July 27th, 2020 | Updated on June 16th, 2021
Remember when making real money while working from home was unheard of?
There was a long period of time when the “home” jobs you saw posted online were all scams or at the very least worse than what you could get in an office.
Times have changed. Huge, legitimate companies are using freelancers from all over the world now and it is time you got a piece of that pie.
Do yourself a favor. Look left. Look right. Marvel at your new office! You can start earning money today from real clients and big companies from this office. All you need to have is an Internet connection.
I want to show you how working from home can help you build skills, save money, increase your pay rate, and improve your quality of life without ever “clocking in” again. Heck, with all these benefits you make even make a million dollars before you know it.
Many people are making the work-from-home transition right now because their employers are giving them the green light.
If you haven’t been given that grant you may be wondering how to start earning real money from your home. Or if you are already working from home, why not make a little more with that commute time you have saved.
I will tell you though there is one big issue with the typical work that’s available “from the comfort of your home.”
Many “work from home” opportunities don’t really pay much and really aren’t worth your time. I’ll cover which “opportunities” I don’t like in a minute and I’ll also share three vetted, real opportunities if you don’t have the leverage to ask a current employer to allow you to go remote.
Why Everyone Loves Working From Home
Here’s why I love and recommend the concept of working from home from both an economic and quality of life standpoint:
- No toxic workplace politics or relationships
- You’re not paying for gas or transportation!
- Stop wasting productive time stuck in a car or bus
- You have more time to pursue your own creative endeavor or “side hustles.”
- Remove worry about health risks like COVID-19 or car crashes.
- You can often work more efficiently during your “peak productive hours” instead of when the boss says!
What I Think You Should Avoid
I make no secret about the fact that I’m not a fan of survey sites and other low-paying gig sites. Each survey doesn’t net a lot of money.
Then if you answer surveys for a whole day you are likely only making about $2/hr. That’s not even touching minimum wage when you add up a morning full of completing surveys.
If you’re lucky you might find an abnormally high payout survey but I hope you’re willing to clear your schedule to fill it out before everyone else does.
I just can’t recommend slow money especially on topics like surveys that don’t further you professionally or help you develop any marketable skills.
How You Can Keep Your Pay Rate High
Here are my picks for great ways to make money from home that actually help you develop into someone who can make even more money over time.
If you are just getting started in home freelancing I recommend Fiverr. Why? It’s pretty casual. Don’t let the idea of $5 gigs dissuade you from hopping on though. Almost nobody on Fiverr makes just $5 per gig. It’s just an attractive name.
Tons of real businesses seek talent for freelance projects on this platform. According to Forbes, you can even take on traffic-generation gigs that lead to a gross rate of $300 an hour.
It’s not uncommon to see a digital marketer or tech expert charge between $1,500 to $3,000 for a simple blog SEO package that they could outsource or do themselves in a few hours.
$5 is the base rate for a very small gig on Fiverr. You can potentially get paid thousands per project.
Popular gigs on Fiverr include SEO services, article writing, movie reviews, logo design, research assignments, illustrations, video testimonials, virtual assistant services, marketing services and much more.
Here’s my big Fiverr takeaway:
- You use your talents/skills to attract clients.
- You’re also keeping your skills sharp.
- Expect to find long-term clients after picking up a few gigs.
- You can work flexible hours and pick up gigs as you want.
- The best part? You set your prices for your services. If no one bites, no time lost!
Upwork And TextBroker
I like Upwork and TextBroker because they are professional and I am a professional person. Upwork is the professional version of Fiverr and TextBroker is an article writing service that anyone can join.
The best part is that businesses will pay top dollar to hire, highly skilled professionals.
So hopefully you have some impressive skills you can offer up to a business for a high rate. Then you list your hourly rate based on your skill levels and people come to hire you and leave a review after the fact.
Get it going for long enough and you can get your rating and pay rate up quite high.
I looked up my finance writing skills on TextBroker and the going rate for a finance expert to write it $0.10 US per word.
I type at about 70 words per minute and that means once I know what I would like to write and I’ve finished some quick research I can make near $7/minute or $420/hour.
That is close to a highly paid corporate lawyer and the writing rates can climb much higher from there if I had real writing credentials.
The key here is having some skills people care about. If you don’t have any skills I recommend you work with your current employer or through jobs on Upwork/TextBroker to develop them.
It’s not just writing either on UpWork you can charge for:
- Website development.
- Design/creative work like video editing
- Sales and marketing support
- Admin support like email management.
- Customer service call taking
- Data science/analytics.
- Real engineering
- Really it’s almost anything.
While Upwork connects you with open contracts, you’ll need to do the work of submitting proposals. My advice? Work extra hard to build up some good reviews and land some high-paying, consistent clients.
Brush up on those communication skills because the one with the best proposal lands the contract on Upwork.
Rent Out Your Car While You Stay At Home
One of the benefits of working from home is that there is no longer any commute. You save on gas, time, car repair money and the list goes on.
Just saving money is only half of that win though. You can completely embrace the work from home life by renting out your car on RentYourRide or Turo.
It takes very little effort to list your car and you just need to meet people outside of your house to exchange the keys in order to make extra money every day.
Even if you only make $10/day if you didn’t have a nice car, the typical rental length is 4 days. So your 30 minutes of effort will net you $80/hr of pay. That’s a nice perk to staying home!
Bet On Yourself – Why Your Current Job Is Best From Home
My top recommendation for anyone with a job is to negotiate for permanent remote employment now during covid or right after.
There is a big reason for that. It takes work to build an online freelance career of any sort. Your job on the other hand is already set up and hopefully highly paid.
To help nudge your boss, say that you will take the extra time to level up a work skill before you ask for better negotiation power. Skills like effective webinars are especially useful right now and would be likely supported by your employer.
I would still bet on yourself even if you don’t have an employer who is supportive. Find some freelance gigs to grow out your skillset and you’ll be a real freelancer before you know it.
Leif Kristjansen is the co-founder of FiveYearFIREescape.com where he and his wife write about finances and early retirement for busy people.
In their early 30s, they even retired from their corporate 9-5 and want to teach you how you can do the same. They have kids and a house in a high cost of living city but managed to succeed via saving skills and rental houses.