Thursday, May 14, 2020

Making money from home

Want to earn money from home? Below are a few suggestions (some of which are based on reader responses to an earlier post):

• Telecommute. This is obviously the easiest solution. The recent coronavirus lockdowns has demonstrate that a surprising number of jobs can be done remotely. Yay for the internet! Even if your employer insists you return back to the office after the lockdowns, it’s worth negotiating to work at home at least part-time.

• Consider seasonal work such as spring cleaning, house or pet sitting, fall garden clean-up, etc. Post flyers around the neighborhood offering your services.

• If you’re good with young children, consider childcare in your home. Many working mothers desperately need loving, reliable care for their children.

• If you’re a fast and accurate typist, consider transcription work which can include general, legal, and medical. These types of jobs can pay by the page, by the word, by the hour of tape, or other factors, and most are done by independent freelancers contracted by larger companies (such as Rev, Scribie, Aberdeen, Dailytranscription, Transcribeme, or GMRTranscription). If you are fluent in a foreign language and can translate, your earnings can skyrocket.

• If your writing and editing skills are superior, you can do everything from freelance magazine writing to editing and proofreading to tech writing. Some have even started independent e-publishing services.

• If you’re a tech person, build websites for businesses or freelancers.

• For creative and crafty people, open an online store through Etsy or some other e-commerce platform. It can take time to build a business, but established crafters can do very well.

• Also for crafters, sell your items wholesale or consignment to brick-and-mortar businesses. You can also sell at farmer’s markets and/or craft shows.

• Do consulting work. If you possess specialized knowledge, offering your assistance on a freelance basis can bring in extra income.

• If you have a green thumb, consider local food production providing produce to local restaurants, groceries, or farmer’s markets. If your home has adequate traffic, you can also set up a produce stand at the end of your driveway (check with local authorities for any restrictions). Produce farming can be a heavy workload, but a benefit for those who are passionate about eating locally.

• Sell seedlings and cuttings. We know a local woman who makes at least $10,000 each spring by selling thousands of vegetable starts from a stand in her front yard. She uses open-pollinated seeds and can maintain her seed stock indefinitely.

• Learn how to film and edit your own YouTube videos. Some people use these videos as stand-alone income (through monetization), others use them to supplement a separate business.

• If you’re skilled in sewing, do alterations or custom work. Some seamstresses draft their own patterns in various sizes and offers custom tailoring in local stores. For those who specialize in the needle arts (knitting, crocheting, embroidery, etc.), some people sell original patterns as well as finished items on Etsy or other online e-commerce platform.

• Offer online courses. Whether your talent is sign language, cheesemaking, or woodcrafting, someone else wants to learn from you. If you have a background in education, you can teach online through Connections Academy, K12, or Edmentum. You can also tutor online through Cambly or Chegg Tutors. Many opportunities exist to teach English, such as EF (Education First), Golden Voice English, and VIPKid.

• If you have a pleasant phone voice and a quiet room, consider call-center jobs. Many companies both large and small need someone to answer phones. Look online for companies that contract out such work such as FlexJobs or Indeed. If you want customer service work, try Working Solutions, Vicky Virtual, or ModSquad.

• Teach a foreign language. For several years, our homeschooled daughter took conversational French lessons from a woman who taught both children and adults out of her home. If you’re fluent in another language, teach what you know.

• Rent a room. Visiting professors, traveling nurses, students, business people – if they’re passing through, they need a place to stay. You can offer space formally through an organization such as AirBnB, or simply through word of mouth.

• If you have a working homestead, consider hosting workshops with overnight stays for those interested in learning rural skills.

• Cut and sell firewood. This can be an extremely lucrative side gig in rural areas where woodstoves are common.

Pitch in with some more ideas! Let's hear 'em.


  1. I own a travel/camping trailer. I am contemplating moving my household goods into storage and renting out my paid for home and become a fulltime RV'er. Rents have gone up as housing costs have risen such that I could actually live on the rent alone. I would be then making a living in my new home and enjoying travelling around our great country. I already travel some; Southwest in the Winter and Northwest in the Spring. But full timing really appeals to me.

    1. One couple that moved to an RV, said to sell all of your stuff than paying for storage every month. Just and idea.

  2. I do not recommend Rev, just my two cents. I worked for them for some time. You may work hard for 8+ hours desperately trying to meet their deadline by captioning one short video, and at the end you’ll be rewarded with maybe ten dollars for all that work IF you’re lucky. It is a miserable job that pays pennies. Take your typing skills elsewhere.

  3. Repair and resell all manner of stuff tossed out. Anything with an engine and easily transported. Stuff not repairable can be sold for scrap.

  4. You can grow a large flock of chickens if you are in a rural area and sell eggs. I recommend Sexlinks or Red Stars and they are called to start. Boy do they produce and they start out with large eggs, no starter eggs for them. Yes I know they are hybrids. Prices would depend on your area.
    Rita Miller

  5. I have some ideas but I'm in favor of seasonal or mobile opportunities. I no longer do so but used to have a FB page and Etsy shop and only sold starting late August thru Christmas. All seasonally sewn seasonal and team merchandise. Yes I worked those other months sewing. But in my clothes, on the road and wherever I was staying. If you're good at rehabbing or recycling and have a place to sell that could work. Before I was a crafter. Or rather while, I was a virtual assistant for what was then O desk.

  6. I wrote resumes for people. I never met them, took their information from emails where they emailed me old resumes, pertinent information. I could deliver a quality resume in 24 hours. It was good work.

    1. May I ask how you advertised your services? This is something I have done many times for family members and friends. Never thought to monetize it for strangers.