Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Ways to Make Money at Home

Generating some income from home is a key part of my early retirement strategy. Since leaving paid employment 7+ years ago at the ripe old age of 44, I’ve created a couple of small money streams (ok – trickles) that work for me. It didn’t happen overnight and actually I’m just now really getting into the swing of things. So patience is a plus – there are no get-rich-quick schemes here!

Cash In On Your Hobby

First, I turned my quilting hobby into a business. I started by finishing quilts for others and then branched out into creating custom memorial quilts, which I’ve discovered is where my true passion lies. Over the years, I’ve also sold a few baby quilts and other sewn items through local venues. I haven’t made a ton of money but my original intention was just to support my quilting habit and I’m doing ok on that front. The point is, most people have a hobby that can be used to generate at least a small amount of income. What’s yours? If you’re having a hard time figuring out ways to make your hobby pay, leave a comment and we can brainstorm some ideas together.

Selling Books Online

As discussed in a previous post, I recently discovered selling books online. One of the boxes I shipped off last week has been received and my PayPal account is $12 healthier. Of note is that it should have been $15 but one of the books was rejected. Still yet, not bad for decluttering my home and making a little money in the process. The other package of three books netted me another $4.25. Keep in mind that these books were destined for donation so the amount I got, though small, was like found money! And the buyers paid the shipping so it didn’t cost me anything. I will continue to sell books as the opportunity arises and I suggest others do the same.

Online Writing Opportunities

In the past few months I’ve gotten on the online writing bandwagon. I found out about this quite by accident and I’m so glad I did! It’s fun, hones my writing skills and keeps me learning new things. The sites I’m concentrating on right now are Textbroker and eHow. There are many other sites – these are just the two with which I am familiar. For a wealth of information on these and other online writing opportunities, visit the No Job For Mom blog which is where I’ve found out at least 90% of what I know on the subject.

Textbroker pays up front. Clients post orders and authors choose which assignments they’d like to complete. Payment is made through PayPal and can be requested twice per month providing there’s a minimum of $10 on account. Authors are rated and may only accept assignments at or below the level of that rating. I’ve been with Textbroker since late July and have completed about 75 assignments. My earnings to date exceed $360 and since my goal is to earn $25/week there, I’m ahead of schedule despite being away from home for a few weeks in Aug and Sept. Pay ranges from .007 to .014 per word for levels 2-4. Level 5 pays much higher but appears difficult to attain and I rarely see any assignments listed at that level, anyway. I’m happy with my level 4 and will continue with Textbroker for the foreseeable future. I’m not getting rich but earning $1,300/year ($25/wk x 52 weeks) at my leisure in my jammies is nothing to sneer at. I figure it finances Christmas and birthday presents for the all kids and grands with a little left over for a trip north to visit those that live farther away.

With eHow you can earn residual income. (Update: revenue share prgram at eHow has been discontinued.) I joined eHow in late July and have posted just 14 articles so far. I was trying to post more over the past few days but the system is so glitchy right now that I decided to better use my time elsewhere. I’m thrilled with my eHow earnings to date, however, even though they total less than $5. Felicia at No Job For Mom earned almost $2,700 in residual income over the course of a year. I don’t foresee that level of earnings for myself as I am not posting at the same rate – I believe she did 100 articles in her first 30 days. I do see the earning potential, however, and am anxiously awaiting a fix on the system so I can get back with the eHow program.

I’m in the process of researching other avenues that might generate a little income and will post about any that pan out. I don’t do multi-level marketing schemes or party plans or sales of any sort so don’t ever expect to see information of that type here.

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