34 Legitimate Ways To Make Money From Home
Once upon a time, it wasn’t that easy to make money at home. Sure, you could babysit, join a network marketing opportunity, make crafts for sale at fairs, or find one of the very few other work at home opportunities, but there wasn’t a whole lot out there. But now there are so many more ways to make money from home.
You’ve got options.
But that doesn’t mean finding the right way to make money from home will be a fairy tale. You have to put in the work if you want to earn significant money.
There are things you can do now that will allow you to earn anywhere from a few bucks a month to a full time income. Some come with significant risks while others are close to a sure thing.
Take a look at these options I’ve compiled for you. They range from things that may earn you just a little money each month to significant money earners. It’s up to you to choose what’s right for you and to make it work.
Quick & Easy Ways To Make Money From Home
These are the things you can do that probably won’t earn a lot of money for you, but are simple enough that you may find them worth your time.
On the other hand, you can waste too much time on the quick and easy ways to make money from home. If doing these things keeps you from focusing on something that earns better money from you, it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing.
With most of these options, I’d be surprised if any of them earned you over $50 a month. They aren’t intended to be full time jobs or even serious side gigs. But you can have a little fun with them and the money doesn’t hurt. You may even get lucky and get more than expected from these on occasion.
1. Money Back Apps
There are a number of apps you can download that will help you get money back on things you’ve bought. I consider this more of a way to save money than to earn it, but it’s kind of a toss up for what it should be called.
Your typical money back app requires that you photograph the entire receipt for their review. Depending on the offer, they may require that certain items be on that receipt. Once they’ve confirmed that you meet the qualifications, you get money from them.
Usually, you have to reach a minimum, $10 or so, before you can request payout. If it’s a good app, this is not difficult for most people. If the app requires you to buy certain things and they aren’t the kinds of things you tend to buy, however, it can be difficult.
Ibotta – I like Ibotta fairly well. One of the great features they offer is the ability to link certain store loyalty cards to their service. If you select an offer, you may have to complete a short task for it, such as watching a video. Once you’ve done that, you qualify for the offer. Buy the item. If your store loyalty card is linked, that’s all you have to do. If it’s not, simply photograph the receipt using the app and send it in for approval.
Ibotta offers an immediate $10 bonus if you sign up through a referral link. My referral code is gflmbgj, and yes, I get a chance at a bonus. You can also use this link.
Ibotta covers more than just groceries, although that is a large part of it. There are some deals available, however, in travel, clothing, restaurants and more. If you’re going to spend the money anyway, you may as well see what you can get back from apps like this.
Shopkick – Shopkick started out as an app that rewarded you just for visiting stores. They now also allow you to earn points (called kicks) by purchasing certain items and scanning your receipt.
Makeena – If you want a greater focus on healthy foods, Makeena may be right for you. Their focus is on organic and eco friendly products. They’re relatively new, but the reviews look good.
Checkout51 – This app is much like Ibotta, but they may give you more opportunities to earn by buying fresh fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t have as many offers, however.
Swagbucks – Offers points for shopping through their links. You can also earn points by completing surveys, watching videos and more.
There are plenty more cash back apps you can consider – this is a mere sample. Be sure to check reviews before using one so that you know it’s worth the time and effort.
Most people make very little money from surveys. The hardest part is finding surveys that pay cash rather than points toward a drawing or other such things.
There are also a fair number of survey scams out there. If they want you to pay to participate in a survey, it’s probably a scam.
If you want to give surveys a try, don’t expect big things. When I’ve done them, I’ve found that it is challenging to get onto the surveys that pay well enough for the time involved. They fill up fast, so you must keep a sharp eye out for them.
If you want to give it a try, check out these companies:
3. Fitness Apps That Pay
Some apps will pay you to lose weight or otherwise work on living a healthier lifestyle. They may track your weight, have you take surveys, or have you record your eating habits.
Some apps will have you essentially bet a certain amount of money that you will meet your goal within a specified time frame. Do that, and you get a payout. Otherwise, you lose that money.
Here are some apps to consider. Be sure you understand what is required to earn money before you spend anything.
4. Use Bing
If you use Bing as your search engine, you can earn a small amount of money each month. It’s pretty minor, maybe $5-10 a month.
5. Be An Online Juror
eJury.com pays people to review cases for attorneys. The pay isn’t great, $5-10 per case, and you may only get a case a month in many areas.
