Editor-in-Chief of the Work at Home Mom Center, Laura M. Sands is also an author, blogger, social media consultant and freelance writer. She has worked online for more than a decade and is the Executive Editor at Lamasa Publishing, LLC.
Learning how to teach online can be a game changer. Are you looking for a work at home job that won’t keep you tied to a desk all day? Teach online. Do you genuinely want to help others learn a new skill? Teach online. Are you looking for ways to supplement your existing income, but don’t know where to begin? Teach online!
Thank goodness we live in an age where online learning is possible. Such creates an opportunity for teachers and regular people, like you and me, to share what they know in a relaxed environment that allows students to work at their own pace. While many hard academic courses can be taught online, you can just as easily teach courses like how to write children’s books, how to train your cat or even how to start a blog or a website.
Some work from home teaching jobs do require a bachelors degree or higher, but you can just as easily teach online with no experience at all! It’s an open landscape for anyone looking to share information and knowledge on a part-time or full-time basis. In many instances, courses are prerecorded, which means you can create a course one time and continue to earn an income from it for years on end!
Learn How to Teach Online
Here are a few places where you can learn more about teaching online and how to get started:
Do you currently teach students online or is this a work at home job you’ve held in the past? We sure would appreciate your input on this opportunity. What did you like most about online teaching and what did you dislike about it? What can you share with our readers about getting started and sustaining a long-term online-based teaching or tutoring business?
If you’re completely new to the idea of learning to teach online, what questions do you have? What would you like us to post on in the future? Any and all of your comments are welcome as we turn it over to you to finish this post!
Some say that wisdom is a woman and with so many dropping pearls like this one, we aren’t inclined to debate it. 😉 Take this most excellent advice from writer/journalist Katherine Whitehorn to heart and make today the day that you follow your passion all the way to the bank!
Ready For Change?
Looking for a new direction for your life or career? Want to increase your income without dreading the extra hours it’ll take to do so? Start at ground zero and figure out what’s within you first. You have unique skills and abilities that are of value in the workplace (even when you work from home!) and today is as good a day as any to start figuring it all out. In addition to the various posts we’ve shared here to help you find work at home jobs for moms, use these questions as a guide to determining the kind of work that will bring you the most satisfaction:
If you’re looking for jobs you can do from home, you’ve come to the right place. Where we used to share daily job leads here on our site, we now focus more on educating you about work at home jobs for moms (and others!), as well as sharing tools for productivity and success. From time to time we do still share work at home jobs on our main Twitter feed though, which includes everything from freelance writing gigs and social media jobs to attorney jobs and work from home pharmacist jobs!
Gone are the days of stuffing envelopes (were those gigs even real?) or seamstress jobs, as we live in a time when a number of respectable careers can be of the home-based variety. On the days that we do share leads on Twitter, we’ve found that searching for jobs you can do from home isn’t nearly as hard as it once was. Yes, it takes a little know-how, but with the tips we’re about to share you can begin searching for your own work at home jobs today.
Finding Jobs You Can Do From Home
There are a ton of places to search for freelance work on the web, including bidding sites like Upwork.com. While we don’t have anything against bidding sites, we mostly use free job boards and and so we’ll focus on these. Some of the best places to find jobs you can do from home include:
Then, of course there are the usual haunts like Monster and Indeed where you can use filters to search for jobs you can do from home.
A Word About Craigslist Jobs
While many scoff at finding jobs you can do from home on Craigslist, you’ll find that we source a number of the leads we share on Twitter from there. This is because much of my own success in finding new clients has come from Craigslist and I have very few bad stories to tell. In my entire 10+ years as a freelancer, I’ve only not been paid once (and that was at the very beginning when I was still learning the ropes) and have mostly had great experiences with craigslist jobs.
Here’s a little tip for you: Don’t search for jobs you can do from home on an actual Craigslist site, but use Google to search for Craigslist jobs, instead. Sound a little puzzling? It’s not. Actually, it’s very simple. See, if you search Craigslist’s sites city by city, you’re missing most of the opportunities available to you. Remember, you work from home (or you want to!), so there’s no reason to limit yourself to a particular location. I literally have clients as far away as Amsterdam who could care less where I live as long as I can do the job.
