Remote work has become more popular and more accessible than ever in the past couple of years. If you haven’t worked from home before, you may be scratching your head wondering if it’s even possible to achieve financial freedom in your pajamas. While most remote work veterans will tell you that you do eventually start putting on real pants after a while, there are dozens of real ways to make money from home and earn a living without leaving the house.
The best way to approach making money from home depends on what you’re looking to achieve. Are you looking to launch a new business that will give you the flexibility you need to raise your kids? Are you looking for a little extra cash to pad your savings account? Or are you looking for a career that will let you live that digital nomad life?
We’ve broken down this list into 3 sections: the best businesses to start from home, the best ways to earn extra money from home, and the best careers that let you work from home.
Work from Home Business Ideas—How to Start a Business from Home
Every small business included on this list can be started as a solopreneur from your home. While you may want to consider an office space if you scale large enough, each of these businesses can be operated remotely.
An online course, which allows students to enroll online and move through the course at their own pace, is one of the best businesses you can start from home. It has everything you’re looking for in an online business: the potential to generate passive income and scaleability. Building an online course requires an investment up front, but once it’s done it’s done—and you can focus all your efforts on marketing your course to make it as successful as possible.
Want to start an online course empire? You’ll need to begin by identifying your niche, conducting market research, finding the best platform, and building the course curriculum. If you decide to launch a course that’s video-based, or includes video as a supplement, you’ll also need to film and edit those assets. Ready to start? We’ll help you learn everything you need to know.
Ecommerce businesses combine the revenue-generating power of a retail business with the flexibility of working from home. Ecommerce, which has reliably been one of the best ways to make money online for years, benefited from a pivot to online business because of the pandemic. More shoppers are looking to buy products online than ever before, providing ample opportunity for a burgeoning business owner.
There are a variety of ways to approach ecommerce. You can sell products on Amazon, using fulfillment by Amazon (Amazon FBA) so that you don’t have to handle delivery logistics. You can host your ecommerce business on your own website. Or you can launch a dropshipping business, so you don’t have to manage inventory yourself (more on dropshipping below).
Thinking of starting your own ecommerce business? These resources will help you learn the ropes.
A consulting business is one of the most profitable businesses you can start, and it’s a business that can be run from home—though you may have to leave the house for the occasional client meeting. A consultant provides expert services to a business without being hired on-staff. This allows you to work on a project-based capacity, maximizing interest and profitability.
Consulting businesses have low startup costs and can be launched relatively quickly. Want to learn more about starting a successful consulting business? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re a graphic designer, then you might want to consider starting your own graphic design business. Graphic design services are continually in high demand, and there’s little work required in launching the business. You can begin working as an independent contractor if you don’t want to bother with incorporating or building a “company” website. With the necessary skillset and a winning consulting proposal, you’ll start generating income in no time.
Dropshipping is a subset of ecommerce where a business outsources the fulfillment of orders to a third party. Dropshipping is an especially appealing home business because you don’t have to hold any inventory—which saves money and space in your home. Instead of purchasing inventory upfront, you pay your fulfillment partner a percentage of the order value. Dropshipping can be especially appealing in retail niches where consumers want to see a wide variety of products that might be untenable for a small business to carry. Books and board gaming are popular dropshipping business niches, for example.
Dog grooming is a reliable business that typically draws repeat customers, and is home-friendly, provided you have the right equipment. If you want to start a dog grooming business, you’ll need to create a business plan, perform a competitive analysis, and determine how much space you’ll need in your home to dedicate to the business. You’ll also have to set aside some money for equipment like a dog grooming table, hairdryer, scissors, etc.
Side Hustle from Home—Make Extra Money without Leaving the House
Looking for ways to earn extra money from your sofa or home office? We’ve got you covered. Read on for some of the most tried and true ways to make money online.
Affiliate marketing is a way to generate income from companies based on referrals for goods or products. Affiliate marketing has become a common revenue model for bloggers and influencers, who regularly earn a commission based on their recommendations for various products and services.
Even if you don’t have a large enough following to make affiliate marketing your full-time gig, it can still be a great way to earn extra cash. Not sure where to start? We’ll walk you through what you need to know to start making money from affiliate marketing.
A virtual assistant provides administrative tasks remotely like scheduling, receipt tracking, and recording. While some virtual assistant work will be reliant on your ability to work specific hours, much of it is task/responsibility-based, meaning that you can complete the work in your own time as long as you’re able to deliver by the required deadlines. You’ll need a reliable internet connection to start making extra money as a virtual assistant.
In the long run, you’ll make more money as a virtual assistant if you’re running your own small business, but agencies can be a great way to gain experience and start making money to start. VaVa Virtual Assistants, Boldly, Kelly, and BELAY are just some of the staffing agencies that can help you get a foot in the door and earn some extra money.
Create an Online Course
An online course, where you outline a curriculum for remote students who can take the course at their own pace, can make for a great small business or side hustle depending on how much time you want to put into it. The great thing about an online course is that once you do the initial work, the course can continue to generate revenue. In short, this is one side hustle that can also function as a source of passive income.
