A few notes on the following list of work at home gigs and sidehustles…
- It's a massive list and hopefully there's something for everyone. From entry-level jobs and pocket money suggestions, to qualified positions and big income opportunities.
- There are both work “at” home jobs here, and work “out of” your home jobs, which may require a vehicle.
- Specific pay rates and salaries are not listed because opportunities change and pay varies by location.
- Finally… and this is the most important, when you've narrowed down your search to a small list of side hustles that interest you, do more research. Markets and technology change, companies get bought out. A great opportunity today might not be as great tomorrow.
The following list though, is a great starting point.
Another quick word about changing markets and technology. We are witnessing economic disruption and advances in technology at unprecedented rates, which is exciting. However, it's also causing fear and turmoil.
Learning how to work from home or start a side hustle, is your best strategy to defend against financial uncertainty.
In fact, their are so many opportunities it can be difficult to choose the right side hustle for you.
Also… if you have any side hustle suggestions of your own please share them in the comments section at the end of this article.
Navigation – Work at Home Categories
- General Freelancing
- Writing and Editing
- Data Entry and Analysis
- Customer Service, Support and Sales
- Online Teaching Jobs
- Micro Jobs
- Online Surveys
- Home Based Businesses and Hustles
- Strategies to Start Your Home Hustle
- Other Home Business and Side Hustle Ideas
- Network Marketing
- Job Boards and Additional Work at Home Resources
- Final Thoughts
Note: For work-at-home jobs available in Canada I've listed them here.
First on the list are general freelance marketplaces. These are websites where online freelancers can write, animate, create videos, offer web development services, manage entire projects and everything in between.
Whether your skill is commenting on social media or taking pictures of food, there are people on these platforms who will pay for your services.
The most popular freelance marketplaces include:
They work like a mix of social media and job boards. You set up a profile as you would on a social media platform, and list your interests (in this case the services you provide). This allows employers to search for freelancers.
Likewise, you can search through a list of jobs that buyers have posted and apply to ones that are suitable.
Below I'll get into more specific opportunities and the companies who are offering them.
Contemporary Virtual Assistance – CVA hires virtual assistants for a variety of projects. Being a virtual assistant is good for people who have strong administrative skills, can multi-task and work within tight deadlines.
Virtual Gurus (Canada) – Canadian based company that connects clients with virtual assistants for work ranging from data entry to technical support and assistance, to creative projects such as graphic design.
Voiceover Work and Voice Acting
Backstage – Voice recording jobs can be very competitive, but if you've got the talent… you might as well use it. Backstage posts new jobs daily for TV shows, audiobooks, movies, documentaries, commercials, video games and multimedia.
Filmless – In addition to voiceover work, Filmless hires freelancers in the film and entertainment industry such as editors and cinematographers.
Snap Recordings – A wide range of projects that include greetings, announcements, and phone system on-hold and voice prompts.
Voices.com – Like Snap Voices they offer voiceover work for announcements, telephone system recordings etc. but also get into entertainment such as movie trailers and documentaries.
Writing and Editing
Blog Mutt (US only) – Unlike most freelance sites for writers, Blog Mutt is only open residents of the US. They are looking for writers with flawless grammar, solid research skills, and a unique talent for creating influential written content of all kinds. New jobs are added daily.
Constant Content – A writer’s marketplace where you can set your own price. They claim that top writers can earn up to 90K per year which is a lot of writing… but if you’re good (and fast), and you can land the right clients, they'll pay you what you're worth.
Domainite – A web developer/design company that also provides content for their clients… which is where you come in.
Hirewriters – Primarily a content mill for writers but (like many other content providers) they also provide proofreading, research, and article re-writing assignments.
I Need Articles – They don't have a dedicated employment page but in the FAQ writers are directed to their contact page to apply.
iWriter – A writer’s market place where speed is important as freelancers bid for jobs. If you’re a decent writer there is a good chance you can build a long-term client base which is more stable and pays better.
Love to Know – Niche content provider where writers are approved (or not approved) to only write and edit content in industries and topics they have specific knowledge of.
Online Writing Jobs – Another specialized content provider that works with companies in various industries. Rather than generic blog posts, writers here may find themselves working on industry specific tutorials, and related news with an emphasis on SEO.
