5 Tips for Earning Money at Home
Picture this: baby is napping in the other room, a chicken is in the oven roasting for dinner while youâ€™re at the computer, meeting a deadline. Today, more and more stay-at-home mamas are becoming working-at-home mamas, a transition that is fed by increasing financial needs and technological advancements (read: meetings held by gchat, skype or facetime; documents emailed and scanned).
At-home employment has many faces: some women own their own businesses ranging from public relations and graphic design to massage therapy and life coaching. Others work for an organization in a marketing, sales or assistant capacity.Â Whatever your skills and experience may be, and whatever time you have to dedicate to the work â€“ there is a gig for you.
Diana Ennen, author of several books including So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom: A Christianâ€™s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business (Beacon Hill Publishers), has been self-employed since 1985. She recommends that moms consider the following as they aim to earn money from home;
Do what you love. Working at home is exactly that â€“ working. Distractions may beckon â€“ snacks in the fridge, a rug that needs to be vacuumed, a chatty neighbor â€“ but you still have professional responsibilities to meet and meeting them is much easier if you enjoy what you do. Seek out work that is aligned not only with your skills, but also with your interests.
Follow those who have done it already. Take the time to find other mothers who are successfully working at home. A community of support will help you avoid common mistakes and answer key questions â€“ no, itâ€™s not possible to edit an academic text while your two-year old is throwing fish sticks at your head.
Be professional. You may do the bulk of your working-at-home in your pajamas at the kitchen table, but that doesnâ€™t mean that youâ€™re anything less than professional. Make a commitment to keep your commitments (have a deadline? Meet that deadline.); donâ€™t take important business calls when your little one is around clamoring for your attention and turn in quality work.
Be your brand. Add legitimacy to your at-home endeavor by creating a brand that supports it. Create business cards and a website that details your skills and services.
Continually market yourself. Woohoo! Youâ€™ve landed your first two clients, but that doesnâ€™t mean that you can stop the hustle. You canâ€™t work at home if you donâ€™t have anything to work on, so factor marketing and networking into your weekly work schedule. When one project is over, there should be another waiting in the pipeline.
Marisa Belger is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and mama. When not running around with her five-year old boy â€” or preparing for the birth of his little brother â€” she writes about parenting, natural beauty, wellness and green living for publications like Natural Health, Prevention and TODAYShow.com, or collaborates on books like Josh Dorfmanâ€™s The Lazy Environmentalist.