Approximately 3.7 million people in the U.S. were self-employed as of 2018 and working from their homes. Nine out of 10 American workers have wished at some point that they could make the transition to working from home. With the ups and downs of the economy, the slicing of employer benefits, and the crazy pace of life, many people are deciding to take control of their careers and incomes by launching a home business.
Starting a home-based business is a great way to do this. In fact, 52 percent of U.S. companies operate as home businesses (source) and many of today’s biggest brand names were established by stay-at-home moms – (Dorothy) Gerber, Mrs. (Debbi) Fields, and Julie Aigner-Clark (Baby Einstein), to name but a few. But what types of businesses can grow and thrive in the home environment?
Try affiliate marketing. This means promoting someone else’s products or services for pay without actually carrying an inventory. There are many ways of incorporating affiliate marketing into your website/blog/page including banner ads (which are generally ineffective, as people tend to avoid these), linked articles (which are quite successful when the article content is thoughtful and doesn’t appear spammy), and product-placement videos (which can be very successful when done by people with charisma or a good sense of humor). You can even become an affiliate marketer without a website. Basic ways of making money through of affiliate marketing include:
Sell photos. If you have a decent camera and a good sense of light, color, and composition, you can take and sell stock photos – i.e. nondescript images that lend themselves to many applications and are commonly used to illustrate online articles or products – with minimal effort. Stock photos of locations (a fire hydrant, a bare wall near an interesting tree, or anything you might find as a default background image on your computer) are easier to take, but stock photos of people (i.e. people arguing, people kissing, people laughing) usually sell for more, as they have more uses and require the written legal consent of your subjects. Hunt for a reputable stock photo dealer or database that will pay you fairly before signing on with anyone.
While writing a book might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are guides and lots of advice online that can help you get started. In fact, you don’t even have to write the book yourself. You can simply hire a ghostwriter to do it for you! It is actually not the writing itself that is the problem (although you have to provide people with something that they would enjoy reading and gain from in general) but in the promotion of the book. It is the marketing aspect of it that often gets most self-publishers out of the money.
26. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
According to Lynne Norris of NorrisBusinessSolutions.com, who works out of her home in Pennsylvania as a virtual assistant, the rates for VAs run about $25 to $75 or more an hour, though ZipRecruiter calculates the average hourly rate at $19. According to Norris, the startup costs of this work from home job can range from about $500 to $1,000, assuming you have an up-to-date computer and printer.