Before I get into discussing specifics about companies and industries for working from home, I feel it is necessary to give the general categories of ways to work from home.
I hope whatever you choose, it will be something you enjoy as much as her.
Work From Home Jobs
The first of the ways to work from home that I want to discuss is Jobs. We will categorize this as any employment opportunity where you are paid for your time, or paid directly for your output, in which the work fits within this website’s criteria of being done at home.
Most of these jobs will probably include working on a computer on the internet, but there may be others that involve telephone work exclusively, or even jobs where people come into your home to meet with you.
I don’t know if that’s a thing. Maybe if you’re Nero Wolfe, the famous fictional detective.
There are lots of companies who hire people to do work for them, but at home. We could generally divide these opportunities into two types: Ones where you will be an employee or an independent contractor.
This is mostly a legal distinction with respect to tax filing rules with the Internal Revenue Service (in the United States – I am not that familiar with the relevant structures and rules in other countries).
Basically, if you are an employee, your employer chooses your hours and directs the work that you do, and they will withhold income tax and other deductions required by the government entity from the amount they pay you. If you are an independent contractor, you are more flexible to choose your schedule and what you do with your time, but you are on your own for the required financial and tax obligations.
A popular employee niche is telephone support jobs. In this type of work, my past research has shown that you generally have to have a dedicated landline and a wired internet connection all the way to your computer, and you have to be patient and have good communication skills on the phone, but if you fit these standards and are looking to be paid for your time this is a good option.
Other employment positions at home include computer programmers, writing jobs, and a lot of different sales jobs. I briefly did an online audio transcription job, in which each project had a specific payment amount, rather than being paid per hour, but that would fall into this category too.
There are also jobs that involve teaching over the internet. One popular niche for this is teaching English.
I will be looking into this some more, as I know someone who has experience doing this. If you are not doing this for an established company but are running your own business and finding your own students, this will fall under a different category – the Education Business.
There are also many companies in which you have to start out working at their office, but can later transition into doing your work all or part of the time from home. You have to prove yourself to these companies first. I’m not going to spend much time on this type of employment, but I may touch on it once in a while, as I also know people whose work fits this description.
Work From Home Business
Now we will get into the various types of Work From Home Businesses. There are so many types of businesses that I decided to divide them into major categories. In a business there are various forms of payment, but you are generally not paid by the hour unless you are involved in a service, and even then it depends on the details of the business.
In most businesses, you will start out not making any money, but later on you could find that your income gradually builds up
to the point where it exceeds anything you could have earned from a job.
Affiliate Marketing (Get Paid for Referrals)
Affiliate marketing is a very popular way to make money online, and it fits all the right criteria because you can do it from anywhere, including at home.
Affiliate Marketing is about making commissions by referring people to buy other people’s products. They could be physical products, as in Amazon.com, or digital products, as with such popular websites as ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, or even a website membership such as WealthyAffiliate.com or various Social Media sites that pay for referrals.
If there’s a website that has a paid membership level, even if most people use a free access membership, they probably have a referral program for membership upgrades.
There are so many possibilities within the Affiliate Marketing space that I will probably need several articles just to cover the most popular ones – I am sure I could never cover every opportunity that exists as new ones are constantly being created.
A very popular way to practice Affiliate Marketing is by writing a blog.
You include your affiliate link in the writing, and if anyone clicks on the link and buys the product you are credited with a referral. The passive nature of this transaction makes it very popular.
You can also include affiliate links in email messages you send to a list of subscribers, or use this with a podcast, or YouTube video channel, or even just from social media postings.
Ideally, the strongest chances of making good income from this would involve all of these technologies.
The more people see your content, the more you will make with this method, and you also want to make sure your content is helpful to people and well-written.
One way to focus on being helpful is to not include affiliate links in every message or post, at least while you’re getting started. You always want to be upfront about the fact that you are being compensated for the products you promote.
Also, in affiliate marketing, you will make the most money if you establish a good reputation by only promoting products you really find to be useful and good. Choose the products carefully so that you are promoting things that pay a decent commission and that people actually are looking for.
Affiliate Marketing really appeals to me, and it will be one of the main focuses of this website, which is why I listed it first under Businesses. Look for more articles about affiliate marketing coming soon.
A more traditional approach than Affiliate Marketing, but also often used on blogs, websites, videos, and podcasts is to run paid advertisements. This will be most effective when you have visitors to your content already. It can scare off some readers, so you want to be careful which ads you run and how they are placed. Consider carefully which types of products will appeal to your audience.
Advertising would also include paying to promote your blog or website on Social Media. If you decide to do this, be careful with targeting your ads to the right audience, start small and scale up only as you see actual return from previous advertising. Otherwise, you can lose a lot of money on ads that don’t work.
Rewards and Survey Programs
I don’t really recommend these unless you’re not looking for a large income and have a lot of time to put into it, or if you already spend a lot of money online it can be worth it also.
There are many store-based rewards programs where you earn points or even money amounts for buying various products. There are apps (for smartphones) and websites where you can earn points at many different stores.
