Are you tired of wasting time on your commute to work?
Would you like to see more control over your income?
Do you wish you had more control over your schedule? Maybe you work best late in the evening or very early in the morning.
Are you looking for more professional autonomy?
Have you ever dreamed about turning your passion or hobby into income?
Did you know that there are also tax advantages for home-based businesses? You can deduct your expenses first then pay taxes on your net income. This means you can write of supplies, even a portion of your home (for home office) or car if appropriate.
The freedom of working from home can also bring distraction temptations and procrastination. If you are considering starting a home-based business, it is so important to put in the research and develop a time-management strategy to design a schedule that works for you, your business, and your family.
So let’s talk through some ideas to make money home.
Let me forewarn you that I’m going to bring up creating a blog as a foundation quite a bit. Why? Because I truly believe it is the best way to grow nearly any home-based business. Because you’re not going into an office and interacting with people as regularly, it important to find ways to broaden your target market virtually. Using blogging platforms like WordPress and hosting services like Bluehost, you can have a blog up in 30 minutes for less than $3 a month in hosting fees.
If you’re not comfortable with technology, there are of course other strategies to grow and market your business. However, I strongly support some of kind of blog to build credibility and engage new clientele for nearly any type of home based business.
Are you a decent writer? Freelance writers work for an individual or organization on a project basis. One of the challenges of project-based work like freelance writing is the risk of inconsistency in work (and thus managing finances). The best way to take mitigate this risk is by actively marketing your work, requesting proposals, and apply to gigs.
Here are some ideas on how to get started as a freelance writer.
Pitch to a job board ad: Companies, small and large regularly advertise for freelance writers.
Create an account with a global freelance platform: Another option to consider is exploring global freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork where individuals and businesses connect and collaborate remotely. Through both platforms, you will create an account and bio with a description of your service offerings. In some cases, a company or individual may contact you directly to consider applying for a gig. Otherwise, you may also actively apply to projects that align with your services. For example, here I am logged into my Fiverr account and I used the global search for “freelance content writers” to return over 2,000 professionals in this space.
Take a look at their profiles to get some ideas on how to hone in on your skillset to get matched to projects that most fit your interests and experience. You may ultimately find that marketing your services in a particular niche will help you stand out.
Guest post: Guest posts are a great way to engage with new prospective clients. First you will need to find the right publication or website and pitch your guest content. Usually at the end of the piece, you will include a short bio with contact information or a link to your website.
Don’t forget to always ask for referrals!
If you have a background in finance or accounting OR experience bookkeeping, A home-based bookkeeping business might be an option for you. Ideally you will have some early clients in mind or strategies on how to drum up new business. Work is more consistent and reliable as a bookkeeper versus other home-based businesses which makes it easier to manage your own finances.
Startup costs are very low beyond purchasing and maintaining accounting software. However, keep in mind there are some liability risks so please take the necessary steps to ensure the clients’ information is secure.
Does it drive you crazy when people make grammatical mistakes involving word usage or punctuation? Channel that frustration into something productive!
Online proofreading businesses are exploding and the demand is growing. You should know there is a lot of competition so you will have to come up with a strategy to stand out and earn new proofreading gigs. Here are my top three tips for landing new clients and growing your proofreading business from home.
You may also want to start a website to build credibility. Again, I recommend BlueHost for hosting plans at less than $3 per month. If you have a good portfolio of previous work you can get clients easier as if you are a total beginner. Having a good portfolio will also allow you to raise your rate. Haven’t you ever heard the expression “you have to make money to spend money”? Be realistic about expenses like website hosting that are not absolutely necessary, but may really make the difference in presenting yourself as a professional.
It’s also not a bad idea to take a course online for the “bragging rights” if nothing else. Some of the advanced proofreading skills can only be learned through training. And to be considered a “professional proofreader” extra coursework on your resume can help you stand out.
Mindset is key
Don’t forget to be patient. Like any other new business, it may take time to acquire jobs and new clients. A proofreading business is a great way to supplement your day job but it can also be a full-time income. Treat it like a real job (because it is). You will start to grow your business with effort, persistence, but also time.
Do you have some talent behind the lens? Perhaps some work as a freelance photographer is an option for you.
Even if you do not have formal training or experience as a photographer, you can learn all about the art of photography, including operation of the camera iteself, lighting, and editing with classes. If you do not have any experience, take as many classes as you can and practice! You will need to learn how to set up lighting, edit in Photoshop, lightroom and/or Adobe Bridge. As you practice you may discover your strengths and interest in the type of photography. Maybe your preference is working with infants or families, or something completely different like product shots.
A photographers work is not consistent, so you can work when you get calls or referrals. However, you also have flexibility in your schedule because you get to choose how many and which projects to take on.
You will also want to determine your strategy in advance. Determine your worth! Figure out how much you would like to make an hour and work backwards to figure the total number of hours each session might take to shoot and edit. Adding up those hours and multiplying by your target hourly wage will help you come up with your session price. You will also need to determine what you want to include in each session. Photographers are increasingly just offering digital negatives versus prints for each session. If you do opt to include prints, you will need to find a good printer.
Finally, you will want to create a website or blog to showcase your work. An online portfolio is a highly accessible and easy way to send clients and build your portfolio. Social media and sites like Craigslist are also a great place to promote your services locally.
