Are there flexible and well paid work from home jobs?
When I was half way through my maternity leave, I started getting anxiety about the idea of going back to work and leaving my baby in daycare.
I kept thinking about how she wouldn’t be able to tell me if anything goes wrong. I would miss the major milestones.
Daycare is also expensive! After daycare costs, there would not be much leftover for paying the mortgage.
I needed to explore the option of working from home. What work from home job has both
- flexible hours for a parent with a kid or multiple kids and
- good pay to not only cover the cost of living, but generate savings (if you have early retirement goals like us)
I did a lot of research. There are various work from home jobs mentioned online. Which ones are legitimate and successfully working?
The answer I heard about over and over again was that stay at home moms and dads were doing multiple work from home jobs. That’s how they made it work.
The advantages of many of these jobs are:
- You’re your own boss
- You choose your hours and work as little or as often as you’d like. You can work part time, full time or contract.
- Many of these jobs can be done online so you only need a laptop and an internet connection
Some of these are jobs require no experience or investment.
If you’re a stay at home parent or a person who’s looking for this type of lifestyle, here are 11 legitimate work-from-home jobs.
This is a long list! I’ve tried to cover a wide range of options so that you can select the ones that make sense for you.
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1. Become a Virtual Assistant
There seems to be this misunderstanding about what a Virtual Assistant does.
A Virtual Assistant offers a service to a client for money. It could be managing email, scheduling appointments, bookkeeping, graphic design, social media management, research, content creation etc. It could be an online or offline task.
People are hiring Virtual Assistants because they can pay for just the amount of hours worked – saving them time and money. With more online entrepreneurs, this field is increasingly in demand.
If you’re interested in this field, Gina is an expert in this field and talks about How to Become a Virtual Assistant: Everything You Need to Know here.
2. Become a Transcriber
If you have a good handle on the english language, transcribing is a great gig. Transcription is the process of writing down what someone is saying.
You can work from home. Take breaks whenever you want. Work as little or as much as you’d like. It’s entirely up to you.
Legal transcriptionists make on average $65,000 USD. If you own a transcription business and subcontract, some make over $100,000 USD.
There is high demand as everything is moving digitally. Many businesses have audio or video content to be transcribed. Even court reporters use transcriptionists for their audio recordings because it’s more efficient!
If you think that transcription might be losing its demand due to voice recognition technology, keep in mind that this technology can’t punctuate or understand context. Its capabilities are limited.
If you want transcription done properly, you need a transcriptionist.
While there are companies like TranscribeMe that don’t require transcription certification or prior experience, the pay is minimal.
If you want to make good money, TranscribeAnywhere offers a course that will teach you how to transcribe properly. It’ll take around 2-4 months.
There’s a free mini intro course that gives you a taste of what it’s like to see if transcription is for you.
Check out my interview with transcription expert Janet Shaughnessy for more information about transcription.
3. Become a Proofreader
Along the same lines, you can work from home as a proofreader. Proofreading is taking content other people have written and editing it to make it perfect.
If you’re the type of person who is always catching typos and cringe when you see things misspelled, proofreading might be for you. It takes a certain sharp eye for proofreading.
Due to the popularity of self-publishing, proofreading is an up and coming profession. An interesting thing about proofreading is that you can even do it from your tablet!
Like transcription, there is a course that will teach you how to proofread well, but more importantly how to become a profitable proofreading business. At ProofreadAnywhere, you’ll learn exactly how to find clients, structure your work days, and run a successful proofreading business.
It has a free mini intro course that you can try out.
4. Become a Scopist
Scoping is probably the work at home job most people haven’t heard of!
Scoping is editing legal transcripts for court reporters. It’s different from proofreading in that scopers often work on the initial draft whereas proofreaders work on the final draft. This profession has been around for over 30 years.
Court reporters hire scopists to help them save time so they can take on more jobs (and make more money) or just have more time for themselves.
As scoping is a niche field, you need formal training. The Internet Scoping School offers a free mini intro course to learn about scoping.
You can decide from there if you want to commit to the full course and pursue a career in scoping. What makes them unique is that they are the only scoping course that includes lifetime access to support and all content updates in their tuition fee.
Check out my interview with successful scopist Robin Newberger for more information about scoping.
5. Start a Blog
There are millions of blogs online and many fail or take years to become successful.
