Making Work at Home Work for You: The Basics

Making Work at Home Work for You: The Basics

Play with your kids more, exercise when you want to, or even train a puppy while on the job. The benefits from working from home are as limitless as the people who decide to do so.  The main thing that all successful work-from-home types have is their dedication to investing in themselves.  Working from home still means working, and if you’re willing to accept that, you can make working from home work for you.


Two types of work from home jobs: computer-based and offline

Computer-based jobs are those that you complete on your computer, many of which require a stable internet connection.  Generally, these include things such as freelance writing, professional blogging, virtual assistant work, professional organizing, data-entry, and transcription.  You can make good money doing these jobs, but it can require a little progressive marketing to get the good ones.   As long as you have high-speed internet, you can work online from home.

Offline work from home jobs are those that you do not need a computer and an internet connection to complete.  Those would include things such as babysitting, dog walking, crafts (thinking knitting, quilting, photography, or woodworking), or consulting in an industry with which you're familiar.  Basically any topic in which you have expertise can be turned into a work from home business. These are a little less risky than online jobs, because you meet your clients face to face.  However, it’s always important to use a contract in any work from home venture. 

Two main categories:  services and products

Services are what you sell when there is no tangible object being exchanged for money.  Products are actual, tangible things that you will have to ship or that your customers will have to take home with them.

Computer-Based Services
If you work online, there are a multitude of services you can provide.  These include writing, transcription, data-entry, virtual administration, web design, taking surveys and even reading (book reviews).  You can also launch your own online business. The benefit of selling services online is that if you are particularly skilled in one area (say you're a paralegal, for example), but the market is better away from where you live, you don’t have to uproot to make more money. 

For instance, as a paralegal in my town, I made $10 per hour.  Outside of my town, I was offered jobs at $22 an hour.  Due to our large cattle ranch operation, I can’t relocate, but I can still sell my paralegal services online at a rate that fits the buying market, rather than my physical one.

Computer-Based Products
Products you can sell online are virtually limitless.  You can make a living just selling things on ebay or through an online craft store, or setting up a free website and selling products from that virtual storefront. Be sure to check the tax laws in your state, because while you may not have to add tax to the cost of your services, generally you will need to tack a sales tax onto products you sell.

Offline Services
Offline services like babysitting are still services, because you do not exchange a tangible object (inanimate tangible object, anyway) for money.  The only difference is that you don’t need to be online to provide this service. 

Offline Products Offline products are the same as online products, except your marketing will be different. Because you aren't using the online space to get the word out about your product, you'll market it locally through flyers, newspaper and magazine advertisements, television, and word of mouth.

No matter what you choose to do, always be sure to check tax laws as well as zoning laws.  If you plan on working from home, you want to be sure that your home is zoned to operate a business.  Another perk from working from home is that you can take some deductions if you designate a room solely to your business.  Again, check the tax deduction laws in your state.

Invest emotionally and financially in yourself to make working from home work for you 

Working from home can benefit you and your family.  You can focus on what really matters, while still bringing in a healthy income.  The benefits you will reap will be worth the effort it takes to create and sustain a good work at home position.

We'll be continuing this series on Making Working From Home Work For You, so stay tuned!

Photo Source: JagWired

Money Reasons's picture

Money Reasons wrote:

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 18:00 Comment #: 1

Sounds like a great way to go about it!

Very clever of you to maximize your income potential by working remote! We all talk about the cost savings to the business hiring, but to capitalize on the differences in wage rate by working remote is very clever!

Kudos to you :)

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 20:40 Comment #: 2

Well, thank you. I thought it was pretty good idea, too. ;)

Shaun's picture

Shaun wrote:

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 21:18 Comment #: 3

Hey Jessica,

Some really great advice there! It's quite amazing to see the types of creative thinking that people are capable of when they set their mind to it. I really like that you weren't ready to settle for less and proactively sought out an alternative, well done!

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 21:36 Comment #: 4

Thanks for the comments, you two. You're both very encouraging and supportive; two great traits to have in friends -- virtual or otherwise. :)

Ultimate Guide for How to Work at Home | MomVesting's picture

Ultimate Guide for How to Work at Home | MomVesting wrote:

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:48 Comment #: 5

[...] are ways to get started as a WAHM and earn money from home. Offline or computer-based; which is best for [...]