site is that it offers you the opportunity to list your services globally for applicants to bid on.
You can work as a basic member or buy an upgraded membership. On the basic membership, you can bid on available gigs for free or provide gigs.
On the upgraded plan, which attracts a fee, you get more opportunities and more access to gigs. There are three tiers of membership, clearly outlined on the site; gold, bronze and silver. These paid plans start at $29.99 per month.
This site supports more than just conversations, and you can make good money just by being creative. For example, you can create virtual experiences and sell them as part of your friendship package.
For example, think about a cooking class to teach an international friend a few local cuisine recipes. This can enrich your interactions and, yes, earn you more than phone conversations.
After taking up a gig, payment is per minute with a 20% platform fee. You can make withdrawals to your linked bank account as needed.
Because its possible to view other users before you sign up, use this as an opportunity to carry out some research. Pay attention to the profiles on the site and make notes on what you could do differently. This can help set you apart from the rest and increase your profile’s interest.
For people that are uncomfortable meeting strangers in person, this site is ideal as all its interactions are online.
This is yet another platform where you can get paid to be an online friend.
Not just that, but the site is versatile and goes beyond online chat. On FriendPC, you can get paid to be an online friend by providing companionship through calls, or you can go to the next level and organize in-person meetings.
Other activities include virtual gaming, becoming someone’s life coach, mentoring services and even touring, an excellent provision for solo travelers and vacationers.
This is also among the few platforms that allow people to offer virtual boyfriend/ virtual girlfriend services. This service is charged $5 to $15 per hour for social media chatting. Video calls and phone calls are also allowable at $15 to %30 per hour.
The site has your welfare in mind and allows you to block and report users who misbehave, so you do not feel uncomfortable while working on the site.
Unlike sites where you can get scammed, FriendPC has an anti-scam feature that ensures you can only get contacted by members who have paid for your virtual friend services.
Whichever option you go for, you get to set the rules and boundaries depending on what feels comfortable to you. You also control your rates, call scheduling, and manage your diary. In essence, you can run your friendship business autonomously with FriendPC providing the marketplace and ease of payment.
The site’s versatility means you can spend your working hours doing several different things to break the monotony. You can be a friend, you can chat with lonely people, and you can take up some adult conversations.
The site also has a referral program where you can get cash bonuses should other people sign up to be friends via your link.
One other attractive feature about this site is that FriendPC processes your payment right after you complete a gig, unlike others that pay weekly or monthly. Nonetheless, the site will take a 30% commission for the starter package and a 10% commission should you subscribe to the professional friend package.
Fiverr is a freelancer’s paradise where you can provide virtually any service, including being an online friend.
Once you get on the site, search for ‘friend’ or ‘online friend’ on the search tool. This should bring up gigs in that line. Unlike some of the smaller platforms, Fiverr is a well-established platform with a responsive team should you run into any problems.
People looking for friends will browse the different profiles and contact you if they like what they see. It, therefore, helps to have a creative profile that will draw attention to it. Potential clients can also negotiate the given rates. With that said, the rates you get on Fiverr are significantly lower than those on most other friendship sites.
Gigs on Fiverr average $5 to %25 per hour, but this is for various packages. Some friends charge $3 for a 3-5 minute video call or chat.
Others will offer to write pen pal letters and charge them according to their length. Some will charge per 30 minutes of relationship and friendship advice.
To be fair, you are unlikely to make loads of money on this site. On the plus side, however, joining the platform is absolutely free.
You can use this as a stepping stone as you learn the ropes and move to busier, better-paying sites. Should you decide to work on Fiverr, ensure to be the best friend you can possibly be, as work on the site is driven mainly by reviews. The better your reviews, the more opportunities you will get.
Fiverr pays you through your Paypal account, Wise and other online money payments platforms. In addition, the site has verified payment options, which make it possible for you to be paid in your currency.
Keep in mind that the site will take its commission from each job. Also, you might have to lower your rates to match those on the sites as you start. However, as you take on more jobs and get a significant number of stellar reviews, you can gradually adjust your rates upwards.
