9 Legit Online Jobs for Stay-At-Home Parents

Forget the 9-5 grind and explore the work-from-home opportunities available for busy parents

Before I found VBO Nation, I spent years trying to find legit work from home jobs. I wasn’t doing it because I was lazy and hated waking up early every morning, I was doing it because the cost of childcare was gut-wrenchingly expensive and raising children is an expensive endeavor by itself. It was going to cost us over $2,000 to put our two youngest children in daycare. That meant I was going to have to make at least $5,000 a month to cover childcare and household bills. Yikes.

I would get lucky here and there and land a few gigs while I was freelancing, but the problem I quickly found with freelance work is that the pay is sporadic and can be very unpredictable (without a proper plan in place, of which I had absolutely none). However, I did learn a thing or two in those years and that brings me to the aim of this article — to show you how to land actual paying jobs with little or no experience while working from home.

Data Entry

This one is kind of a no-brainer. I’m sure you’ve seen this pop up on plenty of other lists. Data entry is a great entry-level job (see what I did there?) that requires virtually no prior experience or special skills, making it an excellent job choice for a stay-at-home parent. It’s at the top of the list because of the extremely low barrier of entry. There are thousands of businesses popping up and they’re all run by data — the ones that have a hope of succeeding, anyway. Typically, raw data comes in through various mediums and formats and companies need that data put into their own system so that it can be properly categorized, segmented, and analyzed. 

What You Need To Get Started

As long as you have decent typing skills, a computer with an internet connection, and the ability to focus, you’ll land this stay-at-home job in no time.

Projected Pay

You can expect to start around the $11-$13/hr range. If you already have prior experience, you might be able to land some $15+ jobs. It can go up from there but don’t expect to start out making $20 an hour, and that’s about where it will top out at.

Resources

  • This article has a fairly comprehensive list of companies that regularly hire for data entry.
  • You can also check out sites like Upwork, or offer your services through Fiverr to get some experience. It’s almost inevitable that some of these freelancing gigs will turn into full-time work.

Transcriptionist

Transcriptionists can work in many different fields, and I’m using the word as an umbrella-term to try and cover them all. Your duties are fairly simple: you listen to audio and type it out into a specific text format. The legal and medical fields are probably the two biggest industries, but there are also many businesses that offer general transcription services. 

What You Need To Get Started

Typing speed, attention to detail, and in-depth knowledge of grammar and punctuation. Of course, you’ll need a computer and a space that will allow you to go through hours of audio. These jobs are not too difficult to find, but if you plan on getting into the medical or legal fields, you may be required to receive some sort of certificate, as it’s very important to understand the terms used within those fields while transcribing.

Projected Pay

Landing a decent gig from home is going to net you around $15/hr. Some places will pay you by the actual size of the project (hours of audio transcribed). If you get in one of the specialized fields, you can expect $20+ an hour and on up to $30/hr on the high end. 

Resources

  • Check out this article for a comprehensive list of transcription companies that hire regularly.
  • Again, you can check out Upwork, Fiverr, or Toptal if you’re feeling particularly froggy.

Customer Service

Having waited tables in various restaurants for about six years, this word makes me cringe. However, I’m using it as another umbrella-term. These days, there are many different forms of customer service, and there are many opportunities to find work like this from home. You could be taking phone calls (not always doable with little ones running around, I’ve found) or you could be a chat agent - speaking with customers through various chat programs. Some companies also use social media as their customer service platform, which is completely acceptable and almost expected these days.

What You Need To Get Started

If you’re going to be taking phone calls, the company is likely going to require you to have a landline or some special software installed on your computer with a headset (most likely). If you’re chatting people up via chat programs or social media, you’re obviously going to need a computer. There really aren’t any technical skills you’ll need, but you’ll need to bring your soft skills with you: that is, empathy, attentive listening, critical thinking, and the ability to troubleshoot. Whatever job you land will likely have a training period in which you’ll learn all of the common issues and how to solve them.

Projected Pay

The pay for most of the customer service jobs is on par with the data entry jobs - about $11-$13 an hour to start out with a high-end job netting around the $17/hr mark, but don’t expect anything over $20 an hour. However, there may be bonuses involved to sweeten the pot a bit.

Resources

  • This article provides quite a few resources and an in-depth perspective on customer service jobs. 
  • You should also check out this article for a comprehensive list of top companies hiring at-home customer service agents.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants have been gaining popularity in recent years as entrepreneurs and freelancers become more successful and start new businesses. Virtual assistants provide a very important function to a new business, many of them taking on various roles within a new company - customer service, data entry, project management, etc. Each job is going to be different and require a different set of tasks to be completed depending on the business and industry itself. However, the flexibility of the job makes it an excellent candidate for stay-at-home parents looking to work from home.

