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Ah, how to work from home and make money, too! It seems like an elusive dream. But, I assure you, it’s not. I’ve actually created extra income in a variety of ways working from home in the past. Let me tell you about some of them.
Or, skip right to the bottom to read about my favorite way to make extra money from home. (Plus, I have a bonus money- making idea for you down there!)
1. Mystery Shopping.
Yup, I’ve done it! It all started when I got an email from Lush asking if I would be interested in doing a mystery shop from them. They would pay me to shop at the store. Would I be interested? Would I be interested?! Of course I would!
Mystery shopping can be great. I always just took the restaurant shops and enjoyed a nice meal. For this job, you need to observe what’s going on around you and sometimes take notes too. I had to check the bathrooms, remember the hostess and server’s names and what they looked like, notice everything about my meal. When I got home, I had to upload a picture of my receipt and write up a report of my experience.
The downsides to mystery shopping is that there aren’t enough jobs to make it full-time income and I always ended up spending more than I made. It was still good to get most of my (and my husband’s) meal paid for though!
Sweeping is entering sweepstakes for cash and prizes. Now, THIS was a lot of fun. This is something people dedicate hours of their day doing. Just entering, entering, entering for prizes. It’s a numbers game. You have to be in it to win it, and the more you enter, the more likely you’ll be to win.
I won some great things! A $1,000 shopping spree, an ipad, an ipod touch, tickets for Disney on Ice, and my favorite…a trip for 4 to the Bahamas! Here are my kids relaxing on the big Atlantis chair at the hotel.
I also won lots of coupons for free M&M’s, t-shirts, hats and other smaller items. There are websites out there that list different sweepstakes, so you can go on those and enter away. The one I used was online-sweepstakes.com, but there are many to choose from out there.
The downside to sweeping is that it takes a lot of time and most of the time you don’t win anything. It can be very tedious and you start to feel down when you go on a big losing streak. But it’s so, so much fun when you do win!
3. Amazon Mechanical Turk.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a site where you can sign up to do small tasks and get paid. For instance, there might be a job where you have to go through 100s of photos and tag them in some way, or check to see if any of them are inappropriate. There are some bigger writing jobs and research jobs. Some of the tasks require you to take a test and get a sort of certification to be able to do it.
The positive thing about Amazon Mechanical Turk is that you can pick and choose what you want to do. The downside is that it’s basically slave labor. You get paid so little (sometimes just a few cents) to do the tasks. What you get paid per hour is so minimal that it’s probably not worth it.
Of course, there are some tasks that pay a little better. But, in general, my feeling is that your time is too precious to waste here.
4. Email Marketing.
In a past life, I was an email marketer. I worked for a few different companies in an office. At my last job with a marketing division of eBay, I did get to work from home, but only due to special circumstances. (Like, my entire team left and everyone else was located in NY, so what was the point of working in an office with no team?)
I’m sure there are regular ol’ companies out there that will let you work from home at least some of the time. My husband can work at home any time there’s bad weather. Although, unlike me, he really doesn’t enjoy working from the comfort of home. He says it’s “too boring.” How dare he?!
Anyway, I did work exclusively from home for an email marketing company that was located in Maryland. It was a short stint, but a decent one that paid well. And I’m sure there are other jobs out there like that if you take a look at the different job sites. Of course you’ll need to have the appropriate experience for this type of job and the proper equipment.
Lionbridge (and there are a couple of other companies out there like them) is a company where I worked exclusively from home, didn’t need to be on a phone and could work whenever I could fit it in. It’s been a while since I’ve worked there, but if I remember correctly, I had to work a minimum of 10 hours and could work up to 20 per week.
I was shown different Internet Explorer websites, and I had to rate them. This is a job where you need to use Explorer and you can’t use a Mac. This would be an issue for me now as I have a Mac and love it! (See my manifestation story about how my Macbook Air came into my life.)
The upside to this job was its semi-flexibility of being able to fit the hours when I could. The downside is that it was mind-numbingly boring. Just looking at these websites over and over and over again. I couldn’t handle it for very long, to be honest. I don’t remember exactly how much they paid, but I think it was decent. Still, YOLO and I didn’t want to waste my life turning my brain to mush.
6. Network Marketing
Network Marketing used to be one of my favorite ways to make money online. I was a member of Young Living Essential Oils and worked that business for about a year. I am still a member because I love their products, but I no longer try to work the business.