What Are The Requirements To Get Paid To Be An Online Friend?
Working as an online friend does not require any specialized skills, so virtually anyone with a good work ethic can do it. First off, you do not need a degree or certificate in any field to get started.
However, you will need:
To Be Of Legal Age
Most of these sites will require you to be 18 years of age and over. The first reason for this is that minors are not allowed to join employment.
The other reason is that a minor is not permitted to sign a contract.
A Stable Internet Connection
Most of these sites require you to work from their portal. By routing calls and video calls from their portal, they ensure you remain anonymous and, therefore, safe.
It’s also a monitoring tool.
Before you start working, find out whether you need a smartphone or a laptop. Aside from either of these, you will need a reliable internet connection. The last thing you want is poor internet that keeps buffering in between calls.
A Good Camera
If you are going to join sites like Fiverr, where photos are required, you will need access to a good camera or enlist professional photography services. You need to get traffic on your page, and poor quality photos taken in bad lighting will not cut it.
The same rules apply to sites that allow you to have videos and post clips. So think about someone that can lend you a good camera if you do not own one or hire a videographer when needed. However, be sure to think about the cost implication so you do not spend more than you can potentially earn back from your clients.
Like any other job, your lack of passion for this job will show very quickly. Once this happens, you will find your client’s churning or leaving awful reviews. Both these actions cost you money.
Once you decide to be someone’s friend, try and be as diligent as possible. For example, be upbeat when taking calls, respond to text messages promptly and listen to the other party. Similarly, read and adjust to their mood.
Even though clients will be paying you to be their friend, they do not want to feel like money is the only reason you are their friend. Give each friend your time as you would a typical, real-life friend.
In addition, be interested in what they have to say and be eager to contribute to the discussion or activities.
In a nutshell, ask yourself if you are;
- Naturally empathetic
- Able to listen to people without interrupting them
- Open to meeting strangers
- Curious to learn about other people’s life experiences and cultures
- Good at coming up with different interesting topics of discussion
How To Get Set Up as an Online Friend
At this point, you are clued in on where to look for opportunities to get paid to be someone’s friend.
However, to get there, you will need to get set up and ready to begin taking actual jobs. While the process might be different for some platforms, here are some general steps to expect.
Create A Work Profile
Begin by going through the different websites listed earlier and shortlist a few whose requirements you meet. For example, you might not be willing to pay a membership fee when starting. As such, you can opt to start with the free sites and then maybe subscribe to membership packages after you have worked for a while.
Once you identify a site or several that you might want to work on, you will need to create a profile on the site. This will often be some general questions to start and then some more detailed questions.
Working as an online friend has few qualifications. You can therefore expect stiff competition. This means you have to put your best foot forward to stand out.
So you have psychic abilities? Play an instrument? Speak in 10 different languages? Whatever it is, don’t be shy about it. Feel free to toot your own horn and let everyone know who you are.
These abilities and personality traits might attract friends to your profile.
Fill In Financial Details
The site will need to make payments weekly, monthly or after each gig. These sites make payments to your bank account or online money transfers.
Having a Pay Pal account is important as most of these platforms will make payments through this avenue.
Take A Personality Test
Be as honest and genuine as possible because this will help the sites match you with people with similar personalities, interests and hobbies. In addition, this makes it easier to talk and hang out because you have a few things in common.
Don’t focus too much on your quirky traits. You never know; those might just be what someone out there is looking for in an online friend.
Wait For Hits
Once your profile is fully set up, wait for users to reach out to you.
Friend seekers will find you using demographics like age, location, gender and the skills you have listed on your profile. Interested individuals will reach out, upon which you will get a notification. You can either accept or reject the request.
If you accept a connect, you can converse via text message, video calls on Skype, phone calls or talking in a chatroom.
Safety Tips For Online Friends
Undoubtedly, the internet can, at times, be a scary place to be. Here are some tips to ensure your safety.
