Despite the proliferation of scams, plenty of legitimate work-from-home opportunities exist for people who are retired or out of work, mothers or fathers who want to stay at home with their kids, disabled individuals, employees looking for a second income, or anyone interested in the independence of working at home.
Sell Your Crafts and Talent
Talented artisans who can create unique jewelry, knitted or sewn items, artworks or decorative pieces have virtual showrooms online for their works at such sites as Etsy or ArtFire. These sites may charge commissions, but there is no limit to how much the artists and crafters may charge for their wares.
Computer experts who are talented in programming or website design can sign up at Upwork to connect with bidders for their work.
Become a Consultant
People with experience in the business world have valuable knowledge to share with other organizations. Individuals can market themselves as consultants in their areas of expertise and join organizations such as the local chamber of commerce to meet business owners who might need such services.
A similar trend allows experts in such fields as financial, medical, car repair, computer problems and home improvement to offer advice online. Users register and pay a price for an answer to their questions. Sites may charge up to $40, and the answerer keeps a percentage of the fee. Such experts must take comprehensive tests to qualify as responders.
Tutor and Teach
People with expertise in such subject areas as math, English or foreign languages can offer tutoring to individual students from K-12 through college and adults. The work can be done online or in the home of the tutor or the student. Tutor.com allows interested people to sign up and become part of its force, or individuals can advertise locally.
In addition to one-on-one tutoring, people with expertise in a variety of fields can offer home classes in ceramics, dancing, cooking, ESL, playing a musical instrument or many other fields. In both tutoring or teaching, find out if special licensing is required in your state. Check out other such classes to establish a going rate.
Answer the Phone
Anyone who has ever been put on hold interminably understands the need for prompt, courteous telephone service. Customer service centers and call centers often rely on outsourcing their calls to people who work in their homes. The calls are routed to the home workers who have computer software that directs them to appropriate responses. The average pay is $9 an hour but some centers may pay more.
Patience and courtesy are required, along with a quiet environment and a pleasant speaking voice. Call Center Careers offers a source of jobs and information.
Sell Your Words
People who love to write, and who do it well, can take advantage of the wealth of opportunities available on the Internet and elsewhere for freelance writers with general knowledge or specific expertise in such fields as medical, technical, fitness and nutrition. Writers are needed for magazines, web sites, corporate press offices and e-books. Beginners can start by writing a blog of their own or by contributing to others’ blogs.
Online job boards like Upwork also offer writing opportunities. Applications will require a clear, original, typo-free and grammatically correct writing sample. Writing jobs may be flat rate or bid, and rates can range from one cent per word to thousands for one article.