How do I earn money working from home?

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This question comes up a lot. Often, it’s from eBay sellers who like the idea of their own business, but can’t or don’t want to make eBay work for them (which is totally fair enough – online retail isn’t for every one). Other times, it’s from people who’ve seen magazine articles about home-started businesses, and think they’d like a bit of that.

There’s no shortage of help. Put “earn money at home working from my PC” into Google and you’ll turn up a whole stack of ideas… mostly posted by scammers, or at best, pyramid schemes that’ll earn a lot more for the guy above you, and you’ll need to become a bit of a scammer yourself to make it pay.

If you’re putting “earn money at home working from my PC” into Google, you’re going to turn up scams because those scammers prey on people’s desire to have it made easy for them. Instead of looking for a turn-key solution, ask yourself:

  • what am I good at?
  • what do I know about?
  • what do I care about?

For example, it’s no use thinking “freelance bookkeepers make good money, I’ll do that” if you’re hopeless with figures and can’t work Excel, or thinking “I’ll sell mobile phones on eBay” if you don’t have a supplier. And if what you do is going to be alongside your regular job, you’ll need to love doing it otherwise it’s going to feel like a complete chore.

The best home businesses grow out of doing something you’re already doing for the love of it. Do you blog like your life depends on it? Do you make beautiful clothes for your children, or your dogs? Do you create stunning websites or artwork or animations? It’s better to look at monetising something you’re already doing than to start with the idea that you need to earn money.

This post was unashamedly repurposed from Enterprise Nation’s forum.

Creative Commons License photo credit: StephenMitchell

9 Responses

  1. I get this question constantly, presumably because I work from home, I must have an unlimited font of money making ideas at my disposal. 😉

    The perfect work from home opportunity for YOU is where you interests and passion intersect with profit and the needs of others. And it’s not a goldmine. You’ll probably work longer hours and harder for less than your friends make in their 9 to 5.

  2. To echo the advice I put on the the other thread: if you are going to turn your hobby into a business, make sure that it stacks up as a business: ie that it makes money.

    Nothing will kill your love of your hobby faster than engaging on an impossible task of turning it into a business.

    Also realise that much of running a business is about running a business, not doing the business. So if you don’t like running a business then think twice!

    On the other hand — small home-based business have fantastically low start-up costs, are subject to some tax breaks and — whilst constrained in terms of size and growth — can provide good incomes.

  3. What everyone misses out on when working from home is discipline… really need to be disclipined if you need to get on.
    No thinking “I will do it tomorrow”
    Also, when your friends & relatives know you work from home they think they can put on you or fall back on you…. “can you look after the kids” Or “can you pick this up as I am working”, it really used to get my goat and the answer you need for them is “I don’t disturb you while you are at work so don’t disturb me !”
    You need to be committed, strong and disciplined and treat work from home as if you are working for someone else

  4. I thought about going on the batter
    but My false teeth and baldness tends to effect profits

  5. Very good points here.
    The times I have seen people on forums say they want to make money on line and what can they do !

    Yes do something you like and know about and you need to be disciplined.



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