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It is not as easy as it looks, making money online and/or working at home.

Updated on July 31, 2017
cherylone profile image

Budgets and bookkeeping have always come so easy to me. I had planned to be a CPA, but life kind of got in the way.

So, you want to make money working at home.

You expect to rise at noon, pour yourself a coffee, eat a leisurely brunch, step into your 'office' around one and type up a few forms or letters. WHALLAH you are rich beyond your wildest dreams and you never left your house. You didn’t even have to get dressed! The beauty of working at home. The joy of the leisure life. The extra time spent with family and friends. Right? Wrong!

Sorry, it really doesn’t work that way.

For one thing, because you want to work from home, you have to first establish yourself within the Work-At-Home community in order for anyone to learn what type of work you do and the quality of that work. If you have been working in a regular business and have finally gotten to the point where the boss is willing to let you work from home that is fantastic; however, if you think you’ll be getting up at noon and working just a few hours a day, forget it. You might just as well go back to the office.

Working at home isn’t all fun and games. It’s a lot of hard work and many, many hours of tiring, repetitive, frustrating work just to make a few bucks when you are start out. Also, to get into the routine of working all of those hours, you must struggle to get out of bed and get out of that mind-set of I can lounge around because I work from home. I'm not trying to get you to give up, because work at home can be a very rewarding career, if you do it right.

Sites, books, DVDs, ads, promises....

Yes, there are several, let’s face it thousands, of them out there to supposedly help you make money. Items that tell you how to do it; items that make promise upon promise; items that offer you the “opportunity of a lifetime”; even items that claim to be the best there is; however, they rarely tell you the true tools you will need to actually make money at home! And then there are the ones where you go from home to home and demonstrate or sell your wares with “the personal touch”. They don’t tell you how much work you will have to do and how many hours it will take just to make a few bucks over your costs when you are starting out.

Before you begin---

You must first decide what you will do to make money at home. Will you write articles? Will you write stories? Do you take nice pictures? Will you do surveys? Will you write a blog? Will you do something from home like sell makeup or vitamins? Will you write your first novel? Whatever it is you want to do, you must choose before you begin. Check out different sites and different companies. See what might be right for you. Read Terms of Agreements to see if there are hidden costs or hidden “offers” that are required before you can make money. Check the Better Business Bureau for the company’s rating. Check to see if there have been any complaints filed against them and what the outcome was of each. Look for up-front costs and “processing fees” which could be a warning sign that the site or company is not legitimate. Do your research before you invest time and/or money in a Work-at-Home venture.

What will you choose? Think about it first.

Will you......

See results

Does that mean working at home is useless?

Absolutely not! Anyone can work at home and make money; the trick is to know how. No, I don't mean like all of those books and such out there saying buy this or join that. What I mean is the mindset to do the work. Without that, you might as well not do the work at home; unless, of course, you really don't need the money, and then you CAN get up at noon, work for an hour and then quit for the day.

You have done your research and you are ready to begin working at home. What's next?

To work at home takes a great deal of effort and time. It takes dedication to the work. It takes studying to learn what you can do, can’t do, and what works for you. It takes research to know your target audience. It takes a mind-set that is nothing like the ones they try to show you on their ads. And none of these hurtles should discourage you.

To make these things work for you, you must do a few things, that is true. But once you have established yourself and have begun to see results, then you will feel the excitement of success. You might even be so energized that you might work harder, and harder, to get even more money. Can you make a living doing this sort of thing? Yes. But will it be as easy as rolling out of bed at noon, eating, pouring a coffee and stepping into your office in your PJs? No, you will have to follow a few “common sense” rules before you get started.

Your common sense rules for beginning a work at home (or online) venture.

Once you have decided which companies you want to use, you will have to do the following:

· Research for your target audience

· Determine what set up work will need to be done

· Determine if you will need to be trained in the job before you can begin

· Determine how much time and effort you will need in order to be successful

· Choose more than one company to work for in case something goes wrong with one, you will have a back-up

These steps are important because they will help you to become successful BEFORE you feel the work you are doing is a waste of time. In other words, follow these steps so you won't quit out of despair.


Once you have done your research and followed your common sense rules, what's next?

Once these items have been done, you will have to put yourself back into the work environment. Do I mean you will have to go out and find a job? No, what I mean is, you can’t sleep late, work an hour or two and go play to make money. You will have to set up your work schedule and stick to it.

