15 Legitimate Ways to Make Money From Home in 2021 (That You Can Actually Live On) 

 December 10, 2022

So you want to make money from home, eh?

Whether you're a single mom, still in school, retired, or just want to live on your own terms, being able to work from home is an absolute blessing.

I should know... my wife Kayla and I have been working from home for over six years. And it's allowed us to live in an RV and travel, spend more time with one another, and enjoy more freedom! 

Do you want to learn how to get paid from anywhere with an internet connection? 

How to Make Money From Home

I mean real money - not those crappy $2 per hour weird jobs like survey sites or installing invasive tracking apps. If so, here are 15 ways to earn money from home!

Before You Start: What It Means to Make Money From Home

Making money from a remote job or, better yet, being your own boss and owning your own business are amazing. They can give you higher earnings and more freedom over your time and location.

In fact, eventually you can earn more money while working fewer hours, if you truly invest yourself and that's what you want to do. Passive income is a reality for many.

However, owning your own business is NOT for everyone. I'm giving you this warning because it can and likely will be difficult. You'll likely have to work more hours for less pay, at least in the beginning, to get things running.

When I started my first business, I worked countless hours not being paid a dime. I tried and failed several different things before finding something that worked for me. And I experienced my own struggles. (You can learn more about my story on the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast with JLD.)

EOfire Podcast

Additionally, if you decide to work for yourself and open a business (meaning not take on a remote employment job), you'll have to remember to save up money to pay your own taxes every quarter. 

I know far too many people who made the switch to working for themselves, only to have a few thousand dollars owed in taxes come April and no savings to pay for them. In fact, I myself fell pray to this and am still paying off taxes from my mistake.

All that said, you can do it. I'm not telling you all this to scare you off or stop you. I'm trying to warn you so you can live your dream life and avoid the mistakes I've made myself in the past.

Anyone can work from home. Teens, single parents, couples, elderly. It doesn't matter who you are or what your background is. As long as you're willing to learn, practice, and especially fail, you will succeed.

As the famous quote goes:

The road to success is paved with failures.

In order to succeed at something, you must first fail. Keep trying, keep failing, and success will follow. With that said, let's dive into the list!

1. Start a Blog

  • Low-End Potential Income: $100-$1,000 monthly ($1,200-$12,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $25,000+ monthly ($300,000 yearly)
  • Minimum Time Required: 15-20 hours per week
  • Cost to Start: $3-$10+ per month

I list this option first because it's my absolute favorite way to make money online. You could make six- and even seven-figures from a blog, all while talking about things you love!

For example:

My point is this: You can blog about almost anything and earn a respectable full time income.

Better yet, you can create many different income streams from blogging. For example, you can:

  • Display ads from Google AdSense or an ad partner like Ezoic.
  • Sell a physical product or infoproduct (such as an online course).
  • Earn commissions from selling other people's products through affiliate marketing, such as Amazon's Affiliate Program.
  • Generate leads to sell a service, such as freelance writing or consulting.
  • Sell sponsored posts for advertisers to get in front of your audience.

Long story short, blogging is a great way to make a full time income from home and have complete control over your schedule and how much you earn. Better yet, you can use it to create a passive income if you learn about SEO.

Resources to Get Started:

Free Webinar: Click here to learn the 5 steps to start a highly profitable blog in 2020! Choose a niche, monetize, & more!

2. Become a Freelancer

  • Low-End Potential Income: $1,000-$4,000 monthly ($12,000-$48,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $10,000+ monthly ($120,000 yearly)
  • Minimum Time Required: 15-20 hours per week
  • Cost to Start: Free

Another career path that can earn six- to seven-figures, freelancing is a great option to work from the comfort of your home while doing something you love and being your own boss.

What is a Freelancer, you ask? 

A freelancer is someone who is available for hire to do a task, such as blog writing, coding, web design, or social media management. The work they do can be ongoing with their clients, or it can be a one-off task such as writing an ebook.

You can do SO many different kinds of freelance work. My friend Lindsay Aman makes a living as a freelance Wedding Photographer in Salt Lake City, Utah, for example! Check out her website to get some ideas.