I actually think network marketing can be great for some people. There are some benefits like:
- Access to great products
- Network with people and meet lots of new friends
- It’s exciting, especially at first
- If you get really good, you can learn to become a great leader
- Everyone’s got your back and wants you to succeed
- Great for self-development and for busting out of your comfort zone
I also think there are some downsides to this type of business:
- Most people never rise to the top
- You’ll likely spend more money than you make
- It’s less work-from-home and more going out there and selling to people
- You’ve got to chase leads and try to wrangle people to join with you
- The products are expensive and therefore hard to sell
- It takes a lot of time and energy keeping people under you motivated to succeed
All in all, I don’t think network marketing companies are a terrible way to make a living. (Do your research though and make sure you’re getting in with a good one!) It wasn’t a great fit for me because I’m an introvert and I get really drained talking to people all day! lol I do much better sitting on my computer and typing our articles like this one.
(Not to say that introverts can’t do well in network marketing. We had a whole group on Facebook dedicated to introverted team members. I saw many successful introverts! It just wasn’t working for me personally.)
Now, I just focus on my #1 to make money working from home. See below.
My Top Favorite Way That I Like to Make Money Online
Finally, here is my favorite way to make a living online. It’s all about affiliate marketing and blogging! I get to be creative, use my brain, help people, AND make money.
Affiliate Marketing / Blogging.
Affiliate marketing is my absolute most favorite way to make money online. Affiliate marketing is basically matching people up with the thing they’re searching for online. For instance, say you’re thinking about getting a Vitamix. (I highly recommend that you do!) I write a blog post about how much I love my Vitamix (this Vitamix 750 review post is on my other site), the benefits of owning one, and why you should also own one versus another brand. If you click on a link in my review, it’ll take you to Amazon. Because I’m a part of Amazon’s affiliate program, if you buy through them, I get a small commission.
This is win-win-win type of work. I get to write about something that I love. You get the amazing thing you were looking for. And I get paid a bit for matching you up with the amazing thing you were looking for.
That’s the short and sweet version. There’s actually a little more to it than that. You need to learn:
- How to build a website
- What content to write on your website
- Keywords and how to use them to get people to your site
- Google Analytics
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
It sounds like a lot, and it can be if you’re trying to figure it all out on your own. I learned everything I know with this great training website, Wealthy Affiliate. They teach you alllllll the things. Even though it sounds like a lot to learn, Wealthy Affiliate takes you through everything in a super easy step-by-step format. Before you know it, you’ll have a complete site up and running and making money!
Let me show you more about what it’s all about in my Free Guide to Making Money Online for Beginners. I’ll take you all through the wonderful world of affiliate marketing and you can see if it’s something that you would love, too!
Click the Button to Get Access to My Free Guide to Making Money Online for Beginners and See if Affiliate Marketing is Right for You, Too!
Bonus Work from Home Opportunity That My Sister Loves!
My sister, Mandy, currently works from home doing something that SHE loves, and I thought it would be great to mention it here. While it’s not something I’ve done, it’s something that I do recommend to people if network marketing and affiliate marketing really aren’t your thing.
She works with a company called VIPKID. VIPKID is a company where parents in China can sign their kids up for English classes through them. The kids in China already get English classes in school, but these are additional classes that they can take from “real” Americans. 🙂 This gives them the chance to learn about our culture and use English in the way that we would.
The starting pay is from $7-$9 (depending on how well your interview goes) per class. The classes are 30 minutes. But there are other bonuses that you can earn along the way. My sister generally makes about $10 / class, or $20 / hour.
There is one thing to consider. China is in a completely different time zone. So, when they’re ready for class, it’s really, really early
here. My sister wakes up between 3:30am and 4:30am daily. (This will depend where you live, of course.)
You don’t need a teaching degree, but you do need a Bachelor’s degree to apply. You will have an interview and a mock teaching session.
If you sign up with my sister she can coach you through the process.
While I’m sure there are many, many other ways to make money online (guest blogging, freelancing, designing, etc. etc.), these are the ways I’ve personally tried. (Or my sister has personally tried.)
I absolutely recommend affiliate marketing as the absolute best way to make a great living online. (In my humble opinion, anyway.) You set your own hours. You don’t have to live by anyone’s rules. You get to be creative. You get to have fun. You get to help people. It does not get better than that.
In order to really do it right though, you will need the proper training. You want to set yourself up for lasting success. That’s why I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. They’re the platform that taught me everything I needed to know, step-by-step from start-to-finish. I still learn from there on a daily basis. You can try Wealthy Affiliate out for free and see what you think!
Have you done any work from home jobs? Did you like it? I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment below!