How to Make Extra Money Working from Home

Woman using laptop in her home sitting on a couch


As we all know, there are literally thousands of great ways to make money on the side that will work for anyone regardless of skills or experience. The brass ring for many is a side business that can be run from home. Here are 18 rock-solid ideas for earning a side income online and offline from the comfort of your own home.

Online Customer Service

Thanks to the widespread availability of fast broadband Internet, customer service jobs are often performed remotely by employees working from home. Companies like Arise, Alpine Access and Live Ops are your best bets when it comes to customer service jobs for homebodies. If you’ve got a laptop, a decent microphone headset and reliable web access, you can make decent money.

Evaluate Search Engine Results

Believe it or not, you can make money by simply looking for results on Google and Bing. By working as a search engine evaluation freelancer, you can improve the results that other people see and make some decent cash simultaneously. Check out sites like Leapforce to find a search engine evaluation gig that works for you.

Transcribing Real Audio

Many people assume that all transcription is done via software nowadays. In truth, even the best transcription software like Dragon Dictation makes a lot of mistakes that have to be cleaned up by human actors. Guru and Upwork are great marketplaces for transcribers that are eager to make some money and have the necessary tools to do the job.

Online Data Entry

Another great way to rake in some cash as a freelancer is with data entry. If you know your way around an Excel spreadsheet and have a quick hand on the keyboard, there are plenty of jobs to be found on Upwork. While a little prior experience is a plus, you don’t need professional credentials to earn a lot of money.

Virtual Assistant Work

If you’re particularly adept at multitasking, a virtual assistant job is a terrific way to profit on the side. Virtual assistants or VAs handle everything from answering phone calls to filing routine paperwork. While you could offer your services on Upwork or Freelancer, dedicated VA staffing and job listing sites like  Fancy Hands,Virtual Assistant JobsTask Bullet or Zirtual are the best way to start.

Offer E-Tutoring Services

Everyone is an expert in at least one area. You can leverage your know-how to make money by passing along your knowledge to students online. You don’t really need any unique qualifications to start mentoring or tutoring. Just sign up with a tutoring site like Wyzant, Tutor Hub or and start proving your worth to potential students.

Freelance Writing

Writing everything from tutorial articles to greeting cards can be highly lucrative if you carve out a niche for yourself. Popular sites with writer-for-hire listings include Problogger, Constant-Content and FreelanceWriting to name just a few. The key to making serious money is building a reputation for quality over time and locking down clients that need a dependable stream of content.

Sell Your Helpful E-Books

The problem with blogging and writing on a per-article basis is the fact that you don’t get residuals. Putting out e-books on platforms like Lulu and Scribd in the PDF or ePub formats is a better way to profit from your words. Create how-to or general advice books on popular topics, charge a few bucks per copy and watch the money roll in for the next decade.

Administer a Popular Blog

Believe it or not, some of the most popular sites on the web started out as simple hobby blogs. If you reach a certain level of traffic, companies will be crawling out of the woodwork to advertise on your site. All you need is a web hosting account, a free WordPress installation and an original idea.

Affiliate Marketing

Practically every retailer on the Internet boasts some sort of affiliate program. Anyone can make a tidy sum by sending business their way and taking a cut of the profits. Affiliates post links to products and services online and earn money whenever somebody follows them and makes a purchase. Popular programs include Amazon Associates, Clickbank, ShareASale, Linkshare and Flex Offers.

Sell Your Artistic Creations Online

If you have a talent for creating jewelry, metal sculptures or wood furniture, Etsy is the best way to move merchandise. If you’re a good graphic designer, you can sell t-shirts through companies like Teespring or CustomInk. These services take your t-shirt ideas, produce the physical product and give you a cut of the sales when they ship.

Join a Direct Sales Team

Direct sales are traditionally an in-person affair. However, the magic of the web has made the whole industry a lot more versatile. Digital direct sales sites that can help you to cash in include Pampered Chef, Melaleuca and Traveling Vineyard. The great thing about direct sales online is that the tactics are up to you.

Leverage Rebates and Discount Arbitrage

If you want to make a quick and reliable dollar, online rebates and discounts are the way to go. The key to making money with these digital offers is getting real goods at a steep discount and selling them for full price. Ebates, iBotta and Fat Wallet offer discounts and cash back for many purchases.

Become a Website Tester;

Believe it or not, testing out new or in-production websites can actually pay if you know how to evaluate the user experience. All you need to do is surf a domain and give honest feedback. Check out a site called User Testing to get a feel for the skills and mindset required to get paid for your efforts..  If you have knack for brainstorming creative names, help businesses find great names on Squad Help. If your name is selected, you make money.

Develop Mobile Applications

You don’t need to be a Java wizard or an Objective-C guru to create popular smartphone apps. Many services like Nativ, ShoutEm and AppMakr allow non-technical people to create apps quickly as long as they have a good idea. Failing that, you can find decent developers on Freelance Switch or a similar site that are fairly cheap.

Pull Jury Duty on the Web

Promising law students and even practicing attorneys rely on mock juries to test out their theories on trial law and the probable outcomes. You can sign up for a fake jury on eJury or OnlineVerdict and earn a decent side income. While this isn’t the most lucrative outlet, the ROI for time spent is stellar.

Sell Second-Hand Physical Goods

There are many people that make a full-time living buying under-priced goods on Craigslist and selling them for their true value. The Amazon FBA program and eBay are goldmines for people that can see the diamonds in the rough and know how to haggle. Buy low, sell high and keep the shipping costs to a minimum.

Operate a Pet Daycare Service

If you’re a true homebody with plenty of spare time that loves animals, a pet-walking or pet care business is a no-brainer. All you need is an acre or less of backyard and a high annoyance tolerance. Start out with taking care of cats or dogs and expand your business as you see fit.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

If you want to make a home-based side business work, you’ll find the right fit for you sooner or later. There’s certainly no shortage of options as long as you keep your mind open. Ultimately, it’s unlikely that you can’t settle on at least one idea mentioned here that won’t be a great earning opportunity on some level.

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