If you would have asked me 6 years ago whether I believed I could work for myself or earn a full-time income–one that would allow both me and my husband to quit our jobs I would have laughed in your face. Even just 3 years ago, after I started writing RFG, when I told my husband I wanted to make enough money from blogging and working from home that he would be able quit his job, he did laugh me right out of the room. He told me to let him know when he can quit his job.
It sounded crazy. Leaving a six-figure corporate job with steady income every month is crazy. In fact, every time I hear people say they want to do that..... sometimes it still sounds crazy.
Not a day goes by that I don’t realize what an amazing privilege it is to be able to work doing the things I absolutely love doing, things I am totally passionate about, and wholly devoted to, things that give me flexibility and freedom and something new every day. I feel so fortunate to live in a world where opportunities to support our families and make a living are literally right in front of us—right in our own home.
And while my own business is based on branding, design, and blogging, starting a blog is just one of the ways to earn money from home! There so many legitimate opportunities available for starting a home-based business and just as many that turn out to be scams. So, if you are looking for a career change, or simply you want to supplement your current budget, or you want to save for a specific purpose, such as building an emergency fund, here is a list of.....
10 Smart Ways to Earn Money From Home
Keep in mind that making a living from home is NOT easy. You must be self-motivated, organized, and focused. It also requires vision, planning, plenty of drive, and the ability to keep going. You need to remember WHY you are doing what you are doing. Your WHY must be strong enough to pull you up even when you feel like quitting, or when others question why you are spending so much time on something that might not work.
Before you begin, do a quick assessment of your talents, who do you know and how they can help you, and what are your organizational skills. It’s the best way to figure out what money-making at-home activities will work best for you.
Other things you will have to consider:
- how much time you have available,
- how much money you’re willing to invest into a business, and
- how much risk you are willing to take. After all, with greater risk comes greater reward, but also a bigger chance for disaster.
#1 Start a Blog
I had to start with this because this is the first thing I looked into when I decided to have this lifestyle. I started my first blog 4 years ago and it has been a huge success. I have started several other blogs and e-commerce websites. So, I am a huge proponent of blogging.
Blogging it is fun and interesting, also it is always changing–I am never bored! With that being said, it is not easy and it doesn't mean easy money. Blogging takes a lot of work, strategy, and effort to get started. Sometimes it can take years before you see the results of that hard work. In fact, it took me 18 months to start seeing some results. I was thinking of giving up but, I did not like the alternative. So I keep moving forward!
The most important driver is choosing a topic that both you and your audience are passionate about. Your content has to connect your readers with you and solve their problems.
When I started my blog in 2014, there weren’t a lot of resources out there to get started. That is why it took me so long to get results. I often felt as though I was throwing things at the wall, just to see what would stick.
Now, years later, I’ve learned some very important lessons. I founded the BloggingLab101 with one of my best friends, Jelena, because we both had similar struggles, we both have the same skills, and we want to share those lessons we learned years ago. We want to give new bloggers all the steps and insight they need to take their blog to the next level.
In the course, we walk you through every step, from discovering and connecting with your audience and creating your cornerstone content, to running a thriving business. We’ve worked with many other successful bloggers to discover what works and what you need to know to be successful.
#3 Start an E-commerce Website
E-commerce businesses—which are businesses that transmit goods, services, and funds over the internet—run the gamut in size and scope. You can find retail behemoths like Amazon to craft sites like Etsy. Online shopping is just one of many areas that have seen extensive growth over the past 5 years. As billions of people spend extensive time online each day it totally makes sense to create a website that has solutions for their problems.
You can start an e-commerce store with or without physical products. You can create your own products and use an e-commerce platform to sell them or you can use other peoples' products and keep the profits. There are unlimited solutions as to how or what you can sell.
You can create an e-commerce website directly integrated with your blog or you can use a platform that is dedicated exclusively to online shopping. Here are some examples:
Free to download, this plugin integrates with your existing WordPress website and it has free and premium themes for you to use. There are additional extensions that range from free to $249. Some technical knowledge is required. But if you are a little techy you or you can follow instructions (there are so many tutorials available) you can figure how to set it up yourself.
This all-in-one-solution comes with two e-commerce levels—Basic at $30/month (or $26/month if billed annually) or Advanced at $80/month ($70/month if billed annually). No technical knowledge required.
This open-source framework requires a lot of technical know-how but comes with the free Community Edition or the much more complex Enterprise solution at $18,000 a year.
Is one of my favorites and it is easy to use and integrate. This service offers four plans, ranging from Lite at $9/month to Unlimited at $179/month depending on your needs, amount of products, and size of your business.