Microtask sites such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk site allow you to earn money by doing simple tasks. You may give your opinion of a website, compare items, categorize something, or do something else that takes a short time.
The disadvantage to microtask sites is that you will rarely earn even minimum wage doing them. They’re not my top choice by a long shot. But they are super flexible.
Fiverr is also a sort of microtask site, but you set the tasks you’re willing to do yourself. You can also set larger tasks on there once you’ve proven yourself, so this may go from a tiny bit of money to a significant source of work if you find the right niche for your skills.
Side Gigs & Serious Money You Can Make From Home
It’s amazing how much money you can make from home if you really try. I’m keeping the side gigs and the serious money makers together for one simple reason – they can be one and the same, depending on how much time and effort you put into them.
7. Transcription Jobs
Doing transcription at home can be anything from a “work when you can” job to a serious, full time position. My first work at home job was as a medical transcriptionist. I did it for years, until my blogging income was enough to allow me to quit.
General transcription is easier to get started than medical transcription, as it doesn’t take so much training. Some companies will hire you with no experience or training at all. That’s pretty nice when you aren’t sure you’ll like the job.
That said, try the Transcribe Anywhere course if you want to become a transcriptionist. It will help you do better as a transcriptionist and become more prepared for what the work really involves. It starts as a free mini course so you know what you’re getting into before you pay.
Transcription is a much more reliable way to type from home than doing data entry. Very, very few companies need remote data entry workers.
If you would rather do medical coding than general coding, you’ll need training that gives you the medical background you need. I recommend the course offered by Career Step. They do a great job of preparing you for a career in medical transcription.
8. Medical Coding
Medical coding can be a challenging job to get into. You will need to get training through a company such as Career Step before you qualify for any jobs, and you may need to work in an office for a few years before you qualify to work from home.
That said, there’s solid demand for medical coders and the pay is good. There are quite a few companies that regularly seek out medical coders who are ready to work from home.
Blogging is a popular way to earn money from home for very simple reasons. It’s cheap, and not all that difficult. Plus, you can see all these other people who are earning amazing money from running their own blog.
Most of you aren’t going to succeed so well as all that. But it’s so easy to try, that many people give it a shot. You never know, right?
I have a series of blog posts on starting a blog. If you want the short version, get an idea, get hosting and a domain name, install WordPress and get started. I like A2 Hosting, but I’ve also used HostGator and been happy with them. Both are affordable and provide excellent service.
What can you blog about? Just about anything. Here are some ideas:
- Personal finance
- Career advice
These are just a start. If you have an idea for a blog, you can probably run with it. Trying is easy. Success is the challenge.
The one caution I would give is to be sure you know about any laws relating to your topic. If you give health advice, for example, it is possible to get into legal trouble if you can’t back up any claims you make.
But how do you make money blogging?
There are a variety of ways. Here are a few:
- Affiliate marketing
- Ad networks such as AdSense
- Selling ad placements
- Be a product ambassador
- Selling your own products
Have you heard about how much money some people make from creating videos and posting them on YouTube? It’s pretty amazing. Just check out this list of top earners.
Odds are that you’ll never be on that list or earn even close to what these people do, but it’s fun to dream. Most will make only a small amount, if anything at all, but if you find that you enjoy making videos and can build an audience, you have a fun way to earn some side money.
People post product reviews, unboxing videos, play with toys, record themselves playing video games, share cat videos, make how-to videos, and much more. It’s a great opportunity to make a hobby into something more.
You may need a thick skin, however. If you have the comments turned on for your videos, you will learn how awful some people are.
11. Sell Products On Etsy, eBay, Amazon, etc.
Do you make beautiful crafts? Maybe you’re great at finding things you can sell at a profit. Whatever you do, selling online can be a great way to earn money online.
Etsy’s focus is on handmade and vintage items, while you can sell anything on eBay or Amazon. Amazon also has a special section for handmade items.
On Etsy, you can also sell downloadable items. Some people make and sell printable coloring pages, for example. This can be much easier than selling physical products that you have to ship.
On Amazon and eBay, you can also sell some of the extra stuff you have around the house, so long as you mark it used. Some items will be worth a surprising amount. Plus you don’t have to get up early to sell them at a garage sale.
