If you are a member of basically any “mom group” on Facebook, you have probably seen plenty of posts looking for real online jobs from home. You may have even been the one posting in search of the online jobs from home. No judging here, as a fellow work-from-home mom I totally get what you’re looking for! I have been working from home for almost 7 years now. I love being able to stay home with my kids, while still earning an income that supports my family.
Working at home as a stay at home mom is not easy though. I am not going to tell you that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. It can be really hard. It requires a lot of self-discipline. It’s not for everyone, but if you find the right job for you and balance it with your life, it’s totally worth it. In this post I will share my experience with working from home. Then, I will share a list of real ways that stay at home moms are making money from home.
My Experience with Online Jobs from Home
UPDATE!! As of August 14, 2020 I have officially left my salaried work-at-home job after 14 years of working for the same company!! I finally took the jump from that to taking my blog and business FULL-TIME! I will update this post very soon with more information!
The first time I “worked from home” I didn’t have kids yet. My then boyfriend (now my husband, Chris) needed to move for a job opportunity and I wanted to go with him, as we lived together. When I explained to the company that I worked for at the time that I was moving but would like to keep my job, they agreed to let me work from home, or “work remotely”. That worked out great since my entire job was web-based.
After Chris completed his commitment, we opted to move back to Naples, FL and I decided to go back into the office for work full-time. While still working in the office full time, I began a freelance web design and development business that I did on the side. I was doing really well with it, so well that I was able to save the entire down payment for our house within a year.
A few years after returning to the office full-time, our first child was born. I just could not make it work going into the office for work, and started working from home again. At that point, I was doing my full-time “salaried” position as well as my freelance web business, but all from home.
After becoming a mom, I fell in love with exercise and wanted to start turning my love of fitness into a business. I wanted to do more of what I was passionate about. Thus, my online fitness coaching business was formed. I actually still have this business, although I am not actively “working” it. The business is still profitable each month because of the work I put in during the first two years, so I am able to take a back seat on that and do something else now.
The Rest of my Journey with Online Jobs from Home
About two years ago I launched this blog as a hobby. I have always loved writing. It’s been an outlet for me since I was a child, and became a form of therapy after I lost my mom. Like my other passions, I started to realize that it would be awesome to get to do what I love and earn a living doing it, instead of having to do things I don’t enjoy just to make a buck.
I set out to learn all the things about making money as a blogger and started earning an income from my blog, which is still growing and always a work in progress. Being able to write and make money doing what I love, truly on my own schedule, and earning an income from it is a dream come true. I am also the type of person who needs to constantly learn and be challenged, and blogging does that for me. Even as someone who can build websites “from scratch”, I still learn new things almost daily in the blogging world. My nerdy heart just loves it so much.
Trying New Online Jobs from Home
There was a period within the past year where I realized I needed to be more in control of my sources of income. Most of the companies I do freelance work for have been my clients for a decade or more. It’s really easy to get too comfortable. And that’s what I did. When one of my main sources of income started slowing down, I kept telling myself it would pick back up. But, nope.
That was a hard, yet important lesson for me to learn in the world of online jobs from home…they all have pros and cons. The con of being a freelancer is that long-established work relationships can make you comfortable, yet can go away at any time with no warning. At the time, my blog was just starting to make money. I needed something to bridge the gap.
I set out on a search for online jobs from home that gave me more control. With my experience I knew that I needed something that fit these parameters:
My Requirements for a New Work at Home Job:
- Could be done any time of the day or night (’cause…kids).
- I could work as much or as little as I wanted, depending on if I had lots of freelance work come in that week, ended up with a sick kid, you know, mom life.
- Paid on a regular, agreed upon basis. (Freelance work can be tricky when you have to invoice clients and wait for payments).
- Didn’t require talking to people (because at the end of the day I am normally pretty spent and don’t have it in me).
- Did not require being on social media at all (because I get enough of that with my other businesses).
That list seems pretty unrealistic, right? But it’s actually not. This job actually exists, and I found it. I found online transcription, and it fit all of the requirements above. After doing some research, I applied for transcription companies, and got a job! I started working right away and learning the ins and outs. I loved that I was able to work as much or as little as I wanted, and got paid every week for what I did the week before.
Transcription is still one of the online jobs from home that I have on my back-burner. I am not actively doing it because I haven’t needed to, but I did it long enough that I was “promoted” so that I get first pick of the jobs as they become available. This essentially means I make more money, because I am able to pick jobs that are better quality, easier to understand, thus easier to transcribe faster. Time is money.
Now, I can pick up as many transcription jobs as I want or need if freelance work slows down, or I need to make some extra money for something specific. But, I don’t have to do it to keep the job. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
Online Jobs from Home: Picking the Right Job for You
So now you know I am a salaried, freelance, online fitness coach turned blogger with some transcription on the side. I did mention I have experience in several online jobs from home, right?
Now you just need to find the right job for you. Some people tend to think there are no “legit” online jobs from home. There are actually so many ways to work from home. This list will give you several options, but I encourage you to make your own criteria list and find the job that best fits that, even if this post is just the start of your research.
7 Online Jobs from Home
I know bloggers who make a few hundred dollars per month, some who make a few thousand per month, and some who are making over $10,000 per month. You already know I love blogging, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. If you want to learn how to get started, I wrote a tutorial. I am also happy to answer any questions you have, just leave them in the comments.
- Truly flexible schedule. You’ll need to work hard, but you are free to choose when, where and how.
- Freedom of expression. I love that I can incorporate my passions, personal life, and hobbies into blogging. It’s truly whatever I want to make it. Every blogger has their own style and vibe.
- Huge income potential. If you’re willing to put in the work over time, the income opportunity is huge.
- You need to be very self-disciplined and create a plan for what you’ll do each day to grow your blog. Like any other business, it takes work to build up and maintain.
- You won’t start making money right away. If you need to make money now, don’t expect to launch a blog and be rich next week. It’s a long game.
- You need to learn, a lot. Not just you. Me too. Actually, this is a con for some, but for me it’s a pro. I love learning and challenging myself all the time. Before I started monetizing my blog I had already built countless websites, had hobby blogs in the past, work with SEO, coding, basically all things internet. I would say I am way more experienced and familiar with the technical parts of the blogging world than 90% of bloggers when they started out. Yet, I have had to learn a lot. I have taken online courses for the things I need to learn more about. Like I said, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
To get started as a blogger, learn how to launch your website. Next, you’ll just want to START. Waiting until you know everything is the best way to fail at blogging. Start writing, adding content, experimenting, and learn as you go. Any questions, feel free to email me or leave them in the comments. I’m always happy to help if I can!
While you are learning, here are some of my favorite courses and resources for bloggers:
- Blogcabulary Plus: The ultimate blogging terminology, reference and resource book.
EBOOK: How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate PRINTABLE PLANNER: Smart Blog Planner
- The BEST Affiliate Marketing Course for Bloggers
- Pinteresting Strategies (The course that taught me exactly how to get website traffic from Pinterest)
Online transcription is one of my favorite online jobs from home for stay at home moms. You need to be a fast typer, pay good attention to detail, and be okay with the tedious nature of the business.
I type about 80 WPM, but it’s a bit lower while transcribing because of the nature of the work. I did the math and on average I make about $.53 per transcribed minute. To give you an idea, I was making about $200-$250 per week for transcribing around 400 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less). This is why I only transcribe when I don’t have a lot of freelance work. I get paid $65 per hour on average for my freelance work, so it’s more profitable to focus on that work when I have it. However, $200-$250 per week might be just what you are looking for!
- Easy start up. You just need to apply for a transcription job online and pass the company’s tests to get started.
- Reliable, regular payments. Each transcription company is different. Some pay weekly, some bi-weekly, etc. The pro is that you’ll know upfront when you will be getting paid for your work.
- Flexibility. You can work as much or as little as you want. Some weeks you may work more, some less. The flexibility is great for stay at home moms!
- You can do it any time of the day or night, as long as you meet your deadlines. Typically you’ll claim a job and each job will have it’s own deadline you’ll need to meet.
- The income potential isn’t as high as some of the other options on this list. The faster you type and the more efficient you become, the more you’ll make as you get paid per transcribed minute.
- The work can be tedious. I’ve found taking frequent breaks helps. Also, the more you do it the more tricks you learn to become more efficient.
- You need things to be quiet around you while transcribing. I typically transcribe while the kids are sleeping. It’s definitely not something you can do with kinds playing all around you.
To get started, start applying for transcription companies. If you pass the tests, you could work for multiple companies to increase available work! Here are some transcription companies to apply for:
Personally, I have never been a scopist. However, I read about it and found it fascinating.
