How to Earn Money Working From Home
I work from home as a freelance writer and digital marketing specialist.
I earn a “real” income that is just as high as it was before I “made the switch” to this industry from the education industry over 5 years ago. In fact, sometimes it’s higher.
Growing up, however, the concept of “working from home” meant something entirely different. “Earn money at home” was a phrase used by scammers trying to get you to stuff envelopes and make sales calls.
Today that has all changed and when people find out that I am part of the growing force of people (parents especially) who work from home, they are always intrigued and wonder if they, too, can do what I do.
The answer is yes and no.
What I do is fairly advanced in the “work at home industry” since it involves a dedicated skill set. “Writing” isn’t the only thing I do and writing on the internet is quite different from the essays you remember from college and high school.
However, the way that I work from home is not the only opportunity there is and certainly only one of hundreds of legitimate ways to use the internet to create a career and generate an income. In fact, depending on your time commitment and skill set, there are a variety of other ways to legitimately earn real money from home that require little or no specialized knowledge.
Step one is to choose which is right for you.
1. Taking Surveys
This is one of the most popular “easy” ways to make money at home and, unfortunately, one of the least reliable. Many survey companies are only looking for a narrow set of participants and offer insultingly low payouts for the time you take to answer their questions.
However, the tide in this industry has begun to change recently. In fact my mother, who retired two years ago, gets regular checks for her survey participation, so I know this works. The trick is joining more than one survey company and focusing on those with higher payouts and broader requirements. There are even some that pay you to watch television. The best are:
With the right dedication, you can earn between $50 and $100 a month through these sites.
2. Search Engine Evaluation
If you are a habitual internet user, you can earn a real income (between $12 and $15/hr.) working as an evaluator for search engines and websites. All the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) hire companies who then hire individuals who work from their home reviewing the output of search algorithms. People who do these jobs sign NDAs which makes the details hard to come by, but evaluators are paid hourly and by task. That is, they are assigned a task with a particular time allotment (say, 10 minutes) and then paid accordingly. The top agencies are:
Workers must take tests to qualify and may need to interview as if for a real job. Also, the work is tedious and not always consistent. Finally, like most work-from-home positions, you are not an employee for these companies, but rather and independent contractor, so paying taxes is completely up to you. Ultimately, for the right person, this is a great income stream.
3. Tutor or Teach Online
I actually entered the “work from home” world through my role as an educator. I was hired first by an online university and then by my local community college to teach writing courses from home. To work at this level, however, you need a master’s degree in your subject field. Although those with bachelor’s degrees and especially teaching certifications can often find work as tutors instead.
In addition, sites like Udemy allow anyone, anywhere to teach anything. This site offers you tools to create your own online course on anything from makeup application to guitar scales, and then you can market it yourself.
4. Sell Your Photos
Nowadays many people enjoy taking photos of everything from scenery to special moments. Using your smartphone or tablet makes doing this easy and sharing your photos with friends is fun. However, if you want to take your photos to the next level, consider selling them for licensing. With the high demand for images online, companies need a quick, easy way to get unique shots for their websites, emails, blogs, etc.
Using the Foap app, you can generate these photos and license them to the company who requested them or offer your own. You earn $5 for each accepted offer and are paid each time someone buys your photo.
5. Sell a Crazy Skill (or a Normal One) on Fiverr
Fiverr is a truly unique website where people literally sell almost anything for $5. Called “gigs,” the Fiverr community offers buyers a myriad of products and services which range from design and marketing to video, gifts, and bizarre requests.
If you have a skill like basic Photoshop knowledge or digital editing, you can easily make money for short one-off projects. For example, I had a graphic designer make a bookmark design for my daughter’s 7th birthday party which I then printed out and handed around as favors.
However, you don’t even need special skills to make money on this site. People offer to review books on Amazon (resulting in free digital copies to boot!), record voiceovers, play music, and even do things live and in person. In fact, bizarre gigs like writing a message in the sand at the beach, doing impersonations, making prank phone calls, and holding advertising signs, all exist on Fiverr. You can even find “real” jobs like acting as a virtual assistant and most Fiverr workers have “add ons” for specialized services that raise the price of each gig (and your income) accordingly.
The Work from Home Life
There are days that I love working from home.
There are days I hate it.
Basically, like any job, there are ups and downs. While it is great to work in comfy clothes and my commute is always easy, because I am not an “employee,” so I spend a lot of time “working” without making any money (i.e. tracking finances, finding work, organizing my time, etc.).
If you are really interested in working from home, or even just earning some extra money in addition to your out-of-the-house job, I urge you to check out these opportunities. But learn about your responsibilities as well and talk to others who already do it.
The good news is, there are more of us than you think!
Have you/do you work from home? What tips can you offer to those interested in “making the switch”?