Dropshipping is an option as well. Find a manufacturer who offers dropshipping, and list the products for sale. Shopify is a great tool for people looking to start a dropshipping business.
12. Freelance Writing
If you like to write but blogging isn’t your thing (or even if it is but you need more income), consider freelance writing.
There are a lot of places that accept work from freelance writers. It may be somewhat difficult to get onto freelance boards such as Upwork as a freelance writer because there are so many writers already there, but they aren’t your only option. I have a list of more than 100 places to find freelance writing gigs, and that’s just a start for places to go.
If you really want to join a freelance board as a writer, make sure that you have something that makes you stand out. Don’t be the same as every other freelance writer out there. Have a skill that makes you stand out from the hordes. It will help. Try some of these boards to get started.
- All Freelance Writing
- Freelance Writing
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Journalism Jobs
- People Per Hour
- Simply Hired
You can also write resumes. You will need to know how to craft a resume that gets attention from employers. It can take time to build this skill, but once you know what you’re doing, you can use it for your clients and for any jobs you want in the future.
13. Other Freelance Work
While freelance writing is hugely popular, there are many other opportunities to freelance out there. Just about any home based job out there can be done as a freelancer. Bookkeepers, accountants, graphic designers, website designers, software developers and more can all do freelance work.
If you want to do other kinds of freelance work, you can seek it out on your own (small, local business often need freelancers), or sign up with sites such as these.
Do you catch every mistake made in every book or article you read? Do these mistakes drive you up the wall? You might enjoy working from home as a proofreader.
Proofreading jobs can require extensive education in some cases. You will find that some opportunities require a graduate degree plus experience in the field. Others require less education and experience.
If you want to consider proofreading from home, check out the training offered at Proofread Anywhere. You will learn how to find proofreading jobs that you can do from home.
15. Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is a hugely popular option right now as there’s so much demand. Small companies often need just a little help with aspects of their business, but not enough to hire a regular employee for it. A virtual assistant can help fill in that gap.
If you aren’t sure what to do as a virtual assistant, check out the Horkey Handbook. It will help you get the start you need for success.
16. Website Testing
It was kind of a toss up for me whether to put this down as a side gig or in the quick & easy section. While there are a number of website testing sites out there, most people don’t earn a lot from them. It can be hard to snag test spots when they’re available on many sites.
On the other hand, you may find that you enjoy testing enough to look into career options. It may require more education, but you could enjoy testing enough that you move on to build a career in QA. There are a number of companies that have QA positions from home available.
There are several sites you can sign up with to do website testing. Try these for starters:
- Try My UI
- User Testing
17. Software Engineering
There are a number of companies that hire remote software engineers, either on a freelance or full time basis. It’s a great choice for remote work, because there are so many online collaboration tools available. You can keep up with the rest of your team without being in the same building.
18. Online Tutor Or Teacher
There are all kinds of sites out there looking for online tutors or teachers. They can range from tutoring companies you’ve heard of for years to online charter schools to teaching English to students in other countries.
Many will require that you have experience as a teacher or even a teaching credential in your state. Others don’t. Make sure you meet the qualifications for the positions you apply for. No place will hire someone who lacks a credential if one is required.
VIPKID is a popular choice for teaching English to students in China. They require a year of teaching experience, but that experience can include homeschooling. You must, however, have at least a Bachelor’s degree. The pay ranges from $14-22 an hour, with each class running for about a half hour. It’s not a bad place to start.
Here are some other sites to consider:
- Chegg Tutors
- Connections Academy
- Student Tutor
- StudySoup (notetaking in class)
Alternatively, you can sell lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers.
19. Evaluate Search Engines
20. Make Deliveries
Grocery and meal delivery services have become quite common. And while you aren’t doing these deliveries at home, you do get a very flexible schedule, making it great for those who only want to work a few hours.
The catch with these is making sure the pay rate is worth your time. Will your per delivery rate be enough, or will you rely on tips? Consider the pay rate as you look at these companies.
Many of these opportunities are available only in certain regions. If they don’t have opportunities in your area, move onto the next.
If you can pass a background check, you can also consider HopSkipDrive, which focuses on driving kids places.
Sometimes you can combine driving jobs, such as working for Lyft and a grocery delivery service at the same time. You can then pick whichever one has a job available at the time you’re ready to work.