What You Need To Get Started

There are many entry-level virtual assistant jobs that will require no prior experience. Then there are some of the higher-end jobs that will ask for several years worth of experience. No matter which category you fall into, you’re going to need attention to detail, excellent time management skills, organization skills, and attentive listening skills. It’s another really decent, legit work from home job that you can get started with right away.

Projected Pay

If you’re just starting out with no prior experience, you can expect to be hired at around $11-$13 an hour. If you have prior experience, or if you are familiar with certain software that the business uses, you can expect $15-$17 an hour and upwards of $25 an hour.

Resources

  • This article will provide more detail and some additional resources.
  • This one has a decent curated list of platforms that you can use to find work.

Blogging

People will tell you blogging is easy money. It’s not. While blogging is the perfect stay at home job for parents, blogging takes a lot of planning, dedication, hard work, and patience to pull off. Bloggers make money from ads, affiliate marketing, selling their own products and services, and sponsorships - or relationships with big brands. Building an audience takes time and a LOT of pre-planned content. Obviously, the bigger the audience, the bigger the payout. The trick is going to be finding something you’re passionate about and having the ability to convey that through your content. 

You’re going to need to be interesting, unique, and provide value to your audience. Make no mistake, you will be your own boss, but that means everything is going to fall on your shoulders - the planning, writing, editing, development of lead gen pieces, upkeep of older articles, on-page and technical SEO, social media. The list goes on…

What You Need To Get Started

Technically, you can start for free. All you’ll need is a free website and a computer. However, serious blogging is going to require a little more. A website with no 3rd party ads, hosting, plugins, a few select pieces of software and you’re looking at around $50/month upkeep on the low end with some upfront costs.

Projected Pay

There isn’t really a number for this. Your pay is only restricted by your own drive and creativity. Some bloggers are happy with bringing in an extra $500 a month, while others are out there making $20,000 a month or more.

Resources

I could list a hundred different links, and it would still just be a drop in the bucket. Instead, here are three articles that you can use to get started. Each one has a plethora of additional resources that you’ll want to explore as you become more familiar with the concept as you start to get more of an idea of what you want to do.

Ghostwriting

Let’s face it, people can be lazy. On the other hand, they might have a really good idea but their writing skills may be lacking. So, if you’re a halfway decent writer, there’s a huge market for ghostwriters in the freelancing world. You could be writing literally anything - books, articles, website copy, blogs, etc…

What You Need To Get Started

You might need some prior writing experience to get started, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be ghostwriting experience, just writing experience in general. You’re going to need to be able to display a command over different writing styles and voices and of course, proper grammar and punctuation. You may also be asked to write on a specific topic as the ‘interview’ to see if you’re a good fit. All of this, of course, needs to be done with a computer.

Projected Pay

The pay range for being a ghostwriter is fairly broad and non-specific. I did some ghostwriting gigs years ago and made about $5 per 300-word article. I’ve also written blog articles for $25 a pop. Then again, if you’re really good and land a book deal, you can expect to earn $5,000 or more, plus the possibility of recurring royalties. Most places will pay you per 100 or 1000 words, some will pay by the project. You’ll very rarely find a ghostwriting gig that pays by the hour.  However, if you enjoy writing and find a niche that you can write well about, ghostwriting can be a fantastic at-home job for parents.

Resources

Check out this article for a more comprehensive look at ghostwriting in general.

This article has a good list of places to look to get started as a ghostwriter.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is another broad term that can encompass many different areas of focus. You could specialize in email marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media marketing, website creation, SEO, affiliate marketing, public relations, or graphic design. Some of these are going to require different sets of skills and expertise to be able to pull off, but some are fairly easy to learn on their own.

What You Need To Get Started

This is going to depend on any prior experience or interest you have. Graphic design, website creation, and SEO are going to require some very technical skills and expertise to be able to pull off. However, social media and content marketing have a pretty low ceiling for mastery and can be learned through just a few courses or YouTube videos (or common sense).

Obviously, what you will need to get going will depend on what you choose to pursue. Certain subscriptions, programs, and software may be required, especially for the more technical areas of interest. However, the broad scope of work available and ability to demonstrate expertise without needing an extensive education makes this a go-to for many parents looking to make money from the comfort of their home, on their time.

