Most people love the idea of being able to work from home, working the hours they choose and doing whatever it is they love. However, most people believe that all those ‘home based opportunities’ are scams. While there are plenty of scams out there, particularly on the internet, working from home is perfectly doable – from earning a little side income to earning a full-time income online. The trick is being able to spot legit opportunities from the scams.
Writing Articles and Web Content
When our first son was born, I knew I needed to find a way to make money from home. My husband worked a full-time job, we only had one car and we lived miles from town. I went through my fair share of scams, being new to the whole internet thing. I never gave up, though. I knew there had to be some way to make some extra money online.
Then one day, I stumbled across a forum full of website owners. They would discuss building sites, marketing sites, optimizing them, designing them, etc. But they also would post, looking to hire someone for different things: writing content for their site(s), social media writers, designing banners or other graphics and lots of other things.
As I started talking to some of these people, I figured I could easily research their site’s topics and write articles for them… and I’ve been doing it every since. At that time, I wasn’t making much, but it was enough to help pay bills here and there.
You may think “I’m not a writer”. But seriously. If you finished high school (and didn’t flat out fail English) then you can probably do it. We aren’t talking novels and research papers here. Simply take a topic, go read several sites to research it and write a short article about what you just learned. Pretty simple.
Doing What You Love and Getting Paid for it
There are several sites that you can offer to do things for other people and get paid. I’m sure you’ve heard of Fiverr. It got mass media attention a couple of years ago. But if you haven’t, this is a site where you can offer do whatever you love or whatever you’re good at. Buyers put the money in Escrow and when you deliver the order, you get paid.
When you first start out, you’re limited to “$5 Gigs”. That means you offer to do something for $5. If you like working with graphics, you can offer to do a banner for $5. If you’ve been working in an office and have mad Excel spreadsheet skills, you can offer to some sort of formatting for $5. You can offer to do basically anything… some odd things people have offered are holding signs up in certain locations, dressing up like a clown and dancing, singing happy birthday someone… It doesn’t seem like much, but if you build a good reputation the orders can pile up.
Also, as you progress, you’re awarded different levels. Once you get high enough, you’ll be able to add ‘addons’ to your gig and charge more.
Lots of people use Fiverr, but personally, I prefer another site that I recently found. It’s called PeoplePerHour. Here, you set your own hourly rate. You can add “hourlies”, which are just like the gigs on Fiverr, but you aren’t limited to a certain monetary amount. You can charge whatever you want. You can also browse the job listings and apply for jobs that buyers post. Some of the common jobs posted are writing, building sites, doing videos, doing powerpoint presentations, designing brochures, writing or reviewing contracts and doing voiceovers.
Can You Really Make Money from Surveys?
Yes, you can. But you have to be careful about which site or company you choose to work with. There are plenty of them that are scams, but there are legit research companies that pay you to do surveys. The downfall with some of the legit ones is that you may not qualify for many surveys. You’ll sometimes get emails asking you questions to see if you qualify for a survey. If you do, you’re in luck. In my experience, that was rarely the case. I usually didn’t have the right consumer profile for the survey. However, my neighbor was over at my house last week with her Nexus and did a survey she found through Survey Spencer. She pretty much instantly got a $50 gift card to Burger King that was sent in the mail. Sure, it’s not cash, but it’s still pretty nice to get that for 5-10 minutes of her time.
Home Based Customer Service Opportunities
Many companies have realized it’s cheaper to outsource some of their work than to bring in full-time employees. There are lots of big, well-known companies that do this. One of the largest companies that match people to work at home customer service positions is Alpine Access. According to WomansDay, they have over 7,500 customer service agents who make money working from home for different companies taking inbound service calls.
Other Work at Home Possibilities
There’s something for everyone. It’s just a matter of weeding through and finding the perfect match for you. If you like crafts and are good at making things, you can set up a store on Etsy. Heck, you can even sell your things on Amazon. Anyone can sell on Amazon, you don’t have to be a manufacturer or anything.
What do you know about? Are you an expert at anything? If so, you could become a go-to person for that subject online. You can apply to be a guide at About.com. You can apply to be an expert on JustAsk.com. You can create a course about the topic and offer it on Udemy.com.
Are you good with a computer, organized and can manage your time well? Well you just might make an awesome virtual assistant. You can try freelance sites, listing yourself as a VA. You can visit The International Virtual Assistants Association site for lots of helpful information, training and networking.
Will you make a full-time income overnight with any of the above opportunities? Most likely NO. But if keep at it, you’ll almost always find something that works for you and fits your skills, interests and time available.
If something sounds over-the-top and way too good to be true, it probably is
Check with BetterBusinessBureau to make sure a company doesn’t have tons of claims against them
Be wary of any company, site or person who isn’t easy to contact. Any legit opportunity will make it easy for you to contact them and know where they’re located