Provide remote administrative or technical support to an individual or company. If you are detail-orientated, personable, and organized, a virtual assistants offer a diverse range of services that may include (but not limited to):
- traditional administrative tasks
- data entry
- cold calls
- creating sales pages
- website design
- email management
- social media management
- client outreach
To become a virtual assistant, it will certainly give you a leg up if you are comfortable and familiar with all things internet/web. Be honest about your skills but also willing and motivated to learn new tasks!
Here are some general suggestions on how to get started. First, decide on your service offerings and pricing structure. You may need to do some research to determine both service offerings that you feel very comfortable with, as well as the typical rate charged by other successful virtual assistants. Next, you’ll want to launch a blog and post a resume or sales page. From there you can start the outreach process. Some of this may include cold calls and networking, but it may also include creating profiles on freelance platforms like Fiverr, FlexJobs, Freelancer, and Upwork.
Sell Crafts Online
If you’re more of the creative type, why not make some money from your hobbies? Sell your arts and crafts online through platforms like Etsy or your own website. You can use platforms like Wix or Shopify to create an online storefront.
Another idea to consider is offering classes to teach and share your craft with other. The class could be for pottery, sewing, painting, jewelry-making, or whatever it is you are creating! Otherwise, there are plenty of artisinal businesses that require more heavy-duty, well-equipped shops for wood-working and welding, for example.
If you have an eye for closet organization, one option is to lend your hand as an organizer. Even better, part of your service could be to resale unused, minimally worn clothing on sites like Poshmark and take a cut of the the earnings.
No need for experience or professional training! You’ll just want to promote your services by word of mouth, through social media, or wait for it….. your own blog. Consider adding value and building credibility by posting content about organization and how to curate a wardrobe.
If you have experience as a teacher or you are particularly knowledgeable on a subject or language, you can start a home-based tutoring business OR become an online tutor. A home-based tutor business will require more networking and outreach to get started. As an online tutor you can get up and running fairly quickly.
Keep in mind some companies may require you to have an educational background in the subject you are willing to tutor. They do NOT always require prior teaching experience though. The more qualifications and experience you have, the more clients and jobs will be made available to you. If you plan to work remotely, you will need a reliable computer, internet connection, a webcam, and a headset to get started.
There are a ton of tutoring sites out there, starting with Tutor.com.
To get started you will need to set up a free online tutoring profile to start getting tutor requests. You will introduce yourself to your students and start receiving jobs.
Direct selling, network marketing or multi-level marketing through popular companies Beauty Counter, Young Living Essential Oils, Avon, etc. are increasingly popular for home businesses. These businesses are also scalable enough to become a full-time occupation. Both the hours and income are flexible–although most home-based direct sales associates are typically looking for a little financial boost versus full-time income.
To get started there are some initial start-up costs. Among the beauty products/companies there is usually a sales kit that is in the range of $100. For there you may also want to purchase business cards and other home business supplies. You may also have to invest in some inventory so make sure you have the cash flow to cover the overhead until you make that money back. If you do NOT sell the inventory and decide to leave the company, make sure you know their policy in advance on returning unsold, marketable inventory within a given time period. Most reputable companies will buy back unsold product.
Oftentimes there are incentives to recruit team members. Multi-level marketing companies have recently developed a poor reputation for focusing on recruitment versus sales of products (considered a pyramid scheme). Be selective about the product and brand you are promoting!
Finally, the market is crowded so you will want to find ways to stand out. Of course, a personal website is something that I would endorse.
In 2018, the average SEO professional earned about $80,000 a year. And freelancers are often paid an average of about $1,800 per client each month.
To get started, you will first need a clear understanding of your SEO strengths and website builder expertise so that you can pitch or apply for jobs that best fit your skillset.
I know I sound like a broken record… but, next you will probably want to create a blog or website to market your services. For this line of work in particular web presence is a must. Be clear about what services your offer and pricing if you feel comfortable. If you do not feel comfortable listing pricing, you must at least know your worth!
You may also want to list your services on the Freelance platforms I’ve mentioned here including Fiverr and Upwork as well as Freelancer.com, Guru and Simpy Hired. Make sure to check out the profiles of the most in-demand SEO consultants and take notes. Learn from their cover letters and how they position themselves in order to improve your pitch and lock in more and better projects. Your cover letter or resume will be very different than other generic freelance work. You may cover topics such as online content strategy, web analytics, organic traffic, return on investment, or leveraging social media platforms.
If you have the opportunity to grow your skillset–take it! There are a lot of SEO consultants out there, so adding new skills will only expand your skills, make you more marketable and create new job opportunities!
In the end, client referrals are really going to propel and grow your business.
It’s not always easy to take the plunge in building a business from home, but for many it is increasingly the right choice.
Especially for stay at home parents, a 9-5 work schedule is often not in the cards. By the time you run the numbers on expenses to enroll your children in after school care programs, hire a babysitter or nanny to fill in the gaps, all to spend less time raising your children, it makes sense for one parent to stay at home. Hopefully this list gives you a solid starting point for brainstorming a home-based business that works for you.
Otherwise, check out some of my other posts below for some tips on how to make extra money from home:
Should You Start A Business From Home?
Now that you have a handful of ideas of how to start a home business to make money, what’s the next step?