There are SO many articles on the web about how to make money from home and typically they list things that aren’t practical at all for busy moms – like driving for Uber or Lyft. Mmmkay…I’ll just put my kids in the backseat and drive around for a few hours. I don’t think so.
Or the job requires large chunks of time you have to block out – for example, telemarketing from home. Or you have to be available at specific times of day, like with teaching live online courses.
I can see myself having to say “excuse me a minute but my 2 year old woke up early from his nap and decided it was a good time to try using the potty chair on his own”.
No. No. No.
There are better ways to make money from home as a busy mom, really!
In this article I’ll share real ways that busy moms can actually make money from home (plus a few that aren’t technically from home, but still fit with busy mom life) as well as tell you how much you might expect to make with each type of work.
Why You Might Consider Working From Home As Busy Mom
A wise mom once told me that being a mom will always take everything you have – whether you have one child or five (or more!). Looking back on our journey from when we had one child to now having three, I certainly feel like this is true. But even though caring for families and homes is a full time job in itself, the reality is that many stay-at-home moms (myself included) find themselves needing or wanting to make money from home.
For our family, even though we’re getting by fine month-to-month on one income, saving for future expenses such as our kids going to college and retirement is a challenge.
It also would be nice to not have such a tight budget, ya know? (Don’t have budget for your family yet? Follow this tutorial to make a budget that will SAVE you money and get access to a pretty template here). We pretty much have to keep track of every single dollar – which has helped us develop some healthy discipline and self-control, but still…
Perhaps your reasons are similar. Or perhaps you’re looking to save up for a fun family vacation. Or maybe you’re looking for a way to use your marketable skills, contribute outside the home, interact with other adults, and/or have a creative outlet that also is profitable.
Maybe you do have a job outside the home but would love to add a little more income to your budget. Maybe you’d like to match your spouse’s income. Maybe you’re looking to see whether it would be possible for your family to make the move to one income so you can stay at home with your kids.
Everyone’s family and financial situation is entirely unique and so will be your reasons for wanting to make money from home. However, the bottom line is that by working from home as a stay-at-home-mom you get the best of both worlds – time with your kids and income.
Is It Even Possible To Make Money From Home As A Busy Mom?
Whatever your reasons may be, trying to make money from home when you’re a busy mom presents a unique challenge. It really is a whole thing separate from just working from home. Not every “work from home” job fits the mom life.
Moms who want to work from home need specific kids of opportunities including at least one or all of the following:
- Flexible – as in the “set your own hours whenever you want” kind of flexible.
- Ability to work from home – like literally from inside your house, on your couch, in your pajamas.
- Work that you can leave and pick back up easily or which can be interrupted without too much consequence.
Is it possible to find the time and the right job to make money from home when it seems like you’re already giving everything you have to take care of your family? When you only have little chunks of time to work with during the day? When the only time you have to do anything other than care-giving is early in the morning or late at night?
You might be surprised at how many ways to make money from home as a busy mom there really are.I won't tell you that it's easy to make money as a stay-at-home mom, but it is very doableClick To Tweet
I won’t tell you that it’s easy to make money from home as a stay-at-home mom (because is anything really easy that has to do with being a mom?) But it is very doable. Unless you’re able to hire a sitter to care for your kids while you work, there really isn’t any way around putting in some hours either early in the morning before your kids get up and/or late at night after they go to bed.
But as moms, we’re good at just doing what has to be done and finding our new normal, right?
Before You Look For Ways To Make Money From Home, Take These Steps To Save Money Every Month
Before we get to the list of ways you can actually make money from home as a busy and/or stay-at-home mom, I suggest you take the following steps to reduce your monthly expenses. It will also help you get an accurate picture of your financial situation so that you have all the right information before making a decision on what type of work is a good fit for you:
(p.s. you might even discover you don’t have to earn as much as you thought after completing these steps)
- Set a family budget so you know exactly where you are at financially
- Learn to track your monthly expenses to stay on-budget and keep from overspending
- Look for ways to trim monthly expenses so that you don’t need to earn so much
Okay, it’s time to get to the list and talk about real ways for moms to make money from home!
Straightforward Pay-Per-Hour Positions
1. General Transcriptionistnt
This is actually a job I have done in the past and I really enjoyed it. However, I quit when we had our third baby because I just couldn’t keep up with it all (do you ever feel like you need 48 hour days instead of 24???).
I was able to add $150 – $200 to our income every month (I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but for some that could be the difference between being able to stay home with the kids and having to continue working outside the home). If you have decent typing skills and enjoy paying attention to detail then this might be a great fit.
Basically the job involves listening to audio files and transcribing them into written form. There are a number of companies that provide this type of work and each company has their own formatting rules you have to follow. To be considered for a position typically you must take a series of tests.