Social media can be a flexible source of extra income, and you can do the work without leaving your home. There are several ways to earn money from social media, especially if you’re just looking for a little extra cash. You can grow your audience until it’s large enough that you can make money with sponsored content (see the section about affiliate marketing, above) or sell your services to brands as a consultant. If you’re working for other brands, you can flex your creative muscle creating, or you can offer administrative services like responding to customers and scheduling posts.
Resale Market Ecommerce
Resale markets are booming, thanks in part to a rise in demand for environmentally-friendly and conscious ways to shop. If you’re looking for a source of extra money, you might consider selling—or buying and reselling—products on ecommerce resellers like Facebook Marketplace.
These marketplaces have made it easier than ever to sell unwanted goods, and many people have priced their items at a “something is better than nothing” sale price. If you have particular expertise in a niche—say midcentury Royal Doulton used china or 1990s Lisa Frank memorabilia—you can scour resale markets like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, eBay, and Craigslist for underpriced items that you can resell for a profit. This revenue stream requires patience (collectors search on their own time, making “Buy It Now” preferable to a 7-day auction), but it can be a great way to turn your niche passions into an online business.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a platform that lets companies hire for administrative and data entry tasks that can’t be done by a computer. Real talk: work found on Amazon Mechanical Turk is often menial, but it can be a great way to earn extra cash.
Online tutoring can be a great way to earn real money from home. You can work with agencies or tutoring platforms or as an independent tutor to help students. Thanks to Zoom and other video platforms, you can offer tutoring services without leaving your home.
Create and Sell Stock Images
Are you a whiz with a camera? You can earn money online by taking photos, uploading them to stock photography sites, and selling them. The platform will take a cut of your profits, but if you can optimize your photos for search on the platforms, then your photos can generate passive income. Stock photo search terms with higher volume are more popular and give you the opportunity to generate a larger number of sales. They will also be more competitive. Search terms with lower search volume are less popular, but there will likely be less competition. If you plan to sell your photos online, research various search terms and test them until you find a strategy that works.
Rent Your Tech Gadgets and Tools
Platforms like Rent-A-Center, Flexshopper, and Aarons connect you with people looking to rent various items. This allows you to leverage your gadgets and tools for extra income. All you need to do is to fill out your profile on the platform, take photos of your products (good lighting goes a long way and is always worth the effort), and list them for rent.
Sell Your Clothes Online
As consumers have become more environmentally conscious, resale clothing markets have become more popular and they continue to grow. In 2026, the fashions resale market is predicted to total as much as $77 billion. All of this means that you can now take your unused and unwanted clothing and turn it into extra cash.
Journalists, podcasters, YouTubers, and branded content all regularly require transcription services. The bad news is that transcription can be pretty boring. The good news is that means most people would rather contract out the work than do it for themselves, leaving lots of opportunity for savvy side hustlers looking for new ways to earn extra cash.
Investing is one of the best personal finance decisions you can make, and it’s a steady way to earn extra money over a long period. Purchasing assets like stocks, ETFs, and index funds can help you develop your portfolio and make your money work for you. While it is possible to make money with short-term investments, most novice investors have the most success with long-term income goals. Look for something that will give you steady growth. You won’t make money overnight, but over time, it will grow, and there’s nothing like the power of compound interest.
Furniture refurbishing is another source of side cash that’s grown thanks to the popularity of resale markets. If you can refinish wood, fix scratches, and reupholster dilapidated cushioning, then you’re already a step ahead of the game. If not, there are a host of YouTube videos on the topic that can help you learn the ropes. You can search for well-worn furniture at garage sales, on Facebook Marketplace, through Facebook “Buy Nothing” groups, and other resale markets. Fix it up and you can resell it at a higher price to make some extra cash.
Refurbishing electronics can be a reliable way to earn extra money without leaving your home. There’s a niche market for retro appliances like the Sunbeam Radiant Control Toaster, which reportedly makes the perfect toast. But the midcentury toasters aren’t up to snuff from a wiring perspective, so savvy electricians have made a killing refurbishing them and turning them for a profit. More comfortable with modern electronics? You can earn cash by refurbishing smartphones, laptops, and more.
Freelance writing can be a source of good money if you have the right balance of skills and tenacity. Start by studying the best practices for the writing discipline you plan to specialize in (Will you be writing lifestyle blogs? Taglines? Captions for a branded social media account?). What makes for good writing in one context may not directly translate into another, so you want to start by doing your homework and focusing on your niche. Doing this extra work will help you become an expert quicker, maximizing your earning potential.
Platforms like Upwork can connect you to potential clients if you don’t have an existing network. The clients on those platforms can also be hit or miss and tend to be on the lower end of the pay scale, but they can help you get your foot in the door. LinkedIn can be a really useful place to find freelance writing clients, especially with the “open to work” feature.
