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Ways to Make Money from Home and Live Free

Updated on March 14, 2018
sydneyspence profile image

Sydney began freelance writing in 2008, works with hundreds of Realtors across the country, and is a born and raised Texan.

We all dream of firing our bosses and working for ourselves but some people just don't know how to begin that process. In this series of Ideas to Work from Home posts you'll find some ideas on how to work for yourself. Keep in mind you will need to do complete research on your state's requirements to starting a business so these ideas are only meant as 'idea starters' to get you motivated.

Make and Sell Cookies

Do you make great cookies that always receive compliments when others taste them? Turn it into a business! I don’t know about you, but I used to work in call centers and administrative offices. The vending machine snacks and carryout food gets old. I remember appreciating the little old lady that showed up once a week to sell her homemade cookies. Just with our building she’d sell out every time.


Photography is probably one of the most lucrative at home businesses there is. If you have a good eye or you’re always taking awesome family photos then maybe a career in photography is the field to consider. Whether it’s newborn baby shots or kids school graduation or prom pictures; people always want to create memories through photos. In this business you may opt to take the pictures and upload them so that your clients can make their own mementos.

Virtual Assistant

This is a new and interesting business idea as the area of at home businesses continues to explode. Maybe you’ll get hired to do online research or hired to make lead generation calls from home or even to organize appointments. The list goes on and on.

Window Cleaner

Think strip malls and outlet stores with large store front windows. Locate the stores that are constantly updating their windows with new artwork and offer to clean it off when they are done using it. Even those that don’t utilize window marketing will appreciate keeping their store windows clean and fresh so that their business looks welcoming to customers.

Maid Service

In this day and age, again it’s all about convenience, people will pay to have someone come in to do a light dusting or a heavy clean of their residence or office space. Some companies will require you be bonded and insured in order to maintain a custodial service to their company.

Make Readys

Apartment complexes and homes for sale are always in desperate need of make ready services in order to increase the turn around on vacant properties. The faster the make ready is completed the faster it’ll be to rent or sell.

Flyer Distribution

Flyer distribution has long been known as one of the easiest and fastest ways to get in front of potential customers. Businesses use flyer distribution as an affordable avenue of marketing.

Trash Pick-up

Now we are not talking about putting a yellow vest and walking the highways to pick up trash. Apartment complexes, office buildings, and even restaurants will pay to have someone keep the trash up leaving their employees to take care of something more important.

Curb Painting

Restripe parking lots, paint mascot paws on resident driveways and more. Donate part of the proceeds to the local school and there you go ~ you’ve become a donator to the school at the same time as earning a living. It’s no different than fundraising. Of course paint and brushes are required but you’ll also need to obtain a stencil of the mascot to be painted. Start with some simple town; one with tiger paws ;)

Sell Bottle Water

This may sound pretty easy and guess what, it is. Over twenty billion gallons of water are consumed by Americans every day. Imagine being a part of THAT chain! Depending on where you will sell the bottle waters, it might be a good idea to contact a water bottling company about reselling their product. There is more to it than going to buy a case of water and selling each individually. You will want to research the reselling laws for your state. There are also bottling companies that allow you to create your own label for their bottled water that you then sell.

Make Doggie Treats

Animal lovers adore their pets and nothing is too good for their four legged children, especially homemade pet treats. There are easy recipes online and you can even check with a vet to see what animals can and cannot eat. Use plastic baggies and some ribbon, slap a sticker on the front that you have printed off your own computer and presto you have a marketable pet treat!!

Write Ebooks

If you keep a blog, you may already be well on your way to creating an e-book! If your blog is on a specific subject then it makes it easier to compile those articles you wrote and create the e-book. There is software available online that allows you to create your own e-book and companies that will help you.


A great way to make some extra money is through your blog. It won’t be what you write that gets you paid but the ads you put on your blog. Consider Google Ads or signing up with Commission Junction to create your own ads via advertisers using affiliates.

Start an Online Directory

More and more consumers are going online to find companies or local businesses. Why not make it easier for them to find the information instead of the typical keyword search which results in thousands of pages to sift through.

Sell Medical Insurance

In this economy consumers are seeking the cheapest insurance plans available. With millions of uninsured Americans, the need for insurance salesmen is increasing. There are many programs out there that will utilize affiliates.


