Last Updated January 15th, 2019

11 Super Flexible Sites Where You Can Earn Money Online

11 Super Flexible Sites Where You Can Earn Money Online

How badly do you want to earn money from home? Maybe you need the money desperately. Maybe you just need a side hustle. But when you need to earn money online around your schedule, it helps to know which sites offer the flexible opportunities you need.

But wanting to earn money online with a flexible schedule doesn’t mean you need to accept low pay. You should know what your time is worth so that you aren’t accepting absurdly low pay for your efforts. There are lots of ways to make the most of the skills you have to offer.

These sites vary in what you’ll be doing, how much you’ll make for it and how fast they’ll pay. None of these pay in points toward a drawing or other rewards – you deserve real money when you do the work.

I also considered whether it’s likely to pay enough to be worth your time. I really don’t like to see people earning under minimum wage just because they’re working online. That’s not a good way to build an income, whether you want to live on it or just supplement what you already earn.

Always be aware of the signs of a work at home scam when you’re looking at ways to earn money online. You want to make money, not lose it.

computer and coffee

1. Upwork

Elance and Odesk have merged, and now their main platform is called Upwork. The old Odesk site redirects to Upwork, while Elance is still available. However, they intend to go to a single platform eventually, so if this is the route you want to take to freelancing, I would suggest simply signing up with Upwork.

Upwork is a general freelance site. You can offer many kinds of work as a freelancer there, such as web or mobile developers, designers, writers, customer service and more.

Upwork does not accept all applicants. If they feel there is not sufficient work in their marketplace, they will decline your application.

For this reason, I suggest that you list a range of skills. There are tons of writers on Upwork, for example, so you need to stand out as more than just a basic writer to get your application approved if that’s the kind of work you’re looking for. There’s a post with some great advice on how to get your Upwork application accepted here.

2. People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a freelance site with a focus on web design, development, content and promotion. You can search for jobs and send proposals as you do on other sites, but you can also offer Hourlies, which are fixed priced jobs you offer that can be started quickly and completed in as little as an hour.

3. Etsy

If crafting is more your thing, you can open a shop on Etsy and sell them. You can sell handmade or vintage items there. Just take a look at the many things people sell there and think about what you can do. You have to be careful about making up not only the cost of the items you sell, but your time spent making or finding them when you sell on Etsy, but if you’re good at it, you can make a good profit there.

There are plenty of books and ebooks available that can help you get a good start at Etsy, such as Your Etsy Profit Machine or Etsy Empire. As with any business, there are ways to make your early days easier as you learn all the ins and outs of it.

computer and flowers

4. VIPKID

Did you know that there are flexible teaching jobs out there? VIPKID doesn’t require a ton of experience, although they do expect you to have a Bachelor’s degree as well as at least one year of experience in teaching, mentoring or tutoring.

Perhaps the most challenging part of teaching for VIPKID is that the peak hours are often in the middle of the night. There’s a little more range on the weekends. Your students will be in China, so your availability has to be when they’re ready to learn.

Pay ranges from $14-22 an hour, and it’s a six month contract. You choose your own schedule. They recommend being available for at least 7.5 hours a week. Students book with you, so the more available you are, the more classes you will teach.

5. Appen

Appen hires people as social media evaluators. You have to commit to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, with at least one weekend day, according to a current opening listing. The work is improving newsfeed relevancy on social media websites.

6. Lyft And Other Driving Jobs

Lyft and other driving jobs are extremely popular. It’s easier to earn money from them in some areas than in others, as there are simply more people needing you to drive them or run errands.

The great part about these opportunities is that you decide when you’re open to accepting opportunities. You don’t need a schedule as such, although there are better and worse times to be driving. Certain times may even be worth a premium.

The biggest challenge for some may be the age requirements for the vehicle you drive. If your car is too old, you simply may not qualify, regardless of how well you’ve maintained it.

