Are you ready to work from home? We’ve all heard about the opportunities out there to make great side money, or even a full-time income, apart from a job. Getting started is the tricky part, especially if you’re starting at zero. Here’s a quick guide to put you on the right track toward making money from home when you’re broke and have no online experience.
Step 1: Know Your Why
One of the most important things you need to know when you want to make money from home is why you’re doing it. What’s the reason for looking into this option? This might have to do with your financial goals, your preferences, or just your situation in life.
For some people, they want to quit their jobs and travel. For others, working from home is an extra source of income to pay down debt or afford a few “extras.” Lots of parents use work-from-home opportunities to make it possible to stay home with kids. Other people are in school, are disabled, or otherwise simply don’t have the setup for a traditional job.
Once you’re clear on what you’re trying to accomplish by working from home, you’ll have a better sense of which options will be better for you.
Step 2: Figure Out Your Approach
There are all kinds of ways to make money from home both online and offline. Which is most appealing for you?
Working from home online could be as straightforward as getting a telecommute job, or you can strike out on your own and become a freelancer of some sort. When you’re making money online, you can set yourself up so that everything you do is conducted 100% online or over the phone, with absolutely nothing requiring you to set foot outside your house.
Working offline means you’re offering a product or service that’s conducted life and in person. Nannying and hauling metal for scrap are two examples of an offline service. You can do these at home, but they might also require you to venture out and meet people, make deliveries, etc.
You may also have components of both. If you decide to start sewing aprons to sell, you’ll probably want to go to craft fairs, markets, and local shops to sell your wares, but you could also set up an online store. Or if you offer an in-person service like tutoring, you’d probably want to have a website to capture some attention online and get inquiries when people in your area search for someone who does what you do.
Step 3: Decide How Much to Put Toward Starting
For some people, it’s easy to decide what to do and then to spend a bit of money to get up and running. This might mean a website, some training, or paid advertising on Facebook. There might be supply or inventory costs, new equipment to buy, or even just gas money, especially if you’re working offline. These expenses don’t have to be high, but they do exist. It’s a good idea to read some “how to get started as XYZ” posts online to see if it’s right for you.
If you don’t have any money to spend on working from home, you may need to get creative. Decide how much cash you need to get started, and then set about putting that cash together. To give you an idea of how much it costs to get your own website, domains shouldn’t cost more than about $10 a year and a month of basic hosting will run anywhere from $3 to $7. You get a free domain and hosting for just $3.95 at SiteGround.
Step 4: Get the Cash You Need (Optional)
If you don’t have enough money to start the business you want yet, there are a few things you can do to put together some cash quickly. Here are some ideas:
- Sell anything lying around the house that you no longer need or want.
- Put an ad on Craigslist offering to show up at the end of a yard sale and haul off anything that doesn’t get bought. You can charge a nominal fee for that service, or simply take everything and just turn around and sell it.
- Advertise a service you can do easily, like walking dogs in your neighborhood or tutoring someone in a subject that comes easily to you.
- Shop for someone else’s groceries and deliver them to their home for a fee.
- Ask people you know if they need help with whatever you want to do from home. You may want to charge a low rate if the work is something you’ve never done before, to attract potential clients even if you don’t have a website yet.
Once you’ve got the ball rolling on some simple cash-making tasks, you’ll have an idea of what kinds of work you enjoy and what you want to avoid in the future. This might also help you decide whether your initial idea for making money from home will really work for you.
Step 5: Don’t Give Up
While it’s not necessarily difficult to find a way to make money from home, sometimes it takes a while for things to really get rolling. Be sure to research the time frames of any “success stories” you can find online so you can have an idea of how long it might take for you to meet your specific income goals.
Once you’re committed, don’t give up! Give yourself a generous timeframe to get off the ground, and don’t quit before that time is up. It’s natural to have some peaks and valleys… you just need to survive the valleys to get to the next peak!
More Free Work from Home Jobs
While there are some opportunities out there that require a fee, like direct sales, there are also plenty of free work-from-home jobs to choose from in addition to those listed above.
Customer Service Jobs
I know. This isn’t your dream job. But it can be the means to an end and remote customer service jobs are plentiful and can be a quick hire. You may need a landline and internet connection, but your only other expenses may be a headset and possibly a background check (usually around $15).
Search Engine Evaluation
These positions aren’t always available as this is a coveted non-phone job. It isn’t full-time or consistent work either. However, evaluating search engine results for quality and relevance is something many people enjoy.
Freelancing offers the utmost flexibility and income potential. With those rewards come hard work, at least initially. You can sign on as an independent contractor with a company like NerdyGirl or break out on your own and solicit your own clients for the big bucks.
New to The Work at Home Wife?
Working at home successfully is all about maximizing your online time for profits. If you are new to my site, I highly recommend the below opportunities and resources.
- Ebates – I love, love, love Ebates. It’s not unusual for me to earn $300 to $1,000 per month in cash back bonuses and referring my friends. And, the program is free! They will even give you a $10 gift card just for signing up (and so will you).
- Swagbucks – This program has come a long way from its earn-for-search beginning. Today you can earn SB for completing surveys, watching videos and more. Redeem your SB (aka Swagbucks) for cash or gift cards. (Members redeem approximately 7,000 gift cards per day!) Get a $5 signup bonus when you earn 2500 SB in your first 3 months.
- Ibotta - This nifty little app can help you earn money doing something you have to do anyway - grocery shopping. It's kind of like coupons, but instead of money off at the counter, you get cash back on select items each week. You can take your rebate by PayPal in cash or use it to purchase gift cards at great merchants like Amazon. They also have an amazing referral program. Get $10 for every two friends you refer! If you sign up through my referral link, you will get another $10 bonus when you redeem your first rebate.
- Start a Blog – Blogging is what pays my bills these days. It’s not too difficult to start a blog on the side and it’s not expensive either. Learn how you can get your first month of hosting for only a penny in the above link. Already have a blog? Learn 7 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Income here.
- FlexJobs – This is my go-to job board for high-quality job leads. The listings are always researched and always telecommute. No scams!