By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
It’s a tough time for the economy right now amid the coronavirus pandemic. Millions have filed for unemployment over the past few weeks. Many small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. As the pandemic has caused countless people to work from home, the idea of generating an income from your couch (or bed) has grown in popularity. Many are starting to think about ways to make money from home to supplement their incomes. Others are just trying to keep afloat while out of a job due to the virus.
Fortunately, there are a variety of legitimate ways you can work from home. You may worry about scams, but our technology-rich world means there are plenty of options for those who have in-demand skills. You might even find that your new income while working from home matches or exceeds that of your day job.
Combining a work-from-home job with budgeting, thanks to the help of money saving apps, is a smart strategy during a down economy. There are a variety of smartphone apps to help you find coupons and effectively budget.
Now is a great time to learn how to be savvy with your money. You’ll only be more ahead when you find a lucrative work-from-home job or return to work.
Here are a few easy ways to make money from home.
There are countless people out on the internet trying to sell their products. These might be digital books, online courses, or physical products. One way you can make money is by becoming an affiliate marketer, a job where you promote a product and then receive a percentage of each sale.
Some choose to become affiliate marketers at retail giants like Amazon. Others head over to ClickBank, where there are more than 50,000 items to market. Some commissions can be up to 75%.
If you have friends or family who have a product, see if they’d be willing to let you become an affiliate marketer. If you are looking to learn a new skill by buying products on a site like Gumroad, reach out to the product creator and see if they are interested in letting you affiliate market, especially if you think the product is good.
Before marketing any product, you should do your research into the item. Some products are harder to promote than others. Others might just be poor quality, even if the creators try to entice you with a large commission.
If you’ve got a talent in an area like writing, design, programming, or video, think about freelancing your skills while working at home. Popular freelancing websites great for those starting out include Upwork, Guru, and Fiverr.
These types of sites let you set your own rates and give you control over what you’d like to offer. You’d be surprised by some of the seemingly strange offerings that make people a lot of money. Think about how you can creatively utilize your skills; the more abstract, the better!
As a freelancer, you should be mindful of the type of work you take on and the people you work with. Some clients aren’t worth the stress and worry, even if they want to pay you a lot. But if you offer a freelance skill that you actually like doing, this can be one of the most enjoyable ways to make money from home.
No, you don’t need to put together a huge manuscript and find a publishing company to become an author. You can actually publish right from your computer, thanks to platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Apple’s iBookstore.
You don’t even have to write a traditional novel to find success as an e-book author. You could even compile notes from your business or a venture you started and market a startup business book to help others who are interested in e-commerce.
You could also do some heavy research and publish a short book on wellness trends, along with some actionable health and fitness advice based on your own experience. Check out some of the top-selling digital books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble to get a feel for what type of topics sell well.
Are you a guru in a particular subject area? Think about selling your expertise on websites like JustAnswer.com. You have the opportunity to answer questions from people looking for expert input in a wide range of industries, from law and health to personal finance.
The average answer nets about $15 for the expert after JustAnswer takes out their fees. For websites like JustAnswer, you will have to pass a subject-matter test and successfully complete other qualifications to verify your background.
Transcriptionists at websites like Rev.com listen to an audio file and type what they hear. A good transcriptionist is an accurate typer with a great ear and memory, so it might take some practice to make solid money working for online transcription sites.
However, you do get paid based on the length and complexity of the audio file. Good transcriptionists can make up to $100 a day. Most transcription websites will ask you to take an initial test before starting work. So if you type quickly and accurately, this could become one of your favorite ways to make money from home.
If you’re serious about making money from home, you need to make sure your internet connection is fast and stable. Spotty internet will kill your productivity. Make sure your desktop or laptop is reliable and that you have a comfortable area to work.
Since many schools are closed for the rest of the school year, you will have to determine a plan to balance family time with your work. Even without kids, it’s important to have a balanced schedule.
Think about how you can schedule a balanced day. Set aside time with your kids or by yourself outside while the days are warm and sunny, and also schedule time to do some work in a quiet environment. At the same time, be realistic about working from home if you do have children to care for. It’s a tough thing to balance!
There are a variety of legitimate ways to make money from home, even in a down economy. The key is to think creatively about how you can market your skills and talents. While it can be harder to manage your time and energy while working at home, many find the flexibility and freedom more liberating than commuting in an office.
As you build your home business, consider how you can sustain it for the long term. For example, an e-book you publish can net you money through sales for years to come. Being smart about how you work from home might help you build a side income stream that can supplement your regular income across any month of the year.