· Set your alarm early so that you can get up, eat, exercise, dress, and do whatever personal items have to be done before you begin work.

· Force yourself to get dressed-by getting dressed you are putting yourself into the “get going” mind-set rather than the “sit around and chill” mind-set.

· Once you sit down to work, don’t quit. You might have to work overtime or dig deep into your reserves on occasion, but don't give up

· Take several breaks - about ten minutes each to stretch, get a fresh coffee (or tea) play a quick game, grab a healthy snack, or just walk out the kinks in your back. This allows you to go back to your work with a fresh ‘eye’ so to speak and will help you to focus better.

· Take time for meals, but not too much time, eating is important, but sometimes we forget the time while we are "letting our meal settle"

· If you reach a plateau and can’t seem to get over it, put the work aside and work on something else for awhile-then go back and see what you can do

· Try not to work overtime too often, personal care needs to be done as well. Take time for family, take time for a hot bath or shower, take time to watch a movie, but make sure you put in at least six hours of work before you do

· Keep yourself organized and mark everything as you go--this way if anything goes wrong you have the notes and info to back up your claims

· Be prepared to be disappointed, copied, avoided on occasion, and just plain let down now and then (more now than then at the beginning-but it does get better)-sadly, it is part of the territory, but it is not permanent

· Be prepared to work hard-that is a major key to success when working at home

Before you put your name (electronic or otherwise) read everything!

· Read each and every line of Terms of Service and Privacy Policies, etc. This is where the sites will set you up for a down-fall if they are not legitimate--“by using this site you agree to the terms and policies of this site” will most likely be in there somewhere which releases them from any lawsuits later on if you start receiving bills or something

· Remember that you are targeting a large audience of people who are as different from each other as numbers are from letters-be diverse in your subjects, works, assessments, etc.

· If you have chosen a business that requires you to demonstrate their wares, you will be required to do a lot of traveling, lifting, and talking about the products--be prepared for that as well

· Be careful about a start-up fee--unless it is a well-known company that you need to purchase a set of items for demonstration purposes, it might be a scam. Most companies don’t require you to purchase anything in order to work for them. In fact many of the companies that do require you to purchase a beginning kit will often offer you a chance to earn your kit with your first demonstration or party

Set Reachable Goals

Set reachable goals and really work to reach them. Then set more goals from there.

Setting and reaching your goals

Okay, you have done the research, you have chosen your job(s) and you have read all of the fine print. You feel comfortable with the job(s) you have chosen and you believe you can reach your goals. What now? Set goals that are easy to obtain for your first few levels. That way you can see how easy or hard the work is to complete. If you can’t reach goals within a reasonable amount of time, then perhaps you should chose something else. Remember to take into account the site and work before setting your goals. For instance: if you should choose to write on a site like Hubpages, your fist goal might be to get ten people to read your work. Then you can increase it to getting ten people to like your work. Take baby steps before you start running.

Don't give up!
Don't give up!

Stick with the program

So, you have chosen a site, set a goal that you believe is reasonable, and have begun working very hard towards that goal. Now what? The first few months will be very hard for you. Stick with it. You must establish yourself before any goal can be reached and you must have enough work out there for people to “sample your wares”. Once that is accomplished, you will start reaching your goals faster than you could ever imagine. If you do not begin reaching your goals after a few months, revamp them in case you have tried to climb too fast. If they are strictly minimal and you are still not reaching them, then perhaps you should try something else.

Finally, don’t be afraid to admit that the job you have chosen is not for you. We often see things differently from what they really are and we might fail as a result. Admitting that you have chosen the wrong job is not failing, it is facing reality before you have allowed yourself to fail. Take a moment, retrace your steps and seek out something else. And remember the Golden Rule for Work At Home-or any work for that matter--choose something that you enjoy doing so that it will be more like play than work.

© 2012 Cheryl Simonds

Feel free to comment and/or add something about your experiences with Work At Home..

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    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      6 months ago from Connecticut

      I hope my article can help others like you, we all need to research before we begin!

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      6 months ago from Northeast United States

      Thank you for sharing :) Many at home opprounities now days are temp jobs/contract work. The other day I was looking at a medical billing job from home, which I qualified for. It paid well and the job sounded l like a decent fit until I saw it was for three months. Others, more than half of the companies hiring remotely did not have good reviews from their employees.

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      19 months ago from Connecticut

      Giselle, I am so happy to hear from you, I used to think it was easy until I started, then I learned the hard way and didn't want anyone else to have to do that.