Make sure you consider the cost of gas and maintenance when considering whether a drive is worth it. Sometimes it comes out on the low side.

laptop on desk

7. Boost Media

Boost Media is a good choice if you’re expert with improving ad performance with either copywriting or optimized images. Advertisers hold contests for ads they want improved, and you get paid if they pick yours. Yes, this means sometimes you’ll write or create something that won’t earn anything, but over time you’ll get a better feel for what works. Apply using their “Write For Us” link to get started.

8. Fiverr

What do you have to offer that someone would pay $5 for? Fiverr allows you to offer a wide variety of products or services that you charge $5 for. They keep a share, so that is not exactly your pay, however. Anything you offer at that price needs to be something you can fulfill with minimal time and effort; however, you can charge more for addon services.

Some people offer some pretty unusual things on Fiverr, so much so that there’s an entire category called “Fun & Bizarre.” Prank calls, wild rants, psychic services and much more are listed there. You don’t have to stick to serious business offerings. You can have some fun.

9. Gigwalk

Gigwalk is a different kind of job. You download an app to your Android or iOS device, register an account and do gigs in your area. You might be sent to verify that a product is on the shelf in a particular store, check on a marketing event, and so forth, things that need to be done locally but that might be otherwise inconvenient for a company to check on themselves. Reports often need to include geotagged photos. Gigs can take from minutes to hours, and the pay range reflects that.

typing chart

10. TranscribeMe

If you want to try transcription, TranscribeMe is a highly flexible way to get a bit of work when you want it. The audio you will be transcribing is less than a minute long. Pay is per audio hour, and you must keep that in mind when considering what you’re earning. It may be a bit challenging to get a good work flow going with such short files. You must have the Chrome browser to access the work hub.

The pay is not good enough for a professional transcriber, but if you’re just starting out, this is a place to try out for a time.

11. Quicktate

Quicktate is another transcription site, with audio ranging from a couple minutes to a few hours. There is a $15 fee for a background check, which is a negative, but Quicktate has a long record as a paying employer. Transcription work may involve voicemail, memos, legal or medical files, conference calls and so forth. They’re associated with iDictate, which you may also apply for if you test well enough at Quicktate. Your hours are completely up to you.

As with TranscribeMe, pay is not very good, but when you’re a beginning transcriptionist looking for work, it’s an okay start.

There Are Other Flexible Ways To Earn Money Online

While working at home is not always flexible, there are many other ways to earn money online on your own schedule.

Blogging is popular, but you never know if your blog will earn money or not. It’s super easy to start your own blog, however, and I strongly recommend you do so if it interests you at all. So long as you understand the risks it’s worth a try. It might just work out.

Freelance writing is another option. There are lots of companies that use freelance writers, beyond what I could ever keep up with on this site. And of course there are all kinds of freelance opportunities out there.

If you’re looking for still more work at home jobs, take a look at the Home With The Kids job board. There are hundreds of possibilities there, with new ones added on weekdays.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 17th, 2018

When Should a Stay at Home Mom Consider a Work at Home Job?

When Should a Stay at Home Mom Consider a Work at Home Job?

While many stay at home moms do already work at home, others don’t. The reason is pretty simple: It’s hard to commit yourself fully to your family if you have to work all the time. And if your family doesn’t need the money, why use up all that time?

But things can change, and working from home may be a more pleasant option than giving up on the stay at home dream altogether. Fortunately, it may be manageable if you plan ahead and are realistic about your own capabilities.

So when should a stay at home mom consider a work at home job?

If Your Family is Carrying a Heavy Debt Load

For this, I generally mean beyond a mortgage. Most people carry a mortgage on their home for quite a number of years, and that’s not a bad thing so long as it is manageable. But credit card debt, student loan debts and so forth are more of a problem.

Working at home is a way to get some of that debt paid down a little more quickly. If you don’t need the money for other purposes, use the new income to pay off your debts.

Take a look at how much you pay out each month on credit card or student loan debts. Think about how much more comfortable your family would be if that money didn’t have to go there. If you’re dealing with these debts, it’s probably a good time to consider a work at home job.