Becoming a freelancer is as simple as deciding on the service you want to offer, then hunting down your first few clients. In fact, I started my career as a freelance writer and eventually turned into a freelance SEO consultant.

I got my start on UpWork. But there are tons of freelance sites out there now, including sites like Fiverr, FreeeUp, SolidGig, and many more. It's one of the best ways to make money online!

Resources to Get Started:

3. Find a Remote Job

  • Low-End Potential Income: $3,000-$5,000 monthly ($36,000-$60,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $7,000+ monthly ($84,000 yearly)
  • Minimum Time Required: 30-40+ hours per week
  • Cost to Start: Free

If being your own boss and paying your own taxes doesn't sound like your cup of tea, finding a remote, work-from-home job can be a great alternative!

Plenty of companies, like Buffer and Rosetta Stone, offer remote work you can do from home. A lot of the tasks are similar to what you might do as a freelancer, such as writing, editing, posting to social media or sending out emails.

However, there are lots of other remote opportunities as well, such as customer support or making sales calls.

You can also try to convince your current employer to start letting you work from home, as suggested by Tim Ferris in his best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek.

Resources to Get Started:

4. Start a YouTube Channel

  • Low-End Potential Income: $800-$1,200 monthly ($9,600-$14,400 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $50,000+ monthly ($600,000 yearly)
  • Minimum Time Required: 10-50+ hours per week
  • Cost to Start: Free (Maybe $20 for a microphone)

YouTubers have a massive earning potential. It's an excellent way to make money.

On the high end, some of the top YouTubers get paid millions. The top 10 YouTubers make between $14.5-22 million per year.

But even small YouTubers can make a living with the platform. If you manage to get to 20,000 views per month (difficult but not that hard), you can make $1,000+ per month.

YouTube Earnings

YouTubers, like bloggers, have multiple ways to generate income. The most common method is through native ads where YouTube pays you directly.

However, you can also earn revenue with sponsored posts through direct partnerships with brands, affiliate marketing where you promote someone else's products and earn a commission on any purchases through your link, and by selling your own products or services.

Resources to Get Started:

5. Stream Video Games on Twitch

  • Low-End Potential Income: $300-$3,000 monthly ($3,600-$36,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $20,000+ monthly ($240,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: 10-50+ hours per week
  • Cost to Start: $8.99+ per month (Depends on your current hardware)

If you're a gamer like me, you've probably already heard of the streaming platform Twitch. Maybe you even thought about starting an account, or maybe you started one and it hasn't panned out for you.

Either way, I'm here to tell you: It's absolutely possible to make money playing video games at home full time.

Making Money on Twitch

I know because many gamers, including a few I know personally, are making anywhere from $10 to $100 a day or more. At the high end, major Twitch streamers are making millions.

Twitch streamers also have multiple revenue options, including ads, subscriptions or donations from viewers, and sponsorships. Many Twitch streamers I know will utilize both Twitch livestreaming as well as recording their livestreams and uploading them to YouTube for extra exposure (and extra cash)!

Resources to Get Started:

6. Fill Out Online Surveys

  • Low-End Potential Income: $5 monthly ($ yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $80 monthly ($960 yearly)
  • Time Required: 40+ hours per week
  • Cost to Start: Free

Only looking for some pocket change to grab a drink on the weekend? Or maybe you just want something that's easy and doesn't require much learning?

Filling out surveys may be your best bet.

While I find it extremely boring and tedious, you could earn around $1,000 per year just by spending your extra time filling out surveys. Of course, this isn't anything to live on and I don't recommend doing it, but it's an option.

Keep in mind that many surveys will pay you in gift cards rather than cash. Gift cards aren't exactly something to live in, but you might be able to go out for dinner on your efforts. Some also pay via PayPal.

Resources to Get Started:

7. Create an Online Course

  • Low-End Potential Income: $50-$500 monthly ($600-$6,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $10,000+ monthly ($120,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: 10+ hours per week
  • Cost to Start: Free (Maybe $20 for a microphone)

Online courses are blowing up in popularity. Skillshare, just one of the many online learning platforms, boasts over five million users alone.

