Your Ultimate Guide to Making Money Working from Home
Are you a stay at home mom or dad interested in making money working from home? If you Google "work from home" or "make money at home" you will be bombarded with hundreds upon hundreds of websites that claim to have the answer you are looking for. Unfortunately, many of these sites are misleading or outright scams.
As a former single parent and a current stay at home mom, I've explored many (but not all) of these avenues and I will share with you my own personal opinion based on my experience. By far, the stay at home parents of young children or single parents with children are the ones who have the most difficulty finding work that can either fit their lifestyle or schedule (limited spare time or limited working hours that revolve around school hours). I've been there and done that as a single parent so I completely understand how frustrating and sometimes hopeless it can seem.
So if you are fresh out of ideas on how to make money from home, this Hub should set you on the right path!
Would You Prefer to Work from Home?
What's a Stay at Home Mom or Dad to do?
Let's face it, there are so many different ways to make money it's hard to know where to begin. There is freelance writing (Hubs, Lenses, greeting cards, product reviews, etc.), blogging, painting, crafting all sorts of things from sewing dresses to making jewelry, surveys, consulting, daycare, customer service jobs, data entry, mystery shopping, app making, direct sales, online work, photography and even YouTube!
The best thing you can do is to sit down and brainstorm at your kitchen table or at your computer and jot down what comes into your mind with regards to working at home such as:
- How many hours are you able to "work" in your current situation? Do you have children under the age of 5 at home with you full time that leaves you very little spare time to devote to making extra income? Or are your children at school during the day?
- How much extra money can you spare monthly? Extra money for sales starter kits, or arts/craft/sewing supplies, shipping materials, Internet, etc.
- What sort of degrees/certificates/training/experience do you currently have that you could make use of? What set of skills do you currently possess (sewing, writing, programming, teaching, etc.,)?
- What sort of work do you enjoy doing? In other words, what kind of work wouldn't seem much like work if you were to do it? Are you a people person? Do you prefer to work alone?
- What resources do you currently own? By resources I mean do you own a car? Do you have a computer/printer/Internet at home? Sewing machine? Digital camera? Etc.
- What kind of resources do you have in your neighborhood? By this I mean, are you close to a post office or shipping center? Are you located close to thrift stores or second hand shops? Is there an art supply/craft store nearby? Etc.
- Top 10 Jobs for Parents With School Aged Children
The 10 best jobs for parents with school-aged children
- Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Canada: Making Money is not Easy
Suggestions for stay-at-home parents on how they can continue to stay home with their children.
Making Money with Art
Ok, so you've done some brainstorming and decided that making money from art is best for you.
While I won't want to go into too much detail or else this Hub will go on forever, you will need certain materials such as paints (acrylic, watercolour, etc.,) or pastels or clay, etc. If you are a beginner or haven't worked in art in quite some time, it's probably best to use less expensive materials (not poor quality though) such as student grade paints and so forth. You may even be able to pick up paints and other art supplies cheaper on classified ad sites such as Craigslist or Kijiji. You will also need some space to create your artwork.
The downside to selling artwork is that it can be hard to make your first sale, especially if you are unknown. You may not make your first sale for quite some time and it may cost you money in the beginning to get exposure and list your works before you see any money coming in.
Sell Your Artwork to Art Galleries
- How to Sell Your Art
Are you interested in selling your art? Where do you start? This article aims to give you some ideas as to where to start in the popular market of Art. Hubber WhoArtNow gives some great tips in his Hub on how to do this.
- 18 Tips for Selling at Outside Art Fairs and Markets || Fidelis Art Prints
18 Helpful tips for making your next outdoor art exhibition profitable and pleasurable
Sell Your Artwork Online
- Artbreak: Buy art online and sell art online
Artbreak is the best place in the world for artists to share and sell their work online.