There are also many blogs that have earned a full time income within 1 year! These bloggers are people who have no prior experience blogging. They don’t have technical expertise, which is something I was concerned about because I’m not tech-saavy!
They do it in their spare time. This is not their full-time job even though they’re earning a full-time income from it.
They’re writing about everyday topics from their own perspective. Subjects like making and saving money, parenthood, food, fashion.
Blogging is quite affordable to start. You can get Siteground web hosting for a WordPress site for as low as $3.95/month.
In terms of the blog monetization potential, this is something I’m still figuring out.
I just started my blog in October 2018. I love writing and learning new things so blogging is a good fit regardless of if I earn money from it. It would be great to cover my blogging costs. I’m excited to learn how I can best monetize the site.
If you’re interested in learning how to start a blog, I’ve detailed my strategies and steps for starting a blog in 2018 here.
6. Become a Referrer or Affiliate for a Program
Is there a product or service you recommend often because it’s just that worthwhile and you want the people in your life to benefit from it too?
Consider becoming a referrer or affiliate for it. Since you’re already raving about it, you might as well get paid for it.
There are many companies that have structured affiliate programs from large familiar household names like Amazon Associates to affiliate marketing networks like Shareasale that partner with over 4000 merchants including NBAStore.com – the official online shop of the NBA or Gymboree.
A program I like is Ebates.com (if you’re a U.S. resident) or Ebates.ca (if you’re Canadian). Ebates is a site that companies can advertise on. These companies pay Ebates a commission for sending customers to them.
Each time you refer a friend to Ebates, you get $5. If you refer more than 10 people, you get additional bonuses!
It’s a win win because your friend that you referred also makes money. For U.S. residents, Ebates will give them a welcome bonus of $10 after making their first online purchase of $25 or more! For Canadian residents, Ebates will give them a welcome bonus of $5.
Ebates is affiliated with over 2500 affiliated companies (in the U.S.) and 750 companies (in Canada) including Amazon, eBay, Expedia, and Groupon. Your friend is probably already shopping with them on a regular basis or will certainly be over the holiday season. Sending them to Ebates is just ensuring they don’t leave money on the table.
I’ve heard some people make a killing in affiliate marketing. They promote products on email, their social media pages and website. You’ll notice on my website, this is something I’m trying.
One thing I would caution on is don’t sign up for every affiliate program available. I only signed up for affiliate programs I’ve done my research on and genuinely recommend and trust.
Also, some companies have strict rules on where they allow affiliate promotion e.g. some don’t allow for promotion on social media pages. Make sure you read through the program rules to ensure you’re abiding by them.
Related Affiliate Program articles:
- The affiliate programs I got approved for and rejected from as a new blogger
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7. Buy and Sell items
I’ve done this on a small scale for the last year.
It’s a great way to get rid of clutter in the house and make a hundred dollars or more each month.
If you want to earn a full-time income from this, Melissa and Rob at Flea Market Flipper are experts in this field. In 2015, they made just over $42,000 only working 5-15 hours/week.
In 2016, they made $133,000 flipping items working 20-30 hours per week.
Here are some of the items they’ve flipped:
- Old radio: bought for $15, sold for $200
- Base jumping vest: bought for $10, sold for $200
- Double stroller: bought for $90, sold for $380
- Carousel horse: bought for $175, sold for $1299
- Patio set: bought for $50, sold for $2100
Whether you’re just starting out or ready to up your selling game, they have a few courses where they teach you their secrets.
They have their signature courses at Flipper University. If you want to hone specific skills, they have courses on furniture flipping, freight and general shipping.
8. Sell a multi-level marketing (MLM) product
While on maternity leave, I met many moms that were selling products from MLM companies. Think of any product and there’s an MLM in existence.
To be honest, when I first heard about MLMs, the first thought I had was how there’s still this negative connotation with MLMs being pyramid schemes.
The other day, I heard an MLM mom saying “But what do you think any company’s structure is? It’s a pyramid.”
When you do research, you realize that pyramid schemes are often illegal. The difference is that a pyramid scheme primarily makes money from member recruitment and MLMs make money from the actual products and services.
An MLM is just like any other well-known company marketing products and services. Their marketing methods are just usually through sales consultants.
If you’re interested in MLMs, the first thing you should do is ensure that the MLM is legitimate. Do thorough research!
Secondly, find a product you love. If the start-up cost and monthly quota are low, you’ll better manage your profitability.