How to Search For Craigslist Jobs
Here is the exact search term that I start my Google search with (I keep it bookmarked):
You may highlight, copy and paste this exact search term or you can modify it in anyway that you see fit. I often start with “writer” and then perform subsequent searches using other terms like “social media”, “remote position”, “remote job”, “work at home”, “work from home”, “freelance”, “distributed team”, “telecommute”, “data entry”, “contract job”, etc. You don’t need quotes if your leading search term is a single word (i.e. writer), but you definitely want to use quotes if it’s more than one word (i.e. “social media”). Also, the minus sign before each keyword tells Google to eliminate any results with those words in them, which I find useful in sorting through a lot of the results I don’t want to see. There’s some CRAZY stuff on Craigslist, so you’ll for sure want to use this filtering method, too!
The most crucial part of this search string is remembering to add
so that it will pull everything from all of the sites across the nation.
More On Searching for Craigslist Jobs You Can Do From Home
Once I’ve pruned my search results, I narrow it all down to a specific time frame by clicking on Search tools at the top of the results page and then clicking on the Any time menu, which will offer a number of time options or allow me to customize my own. This also comes in handy since, if I don’t find a lot of gigs to apply for in my first search, I can come back later in the day and just search by the hour. In addition to checking the Past hour option on the pull-down menu under the Any time tab, I usually also pull the Sorted by relevance menu down and change it to Sorted by date, which will give me the most recent listings first. I confess to feeling a little giddy upon finding a good lead that was just posted 20 minutes ago! 🙂
Don’t Let “Telecommute” Fool You!
Most listings for jobs you can do from home will be very clear about the offer within the ad itself. On Craigslist, don’t be fooled by those who pre-select the “telecommute” option in their listing as these aren’t always work from home jobs, though. I’ve had the feeling for a long time that some employers don’t really know what the word means, which can be frustrating. I’ve literally seen bartender and truck driving jobs listed under telecommute options. Here’s to hoping that someday Craigslist will replace their “telecommute” box with a clearly stated “work from home” option, instead.
Still, most jobs you can do from home will say so in the ad. For those who don’t, you can read between the lines. If a listing says that you must have the latest computer operating system installed or that you should be comfortable communicating via Skype or something along those lines, these are good indications that it is a work from home job. Ditto for scheduling your own hours, setting your own rate, etc.
ABC – Always Be Checking
The best time to look for new clients and jobs you can do from home is when you are already at capacity and don’t necessarily need a new gig. I say this because, as a freelancer, your clients can sometimes come and go in a snap. That new startup that you love working for can go belly up tomorrow. Or that client that you’ve had for a year or more can suddenly decide to assign your services to someone in-house. My point is that, as a freelancer, we can never get too comfortable with our client list, so it’s a good idea to always have your feelers out there just in case. Submit your resume, take those interviews and keep the spotlight on yourself! If you have to turn jobs down, do it…but that’s a heck of a lot better than having no offers at all when your income takes a dive!
How Do You Find Freelance Work?
Do you have a certain technique for finding freelance work? Know of any better places to find jobs you can do from home? Hope the methods shared here are useful to you and feel free to comment below if you have questions or need additional help.
Free pics offer an affordable way for bloggers to spice up a blog post, capture a reader’s attention and more fully describe a posts main point. While photos and images appear all over the internet, most are not available for reuse and, for those which are, prices can get a little pricey especially for bloggers who publish often. This is why we’re pleased to present an updated list of places where you can find free pics and images today.
Before You Use Free Pics…
While all of these sites offer free pics, some do come with different stipulations. Be sure you read, understand and agree to each site’s terms before using photos. An old blog post by Pat Flynn is one of the best I’ve seen which plainly describes the different types of licenses typically associated with images. If you’re new to blogging or have questions about using free pics, it may help if you read his post first.
As you can see, there are plenty of photographers, websites and publishers who understand the value of a great photo and are willing to share free pics with you on a regular basis. Add this list to your free tools for work at home success and you’re off to a great start for the upcoming year!
Sharing is Caring
Do you have a favorite place for finding free pics? Any questions on how to properly use photos while blogging? How about more useful information about intellectual property that our readers can learn from? The Work at Home Mom Center is all about sharing, networking and learning so please leave us your thoughts on this list, add a few more of your favorites or just drop a little knowledge on us in the space provided below.
Admittedly, it took me a long time to put any effort toward my LinkedIn profile. I’d signed up for an account years ago, but since I was a freelance writer and the site seemed more for corporate types, I put zero effort towards sprucing my image up at LinkedIn. Recently, however, I’ve begun to see the value in LinkedIn and have taken more of an interest in how my profile appears.