Ah! The dreaded telemarketing calls, well someone has to do it and believe it or not, your own attitude will make or break you in this field. Customer service is lacking these days and while all the jobs are heading overseas, employers are beginning to realize the need for in state call-takers. Having a phone line is really your only overhead until after you get started. Being organized is also key.

Create Computer Gifts

Technology is the way of life in this generation and personalization is “hip” so starting a business line of computer gifts can be a creative and innovative way to create income for yourself. This can be anything from designing mouse pads to creating virtual cards.

Property Management

Real estate laws vary by state so be sure to check licensing requirements prior to venturing out into a property management business. (If you are in Texas, here is how to get licensed).

Once you've done that however, property management can be a lucrative business and allows you the flexibility of creating your own schedule, working from your own home office while still generating the income.

Here in Texas, a lot of out of state residents are buying up Texas properties and using them as rental income. They need a local person to assist in collecting rents, marketing their properties, creating lease contracts and maintaining maintenance requests. The beginning of each month will more than likely be your busiest time as you'll be collecting and depositing rents.

Write Resumes for Others

In this day and age everyone needs a resume. There is enough competition out there already with the rising number of unemployed seeking jobs. You'd need very little overhead to provide this service to others. Charge a minimal fee, afterall they are seeking a job so are probably limited on funds anyway. But there are also those that are seeking a career change and will utilize your service to improve upon their resume. If you're a good writer, this could be a fun side job.

Messaging Service

Contractors in particular utilize messaging services. This could be as simple as sitting home and answering the phone while taking messages, setting appointments, or providing information on their company. Create a "resume" flyer detailing your experience in this field and then market yourself as an independent contracting service. There are benefits for companies using independent contractors so be sure to convey that in your marketing.

Write Collection Letters

Even small business owners need collection letters written every now and then. The services you provide could be competitive, if not cheaper, than retaining the services of a larger collection agency that will only half way do the job correctly.

Debri Removal for Builders

One thing contractors have to always make sure they do on a jobsite is cleaning up after the job is done. Most know it’s a requirement of the job but they still hate to do it. So getting your name out there as an independent contractor that will handle the clean-up should be relatively easy. They simply call you when their job is done to come clean up. You’ll need a truck and a few tools but that’s about it. Make sure to get the business cards too.

Pet Walking Service

People will pay as much for a dog walker as they will a babysitter. Believe it or not, pet owners regard their pets as an extension of their family so there is nothing they won’t do to ensure their pets comfort. Some pet owners work crazy hours so it’s in their benefit to have someone stop by to let their pet out for potty or playtime.

Publish a Newsletter for a Business

Whether it be an internal memo or an external newsletter on the business or organization, a great way to keep their name in the public eye is to provide information often about the happenings going on.

Video Services

This is a new and upcoming market as everything is going video so why not capitalize on that? There are so many things that people will pay to video all in the name of making memories.

Create Personal Announcements

You could write wedding announcements, graduation announcements or just about anything that can be “announced.” Some people don’t have the time and some don’t have the “skill” so you step in, charge a minimal fee, and write the announcement for them.

Residential Painting Service

If something has just been built, they will need a paint job. If someone is looking to update their dwelling, they will want a paint job. If you simply want to go out and paint a hop-scotch on an apartment complex sidewalk, they’ll want a professional painter to do it. Even if you want to start small and paint a room, you can still be a painter.

Mothers Day out Service

Nothing tells mom you love her more than a day out sans the kiddos. Start a day sitting service for moms day out. Check your state's regulations on childcare.

Doll Making

Homemade dolls are a growing market. If you can sew or have an original doll idea, you won’t believe the market available to you. Even if you just start out selling your dolls at flea markets, online, or even Ebay; you’re sure to find a market for your dolls.

Reservation Service

This is a pretty nifty field to get into as you can do it from anywhere. An example would be someone who rents their cabins out to tourists or vacationers. If they have their info online they will want someone to take calls or schedule reservations. This isn’t like a hotel; it’s more personable because the cabins are typically rented out for a week or two at a time. The owner may also want you to schedule maid services once the guests have checked out.

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    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      6 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      Great ideas. I really enjoyed reading it.


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