#5 Become an Uber or Lyft driver
Uber and Lyft are ride-sharing companies that have been taking on the taxi and the transportation industry for a few years now. They seem to have pretty amazing results. With very few cons for drivers and rates for riders now nationally running lower than taxi fares, more and more people are turning toward the service for both work and leisure. If you also live in an area like me where there is no public transportation and you need to get somewhere if you have car troubles, this is a Godsend. Here are some reasons why so many people are looking for supplementing their income with one of these companies:
- Easy job to get - you need to apply and pass certain criteria to become a driver. However, you do not need to have experience in order to qualify. You have to own a newer car, pass a criminal background check, have no major motor vehicle accidents and possess standard owner auto insurance. You must also be at least 21 years old.
- You can make your own hours - what better way to work around your children's' schedules and ensure you are never missing out of their games, plays, any other extra-curricular activity, or simply just be home when they get there?
- You meet new people - remember I was talking about selling stuff? Why not use this as an opportunity to meet people and get to know them for even the little time they spend in your car, and connect with them? Once you build a relationship, you can introduce them to the other things you're doing.
#7 Provide childcare
Many people do this in their own homes. Becoming a certified daycare provider requires a lot of documentation and regulation. In addition, it’s also a huge responsibility. There are Federal laws stating that all states must have guidelines in place for certified home child care providers. If you are planning to do this, be aware of your own state’s licensing requirements because each state has different rules.
To learn about child care in your state, start by looking it up on this NACCRRA map.
Now, if the child is related to you or if you are planning to watch your friend's kid (one family), you don’t usually need a license. Again, check the guidelines in your state.
To run a preschool or nursery school from home, you’ll need to have both state certifications and early childcare licenses.
If you already have children at home or if you stay at home all day, watching kids can be a great source of extra cash. You also have to have a lot of patience to deal with children all day. I know I don't have that so this is not an option for me.
If you have a part-time job or if you only have a limited time available, you can also start a childcare sharing program with other moms who may want to trade off days (saving YOU money on child care, too). You can list your child care services on Care.com to be easily found by moms in your area.
#9 Walk or babysit furry friends
If you have your own dog or you love pets in general, if you’re looking to get some extra exercise while making some extra money, this could be an opportunity you could explore. You will not become suddenly rich and I'm not even sure if you can earn a full living doing this, although I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. That being said, you can still earn $50-100 per week just by picking up a few pups.
Dog owners who travel or work long hours often have a hard time finding someone to care for their pet when they are away. I am a dog owner and that is one of our concerns and why we always plan to have somebody check on our pet if we are delayed. If we leave on vacation we always have somebody babysit our dog. Yes, there are kennels or dog hotels where we could drop him off, but I believe that is too hard on him (I spoil him rotten) so I prefer to have somebody I know and trust stay with him while we are gone.
So offering a consistent, reliable service will be greatly appreciated!
To start your dog walking service, all you need is a good demeanor with animals and a willingness to be consistent. It can be a great opportunity to get in your exercise and you’ll have a companion for your afternoon walks. Find opportunities on Craigslist or simply strike up conversations with dog owners in your area.
#2 Sell Products
While multi-level-marketing (MLM) companies sometimes get a bad rap, they can actually be a great way to earn additional income from home. I am a big advocate for doing this for several reasons. One of the biggest reason is that you can use this as an excuse to connect with other people, and even have the chance to earn trips and many other rewards including car bonuses and luxury items.
MLM opportunities can be found in almost every industry and topic of interests. From makeu & skincare, to hair care, nails, to cooking tools, scented oil warmers, clothing, legging, financial services, medical services, clean living...and so much much.
If you’re very organized, enjoy connecting with other people, and have a strong network of interested friends and family members, you are willing to educate and not spam people with your company links and products (how in the world you do that?, read here), multi-level marketing might be right for you.
However, there can be some serious drawbacks. If you are considering getting involved with an MLM or a direct sale company, you definitely must do your research. You want to make sure the company is reputable, has been a proven record for success, and doesn’t have any minimum sales requirements.
#4 Sell Your Stuff on eBay
This is a little similar to e-commerce but it's a little different. eBay is another online shopping platform where you can list and sell new or used products. Running a full eBay store takes lots of time and energy. It can be tough to get started. I tried it a couple of times, but it just wasn't for me. However, if you want to make money selling your old, vintage, or collector items, handbags, unique small antiques, or any other sellables laying around your home that you don't need, eBay can be a great resource!
First, look around and gather all the items you’re hoping to unload. Next, determine if eBay is the right platform to sell those particular items. If you’ve bought and sold on eBay before, you should have a rating. Assuming it’s good, it will help you immensely. Try to focus on small, easy-to-ship, and collectible items.