SkillShare Online Courses

I've personally purchased dozens of online courses and spent tens of thousands of dollars on them. Fun fact: The most I spent on one course was $5,000!

Aside from online course platforms, many people are also creating courses and hosting them on their own websites. In fact, this method is the best way to maximize your earnings because you can charge a premium compared to the limits set by SkillShare and other platforms.

You can teach an online course about almost anything. From gardening to history, math to digital marketing, sewing to learning a new language. Hell, there are even courses on how to build your own lego structures or grill the perfect steak!

Chances are, if you have a hobby or knowledge of any kind, you can probably create and teach an online course about it. This is a great option for college students looking to learn more about their field, as well!

Resources to Get Started:

8. Become a Coach

  • Low-End Potential Income: $1,600-$2,000 monthly ($19,200-$24,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $5,000+ monthly ($60,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work! 
  • Cost to Start: Free

I once paid a League of Legends coach to train me how to be better at the game. I've also paid a business coach to help me improve my business skills.

If you're good at something, consider doing online coaching as a service. You can coach video games, sports, fitness, nutrition, business, home organization... there are TONS of options.

The only hard part about coaching is finding clients. You can do that through some of the other mediums already mentioned, like blogging or YouTube. But there are also sites like Coach.me where you can offer your service.

Resources to Get Started:

9. Test Websites for a Living

  • Low-End Potential Income: $50-$1,000 monthly ($600-$12,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $10,000+ monthly ($120,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work!
  • Cost to Start: Free (Maybe $20 for a microphone)

If you have an eye for design and are keen on little details (like broken website links, typos, or site structure), you can make good money testing other people's websites and providing feedback!

The way it works is simple. You create an account on sites like User Testing, submit a sample test recording of yourself reviewing a website, then wait to see if you're accepted.

If you are, you'll be given websites to test and you have to record your voice for 10-20 minutes as you test everything on the site, then submit the recording.

It's entirely possible to make $20-$30 per hour or more with this method!

Resources to Get Started:

10. Become a Virtual Assistant

  • Low-End Potential Income: $2,000-$3,000 monthly ($24,000-$36,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $10,000+ monthly ($120,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work!
  • Cost to Start: Free

One way to make money is doing random tasks for a business owner.

A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who assists with administrative tasks like writing, editing or scheduling emails, social media posts, or blog posts, answering your emails, assisting with data entry, or even books your travel plans.

They're basically a virtual executive assistant. Think of them like a business owner's right hand; they take care of the things the owner doesn't need to be involved in doing to help free up their time to do only the things they can do.

We have had several virtual assistants over the years and they have been absolute life-savers for us! (In fact, if you think you have what it takes, reach out to us - we're always looking for talented people to help grow Widmer Enterprises!)

If you're looking for a way to earn extra money, consider becoming a VA. Some VAs can charge up to $50 per hour!

Resources to Get Started:

11. Online Tutoring

  • Low-End Potential Income: $2,000-$3,000 monthly ($24,000-$36,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $8,000+ monthly ($96,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work!
  • Cost to Start: Free

If you have a passions for teaching people, private online tutoring might be for you! In fact, I know several former school teachers who moved to the world of online tutoring in order to make more money while simultaneously making better use of their teaching talents that they simply couldn't do as a regular teacher.

Heck, you could even tutor on the side to earn an extra $1,000 per month without much added work! They can earn more than $50 per hour.

The cool thing about tutoring is that you don't need a degree or certifications to do it, although they do help. You can either work as a freelance tutor for hire or you can be employed by a company.

The former requires fewer certifications and gives you more flexibility and earning potential, but also requires more time spent finding clients. The latter of course requires more sophisticated certificates and even college degrees, but you don't need to worry about where your next client is, booking the sessions, or paying your own taxes.

Use a platform like Tutor.com to find online jobs and tutor in your spare time.

Resources to Get Started:

12. Data Entry

  • Low-End Potential Income: $2,400 monthly ($28,800 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $3,500 monthly ($42,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work!
  • Cost to Start: Free

If the idea of collecting and organizing data into spreadsheets doing lots of copy-paste work sounds interesting to you, data entry may be your thing!

While a virtual assistant can do data entry, they're typically hired to do a lot more than just that. Data entry specialists do nothing but data entry in spreadsheets.