Scopists edit files created by court reporters of depositions, court cases, hearings, and other proceedings. The Internet Scoping School is the place to start if you want to become a scopist.
I like this online job because it’s a legit job that people are making full-time incomes doing, and it’s not something you hear about every single day. Also, there is likely less competition in this market because less people know about it. At least, I had never heard of it before I researched online jobs from home.
- Scoping is a stable work-at-home career that’s been around for more than 30 years, but most people have never even heard of it.
- Scoping can be done at any time of the day, from anywhere (anywhere with wifi, that is).
- Scoping pays well. Right out of ISS, a well-trained scopist can earn $30,000 per year and then work their way to up $50-60,000 per year.
- While scoping does not require a degree or even a certification, it does require training. That is where the Internet Scoping School comes in to play. While having to pay for training can be considered a con compared to some other online jobs from home, you could also consider it a pro because that also means less people are willing to do it.
- There is some start-up expense. Besides paying for training, you will also need the scoping software. While it can feel expensive to get started, remember all of these things are tax deductible.
- It requires some skill. Not everyone is going to make a good scopist. Scoping is a great job for someone who enjoys reading, writing, language and has great attention to detail.
5. Online Teaching
If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can teach English online from the comfort of your home. I have several friends who do this. They are all former teachers who are now stay-at-home moms. This is great for anyone who enjoys teaching!
- You set your own availability and know your schedule ahead of time, as you are “booked”.
- The income is good for a work-at-home job, $14-22 dollars per hour!
- You still get the rewarding feeling from teaching children, while you get to stay home with your own kids!
- While you set your own availability, you are still working within the timezones of children in other countries. This means that most teaching times are early morning or late at night. While this is a con for some, it actually works well in that your kids will probably be sleeping!
- You must have a bachelor’s degree to apply. However, it doesn’t have to be education related. Your degree can be in any field.
- You have to be on video chat to teach. While some don’t mind this, it’s a definite con for others. Some prefer online jobs from home where they don’t actually have to see or talk to people directly. If that’s you, this is not the job for you.
I recently interviewed my good friend who has been teaching from home for almost 3 years. You can read the inside scoop on what it’s like to teach from home here.
Related: How to Work from Home with Kids: 10 Tips to be Productive and Stay Sane
4. Network Marketing
There are lots of perks to network marketing. While some people don’t consider it to be a “real job”, it’s pretty real to those making real money in this business. I have personally been in networking marketing, and because I worked pretty hard at it for a while I have been “inactively” collecting paychecks weekly for quite a while now. It’s important to find the right network marketing company to get involved with, and “right” really varies depending on personal preference. If you’re thinking about getting into network marketing, here are the top five things I think you should consider before you take the plunge.
- You truly do make your own hours. Work as much as you want, whenever you want.
- Super low start up costs. Most network marketing companies have very low start up costs. Where as in a traditional business you may have to put in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it going, network marketing is low risk in the investment area.
- If you’re into travel, most network marketing companies offer trip incentives in the form of fully or partially paid trips to different locations every year.
- I think there is a misconception that you start making tons of money right away with network marketing, and that’s just not true. While not impossible, and some people have made it happen, it’s more common that you have to work hard at it and build up momentum (like any other business) before you start seeing a return on investment (investment meaning time and money).
- Haters. Yes, I just said haters. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who just flat out hate network marketing and are going to judge you if you become involved in it. That’s just something you have to be willing to accept, ’cause Susie doesn’t pay your bills so Susie shouldn’t decide how you live your life.
- Consistency is key. This isn’t really a con in my mind, but it can be a con if you aren’t disciplined enough to be consistent. In my experience, if you want to be successful with network marketing it requires doing the same very simple tasks consistently over time. So basically, you do X number of things every single day (even when you don’t feel like it) and over time, you start to see results. The con is that most people give up before they see any results.
If you are interested in network marketing online jobs from home, read some interviews I’ve done with moms who are running successful network marketing businesses from home:
- How this Stay-at-Home-Mom Built a Thriving Beauty Business at Home with Her Kids
- How this Mom Makes Money from Home with Norwex
- How this Mom Makes over $7,000/month from Home with 5 Kids
5. Selling Online:
There are several different ways to sell online. You can sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, or start your own website using something like Shopify as your back-end for e-commerce. As for what to sell, that’s up to you! Some people buy and sell books, some actually create products like jewelry or art, and some find discounted products in bulk and sell on Amazon for profit.