Here are a few quick tips I’d like to share:
LinkedIn Profile Tip #1: Add a Photo of Yourself
I know a lot of us who work online value our anonymity, but when you’re seeking new business connections, an actual photo really does make a difference. Ask yourself this: are you more inclined to do business with a professional who offers you a real name and image or someone offering a make believe screen-name with a cartoon character as their profile pic? The former, right? Simply put, if you want people to respect you as a professional, unless you’re in a witness protection program, it’s in your best interest to offer a professional looking photograph along with information about your business and your skills.
LinkedIn Profile Tip #2: Add a Background
With a proper photo in place, the next step in improving the appearance of your LinkedIn profile is to add a background. Same as you would for Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus, LinkedIn also allows you to get creative with a unique background to make your page look more appealing. The typical dimensions for a LinkedIn background are 1400 x 425. I recently changed mine using the preset Twitter Background selection in Canva, removed the text from a free one I liked and uploaded it in a matter of seconds.
LinkedIn Profile Tip #3: Use Your Headline to Really Sell Yourself
Get creative with the headline in your LinkedIn profile. Don’t just put something ordinary like ‘photographer’ or ‘writer’, but use that space beneath your name to really spell out who you are and what you do. Try something like ‘Director of Photography at XYZ Corp.’ or ‘Editor-in-Chief of Blah, Blah, Blah Blog’. If you need a few ideas, spend some time cruising LinkedIn and see how others are making use of this free space.
LinkedIn Profile Tip #4: Include a Well-Written Summary
For a long time, I left my LinkedIn profile with just the most basic resume information available for viewing. After several potential clients asked for my LinkedIn profile link and a few clients even asked me to help them work on retooling their profiles, I began to realize the need to improve my own professional image on the site. In addition to implementing some of the very tips shared here, I placed my focus on publishing a solid professional summary.
Beyond space to write about your experience, education and skills, LinkedIn offers a separate field dedicated to a summary of all of these things. Think of your summary as a generic cover letter. One where you’re putting your best foot forward in showing a potential client who you are and how you can help improve their business with your skill set. Let a bit of your personality shine through in your summary and be sure to double check your copy for correct grammar, spelling and punctuation before publishing.
Any Tips For Updating a LinkedIn Profile?
Have you updated your profile lately? Do you have questions about what to include in your LinkedIn profile? Share this post with a friend who needs it and be sure to leave your tips and questions in the space below.
Not sure what to charge for services like freelance writing, photography or web design? Have you been told that your rates are too low or too high? Are you considering branching out into other freelance areas, but have no idea what to charge for your services? Today, we want to share some resources to help you decide what to charge as a freelancer.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received on setting freelance rates? Do you charge per project, per hour or per word? How much thought do you give to setting your freelance rates and what helps you arrive at a final decision? Your wisdom, advice and questions are welcome below.
Working from home requires strong organizational and time-management skill. It also requires a fair amount of collaboration with clients and even other team members. Equipping yourself with the right tools is imperative to any work at home mom’s success.
Here are a list of tools that not only help simplify your day and your workload, but that won’t break the bank in the process. While there are premium versions of some of the items I’m about to share, all can be used for free. Here we go:
A project management tool, Trello helps compartmentalize tasks whether you’re working with a team or solo. By creating boards for individual projects, a user can create separate lists for main tasks and break each one down into smaller ones just by adding a card. Managers of a Trello board can delegate tasks to members or members can volunteer for a task simply by adding themselves to a card.
Trello is also perfect for working solo as it allows you to set up todo lists, move tasks around and see, at-a-glance, exactly where you are in your workday or project. The free version is good for all of this, but a premium version offers a few additional perks like adding your own background image to cards, attaching power-up stickers, etc. At this time, members can earn a free month of premium service each time someone they refer signs up to become a Trello user. (Disclosure: The link above is my referral link.)
Here’s a brief video allowing you to see Trello in action:
For time-tracking and invoicing, Harvest is an excellent tool. There is a free 30-day trial version which allows you and your team to use it for multiple clients and projects. After the trial period ends, you can select the membership that best suits your needs or you can continue to use the free version, but only for one person (you!) and up to four clients.
Right now, their solo plan is only $12 per month. It allows one user to manage an unlimited number of clients and projects. You also receive $10 off for each person you refer who eventually signs up for premium service. Your referral gets $10 off of their first month, too. (Disclosure: The link above is my referral link.)