However, it takes quite a while to earn enough points to get a payout, and many of these programs only pay out with gift cards. If you can choose a gift card that will take the place of some spending you already do, it might be worth it. Some programs do pay out money directly, but only after you reach a certain threshold.
One con of many of these programs is that you have to give them personal information, or an email address, and you may then start getting a lot of messages with new opportunities. Many of these limit how many opportunities you can get so the income potential is quite limited, and you will have to do multiple programs to make a sufficient income at it.
I will not spend much time on these, particularly as a lot of the reward programs involve traveling to physical stores. You can earn points for buying online as well, as this can be done from home, but it is not an income opportunity unless you are already planning to spend the money and have the discipline to not buy stuff you don’t need just to earn points to buy more stuff you don’t need.
Running an Online Store
This is another popular way to make money online. You can drop ship products (where someone else stores them and ships them and charges you only when a customer makes a purchase) or you can set up an online store website that redirects people onto Amazon.com, Walmart.com, target.com, or many other retail outlets with online ordering websites (whether they are brick-and-mortar physical stores too).
If you do this second option you will be making your money as an affiliate of Amazon or other online businesses with Affiliate programs, so it falls into both of these categories.
Running an Online Service Business
There are many services that can be done from your own home. You can be a digital assistant, do video editing or creation, proofread, edit, or write content including ebooks, making phone calls, recording audio or music, or creating or editing websites (and other computer programming), as just a few examples.
Creating and Selling Your Own Products
If you are an artist, a musician, or a craftsman, or photographer, you can make money online by selling what you make. You could even design games, or write a computer app.
There are many websites that specialize in these opportunities, and I will be researching to find the best ones, but it can also be very difficult to make any money in these areas. It may require some travel as well.
Creating Online Education
Making your own educational content or videos is another popular way to make money online, which can be done from home. This could be via YouTube, or various other existing platforms, or you could create your own platform and website.
If you already have specialized knowledge in some area, this could work out very well for you. If not, the Internet opens the door for learning about whatever you want to know about. In the future I will be writing about Online Education programs, both ones that help you earn money, and those that just expand the mind and explore ideas to improve your life and the world in other ways.
Running a Coaching Program
I could have included this with Online Services, but I think it is so popular that it deserves its own category. It differs from Online Education in that you have two-way and often one-on-one communication with the people viewing the content. In other words, it’s more hands-on than just creating a course.
If you have good detailed knowledge of any skill, you can create a coaching program that teaches others how to do the same thing. Then you get the revenue from people paying to join your program.
Alternatively, you can join someone else’s coaching program, in which case you are more likely to be paid just for your referrals, but it has the big advantage that you don’t have to run the program and are more likely to be able to participate in it part-time.
I have left this category for last because I don’t really recommend it. I’ve joined various programs and not done very well with them, and the vast majority of people joining these companies lose money rather than make it.
You have to be really committed and make a lot of sales to make any income from this type of opportunity. Some of them do have good training, and some of them may have good health products, or cosmetics, but I’m assuming most people reading this want to join a business in order to make money.
If you want to try out this category, I recommend you do a lot of research first.
One useful tool that I have come across in my past business efforts is a free program (Mentoring For Free) that is specifically focused on MLMs and was created by MLM leaders wanting to give back to people in the industry.
Their program includes an ebook and weekly calls, and a website for discussion of the book “Think and Grow Rich”, a classic by Napoleon Hill. MFF helps you evaluate MLM opportunities to find ones that are good. There is no charge for participating in any of these programs, but you can become a mentor if you wish and then there are multiple payment levels.
I ultimately decided not to go into any MLM, but if I did I would undoubtedly have used their research tools to choose a company.
Just so you know, I do not make anything for people going to this program. I am not paid for referrals, but I found them to be sincere and honest and hope they can be helpful for some of my readers.
MLM products tend to be priced a little higher in order to pay commissions up multiple levels, the commission payment structures can be very complex, and some of them are undoubtedly scams, so you want to exercise extreme caution here.
Possible Other Categories
I’m sure there are other categories of businesses that I have not included here, but I will add more categories as I come up with more ways to make money from home. Some other topics I may write about in the future include
- Trading, or buying and selling financial assets
- and Dealmaking, which I might also call Bundling or Connection, not sure if there’s a good name for this type of business arrangement. I’m referring to someone who finds an opportunity for payment, buys it and then finds a new buyer (at a higher price) and gets out of the deal. In this type of business you get paid for finding the opportunity that other people didn’t see.
- These two potential categories are both riskier than the categories I outlined above. You can lose a lot of money doing these if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t follow a careful plan for minimizing your risk.
- There are scams in this type of space so you want to be very careful, but I have heard of some legitimate investment businesses especially in real estate where they specialize in making deals or invest with other people’s money. I’m not sure you could do the real estate version of this from your home exclusively, but this is another category for future research.
One additional category I am only starting to hear about is websites (platforms) where you get paid directly for writing popular content. I plan to do some of this myself.
I hope you have found this information useful. Stay tuned as I will start to dig into individual categories.