- There is a lot of flexibility in that you choose what to sell and at what volume. If you’re just looking to make some extra cash, this could be a part-time gig or hobby. If you’re looking to build a serious business you could scale it as well.
- You have no boss, no real deadlines, and no one telling you what you can and can’t do.
- If you enjoy shopping, chances are you will enjoy buying and selling. Or, if you are creative and good at creating art, jewelry, home decor, or anything else, you could potentially turn your passion into a business.
- You’ll need to be good at (or become good at) marketing and promoting your shop, whether it be on Ebay, Etsy, or your own site. If you have no visitors, you get no sales.
- You have no boss and no real deadlines, so you’ll need to be dedicated and consistent to make any money.
- If you aren’t creative then chances are you won’t be selling things you make. Also, if you hate shopping (like me) then chances are you will not enjoy searching for product at discounted prices that you resell. Like everything else on this list, it’s not for everyone.
6. Virtual Assistant:
Becoming a virtual assistant is a one of the most popular online jobs from home. It may be popular because there are so many different options for VA work, and you can choose what your specialty is based on your skills. You can also learn new skills and get paid to do those things as well.
- You set your own schedule and availability. If you want to work 20 hours per week, find enough work to fill those hours and no more. Or, if you want to make X amount of money, find enough work to make that amount per month and don’t take on anymore.
- Choose what you do. Some VAs offer a long list of services, and others just do one thing. For example, there are some VAs who only work on Pinterest for bloggers. Other VAs only do accounting related tasks. Some focus on Excel, others on social media. You get the point. Figure out what your speciality is, and become the best at it. Build a client base, and there you have it, a real online job from home.
- Set your own rate. As a VA, you will set your own rate. I recommend researching the going rates for whatever services you’ll be offering, and then deciding what yours will be.
- You need to find clients. Ideally, you will find clients that give you on-going work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Otherwise, you’ll be in constant “searching for clients” mode and that’s no fun. Don’t expect to announce that you are a VA and then be fully booked on day one, or day thirty. It will take time to find the right clients.
- You may be tempted to put fifty things on your list of services. The thinking that if you can do more you will get more clients is not necessarily the right mindset. In my opinion from the research I have done, it’s better to find one to three things that you can master and just do those things. This will not only get you more referrals, (’cause you’re the master, remember?) but it will also help you become more efficient in the work you do. Therefore, you’ll make more money by spending less time getting the job done.
- Stay prepared for things to change. Once you build up that clientele, you can’t really lay back and think you have it made in the shade. Things change all the time in business and life, and those clients of yours can drop you at any time. Now, having a good contract in place will protect you with at least some sort of formal notice and fair payment. However, you can’t rely on X number of clients to pay your rent. Save up just in case you need to replace a client here and there and it takes some time.
7. Freelance Writer:
If you love to write, becoming a freelance writer could be the perfect online job from home for you. I really believe that anything we enjoy doing we are more likely to become successful at. It just makes sense, right? All businesses and jobs get tough sometimes, we know we can at least count on that. If you love what you do though, when things are tough you are more likely to stick it out.
If you are looking for work as a freelance writer, check out WritersWork.
- If you love to write, you will be making money doing something you love. This is always a great thing.
- You can work as much or as little as you want. Freelance writers can get one-time jobs, on-going gigs, and even make money writing on their own website or even a book.
- You set your rate. Of course there are industry standards and norms for freelance writing rates, but once you have experience you can up your rate a bit, or change it depending upon the type of the project.
- Like being a virtual assistant or really any other freelancer, you need to find clients or jobs. The opportunities are out there, you just have to be willing to look for them. I once got paid $64 for writing three paragraphs about a resort (a resort I had never been to, by the way).
- Unless you land some major on-going clients, write a book that becomes popular, or monetize your own website and write for it, you are going to need to be in constant search of clients or “gigs” to keep the money flowing in.
- Writer’s block. It gets me sometimes, and it can be really difficult to work through with the looming pressure of a writing deadline. You’ll need some good exercises or routines to shake the writer’s block.
Another good thing about online jobs from home? You don’t have to do just one. Now, I don’t recommend starting all of these things at one time. Focus is good. However, I do believe it’s always good to have options open, just like I keep my transcription “job” active by making sure I do enough minutes to stay active in a 120 period. I may not need that job right now, but I might need it in the future. A back up plan is always a good thing.
Have questions about online jobs from home or have other ideas that should be on the list? Leave them in the comments!
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Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.