Whether you’re looking to start a business or supplement your current income, this post offers 15 of the best work from home jobs to supplement or replace your income.
Note: This post has been updated in light of the current COVID-19 global pandemic, and we hope you find some of these work-from-home job ideas helpful to you during this uncertain time! For more ways to stay healthy and THRIVE, not just survive, get our free guide here.
If you would have asked me ten years ago whether I believed I could earn a full-time income–one that would allow my husband to become a stay-at-home dad–I would have probably laughed you right out of the room. Even just five years ago, after I started writing LWSL, when I told my husband I wanted to make enough money from blogging that he would be able to quit his job, he did laugh me right out of the room.
It sounded crazy. In fact, sometimes it still sounds crazy.
Not a day goes by that I don’t realize what an amazing privilege it is to be able to work at a job I absolutely love, one I am totally passionate about, wholly devoted to, one that gives me flexibility and freedom, and one that changes every day. I feel so fortunate to live in a world where opportunities to support our families and make a living are literally right in front of us—right in our own home.
Starting a business can also feel pretty scary, with so many unknowns.
But this Small Business Roadmap can help. It will show you exactly what steps you’ll need to take to get started, along with typical startup costs.
And while my own business is based on blogging, starting a blog is only one way to earn money from home! There are an infinite number of legitimate opportunities available for starting a home-based business, whether you are looking or a career change, want to supplement your current budget or want to save for a specific purpose, such as building an emergency fund.
Keep in mind that making a living from home is NOT easy. It requires self-motivation, organization and lots of focus. It also requires plenty of drive and the ability to keep going, even when you feel like quitting, or when others question why you are spending so much time on something that might not work.
Before you begin, assess your talents, your network and your organizational skills—it’s the best way to figure out what money-making at-home activities will work best for you. You may even want to consider taking a personality test for additional insight into your strengths and weaknesses. If you think you’ve got what it takes to start your own business, you can take our pro-blogger personality quiz here.
You will also need to consider how much time you have available, how much money you’re willing to invest in a business, and how much risk you are willing to take. After all, with greater risk comes greater reward, but also a bigger chance for disaster. Here are 15 ways to earn money from home…
1. Start a Blog
You knew I had to start here, right? Given the success of Living Well Spending Less, I am a huge proponent of blogging. Not only is it fun and interesting, but it is also always changing–I am never bored! That said, it is by no means easy money. Blogging takes a lot of work, strategy, and effort to get started. Sometimes it can take years before you see the results of that hard work. The most important driver is choosing a topic both you and your audience is passionate about, and then working to connect with readers and solve their problems.
When I started my blog in 2010, there weren’t a lot of resources out there to get started. In fact, I often felt as though I was throwing things at the wall, just to see what would stick. Now, years later, I’ve learned some very important lessons. I founded Elite Blog Academy® to share those lessons and give new bloggers all the steps and insight they need to take their blog to the next level.
In the course, I walk you through every step, from discovering and connecting with your audience and creating your cornerstone content, to running a thriving business. I’ve worked with many other successful bloggers to discover what works and what you need to know to be successful.
2. Sell Products From Home
While multi-level-marketing (MLM) companies sometimes get a bad rap, they can actually be a great way to earn additional income from home, as well as an excuse to connect with other people, and even a chance to earn trips and other rewards. MLM opportunities run the gamut of interests from nails (Jamberry) to cooking tools (Pampered Chef) to scented oil warmers (Scentsy) to purses (31 Bags).
I am personally a huge fan of Young Living Essential Oils, and they have been a great source of supplemental income for my family. (You can read more about how I got started with essential oils HERE.)
If you’re very organized, enjoy connecting with other people, and have a strong network of interested friends and family members, multi-level marketing might be right for you. However, there can be some serious drawbacks. If you are considering getting involved with an MLM, definitely do your research to make sure the company is reputable, has been around for at least five years, and doesn’t have any minimum sales requirements.
3. Become a Virtual Assistant
So … how do you find work as a virtual assistant?
You could join a service like Fiverr or Upwork, where you are competing with thousands of other people who are selling their services virtually, many of whom are overseas and can offer a much cheaper rate.
In short, you could spend a lot of time working for not a lot of pay. OR, you could find your people and charge what you are worth.