The rate of pay is usually advertised as “per hour”, for example $25/hr, and that may sound like a lot; however, keep in mind that the rate of pay is per audio hour, not for how long it takes you to transcribe the file. Most companies offer in the range of $10-20/hour (audio hour, that is).
What I liked about this work was that I was able to pick and choose the audio files I wanted to work on and could basically work as much or as little as I wanted, as long as there was work available.
What you need for this type of work:
- A computer with internet access
- Good headphones like these
- Keyboard typing skills
Here are several transcription companies that have been around for a while and which also hire beginning transcribers with no previous experience. I worked for Rev and TranscribeMe simultaneously – if there wasn’t work with one company I checked with the other one:
- Rev (they also hire for other types of freelance positions such as captioning, subtitling, and translation)
2. Web Search Evaluator
This is also a work-from-home position I held for a short time. I quit when I started this blog because I realized that I couldn’t keep up with both. However, I liked the work and if I hadn’t started this blog I probably would have continued.
These types of positions involve following a very detailed set of criteria to evaluate the search results that appear for a specific search query. You would be instructed to enter a specific sterm and then look through a certain number of top search results, clicking on each one and determining the quality of each site and how well the information on each site satisfies the search term.
As with general transcription, most companies will require you to take a series of tests to qualify for a position. You can expect to make somewhere in the range of $12-18/hour with this type of work.
What you need to be a web search analyst:
- A computer with internet access
- Some companies require you to have a smartphone with internet access so that you can assess search results on a mobile device
Reputable Companies that offer this type of freelance work (some also offer other types of similar positions such as social media evaluator):
3. Website Reviewer
Website owners and bloggers like me need to know that their websites are useful and user-friendly. If a website is poorly designed, doesn’t look nice, has disorganized content, or just plain doesn’t work, then that site is losing visitors and potential income.
That’s where website testing comes in. There are a number of companies who pay people to test websites and give their opinion on how well they work.
Most companies pay around $10 per test, with each test taking 5 – 25 minutes to complete. I think that’s pretty good pay for a job you can do from your couch in your pajamas!
What you need for this type of work:
- A computer with internet access and a microphone (some companies require you to speak and record your opinions) – that’s it!
Companies hiring website reviewers:
4. Online Grading
Online grading can be a great option to make money from home if you’re just looking for a little extra income. Work with the following companies tends to be more seasonal. However, there is a lot of flexibility and the pay can be quite good. Most companies advertise between $10 and $15 per hour. You would likely need to complete some training and pass a test or series of tests to be considered for a position with the following companies (but wouldn’t you want someone grading your work to have had some training, ha!).
What you need for a job as a grader:
- A computer with internet access
- Some (but not all) companies require a 4 year college degree
Companies that hire freelance graders:
- Write Score (requires a 4 year degree)
- Pearson (select “scoring at home” in the menu options)
- Measurement, Inc. (requires 4 year degree; work is seasonal; select “reader/evaluator” option to apply)
Make Money From Home Creating Your Own Service And/Or Product
Up until now I’ve covered work-from-home positions that are fairly straightforward and pay by the hour.
The following are ways to make money from home that involve a little more creativity, strategy, and time investment. Although the income is not as certain (I can’t give you a per hour estimate) the income potential is far greater and really only limited by the time you have to invest and the amount of effort you put into it.
5. Affiliate Marketing Through Pinterest
Did you know that you can make money through affiliate marketing without even having a website? It’s totally possible. This method of earning income involves applying to affiliate programs and then creating pinnable images (like the one at the top of this post) which link directly to various products and/or services in your affiliate network(s).
The key to using Pinterest for affiliate marketing is that you need to have and maintain an active Pinterest account and pin lots of content besides just your affiliate links. Otherwise you risk being flagged as a spammer and having your account deactivated.
I’m not the ultimate expert on this but there are many who are! Below I’ll list a few resources you can check out for more information.
What you need to make money through affiliate marketing on Pinterest:
- An active business Pinterest account. It’s easy to apply for a business account on Pinterest.
- A computer with internet access
- A program like PicMonkey for creating and editing pinnable images
Learn more from the experts about how to do affiliate marketing without a blog/website on Pinterest:
- How To Make Money On Pinterest Without A Blog (A Comprehensive Guide)
- How To Do Affiliate Marketing Without A Website Or Blog
- Affiliate Marketing On Pinterest: 9 Ways You’re Doing It Wrong!
6. Virtual Assistant
Before you write this one off thinking “I could never do that”, hear me out…
First of all, this job isn’t really just “one” job. It can be many things – anything from assisting a blogger like me in keeping up with his/her social media accounts to managing customer service, ghostwriting, managing email accounts, bookkeeping, and more. Pretty much anything that could be done remotely can be done by a VA.
