Joining a direct sales opportunity is one of the classic ways to start earning money from home. Lots of people venture into one such opportunity or another when they get started. It sounds so appealing after all, to build a business with great products and a downline to help you earn even when you don’t make the sale yourself.

There are a number of great direct sales companies you can join too. Some have been around almost since the time direct sales was a possibility, while new companies start every year. Companies come and companies go, making it vital that you choose a good one if this is how you want to make money from home. Losing your business because the company you order products from disappeared is hard, to say the least.

This isn’t the path everyone wants to take when they consider earning money from home. The sales aspect certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone, as most such opportunities have a significant aspect of selling in person as you get started, through holding home parties or by recommending products to people you meet. Many allow for an online aspect these days as well, but it’s not the focus for most. But many people wonder if there’s any other way to legitimately earn money from home.

There are many ways, of course. Some have been done pretty much forever, while others came about because of the internet, for example, daycare, writing, website designing, affiliate marketing, making and selling crafts, graphic design, selling photos, mystery shopping, customer service over the phone, telemarketing, data entry, working as a virtual assistant, technical support, computer programming, blogging, transcription, selling on eBay and other auction sites, running errands, bookkeeping, teaching… the list goes on.

The key here is to figure out what it is you want to do and what you can make money doing. From there you can figure out how to make it work.

You won’t always have to start your own business, of course. There are companies that hire people to work from home, and some of the jobs offer pretty good pay. They aren’t always easy, and they do require you to be professional in your work. If you aren’t visible to anyone else, that means being professional when you speak to people and doing quick, accurate work. Most work at home jobs pay on production in one form or another, so the better and more quickly you do your work, the better off you are. Just don’t sacrifice accuracy because there’s always a high demand for quality.

Running a home business whether online or in person means you must be willing to take the risk of never earning anything. Many fail, but if you succeed you may have a lot more flexibility, depending on the type of business you run. A home daycare operator is not going to have the same flexibility as an affiliate marketer, but one may be more suited to the type of work you’d like to do than the other.

Research Is a Key to Success

If you want to earn money from home successfully, research is the key to any chance you have of success with it. You have to know what you need to do. You can guess and throw yourself into the first opportunity that strikes your fancy, but you’re more likely to fall into a scam than wander into success. That goes whether you’re starting a business or searching for a work at home job.

There must be a match with your skills and interests. There must be a demand for whatever you’re going to do. You must know how you’re going to get things going.

Research also helps to keep your expectations realistic. That’s when you find out that no matter the promises made, you aren’t going to be earning six figures within months. It’s when you realize how much work is really involved. It’s also probably when some of your dreams are dashed by reality. If you had wild dreams of easy success, that’s probably a good thing.

The first thing to check in your research is how to get a start in whatever you’re going to do without getting scammed. Scams outnumber legitimate opportunities when it comes to earning money from home. It’s easy to fall for one. Pay attention and learn what you should be looking for to avoid the scams. Some of the basic signs include the promise of easy money, earning from recruiting rather than selling products, an unclear source of income, a fee for to apply for a job (businesses and information on running one usually cost money; applying for a job should not). When in doubt, ask around and see what others say.

You can avoid a lot of the usual scams if you start your own completely independent business. It’s not a scam to start a business writing for others or designing websites. You do, however, need to figure out how to get clients and make sure they pay you. There are a lot of great people running all kinds of businesses from home and you have to learn to deal with your customers and the competition.

Keep Trying

No matter what it is you choose to do to earn money from home, you’re probably going to have to work at it a while to see results. Just because you can, theoretically, work in your pajamas doesn’t mean it’s easy. You have to really put in the effort to get the results.