Yes, we’ve all seen those scammy ads blaring, “Stay-at-Home Moms Can Make $1000 a Day at Home!” linking to malicious sites with ten million pop-up windows. But, truth be told, you can make a good living working from the comfort of your own home, using only a laptop and a high-speed Internet connection. My husband and I do it every day, in fact (and no, we don’t stay in our pajamas all day long, thank you very much!). If you’re sick of the office, or you aren’t able to work outside of your home, here are seven ways to make working from home work for you.
Sell your own products. Do you knit beautiful scarves, or create organic scented soaps? If you’ve built buzz for your product around the neighborhood, you may be able to make a go of it by marketing and selling your product online. To reach an already existing audience, you may want to list your product on a large site like eBay.com, or if it’s craft-based, on Etsy.com. It can take some time to build up a base, but if you’re good at what you do, you may have the possibility of expanding your business into a profitable enterprise.
Work at a virtual call center. Many companies are seeing the benefits of using native English speakers to staff their call centers, but would rather not deal with the expense of paying for a large call center facility. That means there are plenty of opportunities to work at a virtual call center, where you can communicate with a company’s customers from your own home. To get started, check out the opportunities at a site like Alpine Access or LiveOps.
Become an online tutor. Do you love helping people learn new things? Then you might be a good candidate for an online tutoring job—typically, you will need a college degree, but aren’t required to have a teaching certificate. Online tutoring provides interesting work with a wealth of online resources at your disposal, and you’ll usually be able to set your own schedule. To learn more, check out an online tutoring site like Tutor.com or Tutorvista.com.
Work as a virtual assistant. Not sure what that is? It’s pretty similar to an office administrative position—with the distinction that you can do it from your own house. Virtual assistants do anything from book meetings to answer emails to research company data, and can make upwards of $25 an hour. You can join an existing VA firm, but if you’re up for it, you’ll make better money running your own. Check out this Entrepreneur article for tips.
Be a social media superstar. If you love Twitter and Facebook, you could be paid for your social networking skills: many companies are searching for individuals to send Tweets and Facebook messages about their products and build up online fan bases. Keep an eye out for listings on sites like Mashable, or try contacting likely companies directly if their social media accounts seem a bit neglected.
Be a blogger. You’re not going to get rich working for someone else’s site, but there are plenty of opportunities out there, from writing about your hometown for AOL’s new hyperlocal Patch.com or writing in-depth entries about your specialization (be it health, travel, food, or sports) for one of the many paying sites around. Check out the ProBlogger job boards for opportunities, or ask the editors of your favorite sites. (Sadly, we’re not hiring—not yet, anyway!)
Even better, start your own blog, build an audience, and work out ways to make money from it. This could take some time to become profitable, but you stand to gain more, and may score a book deal out of it as well.
Have professional skills? Become a consultant. If you’ve been building websites or doing graphic design work for friends and family for years, why not test the waters and see if you can make a living from it? You’ll need a professional website that showcases your skills, and you’ll probably want to get involved with networking within your local community. Joining your local Chamber of Commerce can be a great way to make new contacts. It may not be the easiest way to work from home, but being your own boss is a big reward.
Originally published on Gimundo