    • Giselle Oliveira profile image

      Giselle Oliveira 

      19 months ago from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

      Awesome post! I see so many bloggers tell stories of making thousands per month (which may be possible) by working from home and they make it look so easy. Reality is a bit different, it can take months if not years to get a blog to generate good income even with consistent work. I'm glad you shared this as so many people think that working from home is so easy. You need to have a good plan and follow through. Determination and discipline are very important too.

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      5 years ago from Connecticut

      Mariana Fuzaro, I couldn't agree more! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Mariana Fuzaro profile image

      Mariana Fuzaro 

      5 years ago from São Paulo, Brazil

      "Work at home" is just like any other work. You have to work at least 8 hours a day. For example, you have to write good quality articles on HubPages, to get lots of clicks, to be able to monetize it and get some extra bucks, because no one can live from it. I myself make lots of extra money on the net on my free time, working freelance, selling stuff online, etc. But I cannot quit my job, because it simply doesn't pay the bills. Maybe as I sell more and more stuff I can someday open an online shop. But that's just a distant dream. Selling online, for example, is just like selling in the "real" world: you have to build a network, get customers, be able to bring them back. You cannot do it in one week. And you'll probably never will own a Ferrari, like most shop owners.

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      5 years ago from Connecticut

      LarryRankin, you are so right. But there is hope.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      So much harder for the common person to make money online than they'd have you believe.

      Engaging overview.

    • profile image

      Daphne Shadows 

      8 years ago

      Thank you! I'll have to check Wizzley and Zujava out. :)

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Daphne Shadows, Squidoo will rate you by how many hits you get because everything is grouped and shared out according to rank. The more hits you get on a lens the more money you will make, it is hard to build enough of a presence there to make anything, but I'm still trying.

      Wizzley and Zujava are relatively new sites which actually makes it a bit easier to rise in rank. You can go to my profile and follow the links to check them out. Wizzley earns based on affiliate links that you set up and Zujava works similar to Squidoo. Good Luck.

    • profile image

      Daphne Shadows 

      8 years ago

      How would you rate Squidoo? I mean, being a newbie to freelance writing sites, how do you earn money on Squidoo, I couldn't find it on the site anywhere. Is it like Hubpages?

      I've never heard of the other two. Thanks for all the info! And no, its not as easy as it sounds.

    • profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Good article...Well written.. It truly describes what every newbie has to go through and what he should do.

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      @carter06, I am so glad I could help. I don't think we ever learn all there is to know, do we? Thanks for the votes.

    • carter06 profile image


      8 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      This is fantastic info cheryl...I don't know how I missed helps as I need to learn so much more...thanks heaps...up & lots of votes

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      @blixt13, You are so right.

      @kittythedreamer, thank you for the compliment. I am glad you enjoyed it.

      @bibleguidejo, yes it is a bit long, but I wanted to include as much as possible without making it a two-parter which is always frustrating to me when I'm reading something.

      @Pauline Davenport, thank you, I am glad you liked it, I was trying to get people to see that working at home is not all fun and games and is certainly not a work for an hour and play for the day.

      Everyone, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my hub.

    • Pauline Davenport profile image

      Pauline Davenport 

      8 years ago from Isle of Man

      A refreshing', no-nonsense article, extremely helpful and very encouraging. It's also a put-the-brakes-on' reality check for all the dreamers out there. Working from home is hard work, but I have to say, incredibly rewarding in terms of being around for my children and being able to have my own schedule instead of dove-tailing into someone else's.

      Thank you cherrylone

    • bibleguidejo profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Nice article. A bit too long, if I may say so.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      8 years ago from Summerland

      Very well-thought-out and wonderfully written article. Great job!

    • cherylone profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Simonds 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      @blixt13, you are right, they expect to sit and relax in the sun with no effort and it isn't like that at all.

      @dsaltmer, thank you, when I first began I saw all these get rich quick schemes and I knew they just couldn't be right

      @Lipnancy, you are absolutely, your opportunities will grow and you can work less and less, but not right away

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I love your useful tips. Your business and opportunities will slowly grow if you are consistent. Find a group of people that you like and follow them. And before you know it, you can be working only two hours a day.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice to hear a voice of reason. Thank you for a well written hub with reality in it!!!

    • blixt13 profile image


      8 years ago from Serbia

      Many people expect big results quickly


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