Pure Content – Available to freelance writers and editors in several countries. You can choose the projects that meet your level of experience and knowledge on a topic.
Scripted – You can pitch your services directly to customers at Scripted, as well as build relationships with in-app messaging and phone calls.
Skyword – In addition to looking for writers, Skyword also has gigs for videographers, photographers, designers, and marketers to team up with brands (and Skyword's editors) to tell a story.
Tempesta Media (articledocument.com) – Tempesta has jobs for social media influencers as well as content writers.
Textbroker – This is one of the more popular content providers, processing more than 100,000 content orders every month. You can choose when and how often you write and your income is limited only to the amount of quality content you can write.
TextMaster – Hires both professional and semi-professional translators and writers. Choose the projects you work on with the ability to connect with clients directly.
The Content Authority – They bring on new writers as needed and are not always looking. However… if you specialize in a specific industry or interest, you can submit an application and have it reviewed at a later time (in the meantime you can earn by writing for other brokers).
WebpageFX – A broad range of projects from informative guides and sales copy to blog posts. Industries that WebpageFX works in include technology, construction, manufacturing, business, lifestyle, medical and technical.
Word Agents – Word Agents only hire writers as the need them, so you'll have to check for jobs periodically.
Words of Worth – Projects are assigned on a contract basis (starting with 10 per month) that include web pages, news, sales copy, and general topic articles.
Writer Access – In addition to writing jobs, Writer Access also provides tools and resources to help you improve your writing such as webinars, podcasts, books and workshops. They have jobs for writers, editors, content strategists, and social media influencers.
Some of these freelance writer platforms (but not all) are best suited to those who have some experience already. If you're just getting started as a freelance writer you can check out this list for beginners.
Cactus Communications – Hires skilled editors (and writers) in various academic fields.
Scribendi – Looking for people who have at least three years of experience in writing, editing, document production and teaching language. Preference is also given to those with a university degree in a relevant field.
WordFirm (Manage Editing) – In addition to editors, Wordfirm on occasion looks for writers, graphic designers, and indexers. This is another place you can work at getting your foot in the door while writing for some of the other content providers like iWriter and Textbroker.
Words R U – Hires experienced editors, copy writers, and proofreaders who have a Masters, PhD, or equivalent in an academic related field.
Data Entry and Analysis
Transcribers (Newbie Friendly)
Transcription can be a great work at home job or side hustle, but it does take some skill and experience. Two courses I recommend if you're new to this type of work are…
Work at Home Transcription Courses
Transcribe Anywhere - Complete A - Z transcription course that covers both the "nuts and bolts" , as well as the business side of transcribing.
Proofread Anywhere - Many transcription companies also hire proofreaders. Proofread Anywhere is as thorough as a course you can get, and like Transcribe Anywhere, also deals with the business and marketing of setting up your own freelance business.
3playMedia – Looking for typists who can accurately type 75 wpm and have strong internet research and reference skills.
Allegis – (check out the review) Make your own schedule and pick the jobs you want. Transcriptionists for Allegis work from remote locations based in the US (sorry to the rest of the world… including us Canadians). 🙂
Babbletype – Transcriptionists for Babbletype operate on a daily project cycle and are paid weekly. Assignments can be signed up for anytime before 4pm eastern time each day, and they are due by 4pm the following day.
Casting Words – Unlike Babbletype which has strict deadlines, Casting Words provides smaller transcription jobs that you can work on at your own pace, as often (or as little) as you like.
Daily Transcription – This is an on-call-as-needed gig and they don't guarantee a certain amount of work for each day, week, or month. Could be a good place for a transcriptionist to pick up additional work if they’re not getting a full schedule with another company.
GMR Transcription – With a variety of topics that include legal, academic, and business among others… with GMR you can make your own schedule and choose how much and how often you work. No experience necessary.
GoTranscript – Another beginner friendly transcription company. GoTranscript provides work-at-home jobs for new transcribers with relatively few requirements to get started.
Quicktate – Here you will be transcribing legal notes, to-do lists, medical and veterinary reports, letters, insurance related notes, and voicemail messages among other assignments.
Rev – Freelancers are notified within 48 hours if their grammar and transcription tests were good enough to get them in the door.