If your family is struggling to pay the mortgage, it’s probably time for the stay at home mom to find a job. Working at home is one way to do that without entirely giving up having one parent at home. You may have to get help watching the kids while you work, but if the hours are flexible enough, you can manage pretty well.

To Give Your Family A Financial Cushion

Jobs can be lost for so many reasons. Layoffs and medical issues come immediately to mind.

If you don’t have several months’ worth of income saved up for such a crisis, your family can be in deep trouble if the only wage earner suddenly isn’t bringing in much money, or is bringing in significantly less. Unemployment benefits don’t pay the same as a job, and they don’t last that long, not when you consider how long many job hunts last. And there’s no guarantee that a new job will pay what the old did.

If you start working at home you can bring that cushion up. It can be protection for your family in case of difficulties. Much better than living month to month.

The fact that I work at home has kept us afloat many times. When my husband was laid off years ago, my income meant we could still handle many of the bills. Credit card debt still hit us, but not nearly as hard as it would have if I hadn’t been working.

Even with two incomes, it’s not uncommon to live month to month. Lots of families earn barely enough to get by with two incomes. Your work at home job may or may not be enough to keep your family from living month to month, but it’s better than you not working at all.

Just Because You WANT To Consider A Work At Home Job

Sometimes you just want more from your life than taking care of home and family. Especially as children get older there’s only so much you can do, after all. Working at home gives you the chance to still be there while pursuing one of your own interests.

We have a huge advantage over mothers who worked at home in the past. There are a lot more options. We can go beyond the traditional options of daycare and network marketing and follow still more of our own interests.

You can start a blog. You can be a remote worker for all kinds of companies, doing tech support, medical codingcustomer service, transcription or many other remote jobs. You can hire yourself out as a freelance writer, programmer, designer, whatever suits your skills.

Don’t give yourself a hard time if you find that you wish you had a job when you’re a stay at home mom. It’s perfectly reasonable. There are a lot of benefits to your family. The right job or online business will allow you to keep being the stay at home mom you want to be while you earn an income.

So What’s The Catch?

The catch, of course, is that not everyone will succeed in working at home. It does take from your day. It takes effort. It’s flat out difficult for many people to find opportunities that aren’t scams. And yes, if you start a home business you may even lose money. It’s not risk free.

If you decide you want to work at home, don’t be in a rush about it. Don’t allow hype to catch your attention, or worse yet, your wallet. Take your time and do your research. Ask other people about it. The work at home community is generally very willing to help new members figure out what is legitimate. While you can’t trust everyone you meet online, getting more eyes on what you think will be good can help you to spot potential problems before you’re paying for them.

The last thing you want is to fall for a work at home scam and make the situation worse. It’s hard enough to earn money from home for many people – you don’t need someone stealing away much needed money.

You should also be aware that many work at home jobs aren’t as flexible as some think. Some are very strict about work hours or work conditions. Pay attention to the requirements of the job as you go through the application process. A customer service job that requires a complete lack of background noise, for example, won’t go so well if you have a screaming infant nearby while you work.

Take your time as you consider a work at home job. Make sure you know what you want from it and what employers are likely to want from you. This will help you find something that is a good match to your financial and scheduling needs.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 5th, 2018

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

You’re looking for a work at home job, and you think you’ve found something. But they’re asking for some information you aren’t sure that you should share. When is the right time to share the information they’re asking for? How do you know which information you should share when looking for a work at home job?

This isn’t always easy to answer. It can depend on the kind of work you’re looking at and how confident you are that the opportunity is legitimate.

When In Doubt, Don’t Share

We all worry about being scammed when looking for stay at home jobs. It’s normal. There are a lot of scams out there.

This makes sharing even normal personal information requested on any other job application more difficult when you’re talking about applying online. You just don’t have the reassurance that you get from applying with a local company. Most local companies you can drive by and see their actual location. You know they’re real because you’ve been there.

You can do a pretty good job of researching potential employers if you know how. Look up reviews for them online. Many companies are reviewed by current and former employees on sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor. You can learn about them on LinkedIn as well. Make sure you know the company’s name and do a little research on them before you apply for a job.

