To work from home on your computer, dressed in nothing but your pajamas and padding around in your bare feet most of the day, is a romantic dream that nearly everyone seems to have at some point. Unfortunately, a number of “work from home” scams exist out there; you pay $30 to $50 for a “subscription” that gives you access to work from home jobs, only to realize that these so-called “opportunities” might pay you as little as a few dollars each.
However, just because the Internet is rife with work from home scams doesn’t mean that there are no legitimate work from home opportunities out there. Here’s a closer look at four authentic work from home opportunities.
1. Work from Home Doing Graphic Design, Photography & Illustration
If you are skilled in some sort of visual art, there’s a good chance you can sell your work from home online or use the Internet to find new clients through freelance sites and social network sites. For example, multiple sites allow talented photographers and illustrators to feature and sell their work online. When a photo or illustration is sold, the designer gets a percentage of the purchase fee. The artists and photographers who make a living or supplement their income this way have large and popular portfolios. They also often sell their work on multiple websites.
For web designers, the equivalent activity is to create website templates and sell them online. A number of websites sell WordPress, Joomla, Magento and other types of themes to website-hungry clients. Good web designers can sell templates and custom widgets to these sites and make a nice royalty in the process.
Sites such as LinkedIn are another way creative people can find new clients. With the right email pitch and a little tenacity, photographers, graphic designers, web designers and illustrators can connect with business people who have a need for creative work but can’t afford to hire an expensive firm.
There are also sites where freelancers from around the world compete for various design projects. At many of these sites, freelancers have to pay a subscription fee to access the best jobs. Therefore, before investing in such a site, make sure that you are very serious about wanting to build up your business.
2. Make Money Writing from Home
Writers, too, can connect to potential clients online and build a lucrative freelance career. Web developers often hire freelance writers to write blogs, website copy, sales pages and other marketing material for their clients. Many other businesses are also looking for writers who can keep their websites and/or blogs filled with fresh and original content.
Another way that writers can work from home and make money is by writing “ebooks.” Now that Amazon allows anyone to write and publish an ebook through their Kindle Direct Publishing site, anyone who writes an ebook can publish it and sell it through Amazon. Although it’s essentially impossible to make a living from a single ebook, some authors find that once they have published enough titles, they can add a decent supplement to their regular incomes.
3. Make Money Blogging from Home
Another “job” you can make money at working from home is blogging. The important point to keep in mind when monetizing a blog is to provide readers with valuable content above all else. Bloggers who attract loyal readers by blogging about topics their readers are actually interested in can gradually build up a lucrative blog.
A great example of an unexpected blogging success is the story of an Alaskan mother and homemaker, Ana White. Ana has always enjoyed building things on her own; one day she decided she would put up one of her furniture plans online to see if anyone else would be interested. She received an overwhelmingly positive response, so she started to put more and more plans online, all available as free downloads. In no time, she attracted millions of visitors to her site.
Now, Ana earns a good living as a blogger. By selling advertising on her blogging site, she’s able to cash in on the many visitors to her blog without having to charge the visitors themselves.
Do you have a special skill or talent that you can use to help others? Perhaps you’re good with money, good at potty-training children, good at cooking or good at gardening. Any of these talents can be turned into a blog. If you provide enough fresh and useful content for readers, you will be able to earn real money off your blog, just like Ana White.
4. Make Money Running an e-Commerce Site from Home
For those with an entrepreneurial streak, consider starting an e-commerce website from home. Thanks to drop-shipping, an increasingly popular way to manage and ship inventory, anyone can own an online “retail store” without having to invest large sums of money. By using a drop-shipper, you don’t have to invest in any inventory, store any inventory or ship any products. The drop-shipper handles all of that for you.
To take advantage of drop-shipping, start by thinking of a product you think that you could sell online, such as pajamas. Next, search online for “drop-ship pajamas.” Do your homework; not all drop-shippers are as reliable as others. Once you sign up with a drop-shipper, they will sell the products to you at a wholesale rate and they will ship them to your customers for you. The drop-shipper will usually also charge you a drop-shipping account fee, charged annually or monthly. Your profit is the difference between what the drop-shipper charges you and what you charge your customers.
Although starting an e-commerce site might sound quite complicated, in reality it can be relatively simple. You often don’t even need much website design experience to get started; you can buy an e-commerce website template that’s ready for you to plug in your “inventory” and start selling.
There’s No Such Thing as “Get Rich Quick”
As you consider the four options above as ways to work from home and make money, keep in mind that none of these methods come with any guarantees and that there’s only rarely, if ever, a way to truly “get rich quick.” It would be wise not to quit your day job as you begin to build one of these businesses on the side. All of the suggestions listed above take a serious commitment of your time and effort to get them off the ground; it is highly unlikely you will meet with overnight success.