Scribie – A good place to get started and develop your skills as a transcriptionist.
Speechpad – Looking for transcribers and video captioners who can type 40 wpm or better with 100% accuracy.
Take Note Typing – Requirements listed here are; an excellent understanding of English and the ability to accurately type 65 words per minute. Let the games begin…
TranscribeMe – Work where you want and when you want, no experience necessary. TranscribeMe assigns short 1 to 2 minute clips rather than interviews and conversations. Once complete, submit your work and they will send another assignment.
Ubiqus – A Canadian based transcription company that accepts freelancers from other countries.
AccuTran Global – (check out the review) Experience here is preferred, not necessarily required. Projects are paid on a (per word or per audio-minute basis depending on the project) so speed and accuracy are needed do be paid well. You make your own schedule for the week ahead and must commit to it.
Athreon – Looking for experienced medical and legal transcriptionists.
Cambridge Transcriptions – Reliable part-time positions are available, either on-site or off-site. Looking for experienced corporate and legal transcriptionists
DigitScribe – This is an employment position (not freelance) and therefore they are not always hiring for home based positions, but if you check with them periodically they do post work at home jobs when they have them.
Expedict – Looking for experienced audio transcribers who can edit and interpret rather than simply enter data.
OutSec – Hires periodically for various transcription jobs such as medical, legal and general interviews. Must be able to work during UK office hours.
Pioneer Transcription Services – Looking for experienced transcriptionists and who can provide trade references.
Production Transcripts – As stated on their website “only transcribers with experience transcribing from digital files will be hired. Hiring is sporadic, so don’t expect to hear from us tomorrow.”
Scribes Transcription Services – Another transcription company looking for experienced applicants with a university or college degree in related fields and can type at least 70 words per minute.
Speakwrite – Open to US and Canadian residents who can type 60wpm with 90% accuracy.
Terra Nova Transcription – Tera Nova accepts applications for full-time medical transcription jobs from transcriptionists with five or more years of experience.
Way With Words – Looking for experienced applicants who can set aside an hour or more for an online assessment, followed by an offline assessment.
GlobaLink – Their niche is translating, and interpreting the cultural intentions of documents used in pharmaceutical, medical, psychological, and research. Accuracy is critical in these industries, as is the ability to meet deadlines.
Language Line – Language Line has positions in several countries including, US, Canada, UK, Costa Rica, Domincan Republic, Puerto Rico and Panama.
Gengo – Gengo connects you with clients who submit various translation jobs. Thousands of new projects are posted each day and you can search for translations that interest you.
Translators Town – A simple job board… the translators version of Indeed, SimplyHired, etc.
Verbalizeit – Clients upload their translation jobs to Verbalizeit's community of translators, you translate them…
These are just a few companies that hire translators but you can explore many more ways to work from home translating here.
Court research is more of a work OUT OF YOUR homegig than a work AT your home gig, therefore these are location based within cities and municipalities. But, they still provide flexible schedules and the opportunity to live outside of high cost neighborhoods.
Court research is generally part-time and work better if you combine it with another gig. The amount of work available will depend on the size of municipality you live in.
eJury – an online service that provides mock juries to help lawyers try cases before they reach court.
IT Boss Research – They connect clients and freelancers with the intent of building long-term relationships rather than one off assignments.
JBS Court Research Jobs – Flexible schedule work at home opportunities for court researchers.
Online Verdict – Hires freelancers and independent contractors to act as jurors in mock-trials which helps lawyers and law firms assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case.
Sunlark – Another court research company with positions that range from an hour a month to several per week,
Wolfgang Research – Relatively small court research company (20 contracted workers) but potentially another remote opportunity for US residents.
Lexicode – Examples of work at home jobs here are inpatient and outpatient auditors and clinical documentation improvement.
R1 Medical Coding – Has both location based and remote work at home opportunities for medical coders.
Customer Service, Support and Sales
Work at Home Phone Jobs
Arise Work From Home – Virtual service and support jobs for remote workers in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Enterprise Holdings – They are the parent company for National, Alamo and Enterprise car rentals with work at home customer service positions available.
Expert Business Development – Employer based company that on occasion hires remote business development agents for residents of the US, Canada and UK.