While there are other free tools that also offer time-tracking and invoicing, I chose Harvest because I like its user-interface best. I added the Google Chrome extension to my dashboard and also use it inside of Trello, which gives added convenience when tracking time spent on specific tasks.
Harvest is also useful for saving money on PayPal fees since an account can be configured to assess flat fees of only 50 cents per transaction as opposed to PayPal’s usual 2.9% PLUS 30 cents per transaction. With another service, called Stripe, each one of my online invoices features separate buttons allowing clients to either pay by credit card (via Stripe) or PayPal, with payments being automatically deposit into my business checking account. Payments take a few additional days for payments to actually clear, but it beats losing money to PayPal, depositing checks, etc. (NOTE: Use PayPal’s standard invoicing and cough up the fees if you can’t afford to wait the additional processing time through PayPal Business Payments.)
Having ditched Word years ago, Google Drive is my go-to for creating new documents, spreadsheets, sharing files, saving files, etc. Today, Word can be accessed from the cloud, but when I first began using Google Drive, this wasn’t the case. Drive was also (and still is) free with any Google account. I find it to be more user-friendly than anything else and I value being able to log into it from any browser on any device (or through an app on my tablet or phone). I also appreciate being able to collaborate in real time with others when I need to. Working on the same file or document at the same time is never an issue and work is saved with every single keystroke, so nothing is ever lost.
Contrary to what some may believe, Google Drive can also be set to work offline when needed and all work done offline immediately syncs as soon as your device reconnects to the Internet.
Need to share your screen with an individual or group? Join.Me gets the job done and doesn’t cost a cent to use. I often use this when teaching or consulting with someone who needs to see exactly how a thing should be done. While I also use Skype for screen-sharing, Join.Me is good for those times when the person I’m speaking to isn’t on Skype. Of course, upgrading to a paid service get you things like audio conferencing and other collaboration tools, but for basic screen-sharing, the free service is good enough.
By now, everyone has heard of Skype. Free VOIP service, some extra perks for paid service, unlimited Skype to Skype calling, group video calls, yada-yada-yada. Since many of my clients don’t reside in the same country as me, I find that Skype closes our communication gap quite nicely. Plus, I can always be online for instant messaging when someone needs me…or I need them. As mentioned above, it’s also a good tool for screen-sharing. (NOTE: My Skype I.D. is Lamasa7 if you ever need to connect.)
Another free VOIP service and it comes standard with every Google account. Hangouts was actually the first to start free group video calls, which made meetings so much easier. Today, I don’t use it as frequently as I once did mainly because most of the people I talk to prefer or only use Skype. Still a good tool to have in your arsenal, though.
A virtual office space, which allows you to collaborate with a team. Their starter package is free to use and comes with a Project Room for group meetings and a Breakout room. Perfect for getting that “always on” vibe going with a team who needs to interact from time-to-time, but still work solo. Gives work at home moms (and everyone else!) the feel of an office environment by allowing you to see (and know) others are working around you without sacrificing the peace and quiet needed to work alone.
Something else that comes standard with every Google account is Google Calendar. Very user-friendly, you can keep separate calendars for business, personal, family, specific projects, etc. or even combine them into one view. Calendars can be shared with others and it even integrates well with other apps (like Trello). Seriously perfect for creating and sharing things like meeting schedules and editorial calendars.
Apps and Extensions
For most of the tools named here, there are, of course, mobile apps and browser extensions available. All of this makes collaborating and working on the go pretty seamless.
What Tools Do You Use?
So, there you have a (short) list of free tools that will help improve productivity and collaboration. Do you use any of these? Do you have other favorites not mentioned here? Feel free to add your recommendations in the comments section before you go.
Do you want to work at home, but are having a difficult time getting started? Not sure where to look for jobs that match your skill set? Well, if you’re a writer, a blogger, a social media enthusiast or all of the above, bookmark these sites and check them daily:
Bonus: Looking for something other than writing, blogging or social media gigs? Try Dream Home Based Work.
Of course, these aren’t the only places featuring work at home jobs, but they are the ones I most often recommend to budding freelancers. The usual job search engines and classified sites can be good, too. Just filter your search parameters by those that include a telecommute option, broaden your location choices and you’ll find plenty. Be forewarned, however, that there are a ton of work at home scams floating around the web, so be certain to research an employer before giving up too much personal information and before committing yourself to a job. Oh, and never EVER pay to work!
The Work at Home Mom Center is always here to help assist with your progress, so if you ever have a question about your path or even about a specific job offer, just reach out and ask for help.