Data Entry

Typically, data entry is a low-paying job because it doesn't require any specialized knowledge, just a lot of grunt work. However, since it doesn't require any specialized knowledge, it means anyone can do it!

I'll be honest - I hate data entry. I find it mind-numbingly boring. But there are people out there who enjoy it or at least find it tolerable, and I'm extremely grateful for those people! They are desperately needed in the business world.

Which means it's a good way to make money online! 

Resources to Get Started:

13. Pet Sitting

  • Low-End Potential Income: $1,000 monthly ($12,000 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $3,500+ monthly ($42,000+ yearly)
  • Time Required: 1-2 weeks out of the month minimum
  • Cost to Start: Free

Are you an animal lover? If so, you can create a side income by looking after other people's pets - right from the comfort of your own home!

Pet Sitting

There are many ways to get started taking in people's pets during their vacation, including job marketplaces like Rover, placing flyers at your local coffee shops and restaurants, and telling friends and family to grow through word of mouth.

If you're going to do this method, however, make sure you really love watching over and taking care of animals! Animals, like humans, have many different personality types and needs. Some need more attention, some need special types of food or medications at certain times, some need daily brushing and grooming, and some need more exercise than others.

For example, Australian Shepherds are an extremely high-energy breed that needs daily exercise, even multiple times a day. So you'll need to be comfortable taking the dogs for walks, playing catch, and being outside with them in general!

Resources to Get Started:

14. Open an Online Store

  • Low-End Potential Income: $100 monthly ($1,200 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $10,000+ monthly ($120,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work!
  • Cost to Start: $15-$30 per month

One of my first-ever businesses was an online Shopify store, where I dropshipped products from China straight to my customers.

In case you didn't know, dropshipping means that when a customer buys something from your store, you place an order with your supplier and that supplier sends the products directly to your customer.

Dropship Model

This means you don't need to handle any inventory or shipping!

Of course, you can also buy inventory directly and ship it out yourself. But that is a lot more involved than dropshipping, as it requires you to forecast demand, potentially running out of or buying too much supply to meet your customer's needs.

Let me say that I had no experience selling things online before I started. You don't need to know everything before you try this. Like most things, you start where you are and learn as you go. Don't let a lack of experience stop you from working from home and being your own boss!

Resources to Get Started:

15. Sell Things on Etsy, eBay or Amazon

  • Low-End Potential Income: $50 monthly ($600 yearly)
  • High-End Potential Income: $5,000+ monthly ($60,000 yearly)
  • Time Required: As much or little as you want to work!
  • Cost to Start: Free

When it comes to selling things online, you have two options:

  1. Selling your used goods around the house for a one-time profit.
  2. Working with a supplier to create a legitimate online store for recurring revenue.

Obviously, option 1 is a great way to make a quick buck while simultaneously getting rid of some of the clutter around your house. Ebay is a great way to do that.

But if you want to build an online business that continues to provide you with an income and truly allows you to work from home, you'll need to work with a supplier (or create your own products at home, like people often do with Etsy).

This is different from opening an online store. Etsy gives you the ability to create unique products at home, customize them to your customers needs, then sell and ship them yourself.

Kayla and I started an Etsy store once selling wooden plank with melted down beer bottles and engraved sayings on them that the customers could choose when they purchased. So if you're the creative type, this might be the route for you!

Just make sure you do some research on the item(s) you plan on selling before you start - you might find that there is too much competition or too little demand for that type of item.

Resources to Get Started:

Over to You!

Are you going to start your own online business or convince your boss to let you work from home? Know of another way to make extra money from home that isn't on this list, like becoming a social media expert? Let me know in the comments below!

Whether you want to work remotely part time or full time, whether you want a little extra cash or a full-blown passive income, there's a way to earn cash online.

And if you aren't already, consider subscribing to my newsletter below. I share practical advice on how to make money online, grow your business, and improve your marketing skills.

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Bill Widmer

Bill has a passion for teaching others how to build and grow their own online business. He's started and grown several sites from $0 to over $10k per month and has worked with many prestigious clients such as Sumo, Shopify, and Single Grain.

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