For example, the social media aspect of blogging could be a full time job in and of itself for a big-name blogger or other website owner. Think creating pins, pinning content within Pinterest, posting to a Facebook business page or group, putting out new tweets and Instagram posts, etc. I’m not there yet, but perhaps in the future I’ll be looking to hire a social media VA.
How much money you can make depends on what kinds of skills you can offer. While many VAs set their own rates, you can probably expect to earn $10 – 15/hour for something like data entry and as much as $100/hour for more specialized skills such as graphic design.
What you need to be a VA:
- A marketable skill which you can use to help business owners remotely
- A computer with internet access
- Optional, but very helpful – your own website where you advertise your services as a VA
- Also optional, but also very helpful – social media business accounts where you can network with others and advertise
Recommended resources for more information about VA work:
- How To Become A Virtual Assistant
- How To Become A Virtual Assistant With No Experience
- 8 Websites That Hire Virtual Assistants
- Resources You Need To Start A VA Business
- How To Become A Virtual Assistant and Make $3000/Month
7. Start A Blog
I never ever imagined that I would have a blog, yet here I am!
In all honesty, I haven’t made any money from this blog yet, but I certainly hope to within the next year.
If you are looking for a way to make money from home right away, blogging probably isn’t going to be the best fit for you. While I see posts every once in a while about how someone made money their first month blogging, most profitable bloggers will tell you it takes at least a year to start making money with a blog. And that’s if you are able to invest a lot of effort and post quality content on a regular basis.
But don’t be deterred from starting a blog if that’s where your passion lies. Blogging can be a great way to make money from home with the right content and strategy.
The key to monetizing your blog quickly is to have a plan in place before you start your blog.
Figuring out your niche (your specialized blog topic) and having 10 – 15 written posts ready to go before you even launch your blog will go a long way in helping to monetize your blog quickly.
What you need to start a money-making blog:
- A love of writing (or at least a very strong interest). If you don’t like to write you probably won’t enjoy having a blog.
- A love of learning new things. I say that because starting a blog involves a huge learning curve. You will need to know or learn how to maintain a website, how to write posts that engage people and rank well in search engines, how to use social media to drive traffic to your site, how to create images for your posts, and more. If you love constantly learning new things then you will love blogging.
- A topic (or a main topic and several sub-topics) that you are passionate about, can write on consistently, and which provide solutions to people’s pain points.
- A computer with internet access
I know that all sounds like a lot, but don’t get overwhelmed just yet. Blogging really can be a fun way to express your creativity, connect with other adults, and make money from home.
Successful mom blogger Suzi Whitford does an amazing job of breaking down the process of starting a blog into manageable bite-sized steps. Her course BLOG BY NUMBER gave me all the information, tools, resources and encouragement I needed to start this blog as a busy mom.
This is by far the best (and best priced) course on how to start a blog I’ve come across. Plus, Suzi is a mom of three herself and totally gets the challenges busy moms face.
Also, check out my Blogging Tools resource page. There you’ll find all sorts of tools and resources to help busy mom bloggers.
8. Design Merchandise And/Or Digital Products
Here’s another one that I’ve tried my hand at. Some of the products I have designed through Zazzle can be found right here in my shop. If you enjoy creating/designing images then this might be a really great option for you.
Depending on what kind of products you design, you don’t necessarily have to own Photoshop or any other expensive design program, either.
I create all the images for the merchandise (t-shirts, coffee mugs, bags, etc.) in PicMonkey. If you’d like to create more complex digital images for things such as layered digital art prints or graphics for websites then you might need to power of Photoshop.
There are so many options for places to sell merchandise. Of course you can create your own website and sell directly from your site using a free platform such as WooCommerce.
Many people have the best luck by combining the two – having their own website and partnering with another platform such as Etsy or Creative Market.
What you need to design and sell merchandise:
- An interest in graphic design and basic design skills – or a willingness to learn!
- A computer with internet access
- A program for creating and editing images such as PicMonkey
- A platform (or multiple platforms) for selling your designs – Etsy, Zazzle, Creative Market, etc., and/or your own website with WooCommerce.
Here’s a little more information on how to start designing and selling merchandise from those who are successful in making money from home with this approach. Although some of these posts are written with a specific platform in mind (such as Zazzle), you can take the advice and apply it to other platforms as well.
