One of the most common ways to find free money is by checking with your local, state, or national government. If a government agency or a business legally owes you money but can’t find your current mailing address, these funds don’t disappear. Some of the reasons why you might be owed money can include: utility deposits, uncashed paychecks, lost savings bonds, safety deposit box contents, and unclaimed insurance benefit to name a few.
How do I get started? To become an Interior Decorator (this is different from Interior Designer) I recommend starting a website, take quality photos of your work, ask friends and family if you can work for them at no charge to help add to your portfolio, once you’ve created a polished visualization of your work you can then start to charge for your service.
You might be desperate for work, but don’t necessarily jump at an opportunity that sounds too good to be true. In my article about common Craigslist scams, I wrote about fake employers who “hire” new employees, then “accidentally” send them too much pay. They’ll ask their victims to wire back the difference, but a few weeks later, when the bank discovers that the initial check is a fraud, the “employee” is on the hook for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Note: There are dozens of other survey sites out there. These just happen to be the more well-known ones that have a reputation for paying out in a timely manner and not having impossible standards for cashing out. As always, be careful with your personal information. I recommend using an entirely separate email address for survey sites so they don’t clutter your inbox.
If you’re new to blogging, and want to learn how to make money at home but aren’t quite where to start, I’d consider starting a WordPress blog (like this one) with HostGator. It’s a low cost way to start your own online business (less than $5/month) and HostGator offers a 45-day money back guarantee if you deciding blogging just isn’t a good fit for you.
Samples. You’ll need some samples before you can really begin marketing yourself. Figure out which market you want to approach first, and then find or create some related samples. For instance, if you want to try your hand at blogging, study some successful blogs, and then write a few posts of your own to use as samples. Do this for any and every market you’d want to write for.
Survey Junkie is among the most straightforward survey sites out there, which puts them near the top of this list. All you have to do is sign up to be eligible for surveys. Once you complete a survey you earn a certain amount of points that you can exchange for cash paid directly to a PayPal account or you can redeem your points for gift cards. Super simple.
Job Boards. When you’re first starting out, you’ll have to go looking for work, and the best place to do that is on one of the online job boards. Places like Fiverr, Elance, Freelancer, and oDesk are today’s writers’ best friends. They allow individuals and businesses to post projects, and freelancers to bid on them. Take a look around the sites, sign up for the free access in the beginning, and then begin to place bids on the projects that interest you. It will take some trial and error to find your groove, but once you do, the jobs will start to roll in.
Diligence. In this industry, the line between scams and honest businesses is blurry, so you need to do your homework before accepting a position. Call the Better Business Bureau in your area to find out if there have been any complaints filed against the company, and do an online search on their name. Alpine Access is a well-respected company in the field, and Call Center Careers is a great place to look for legitimate call centers looking to hire.
These endeavors aren’t without traps and challenges, though, so before we take a look at some legitimate ways to make money from your home, let’s review a few things that you should avoid. Unfortunately, if you want to earn an honest living from home, you’re also a common target of scammers, especially in these economically tough times. But if you keep these simple rules in mind, you won’t become a victim of one of the many work from home scams.
Coding – whether for developing apps or designing websites – is another big business online! It’s a pretty egalitarian business as well, since you can teach yourself to code in many languages and you can code from wherever you are. At its most basic, all you need is a computer (or laptop or tablet), an Internet connection for connecting with project files or far-flung colleagues, and a text editor. (The software involved can get more complicated than that, as you go along.) There are more small businesses wanting customized websites and startups trying to create that next great app every day, and coders can make a living along the way.
The best way to get started in this field of online marketing and selling is with proper training. There are a lot of training options out there but many of those have the disadvantage of being low quality or incomplete. One particularly good choice for training in online marketing is a site called Wealthy Affiliate. This was actually where I learned most of what I know about making money online and I’m still an active member of the community.
Tools. You don’t need much to work as a home-based freelance writer, but there are some tools that you must have. The most important will be your computer. Get the fastest Internet access that you can afford. It doesn’t matter what kind of computer you get. Just make sure you’re comfortable enough to spend a lot of time with it. Most clients will request that you submit your work as a Microsoft Word document, so make sure that whatever programs you use are compatible. In addition, because you’ll be spending so much time at the computer, make sure that you have a good work area with proper lighting. Some clients will want to be able to reach you by phone or Skype, so have both set up and accessible. You’ll need an invoicing program, such as Freshbooks, and a good bookkeeping system to keep track of sales, orders, and accounts receivables.
This is also one work-at-home job that can be endlessly customized to work for you – you can choose subjects to specialize in, from sports or fashion to European finance or vegan motherhood. You can write articles and blog posts, or ad copy and social posts. You can ghostwrite for your clients, or build your own successful blog. You can find jobs nearly anywhere, too – from job boards or virtual assistant agencies to personal referrals and building your own site. Visit my beginner’s guide to get started freelance writing online.
What It Is: What better way to feed your travel bug than to work as a remote travel agent or consultant? Whether part- or full-time, spend your working hours dreaming up itineraries, flight plans, hotels, and activities for clients looking to travel far and wide. Then, take advantage of your discounts (hey, perks of the job) and go wherever your heart desires, whenever your heart desires.