But…how do you find your people?
That’s another area where Elite Blog Academy can help. Not only does it teach you the step-by-step framework needed to create a successful, profitable, and sustainable online business, but it also provides an amazing community and support network of like-minded individuals, all of which have come to us with amazing ideas, talents, and useful skills.
And what we’ve realized is, while being an entrepreneur feels kind of like being a one-(wo)man-band at first, at some point, you have to expand beyond doing it all yourself. You’re going to need a team to help you. There is no 6-figure or 7-figure blogger out there who is still creating all the graphics, writing all the content, producing and starring in all the videos, creating all the products, updating all the plugins, and handling all the promotion, all by herself.
Maybe you’ve dabbled in a few of these areas, trying to get a business or blog off the ground, but you found that there are areas you were really good at and loved doing, and others, not so much. Maybe you just don’t WANT to work 80 hour weeks as an entrepreneur so you can quit your 9-5 job.
But here’s the secret–whether you are looking to make a little extra cash working from home a couple of hours a week, working full-time, or even starting your own business as a Virtual Assistant, Elite Blog Academy is the perfect fit.
One of the HARDEST things to do as an entrepreneur is letting go of tasks and outsourcing them to other people. If you think about it, this person has built their business, and handing off some of the reigns, no matter how small is hard! When they do so, they want to know that their new assistant is going to “get it.” They want to know that their assistant understands that their assignments are not just boxes to check off on a list, they want them to understand exactly how their tasks fit into the bigger picture and how they impact the business as a whole.
That is what our students get from Elite Blog Academy–a community of success-minded individuals who have learned that ships in the harbor rise together, so we build each other up to succeed instead of so many other so-called blogging communities that focus on comparing and tearing others down.
Despite the name, we have had SO many students come through that either knew they did not want to have their own blog but understood the importance of understanding the framework of a successful online business to stand out among their peers, OR that were on the fence about having their own blog, and once they got started realized they were meant to spread their wings in a certain area as part of a team.
And that is one of the amazing things about this course. It is not a one size fits all! And these students are every bit as successful in EBA as those who have their own blog, and we LOVE seeing prospective and current students be able to identify and achieve that potential and not close the door.
In addition to the value of the content of the course for virtual assistants, it is also an amazing community for learning and even networking (which our students affectionately refer to as the “blogger love bubble”)!
In fact, some of our current employees and contractors are former Elite Blog Academy students, and each has a different set of strengths that she contributes to the team, including customer service, project management, data analysis, content creation, and social media. And many of our alumni either work full time for other bloggers (many of whom are also EBA alumni) or work as part-time VAs to build their own businesses.
4. Start an Etsy Shop
Are you crafty or an expert garage-saler? Do you have an eye for graphic design? Ever heard, “you should sell these” after giving a handmade gift? You may want to consider setting up an Etsy shop.
The most successful Etsy shop owners treat their business like a real storefront. Present your products in a loving and beautiful way and use great photography to showcase your handiwork. To determine the cost of your products, first, be sure you’re offering value to the buyer (and that you’re making a profit). Don’t forget to consider shipping and other fees.
To be successful on Etsy, offer a truly unique product—yes, that something special. While everyday beaded earrings can be lovely, your handcrafted jewelry should fit a unique niche and be crafted with an idea in mind that’s original to you. Look at your shop as a buyer would, and make sure you use descriptors and language that accurately portrays the product.
5. Sell Your Stuff on eBay
Running a full eBay store takes time and energy—and it can be tough to get started. However, if you want to make money selling your collector items, handbags, unique small antiques or other sellable items, eBay can be a great resource!
First, gather the items you’re hoping to unload. Next, determine if eBay is the right place to sell those particular items. If you’ve bought and sold on eBay before, you should have a rating—and (assuming it’s good) that will help you immensely. Try to focus on small, easy-to-ship and collectible items.
There are many sellers out there who’ve made a business reselling thrift store finds online. This kind of buying and selling takes a lot of time and dedication, but if you have an excellent eye for value and a love for thrifting, it can be a very lucrative business. (But expect a lot of trips to the post office, which you could hire an assistant for, and a lot of time spent researching.)