When in doubt, see if you can submit the online application without all the information filled out, and use the comment box (if available) to explain why you have left certain information out. A Social Security Number, for example, is necessary for a company to deal with taxes, and may be requested if a background check is being done. It’s really not necessary to share it otherwise, and you can take the chance of offering to provide it only if you make it that far in the hiring process.

Information You Shouldn’t Share Immediately

There is some information that you should not share with a potential employer until you know that the opportunity is legitimate and that the employer needs it. This would include your social security number and banking information.

An employer only needs your social security number once you’re hired or to run a background check. They shouldn’t need it sooner than that. If they want your social security number sooner, find out why and decide if you’re comfortable with their reasoning.

Your banking information can be very high risk to share. It’s wonderful when your employer lets you sign up for direct deposit so that you get paid sooner, but there is a risk in giving them access to that information.

You also don’t need to share information about your family or personal situation more than absolutely necessary. Talking about your kids or other parts of your family life can make you look less professional, and make it less likely that you will be hired for the job. It doesn’t matter that you want to work at home to have more time with your kids. Potential employers want to know what you’ll do for them, not what they’ll do for you.

In general, not just in your job hunt, you should never share your contact information, social security number, or birth date publicly. This includes on social media. Putting too much information out there in general sets you up for identity theft. And of course, never share your mother’s maiden name or any of the other information you may have used to secure your bank account.

Is Professionally Embarrassing Information Already Out There?

A lot of people have discovered that information they’ve shared online socially can impact them professionally. More and more employers check applicants out online to see what’s out there. Employers may expect you to give them links to your social media accounts so that they can check them out easily. If they want this, take some time to make sure your social media accounts won’t mess up your job hunt.

No one has perfect control over what appears on a search for their name online. I’m not currently on the first page for my name, one of the curses of having a very common name. But since I’m not exactly going for the guru thing I’ve never stressed about getting my name up there in the rankings.

But the factors you do control you should take into consideration. Look at how you’re presenting yourself on social networks and anywhere else you appear online. Work at home jobs will mostly be concerned with your professionalism, and depending on the position you’re applying for these things can be quite relevant.

Keep It Professional

One important thing to do when you’re looking for a job online is to make sure you give a professional appearance with the information you provide. This means you don’t want to have an email address that’s fun to have socially but might make a potential employer lose interest in you. An email address based on your name is best for most purposes, and it can be nice to keep your job hunting emails separate from the usual personal stuff anyhow.

Potential employers also aren’t going to be interested in your home situation. Even if they’re hiring you for a home based position, they don’t need to know about your kids or how you’re going to handle caring for them while you work. That’s your problem and the expectation is that you’ll handle it.

What they do want to know is why you’re the right employee for them to hire. Make a good impression in that area by emphasizing your relevant skills. Potential employers need employees who know how to separate their family life from their work at home life. If you can’t do that in the application process, they may feel that you won’t keep them appropriately separated when you’re working.

Don’t Speak Poorly Of Current Or Previous Jobs

Never speak negatively of your current or previous jobs. If you worked for a company and it went out of business, you can say that. It even gives you a good reason for leaving.

But don’t go into problems you had at your old job. Potential employers will only care in that they will wonder how you will speak of them outside of work or when you leave. Speaking ill of an employer, past or present, reflects negatively on your professionalism, not on the employer you’re talking about.

Don’t Be Desperate

You may be desperate to land a job. I hear it all the time from people contacting me about finding ways to work at home. They need money, badly.

That’s not the potential employer’s problem. Some might even take advantage and offer you a lower rate of pay than they might otherwise because they know they have the upper hand.

Any situation that isn’t relevant to that employer is something you shouldn’t share. That goes double if it makes you sound desperate for a job. Needing a job badly won’t make them more interested in you as a candidate. It might make them consider paying you less if they decide to hire you.

