Making Money from Home: How to Get Started

One in four Americans will be working remotely in 2021. Really.

While making money from home was less common in the recent past, 2020 swiftly upended the working world and it looks like some of those changes will stick:

By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to Upwork’s ‘Future of Workforce Pulse Report.’

‘Our research shows the long-lasting impact that remote work and Covid-19 are likely to have on how hiring managers think about their organizations,’ says Upwork chief economist, Adam Ozimek, in a statement. ‘As businesses adapt and learn from this remote work experiment, many are altering their long-term plans to accommodate this way of working.’ (Source)

More companies have embraced new ways of working and have recognized that employees can still be productive outside of the office. Of course, you can make money from home in a wide variety of ways, which does not necessarily have to include a work-from-home job. You could become an entrepreneur and make money online, or if you’re a student, you could find part-time sales jobs that allow you to create your own schedule (without any up-front investment). 

Have I piqued your interest? 

If so, keep reading, and you’ll learn all the legitimate ways to make money from home.


Make money from home online

Sell stuff on Poshmark 

Recently, I decided to jump on the Marie Kondo bandwagon, and minimize my life, starting with selling everything I don’t use.

author's clothing items she plans to sell on Poshmark

Marie Kondo didn’t really trigger my intrigue though. What actually triggered my interest was this post I found while researching another article, about a girl who made $2,400 selling random items—even used gym shorts—from her closet on Poshmark

I signed up for Poshmark in 2016, but had never actually used it. I kind of just wrote it off. 

But after reading that article, I thought, “Hey, I have so much brand new, nice stuff I never use, and I want to reduce the clutter in my apartment, so why not try to make some extra cash instead of just giving/throwing it away.” 

Plus, I wanted to see if this “thrifting” lifestyle was actually as lucrative (and easy) as all the “money” bloggers claim. 

Since joining a few months ago, I’ve made $1,191.60. I’ve sold clothes, purses and watches, to name a few. 

Poshmark takes 20% of the listing price for anything over $15. I’m okay with that fee, because they have a built-in audience, which means stuff sells faster, and they also email you a prepaid shipping label, which is convenient. 

Poshmark Tips:

  • Join the Posh parties.
  • Share a lot throughout the day. 
  • Search for stuff like yours. Click on the “Likes” to see who likes the item, and then follow them. 
  • Respond to comments in a timely manner. 
  • Ratings are important, so show any flaws in the pics beforehand, and ship fast. 


Review websites and apps

TestingTime website

Websites, like UserTesting, will pay you to review its clients websites and apps. You must be approved, but the registration process is pretty quick and easy. 

User testing marketplaces:
  • UserTesting: You’re paid $10 for every 10-15-minute test you complete. No webcam required.
  • Enroll: Get paid to test websites before they are launched.
  • UTest: Multiple opportunities.
  • UserFeel: Get paid around $10 per test.
  • Start Up Lift: Get paid $5 per test via Paypal.
  • Analysia: Get paid $10 per 15-minute test.
  • TryMyUI: Get paid $10 per 15-20-minute test.
  • Userlytics: Both webcam and microphone are required to test. Get paid $10 per test.
  • Testing Time: Get paid to conduct user testing studies, and earn up to $50 per test, paid via Paypal.


Create an asset

Mark Manson website

According to a report by Degreed, nearly 85% of people said they learn things for work by searching online, at least once per week, and nearly 70% of them learn by reading blog articles weekly and asking for recommendations from peers and mentors.

No wonder education is the second largest industry in the U.S., with $1.6 trillion spent annually in the U.S. and $5.5 trillion globally, as of 2015. 

I’m sure you know something that others don’t and that they find valuable enough to pay to learn. 

Here are some assets you could develop to monetize your knowledge

  • You could create a YouTube channel. Teach people things via YouTube, and get money via ads.
  • You could create a course. Use a tool like Podia to make this a breeze.
  • You could write an ebook. Get inspired by searching the popular new releases on Amazon and Gumroad Discover.
  • You could create a membership site, like Mark Manson. Patreon seems like an easy-to-use tool to create your own.
  • You could create an exclusive newsletter, with something like Substack or Revue
  • You could create templates. What assets do you have lying around from previous client work or former jobs? 
  • You could sell your photos to places like DepositPhotos and Shutterstock.
  • You could sell your notes. 



As someone who freelanced her way through college, this is one of the best ways to invest in yourself. Here’s why:

You’ll gain hands-on experience

One of the best ways to learn new things is to actually do them. No coursework or degree beats working with actual clients doing real projects. You can build a portfolio that will impress prospective employers.

You can do it on the side

If you’re in school or working a full-time job, freelancing is a great way to test the waters of a new career or specialized skill. When you’re starting out—and you’re working for yourself—you can decide how much (or how little) you want to take on.

