Personal Finance

15 Best Ways to Make Money From Home That Actually Work

work at home keyboardWorking from home: For some it’s a dream come true; for others it’s a necessary component to their current job search which hasn’t quite panned out yet. It certainly comes with some pretty great perks – you don’t have to brave traffic in the morning, no annoying co-workers, and you are your own boss so you get to set your own hours. New moms and dads can also benefit from the ability to make money working from home because it allows them to be near their baby and still maintain some form of income.

The internet has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for making money over the past two decades and, while this can certainly be a double-edged sword due to all of the scams that are currently out there, the right opportunity can present itself if you have the proper skill set and you know where to look. The fact is there are a variety of ways to bring in some cash, some of them easier than others, and in some cases you don’t have to do anything at all but advertise your skills and availability. All you really need is a good, reliable computer, maybe some supplies that are inherent to the type of work you may be doing, and a quiet work area that you can call your own.

A Word of Warning

Before you begin any new work from home job, be sure you’re ready for it — because while it sounds like the ideal scenario at first, it’s not for everyone. You need to have discipline since it’s far too easy to get distracted if you’re not careful. When you’re working from home you need to treat it like any other job, and put in the right amount of hours so that you make a good wage. Many of these jobs don’t pay hourly, either, and some of them are project contingent. Therefore, you won’t make money unless you actually submit the work. So be sure you’re ready to take on the responsibility of being your own boss by setting some ground rules and devoting enough of your day to make an adequate income.

Don’t Get Scammed

You’re not the only one looking to make money on the internet. There are plenty of scammers out there ready to swindle people out of their hard-earned cash with promises that often sound way too good to be true. Most of us are blessed with enough common sense to be able to sniff out a scam before getting caught up in one. However, the scammers know that many of us are getting pretty savvy to their techniques and they’re always coming up with new and, frankly, innovative methods to pull one over on unsuspecting folks.

So before you pursue a particular money-making opportunity, just be cognizant of a few things that should automatically raise a red flag that something’s not quite right. First and foremost, any job offer that is intended to pay you for your work won’t be asking you to give them a fee upfront to find out more details or read a handbook filled with “valuable information”. When was the last time you paid anyone to work for them?

Second, don’t get sucked in by those get rich quick schemes that pop up online with regularity, claiming you’ll have to do very little work for a massive payday. The reality is you’ll be doing ALL of the work and you won’t see a dime. Even if you do get paid by these scam artists, be careful of the “check” that they send you. It might be for a much larger amount of money than you were expecting and when they claim they made an accounting error you’re asked to send back the difference. Trouble is, the check is phony and all you’re doing is sending them your money. Once that check bounces, it’s too late and you’ve been swindled.

Just be careful out there because you can (and will) find legitimate prospects to make money from home – you just need to be diligent about the potential hazards that lie in wait. Luckily, some of these ideas don’t require you to seek out the right opportunity, you will be offering a good or service to potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer instead.

Let’s Go Make Some Money

These fifteen ideas are all viable ways to bring in an income; some may earn you more money than others and some are easier to accomplish without requiring a specific skill set. Check out our list and see if your abilities make you an ideal candidate for any of these money-making ideas. If you’re a good writer, if you have a background in a particular specialty, or if you just have really great people skills, then you’ll find some ideal opportunities available. You can even make money if you’ve got a spare room to rent in your home or if you just like surfing the internet…and it’s safe to say if you’re reading this right now, that sounds like it might be the right fit.

1. Transcription

If you can type fast, know your way around audio software, and have an extremely fine-tuned attention to detail, then you may want to seek out a transcription gig. There are all kinds of fields that need transcriptionists to convert audio to the written word. Companies hire freelancers to do this type of work, a background in one of the many fields that are looking for good candidates is definitely a plus and, in some cases, mandatory.

You could find work as a medical transcriptionist tasked with transcribing anything from board meetings to medical presentations and field research. Knowledge of medical and pharmaceutical terminology is a must for these jobs, so if you have the necessary background then all the better.

But don’t worry, not every field is this technical and dependent upon a prerequisite proficiency of the industry. You could work in the legal field transcribing depositions, witness interviews, entire trial recordings, even wire taps. There is also corporate, academic, and insurance work for transcriptionists; even the entertainment industry needs people.

