Do you dream of one day working from home? Wish you could make it happen but don’t know where to begin?
No worries…we’ve done all the work for you.
We’ve painstakingly researched one work from home opportunity to the next to cut out all the nonsense and scams.
It took a lot of effort but we really wanted to create the ultimate guide to legitimate work from home opportunities.
As we wrote, this guide became so long and detailed that we decided to add a table of contents to make it easier for you to find what you need.
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:
- Pros and Cons Of Working From Home
- Starting Your Own Business
- Get Hired To Work From Home As An Employee
- Additional Work From Home Opportunities
Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Working from home is a dream for millions of people. But for one reason or another not everyone is cut out for it.
Before you make the plunge, read through the following advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
Advantages of Working from Home
Closer to Family and Friends – When you’re working from home you get to spend more time with your family and you can be there if someone is sick or needs to get picked up for school.
No Commute – Take it from someone who drives and hour and fifteen minutes each way to work and home, commuting sucks. It’s stressful and there are just so many better things you could do with that time.
More Sleep – Lack of sleep makes people cranky and it can lead to health problems. If you don’t have to get up early to start your commute you can grab an extra hour or more of sleep.
Saving Money – With no commute you’ll save on gas and tolls. You also won’t need to worry about your wardrobe since you can work in your pajamas if you want. Plus, you’ll save money on lunches out with coworkers.
Disadvantages of Working from Home
Isolation – Some people who work from home struggle to adjust to being alone for much of the day. They miss the camaraderie of working with other people and end up feeling isolated and lonely.
No Clear Boundaries – If you don’t have set hours it’s really easy for the border between work and home to blur. On days I work from home my kids always ask me, “Are you home today?” I have to remind them…”I’m working from home, I’m not home to hang out.” It can be awfully tempting to run out for a haircut or an oil change but if I do that I’ll never get any work done.
Discipline is Vital – When you get to sleep in a little and work in your pajamas, it becomes really easy to take it easy. Staying motivated to work hard and keep productive can be a real challenge. If you’re not naturally self-motivated you can find yourself distracted by laundry or the television when you should be getting work done.
If you’re sure you can handle working from home, let’s talk some more about the best, and most legitimate work from home opportunities…
As a freelancer you act as an independent contractor rather than a traditional employee. You won’t get benefits or paid time off and you won’t have taxes withheld from your paychecks either. You’ll have to set aside money throughout the year to cover your tax bill.
But freelancing can be fun and rewarding as you work on diverse projects for many different clients. You also have the potential to earn a lot of money based on your own skill and work ethic.
Here are some common freelance jobs that may interest you…
Staff Writing for Blogs
Many bloggers hire one or more staff writers to help them create content for their blogs. (Mike – I’ve done some staff writing myself for a few other blogs).
Hiring staff writers allows them to scale back their own time commitments to the blog. Staff writers also add additional voices and opinions which can help build more traffic.
Of course, staff writers can do more than just write blog posts. Many business websites need help creating content to build and promote their website.
Pay rates for staff writers vary from anywhere around $20 to several hundred dollars per article. It all depends on your experience, the niche you’re writing in, and who you’re writing for.
A small time blogger can’obviously t afford to pay as much as a larger, corporate-sponsored blog.
Here are a number of sites that list openings for freelance writers:
- Problogger Job Boards
- Freelance Writing Gigs
- Freelance Writing
- Writer’s Job Board
- Freelance Writer’s Den (Requires a paid membership to see the freelance job listings)
- Writer’s Weekly
- Media Bistro
- Blogging Pro
Writing for magazines is a bit tougher and more competitive than writing for blogs, but the pay can also be substantially better.
Depending on the magazine, writing topic, and length of the article you may be paid $1,000 or more per article. You’d have to write a lot of blog posts to make that kind of money as a staff writer.
If you want to try your hand at writing for magazines, a copy of Writer’s Market is a must have. It gives you tips on everything from getting started, negotiating rates, building your brand, and handling contracts.
The guide also lists hundreds of magazines that hire freelance writers along with submission requirements, pay rates, editor names and contact information, and the specific topics they cover. It will save you many hours of research and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy today.