- Art-Exchange - Buy Art Work Online - Sell Art Work Online
Art-exchange is the best source for all art needs, from wall décor to three-dimensional works. Inventory includes over 100,000 works of art. Search by artist's name, title, subject matter, style, medium, sizes, prices and keywords.
- Art for Sale Online - Art Gallery - Buy Art Work - Original Paintings at Ugallery.com
Ugallery.com is a curated online art gallery for the nation’s top mid-career and emerging artists. Present your original artwork to art enthusiasts around the world. In addition to showing art online, we showcase artists' work at the top emerging art
- Sell Artwork, Buy Original Paintings, Art Prints, Discover New Artists | Saatchi Online
Discover, Share, Buy and Sell Art Online. Find Original Artwork Including Paintings, Photography, Sculpture, Prints by Top Emerging Artists at Great Prices
- Sell Art - Paintings, Photography And Artwork Online Quickly And Easily
A leading art portfolio management system enabling artists to upload, manage and sell their artwork online
- Sell Art Online | Sell Photos for Free | Buy and Sell Art Prints & Posters
Online Marketplace for art, Framed Prints and Posters, Wall art at affordable prices and a community of artists for buying selling and creating art.
- Sell art free - Info on selling your artwork free | Foundmyself
Sell your art commission free with Foundmyself's unique Honor System.
- Portrait Artists • Portrait Painting, Drawing & Photography
Looking for a portrait artist? Find contemporary, fantasy, digital and traditional portrait artists. Commission family portraits, pet portraits and more...
- About FanArtReview.com
FanStory.com, is a art and photograhy community founded in 2004. Details of the history of this art community site.
Sell art on eBay and Etsy
- Art and Life by Jessica Torrant: Tips for Selling Art on Etsy
For new sellers and artists, this is the ground work information that will help you get your work to be seen and ideally selling
- How to Make a Profit Selling Your Artwork on Ebay as a Self-Representing Artist
A step-by-step guide on how you can make a profit selling your artwork on ebay as a self-representing artist.
A great example of selling artwork online
Make Money from Home in Direct Sales
Are you naturally a people person? Then sales might be a good way for you to make money from home. Many of these companies require as little as $10 to start up to $500 or more, depending on the size of the starter kits available.
Along with a starter kit you usually have the help of someone in the company to give you support and encouragement as well as access to a wide network of fellow direct sales consultants. You no longer have to feel that you are alone in your struggle to make money. Having additional support and people you can turn to is very comforting to some people.
The downside is that you are constantly under pressure to make a sale or else you don't make any money! There may be other down sides such as travel, requiring space for stock, and someone to watch your children if you have young ones at home or if you have to go out in the evening to attend a sales party. Technically your office is home, but the kind of work you do is mostly outside your home.
Popular Direct Sales Opportunities
- AVON - the official site of AVON Products, Inc.
Shop Online with your AVON Representative or learn more about AVON's earning opportunity as the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products.
- Creative Memories
Become a Creative Memories Consultant and you’ll help people celebrate the most important moments in their lives. You’ll also bring home an income that can change your life and make things you’ve only dreamed of suddenly become possible.
- Epicure | Recipes, Herbs, Spices, Dips, Cookware, Home & Body Care
Find recipes for your favourite Epicure products. Shop online for Epicure Selections herbs & spices, dip mixes and Home & Body Care™. Become an Epicure Selections Consultant.
- Mary Kay
Become a Beauty Consultant
- The Pampered Chef
With the Pampered Chef, you can start your own business planning cooking parties, while getting product discounts!
- Party Lite
Freedom, fulfillment, financial security and fun! That’s what life is like for thousands of consultants who have literally changed their lives through PartyLite. Join our caring and supportive team of PartyLite Consultants today.
- Regal Gifts
Regal Gifts Catalogue is your source for income opportunity. 84 Years Helping Canadian Families Make Money From Home.
- Scentsy Candles
Scentsy scented candles for your home. Find a Scentsy Consultant to join or host a party. Our flameless candles are safe and provide hours of home fragrance.