Keep Personal Information Private
Be extremely careful not to reveal any personal information about yourself. These include your address, workplace, home telephone number, personal email, credit card details and so on. Having the same clients over a period of time can build a familiarity that almost seems like a real-life friendship.
Do not allow yourself to get carried away or to drop your guard. Remember that this is work, and you do not know who these people are.
Work On Trusted Sites
Aside from the clients, be wary of scam sites as well. Legitimate sites will have a lock symbol at the beginning of their URL address. This is primarily on the payment sites. This tells you that the site is secure.
Similarly, reputable sites outline their fees, commissions and subscription fees openly on their website. This allows you to see the terms of engagement and consent to them or walk away.
They also do not pressure you into subscribing to anything.
The sites listed earlier in this article are tried and tested and are an excellent place to start your only friend career. If you want to try other sites out, look at their reviews, the memberships and so on. These should help you pick out suitable, credible sites to work on.
Be Cautious About In-Person Meetings
Some of these sites provide avenues for in-person meetings where both parties can engage in a previously agreed-upon activity.
Listen to your gut with such meetup’s. Humans have a sixth sense that can send subtle clues about a situation. Always trust your instinct. If a meeting does not feel right, feel free to cancel it. After it, your life and safety are worth much more than your wages on these sites.
The second thing is to always meet in public places. Avoid going off alone with the new friend to houses, hotel rooms, deserted parks, alleyways, parking lots and so on. Ensure you are in public and that you are in full view of multiple people at all times. If anyone is going to try anything sinister, they are unlikely to do it in front of people.
Similarly, keep an eye on your food and drinks to avoid them being spiked or poisoned.
Tips To Earn More Money As An Online Friend
Understandably, you want to make as much from this venture as you possibly can. So here are some tips for success.
Get As Much Experience As Possible
You can do this by joining different sites to get a feel for different interactions.
Similarly, read widely and interact with people from different cultures as much as possible. This will give you more knowledge about varying topics and make it easier to engage with different friends online. Again, this can help you maintain your clientele and earn you good reviews, which draw in more clients.
Learn some jokes
As you can imagine, creating a rapport with someone you are paying for cannot be easy. Therefore, you want to establish an easy connection with each friend you are connected to.
Learning a few jokes gives you ice breakers to help put your clients at ease so they can relax a little. In addition, this creates a great environment to get to know each other and find common ground.
It’s always best to join multiple platforms when you want to get paid to be an online friend. This helps you understand how different platforms work and which ones have the highest rewards.
It also increases your probability of getting a steady stream of clients, which translates into a consistent income.
Besides the platforms, be open to learning new skills, cultivating new hobbies and immersing yourself in new cultures. This makes you a much more interesting person to know.
FAQs on Getting Paid to Be an Online Friend
What does it mean to get paid to be an online friend?
Getting paid to be an online friend means that you offer companionship, support, and conversation to someone over the internet, and in exchange, they pay you for your time and attention. This can be through messaging, video calls, or even playing online games together.
How much can you earn by being an online friend?
The amount you can earn as an online friend varies depending on the platform and the services you offer. Some websites pay by the hour, while others pay per session or per message. The average rate ranges from $10 to $30 per hour, and some top earners make more than $50 per hour.
How can you become an online friend?
To become an online friend, you can sign up on various websites that offer these services, such as RentAFriend, Bumble BFF, or Friender. You can create a profile, list your interests and hobbies, and set your hourly rate. You can also promote your services on social media platforms or online forums.
Is it safe to be an online friend?
It is important to be cautious when being an online friend, as you are interacting with strangers over the internet. Make sure to use a pseudonym and avoid sharing personal information such as your full name, address, or phone number. Use a secure platform that protects your identity and payments. It is also recommended to set boundaries and communicate clearly with your clients.
What skills do you need to be an online friend?
To be an online friend, you need excellent communication skills, a friendly and empathetic attitude, and the ability to listen and provide emotional support. You should be open-minded and non-judgmental, as you may encounter people from different backgrounds and lifestyles. Additionally, being tech-savvy and adaptable to different communication platforms can also be beneficial.