Being an entrepreneur is not anything new. Years ago there were women who supplemented their family’s income by providing a product or service to people in their local community. This continues to be the case today. Some of us who could be labeled a ‘stay at home mom’ are finding ways to make money from home which fits our family’s lifestyle. No matter what you might see in an online ad, there is NO push play button that will have you rolling in the dough in short order. For this month’s WAHMHop, I thought I’d share how I make money from home including the good, bad and ugly components of my experiences thus far.
Make Money from Home: Reasons to Do It
Lots of people dream about leaving a regular job and living on their own terms. Whether they want more freedom in where they are working or just not feeling like they are being oppressed by “the man,” those who become entrepreneurs can set the pace for their lives.
In many ways, I did just that when I stopped working full time and came home to be the primary caregiver to my boys. Eventually that led to our becoming a homeschool family. For a while, I continued teaching classes for the American Red Cross as a per diem instructor (so paid per class for my time) until it became far more hassle than it was worth. However, that also meant a loss of the small income stream which I was able to use for a few extras our family needed or in some months the ability to pay all the bills on time.
For me, working from home has the huge advantage of being home. I’m able to do my work around other family activities. No need to decide who will stay home with a sick kid as I am already here (unless I happen to be traveling for a conference.) And if no one in your house is attending school or going outside for work, you might be able to stay healthier in the long run! Now that my 7th grader is back to homeschooling, we have my husband going to work and my college son attending classes at the local university. Between their excellent personal hygiene and keeping a wide birth from others who might be sick, we are not seeing the same string of illness like we did when two of my boys attended elementary schoool.
Depending upon your business, you may have the flexibility to work wherever you want. If we want to go out RVing for the weekend (or an epic month long trip across the country), then I can take it all with me.
You can decide who you will work with and pass up opportunities that do not make you comfortable. While I never experience much discomfort in the workplace, I can appreciate that some do and have been asked to compromise personal beliefs on the job. Or, maybe you want to fully live out your beliefs without fear of repercussions.
Having your own business can free you up to be more creative. How you accomplish things is fit with how you work best rather than someone else’s idea.
Make Money from Home: Reasons to NOT Do It
The biggest reason to not even attempt to make money from home is the uncertainty of what you’ll earn. For some people, the loss of a guaranteed paycheck is just too stressful. I am NOT the primary earner in my family, so that stress is not there.
Another reason to not join others in working from home is that when you are your own boss the hours needed to be successful can be brutal. While you might be able to pick when and where you are working, you still need to put in the time. Sometimes, especially when you are starting out, the number of hours you need to invest might be WAY more than what you’d work for the same amount of pay.
Along with the time commitment involved, there can be serious tension in your home if everyone is not on board with you. People may think all you do is play around on the computer or chat on the phone. I’ve heard from a few friends who work from home that sometimes their own friends and neighbors think you are ‘free’ to take on extra work just because you are home.
Being home all day also means that you need laser focus to get your work tasks done. It is too easy to attempt multi-tasking when you are home and do not have clear boundaries set. “Oh, I’ll just do the dishes quick.” “Time to flip the laundry” “Facebook (or email ) notification! Let me just take a quick peak”…and there went an hour. You get the idea. Unless you have those boundaries set and maintained well it is too easy to get drawn into other things and not get more things checked off your to do list.
Make Money from Home: How I Do It
Over the years, I have joined a lot of different multilevel marketing companies with the promise of working hard at my business paying off in a nice little income for the family. And, if you are really lucky you might get a free trip somewhere.
I’ve never experienced any steady income from those companies. Although, I was super excited to have earned a few free bonus products from Norwex and Tupperware.
It isn’t that I don’t LOVE their products. I do! That’s the big reason why I even signed up with them. If you don’t simply adore the company’s products, then selling them will be an absolute nightmare. Unless you are one of those very unusual individuals who could sell people pretty much anything.
And, it isn’t that I am not a “product of the product.” For the ones with which I still have a relationship (Beachbody and Young Living), I AM a product of the product. I drink Shakeology pretty much every day because I love how it makes me feel on the inside (and honestly adore the taste, too, with a few favorite recipes for it.) I also use my essential oils and Ninxia Red on a daily basis.
The reason I believe they have never ‘clicked’ for me and brought me a decent level of income is that I am my own worse enemy. I am a frugal gal for most things and can empathize with people who are hesitant to part with their own hard earned money to buy a product they view as expensive. I also do not feel comfortable going around talking about my ‘product’ to every single person out there. I have a few girlfriends who are all making a few thousand per month with Young Living and the big difference is they were willing to be bubbly excited and talk about essential oils to every single person they knew or met.
I might have a MBA with marketing and public relations being a primary focus, but that doesn’t mean I like to toot my own horn! It’s a lot easier for me to toot someone else’s.
My primary source of income is through this blog. When you have a blog / website there are several potential streams of income.
You can accept advertising on the blog, you can become an affiliate with a company, you can create your own product to sell (which I have in the works!), and you can accept sponsored content whether it is prewritten posts for which they pay for the space or content you are contracted to create and promote on behalf of a company.
I do not have huge pageviews each month to have things like Google’s AdSense making me rich. With those lower pageviews, I can not get into the different ad networks that supposedly work wonders to help you earn money through advertising on your site. So, advertising is NOT my huge money maker. I would dare say that for many bloggers the same things applies. You need high pageviews and / or readers who are very inclined to click on those ads. I average just over $100 per year with AdSense right now which has been able to cover my hosting expenses thus far.
Affiliate marketing for me is almost as fickle as the direct sales marketing I’ve attempted in the past. The BIG difference is that I am not my own worse enemy subverting potential success by projecting what I think others are thinking. I’m willing to share links with the hope that people will click through to purchase a product so I can earn a small commission. If you haven’t read it yet, I have an entire post about affiliate marketing so I won’t repeat it all here.
Creating your own product can be a great revenue source if what you are selling is something people want. For bloggers, the most popular product to sell is an ebook. I’m working on a few pulling from my own areas of expertise and plan to have at least one ready for sale in 2016. It would have been this year, but I’ll admit that my slight perfectionist tendency has me going through things with a fine tooth comb…a hundred times over.
My primary source of income on this site is through sponsored content. Some of the content is from direct contact by companies while the majority is through blogger networks. Sponsored content includes product reviews (which have to be claimed on your taxes!!) as well as posts where a person pays a set fee for placement. As I mentioned, some of those posts are prewritten so all I need to do is upload and hit publish while others require me to create all the content. Typically, I have a decent amount of freedom in how I approach the topic with a few key points needing to be included. This feeds my desire to be creative and allows me to do something I love…encourage or educate others through my writing.
So there you have it… how to make money from home: the good, bad and ugly truth. I’ve only hit on the key points that came to mind as I am certain there are more things to share. Hopefully I accomplished my own personal goal to either encourage or educate you on the topic.
Do you have an at home business or ever tried to make money from home?
What were some of the benefits and drawbacks to your experience?
If you’ve never tried to make money from home, why not?
For more helpful tips posts, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:
- Tips for Taking Better iPhone Photos by Ellen Blogs
- 5 Easier SEO Tips to Make Things Easier by Biannual Blogathon Bash
- 10 Secrets to Running a Successful Blog Without Losing Your Mind by Pretty Opinionated
- 5 Things I Have Learned to Help Improve my Food Photography by Jennifer Sikora