Hunting for a job always means sharing some personal information. Someone offering you a job (not a business opportunity) without wanting to know about your work history probably doesn’t have a real job to offer you. Make sure you know what the appropriate limits are, and if it feels wrong to share a particular piece of information, find out if it’s really necessary to share it.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 19th, 2011

9 Factors to Consider When Looking for Work at Home Jobs

Too often I see people just say they want to work at home so they can be there for their kids. They haven’t put much more thought than that into it. Many people don’t know what they can do from home, what the income potential is or what to look out for. This can cause problems not only when you’re trying to avoid being scammed as you look for home based work, but as you try to build your career.

1. Learn the basics of spotting a work at home scam.

It almost doesn’t matter what you’re going to do as a work from home job. You need to know what work at home scams look like, or it’s too easy to fall for one. Simply knowing that you shouldn’t pay to show that you’re serious about applying for the job and that pay rates should be realistic for the kind of work you’ll be doing will help you avoid a lot of scams. A bit more research can be necessary to spot other signs, but those basics will help you avoid the most obvious issues.

2. Know what kind of work you expect to do from home.

Don’t go around applying for every work at home job you hear about, whether or not you have the ability to actually do the work. It’s just not a good idea.

Employers want people who are interested and capable of doing the job they’re applying for. Your resume should show that you have some sort of experience relevant to the job. Training is a bit more challenging when you’re at home, so employers don’t want to have to do an excessive amount of it.

3. Is this a job until the kids are old enough for school or your career you’re planning?

Many stay at home moms only stay at home until the kids are old enough to go to school. They then head back to work. Others plan on staying at home pretty much forever, and want to build a career from home.

While you may be looking at similar jobs, they won’t necessarily be entirely the same. If it’s a career at home you’re after, you want to know if you can grow in the job and still stay at home. If you’re planning on going back outside the home to work eventually, you need to know that you can move the skills you’re using in the job to either move to the office with that company or move along to another business in your area.

4. Do you know how you’re going to work at home?

It’s easy to say that you’re going to work at home. Doing a good job of it is something else entirely.

Motivation is one of the first issues people face when they start out. There are so many distractions at home, and it’s often all too easy to skip out on work when you don’t have to report to an office. That’s fine, so long as you don’t mind risking your job. Home based employees do get fired for not working when they’re supposed to just as people do when they work outside the home. Just because you don’t have direct supervision doesn’t mean they don’t know when you’re working or how productive you are.

Children are another distraction even when you’re feeling motivated. It takes time to teach them to let you work, and very young ones won’t understand at all. Many work at home parents do use daycare or have a family member or friend take the kids so they can get work done. Have realistic expectations for your family.

5. Are you comfortable with all the technology you’ll need to use?

If you’re terrible with computers, most work at home jobs aren’t going to work out for you. They’re a big part of most positions.

You need to be comfortable enough that you can quickly learn any new software your job requires. There will probably be some programs you learn to use in order to do your job that you wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise. You may even use familiar programs in unfamiliar ways.

This includes knowing some basic troubleshooting. If your computer freezes up, what do you do? You shouldn’t need to call someone for help for minor problems.

6. How consistent is the work?

One problem many home based jobs face is that the work isn’t consistent enough for you to maintain a constant income. Some weeks your employers are begging you to put in overtime; others they have no work at all for you.

If you’re going to depend on the income, you need work that is consistently available. Depending on the industry, you may need to work for more than one employer to build a reasonably consistent income. Other industries, the one job is plenty.

This isn’t even about being laid off when the company is really low on work. Some jobs have times when they naturally have less work for employees, then a surge of work, and they’ll keep you hanging on even when there’s not much to do. Considering that many home based employees are paid on production rather than hourly, this can be terrible for your income.

7. Are raises available?

Some work at home jobs pay pretty respectably. Others not so much. But in either case, you probably want to know if you will be able to get a raise as your skills improve or for other reasons. The cost of living increases over time – odds are you’d like your income to do the same.

8. What about benefits?

This is particularly important if you’re trying to be the one to provide health insurance for your family. In some types of work at home jobs benefits are hard to come by while in others they’re about as common as they are in the office based versions of the same job.

