16 Ways to Make Money From Home

The reasons that people want to make money from home are as unique as their individual circumstances. Some just want to pick up a little extra cash to supplement their income. Others are really looking for a lifestyle change—to simplify work-life balance or eliminated wasted time commuting.

Given the range of skills and experience people have, the best way to make money from home varies wildly. The following list of 17 different ways to bring in money from the comfort of your home has a little something for everyone.

One of these has got to be right for you! 

Direct Sales

Direct Sales party
Getty/Steve Debenport

This is the classic work-at-home mom gig, but it's for a lot more people than just moms! Selling stuff you love can be a great way to make extra money from home, even if you work in an office most of the day. Direct selling is scalable to your own lifestyle, ambition, and talents. You can keep it casual and mostly sell to friends and acquaintances. Or, if you really get to networking online and in person, you can build a client base outside your existing circles.

Direct selling is structured as multilevel marketing. This means you can also build a revenue stream by recruiting other salespeople. Just be careful of pyramid schemes, which work the same way.

Search Evaluation

Google Search
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Search evaluators are the human checkers on search engines’ algorithms that come up when you type in a search term. Following very specific guidelines, they provide feedback to make sure results are accurate, complete, relevant and current.

To become a search evaluator you need to be an expert in language and the culture. Often search evaluation jobs are bilingual positions, but there are some opening for English-only search evaluators. A college degree is often required.

Rent Out a Room in Your Home

Elegant bedroom
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Use your home to work from home. If you live in an area where there is a demand for short-term rentals (like near a university or the downtown of a large city), you may well be able to find renters by networking in your community. However, with the rise of Airbnb and places like it the Internet has once again made it much easier to make money from home. Using these sites you can rent out a private room, shared room or even your whole house for a night or month or whatever period of time you like. 

Drive Your Car

Young woman driving car
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Like Airbnb, becoming a ridesharing driver for companies like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar is a way to join the shared economy. And though it is not technically earning money from home,  it allows the same kind of flexibility and it is a way to use an asset you already own (i.e. your car) to make money. There are things to keep in mind, though, about driving other people such as whether your car insurance will cover you and how you pay taxes on your earnings. 

Get Your Boss to Let You Telecommute

Online Tutor Video Call Telecommute
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To get started making money from home, one of the more obvious places to look is at your current job. When companies allow telecommuting it is most often a perk for existing employees.

To turn your current job into a telecommuting one, the first thing you need to do is to develop a telecommuting proposal for your supervisor. However,​ before you do that consider how your job might (or might not) work as a telecommuting position.

Website and App Testing

Website testing
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Companies need people with all different levels of technical ability to test out their websites, apps and social media offerings. Sign up with one of these website usability testing companies and take on quick jobs surfing the web and playing with new apps. It’s not a career, but it is an easy way to make extra money from home. The only thing to keep in mind is that this won't likely be a steady gig, just occasional.  Learn more about website testing.​​

Call Center Agent

Close up portrait of smiling businesswoman with headset
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Working at a virtual call center is a good way to start a new career from home. Unlike in a lot of other industries, home call center companies hire new employees (often without a lot of experience) to work remotely. Agents might work in customer service, sales or technical support.
 

Chat Agent

Cape Verdean woman typing on keyboard
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If talking on the phone is not practical for you, you can still work a customer service job from home. Many of the same companies that hire call center agents, also hire chat agents. And in addition to these customer service chat jobs, there are other online chat jobs from home. These include answering questions, doing internet research, moderating in social media and more. 

Start Your Own Home Day Care

Childcare
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If you love children and want a career in childcare from your home, then a home daycare center could be right for you. Starting a home daycare center, like any home business, takes a lot of work, research, start-up costs and networking to get it going. Every state has different regulations, which could require physical improvements to your home. Learn more about starting a home daycare.

Another route to make money in childcare is to simply babysit for families you know. However, this would usually require going to other people's homes. 

Pet Care Business

Dog Walker
Getty/your personal camera obscura

There are a lot of services that people will purchase for their pets. While most of the time, running a pet-services business won't be directly from your home, they offer the same kinds of lifestyle flexibility as a home business. Some pet businesses include:

  • Open a Doggie Daycare
  • Become a Dog Walker
  • Work as a Dog Trainer
  • Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business
  • House/Pet Sitting

Type From Home

Type from home
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If you're a fast typist there are many ways to make money from home by typing. Some you need experience and training others you don't. Data entry, for instance, takes very little experience; however, if you aren't fast enough you won't make any money at. Specialty transcription work (like medical) may require a degree and experience to get started.

Become a Writer

Writer
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Want to do more than type words but instead create? Consider a career in writing. There are so many ways to be a writer (think blogging,  fiction writing, and children’s books), and most of them can be done from home either as a telecommuter and a freelancer. The great thing about writing is you can start small with very little experience. You won't make a lot at first but as you build your portfolio you can expand into more lucrative types of writing.

Pick Up Small Jobs

Supermarket price check
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If you have skills that are in demand, you can always pick up odd jobs around your neighborhood, networking in the real world to find real-world jobs. But don't stop there! There are now so many ways to use the Internet to find small jobs. Short task sites offer diverse ways to find skilled and unskilled jobs both online and in the real world--shopping and performing price checks, cleaning, repairs, writing, editing, translation, transcription, data entry, website usability testing, social media tasks, surveys, and online research. 

Sell Your Handiwork

Sell arts and crafts
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Take the hobby you love and do it for money...from home. The number of possible types of crafts you could make is endless--knitting, jewelry, scrapbook, pottery, ornaments, textiles and so on. To make this work, though, you have to not only create a quality product but you need to know how to market it. You can go the old-fashioned route and take your wares to craft shows and flea markets or use the Internet to expand your options. With online options like Etsy and eBay, your potential market is worldwide, but so is your competition. 

Go Shopping

Shopping
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There are few ways to make money while you shop. You can pick up short tasks that involve shopping, like doing price checks or photographing in stores or you can go mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is definitely a real way to make money but you have to be careful because the jobs can be the bait for scams, so you have to know the signs of mystery shopping scams. But there are legitimate companies that hire mystery shoppers. 

Become a Tutor

Education jobs
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 Tutoring can be done in-home or online. The in-home tutoring will take networking and teaching experience to build your business. Online tutoring, however, can be done through companies that connect tutors with students while providing the needed infrastructure (i.e. web conferencing services) for a cut of the fees. Most require a college degree and teaching experience but for some those requirements may be negotiable.