Projected Pay

Like blogging, this is all going to depend on you. Do you want to be a social media manager and help other businesses run their social accounts? You could charge $300 or more a month easy and take on as many clients as you have time for. Or, you could specialize in inbound and content marketing and sell packages to businesses for thousands of dollars or be put on retainer. If you get really good at SEO (both technical and on-page) you can charge anywhere from $500 to $3,000 a month per client for set up and upkeep. If you have experience building websites, you can land $10,000 projects with a badass portfolio. A graphic designer can charge $50 or more for a simple logo design for new businesses, or put together branding packages for thousands of dollars.

Resources

  • This is an excellent article that breaks down many of the digital marketing subsets, with additional resources.
  • This article is for those aspiring graphic designers.
  • Check out this one if you’re interested in web design.
  • If you’re interested in SEO, check out this article for a sneak peek and additional resources.
  • Of course, if there is something specific you’d like to drill down on, check out sites like Skillshare or Udemy - there are hundreds of courses (thousands in some cases) that can teach you everything you’d ever need to learn.
  • Additionally, you can check out this article on certifications within the industry and exactly how to obtain them. Some are free, some are not. 

E-Commerce

This one can be a bit tricky but can provide a very flexible, stable income for the stay-at-home parent. E-commerce can encompass dropshipping, Amazon FBA or private label, or your own online store with your own products. You can sell on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, your own site — or all of the above at the same time.

If you don’t feel like taking the time to create your own products and selling them, you can always buy discounted items in bulk and mark up the price on individual sales or drop ship and sell someone else’s products altogether. No matter what you choose, there will be a process involved. You won’t only have to worry about inventory, but also a website or online store, a merchant account, customer service, advertising, shipping and returns, etc.

What You Need To Get Started

This will depend entirely on what route you choose to go. No matter what, you will be setting up some sort of merchant account to process payments, which will need to be plugged into any or all of your storefronts. If you want to have your own website, you will likely go with something like Shopify and have a few paid plugins to help manage the process. 

If you have the upfront cash to go the Amazon FBA route, you’ll also need to pay for storage of your goods and be prepared to keep the warehouse stocked and your account up to date. If you buy discounted items in bulk and sell them individually, where will you store them? How do you plan to ship? Facebook and Instagram both have the ability to sell directly within their platforms and could be a good starting place if you want to just test the waters, but then you’ll want to do a bit of advertising and social media management to get the ball rolling.

Projected Pay

It’s not unusual to make tens of thousands of dollars per month by running an e-commerce store. While that projection is relatively high, it’s also fairly easily attainable if you plan it right. The key is going to be effective marketing and outstanding customer service. It really is one of those opportunities that starts making you money instantly. Some people have even gotten so good at it, they create an online store within a particular niche, get it going, and sell it for huge chunks of cash.

Resources

Like with blogging, there are literally thousands of resources available. Here are three that will give you a good head start.

Bookkeeping

Just because you can run a business doesn’t mean you have the skills or knowledge to keep your books up-to-date. There are thousands of entrepreneurs and freelancers out there looking for someone to take over their bookkeeping. If you have any bit of prior experience or are willing to take a few courses, you can manage several clients and make a nice living as a stay-at-home parent.

What You Need To Get Started

Some experience would be helpful, but it’s not required. There are plenty of resources where you can learn about the process, laws, and specific software that you’d be using. Accounting is very precise and there is NO room for error, so you will need a keen eye for detail, superior organization skills, and be very responsible with clients and their information. 

Projected Pay

This can vary quite a bit depending on whether or not you have any sort of degree, certifications, or prior experience. If you’re first starting out you can expect to make around $14 an hour. However, experienced bookkeepers can expect to make upwards of $30 an hour and more if you turn it into a freelance business and manage multiple clients.

Resources

  • Starting with Skillshare and Udemy, there are plenty of courses from industry experts that go beyond just being a bookkeeper.
  • This article has a good list of online bookkeeping certificate programs.
  • And for a more in-depth look and a list of websites to find work through, check out this article.

Conclusion (With A Bonus Resource)

Now that you have some options and additional resources, it’s time to explore those options and see what’s right for you. These are by no means instant-hire jobs. Many of them take a lot of work and dedication to pull off. However, the only thing stopping you from making a lucrative living as a parent working from home is you. 

Whether you go the freelance route and become a virtual business owner (VBO) or you want to work as an employee for a single company where everything is laid out for you is completely up to your skills, comfort level, and the lifestyle you want to build.

Many parents choose to work from home because, like me, they want to save money on childcare or other expenses. Others want the quality time with their kids. Or, perhaps having a flexible schedule is your main motivation. All are good reasons to choose this work from home lifestyle.

As a bonus resource, check out SearchTempest. It basically searches all of Craigslist for whatever it is you’re looking for and can be a huge resource for finding work online, no matter your profession.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out more of VBO Nation for additional resources and helpful guides to get your online business booming.

Matt Ford

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: