As a mom-to-be having the ability to stay at home with my little one while still bringing in regular income is a tremendous opportunity. I know so many women face the 'should I return to work, or not' conundrum and it's not easy or even possible for many families to live off of one income. Honestly, with my husband being military we have the best healthcare ever (because it's free) but living off of just his income alone would be difficult given my student loan debt and baby to be. My first business was a jewelry shop my best friend and I started in elementary school. J & E Jewelry (for BFF's Jamie and Erica - how original.) We made beaded bracelets and probably sold a grand total of two. During graduate school I started selling Jewelry again and actually made enough to cover gas and groceries each month. Since then I've discovered a few more work-from-home opportunities that have actually proved to be successful.
I made just shy of $20,000 thanks to this blog last year. Some of that comes from other sources I've listed here separately, but blogging by itself brought in about $12,000. That's not including all of the free stuff and trips I've received (a trip to Chicago in January to shoot a commercial and going to Newport, Rhode Island this week - both 100% free.) For a detailed breakdown of how I made the money check out this post. If you are interested in starting a blog here are my best tips for getting started and growing traffic. Starting your own blog is super easy. It took me just a few minutes to set everything up using BlueHost (Affiliate link) and Wordpress (don't use anything but Wordpress if you want to make money!)
How to start a wordpress blog in 5 minutes:
- Go to BlueHost and click on 'sign up now.'
- Next, you'll be prompted to choose a domain name for your site. My tip: THINK LONG AND HARD before picking a name! I suggest using your own name so if your blog switches directions it's okay. If you start off as 'Wine and Weightlifting' but decide to focus on travel and parenting then you'll have to re-brand yourself.
- Next you'll fill out some personal information, pick what type of plan you want (12, 24, or 36 months) and then you are all signed up!
- Finally, you'll have to install Wordpress. Go to the MOJO Marketplace and select 'Wordpress'
- Follow the prompts and you are set! Once it is installed you can log into your Wordpress account to create posts, change your layout, and everything else blog related. Now you just have to worry about the whole 'writing stuff people want to read' thing.
2. Freelance Writing
I made $2,215 from freelance writing last year. I wrote this post on how to get started freelancing, and included all the websites I check daily to find work! My blog has attracted a lot of work offers for me. I did work for free some in the beginning to build my portfolio, but now I make between $100-250 per article depending on the length, how much I promote it on my end, and other factors.
3. Open an Etsy Shop
Yes this idea has been beat to death but if you are good at making anything then it's worth a shot! The key here is that you have to make really, really outstanding products. I sometimes see jewelry shops on Etsy that look like what I would have opened when I was still in my J & E Jewelry days. My shop was Love & Lust (don't ask me why I thought that was a good name) and then I had a shop selling handcrafted marshmallows for a few months when I was dating a chef. We made about $2000 one Holiday season and were making 200+ marshmallows a day! I made jewelry, wall decor (cross-stitch) and various other items.
Since starting my blog three years ago I've grown my twitter following to 52,000, Instagram to 8,200 and facebook to 4,200. That is a HUGE selling point when I work with brands. Having a large social media following can pay off in numerous ways:
- It's also given me the opportunity to work as a social media manager for a company I used to work as a clinical researcher for.
- I get paid for sponsored tweets or facebook updates. Anywhere from $15-40 a post. I mostly use IZEA (affiliate link) for this and make about $100 a month from them.
- This year I've started co-hosting more Twitter chats and make anywhere from $150 to $250 an hour for that. Yes, it's ridiculous.
5. Scoring Standardized Tests at Home
Last month I started working for Pearson as an online test scorer. You can apply to work with them here. Based on your academic background (I do believe you need a college degree to do this) you will qualify for certain tests throughout the year. Training is $10 an hour, and grading is $12 an hour. You can work WHENEVER YOU WANT as long as you work 20 hours a week. You can work up to 40 hours. The flexibility is amazing.
For the first week I trained for 9 hours, and the second week I worked 31.5 hours. You can see my pay for that time below. The top paycheck is my hourly pay, and the bottom is bonuses. So, for 40.5 hours of work I made $15.10 an hour ($12.56 after taxes.) I plan to work a minimum of 30 hours a week and my bonus check should be about double that during the next pay period. I LOVE this job. Each job only lasts 4-8 weeks but if you do a good job then you'll usually get 2-4 contracts a year. So, assuming I make $15 an hour working 30 hours a week for 6 weeks that's $2,700 per contract with the potential of doing that 3x a year = $8,100 a year. Mama likey.
6. Beachbody (or any other Multi Level Marketing scheme)
I don't want to spend too much time on this because I spent a whopping 2 months as as Beachbody coach before realizing it's just not for me. I know people who are successfully making thousands a month off of it, but I don't have the pushy personality needed to sell products like that (and I just don't think shakeology is worth it.) If you find a product you genuinely love, and have the audience to sell it to, then there are all sorts of MLM companies you could sign up with (Beachbody, DoTerra oils, Origami Owl, just to name a few...)
7. Other Random Side Hustles I've done:
- In college I worked as a vet tech and when people asked if we knew of any pet sitters to recommend I always volunteered myself! I charged $20 to stop in and feed, administer medicine, and play with their pets for an hour a day.
- Babysitting. In high school and college I worked as a sitter for $10-12 an hour (tax free!)
- Sold items on Ebay/Etsy. I'd find unique items in antique or thrift stores and resell them online.
- Become a personal trainer/yoga instructor. Obviously you can't really do this from home, but you could make $20-25 an hour a few times a week or train clients virtually online.
[Tweet "7 Work from Home Jobs That Make Me $30k+ a Year"]
Have you ever made money working from home? Would you like to transition into working from home someday?