Remember that benefits aren’t only about health coverage. Look at retirement plans, educational opportunities and other offerings that may be available to you.

9. Will you be considered an employee or a contractor?

The difference between an employee and a contractor is very important when it comes to handling your taxes and sometimes other issues. Companies that hire home based workers don’t always pay enough attention to the legal differences, and that can mess up your taxes pretty badly, as the difference determines factors such as who is responsible for certain taxes.

Do you have any further suggestions for things people should consider as they start looking toward a work at home job?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 8th, 2009

What’s the Real Deal with Arise Work at Home Opportunities?

I’ve been in contact with Jessica LaFlesch from Arise lately. She gave me some customer service work at home job leads to post and mentioned that a lot of people have misconceptions about the relationship between Arise and people who work with them. She graciously agreed to answer some questions, so as to help put these misconceptions to rest.

1. What kinds of jobs does Arise generally hire for?

We do not hire agents; rather we contact with them and provide opportunities with specific clients to certify on and begin working. Arise has over forty clients in three primary categories: Sales, Customer Service and Tech Support. While the majority of our client needs involve handling inbound calls, we do have some clients who use Arise Certified Professionals to answer incoming emails and incoming chat sessions.

2. What is the relationship between work at home agents and Arise?

The Arise business model is built on a business to business relationship. Essentially, Arise Certified Professionals (ACPs) are considered self employed, contacted with Arise under the business entity established within the Admissions process. ACPs are able to pick the clients to certify on and build their own schedules in half hour increments based on their schedules.

3. What costs are there to work for Arise?

ACPs are considered independent contactors, not employees. As with starting ANY business, there are is an initial investment. However, much of the investment is not paid to Arise, it is invested in things like establishing your business entity with the state and your workstation. I have included a breakdown of the initial investment:

  • Background Check – $13 or $26 (Paid to US Information Search)
  • ACP101 Basic Certification Course – $99
  • Incorporation – $100 +/- (Paid to the state you are filing in)
  • High Speed ISP – $100 +/- (Paid to the vendor of your choice)
  • Phone Equipment & Dedicated Line – $185 +/- (Paid to the vendor of your choice)
  • Client Specific Certification Course $50 – $225

Arise does charge for certification courses. The fee assessed helps Arise to offset the cost associated with facilitating the courses.

4. What misconceptions about Arise would you like to clear up?

The below are excerpts from actual inquiries I have received.

1. “With Arise, you are paying for a job.”

The biggest misconception about Arise is that candidates are “paying for a job”. This simply is not the case. Arise Certified Professionals are independent, self employed individuals who are able to pick their own hours as well as the client they would like to certify with. They are also able to reap the tax and other benefits only available to small business owners.

2. “Nobody told me there was an investment required.”

Arise makes no secret of our business model or the initial investment – this information is located within our FAQs (no login or profile required), however not every candidate takes the time to review these pages before starting the Admissions process.

3. “I heard there are not enough hours.”

As with any type of contact center – virtual or traditional – there will be peaks and valleys in the call volume for each client. As a decrease occurs, there may be a reduction in the number of hours available. Successful ACPs will hold more than one certification to offset this.

4. “Arise brings on new agents while terminating the contacts of good existing agents for no reason.”

Arise will *not* terminate the VSC Statements of Work (SOW / contract) without cause. It is imperative that every ACP know and understand the expectations of the client before they even begin the certification course. Arise is no different than any other type of company – work at home or otherwise- agents must be meeting or exceeding the established expectations or they face the possibility of having their VSC SOW terminated.

The Arise Admissions process is typically open year round to new profiles, however, there are times of year when the demand for additional agents is larger than others. As a client advises their needs have changed and more agents are required, Arise will schedule and facilitate additional certification courses. During slower times of year, there may be a longer period of time in between certification opportunities.

I’d like to thank Jessica LaFlasch for answering my questions. If anyone has further questions, just let me know and I can send them along to her.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.