Money | Work-at-Home
In 2018, anyone can make money from home! Whether you need a few extra dollars to reach your goals, or you want to quit your 9-5 to work from home full-time, you can find the perfect job or business for you. These are my favorite products, courses, and services for making money at home. Anything listed here is a product or course I have used myself or has been recommended by multiple people in my interviews on different side hustles. I hope they can help you build your dream!
If you want to check out some of my top recommendations for money products or a list of books I’m obsessed with, click the links at the top of this page! I’m always testing new products and constantly reading, so I’ll try to keep all these lists as up-to-date as possible.
Last updated February 8, 2018.
Hosting – Big Scoots (Starting at $3.55/mo)
Not all web hosts are created equal. You will see Bluehost recommended by a lot of bloggers given their huge affiliate payout. But be sure to ask them if they still use Bluehost themselves. I started Mama Fish on Bluehost after reading the recommendation of another blogger. But I had to leave them after only 3 months due to site speed and technical support issues on the days when the site saw higher traffic. Changing hosts is not the end of the world, but it isn’t a lot of fun either. As the price differences between good hosts are minimal, it is best to just start off with an awesome host like BigScoots!
BigScoots hosting plans currently start at $3.55/month for the 55CC plan, versus a comparable plan at Bluehost that costs $3.95/mo. You can scale up to plans with more server space as your blog grows by simply messaging the support team. They will also let you know if you are close to maximizing your bandwidth and need to upgrade. For reference, Mama Fish Saves is currently on their 155CC plan which is $8.95/month.
Related post: How to Start a Blog the Easy Way
Email Marketing – ConvertKit
Building your email list is the most important thing bloggers need to focus on. A strong email list will help you create raving fans, generate income, and grow traffic. ConvertKit is an email platform built for bloggers, by bloggers. I use their sequences function for free courses and challenges. Their new automation system is incredible for creating custom email experiences for readers and helping to get to know your subscribers’ preferences. I started out with Mailchimp (because who can beat free!) but left long before I exceeded the 2,000 subscribers free limit. The low monthly cost of ConvertKit was more than worth the greater functionality.
Pinterest Management – Tailwind
Pinterest can be a traffic generating powerhouse for bloggers. Part social media, part search engine, you can gain thousands of readers with one “viral” post. But the platform can also be time-consuming as you have to remain active on the site, pinning your own content and others. I use Tailwind Tribes to share my content with other bloggers and find high-quality pins to add to my boards. I also use their pin scheduling feature when I know I won’t be able to pin manually. (Many bloggers use Tailwind scheduling exclusively for pinning. I have found that pinning manually gets better traction, as recommended in the Pinteresting Strategies course below.)
What about BoardBooster? I have only recently started using BoardBooster and I am only testing it out for their new Tribe feature. I haven’t decided if I can recommend it yet, but some bloggers do say that BoardBooster’s scheduling is less time intensive than Tailwind because it has a “looping” feature. You create a set of pins you want it to pin to a certain board and when it gets to the end it just restarts again. At only $5 a month, it may be worth testing out versus Tailwind if you don’t want to pin manually.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – This course, created by Michelle at Making Sense of Cents, is what every blogger needs to start making money, even with a small blog. I was really nervous about making Mama Fish Saves seem spammy by monetizing, but Michelle focuses on bringing value to readers which is why she is so successful. (She makes over a million dollars a year on her blog!)
- Genius Blogger Toolkit – This is a huge bundle of some of the best courses on all things blogging from around the web. It is only available for sale once a year (it will launch in early October 2018, join my mailing list to be sure you don’t miss it) but comes at a huge discount price. I got my bundle in 2016 for over 95% off and still use courses from the bundle on a regular basis.
- The Perfect Pin – A short course on how to create viral Pinterest images. Pinterest isn’t a social media site; it is a visual search engine. This course teaches you how to make images, using only PowerPoint, which catch users’ eyes and drive traffic.
- Pinteresting Strategies – Everything you need to know about how to use Pinterest. This course has massively increased my own Pinterest traffic, and the strategies are easy to implement and understand.
Accounting / Bookkeeping
a super easy to use bookkeeping service to track your business income and expenses. You can mark individual transactions as business and personal (great for side hustlers who personal and business expenses aren’t completely separate) and it can help you estimate tax payments. It also allows you to invoice clients. This is what I use to manage Mama Fish Saves and my freelance writing business. If you sign up via the link above, you get 50% off for six months!
Work-at-Home Opportunities & Side Hustles
Freelance writing is my favorite way to make money online quickly. In my first full month freelance writing, after taking Holly Porter-Johnson’s course Earn More Writing, I made over $1,000. Since I started, I have averaged over $90 an hour writing for other bloggers and companies.
The demand for writers is high. If you can hit deadlines, follow the direction of an editor, and commit to improving your writing with each new project, you can make great money as a freelance writer. You don’t need an advanced degree or any formal writing training. If you love to write, I highly recommend taking Holly’s course and starting to pitch potential clients.
Most people who hear the term “virtual assistant” picture a secretary answering phones and managing some business owner’s schedule from home. However, the field has expanded rapidly in recent years to include a wide range of services. These days, a virtual assistant can be anyone who provides administrative, creative, social media, or technical support remotely. Some jobs are short-term and project based. Others require regular weekly or monthly hours. But virtual assistants, both part-time and full-time, make over $20 an hour on average!
If you want to jumpstart your virtual assistant business and have your first client in the next month, you want to take 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. It walks you through building your foundation, launching your business, establishing an online presence, where to source clients, and how to keep your clients happy! You’ll also get added to her Facebook group where you can network and have questions answered. Purchasing a course like this is an investment, but it often pays for itself once you secure your first client!
Related post: How to Become a Virtual Assistant: Behind the Scenes
Surveys – Swagbucks
You won’t make the big bucks taking surveys online and there are a lot of scam sites out there. However, Swagbucks does offer real opportunities to make some extra cash on the side while binge watching Netflix after the kids go to bed. Earn Swagbucks by taking surveys, watching videos, and searching online. With a little work, you could add $100 or more to your pocket every month.
- Work at Home Super Bundle – If you want to make money from home but don’t know where to start, this bundle is the perfect thing to ease you in. For just $47 (97% off!) you get 23 ebooks, 1 audiobook, 9 courses, and 4 printable packs on everything from freelancing to selling on Etsy to managing your time while starting a home business.
- Trello – A simple and free task management program. Trello makes it easy to keep track of various projects and tasks on multiple boards. You can also manage work process by having cards for each step of a job, and moving tasks along the course as you complete things. You can start with a free version and grow from there! I use Trello every day!
Money | Work-at-Home
Some of these companies offer commissions for referrals and others don’t. This didn’t impact my choices as I always focus on products I actually use and know well! The services that do offer commissions don’t cost you any extra – and in some cases save you money! – and signing up through these links is a great free way to support the blog. I really appreciate it! You can visit this link for more information on affiliate links on Mama Fish Saves.