By Holly Reisem Hanna
Many years ago, when I started brainstorming work-at-home business ideas, many occupations came to mind, event planner, professional organizer, doula, and personal concierge. But when I asked myself, “How do I envision my daily life?” it didn’t include running all around town, being on call, working holidays, nights or weekends.
When I sat down and mapped out my dream work-at-home job, it involved working from inside my home with a schedule that was super flexible; meaning I could work any hours from anywhere in the world. While there are a lot of work-at-home business opportunities out there — many of them require you to work standardized hours or to leave the comfort of your home.
If you want to have complete freedom over your schedule, then check out these flexible home-based business ideas that allow you to work whenever you want.
1) Blogger — Do You Want to Be an Online Influencer?
Obviously, I’m a huge advocate for starting your own blog. But let me tell you why blogging is such a great business to start.
- It builds a business platform for other opportunities like freelance writing, coaching, speaking, marketing, or even direct selling.
- Showcases your expertise.
- Introduces you to people and opportunities you would not have been privileged to before.
- It takes very little money to start and run.
- You can blog about ANYTHING!
When you’re a blogger, you’ll be doing many different tasks at once. You’ll be researching, writing, editing, and taking photos for blog posts so that you can publish excellent content. You’ll be dealing with tech issues, like adding new plugins, modifying your sidebar, or trying to figure out why your site is running slow. You’ll be distributing your articles on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You’ll be interacting with readers through blog comments, social media platforms, and email. And don’t forget about providing customer service and support to your advertisers and sponsors. While it takes time to make money from blogging, it truly is one of the most flexible careers you can have, and you get to write about what you love!
Ways to Make Money Blogging:
Bloggers make their money in a multitude of ways from direct ad sales, affiliate marketing, working with ad networks, corporate sponsorships, brand ambassadorships, sponsored blog posts, holiday gift guides, coaching, selling products, informational programs, e-books, and webinars. How much you earn as a blogger will depend greatly on your determination, mindset, and niche.
Real Life Examples:
Michelle Schroeder blogs over at Making Sense of Cents and is currently earning six figures a month! Yes, you heard that right, six figures a month! The majority of her income is made through affiliate marketing and product sales. You can find out more about Michelle and how she does it in this post. She also teaches her affiliate marketing methods in her blogging course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Ruth Soukup blogs over at Living Well Spending Less and currently leads a team of ten employees and earns seven figures a year! The majority of her income comes from product sales. You can find out more about Ruth and her blogging success here – and be sure to grab her free blogging book on boosting your blogging income.
If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog for just $3.95 a month. And for additional blogging information — be sure to grab my free blogging e-book!
2) Coach — Do You Enjoy Helping Others Achieve Their Goals?
Being a coach means helping people better their lives through focused dialog and practice. So if you have a desire to help others, are dependable, a good listener, and non-judgmental — launching a coaching business may be the perfect idea for you. What type of coach you’ll become will vary greatly upon the prior experience and training that you have. While some individuals specifically go to college or get additional training to become a coach, others fall into coaching, because they have extensive knowledge and passion for a particular subject matter. Here are just a few of the niches you can work in: Career coaching, business coaching, fitness and wellness coaching, life coaching, direct sales coaching, parenting coach, and the list goes on and on.
Ways to Make Money:
Coaches can make money by facilitating one-on-one coaching sessions via phone, email, or Skype, group sessions, webinars, selling e-books and informational products, speaking, book writing, selling online courses, seminars, and mastermind groups.
Real Life Examples:
Traci Bild, founder of Get Your Girl Back, Sarah Dew Finks, founder of the Happy Entrepreneur, and Cynthia Occelli, founder of the Beautiful Life School are all making over $100K a year! Read about their coaching success here.
3) Freelance Writer — Is Writing Your Passion?
As a freelance writer, you will research, write, and edit articles and documents for clients. Now, you may be thinking that you need an English degree to be a writer, but the truth is, anyone who enjoys writing can do it professionally. The types of projects that you take on will vary on your prior knowledge, skill set, experience, and interests. The best piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a freelance writer … write every day! The more you write, the better and faster you’ll get. Also make sure that you’re investing in your professional development by reading and participating in courses, webinars, and training.