6. Start a YouTube Channel
You probably have a favorite YouTuber who shows you how to cook or put on makeup or create a craft and thought, “man, they are KILLING it! How do they make money online?
Like blogging, creating content on YouTube and turning it into a profitable business is something we teach in our Elite Blog Academy framework.
Jennifer Maker was no stranger to the online business world, but even after pouring all of her time into her website for months and months was just not gaining the traction she wanted to see, or to be honest, needed. But one year into Elite Blog Academy and she began consistently earning upwards of 20k from her blog each month. She now earns over 7 figures from her business and has a huge YouTube following.
7. Provide Child Care
There are a lot of people who aren’t able to work their traditional jobs right now because of our current global situation. However, there are others who have started working from home but are finding themselves in need of becoming instant homeschoolers to their children, as well. It can be extremely difficult to do both, and chances are, there is someone in your friend circle, family, or neighborhood who is willing to pay handsomely for a few hours of child care!
Start by offering your services on Facebook or whatever social network your friends and family are using the most right now. Be sure to be able to provide references and good recommendations, as well as share how you will keep yourself and the children you are watching free from contamination.
8. Start a Delivery/Shopping Service
There are a lot of people who are struggling right now with being able to leave their house. And while this pandemic is forcing a lot of us to suddenly learn how to cook, there are still some of us who would give literally anything to have a hot meal already prepared and delivered to their door!
So if you have a car and are able to help deliver items to the elderly or anyone who is not able to leave their house right now, that is a super valuable service you can provide. You will be doing your part to help keep the economy and society afloat, and you will also be able to pocket some extra income.
Note: Be sure to share how you are keeping yourself, your vehicle, your customers, and their items safe from contamination during this time!
9. Help with Housecleaning
While it might not be something you can do “from home” per se, you can earn some fast cash by offering to tidy up friends’ and neighbors’ homes once a week. If you want to keep things casual, simply put yourself out there by word-of-mouth. You can also try local advertising (think church bulletin or daycare center newsletter) to land a few houses.
Right now there are plenty of people who are wanting a super spotless, contamination-free environment, but they either don’t know how to do it themselves or would pay just about anything to not have to do it themselves. If you have the tools in your toolkit to keep things sanitized and COVID-19-free, your services are much needed right now!
Be upfront with potential clients about what you’re willing to do and what days or times you’re available. Good housekeepers are often hard to come by, so if you are able to prove your worth as an efficient and thorough cleaner, you can not only charge a premium–anywhere from $15-25 an hour–but you will also probably find that word of mouth will travel faster than you can keep up!
10. Teach a Skill Online
Get creative and search your bag of talents to find things you can share with others, then seek out places where people want to learn.
If you play a musical instrument, sew or have another teachable talent, offer your services to a few students per week from your home. It can be fun, and you’ll love the opportunity to revisit the hobbies you enjoy.
You can also offer tutoring services from your home via zoom or skype. Check with local schools and private instructors in your area. See if they have any struggling students who could benefit from some one-on-one assistance. You don’t have to be a teaching expert to help a first or second grader with reading and mathematics, but time-strapped parents will be grateful for the help. Put your services on Facebook Live or Twitch and ask for tips, or use Elite Blog Academy to find out how to turn that into a profitable, sustainable long-term business.
11. Social Media and or Web Consulting
If you’re a former professional or are social media savvy, consider reaching out to businesses who need a little of your expertise. A word of warning: social media consultants are a dime-a-dozen right now and promoting yourself as an expert can be tricky, especially because the latest trends in social media are ever-changing.
Tax services, billing/clerical/administrative work and research can all be done from home if you have the know-how. Network with professional connections and friends. Chances are, someone is just waiting for you to offer a little assistance (and they’ll be willing to pay for it).
If you have website design experience, look for local businesses with out-of-date websites or poorly managed social profiles. Give them a call or send an introductory email offering your services. Offer to provide a free consultation and clearly and realistically explain your skillset and how you can help their organization. Many small businesses are floundering when comes to branding, marketing and keeping up their online presence—so if you have expertise in that area, by all means, use it.