- Stampin' Up!
Find amazing products for card making, craft ideas, paper crafting and scrapbooking supplies, all for sale in the Stampin’ Up! online store.
- Steeped Tea
As seen on Dragon's Den! Steeped Tea - Explore our premium loose teas along with a whole range of accessories that redefine what tea is all about. Become a consultant or host a tea party with the most exciting direct sales company out there.
Make Money from Home by Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is probably one of the more popular way of making money at home. The best part is that you make your own schedule, you can write about what you want and all you need is time, a computer and Internet access.
Freelance writing covers a broad spectrum. The more popular ways of making money include:
- Writing for sites such as Hub Pages, Squidoo, InfoBarrel, etc.
- Magazine articles
- Writing reviews
- Kindle Books
- Greeting cards
These are just to name a few. The Internet is full of possibilities and unfortunately, scams. Unless you are signing up with a company for direct sales, it shouldn't cost you anything to be able to write for money on most websites.
The upside to freelance writing, especially by blogging or writing for Hub Pages for example, is that it becomes a steady source of income long after you published your writing online. It's nice to sit back and watch your money come in.
The downside is that in order to get to a point where you are earning enough money to pay your bills, it will take you a fair bit of time and patience. You won't be able to make much money right away.
This kind of work is really good for stay at home moms or dads with little ones at home. Write when you have the time (3 am if you so desire) and as you keep writing, blogging, etc., by the time your kids are off to school you may very well be able to live off the money you make from all the writing you have done.
What to write?
Some people feel more comfortable focusing on just one area such as blogging, but many more people do a variety of freelance writing at the same time. Here is some further detail about the different avenues available to freelance writers.
Canadian Authors Association - The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) is a national organization with a local presence dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers across Canada and to encourage works of literary and artistic merit.
Most popular magazines such as Cosmo, Ladies Home Journal, etc., have writers guidelines if you are interested in submitting an article for publication. To the best of my knowledge many still accept submissions. You can go to the website of the magazine you are interested in and look for where you can find the writers guideline. You will also need to submit a query letter
Always wanted to write a book and get it published? It has gotten much easier with the Internet, you can publish the book yourself as an Ebook or even as a Kindle book and offer it on your blog if you have one.
There are so many different books to choose from; non-fiction, fiction (various kinds), cook-books, do-it-yourself books, graphic novels, comics, children's books, picture books, etc.
With regards to making money writing, it takes time to write a book and get it published. This is not a get rich quick scheme, you may want to hang on to your 9-5 job for a little while longer.
If you are interested in writing romance novels, Harlequin is always willing to accept novels, just check out their writing guideline on their website
For more info on writing books:
There are many ways to make money writing short stories or poetry. Many people choose to enter poetry contests for the chance to not just win cash but also an opportunity to be published and gain exposure. The downside is the entrance fee to ward off people who are not serious writers.
You will probably want to begin submitting your work to literary magazines and journals, and as you are published, build a manuscript worthy of being submitted for publication by a major publisher.
The ability to live off one's income solely from poetry is extremely difficult, if not impossible unfortunately. It is however, a great way to supplement one's income.
If you have always had ideas on what would make a great greeting card, you may be interested in making money by submitting artwork for greeting cards or writing them.
You won't be able to submit work to most of the major card companies such as Hallmark, Shoebox, 123 Cards, etc. You can however submit your work to lesser known companies and get some exposure and build your portfolio. You can also create your own cards on sites such asZazzle.
I'm not going to go into much detail here because there is so much already written about how you can make money on Hub Pages and other websites. I will just summarize for you.
You make your money (residual income) by revenue-sharing. On Hub Pages you can make money when someone clicks on your ads, buys your Amazon products or wins an eBay item.
