For many, it’s a dream to be able to work from home. What can be better than working in your pajamas? Or being able to be home for your kids? Or being able to take the dog out for walks? It’s not all fun and games, though. It takes discipline and hard work. If you’re looking for ways to work from home, here are a few ideas worth looking into.
Use the skills you already have to make money from home. Instead of working for an employer, sell your skills directly to your own clients. Are you a good writer? Try selling your writing skills. You can check out job boards like craigslist.org, Indeed.com, and elance.com to look for freelance writing gigs. The same goes for proofreading or editing jobs. Or perhaps you have previous experience working in public relations or graphic design or photography. You can look for freelance jobs in these areas, too.
Before you start applying for jobs, however, it’s a good idea to touch up your resume. Make sure you include all relevant jobs or other experience relating to the service you’re selling. You want to show potential clients that you have the skills to do the job. You might also consider creating your own website to showcase previous work. This helps you to look like a more professional freelancer, as opposed to some random person on the Internet just looking for a quick job.
Knowing more than one language is a very useful skill to have. You can offer your language services to companies that may need translations or editing of their material. Many translator jobs can be done from home.
If you know more than one language you can also consider becoming a teacher. Offer your skills to those who wish to learn another language. You can teach virtually—through video chats and e-mails—or you can hold lessons in your own home.
Teaching is a good way to earn money from home, not only for language lessons, but also for a number of other subjects. For example, if you’re an exercise guru, you can teach aerobics or yoga or other types of exercise in your home or online. Or if you are a musician, you can give music lessons to students. The possibilities are endless. You can also teach classes in dance, drawing, cooking, accounting, writing or any other specialty that you might have.
One thing that might be useful when offering classes is to make yours unique. Why should these students pick you to teach them? For example, instead of just teaching a cooking class, you might come up with a specialty, like how to make French pastries or how to make fresh pasta. Once you decide what you’re going to teach, make sure you advertise your classes. Post fliers at your local stores or create an online website and use social media to spread your message.
4. Be a Sitter
Another good way to make money from home is to offer babysitting or pet sitting services. Be mindful that these types of jobs might require you to incur some costs in making sure your home is the right environment for these jobs. You might have to baby-proof your house by covering up outlets, dealing with sharp edges, and gating off any stairways. It would also be helpful to have children’s’ toys, a nap area and food and snacks. For pets, you will need to make sure you don’t have anything out that might get messed up by animals, such as shoes lying around or white furniture.
5. Rent Out Your Home
If you have an extra room in your house, why not rent it out? You can post your extra space on websites like airbnb.com or couchsurfing.com, which allow you to rent out a private room or a couch. There is a lot of competition in this field, however, so you should make sure you have something special to offer. Is your home in a good location (close to the airport, near tourist attractions, near the beach, in the middle of the city)? Does your home look nice and comfortable? Make sure you have clean sheets, clean towels and pillows for your guests. You might have to put some money into this endeavor up front. However, if you think you can rent out your place frequently and for a good price, it might be worth it.
6. Make Stuff to Sell
Are you good at making things? If so, you might be able to sell your arts and crafts creations on your own website or through a third party website, like Etsy.com. First, you should find out what others are selling to make sure you’re offering something unique. Next, you need to promote your product. Use social media to get the word out and hand out your business cards to people you meet. Reach out to blogs to see if they might be interested in writing about your product. You also need to make sure you have beautiful photos of your product that will entice customers to buy it.
7. Sell Other Services
You can sell more than just tangible products online. Perhaps you are great at sewing or great at shopping. You can open up an alternations business out of your home. Or you can provide online shopping services to those who don’t have time to do their own shopping or those that don’t want to. Another job that has been becoming more popular is a “virtual personal assistant.” People hire these assistants who work from home to do secretarial or administrative tasks, such as managing a schedule or making travel arrangements, or even fielding phone calls.
Trying to earn an honest living from home is tough, and there are many scams out there making it even tougher. When you are looking for jobs, be very wary of those that sound too good to be true. You should even be wary of those that don’t sound too good to be true. There are scammers out there that have mastered fraud schemes and have manipulated many out of thousands of dollars. Here are some things to look out for:
1. Jobs That Ask For Your Money
You should never pay someone to work for them. It just doesn’t make sense. If a company wants you to pay to take a training course or to buy a training pamphlet or book that will teach you the “skills you need” for the job, it’s probably not legitimate. If they want you to purchase something from them first, that you are supposed to turn around and sell at a premium, it’s also probably not legitimate.
2. Get Rich Quick Schemes
If you see a job posting that offers to pay you thousands a week, with little experience and little work involved, it’s almost positively a scam. That just sounds too good to be true, right?
3. Jobs That Don’t Make Sense
Just think about what you’re being offered. Even though it might sound like an amazing job, think about whether it makes sense. If you can’t explain how or why you’re getting paid, you probably shouldn’t take the job.
Be very careful with how you set up payments for your services. Never give out your account information or wire any money. Use a third party site like paypal.com or venmo.com, where payments are sent to and received from a separate company in order to protect your bank account.
The bottom line is that working from home is no cakewalk. You will have to come up with some goods or services to offer and market your services to make sure you can get legitimate, consistent work, while avoiding all the fraudsters out there. But if you can pull it off, working from home can be quite rewarding.