Grindstone – A US based lead generation company that provides B2B telemarketing services.
Hilton Hotel Work From Home – Work at home customer care jobs and reservation sales positions available.
Intuit – Parent company for Turbo Tax, Mint and Quickbooks that periodically hires work at home tax advisors.
Liveops – They hire virtual (at-home) call center agents for customer service opportunities. Good place for entry level gig hustlers to check out and begin working at home.
MarketLinc – This is a virtual company that hires online sales agents. Leads are provided from a ‘click to chat' window where potential customers can be engaged for follow up phone calls and upsells.
NexRep – Provides customer service for clients with a team of work at home sales and tech support agents. Independent contractors communicate with clients through inbound calls, outbound calls, and email.
RRT (Restaurant Revolution Technologies) – Another entry level gig where food orders are taken by home-based sales staff. RRT works with several chains in the restaurant industry.
Sutherland – Hires employees for inbound sales and technical support positions.
Sykes – Home based customer service position for those who don’t like sales or telemarketing… Sykes provides services for inbound callers. A word of warning though… they require you to have a landline, which would put most people I know out of the running. 🙂
TeleTech – Utilizing phone, chat and social media, work at home agents here provide customer service and technical support to various clients.
Transcom – Various remote work positions, but only as needed. You'll have to check back periodically to see if they have openings.
U-Haul – A remote part-time job that offers flexible work hours and a work at home (or anywhere in North America) opportunity.
Working Solutions – Another virtual call center provider who works with multiple clients and hires work at home agents.
Yardi Matrix – Although not available year-round, Yardi Matrix provides seasonal rent survey jobs you can do from home. These jobs consist of making phone calls to property owners and agents to gather detailed and accurate information for the rental market.
Chat support jobs are another great way to provide customer services from your home.
About Face – Who doesn’t want to get paid to shop. About Face hires independent contractors to snoop (okay… maybe that’s the wrong word) on their client’s retail employees and operations to make sure they're making the grade. Depending on client objectives, the work involved and the pay can vary. Some clients provide products and services in addition to financial compensation.
ARC Consulting – This is a telephone mystery shopping position so you won’t have to drive around the city. In addition to calling client locations, you also call client competitors to learn what’s working (and what is not working) in customer care.
BestMark – Mystery shoppers visit restaurants, retail stores, hotels, casinos, financial institutions, and even resorts to assess facilities and customer service. According to BestMark, they have more than 10,000 mystery shopping assignments each month.
BMA Mystery Shopping – Independent Contractors work on an assignment-by-assignment basis for a variety of clients.
Call Center QA (US only) ***Note: Read review first as there have been some scam complaints about Call Center QA – For US residents only, similar to ARC Consulting… they hire telephone mystery shoppers. If you don’t have a vehicle or don’t want the expense of driving around, this might be what you’re looking for.
Campus Consulting – Sign up on their simple and straight to the point website (that looks like it was designed in the late 90's… which means they've been in business awhile) 🙂
Confero – A pick your poison mystery shopping gig. Go online, choose an assignment that interests you, register, and get to work.
In Touch Insight Systems – Apply, cross your fingers and hope for approval, then wait for your contractor ID and login information.
MarketForce – Mystery shop on the go with MarketForce’s mobile app.
Mystery Shopping Inc (Canada) – Only for those who live in the land of maple syrup and apologies… sorry 🙂 Pay varies between ten and fifteen bucks per assignment, which covers roughly ½ an an hour of your time (15 minutes in store, 15 minutes of paperwork) and your expenses such as fuel.
PerformaLogics – Another Canadian company, BUT jobs are not limited just to Canadians. PermoraLogics has thousands of mystery shoppers in both Canada and the US and hires in Europe and South America as well.
Second To None – Use your pro shopper skills to communicate your experience (onsite, online, and on the phone) to clients.
Secret Shopper – A big player in the mystery shopping industry with a presence in Africa, the Americas(Yes… America is a continent, not a country). You can also find Secret Shopper in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania.
Shopper's Confidential – It takes just a couple minutes to sign up and then you can head out to evaluate retail facilities, customer service, employee knowledge, speed and integrity.
Online Teaching Jobs
Online ESL and Other Languages
Dada ABC – Another ESL provider where you will be teaching online classes to children ages 4-16.