Never Held a Work at Home Job Before?
Don’t fret, everyone had to start somewhere. Speaking as one who’s done everything from direct sales to mystery shopping before finally discovering a freelance career path, I’ve learned a few things about landing work at home gigs or even starting a business from scratch. Ditto for our faithful readers, so stay tuned to this blog as we continue to grow and share. I also highly recommend that you do a little prep work starting with our Ground Zero Tips so you’ll be ready for the opportunities heading your way.
It All Starts With You
It’s also necessary to put on a fresh coat of confidence each and every day. Working from home presents you with a brand new learning curve, which can feel overwhelming. More than one work at home mom has felt the sting of rejection, self-doubt and fear that sometimes accompanies working with new tools, demanding clients and even acquiring new skills. Then there’s the funny looks, off-handed remarks and questions that will sometimes be presented by friends and family members who don’t quite understand the concept of working from home and who may even try to convince you to get a “real job”, instead. You can do this, though. Working from home is a legitimate way to earn money. You are also just as smart and capable as the next wahm and, with time, you will become the seasoned professional you strive to be.
Where Do You Find Work at Home Jobs?
Work at Home Mom Center is all about networking, sharing and learning. Before you go, if you’re already working from home, please share your best advice for finding new clients and gigs. If you’re brand new and have any question whatsoever, we welcome any and all in the comments section below.
Do you use podcasts to learn about new ideas while working from home? If not, you’re missing out on a wealth of information being shared by some of the foremost leaders in the business world. From interviews with experts to hard and fast tips designed to help your business run at optimal levels, there are a ton of free podcasts available on-demand, which can help you be a better more productive work at home mom.
Where to Listen to Free Podcasts
Podcasts are available for just about every device imaginable…except, of course, television and radio. Made for new media distribution, you can find informative talk shows and entertainment on various apps made for your smartphone or tablet, as well as your personal computer. I even listen to podcasts on my Roku streaming device. Simply head to your favorite app store and select the podcast player that’s right for you. I actually have a few that I’m pretty fond of, such as:
Really, Stitcher has just about everything I need, with the exception of one or two entertainment podcasts not yet available for that app. Also, there’s no Stitcher app for Roku, so I use TuneIn as a backup for times when I want to listen on my television, instead. There’s not too much that Stitcher doesn’t have in the way of business podcasts, though, so I highly recommend it for people listening outside of iTunes (sorry, I’m not an Apple user, so I can’t really speak to what’s on iTunes or not, but users tell me that all of the same programs are there, too).
I subscribe to a number of different podcasts, which I’ll list below. Some are just a few minutes in length while others run close to an hour or more. Needless to say, you probably won’t have time to keep up with them all on a regular basis, but they’re nice to have for those times when you need a little inspiration or even just “shop talk”. Working from home, especially online, can get a little lonely when few people in your personal circles really understand what it is that you do and how you keep it all together, which is why listening to conversations from people in the know can be a real boost when you need it.
So, without further delay, here’s a snapshot of the business podcasts on my station playlists:
The Smart Passive Income Podcast
Jay Today TV
Biz Women Rock!
Social Media Marketing
The Social Media Examiner Show
B2B Content Marketing Leaders
The Self Publishing Podcast
The Tim Ferriss Show
Social Pros Podcast
1 Day Business Breakthrough
Maximize Your Social
The Lede from Copyblogger
Screw the Nine to Five Podcast
Marketing Over Coffee
Social Media Happy Hour
The BeanCast Marketing Podcast
Marketing Access Pass
For Immediate Release Podcast
Chris Ducker Startup & Small ‘New Business’ Strategies for Entrepreneurs
The Podcast Answer Man
The Audacity to Podcast
The Podcasters’ Studio
The Art of Podcasting
The Digital Marketing Podcast
Six Pixels of Separation
Social Media Marketing Happy Hour
Entrepreneur On Fire
The Growth Show
The Marketing Champion
The Content Champion
The Chalene Show
Build Your Tribe
PNR: This Old Marketing
One Minute Tip
Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Whew! Didn’t realize I had such a long list. And that’s just business podcasts! There are so many more for entertainment, news, parenting…you name it and there’s a podcast for it. And if you don’t find one you’re interested in, by all means start your own!
Other Podcasts for Work at Home Moms and Entrepreneurs
What are some of your favorites? Do you have a podcast that you’d like to recommend to our readers? The Work at Home Mom Center is all about sharing, so please leave your podcast suggestions in the comments section below.
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