How to Work From Home by ps94506


									July 26, 2010

How to Work From Home
By Tory Johnson, Workplace Contributor

It's the number one question I'm asked: How can I make money from home? Whether
looking for full-time opportunities or a way to supplement their income, more people
than ever are eager to bring in the cash without the commute.

I've spent several years reviewing legitimate home-based opportunities like the ones I
feature on my website, and I'm thrilled when I discover new ones. (In fact, if you're
involved in a successful home-based opportunity that you think I should know about,
share it with me at or

Sell Ads on Your Blog:
Last year stay-at-home mom Sarah Mae wanted to supplement her husband's income,
so she started writing a blog, Like a Warm Cup of Coffee, where she's developed a
small, but very loyal, following of women who share her values. She approached small
businesses that advertised on other blogs, asking them to buy an ad on her site. Her
initial rate: just $10 a month per ad, an offer they couldn't refuse. She gradually upped it,
and now less than a year later has generated $5,000 of income.

The lesson: Start now and start small -- work on it every day to build an audience and
increase your rates. Too often we say, "For just $10, why bother?" But you have to think

Sell Through the Open Sky Project:
Since Mae had a loyal following of women, she signed up with Open Sky, a new, free
service that connects people who make interesting products (suppliers) with people who
have the ability to sell those products online (sellers).

As a seller, Mae chooses which products she wants to feature and promote. Her best
seller: teeny rose bud earrings, handmade of resin by another mom, Ashley Steves in
Baltimore. Determined to pay off her family's credit card debt and live a cash-only
lifestyle, Steves realized she needed to move from selling randomly here and there to
friends -- to reaching a wider audience online through Open Sky.

With the earrings priced at $10 a pair, Steves receives the $5 wholesale price, and the
profit is then split between the seller and Open Sky. Steves has made more than $1,000
by selling through Open Sky -- and that initial success has given her the confidence to
invest in more materials to expand her jewelry line next month. (Mae has earned more
than $400 through Open Sky by promoting the earrings to her followers.)

On Open Sky, nobody makes money, nor are there fees of any kind, unless sales are
made. So if you have something to sell that's really unique and not available at big box
retailers -- beauty, nutrition, cooking and fashion are particularly popular categories -- or
if you have a website or even a very active following on Facebook or Twitter of people
who really trust you for advice and recommendations, then Open Sky could be an ideal
opportunity to make money.

Sell for Others With Style:
A new entry in the online selling arena is ReFINEstyle, which is an eBay-like auction
site specifically for new and gently worn designer clothing and accessories. The site
recruits and trains stylists to make money on its site. With no start-up fees, it's a great
platform for someone with fashion style and sales savvy.

Sandy Stein is a former flight attendant who invented a gadget to prevent her keys from
getting lost at the bottom of her bag. Several big distributors told her the Finders Key
Purse would never sell, so she set out to build her own sales force made up mainly of
stay-at-home moms and other women across the country who go door to door to their
favorite gift shops and boutiques for wholesale orders. In the first year, more than a
million pieces were sold. Visit the website to learn more about becoming a local rep in
your area for this and the company's sister products.

And speaking of selling, direct sales remains a viable option if you select the right
product category for you. The Direct Selling Association offers the most reputable
advice on the industry, including a listing of hundreds of legitimate companies. Sell and

Last week Arise Virtual Solutions announced it would add 5,000 home-based agents
over the next few months. Virtual customer service opportunities, which allow you to
answer customer inquiries from home, can also be found through VIPDesk, LiveOps
and Alpine Access. Most companies require home-based agents to have an up-to-date
computer, high speed Internet access, a dedicated phone line and a quiet workspace.
Each operates differently -- from hiring employees to contracting with independent
reps to requiring incorporation, so research all options, including mandatory start-up and
training fees, before determining which (if any) may appeal to you.

Personal Concierge:
At 56, Bill Doyle was laid off in October 2009 after working for five years at a popular
Philadelphia performing arts center. Devastated by that pink slip -- losing the job was
like losing a best friend, he said, Doyle wound up in the hospital for two weeks with
chest pain. While on the mend, within a few months he realized what he loved most was
serving people and solving problems, so he started Go2Guy, a personalized concierge

His services range from planning small dinner parties for a busy family, to running
errands, waiting for repairman, you name it. And he's marketing himself to individuals
who don't have enough time to get it all done and to companies whose employers
don't have enough time to get it all done. So far he's bringing in about $1,500 a month,
but says it's picking up steadily as word spreads and he's very hopeful that it will soon
out-pace his previous income, which is a good thing because Doyle told me, "I will never
get that goodbye handshake from any boss again."

Triangle Concierge is run by one of the leading concierge experts and offers advice
articles on the industry; At Your Service Atlanta is run by my friend Barbara Betti, whose
website describes the range of services a concierge can offer.

Virtual Social Media Consultant:
Lanae Paaverud in Minnesota recognized that so many small businesses didn't have a
presence on Facebook or Twitter because they lacked time, knowledge and know-how.
So just about a year ago, she dubbed herself the Social Networking Nanny and became
determined to take care of the social media needs of small businesses.

For $150 she'll set up a Facebook page or a Twitter profile, and then for a reasonable
hourly fee she updates the content, builds a following, and develops meaningful ways
for the business owners to engage with their current and prospective clients and

Look at what you're really passionate about, and perhaps have taken for granted, and
explore if you can get paid to do it. Paaverud has been hooked on social media for
years, and when she saw plenty of people didn't get it, she spotted a need and went for

Tory Johnson is the workplace contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and the CEO of Women For
Hire. Talk to her at

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