GoFluent – While most online English tutoring is targeted towards children, GoFluent focuses on teaching English for business and corporate environments. A college degree is preferred.
GoGoKid – China based online ESL platform that connects native English teachers in the US and Canada with students in China. A bachelor's degree and some teaching experience is required.
Golden Voice – Focused on teaching English to Chinese children through video conferencing.
iTalki – One of the larger (they claim to be the largest) online language learning marketplaces. They currently have thousands of language tutors teaching 100 languages to more than 1.5 million students.
Learner Lane – Set your own hours and tutor from anywhere your imagination takes you (okay, maybe not anywhere).
Learnlight – They specialize in language courses, professional soft skills (communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, etc.), and intercultural training.
Panda Tree – Hires Mandarin and Spanish speaking teachers.
Qkids – (check out the review) Maybe you’ve always wanted to teach overseas… minus the overseas. QKids is an ESL provider for Chinese children ages 5 to 12. It’s like a vacation, except for the vacation part… but you can pretend you’re there in person and share your English and teaching skills with children (provided you meet QKids requirements).
Teachers Pay Teachers – Not exactly a “teaching” gig… Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace specifically for educators to buy and sell classroom materials such as lesson plans, whiteboard activities, quizzes and even decorations.
Aim4A Tutoring – For tutors who have a bachelor’s degree in the subject they are teaching. Students can be anywhere in the world and range from elementary school level to advanced education.
BrainFuse – Traditional registration that requires a traditional resume, and if hired they provide assignments such as online homework help, test preparation and skill development.
Café Talk – Preference is given to tutors who speak Japanese, Korean or Chinese, who have lived in an East Asian country.
Chegg – A great place for new tutors to start… teach from your dorm room, coffee shop or home and get paid weekly.
Course Hero – A huge variety of subjects are available to tutors and students, including Business, Finance, Statistics and Probability, Accounting, Economics, Math, Chemistry and Computer Science.
Home Work Tutoring – Not always hiring for all subjects, but… like Course Hero, they look for a wide range of tutors, from Biology and Chemistry tutors to those who teach History, Engineering, Law, Economics, Math, English, and Physics among others…
Mathwiztutors – You’ll never guess what kind of tutors they hire. 🙂 Math Wiz provides both local and online tutoring to students.
Pearson SmartThinking – Tutoring for college level courses.
Skillshare – A marketplace based tutoring platform where buyers buy and sellers sell. As a tutor you can post your skillset for others to see, as well as search for students who are looking to learn what you teach.
StudySoup – Not exactly a tutoring platform, with Study Soup you can earn extra money by taking notes and selling study guides.
Study.com – A little different than most tutoring websites, Study.com looks for teachers to write course lessons in many subjects (on an as-needed basis).
Tutapoint (US only) – One-on-one teaching for high-school-level courses. This is for US based tutors that have at least two years of tutoring experience.
Tutor.com – With students that range from Kindergarten to Adults, Tutor.com looks for quality tutors and industry professionals such as teachers, professors, PhD students, and industry professionals.
Tutorvista – A global tutoring platform with over 2000 teachers in India, Australia, the US, UK, China and Southeast Asia. Your hours are prescheduled and committed to.
Wyzant – Unlike many other tutoring platforms, Wyzant is a marketplace where students and tutors can network with each other. This offers a little more flexibility for tutors, and both online and in-person tutoring is available.
Small Tasks and Projects
Clickworker – A micro job platform that won’t replace your full-time income but you can pick up some extra money. Perform small jobs such as correcting texts, doing surveys, and organizing data. This is all freelance work and you do it when you want, as often as you want.
Field Agent – Here’s a unique way to make some extra money. Field Agent is an app where small assignments (taking a picture in a specific location or acquiring product information for example) are posted and you can browse through them. Like Clickworker, this is not an income replacing gig but a way to pick up some extra money for relatively little effort.
Note:Some people complain they don’t get paid for all of the jobs they complete. If that happens, make sure to let others know by commenting/reviewing where you downloaded the app so others can see. Field Agent isn’t the only player in this game… see Gigwalk below which has better reviews although comes with its own issues.
GigWalk – Similar to Field Agent but users report there are fewer assignments available. The good news with Gigwalk however, (at this moment anyway) is they have a good reputation for paying promptly.
Analysia – Another web-based job that isn’t really a job, but a unique way to make some extra spending money. It works by simply testing websites and giving feedback on your experience.
Ipsos – share your opinions, criticisms and recommendations by testing products, taking surveys, and mystery shopping.
Leapforce – Review and help to improve search engine results so others can find more relevant information on the topic they’re searching for. As an independent agent, you invoice Leapforce for every hour you work.
Lionbridge (The Smart Crowd) – Like the platforms above, here you will be evaluating online search results to help improve the content, quality, grammar, tone and cultural relevance. If you have an interest and knowledge of local and national geography reviewing Lionbridge also has positions for map quality analysts as well.
TryMyUI – As someone who builds websites, it’s always nice to get feedback… which is why people are willing to pay you for your opinion. Surf through a test website the same way you would normally, share your thoughts, opinions, and frustrations out loud as you go (by recording yourself) so the developers and designers can experience the website through your eyes.
UserFeel – Working from your home computer or smartphone, test websites for 10-20 minutes and record your experience.
Userlytics – Expands on the other test platforms to include not just websites and search engine results, but also mobile apps, video commercials, prototype websites and other digital user interfaces. Like TryMyUI and UserFeel, record your thoughts, criticisms, and recommendations.
Online surveys like Survey Junkie may not qualify as a work at home job or side hustle, but you can earn a few extra bucks in your spare time.
The leap from employee to entrepreneur can be difficult for some… mentally and/or logistically, and online surveys can be a simple, low risk way to make some quick cash at home and take your first step towards something more substantial.
Home Based Businesses and Hustles
Affiliate Marketing – *Passive Income
Most of the recommendations above are jobs where you trade hours for dollars. They don't have any passive income potential.
Those who earn big money online do it by creating something once, and get paid for it over and over… A good example would be someone who creates an online course, or writes a software program.
But you don't have to be an expert at something, or a computer programmer. You can leverage other people's products, courses, etc. and earn affiliate commissions from them.
Our top recommendation that teaches affiliate marketing is Wealthy Affiliate.
Building a Home Hustle
Maybe you want to be fully independent and do your own thing. Assuming you still need a full-time income, these are all side hustles you can grow into full-time gigs if you decide.
In addition to the ones below you're going to want to check out this roundup of experts and what they have to say about the best side hustles you can start with no money.
While these are suggestions to help you get started, there are hundreds of work at home ideas you can come up with. I just heard today from someone who creates and sells adult coloring books… so your potential is truly unlimited. This is truly a unique time to be alive. The tools and resources we have available today, and our ability to network and market ourselves… it's astounding how many opportunities have.
I'll go through the list here first and then talk about some strategies you can use to get started.
- Babysitting Business
- Book Keeping Company (requires taking night course)
- Buy and Sell (using online resources and local classifieds)
- Car (and truck) Detailer
- Start a Cleaning Company
- In-Home Daycare
- Dog Walker
- Fitness Trainer
- Landscaping Business
- Personal Shopper
- Mobile Oil Changes or Windshield Crack Repair (at people’s places of business).
- Photographer (Family and Wedding)
- Sell Crafts and Jewlery
- Teach music, sports, or a language
So… you may look at any (or all) of those ideas and say “no thanks”. But, as mentioned… these are just to get you thinking about a service you can provide.
What are your hobbies? If you’re into drones or remote-controlled cars (or boats or planes) for example, can you repair them on the side? Can also buy and sell them locally or online?
Are you a tradesperson?
Can you cook and sell food at local markets? Start a food prep and delivery service?
There are endless ideas to create a home based business that will be unique to each individual.
Strategies to Start Your Home Hustle
The first thing you should decide (after you figure out you want to do) is how you’re going to market yourself. Will you do it offline, online, or a combination of both?
Marketing Your Business Offline
Let’s say you decide to start a cleaning or landscaping company, walk dogs, babysit, become a fitness trainer, or teach a musical instrument or a sport like tennis…
Every business you drive and walk by has employees, and many of those employees own homes, have kids, could use help getting in shape, or have always wanted to learn guitar, etc.
As someone who spent over 10 years in B2B sales, walking into literally tens of thousands of businesses during that time… you never know who you’re going to meet. There are countless people (not literally… but a lot) who would be interested in your service if you shared it with them.
For example… my wife and have talked for years about getting involved in tennis with our kids. Not that we're big fans of tennis, but we could all use the exercise and it would be a great family activity to do it. But we've never looked into it… not because we don’t want to, but because the topic has never come up at the right time.
Where can we go in the city to play tennis? What kind of equipment should we get? How to play the game so that we actually get better at it and not develop bad habits (that are difficult to undo later)?
If you had walked into our place of business (my wife and I shared an office for 8 years) with a business card and some information about beginner tennis lessons… we might have been interested.
You might stop into dozens of businesses before you get your first client… but eventually you'll get one. Keep going until you get another. In time you’ll have several and a few of those may recommend you to their friends, and those friends will tell other friends and so on…
In other words, don’t be afraid to hustle! And don't be afraid of rejection.
Provide exceptional value to your clients and they'll tell people about this new thing the're doing.
Most places will say thanks but no thanks… They’ll smile and take your information, and some won’t. Others will pin it up in the lunchroom or put it on a bench in the back warehouse…
It doesn’t matter. You’re only running numbers until you get your first client, your second client, and so on…
This strategy works for all kinds of ideas including those listed above.
Marketing Your Business Online
Getting started online is little more difficult unless you have experience in online marketing.
Marketing your business online is a massive topic, far beyond what this post could cover. There are free strategies, paid strategies, search engine traffic and social media traffic. Video, blogs, podcasts and the list goes on….
Depending on the type of business you decide on, there may be online marketplaces for you to find clients.
If you're interested in babysitting, dog-walking or becoming a nanny for example… Care.com is place where you can advertise your services.
For those who want a little more control over their business… this article lists our top recommended programs to get started with online marketing. The first two have free versions and will not cost you anything to check out. Both teach strategies that are effective whether you are starting an online business… or promoting your local business such as photography or cleaning.
Go the extra mile when you do get work so they'll recommend you to their friends and co-workers.
In most cases, your business will do best if you employ both online and offline strategies… but it’s best that you only focus on one strategy at a time, which is why you should decide that direction early on.
Other Home Business and Side Hustle Ideas
Drop Shipping – In a sentence… drop shipping begins with finding and marketing products online, taking orders from customers, then buying that product (from a website like Aliexpress) and having it shipped directly to your customer.
This is the same process that people use to sell things like custom T-Shirts which you probably see advertised on places like Facebook. A great resource to get started with drop shipping is Shopify.
Uber and Lyft – If you own a clean, fuel-efficient vehicle, you can always drive for Uber or Lyft. Okay… it's probably not your life goal. However, a gig like this is great when you're trying to get another hustle up and running.
Maybe you’re a freelance writer for example, but not yet getting enough projects to keep you busy. Take you laptop on the road when you're driving, and since Uber and Lyft drivers are often waiting at airports and in parking lots… you'll have time to work on your writing assignments.
There are all kinds of ways to mix and match gigs to meet your needs. A little initiative and creativity can go a long way.
Getaround – Instead of driving people around with Uber and Lyft, you can rent your car out and let them do all the work. Of course, renting your car to strangers has it's own unique challenges but if you've other hustles on the side or you'd rather be spending time with family, you can turn you car into an asset that makes money for you.
Rank and Rent Websites – This hustle won’t be for everyone, but I wanted to include it because the financial upside is huge for those willing to put in the time and effort.
To explain it quickly, local businesses often pay a ton of money (thousands every month) to advertise their services on search engines. With a little research you can find out how much those Ads cost, build a website in that particular niche, and (with the proper training of course) get that website ranked on the first page of Google and Bing.
Once you have good rankings (which will take time) you can approach those businesses who are paying huge dollars in advertising and offer to rent your website (which is also on the first page of the search engine results) for several hundred, or even a thousand or more per month. All you do is swap out the logo, basic information and phone number for theirs.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that, and it’s not necessarily easy. But there are many people who make tens of thousands of dollars of passive income every month doing this. A great resource for learning how to do this is Udemy.
Pizza Delivery – Like driving Uber, pizza delivery is probably not your life's ambition. But if you need a side hustle to put some extra money in the bank or pay down debt, it's one of the easiest ways to do it.
Rather than driving for the large chains, there are many local shops that often pay better and if people buy their pizza on reputation (not on being cheap), the tips can often be higher. A person I know who did this for awhile was consistently earning $20-$30 an hour in tips driving for a “swank” pizza parlour that was known for great pizza… not for cheap pizza (no 2 for 1 deals here).
The way he put it… if you take the pizza out of the equation… he was just driving around picking up cash.
Social Media Manager – If you’re an social butterfly online and know your way around a few social networks… there are many small businesses and professionals like doctors and lawyers who will pay you to take care of their social media presence online.
It's a work-at-home job you can start on your own, or set up a franchise like Social Owl who provides you with all the tools and strategies you'll need.
If you don’t know where to find clients, start with the same same strategy mentioned above under… “Marketing Your Business Offline”.
Start a Food or Fashion Blog – Like the Rank and Rent strategy listed above, this is a longer-term project for the right person. It’s not difficult to learn and there can be a ton of passive income potential… it just takes time to learn and execute. A good place to start is Wealthy Affiliate because they provide free websites and training to set them up and start earning income.
Vending – It requires an investment… but there is money (and more importantly, independence) in running your own vending franchise.
Web Design and SEO (search engine optimization) – There are a lot of people who have the knowledge and ability to design websites and optimize them for search engines… but often overlooked is how valuable that skill can be, and that it's a service you can provide others.
If you don’t know any small business owners or local professionals who might benefit from having a great website (and being ranked high in the search engine results), put your shoes on and go find some. Use the same strategy outlined above under “Marketing Your Business Offline”.
Start a Digital Marketing Agency – Many of the marketing skills you'll acquire by starting other businesses are extremely valuable. If you started your own business teaching guitar or walking dogs just as examples, you may pick up digital marketing skills in the process.
You might build a website for your business, and set up your social media profiles to market yourself. If your guitar or dog walking business isn't fully sustainable, you can offer the same skills you're using to marketed your own business online to other businesses.
You may even find that to be more lucrative than the original business you started.
Network marketing is not for most people, and the percentage of people who make money at it is extremely low (as low as 1% after expenses). However, there are a few things to consider….
- MLM's work for the right type of person.
- There are new opportunities online that, if done right, improve your chances of success.
- New multi-level-marketing business models are coming out that are similar to affiliate marketing, and try to take the focus away from recruiting.
So, although I typically don't recommend network (or multi-level) marketing to everyone, if you have an outgoing personality and enjoy sales, it could be the right opportunity for you.
Here’s a list of multi-level-marketing companies that may interest you.
- 7K Metals
- Agnes and Dora
- Auvoria Prime
- Cabi Clothing
- Chalky and Company
- Chloe and Isabel
- Damsel in Defense
- J Hilburn
- Jewelry Candles
- Legal Shield
- Legging Army
- Paparazzi Jewelry
- Premier Designs
- Rodan and Fields
- Stella and Dot
- Team National
- World Ventures Dreamtrips
Job Boards and Additional Work at Home Resources
- Mommy Jobs Online
- Simply Hired
- Skip The Drive
- Virtual Vocations
- Working Nomads
- Zip Recruiter
Additional Places to Find Work at Home Jobs
Concentrix – Connects clients and remote workers with virtual work at home job fairs.
Maritz Research – Hires primarily location based employees, but you can filter for virtual work from home positions.
Support.com – Various work at home positions in specialized areas such as web developers and data engineers.
It's easy to scan though this list of resources and recommendations and think none of them are for you. Going from an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial one can be difficult… especially if you were not brought up in an entrepreneurial environment.
However… if you're at the end of this article and still reading, you're obviously motivated to make a change. Start with something simple you can add to your existing schedule (something that does NOT require a financial investment).
For example, you could drive for Uber a few nights a week. If you're a writer, sign up for a few of the freelance writing platforms listed above and take on a few projects. See what it would be like to start an online business and make money doing something you love.
These are all things you can do in addition to your day job and they don't require a financial investment or a commitment.
I hope this list of work at home gigs and side hustles has been helpful and if you have any questions or suggestions, please share them below.