- How To Make Extra Money With Zazzle
- The Ultimate Guide to Earning Extra Money With Zazzle
- How To Start An Etsy Shop Selling Digital Products
- 10 Ways To Sell Digital Products
- 25 Passive Income Products To Sell On Etsy
9. Take Surveys
I listed this one because I see so many people writing about how they make money from home taking surveys. Honestly, I have tried this approach to making money from home a few times and haven’t had much success. However, it seems to really work for some people. If this interests you here are a few resources to check out:
- 20 Best Survey Sites in 2018
- 18 Survey Sites To Make An Extra $500/Month (plus 5 tips to get past the screening surveys and start earning NOW)
- 9 Best Surveys To Earn Extra Income $1000/Month (2018 Edition)
- How To Make $500 This Month From Paid Online Surveys
A Few More Jobs That Aren’t Technically Work-From-Home But Still Fit Into The Busy Mom Lifestyle
10. Multilevel Marketing/Direct Sales/Network Sales
It seems that many people either have a love it or hate it relationship with multilevel marketing (MLM) companies, also known as direct sales or network sales. If you’re not a fan of multilevel marketing, feel free to skip this part!
Basically, multilevel marketing involves several ways to earn income (hence the “mulit” part). You earn income when you sell the company’s product (jewelry, make-up, books, essential oils, clothing, etc.) directly to customers AND you earn income through the sales of others who have joined your sales team.
Many people think that all MLM companies are pyramid schemes, but there is a difference. With a pyramid scheme the main goal is to get your money and get you to sign up recruits so that the company gets their money too. With legitimate MLMs the main goal is to sell more and more product (like any business does, really) through you and the people you recruit to join your sales team. Read this article for more information on how to identify a pyramid scheme.
It used to be that the only way to do direct sales was by having in-home parties; however I’m seeing a trend toward online parties and online sales. This lends itself very well to busy mom life and making money from home.
Just like any work-from-home opportunity, this is not a means to get rich quick. But it is possible to make money from home if you find a direct sales company that’s the right fit for you. The best direct sales company to choose is the one with products that interest you and/or have worked for you and you believe in.
What you need to get started with direct sales:
- An interest in sales and networking with others
- A direct sales company with products you like and can endorse
Resources to help you choose a direct sales company and get started with this income opportunity:
- The 20 Best Direct Sales Company Jobs For Stay-At-Home Moms
- 10 Great Direct Sales Companies For Moms
- 40+ Direct Sales Companies For Moms (And Tips for Success!)
- The Do’s and Don’ts Of Direct Sales
- Can Introverts Be Successful In Direct Sales
11. Teach Classes At Local Community Center or Community College
This is a source of income that is really helping our family at the moment. I teach arts and crafts classes in the evenings through the continuing education department of a local community college. It’s a fun way to interact with other adults and make some side income at the same time!
Typically with a job like this you get to propose courses, create your own class material, and set your own schedule.
Consider what special knowledge and/or skills you have that you could use to teach a class. Some types of classes are better suited to a community/recreation center and some are better suited to a community college environment.
Types of classes that might work well at a community/recreation center might include: exercise classes, classes for kids, parent-toddler music classes, as wells as some types of arts and crafts classes.
Community college classes might include photography, painting, computer technology, cooking, gardening, pet care, and much more. The more specific and unique the topic, the better.
Check your local recreation center and/or community college catalog for more ideas.
Several things to consider are that you probably won’t be making a full-time income and the income you do make can be variable – often these kinds of classes are canceled if enrollment is too low.
However, being able to teach classes on topics of your choice and on your own schedule is a pretty huge plus!
12. Make And Sell Your Artisan Crafts
Do you love crafting? Do you ever receive compliments on your creations or have friends request you to make crafted items for them? If so, perhaps you should consider selling your handiwork as a way to make money from home.
If you decide to make and sell crafts, there are a few ways to go about it:
- Selling at craft fairs
- Selling at local artisan stores
- Selling through Etsy and/or other similar artisan goods websites (there are many!)
- Selling through your own website
- A combination of the above
In my experience with selling handmade artisan crafts, I can tell you that people like to purchase items they know exactly what to do with. For example, when I first started selling handmade items at craft fairs I so both marbled jewelry bowls and earrings made from polymer clay. Do you know what I discovered? The earrings sold much better than the jewelry bowls because they had a more specific purpose.
If you enjoy crafting and like the idea of selling your handmade crafts but aren’t sure where to start or what kinds of items would sell well, here are some resources to check out:
- What Sells Best At A Craft Show
- 17 Ways To Sell Crafts From Home
- How To Make A Living As An Artist Or Crafter
- How To Find The Best Crafts To Make And Sell
- How To Make Passive Income As A Handmade Artist
There Ya’ Go! 12 Ways To Make Money From Home (Or Almost From Home)
I hope you’re inspired to begin thinking about which income opportunity might right for you.
And I hope that you’re encouraged to know that it is possible to make money from home – even as a busy mom.
If you’re feeling a little intimidated or overwhelmed at the idea of starting to make money from home just remember that the first step toward change is always the hardest, but it gets easier after that!
Alright mama, you got this. You can do it! You just have to begin.
p.s. I’d also love to have you join my Facebook group Savvy Moms. It’s a virtual community – just a place where moms can come together and give each other encouragement, ask questions, and support one another. Check it out here.