Despite difficult economic times, stay at home parents, the retired, and unemployed are finding ways to earn extra money from home. These home business options do not involve mid-level-marketing or direct selling, but are full and part-time jobs based from home. Many positions are found on the Internet and most allow a flexible schedule while allowing work-home balance.
Choosing one of these opportunities requires common sense more than specific training or talents and experience in given areas. In order to be successful, an individual should plan on working a couple of hours each day and be committed to the position.
Please refer to following list of work from home options:
Secret or Mystery Shoppers
Homepreneurs do not always “work” only at home. Secret Shoppers visit assigned retail stores and act as average customers, writing confidential reports about their experience with employee customer service, product knowledge, and sales skills. The reports are typically in template format, with a rating scale, and a comments sections. Secret Shopper reports assist owners and managers in evaluating store staff and training needs. Hired by a third-party organization, Secret Shoppers may also be asked to evaluate a store for cleanliness, organization, shopping or dining experience, and product selection.
Experience is not always necessary for these positions. More important is an ability to read, speak, and write English (in some cases Spanish too), honesty, dependability, and flexibility to shop at specified store locations in a time range. Common industries that use Secret Shoppers include: larger retail stores, airlines, and restaurants. To find out more about Secret Shoppers, please visit http://www.mysteryshop.org.
Another excellent home business opportunity is as a virtual assistant: “A virtual assistant (VA) is an individual who provides business support services in a variety of areas. They do not work out of your office, but work virtually for you from our company offices. Support service areas can include website development and maintenance, marketing, search engine optimization, content writing, graphic design and link building. A VA is not employed, but an independent contractor who provides services through our organization for a monthly retainer.” 1
Some skills and experience are typically needed for these positions – computer training – Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Advanced positions may require: database maintenance and creation, web design, research, blog or website content writing.
Many websites claim to offer virtual assistant jobs and will gladly charge a fee to add you to their database of potential workers. Please remember that you should never pay a company to list your qualifications. Once placed – if as an independent contractor – a retainer charge may be required. Other Virtual Assistant listing companies get paid by employers to locate qualified workers. Be aware that a background check may also be required by the listing company. A source for positions: http://www.odesk.com . Again, please do independent research and verify their claims.
Become a Content / Web Writer
An increasingly common opportunity for those interested in writing or editing for others. So called “ghost writers” provide content websites and blogs. “The price range for this style of writing runs from 1 cent per word to several dollars per article. Beginning ghost writers may charge as little as $1 per article.” 2
Ghost writers may also be paid on an hourly basis or on commission, depending on the terms of the contract. Experienced writers can expect to earn more. Important skills to have: Writing and editing skills, computer skills (Word), knowledge about specific topics (if writing for that area), research ability, and patience.
Also required for starting content writer work: A computer and Internet connection, a PayPal account or credit card or bank account. Most website content / articles are between 300-500 words each; keyword density and formatting needs will be part of the contact terms. Be sure to understand exactly the requirements and due dates. An informational site: http://www.exquisitewriting.com/freelance-ghostwriter-hire/
As discussed in a previous article on Homepreneurs, money can be made from blogging. By itself, blogging won’t lead to huge success, but can yield a smaller stream of income while providing a stepping stone to careers such as ghost writing, eBooks, editing, etc. Articles on a blog fill a writing portfolio and may lead to bigger and better writing opportunities. If popular, well-received blog posts on specific topics may be combined into a book, as written in a previous article on Homepreneurs blog.
Further, blogs can provide additional money via advertising and by using Google’s Adsense. After having 10-15 posts on your blog, submit an easy application at www.google.com/adsense. Once approved, add some Google-provided script to your blog and Google will automatically display ads related the blog’s theme. A blogger makes money when the adds are clicked (pay-per-click or ppc) by a visitor. An individual click may not pay well, but hundreds of clicks can bring in a nice amount. These clicks provide passive income. Make money at any time of day, whenever an article is read and a link clicked.
Affiliate marketing or referred selling is another way for Homepreneurs to make money from web sites or blogs. Affiliate marketing occurs when a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer referred by the affiliate’s (your site/blog) own marketing efforts. Many companies have an affiliate program and will pay people to advertise their products. These companies provide a banner or text ad using programming code that you insert in your website or blog. In return, you will receive a percentage of the product(s) sold. A key point to remember is to align your target market with a potential advertising client. A company specializing in linens won’t want to advertise on a blog dedicated to sports.
Here are three sites that may help you with affiliate marketing:
Many opportunities, small and potentially large, exist for Homepreneurs. Some provide passive income – blogging and affiliate marketing – others via direct action. None of these is a get-rich quick scheme, but can provide needed additional income, especially as a second job or for the stay at home or unemployed. As always, it is strongly recommended that research and homework are done prior to signing up for any opportunity!
By Dion D Shaw
Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
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