There are many eBay sellers who’ve made a business reselling thrift store finds online. This kind of buying and selling takes a lot of time and dedication, but if you have an excellent eye for value and a love for thrifting, it can be a very lucrative business. (But expect a lot of trips to the post office and a lot of time spent researching.)
#6 Rent your stuff
Rent Out Your Home
Are you visiting your relatives or taking a family vacation? Why not earn extra money when you’re away from home? You can list your home for the time you are away on websites like Airbnb, Housing Anywhere, or HomeAway. If your house is already kid-proof and kid-friendly due to your own little ones, try Kid & Coe. It’s just like Airbnb, except all residences are for families traveling with children. You set your rates and you pick your guests. Depending on where you live, you can make a pretty penny renting out your house for a few days or a few weeks.
Rent Out Your Car or Boat
If you have an extra somewhat idle car that spends a lot of time taking up space, why not put it to use? You can list your car for rent on websites like TURO. You will be able to set your own availability, then qualified renters will work on your schedule and this way you don’t have to worry. In certain markets, if you’re not using your car at all (or perhaps you or your spouse are traveling for the week), you can simply park your car at the airport for guaranteed money just for parking your car.
Have a boat? Most likely you are not living on it. I'm sure that may be an option to some, but I feel like that there aren't too many people doing that. So, if you are not using your boat too often, here is some great news: you can put that idle time to work for you and rent it out with Boatsetter.
This service pre-screens all boat renters for you, but you can view each renter’s profile and chat with each applicant to determine if they’re a good fit. You always have the final say on who can rent out your boat.
Rent Out Your Shed/Garage/Attic Space
This is a great option if you are planning to live a clutter-free life and you have the extra space, like an extra bedroom, an extra attic, garage, or shed space. Why not rent it out? This could be as simple as posting an ad on Craigslist. If you live in a major city where ther is a ‘parking/storage’ shortage or even a listing category for every major city, you can easily list your space or look for what amounts similar spaces are going for in your area.
This option also allows you to create a reliable passive income stream. Regular, monthly cash with minimal work? You can set it up any way you want it!
#8 Start a house cleaning service
While it might not be something you can do “from home” per se unless you do it for your neighbors, you can earn some fast cash by offering to tidy up friends’ and neighbors’ homes once a week.
If you want to keep things casual, ask your friends to spread the word and find new clients using the word-of-mouth. You can also try local advertising (local supermarket board, church bulletin, or daycare center newsletter) to land a few houses or gigs.
Be upfront with potential clients about what you’re willing to do and what days or times you’re available. It is hard to find good housekeepers.So, if you are able to prove your worth as an efficient and thorough cleaner, you may be able to charge a higher premium. You will also probably be able to find that word of mouth will travel faster than you can keep up!
#10 Start a social media or web consultancy
If you’re a former professional like myself, or if you have a lot of social media knowledge, why not consider reaching out to businesses or entrepreneurs who need a little of your expertise.
A disclaimer: everybody and anybody can be or claim to be a social media consultant, so, promoting yourself as an expert can be tricky, especially because the latest trends in social media are ever-changing.
Here are some other services you can offer from home if you have the expertise:
- Tax services
- billing/clerical/administrative work
- medical dictation
- provide tech support
- virtual assistance
- teaching courses or new skills
- web and graphic design
- freelancing and more.
Network with friends and professional connections. Chances are, someone is just waiting for you to offer a little assistance (and they’ll be willing to pay for it).
Connect with local businesses with out-of-date websites or poorly managed social media profiles. Give them a call or send an introductory email offering your services. Offer to provide a free consultation and clearly and realistically explain your skill set and how you can help their organization.
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are floundering when comes to branding, marketing and keeping up their online presence. All these are essential in our society, so if you have expertise in that area, by all means, use it.
If you studied business I'm sure you heard of Milton Friedman. If you've never heard of him, he was an American economist who won the Nobel price in Economic Sciences, and he once said that
“there is no such thing as a free lunch.”
This is totally true!
Working from home is very convenient and it can be really fun. At the end of the day though, it is still WORK. As long as you have bills to pay and kids to raise, you will need income (unless you inherited millions and you don't worry about mundane things ...ha ...ha). So, it will require you to work at it!
That said, for those who are willing to buckle down, the possibilities really are endless, and the sky is the limit!
Wanna Know What Tools I Used to Build My Business?
- My Ultimate Tool Kit – I get asked a lot as to what exactly I’m using to grow my brand and my business, so I’ve put together one page where I shared everything I recommend. Hope you enjoy it!
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