12 Work-from-Home Plans That Actually Work

by Vincent King · 11 comments

Working from home

Are you sick of work-from-home scams? Do you really want to earn some extra cash?

People have been trying to work from home for years. Yet with so many online scams, it’s hard to know which are truly legitimate.

There are ads in newspapers and magazines offering you opportunities to make money by forwarding emails. All you have to do is pay $29.99, and you’ll have access to thousands of companies in dire need of your help.

Really? No, thanks.

If it sounds too easy, it’s probably fake. Skip searching through endless seas of illegitimate work-from-home scams and use this guide to help you earn the extra cash you want — without losing money to third-party rip-off artists.

12 Work-from-Home Plans That Work

1. Web designer – The boom in online businesses means a boom in the design industry. Some people have even quit their day jobs and become full-fledged business owners — just by playing around with Photoshop. Don’t know how to code a website? Get a free education from CodeAcademy. There are also tutorials on YouTube and many blogs that can teach you the basics of design.

2. Writer – Elance, Odesk and Craigslist are all places to find legitimate writing gigs — with everything from writing education curriculums to reviews of products, or even blog posts. The sky’s the limit when you know where to look.

3. Editor – Better at spotting punctuation errors than writing the original piece? Those same sites (Elance, Odesk and Craigslist) list jobs for editors, as well.

4. Affiliate marketer – If you already have a website, selling products through Amazon and other resources can earn you as much as 50% of the selling price.

5. Handmade retailer – If you have an eye for beauty and a hand to help produce it, consider opening an Etsy shop. Be aware; you’ll need a little investment in equipment. Handmade craft shots taken with your iPhone may not cut it in quality and your sales will suffer. Maximize your success by studying what makes for better product photos and sales pages, then implement what you learn.

6. Transcriptionist – If you can make the approximate $3,000 investment in the training, this can work for you. As with most work-from-home situations, you’ll still need to network for new clients, which can be difficult in an overflowing market of transcriptionists. However, you can step outside the box and offer video transcription for YouTube users and companies broadcasting their videos, as well.

7. Virtual assistant – There are loads of places to get VA training, so be sure to assess the site carefully and check their reviews. Join VA forums and find out who offers the best training at the best prices. VA forums are also a great place to discover job openings.

8. Customer service agent – With a little equipment, you can receive and settle customer service and tech support calls for a call center. Some companies will require a dedicated landline with features like call waiting. A quiet space to work is an absolute must. Kids yelling and screaming in the background of your customer service calls are a certain way to lose your position.

9. Online teacher/tutor – Tutor.com and other tutoring sites need tutors, and many can make hundreds each month. Online teaching usually requires an active teaching certificate, where tutoring doesn’t. Either way, be prepared to take some testing and go through background checks before getting started.

10. ESL teacher – Through sites like YouCanTeachEnglish.com or americantesol.com, you can find places to train for your teaching certification in ESL and get certified in a few months. If you don’t want to wait, find language learning groups online and set up your own Skype-based business. You can charge per hour to tutor or teach English as a second language to students all around the world.

11. Survey taker – You won’t get rich taking surveys, but if you’re interested in bringing in a bit of extra cash while you’re parked in front of the TV, cashcrate.com, Ipsos I say, and Opinion Outpost are three reputable sites that will pay for your thoughts.

12. Focus group member – Paid focus groups have you test products and report on your findings. You can earn as much as $75 – $150 for reporting on products you already use or are sent. Focusgroup.com, findfocusgroups.com and paidfocusgroups.net are three sites where you can connect with companies who will pay for your reviews.

What are some of your favorite ways to earn money from home?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Sharad Gupta says:

    You are right Elance, Odesk and Craigslist are best options for work from home.

  • Rochelle says:

    Were can I find a customer service job that I can do from home that pays. If there anyone who knows company’s that hire and are looking for people can you please give me the info so that I can get in touch I thank you in advance

  • Chickadee33 says:

    I’ve been doing focus groups for many years but when I was unemployed for 10 months I signed up for as many as I could find. I signed up for medical studies too. I made about $1500 in 10 months. It’s not enough to make a huge difference but it certainly helped pay my expenses and took some of the panic away. While you can find some focus group opportunities online, you’ll find that most of the focus groups are centered around the big cities.

  • Sandy Chen says:

    I work my own part-time business running a weight loss support group on a popular social media site and as a distributor of a supplement that helps with all kinds of issues related to weight gain. I was lucky to have come across it through a family member who successfully lost a lot of post-baby weight on it, otherwise I would have thought it was a scam lol. I had never heard of network marketing before but in this case I got really lucky with a product that really does work, a team of leaders who know what they are doing and how to train the people under them and real people with real testimonials of how they successfully improved their health and lost weight to back the product up. We have to be a product of the product in order to distribute, so I have been very blessed to meet many people who have triumphed from weight gain battles. So while sometimes it is hard to tell what company’s product actually works, if you are lucky enough to know a friend whom you trust, you might be able to find something that will work for you! So far in three months I have made more than a thousand in extra income, get paid every week and have the potential to earn even more if I can focus more time on it. My hope really is to grow this business so big that I can work at home full time. It may need some luck and a lot of persistence as well as the conviction that I deserve to get rich!! :).

    • Chris says:

      Hey Sandy, I was just reading through the comments and it sounds like you and I are doing something very similar. I’m working with a company called doTerra that sells natural oils for all kinds of applications, including a really popular weight loss product called Slim & Sassy.

  • Bert says:

    I have been paid for both surveys and focus groups. Easy, but not steady, money. I run a small retail business from my home, selling niche type products. Living in a college town, I search for items appealing to that crowd, utilizing the relatively inexpensive advertising rates offered by the student newspaper. It is unpredictable to insure success, but some things just take off. Be sure to visit city hall, the county courthouse, and campus administration before commencing sales.

  • Zimmy says:

    This looks like a reasonable list of things people can do from home to make money as long as there is a significant other bringing home the primary bacon. I have actually used and paid writers from the Odesk before so I do agree that is a legitimate way to make some income. It might take a bit of time and effort to get some of the others off the ground though.

  • Property Marbella says:

    Regarding Number 8; Customer service agent is one of the better jobs to work from home. Many alarm companies have their phone service outsourced workers from home 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Customers like it and it is a simple job for you.

  • KM says:

    I have been trying to get into the webdesign industry myself. I have many years of experience, but it’s tough to compete against the horde from India charging $2/hour on Elance and Odesk. I am trying to do it locally, but sometimes it seems like everyone and their grandma can design websites these days, varying levels of quality, of course, but some people just care about the price.

  • Debt Blag says:

    Not bad at all. If anything, a great way to supplement the main income. Thanks!

  • John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    These are all great ways to make money from home if you have the skills. My wife and I actually run our own business focusing mainly on website design and copywriting in the advertising industry.

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