Take Surveys Online
Taking surveys online is about as easy as easy money gets. To make money taking surveys, you first need to register with a survey site or two… or several (Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, MyPoints, Life Points, Branded Surveys, etc). Once you do, you can get paid by companies—via gift card or PayPal—to give them feedback about their products/services or your interests, helping them fine-tune their offerings. Each online survey will be low pay, but it’s easy work and can add up if you’re simply looking for an easy way to earn extra money.
Try Out the Business You’ve Always Dreamed of Starting
Have you always wanted to start your own business? Are you reading this article looking for a specific business type in the hope that we’ll give you permission to follow your dream? Then you already know the best way for you, personally, to make extra money. Passion goes a long way in turning your side hustle into a success, and many successful entrepreneurs have started their business as a side gig so that they can test their concept before they jump all the way in.
If you’ve got an idea that’s not on this list, and you’re looking for a way to make it happen, the Start Your Side Hustle Free Training can help. In the free course, you’ll learn how to launch your side hustle in 30 days.
Work from Home Ideas—Finding a Job That Works for You
Want a career that gives you the flexibility to work from home? We’ll show you some real ways to build a career while working remotely.
Social Media Manager
A social media manager is responsible for representing the voice of a brand across all its social media channels. The work of a social media manager often includes creating content for various social media channels, leading social media strategy, scheduling posts, and engaging with customers on social media.
Social media has always been a flexible career, and in the wake of the pandemic, more companies than ever are allowing their social media managers to work remotely.
Email marketing refers to the process of sending emails to a customer or subscriber base. Professionals who work in email marketing typically manage the messages that are sent to a brand’s audience, the cadence of the emails, managing email lists, and tracking the performance of email campaigns.
Content marketing refers to the creation and dissemination of blogs, guides, videos, white papers, and other digital materials for marketing purposes. Content marketing should create real value for a user while building brand awareness. Because of this, content marketing is often a great remote career for former journalists.
Online tutors provide learning support in different subjects via online platforms. If you’re interested in working as an online tutor, you may have to brush up on the latest teaching practices (the way math is taught, for example, has changed from how you might have learned addition or multiplication 20 years ago). Once you do, you can specialize in specific subjects or offer broad learning support. There are a couple of ways to generate work as an online tutor. You can freelance, leveraging your network and marketing skills to drum up business, or you can work for a larger agency or company. With the latter, you’ll make less money on a per-student basis, as the company will take a cut, but you’ll benefit from increased stability.
A developer—also known as a dev, programmer, coder, or software engineer—uses IT languages to create software, including websites, online platforms, and apps. Software development is technical work that will require substantial training, but once you have the expertise, your skills will be in high demand. Developers can typically command high salaries and control their hours/where they work.
Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives are responsible for fielding customer communications, including questions, issues, and complaints. As a customer service representative, you’ll be responsible for answering questions about products and the brand, processing orders and returns, and facilitating solutions to more complex customer issues. A customer service representative typically works during set hours, and because we’ve come to expect 24/7 customer support, many brands offer multiple shifts for customer support work. So, if you’re looking for a remote job that allows you to work nights or weekends, this is a great option.
Recruiters work to find valuable candidates for open positions. They either work in-house in an HR department, for an agency or as self-employed consultants. Recruiting has long been a remote work option, and it’s only gotten more remote-friendly with the predominance of LinkedIn. If you’re someone who really enjoys meeting new people, this might be the career for you. Recruiters often have to cold pitch potential candidates to find the right person for the role. Then you’ll also have to pre-screen professionals and present them to the hiring manager. If you’re a social butterfly and consider yourself a student of human behavior, then recruiting might be your dream home job.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising differs from typical “social media management” roles in that it focuses specifically on paid advertising on social media platforms. While organic social posts and social ads will have some similarities from platform to platform, they differ in what makes them most successful.
What’s appealing about social media advertising? Because of the ability to segment audiences, you can target customers better on social media than through pretty much any other advertising outlet. Do it right, and paid social media advertising can become the brand’s highest lead source. Do it wrong, and social media advertising can get real expensive real quick (with no real returns). Because of the high-risk, high-reward nature of social media advertising, companies look for professionals with expertise in Facebook ads, YouTube ads, and Instagram ads. As Tiktok’s social currency continues to grow, the demand for marketers who know the platform will continue to grow.
You can maintain a copywriting career with a laptop and reliable internet connection, making this one of the careers that you can do from pretty much anywhere. Copywriting, the profession of writing for marketing and advertising purposes, provides stability and flexibility once you have the necessary skills and expertise to draft winning copy from anywhere. You can work as a copywriter with a broad range, providing landing pages, web pages, SEO copy, blog posts, tag lines, branding copy, ad copy, and more… or you can specialize in one of those niches.
Level up to Make Your Next Move
Looking for more ways to develop your skills so that you can become a money-making machine? We’re here to help every step of the way. Check out our courses for different ways you can level up your skills so you can take your career—or your small business—to the next level.