Virtual assistants help entrepreneurs and business owners with various tasks they don’t have the time or skills to do for themselves.
VA work may include email management, live chat support, negotiating with advertisers, responding to blog comments, scheduling posts and newsletters, proofreading, social media management and much more.
What kind of services you offer as a virtual assistant depends on your own skills and what you feel comfortable doing.
If being a VA sounds appealing to you, check out Gina Horkey’s FREE email course on how to start a successful business as a virtual assistant.
General transcribers listen to audio and video files and transcribe the words into either a Word document or some other written format.
They’re used in many different types of industries and mediums such as academia, marketing, interviews, films, lectures, and more.
Legal and medical transcription requires all of the skills necessary as a general transcriptionist plus the added knowledge of legal or medical terminology and documentation.
You can expect to earn about $15 to $25 as a general transcriber and a bit more if you offer legal or medical transcription services.
Transcribe Anywhere offers an online course with training modules, practice sessions, and quizzes. It also shows you how to build your own online transcription business.
Here are a couple of other places where you can find transcription work:
If you speak multiple languages you can find plenty of work as a translator.
On Site interpreters attend meetings, conventions, and trade shows to help break down language barriers and facilitate communication when parties speak different languages.
Telephone translators do the same thing but over the telephone.
Document translators review a wide range of documents and translate them into another language. They may be asked to translate birth certificates, divorce decrees, product manuals, employee handbooks, or even entire books.
Here are a number of places you can find work as a translator:
If you’re the creative type and you’re good with graphic software there are plenty of work from home opportunities available.
Traditional businesses need graphic artists to create logos, signs, posters, billboards, brochures and other marketing material.
Plus, online businesses need help with web design including logos, ebook covers, and other web graphics.
Here are some popular freelance sites where you can sell your graphic design skills:
Search Engine Evaluator
Search engines like Google are pretty good at providing the most relevant results when you search for something.
But they’re always trying to get better.
Search engine evaluators rate the relevancy of results for various search terms. These jobs typically pay between $12 and $15 per hour and can be done from the comfort of your couch.
Here are a few places where you can apply to be a search engine evaluator:
Web site owners need to know what you think of their site. Is the site easy to navigate? Can you find what you need? Is their messaging clear?
To answer these questions they hire user testers to visit the site and perform a specific series of actions while they record your mouse movements and voice as you describe your experience on the site.
UserTesting.com will pay you $10 for each test you complete. Each test takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete, so you can easily earn $30 an hour testing web sites.
Starting Your Own Business
Millions of people dream of starting their own business. Some just can’t take working in a traditional job. Others want to be in control of their own destiny and reap the full rewards of their efforts. Some just want to follow their passion and do something different.
Whatever your reasons for starting your own business, there are plenty of options available. Think about your strengths and skills and choose something you’ll be able to stick with over the long haul.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
Selling Items Online
The internet offers small business owners a cost-effective way to sell their goods online. With a minimal investment in web hosting (we recommend Bluehost ) anyone can set up an online store and start making money online.
All you have to figure out is what you want to sell.
Some people act as a re-seller where they buy items at yard sales, purchase clearance items at retail outlets, or work out private deals with distributors and then resell them online.
Others are what’s called drop shippers. They take orders from the customer and pass them along to a manufacturer or wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
If you’re the artsy type you can even make your own arts and crafts and sell them online.
Here are a few places you can sell without your own website:
Or, learn to host your store on your own website and have unlimited growth potential. Blogger Steve Chou has created an comprehensive step by step course that will give you everything you need to know to build a six figure online store. Check it out at ProfitableOnlineStore.com
Start a Merch Business
This is one side hustle we’re talking about starting ourselves to create another stream of income.
In a nutshell, you simply design T-shirts and then upload your design to Merch by Amazon. Shoppers find your shirts for sale right on Amazon and order them, and then Amazon prints up the shirt and ships it to them.
You don’t have to deal with inventory, shipping, or customer service issues. All you do is sit back and collect your royalties and let Amazon do the rest.
To learn how you can get started on Merch by Amazon, check out this podcast from Side Hustle Nation.