Making Money Online
There are many different ways a person can make money online. Unfortunately, many of the advertisements and websites out there are scams. Writing articles for sites such as HubPages is a good way to start making money online (although it takes some time and you need to do some considerable writing, not just one Hub), but there are other websites that will pay you to do some work for them online as well.
There are people who make a considerable amount of money from surveys. They take as little as 5 minutes to as long as 45 minutes to take. I also take surveys, but I my average cash-out is $20-$40 every second month or so. I take surveys from 5 different sites. They are:
- Angus Reid
- Ipsos Reid
- Harris poll
- My Survey and,
Another much talked about site for earning money online is Swagbucks. I haven't used this site much so I can't say how good it is or how much you can make in a month.
Other sites include:
- Valued Opinions
- Pinecone Research
- Survey Lion
- Opinion Outpost
Other Ways to Make Money Online:
Here are some other sources of income you can tap into online, depending on what you are interested in or what you have time for:
- Write reviews online (places such as Ciao)
- Create apps for phones
- Sell crafts on Etsy
- Sell items on eBay
- Sell books on Amazon
- Sell your photos (shutterstock, plus 11 other places to sell your photos)
- Medical transcription jobs
- Data entry jobs
- Virtual assistance jobs
- Design your own items and sell them (zazzle and cafepress)
- Micro jobs (cloudcrowd or Amazon mechanical turks)
- Other legit sites for online work include: leapforce at home, demand studios, textbroker and liveops
- How To Increase the Money you Make Selling Your Stuff on Ebay
Advice on how to make more money selling your items on eBay, from what sells to how to make your listings pop.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is someone who provides various services to business from a home office.
The difference between someone who does this work in an office and a VI is that the VI can specialize in what kind of services they wish to provide, how much they wish to charge and what hours they wish to work.
Don't get too excited though, it takes more work to try to negotiate a contract with a business for work than the work itself. You have to know how to market your business or you won't end up making any money. It is also slow to start. Do not make any big plans to quit your day job before you make a go of this business.
Also, some businesses want V.I's to have some kind of certification (that costs money).
Skills you should possess:
- At least 2 years real world administrative experience
- Excellent word processing skills
- Strong communication skills
- Good writing skills
- Excellent Internet skills (researching, emails, etc.,)
- Quick thinking
- Strong organization skills
- Desktop publishing
- plus more
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to find special jobs for working online that we forget that businesses in our own city sometimes offer telecommuting jobs which allow us to work from home commuting via the computer rather than with our cars.
Last summer while I was in Calgary visiting my in-laws, I met a work from home mom who is married to one of my husband's friends. She has twin boys and I asked her what she did for work because I would love to make money from home. Turns out the company she was working for was flexible enough to let her keep her job and just do it from home instead of coming into the office.
If having a telecommuting job is something that appeals to you, I would suggest looking into the company you last worked for (assuming you are still on good terms) or you are currently working for and find out if there are any positions that can be done via telecommuting that you would qualify for. This is a great place to start.
You can also look for these jobs on the Internet. They are listed as "telecommuting" jobs. Sites such as Flexjobs has telecommuting jobs listed on their site for example.
You can also query of the businesses in your city to see if any of them offer such positions too.
And if you're really creative...
You can always create and post your own videos on... YouTube!
My 14-year old tells me all about who's been making money on YouTube all the time... but basically, you just post videos about popular topics, promote them so they become popular and then apply for the YouTube partner program. You earn money from the ads that pop up on the videos, or you can also make money by presenting reviews for products.
Need more ideas?
There are other jobs out there as well that allow you to work from home or at least be at home most of the time, and they include:
- Paid clinical trials (get paid to test clinical products or be part of a focus group)
- Mystery Shopping
- Open a home daycare or provide before and after school care
- Personal fitness trainer (yoga, pilates, aerobics, ballet, etc)
- Teach classes in your own home or at a local community center on cooking, sewing, painting, etc)
© 2012 Carolyn Dahl