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What are Some Legitimate Work from Home Jobs?

Some jobs, like transcription or freelance writing, can be done from a laptop.
Some people make and sell gift baskets from their home.
Many freelance and work from home jobs can be done with just a laptop and smartphone.
Many women decide not to return to their work place after giving birth.
Home-based writing or editing jobs may be ideal for moms with an excellent grasp of the English language.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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Doing work from home holds a clear appeal for many people in today's world. Many stay at home parents or others with commitments to family, as well as those in remote locations or who simply want to escape the drudgery of the daily commute and office politics, hope to find legitimate opportunities that allow them to earn money from home. It is important for these individuals to select a job that fits with his skills and interests, his home life, and the legal and zoning requirements where he lives. Some legitimate work from home jobs include child care, writing and editing, transcription, and bookkeeping.

Child care is the most obvious choice for mothers or fathers who want to be able to stay home with their children. The advantages are significant: the parent is at home full time to raise his or her children as well as look after other children that his or her children can also interact with. The parent can also earn a steady income through child care work, and reduce his or her own child care costs in addition to other expenses, such as transportation and office clothing.

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The downside to doing child care work from home is that the person must have a big enough home, such as a house with a finished basement, if he or she will be able to take in enough children to make a decent income. State or provincial laws typically set limits on how many children a caregiver can look after, so this may require hiring another person to act as an assistant. Also, most locations have licensing requirements. Furthermore, patience is a necessary quality for dealing with so many children on a day-to-day basis, and not everyone possesses it. Yards must be safe, allergies must be considered, and toys, books, and learning activities must all be provided as well.

Writing and/or editing work is an excellent choice for those with top-notch writing, editing, and grammar skills. Some experience is usually required to find enough work to write and edit on a steady basis. Hourly rates can be high, especially for business writing or copywriting, but there is stiff competition for these types of jobs. Doing writing and editing work from home part-time while still employed elsewhere full-time is a good way of getting some experience before venturing into this kind of work as a main source of income. The work is not always steady, however, so having a few clients before going freelance, along with some money saved to cover basic living expenses for at least a few months, is highly recommended by many experienced writers and copywriters.

Medical transcription is a great choice for a fast typist with training in transcription and medical knowledge. People can check with local hospitals and doctor's offices to see what the demand is in their area for those who want to provide this service from home. The work can be steady and pay well. Opportunities for legitimate remote work do exist, but it is probably better to gain local experience and references first before applying for remote transcription jobs as you would be more likely to be hired.

Many small and medium-sized businesses need outside bookkeeping services. People who have the right education and experience may find that bookkeeping work from home can provide them with a steady income when they have a few regular clients. They should check the demand for this service by calling local businesses to introduce themselves and their service, and they can also place ads in a local newspaper.

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Discuss this Article

anon939599
Post 63

The Internet is an endless workplace, so people can make money even more than real life, at least theoretically). But with a realistic approach, we can reasonably say that we can earn money from the internet.

A website or blog is necessary for some methods but for most of them it is not. Some are very classic, some are proven and some are totally new. I spent some time to find out the answer but most of the resources point out the same methods.

Anuseen
Post 50

I think one of the toughest aspects of working from home is finding a “real” opportunity and not a scam. There are a ton of sites out there that claim to be unbiased, but usually they are just affiliate marketers trying to make a commission.

SAWnet
Post 49

I think direct sales is the best way to go because you can never get fired and you will always be in demand. But the trick is to set yourself up as an independent agent and pick the jobs that match your personality.

I am so happy that I found rewarding work from home over a year ago. It involves very little sales, but before I found that opportunity I was buying all the good books I could find on sales and I still view it as a good back up just in case.

I am now learning Internet marketing too, because it is the way of the future.

anon255978
Post 48

I think one of the toughest aspects of working from home is finding a “real” opportunity and not a scam. There are a ton of sites out there that claim to be unbiased but usually they are just affiliate marketers trying to make a commission.

anon150389
Post 41

I have signed up for numerous companies that offer to pay money for answering surveys. However, after 4 months I haven't received one check. Better yet, many times during the survey I am told I don't quality for this survey. I would love to find a true business that would pay me to work from home. With the price of gas, my daily commute is about to put me in the poor house. Anyone have any suggestions? -pepsigal

anon116361
Post 35

Why is it that a bunch of people can talk about what to look for for a real legit work from home career, but can never actually tell you where you can find a real work from home career?

anon94763
Post 32

searching for a home job is a tough job. Particularly for moms who stay home and want to earn a living. So be very careful in searching places on the internet that promise good and instant income. --happioli68

moonheart
Post 26

Due to increase of work at home scam it is going to hard to find out legitimate work at home jobs. The most work at home scams are data entry, ad posting. If you search online, you will get lots of scam sites. They ask for money for joining to their website and for doing work at home jobs. Please beware of those scam sites. There are also some legitimate work at home jobs if you have skills in a particular field like web designing, web developing, writing etc. find out about lots of jobs according your interest. Again if you want to start your home business then I greatly recommend you to start blogging, blogging is good source for starting a home business.

AuthorSheriC
Post 18

JuJuBeans -- Again, legitimate work from home is based on skill. The programs from Google itself are legitimate and free but they are tutorials to learn in order to gain skill to monetize web sites from advertising. Web sites need to be designed and written before advertising can be placed on them. There is a lot of work and time that needs to be invested and some websites only make $5 a month from advertising to start. If a person learns and keeps at it, Internet marketing can earn a good income of a few hundred a month per website, but it takes perseverance and skill.