I’ve met MLM moms who struggle to meet their monthly quotas. There are also moms that are making an excellent living. Some of the richest women in the country are involved in MLMs.
Some of these successful people have blogs so they don’t even have to host parties and ask their friends and family to try the product. They just post it on their blog. They have a wider reach because they’re online. Selling a product and being a blogger = good pairing!
9. Become a Stella & Dot Stylist
Do you have a passion for jewelry, purses, accessories and leggings?
Stella & Dot is one such MLM for fashion and design enthusiasts. Some people join as a Stylist because they want to make money from home. Others join because they want the discount for themselves.
As a Stylist, you earn between 25-35% sales commission depending on how much you sell in a single month. If you recruit others to become Stylists, you earn a % of their sales.
If you’re purchasing for yourself, you can earn between 25-50% discount on the product.
To join as a Stylist, you must purchase a starter kit from the company. The cheapest one is $199, which comes with $350 worth of product. Using your kit products, you can host parties to share the products or sell through your own Stella & Dot website.
Stylists have access to sales and marketing training, coaching from their sponsor, and a network of stylists for advice.
If you’re an independent Stylist with no team beneath you, there’s no sales quota. If you have a team of Stylists, you will need to sell $500/quarter as you’re leading by example.
They have a customer-focused “delight guarantee”. They offer free and easy returns and exchanges if the customer is unhappy with how the product is worn.
I first heard about Stella & Dot from a classmate who shared her recent experience at a friend’s “trunk show”. It’s a casual party where girlfriends get together, explore accessories and get advice from stylists. She was raving about how much she enjoyed it. She’s not a Stella & Dot Stylist.
I was surprised to find out how it works is the Stylist asks a friend to host the “trunk show”. That friend/hostess provides the house, invites their friends, and gets free accessories and 50% off for their efforts. The Stylist brings the samples and lookbook, and gets the commissions on the sales. It’s a win win.
Of course the Stylist can also be the hostess and earn both the free accessories and commissions!
If you’re interested, you can learn more about Stella & Dot here.
10. Sell T-Shirt Designs
If you love to doodle and design, you could sell t-shirt designs online.
Selling your designs sounds like it requires graphic design skills and photoshop expertise. It certainly helps if you have that skill. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create designs that sell on Redbubble.
Redbubble is an online marketplace selling designs on various products.
How it works is:
- Designers start a shop and upload their designs (which is all free for you to do)
- Customers find a design on a product they want (the design can go on a shirt, pillow case, phone case etc.)
- Redbubble prints and ships it
- Designers get paid a 10-20% royalty
Redbubble handles all of the customer service (including complaints and returns) and marketing (including remarketing).
If you have an existing portfolio on your other social media accounts or website, you can indicate these on your shop page and build your customer base.
You can learn more about Redbubble here.
11. Become a cooking instructor
Are you passionate about healthy cooking?
I just stumbled across Healthy Hands Cooking (HHC). I love the idea of teaching people of all ages – from kids to seniors – how to cook healthy meals in a home kitchen.
Some parents are too busy or just don’t know how to teach their kids the fundamentals of good, healthy food and cooking.
HHC shows you how to teach children about healthy cooking and nutrition with hands-on and fun culinary activities and games. You can teach cooking classes at birthday parties or hold cooking camps.
The HHC Instructor Certification is an online program that you complete at your own pace. It teaches the principles of business start-up, food handling safety, class structure, marketing and more.
After you finish Instructor Certification, you can join the HHC membership and receive ongoing class tools, 300+ recipes, and access to a private Facebook Instructor group.
You’ll have everything you need to know from scheduling classes to online payments to recipes designed for your audience.
For your HHC provided website, you are even allowed to offer your very own “Non-HHC” classes such as kids yoga, fitness classes, AND wellness talks.
If you only want to earn a little bit of side cash quickly and easily each day, here’s a list of legitimate survey companies with user-friendly sites that I’ve personally tried and liked:
I just found out about these other companies from reputable and trusted bloggers that you might also want to check out.
Here are the ones in the U.S.:
- Inbox Dollars ($5 sign up bonus)
- Panda Research ($3 sign up bonus)
- Cash Crate
- Vindale Research
Here are the ones in Canada:
The more companies you join, the more surveys you’ll qualify for taking. If you like taking surveys and being able to voice your opinion and know that it’ll make a difference with brands and products, taking surveys might be right up your alley.
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