You usually find these gigs by joining a service which helps place you with available assignments, but you’re going to need to prove you can do this type of work first. Most applications come with a test job where you listen to an audio file and transcribe it. The quiz will track your time and how many mistakes you make in typing up the document. If you pass, then you’ll be given assignments. If not, you may want work on your words per minute.

2. Freelance Writing/Editing

Do you have a flair for the written word and a distinct voice? How are you with spelling and grammar? If you think you have what it takes to make a living through writing then start looking for freelance work and get paid to do something you love. The internet is a very large place and there are thousands of websites that need content.

But before you start searching for that ideal gig, you’ll need to come up with some writing samples. If you’ve never written anything professionally before, then draft up a few pieces that cover different topics demonstrating your ability to write about a variety of subjects. Don’t expect to make a lot of money at first, but the more jobs you get and the more your portfolio grows, then you can start applying for the gigs that pay higher rates.

The best place to start seeking out these types of jobs is on Craigslist, just so you can pick up a few gigs and begin to build on your experience. Before long, you’ll have a wealth of samples to hand out and you may even have published work with links to show that your material is on an actual website that people visit and read everyday.

Maybe you’re better with editing and proofreading other people’s work — if so, there are plenty of editing/proofreading opportunities out there as well. You can make even more money doing that type of work in some cases, as those jobs occasionally pay an hourly rate versus a per project rate.

Print3. Online Teaching

Perhaps you were a teacher at one time or have an academic background in a certain subject. Maybe you have a specific specialty that can benefit others in some meaningful capacity. If you possess a certain knowledge, then you can monetize that skill by offering online classes in that subject. This can literally be anything; it just needs to be something that people will want to pay you to teach them.

So, if you used to be a high school math teacher, then you can offer some online math tutoring. It’s possible you have some experience in teaching yoga or some other type of fitness exercise regimen; by all means come up with a series of videos to make the most of that skill set. Everyone loves cooking shows, so if you are an expert in the kitchen then you may want to develop a cooking course.

The way you do this is up to you- you can run a live interactive webinar where you bring together a bunch of students in various different locations via video conferencing or pre-record some videos and offer them for sale on a website. The possibilities are virtually endless, you just need to have the right marketable prowess, a touch of ingenuity, and you’ll be on your way. This idea may take some time to perfect as you’ll need to market and advertise yourself first. So be sure you have something unique and valuable to offer.

4. Homemade Goods

Do you like to make things? Are you creative or do you have ideas for products that others haven’t thought of yet? Then you may have a future in selling arts and crafts online. The sky’s the limit here as well, as you can make anything and everything from T-shirts to jewelry to art to, well, you name it. There are many online marketplaces where people just like you with a knack for creativity and innovative ideas offer their wares to the buying public.

Check out a website like, where you can create an online store and sell items that you manufacture yourself. It’s a good place to start if you have homemade items that you think other people may want to purchase.

5. Fresh Food

This idea may require you to set up shop at a local Farmers Market or you could run an online business from your home. It may depend on what you decide to offer. But if you have sufficient space in and around your home, you can start to grow fruits and vegetables to sell at market. You don’t need to have your own farm (though if you do, why are you not doing this already??), you just need to know your way around a garden.

Just walk through any local Farmers Market and you’ll see how popular they can be. There is a demand for fresh produce and other artisanal items like breads and cheeses. If you really want to get specialized, get some beehives and bottle your own honey.

6. Sell Your Stuff

Sounds like a strange idea, but chances are you have a lot of things in your home that are nothing but clutter right now. But you know the old adage, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” and it’s very possible you have that treasure in your home. So sell it off.

Maybe you have some collectible items that don’t really mean much to you but could mean a lot to someone else. Perhaps you need to downsize your home and you’ve decided to move. You may not have the room for all of that stuff at the new place and you want to turn it into cash. Only you know what you have and what might be worth some money. You have a number of online options for selling certain items, but is likely your best bet for most things.

This could even turn into a long-term project and you can open an eBay store where you can move all kinds of items. That really depends on whether or not you have an ongoing supply at your disposal because once you sell your personal stuff, you’ll need to figure out what you want to sell next.

7. Call Center Technician

If you have great people skills, an attention to detail, and know how to stay organized, then you can work remotely as a call center technician. There are a bunch of companies that use call services when they don’t have the personnel to deal with the volume of inquiries and complaints that come in via the telephone. So they hire individuals to handle these matters for them.