The "companies" selling Google's free products in a "kit" are trying to make money from them by convincing people that easy money can be made by just doing some linking etc. Linking is involved, but again Internet marketing and website publishing are legitimate business skills that take time and effort in order to produce an income.

There is no unskilled easy way to work at home. You asked how I "landed" my job. I'm a freelance writer. I had to go back to school and finish my degree and then build up experience in writing for the web.

Look to your skills to earn grocery or preschool money. Since you have a child, looking after another child can give you extra money as well as provide a playmate for your child. I did this when my child was younger. Perhaps you could start a website related to children or another interest of yours? You would need writing, website hosting and design etc. and this would cost money and or time, but perhaps it could be a long term project for you while you bring in extra money through child care?

AuthorSheriC
Post 17

Jen: Envelope stuffing is a scam. Basically anything that sounds like an easy way to make money from home that requires little or no skill is a scam. What my article emphasizes, and what the cold hard truth is -- legitimate work from home is based on *skill* and a common sense, real demand for that skill.

jen35125
Post 14

Does anyone know of a legit job stuffing envelopes at no cost to me from home?

How do you get the google stuff for free?

JuJubeans
Post 13

Thanks for your answer AuthorSheriC!!! I will look into the Google Company! Can you share how you landed your job? I'm not looking for fast $, but would like some extra $ to pay for the groceries or my child's preschool. Any amount helps!

AuthorSheriC
Post 12

JuJubeans -- Really, if a work at home job sounds too good to be true it's a scam. Legitimate jobs don't charge anything to apply -- even a postage fee.

There are numerous posts on the Internet that say the Google Kit is a scam. This is because these are people/companies trying to sell what Google offers people for free.

Anything from the actual Google company is legitimate and trustworthy. Google offers free tutorials on their Adwords and Adsense. These are tools that help people earn an income from their websites, but Google doesn't promise that it will "make a load of money fast." Scammers promise things like that so please beware and deal with the real Google company only.

Internet marketing can be learned and can be profitable. But it's not a get rich quick thing. If a work at home job sounds too good to be true it is a scam.

JuJubeans
Post 11

Ques#1 Has anyone used the Google Kit and found it to be legit? It promises to help you earn a load of $ fast. The only thing you have to pay is $1.95 for shipping, but the kit is supposedly free. The task you're require to do is post links for Google. This sounds too good to be true!?

Ques#2 If any work at home job sounds too good to be true should I stay away from it?

Thanks!

AuthorSheriC
Post 10

Legitimate work from home jobs don't ask workers for money. They also don't "give their product away for free" because legitimate companies that have actual work to be done from home don't have a "product" for workers, but well, work for them to do. I hope this helps, anon22482. Let me know if you have any other questions.

anon22482
Post 9

i wanna sign up, i have been ripped off, so you're saying any work from home programs never ask u for $ they just give there product away for free, i could use some advice thanks.

AuthorSheriC
Post 8

Yes, discipline is a must when you work for yourself. I find that choosing a task and then giving myself a certain time span in which to complete it is a great way to get things done in a disciplined way. This way I find I'm not easily distracted by checking emails and handling phone calls that could wait.

anon21775
Post 7

Good article...Like to add, it all comes down to discipline and not letting your self be distracted.

anon19677
Post 6

I would like add that to know you have a legitimate work from home job is when you have a system that can produce both on the front and back end. Meaning you can see results immediately. Some may disagree with me, but in today’s online community, results should be instantaneously.

AuthorSheriC
Post 5

Thanks, Nichole, for your kind words and great advice! Yes, true work from home jobs are possible and each one must be evaluated to make sure it's not a scam first. Never pay out money for a work at home job! Legitimate employers pay you; you don't pay them! I've been working at home for over 2 1/2 years and wouldn't have it any other way! Just have a plan in place before you decide to work from home and consider taxes and other details.

anon17352
Post 4

Thank you so much for a "legitimate" article on working from home. :-) So many articles make the mistake of confusing at home businesses for illegitimate work from home jobs. I want to warn people not to make the mistake of dismissing these opportunities but to work your due diligence in researching which opportunities are for you. What can you do? Is this something you can honestly devote yourself to until you make the profit you are looking for?

I'm here to tell you that they do work, but you must work for them to work. I hear so many who have "lost money" but come to find out they never did any work, and expected to get paid. Would your telecommuting boss pay you for not doing anything?

Once again, thank you for not discouraging home business in this article. I have been with my company for 2 years now and would have missed out on the opportunity to be home with my kids, homeschooling and caring for the baby. And that would have been a true shame! Please research every option for yourself and find what works for you. nichole

AuthorSheriC
Post 2

Great advice, olittlewood! It's absolutely crucial to differentiate between billable and non-billable hours when you work from home. After all, no one is going to pay you for doing your laundry or talking to a friend on the phone! :)

Have you seen my related article on this topic? It's called "What are Some Tips for Increasing Productivity for Those Who Work From Home?" and you can access it in the Business and Economy section of wiseGEEK.

Moderator's reply: thanks sheri! Check out her article, what are some tips for increasing productivity for those who work from home? for more useful information!

olittlewood
Post 1

probably one of the best ways to guarantee that a work from home job will be legitimate is to negotiate a new arrangement with your current job. while there are a lot of work from home jobs out there, if you arrange to telecommute for your current job, you'll know that you can depend on the work and pay being steady.

just a couple tips from a work at home mom: set a schedule and stick with it! it's so easy to get distracted by kids, stuff around the house, friends, etc. if you are not self motivated, and easily distracted you may not be very productive. on the other hand, some people with ADD tendencies may have a hard time in an office setting with lots of people around to talk to. another tip is to get your work done first. then if you have extra time left over in the day, you can use it as you wish!

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