Many years ago, when I began brainstorming home-based business ideas, many occupations came to mind, event planner, professional organizer, and personal concierge.
But when I asked myself, “How do I envision my daily life?” it didn't include running all around town, being on call, working holidays, nights, or weekends.
When I sat down and mapped out my dream life, it involved working from inside my home with a flexible schedule. Meaning I could work any hours from anywhere in the world. While there are a lot of home-based business opportunities out there — many of them require you to work standardized hours or to leave the comfort of your home.
If you want to have complete freedom over your schedule, then check out these 9 flexible home-based business ideas that allow you to work whenever you want.
1) Blogger — Do You Enjoy Writing and Marketing?
Obviously, I'm a huge advocate for starting your own blog. But let me tell you why blogging is such a great business to start.
- It builds a business platform for other opportunities like freelance writing, coaching, speaking, marketing, or even direct selling.
- Showcases your expertise.
- Introduces you to people and opportunities you would not have been privileged to before.
- It takes very little money to start and run.
- You can blog about ANYTHING!
When you're a blogger, you'll be doing many different tasks at once. You'll be researching, writing, editing, and taking photos for blog posts so that you can publish excellent content.
You'll have to deal with tech issues, like adding new plugins, modifying your sidebar, or trying to figure out why your site is running slow. Another task will be distributing your articles on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
You will also be interacting with readers through blog comments, social media platforms, and email. And don't forget about providing customer service and support to your advertisers and sponsors. While it takes time to make money from blogging, it truly is one of the most flexible careers you can have, and you get to write about what you love!
Ways to Make Money Blogging
Bloggers make their money in a multitude of ways, including:
- Direct ad sales
- Affiliate marketing
- Working with ad networks
- Sponsored content
- Holiday gift guides
- Selling courses, products, and printables
- Selling services like freelance writing, design, or social media
How much you earn as a blogger will depend greatly on your determination, mindset, and niche.
Real-Life Blogging Example
Ruth Soukup is the brain behind the popular blogs, Living Well Spending Less and Elite Blog Academy. She currently leads a team of nine employees and earns a whopping seven-figures a year! The majority of her income comes from selling physical planners and online courses, but she also dabbles in affiliate marketing. You can find out more about Ruth and her blogging success here and be sure to grab her free guide on how to boost your blogging income.
If you're interested in starting your own blog, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog for just $2.95 a month. And for additional blogging information — be sure to grab my free 28-page blogging e-book here!
2) Coach — Do You Enjoy Helping Others Achieve Their Goals?
Being a coach means helping people better their lives through focused dialog and practice. So if you have a desire to help others, are dependable, a good listener, and non-judgmental — launching a coaching business may be the perfect idea for you.
What type of coach you'll become will vary greatly upon the prior experience and training that you have. While some individuals specifically go to college or get additional training to become a coach, others fall into coaching, because they have extensive knowledge and passion for a particular subject matter.
Here are just a few of the niches you can work in:
- Career coaching
- Business coaching
- Fitness and wellness coaching
- Life coaching
- Parenting coach
- Sleep coach
Ways Coaches Make Money
Coaches can make money by facilitating one-on-one coaching sessions via phone, email, or Zoom. They can host group sessions or webinars. Or they can go the informational route and sell e-books, informational products, online courses, seminars, and mastermind groups.
Real-Life Coaching Examples
Traci Bild, Sarah Dew Finks, and Cynthia Occelli have all found success empowering women through their coaching services, and they're all making over $100K a year! You can read about their coaching success stories here.
3) Freelance Writer — Is Writing Your Passion?
As a freelance writer, you will research, write, and edit articles and documents for clients. Now, you may be thinking that you need an English degree to be a writer, but the truth is, anyone who enjoys writing can do it professionally.
The types of projects that you take on will vary on your prior knowledge, skill set, experience, and interests. The best piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a freelance writer, start writing every day! The more you write, the better and faster you'll get. Also, make sure that you're investing in your professional development by reading and participating in courses, webinars, and training.
Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer
As a writer, there are many different types of content you can write and a wide variety of niches to choose from!
- Advertising copy
- Blog posts
- Video and podcast scripts
- White papers
- Technical writing
- Resume writing
- Travel writing
- Magazine articles
- Case studies
- Grant writing
- Training manuals
Gina Horkey dipped her toe into the freelance writing pool when she was working full-time as a financial services advisor. Every morning she'd get up at 4 am and write for clients until she had to leave for work. She eventually was able to quit her corporate job and work as a freelancer full-time.
Today, Gina is a seven-figure business owner who teaches others how to successfully launch freelance writing and virtual assistant careers from home. Be sure to grab her freebie, 200+ Freelance Writing Niches, or check out her course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.
4) Social Media Marketer — Are You a Social Butterfly?
When you're working as a social media marketer, you'll manage small business owners' social media channels, so you'll need to be familiar with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok. You'll also need to know about the different types of content for each platform, such as images, videos, stories, written updates, or chatbot messages.
One of the best ways to land a social media gig is by having your own successful platforms and being active on them. Having your own platforms gives you examples of your work and detailed stats for potential clients to view.
You should also educate yourself on best practices — which social media is continuously changing, so you'll need to stay on top of trends, news, and updates.
Ways to Make Money as a Social Media Marketer
As a social media marketer, you can make money by setting up a client's social media profiles and accounts. You can be involved in sending out daily updates, moderating user-generated content, and answering questions online. Or you can specialize and be a social media correspondent at live events. You can also provide social media coaching consulting services, or sell online courses.