Many of these firms pay an hourly wage and if you want to pursue this work you’ll need to have a phone line and a computer which may require you to install a certain type of software. But customer service isn’t the only venue for this kind of job, there is always a demand for telemarketers. If you have no problem cold-calling people who may or may not want to talk to you, then there are plenty of opportunities there as well.

8. Consulting

This is similar to offering online courses but with a more specialized clientele. Consultants come in to help provide solutions, promote efficiency, or implement strategies for businesses and professional individuals in a number of fields. The good thing about it is that you can offer your consulting services in any background in which you have extensive and wide-reaching experience.

The only drawback is that you will need to drum up your own clients, so marketing becomes a vital component of this money-making opportunity. If you can demonstrate that you have the proper skills, know-how, and professional accreditation, then it can be an easier road to setting up a lucrative consulting business.

9. Online Juror

Wait, what? That’s right, you can make money by participating in an online jury. Before you ask, no this is not a substitute for being summoned for actual jury duty. Instead, individuals take part in mock juries and other similar focus groups online and they make money for their time and opinions. Now you’re thinking this might fall under one of those aforementioned “too good to be true” situations, but I assure you that this is real and it offers actual money, anywhere from $10 to $60 per jury. These same firms recruit people to come in to the office and participate in person for higher rates, but if you sign up with more than one of these services at a time you can start collecting some real cash.

10. Virtual Assistant

This is pretty much what you think it is, working as a personal assistant for someone from your home. It doesn’t require you to pick up their dry cleaning or walk their dog, but instead send and respond to emails, maybe make phone calls, type up documents, book travel accommodations, mainly light office work that needs to get done but someone else pays you to do it for them.

The hours may get a little unorthodox as you could be working for a boss halfway around the world in a different time zone or monitoring emails and sending and receiving documents late at night. So you may need to be flexible with your time if you want to pursue this type of work. The pay is pretty good though, as you could make anywhere from $20-60 an hour.

Write a review text on blackboard11. Online Surveys

Sort of similar to the work you could be doing as an online juror, participating in online surveys requires you to fill out forms and give your opinion on everything from videos to advertisements and so on. Each survey doesn’t pay a lot of money but the more you do, the more money you can accumulate. They don’t all pay in cash either, some of them offer gift cards or products instead so you’re limited in where and when you can spend your compensation for taking part in these surveys.

12. Website Testing

You already surf the web you know how a website works. You might even get frustrated when a site you visit doesn’t operate properly. It takes too long to load, the navigation is confusing, the thing is just ugly to look at every time. Well there are online services who want to hear what you think and they will pay you an hourly wage to tell them.

Sign up to be a website tester and all you need to do is download some software. Before you know it, you’ll be visiting beta versions of sites under development. All they ask is that you tell them what you like and what you don’t. For this they will pay you. Not bad.

13. Sew Remotely

If you know your way around a needle and thread, then there are people who are seeking out your services. You’ll find yourself handling all kinds of jobs from alterations to creating things like dresses and draperies. It all depends on how much experience you have and the tools at your disposal. If you were a former seamstress then you’ll likely have an easier time of drumming up clientele due to your experience, but if you’re just starting out you will need to do some savvy marketing of yourself and your abilities.

14. Rent Out a Room

Quite possibly the easiest option on our list as it requires you to do absolutely nothing. If you have some spare space in your home, then consider renting it out to a tenant for short-term or even long-term housing. The prospect of a stranger living in your home might be slightly off-putting at first, but running a simple credit or background check should clear up any concerns. Just lay down clear and specific house rules ahead of time.

15. Pet Sitting

Quite possibly the second easiest option on our list, especially if you love animals. People who have to leave town for any length of time often need someone to watch their pets and you can offer your services to host the animal in your home or go to their home and stay there if they prefer. Hosting a pet can be pretty easy, particularly if it’s a cat. They don’t require more than some feeding, some playtime, and scooping the litter box once or twice a day. Dogs can be a bit more work as you’ll need to walk them twice a day, at least, but in the scheme of things there are infinitely more difficult ways of making money on this list.

Our Final Thoughts

These are just a few ideas, and there are plenty more out there for you to explore. With any employment opportunity, do your homework first. If it seems like a scam, then it probably is, so before you enter into any arrangement check out your new potential employer online. See what others have to say about them, you can even check with the Better Business Bureau or some online consumer reporting sites to find out if these are reputable individuals or schemers looking to take advantage of honest, hard-working people.

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