It took me a long time to decide what work I could do from home. I looked into lots of different opportunities. First of all I considered virtual assistant work, but I realised it was a competitive market. Many people already doing it had a stronger secretarial background than me, so instantly it seemed harder to sell my services.
Then I looked into baby clothes. I enjoy sewing and being creative so I spent some time personalising baby clothes. I was pleased with what I’d done but when I balanced up the costs against what I could sell the clothes for there wasn’t much money making potential. I then looked at secondhand designer baby clothes, and from my research I worked out I could make some money from it. But it meant becoming an expert on what would be popular secondhand and there were upfront costs such as buying in stock and building an eye-catching and slick e-commerce site.
I then had a rethink. Any business which had upfront costs was a big no no because we simply didn’t have the money to spend on that. I thought about what I enjoyed doing and writing sprung to mind. I’ve spent many years sending off creative pieces of writing and never got anywhere with it, so I didn’t consider it as a career choice. But then I realised I could do a different type of writing: the writing I was doing on my personal blog. I looked at some freelancing sites and found a number of people looking for blog writers, I applied for a few things and pointed people in the direction of my personal blog. Luckily they liked what they saw and I had some work.
Other jobs appeared from other places too. I set up a professional site, which sounds fancy but isn’t. It just has a few pages on it describing the work I’ve done and linking to articles I’ve written. I’ve got some work via my professional site and other work through contacts I’ve made through blogging. I use social media in my blogging and my writing work has also developed into helping a few start-ups with their social media presence.
As for fitting this in around my children, I’ll make that another blog post. But my advice to anyone looking for ways to earn money from home is to think about what you’re good at and what you enjoy. If you have enough passion about it I believe you can make it work. Be confident too, plenty of people have told me they don’t like my writing or have ignored my e-mails with article ideas. I think you just have to keep plugging away at it and ignore the rejections.
Oh, and always do your sums to make sure your idea can make money. If I hadn’t spent hours on a spreadsheet I could be running a loss-making baby clothes business now!