Back in 2015, Kristin Larsen started a blog on the side of her full-time career. During this time, she learned how to leverage Pinterest and soon had other business owners who wanted her help leveraging Pinterest too. Within her first six months, Kristin was averaging $3,600 a month, working part-time as a Pinterest virtual assistant.
Today, Kristin earns six figures a year blogging and teaching others how to run a Pinterest VA business from home! Sound intriguing? Be sure to sign-up for her free training workshop, How to Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant, and Land Your First Client.
5) Virtual Assistant — Are You a Multitasking Maven?
When you're working a virtual assistant, you help business owners with a variety of tasks. What services you offer your clients will depend on your skills, background training, prior experience, and your passions. No specialized training is needed to become a virtual assistant, but polishing your skills and learning new ones is always a good practice.
Ways to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant
As I said, the tasks that virtual assistants can work on are endless! Here is a short list of services you can offer to clients:
- Administrative services
- Appointment setting
- Calendar management
- Editing and proofreading
- Graphic design
- Social media management
- Travel arrangements
- Technical support
Real-Life Success Story
For 18 years, Tawnya Sutherland ran a successful virtual assistant business from home. She eventually decided to pivot and help other aspiring VAs with their own careers at VA Networking, which provides a community and education for people interested in running their own VA businesses.
6) Travel Agent — Do You Love to Travel?
Working as a travel agent might seem a little outdated in today's world of Kayak and Airbnb, but in reality, many people still prefer to work with travel agents. Why? Because experienced travel coordinators help travelers save money, time, and all kinds of travel-related headaches.
Ways to Make Money as a Travel Agent
As a home-based travel agent, you'll collaborate with a host agency, and earn a commission on all the travel arrangements you book. Not sure where to get started? Companies like Cruise Planners offers a home-based franchise opportunity that gives you the training and tools necessary to run your own business from home. Best of all, it's 100 percent flexible (you can book travel anytime during the day or night)!
Lori Foster is a former high school Earth Science teacher who became a Cruises Inc. independent vacation specialist. She wanted the ability to work from home when her children were babies, and the flexibility to create her hours so that she could attend school events when they got older. You can read more about her story here.
7) Transcriber – Are You a Fast and Accurate Typists?
If you're a fast and accurate typist, you can work from home as a transcriber. Transcribers listen to audio clips and then type out the audio file into a written document.
There are three types of transcription, general, medical, and legal (the latter two require additional training). While this seems like a job that anyone can do –, you need to possess excellent listening skills and an advanced understanding of the English language.
How Transcribers Earn Money
Transcribers are paid on the amount of work they complete; sometimes, the pay is per audio minute, and other times it's per page or audio file. Generally, the faster you can type, the more work you can complete, the more money you can earn. Again, this gig is entirely flexible, and you can do transcription work at any time as long as you're able to meet your deadlines.
Janet Shaughnessy had a demanding corporate job, but after her husband became disabled, she needed to earn an income from home so she could care for him. She had taken transcribing class in high school and was quickly able to turn this skill into a lucrative home-based career.
Today, Janet teaches others how to break into the field of general and legal transcription. For more on this flexible business idea, be sure to sign-up for her free mini-courses:
8) Bookkeeper – Are You a Numbers Geek?
Do you love numbers? Are you organized and thorough? Then working from home as a bookkeeper may be your calling. Bookkeepers help small business owners manage their monthly income and expenses. With the right accounting software, bookkeepers can run their businesses 100 percent online, any time of the day. Bookkeepers don't need a college degree like accountants, but taking an online course or interning for a company can help you learn the ropes.
How Bookkeepers Make Money
As a home-based bookkeeper, you likely spend the bulk of your time entering clients' income and expenditures into accounting software. Sometimes, you'll need to set this up for a client if they don't already have something in place. You may also be responsible for payroll, paying sales tax, and reconciling bank or credit card statements.
Callie Sitek started her work-at-home journey as a virtual assistant but then decided to make the switch to bookkeeping. Callie had no prior bookkeeping experience, aside from transcribing her dad's business receipts when she was younger and muddling her own VA business income and expenditures. To get up to speed, Callie took an online bookkeeping course through the Bookkeepers. Her business grew so fast that she had to hire two additional bookkeepers for her business.
To see if you have the right personality for bookkeeping, check out this free 3-part training from the Bookkeepers.
9. Proofreader – Do You Have an Eagle Eye?
If you enjoy reading and you have excellent spelling and grammar skills, you could start a freelance proofreading business from home. Authors, writers, bloggers, small business owners, copywriters, and law firms all need documents proofed for errors and inconsistencies.
How Proofreaders Make Money
As a proofreader, you'll have many different types of projects that you can choose from, like blog posts, and video scripts to books, courses, brochures, even legal transcripts. However, proofing legal transcripts will require some further education and specialized knowledge.
Caitlin Pyle had just gotten fired from her day job, where she had learned how to proofread for court reporters. So, she decided to go out on her own and provide freelance proofreading services from home. Not only was she able to replace her income, today she teaches others how to earn a living proofreading from home.
If you're curious about proofreading, check out her free 76-minute workshop, to see if this is the right flexible business for you.
As you can see, there are many flexible home-based business ideas for women that will allow you to have control over your time and make good money working from home. Now it's up to you to choose the right business for your personality and lifestyle.
Are you ready to start a business from home? Grab our FREE simplified business plan here to get started.
Originally published September 18, 2014. Content updated on July 29, 2020.