In Canada (and the States I think) you can run a small business under your own legal name and you don’t have to register it. If you were running a dog grooming business or something, you’d need a formal “business license” but even with a home-based business you may still need one, but it’s unlikely and it’d depend on your city’s policy. Even if required, I’m sure many people unknowingly skip this step and life goes on!
I think you have the potential to be a freelance writer. I would start a blog or create samples on Medium or LinkedIn. Start writing posts that you want to get paid for. So finding a niche like business writing, digital marketing writing, parenting, gardening etc.. and then creating content around that. Then finding the clients that want that content! Good luck!
I forgot to also share that I will be starting work with On Point as an Advocacy Coordinator too. It sounds like a great job that helps our fellow Americans keep informed about political issues. On Point is the voice of the average citizens that may have an opinion to share with their politicians but have no way of knowing how to contact them. On Point makes sure those voices get heard. In orientation the trainer said she will be hiring agents again around the middle of June. If you have good writing skills and are a good conversationalist then you may want to check it out. It also seems like if you put forth a little effort, you can make decent wages with them and they do pay weekly. I’m not big into politics but excited about this new venture.
In addition to large tech companies like Apple and Dell, at-home jobs for technical support representatives are available from any number of large companies who sell products with any type of technological component to them. Keep in mind that technology isn’t just limited to electronics. Companies selling any type of product with working parts may need technical support representatives to help customers with problems operating the product.
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
Hey Elna! I am currently working towards breaking into the field of freelance editing and your advice has helped me immensely. I’ll be finishing my degree this year and I’ve been feeling anxious about future job opportunities (and lack thereof). After reading this, I feel so much more at ease. Do you have any tips for students who still need to gain experience?
Students enrolled in an art program can use their creative skills to design logos and graphics for various companies. You may be able to find a part-time position with a single company to provide graphic design services, but it’s also possible that you’ll be able to make more with a more flexible schedule if you contract your services out to several different companies at once. Upwork and Freelancer.com are great starting points for this type of job.

This is my foot in the door and I’m following some of your other tips in order to get myself out there even more. I’m an introvert, so this is new and difficult for me. I have questioned myself countless times and am feeling a bit impatient, but I’m trying to trust the process and take it one day at a time. The warmth and encouragement that come through in your writing have helped keep me going. Thank you Elna!

At Preply, we are always opening vacancies for experienced teachers of different subjects in Skype. Preply offers fair pay and an excellent schedule. You can write to the student first to get more info about their needs. Then you both can negotiate on the class. To apply for this job, you need to have a Profile. The profile shows the price of your hours, and the most convenient day and time for lessons. We wish you with Good luck!

Haven’t much advice to give you on blogging – except join as many writers’ forums at LInked In, if you haven’t done yet. You see, I am more comfortable in writing articles than blogs. I have heard (from joining a lot of LI writing forums) – of a lot of successful/well-paid bloggers there who might be able to help you – to name a few – Francesca Nicasio, a US-based Filipina blogger, Carol Tice (US), Bamidele Omnibalusi (Africa), and more.
As a TTEC@Home associate, you'll use our technology to support and assist customers with a variety of customer service and technical needs. This could include helping customers over the phone, via chat, or on social media. Best of all, you can do it all while wearing your slippers or flip flops! (To get started, you’ll need internet access and a home phone. Bunny slippers are optional.)

