Working from home is the perfect way to boost your income, but finding genuine jobs can be tricky. To save you time and energy, we’ve come up with a selection of interesting and profitable work from home jobs that you can do in your spare time.
So whether you’re caring for kids, saving for something important or looking for a stimulating side hustle, read on to see how you can earn extra money from home.
1. Online English Teacher
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) used to involve moving to another country, but not anymore, as you can now teach English part-time from the comfort of your own home.
The good news is that TEFL training is relatively inexpensive, particularly if you do most of your training online. To access the best home-based teaching opportunities, you’ll need an accredited TEFL certificate that includes at least 120 hours of training. This will cover all the essentials such as lesson planning, lesson delivery, classroom management and teaching styles. If possible, opt for a course that includes a small amount of intensive classroom experience, as this will make you stand out when you’re applying for jobs.
Some employers require a degree as well as a TEFL certificate, but there are plenty of opportunities for non-graduates too. Experience of working with kids will also come in handy when you’re applying for jobs.
Get set up
When it comes to equipment, you’ll need a reliable PC or laptop, a fast broadband connection, a headset with an attached microphone, a desk and a chair in a quiet, well-lit room. If your language school doesn’t provide their own learning platform you’ll also need Skype or a Google Hangout account in order to deliver your lessons.
Once you’ve sorted your work space, you’ll need to think about resources. Some employers provide their own lesson plans and content, but if yours doesn’t or you’re planning to go freelance, we recommend checking out The British Council’s Teaching English website, which is packed with downloadable resources, videos and articles. Busy Teacher also features some excellent worksheets and activities.
Most new TEFL teachers look for work with a language school in order to gain experience without having to advertise. While this option can be restrictive in terms of hours and rates, once you’ve established yourself as a decent tutor, you’ll be able to go freelance and set your own rates.
To find work with a language school, consider registering to receive job alerts from several reputable TEFL websites such as the i-to-i TEFL website, LoveTEFL and Dave’s ESL Cafe. You can also approach schools directly, so why not contact a few? OpenEnglish, 51 Talk, Berlitz and learnlight all have good reputations and the interview process is carried out in the United Kingdom via Skype.
Pay varies in the TEFL industry, but you can expect to earn around £8-10 per lesson for conversational English classes and up to £20 per lesson for business English classes. If you sign up with a language school that teaches children, you’ll find that many parents like to book months ahead, so there’s a good chance of earning regular money.
2. Virtual Assistant
By 2021, the number of people who use VA is predicted to reach
Virtual assistants provide online services to support small businesses and bloggers. They’re normally self-employed and they work remotely from their own home office. Interested? Then you’ll need to identify your particular skill set and consider who might use your services.
Virtual assistants can help with:
Get set up
Once you’ve decided which services to offer, you need to come up with a company name. Consider paying for a logo (try fiverr if you’re on a tight budget) and use this across all of your company social media accounts, as a strong online presence is essential. You’ll also need to invest in a clear, attractive website and some business cards.
In terms of tech, every VA needs a fast broadband connection, back-up to protect their clients’ data and Microsoft Office 365. If you’re planning to provide design-related services you’ll need access to the Adobe Creative Cloud and we also suggest installing a multi-line phone system or a separate business line, as this will give your business a professional feel.
There are many ways to promote your newly hatched VA business, but you could start by adding yourself to local and national business directories. Add your business to Google local so that you appear in local search results, and start to increase your visibility by networking on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also use social networking sites to post useful content that shows off your knowledge.
To drive traffic to your website, begin to upload and share regular blog posts that are are aimed at your target client. You could also offer to create blog posts for other websites, as this will create valuable inbound links. If you have a WordPress website, we recommend adding the free Yoast plugin, which will help you to make your site search engine-friendly. Not sure how to do this? Simply follow this excellent guide written by the search engine experts at Moz.
Networking in person is nerve-wracking, but it’s also an excellent way to get to know your local business community, so why not sign up for a couple of events? You could also send a friendly introductory email to a few local businesses you’d love to work with. For more advice on finding work, we recommend paying a visit to the online Society Of Virtual Assistants.
The amount you’ll earn as a home based VA depends on your level of expertise and your client base, but you should make at least £25 per hour. It’s up to you whether you charge per project or per hour, but if you charge per project don’t underestimate the work involved, or your hourly rate will nosedive!
If your grammar’s impeccable, your spelling’s superb and your writing is polished to perfection, copywriting could be your ideal work-at-home job. Brands, businesses and organisations pay copywriters to create the wording for their blogs, adverts, web pages, social media posts, emails, brochures, leaflets and other written material. You’ll work flexible hours and all you need to get going is a laptop and a decent broadband connection.
Get the skills
You won’t require any specific qualifications to become a self-employed copywriter. While there are a few decent courses about, the people who pay you are generally more interested in seeing your portfolio and your LinkedIn profile. In any case, newbies can learn a lot about the craft by reading blogs, LinkedIn articles and books by seasoned writers such as Tom Albrighton of ABC Copywriting. Copywriting is an incredibly collaborative industry, so feel free to ask for advice and interact with the experts on social media.
Understanding the business of marketing and advertising will also sharpen your writing skills. Learn about the UK’s advertising codes and read classic copywriting books to discover how writers use words to persuade and sell. To master the technical side of the job, visit the Moz SEO Learning Centre and practice using marketing tools such as Google Adwords and Google Analytics.
Get set up
From a practical point of view, writing from home requires broadband, a well-lit desk, a supportive chair and a decent-sized computer screen. You’ll also need to decide on your business name, set up social media accounts and invest in a website. We recommend paying a few pounds a month for a WordPress site hosted by Bluehost, as this will come with a custom domain name.
Before you begin looking for copywriting work, it’ worth thinking about the kind of clients you’d like to target. Do you have any specialist knowledge? If so, it could lead to higher earnings, particularly if If you’ve worked in the finance, pharmaceutical or IT industries.
Finally, we suggest joining the United Kingdom’s most popular online copywriting community ProCopywriters, as members are able to network with other writers, enjoy free training and access valuable business templates that will help you to stay on top of any paperwork.
It can be tricky finding work to begin with, as agencies and clients will want to see samples of your previous work, so you might need to write your first few articles for free. How about offering to write blogs, articles or press releases for a small local business or charity?
Once you’ve created a small selection of samples you’re happy with, search for local digital agencies you’d like to work for and find out whether they’re outsourcing work to freelancers. Most agencies state this on their careers or jobs page. If you like the idea of working with your own clients, try sending a polite email or letter to a few local companies and offer to pop in if they’re interested in your services.
Of course you’ll also find plenty of work-at-home copywriting gigs by looking at online job sites. Be choosy and avoid freelance platforms that require you to bid for jobs, unless you’re happy to work for low rates while you build up experience. You can also demonstrate your writing skills by posting useful blogs on your website. Try to aim these at your target market and share them on social media.
Pay rates in the United Kingdom’s copywriting industry vary enormously and some companies will offer you £60 for an 800 word blog, while others will pay twice that amount. So when a company asks you to quote for a new job, always be realistic about how long it will take you to research, plan, write and edit their project. Value your skills. After all, many freelance agency copywriters earn several hundred pounds per day!