22. Start A Daycare
Are up for watching other people’s kids? Starting your own daycare can be a great way to earn money at home while caring for your own family. The hours can be long, and the pay may not be great, but it can be quite worthwhile.
Check for licensing requirements in your area. Home daycares are subject to many regulations and inspections. Know what you’re getting into before you get started.
If you want something more casual, offer your babysitting services. The hours will vary quite a bit more, and probably include a lot more nights, but it’s a good option if such hours suit you. You can list your services on sites such as Care.com.
If you love animals, petsitting is a great option. You can use an app such as Rover to offer your service as a petsitter or dog walker in your area.
If you want to go independent, of course, you can also put up signs in your area or advertise your services in local Facebook groups to find customers. Lots of people need occasional help caring for their pets.
Alternatively, work as a dog walker. Many owners need help getting their dogs out for a walk while they’re at work.
24. Customer Service
The big requirement you need to be aware of is that most companies require that you have absolutely no background noise when you’re on the phone. In other words, if you have small, noisy children in the house, it’s probably the wrong job for you.
A noise-canceling headset can help quite a bit, however. This can keep some of the incidental sounds in your area from getting you into trouble.
Customer service jobs can be seasonal. Companies such as Amazon need a lot more representatives during the holiday season. Other companies hire for regular positions.
25. Graphic Design
There are a lot of options for people to work in graphic design from home. You can start out creating graphics for clients on Fiverr, earning a few bucks per design, or you can find a freelance or full time job working for a company.
26. Design Websites
If you know HTML, CSS, PHP and so forth, you may be able to work designing websites for clients. This can be a freelance gig as well as a full time job.
Some designers specialize in making WordPress themes. Once you know how WordPress themes are made, you can customize them for your clients with relative ease.
27. Translate Or Interpret
If you read, write and speak more than one language, you can work at home as a translator or interpreter.
Some companies look for interpreters who can work over the phone. You may interpret for a patient speaking to their doctor, for example.
28. Social Media Manager
Social media is huge. That’s why lots of small businesses need help with it.
While there are courses you can take to learn how to manage social media marketing for clients, you’ll want to prove that you’re good. It’s hard to get hired as a social media manager if your best social media account has only a few hundred followers.
You have to prove that you can grow a social media following, and the best way to do that is to grow one yourself. You might even make some money with it using affiliate marketing.
Try this course on Udemy to get started: Social Media Management – The Complete 2018 Manager Bootcamp
29. Create An Online Course
Do you have a skill you can teach others? Platforms such as Udemy can help you sell a course teaching students how to do what you want to teach.
The advantage to this kind of site is that you can teach just about anything. Here are just some of the subjects I found glancing around on Udemy:
- Python programming
- How to write a novel
- Exam preparations for several different exams
- Blogging courses
- Social media training
- Personal finance
- Pet care
- Music lessons
- App development
- Affiliate marketing
And the list goes on.
If you need inspiration, just visit the site and take a look. If all these people can come up with something to teach, surely you can as well!
Udemy courses are also great if there’s something you need to learn. You can improve your skills for any of your side gigs or update your skills for your job at your own pace.
30. Rent Out Extra Space On Airbnb
Do you have a vacation property or even an extra room in your home? You may be able to rent it out on Airbnb.
Just how worthwhile this is depends on where you live. Areas popular with vacationers will have higher demand than areas that don’t have much to bring people in.
31. Sell Stock Photos
The demand for stock photos is huge these days. Bloggers and other marketers are always looking for great images.
You must have exclusive rights to your photos, and you will need a model release if people can be recognized in your photo. Private property may also require a release.
32. Design T-Shirts And More
How are your artistic skills? If you love creating interesting designs, you may be able to sell them on t-shirts and other products. Here are a few sites that will print and sell your designs for you:
33. Write A Book
Time was that it was very difficult to get a book published. Sure, self publishing has always been an option, but now there are even easier options.
Amazon, for example, allows authors to create ebooks for the Kindle or for print on demand. You don’t have to find a publisher to accept your work. Some people make sales of their books regularly this way.
Books can be fiction or nonfiction, and of whatever length suits your needs.
34. Create An App
If you can do programming, you may be able to make some money by creating your own apps. Whether you design a game or make a more practical app, you can make money from it either by selling it directly or having a variety of in-app purchases available.
If your app makes it big, this can be quite profitable.