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I absolutely love this article Elna. Thank you so much for providing your top techniques on how to start as a freelance writer. I think I have read so much content from numerous bloggers about writing content, starting blogs, making a living writing, etc. but have not yet come across anything quite like your article. I was already familiar with some of your techniques, but this was only a few. The first thing I am excited to do is take your course. I am a stay at home/work at home wife and mother. I was laid off from my job of 7 years almost 3 years ago and have been struggling with contributing to my household after my last pregnancy. I have written for pleasure most of my life and want to be able to continue being home for my family. I never thought that I would consider cold pitching but the way you put it just makes so much sense. Literally reading your article I was in such awe and had several “A-ha” moments. Again, thank you for sharing.
While most of these companies advertise that you can earn upwards of $18 or so an hour, the reality is that you're not going to make that much once you figure in your gas expenses and wear and tear on your car. Also, work may not always come in consistently. I would recommend doing more than one of these if you really want to make it worth your while.
These are all great ideas. The problem, which I haven’t heard anyone address, is that all these places want to see a portfolio of your work. If you’re just starting out, it’s not likely you have one. In my case, I did extensive technical and creative writing for my previous company but it was all considered intellectual property for them, thereby preventing me from including it in any personal portfolio of mine. How does one build a portfolio if you already need one to get started?
I’m just now starting to explore the possibility of working as a writer and came across this article. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I think I’m fairly good at it, but I don’t have any specific training or education besides what I learned in my college English classes, and English wasn’t my major so I only took what was needed for GE requirements. In your experience, does one need any specialized training or education to be taken seriously in the writing world?
Currently I am in high school and working a part time job, I probably only work an estimated 8 hours a week though. I have been longing to be a writer for quite some time, I’ve been wanting to be a freelance writer but sadly, most of the sites that pay you require a credit or debit card and I do not own one. Is there any freelance writing jobs that would possibly pay me in cash or something along those lines?
That’s great you want to get started freelance writing! Writing for school or university is different than online writing (this post lays out some tips: https://elnacain.com/blog/5-grammar-rules-every-blogger-must-know/). But in saying that, it just takes practice and reading online content to be familiar with it! If you have the passion and motivation you can become a freelance writer!
What It Is: Students in countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype — sometimes at night, because you're working with students in different time zones. You need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and can work as many as 35 hours.
I hope you would agree, that it would have been ideal to delegate this task to the handyman. That would have saved you time and effort, so that you and your husband could focus on doing other things that were more important to you, like being there for your kids or spending time with each other. This is just one example of how we often impose busyness on ourselves without us even realizing it.
You mention starting a blog is beneficial for starting out and creating content. My initial fear is what to blog about, I have so many interests that I feel it’s hard to pick one and really be informed and educated about the subject. They include animals (2 time dog mom), hiking/outdoors (I live in the wonderful PNW) , motorcycles, travel, personal growth, all things sweet, and of coarse writing. How do I choose? Or somehow combine a couple?
You’re welcome! So happy you found this post helpful for you living in the UK! For me, I was a stay at home mom so I didn’t work at that time. I was a bit bored with the day-to-day of taking care of twins…you know diaper changes a million times a day, and cleaning up messes just as much. I needed a creative outlet so I explored work at home stuff online and my husband told me about freelance writing and being a virtual assistant. I immediately gravitated towards writing!
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With that said, there are certainly a few tricks to getting your foot in the door. Our friend Kayla’s new course called “$10K VA” teaches you the exact steps she has used to make a consistent $10,000 a month. She covers topics like pitching clients, creating efficient systems, pricing your services, and more. It’s a great opportunity to hit the ground running by learning from one of the best VAs around. Learn more about the $10K VA course here.
Although there are thousands of legitimate work-at-home jobs available, it’s always a good idea to proceed with caution. There are plenty of less than stellar opportunities out there, promising big results with little or no return. While some of these are just bad gigs, others are straight up scams, looking to prey on dreams of those looking for a real work-at-home jobs.

Hi, not trying to being rude or anything, but if you’re planning a career in writing, you might want to check your spelling and/or grammar before putting it out there. Just saying…again, it trying to be rude or mean. I wish the best of luck to you! I too, am trying to get some writing gigs, and just starting out. I have no idea where to even begin. With that said, I think constructive criticism is a good thing, that if we take need to, can help us out in the long run. If anyone has any constructive criticism or constructive advice for me, please comment. Thank you!
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.
OK, if you’re really, REALLY hungry and need to make ends meet that month, and that’s all you’ve got currently, I’ll allow it. But otherwise? Your skills and time are worth far more, and there ARE clients out there who will recognize and honor that. Hold out for the good ones. (See: my upcoming article on how we writers need to learn to value (and insist on the value of) our own talents higher than we often do.) 🙂
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom who hasn’t done any office work in a while or you’re 18 and just started college, you may worry the work-at-home life isn’t for you. Not because you don’t have the time or the temperament. But because you’re worried you don’t have enough experience to land a work-from-home job or, if you do, that the work won’t be easy enough to slip in around a long day with the kids or all your classes.
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