Being a blogger is a lot of fun and the startup costs are extremely low. While it is definitely not the quickest way to make money online, blogging offers tremendous income potential.
Most successful bloggers started out posting to their blogs in their free time. They enjoyed it and found an audience and eventually they turned their side gig into a full-time business.
If you’re willing to put in the time it can definitely happen to you too. But you can expect it will take a year or two before you’re earning any real money as a blogger.
There are tons of resources online about the best way to build a blog but the best one I’ve ever read is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, a comprehensive course created by Michelle from MakingSenseofCents.com
Michelle travels around the world and earns over $100,000 every month through her blog so she knows what she’s talking about. We highly recommend you grab her course.
Most pet owners consider their furry friends an important part of the family and they’re willing to pay good money to make sure they’re well taken care of.
When we go on our annual vacation to the Outer Banks, we drop our beagle mix off at a pet sitter’s house where we know she’ll be treated like royalty.
We pay about $280 to have our puppy pampered for the week (our sitter charges $40 a day).
We’re willing to pay that price because it gives us peace of mind to know she’s in good hands. When she was younger we put her in a big name kennel and she seemed traumatized by the experience. But with the sitter she’s happy and we practically have to pull her away to get her home!
Forty bucks a day is pretty good if you’re willing to have an extra dog running around your house temporarily.
If you have the room to manage multiple pets at the same time you can make some serious money as a pet sitter.
People who have busy schedules and are away from home most of the day need someone to check in on their dogs and take them for a walk.
Dog walkers typically charge per walk, not per day. Rates vary by region, but you can expect to earn somewhere around $15 to $30 for a 20 to 30 minute walk.
Find yourself a few steady customers and you’ll be earning a steady income as a dog walker.
Plus, you’ll be in great shape from all that walking!
Cleaning Up After Dogs (AKA Picking Up Poop)
According to The Humane Society of the United States, forty-seven percent of US households own at least one dog.
That’s a lot of poop that needs to be cleaned up! And some people just don’t want to be bothered doing it themselves.
Smart people like you can really clean up by picking up after other people’s pets.
I called a local pooper scooper service to get some info and he said charges an average of $10 to $12 per cleanup. That would be for an average-sized yard with only one dog and he would charge more for an extra-large yard and multiple dogs.
He also charges extra for the initial cleanup because there is typically much more work involved and it takes longer to complete.
Most people schedule two or three cleanups per week so you can easily make $20 to $35 per week from each paying customer.
That may not seem like a lot but remember each cleanup only takes about 10 minutes so if you can land a bunch of clients in one neighborhood you can bang out a bunch of jobs in a short period of time.
If pets aren’t your thing but you love kids, there are plenty of opportunities to earn money as a babysitter, nanny, or au pair.
When we first moved to our new home (5 years ago now) we used a site called Sittercity to find a babysitter so we can go out together for a date night once in a while. We found an amazing girl named Paige who the kids absolutely loved.
How much you earn will depend on your region, your experience level, and what kind of duties you’re expected to do.
Some families just need someone to pick up their kid at school and take them home for an hour or two until they get home from work. Others might need help with a newborn and you’ll need to deal with feedings and diaper changes.
Here are some places you can set up a profile and connect with families who need babysitters:
Many small businesses need help keeping track of their income and expenses but they don’t really need or want to pay for a Certified Public Accountant.
Instead they hire a bookkeeper to post financial transactions into accounting software like Quickbooks, produce basic reports such as balance sheets and income statements, and follow up on overdue bills.
To learn more about starting your own home-based bookkeeping business, check out this highly rated guide available on Amazon.
Web Design And Development
There are literally millions of people who dream of starting their own online business. Most will never take action because they think it is too hard and requires all sorts of technical expertise they don’t have.
If you have the ability to build simple web sites you can help people realize their dreams.
Want an easy way to find some clients? Just look around your own neighborhood. The local pizzeria, nail salon, and florist probably have cheesy web sites that look completely outdated. You can use your skills to build them a real online presence and get paid good money to do so.
You’ll need to build up a portfolio to show prospective clients. You can build sites for yourself or you can find others who are looking for help building a web site at popular sites like those here:
Direct selling is when you act as an independent contractor and sell a company’s products for a commission. The sales could be made one-on-one, through a catalog, or through a party plan.
I was a PartyLite Candle consultant for a short time and this is how it works.
The consultant buys a starter’s kit with various samples of the company’s merchandise. She then attends parties and displays the items or does a short demo showing how they’re used.
Attendees place orders and the consultant earns commissions on the sales. The host can also earn freebies based on how much her party guests spend.
As a consultant your goals are to sell as much merchandise as possible AND to continuously book new parties to keep the gravy train rolling.
I started my direct selling career off with a bang and it looked like she had found the perfect work from home opportunity. But after a few months the parties started drying up and I realized it was a lot harder than I thought.
A career in direct sales is not for everyone. But if you are a people person with good selling skills and a willingness to work your butt off it might be a good choice for you.
Here are some of the more popular direct sales programs:
- Pampered Chef
- Mary Kay
- Discovery Toys
- Barefoot Books
Planning a wedding has become a complicated and time-consuming affair. In today’s busy world, many couples can’t do it all on their own and need to hire a wedding planner to help organize their special day.
Wedding planners deal with florists, churches, reception halls, limo drivers, bands, DJs, and pretty much everyone else involved in a wedding. They are the project managers who coordinate all the details and make sure everything goes smoothly.
In 2017 alone, there will be an estimated 2 million weddings, so there is plenty of demand expected for wedding planners. If you like working with people and don’t mind doing some leg work, this could be the work from home opportunity for you.
My husband is a manager in his day job and he’s had plenty of opportunity to interview and hire new employees. Most applicants never even get a sniff because their resumes are so dreadful (trust me, he’s shown me a few of the worst he’s come across).
If you’re skilled at creating resumes that will draw attention and secure an interview, there is a definite demand for your services. Check out the National Resume Writers Association for tips on getting started.
You can even expand your business and help people prepare for interviews too.
Real Estate Agent
Whether the real estate market is up or down, people are always looking to buy or sell their homes. As a real estate agent you’ll be your own boss. You can make your own schedule and have the freedom to make it as flexible as you need.
Plus, since you’re working on commissions the income is potentially unlimited. How much you earn will depend strictly on how much time and effort you put into it.
You do need a license to be a realtor and requirements vary from state to state. Here’s a link to a book that will give you all the basics in plain English:
Home-Based Travel Agent
Do you like to travel? Do you get a rush out of finding the best travel deals available?
As a home-based travel agent you can put your skills to good use while helping people plan their own dream vacations.
It may seem a little old-fashioned to use a travel agent these days, but millions of people still prefer an experienced pro to help them sort through all the details of flight schedules, rental cars, and hotel options.
Experienced travel agents can help save traveler’s time and money, and also help them steer them clear of pitfalls that would ruin their perfect vacation.
Here’s a link to an affordable guide to becoming a travel agent:
Vending Machine Business
Have you ever seen those vending machines full of candy, stickers, toys, or other items that are always located right outside stores or restaurants where your kids will be certain to see them and beg for your spare change?
Yea, I hate them too. But they do make their owners some good money.
There are some startup costs in buying the machines, but once you set everything up you’ll have an easy to operate business with a steady income.
To learn more about starting a vending machine business, check out this Vending 101 report published by the National Automatic Merchandising Association.
An essential part of the home buying process is having a professional home inspector check out the house to report on its condition and point out any potential problems.
Millions of homes are sold every year, so there will always be a demand for home inspectors. If you have a background or interest in construction or a related field, you can start your own business right in your neighborhood.
Licensing and regulations vary from state to state, and you can find everything you need to get started through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Get Hired To Work From Home As An Employee
Many companies offer both full-time and part-time work from home jobs and quite a few positions even come with health benefits and paid time off. Basically, you’re an employee but instead of driving in to work every day you just boot up your computer and log in from home.
Home-shored employees are becoming more popular with companies because they don’t require a desk, which in turn cuts the employer’s rent expenses.
They’re great for you too because you get to work from the comfort of your own home and there are no commuting expenses to worry about.
Customer Service Agents
As a home-shored customer service agent you’ll be answering customer questions and helping to resolve their issues or complaints.
You’ll need a friendly demeanor and strong customer service skills. You’ll also need a good internet connection so you can log into your company’s software and a landline to field telephone calls.
Here are a number of places where you can find legitimate work from home opportunities as a customer service agent:
- Hilton Worldwide
- VIPdesk Connect
- Alpine Access
Are you tech savvy and enjoy troubleshooting issues? Can you explain technical issues in plain English that anyone can understand?
If you answered yes, you might want to consider working from home as a tech support provider.
You’ll need to be knowledgeable about whatever company and products you support, but because tech support calls are typically more complicated you can usually earn more than you would performing general customer service.
Here are a few companies that hire tech support reps to work from home:
Even More Legitimate Work From Home Opportunities
The items below are all legitimate work from home opportunities, but they aren’t meant to replace your day job or provide an income you can live off.
But they are easy ways to supplement your income and provide some extra spending cash. Most don’t take much time to do either so they are worth trying out.
In a nutshell, you earn points called Swag Bucks by completing various activities such as watching movie trailers, playing games, taking short quizzes, or exploring new websites. They also have a mobile app that will let you earn even more points.
If you refer friends to the site you’ll earn bonus points based on how many points they earn for themselves.
When you earn enough points you can redeem them for either cash through Paypal or gift cards. We usually go for the Amazon gift cards but there are tons of stores to choose from.
Microsoft Rewards/Bing Rewards
Our other favorite reward site is Microsoft Rewards (formerly Bing Rewards). All you have to do to earn points is use their search engine. You’ll earn rewards just for doing something you would have done anyway.
We earn enough points for a $5 reward about every three weeks. It’s not much but it requires absolutely no extra effort so it really is free money.
Inbox Dollars is another reward site where you can earn points for watching videos, taking surveys, and opening emails. The problem is it takes a looooong time to earn enough points to actually get a reward.
We still use both Microsoft Rewards and Swag Bucks, but we gave up on Inbox Dollars a while ago because it just didn’t seem worth it. But if you have extra time to spare you can give it a shot.
Job Spotter is an app sponsored by Indeed.com which pays you for submitting photos of help wanted signs.
All you have to do is take a picture of a help wanted sign in the window and a second picture of the store front and hit Submit. Once approved you’ll get paid in the form of Amazon gift cards.
The payouts for Job Spotter submissions are pretty low. Each submission will only earn you somewhere between 5 cents and $1.50.
At those rates, this definitely isn’t going to be a big money-maker. I wouldn’t go out of my to drive around looking for help wanted signs to submit, but if I happen to see one while I’m out I’ll take a quick picture and send it in. It’s not much, but it is easy money.
Here’s a link to our full review of Job Spotter.
Sell Stock Photos
There are over a billion websites online today and the vast majority use stock photos when they want to add an image to a web page.
If you have a decent camera and a photographer’s eye, that’s a huge market to tap into.
When you sell stock photography, you simply upload your photos to a microstock web site and they make it available for sale. Each time someone buys a license to use one of your images you make money.
Payouts start at about $1 for smaller images but may be higher for larger image sizes.
The key to making money selling stock photos is volume so you want to add lots of photos to your portfolio. You can also sell your photos on multiple sites. The wider you cast your net the more likely you are to find buyers.
Here are a number of sites that will pay for your stock photos:
- Deposit Photos
- Fotolia/Adobe Stock
- Big Stock Photo
Write for Content Mills
Sometimes websites and businesses need people to write articles, ebooks, or other content for them. One place they go for their writing needs is a content mill.
Content mills offer a way for them to post requests for articles on specific topics. Writers can then view the list of writing opportunities and choose the ones that fit their expertise. They write the article and once it approved they get paid.
Don’t expect to get rich writing for content mills. In fact you shouldn’t even expect to earn anything more than a little extra spending cash. Rates start at around $1 to $5 for a 500 word article, so you’d have to write a ton of articles to make any significant money.
But if you have some extra time on your hands and you’re able to quickly pump out articles on weirdly specific topics such as teeth whitening, air compressors, or backyard patio designs, you can pad your wallet pretty easily.
Here are a couple of content mills to check out:
Focus Groups And Taste Testing
Companies hire marketing research firms to run focus groups, surveys, and taste testing panels to get objective opinions about their products BEFORE they commit to spending a fortune developing or changing them.
That’s where you come in! When you sign up for a paid market research program you can actually get paid to drink coffee, test new kitchen utensils, or watch pilot episodes of new sitcoms.
We’ve participated in numerous studies and gotten paid for our time. My favorite was when I was paid $75 to taste different flavors of iced coffee.
Mike once got paid $60 to taste french fries. Another time he got paid $150 to watch Verizon commercials and share his thoughts.
Check out our post where we list 15 places where you can get paid to eat.
Retailers of all types and sizes use mystery shoppers to get an objective opinion of their stores and employees. All you have to do is visit the store and act like a customer.
You usually have to purchase or return an item and then you fill out a short questionnaire to rate your experience. You’ll be asked things like how long did it take for someone to greet you and did the cashier smile when she helped you.
For your trouble you’ll get paid a fee and you usually get to keep whatever item you purchased for free.
Be warned though…there are a lot of scammers out there who promise they’ll give you a list of all the best and highest paying jobs out there for a fee. Don’t buy it. All you’ll get is a list of companies that you could easily find yourself with a search engine.
Here are a few reputable mystery shopping companies to get you started:
Paid Online Surveys
Another way to supplement your income is taking online surveys. Individually, they don’t pay much. But if you sign up for a number of sites the earnings will add up.
You won’t get rich, but you can earn some extra spending cash.
Like mystery shopping, there are many survey scammers out there. You should never pay to get access to surveys.
Check out the links below for some reputable paid survey options:
- Pinecone Research
- Ipsos i-Say
- Survey Junkie
- Harris Poll Online
- Opinion Outpost
- VIP Voice
- Earning Station
Rent Your House on Airbnb
Do you have an extra room in your house that you aren’t using?
Are you often out of town?
You can earn some extra cash renting out your spare room or even your entire house. Depending on where you live, you could potentially earn several hundred dollars per month renting all or part of your home through Airbnb.
Become a Driver
Ride-sharing has revolutionized the transportation industry, reduced fatalities due to drunk driving, and opened up a new work from home opportunity for people like you and me.
As long as you have extra time on your hands and don’t mind driving strangers around, you can offer your driving services and earn some extra money.
Here are the most popular ride-sharing options:
In addition to ride-sharing, you can also make money by delivering food from local restaurants via Uber Eats.
Here’s where you can really get creative. Fiverr is an online marketplace where freelancers can offer just about any service you can imagine for $5.
And there are some pretty weird gigs available on Fiverr. Just look at this guy who will send you a video of himself dancing to your favorite song while wearing a hot dog costume.
Yea, that’s weird. But just look at the number of reviews he has (262 at the time I’m writing this). That means he’s earned well over $1,000 just for dancing around in a crazy costume.
Check out Fiverr for yourself and I’m sure you’ll find something you can do to earn money from home.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
As smart and efficient as computers have become, there are still many simple tasks that they just can’t do as well as humans.
Amazon Mechanical Turk allows individuals and businesses to tap into a huge network of humans who can perform what Amazon calls Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs).
HITs are very simple tasks that include things like viewing an image of a receipt and copying the data into a database, categorizing a product listing, locating the work email of a person based on their LinkedIn profile, or providing a one sentence description of a short video.
These are all very simple tasks you can complete from the comfort of your couch while watching TV.
The catch? The payouts for each HIT you complete are usually between $0.02 and $0.15.
Most people who read this article will never do anything with all of the knowledge I’ve shared here today.
They’ll continue bouncing around from one web site to the next reading about all the different work from home opportunities that are available.
But they’ll never take any action which means they’ll continue being in debt or stuck in a dead-end job that they hate.
Don’t be like them.
Be different. Take action. Live your dream.
I don’t even care which of the 100+ work from home jobs you choose from. Just pick one and run with it.
And never look back.
PS – This article took a very long time to write (it’s almost 6,000 words!). We truly wanted to write the ultimate guide to legitimate work from home opportunities. If you found this guide helpful please take a moment to share it with anyone you think could use it.