You have the freedom to choose

As your own boss, YOU get to decide which projects to seek out and which ones to turn down. Learning something new? No problem. Get started charging a lower rate and as your skill and speed improve, you can charge more (and have more satisfied clients who will recommend you to others).

You can make good money

While you may start out freelancing part-time, many people choose to freelance as their full-time career—and bring home a solid income—especially as you gain skills, experience, and confidence.


Potential freelance services 

  • Social media
      • Strategy 
      • Management
      • Consulting
      • Ads
  • Customer service
  • Online research
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Illustration
  • General computer assistance
  • Advanced computer skills

For a deep dive on  how to make money from home by freelancing (and all of the services above), check out our related post: How to Make Money Online.


Work from home jobs 

Transcribe audio files

Rev website

If you want a flexible, work-from-home job that requires little to no experience and doesn’t involve sales, consider transcribing audio files on transcription marketplaces, like Rev

Transcription jobs are generally divided into three categories: general, medical and legal. The latter two usually require schooling and/or previous related experience, so I recommend focusing on the general bucket to start out.

While not required, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a high-quality foot pedal to control audio playback with your feet along with transcription software, like Express Scribe. 

Listening and converting audio files to text may sound like a pretty easy gig, but for some people, like myself, it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. 

You’ll likely have to transcribe files that are of poor quality and/or that feature a speaker with a heavy accent that’s different from your own. Another con? The work is very repetitive, which means you may not want to make this your only income stream, so you don’t get bored or burned out. 

It could take you anywhere from two to five hours to transcribe just one hour of audio, depending on the complexity of the file and your transcription skill level.

According to The Penny Hoarder, transcriptionists can make anywhere from $15-$25 or more per hour. How much you inevitably make will depend on the marketplace you work for, the amount of work available, and (obviously) your speed and skill level. 

Usually, transcription companies pay per audio hour or a rate per page. Let me elaborate with an example. 

If you’re paid $25 per audio hour, you’ll earn $25 for every hour of audio you transcribe—NOT how long it takes you to transcribe the file. So, if it takes you two hours to transcribe one hour of audio, you’ll still only earn $25.

Experienced transcriptionists often consider rates below $45 to $50 per audio hour too low. But if you’re brand new to the industry, you may find it’s worth working for a lower rate to get your feet wet and learn valuable skills that could help you land a better-paying transcription job later on. 

Freelance Transcription Job Marketplaces for Newbies:


Be someone’s virtual assistant (VA) 

Upwork website

A VA does everything a regular assistant does, but online. It’s not the most lucrative career, but it is one that’ll give you a lot of transferrable, soft skills quickly. 

Tasks could include anything from scheduling social media posts to making appointments and responding to emails. 

VA job websites:
How to become a VA resources:


Make money from home part-time  

Sell knives

Cutco knives

As I mentioned in another blog post, “Success is almost impossible—in any field—without solid sales skills.” 

One way to develop persuasive sales skills is by getting a job selling a proven product, such as CUTCO knives, where 85% of its sales reps are students

Selling CUTCO allows you to work part-time as a student, on a flexible schedule, and you get paid weekly. 

To learn more about making money selling CUTCO, go to this page.


Make your friends’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles

Take advantage of the career center in college. It’s free, and it’ll teach you a lot of valuable professional skills. 

Before dropping out, I met with one of their consultants, and the lady showed me how to make a *good* resume and write a phenomenal cover letter. Consider doing the same.

From my experience, I know most experienced resume writers charge a LOT of money for a single resume. Why not go to the career center, learn how to make a good resume, create a template, and charge $50 a pop? 

Fifty dollars for a night’s worth of work… not too shabby. 

Of course, you’d have to spend about 30 minutes to an hour gathering their information prior to sitting down to write it, but I think it’s worth it. 

Once you write their resume, then you could upsell them on making their LinkedIn profile, as well as an online portfolio website

You could always sell custom cover letters as well, or maybe offer “job search as a service”—and apply to jobs for people. Say you’ll apply to X jobs per month for a flat fee of a couple hundred dollars. 

As you gain more experience, you can apply to list your services on marketplaces with large audiences, such as The Muse

In the meantime, find clients by: 

  • Spreading the word on social 
  • Telling your friends to tell their friends
  • Posting fliers on-campus and local Starbucks 
  • Listing your services on Craigslist and Fiverr
  • Searching gig websites, like Upwork and Craigslist “gig” section
  • Asking professors to recommend your services


Bonus: Spruce up your resume template design, and then sell it on Creative Market, Themeforest, or Gumroad.


Related Resources:


How will you make money from home?

Still not sure what direction to go? Take time to think through what is in demand, what you’re good at, and what you like to do. Ask yourself good questions, and don’t be afraid to experiment by learning new skills or freelancing.