12. Freelance Writing, Design or Photography
If you’re a skilled writer, designer or photographer, consider freelance work. Many businesses and individuals seek out content writers, contributors, and journalists to help craft their message and document their products. For those who love to write but aren’t ready for their own blog, freelance is a great option to test the waters. Check out the opportunities on ProBlogger or JournalismJobs.com, especially if you enjoy technical writing.
Those with graphic design skills can also seek positions through sites like 99designs, FlexJobs and Upwork. Opportunities may range from designing logos, packaging and branded merchandise, to polishing presentations and marketing materials.
Photographers may find opportunities to create stock photos for sites such as Shutterstock or iStockphoto by Getty Images. Companies and bloggers often seek photographers to capture recipes, products and other images for their websites. Freelance work provides lucrative opportunities to work at home and be your own boss.
13. Provide Customer Service or Tech Support
Have you ever been aggravated after calling a company and getting horrible customer service or technical support? Wouldn’t it be nice to change that experience for someone else? You actually can!
While there are a lot of unscrupulous companies offering “call center jobs from home,” there are also some legitimate companies offering call center tech support and customer service opportunities. Apple-at-Home and Accolade that you may want to check out.
If you’re bilingual and you have experience with certain types of software or technology products and a landline, these jobs can pay $10-$20 per hour—a fun way to earn a little extra income.
14. Medical Dictation and Editing
There are a plethora of training programs and advertisements about how “easy” it is to do medical transcription from home and for profit, but the truth is that it’s not easy at all. You’ll need specific training and classes can cost $3000+. Once you’ve completed the classes, you may find it difficult to find work-from-home transcription opportunities—especially nowadays with plenty of voice-recognition and transcription software out there.
However, if you’re determined that medical transcription and editing is right for you, here are some tips… Consider joining your local AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity) and networking with other professional transcribers in your area. Getting in with a healthcare group or hospital can help you find opportunities.
One of the best ways to find transcription and editing jobs is to look at your current network. If a friend is a doctor or nurse, ask the name of their transcription service. Are they happy with the company they work with? Reach out to small private practices in your area. Also, consider law firms and other groups who may need transcription services. With today’s complicated medical privacy laws in place, doctors are much more careful about who’s typing and viewing their patients’ medical records.
Whatever way you’re looking to earn extra money and provide for your family, be smart, savvy, and do your research. Unfortunately, there are many scams out there that offer get-rich-quick schemes and “tricks” rather than real tips. Earning money takes work, it’s just a fact of life. Yes, in life we occasionally stumble upon an opportunity or we’re blessed with talents that can help us earn more, but there are very few times when money just falls into our laps.
Approaching your earning with purpose, research and integrity will help you avoid those who might take advantage of you. Always investigate opportunities with a critical eye and consult with other experts who’ve been successful earners, whether it’s through blogging, Etsy, or even dog walking. Find your opportunity and bring home a little extra bacon right FROM home, today!
15. Earn Extra Money Online
While many of the ideas listed require quite a bit of effort and some serious commitment (not to mention time, and in some cases, even money or additional education), if your goal is simply to earn a few extra dollars in spending money, there are some relatively painless ways to earn money or gift cards online.
Companies like Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks allow you to earn cash or points for searching online, completing surveys, or even through shopping. You can also earn cash back when you shop online through Rakuten.
There are also some great apps that allow you to earn rewards as well. For instance, Ohmconnect is a free app pays you just for reducing your energy usage. You can make between $50 and $150 per year (yes, they pay you just to turn off the lights!), plus you get cool tools for analyzing your home energy use, allowing you to save BIG on your utility bills, too! Viggle is an app that lets you earn points for watching TV, while Ibotta offers cash rewards AND helps you save on groceries.
Milton Friedman once said that “there is no such thing as a free lunch,” and this is absolutely true! Working from home is convenient and it can be really fun, but at the end of the day, it is still WORK, and it will require you to work at it! That said, for those who are willing to buckle down, the possibilities really are endless, and the sky is the limit!
Ready to become your own boss now and forever?
Becoming your own boss is pretty exciting. It can mean more freedom, more flexibility, and of course, more MONEY! That said, starting a business can also feel pretty scary, with so many unknowns.
It will show you exactly what steps you’ll need to take to get started, along with typical startup costs. Best of all, it’s completely free. Get it here!