Ways to Make Money:
Write online articles, blog posts, newsletters, e-books, video scripts, white papers, case studies, ghostwriting, technical writing, advertising copy, resume writing, travel writing, newspaper articles, magazine articles, website copy, grant writing, brochures, sales materials, and training manuals.
Real Life Examples:
Laura Spencer has over 24 years of writing experience but came to the freelance world in 2002. You can read more of her story and freelancing tips here.
4) Social Media Marketer — Are You a Social Butterfly?
When you’re a social media marketer you will manage companies social media channels, so you will need to know the ins and outs of the big seven: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Google Plus. One of the best ways to land a social media gig is by having your own successful platforms and being active on them. You can also read and educate yourself on best practices — which this realm is constantly changing, so you’ll need to stay on top on trends, news, and updates.
Ways to Make Money:
Setting up social media profiles and accounts, sending out social media updates, social media correspondence at live events, coaching, consulting, speaking, online listening strategies, writing an e-book, and selling informational products and webinars.
Real Life Story:
As a new freelancer, Kristin Larsen launched a successful Pinterest management company and within her first six months, was averaging $3,600 a month – only working part-time! You can read more about Kristin’s story here.
5) Virtual Assistant — Are You a Multitasking Maven?
When you’re a virtual assistant, you help business owners with a variety of tasks, anything from answering email correspondence and making appointments, to editing, writing, bookkeeping, and social media management. What services you offer your clients will depend on your skills, background training, prior experience, and your passions. No special training is needed to become a virtual assistant, but polishing your skills and learning new ones is always a good practice. For resources and training make sure to check out VA Networking, or there are many good books and courses on this career.
Ways to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant:
Offer administrative services, editing, writing, bookkeeping, social media management, translation, marketing, technical, design … In fact, check out this huge list of services that virtual assistants can offer, it’s endless!
Real Life Stories:
Michelle Dale, Sherry Carnahan, and Michelle Mangen all run successful virtual assistant businesses from home — in fact, they’re all making over six figures a year! Read about their virtual assistant success here.
6) Travel Agent — Do You Love to Travel?
Working as a travel agent might seem a little outdated in today’s world of Kayak and Airbnb, but in reality, many people still prefer to work with travel agents. Why? Because experienced travel coordinators help travelers save money, time, and all kinds of travel-related headaches.
Ways to Make Money as a Travel Agent:
As a home-based travel agent, you’ll collaborate with a host agency, and you’ll earn a commission on all travel arrangements you book. Not sure where to get started? Companies like Cruises Inc. offer a home-based franchise opportunity that gives you the training and tools necessary to run your own business from home. Best of all it’s 100 percent flexible (you can book travel anytime during the day or night), and it only costs $249 to get started.
Real Life Story:
Lori Foster is a former high school Earth Science teacher who became a Cruises Inc. independent vacation specialist. She wanted the ability to work from home when her children were babies, and the flexibility to create her hours so that she could attend school events when they got older. You can read more about her story here.
7) Transcriber – Are You a Fast and Accurate Typists?
If you’re a fast and accurate typist, you can work from home as a transcriber. Transcribers listen to audio clips and then type out the audio file into a written document. There are three basic types of transcription, general, medical and legal (medical and legal require additional training). While this seems like a job that anyone can do — you do need to possess excellent listening skills and an advanced understanding of the English language.
How Transcribers Earn Money:
Transcribers are paid on the amount of work they complete; sometimes the pay is per audio minute, and other times it’s per page or audio file. Generally, the faster you can type, the more work you can complete, the more money you can earn. Again, this gig is completely flexible, you can do transcription work at any time as long as you meet your deadlines.
Real Life Story:
Veteran transcriber, Janet Shaughnessy makes six figures as a transcriber, in fact, she wrote a course on the subject. You can read more about Janet and how she got started in this post.
I hope these flexible home-based business ideas got your creative juices flowing! If you’re still searching for more flexible jobs and business ideas — be sure to check out these articles:
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Originally published September 18, 2014. Content updated on April 20, 2017.