26 Ways to Earn Money at Home Without Selling

Be a WAHM Without Doing Sales

You can be a WAHM without ever having to look like this.

In today’s world, it’s harder and harder to raise a family on a single income.

For some parents, that problem is easily solved: Mom and Dad both work.

But for others, the solution is a giant ball of stress.  That’s where we were back in 2007.

We decided to make me a work at home mom (WAHM).  Only, we had a major problem.

I’m an introvert.  I like to STAY HOME.

Frankly, just the thought of running around doing parties and recruiting friends to join my “business opportunity” made me want to take a nap.

I found my solution (you’re reading it).  But it took hours and hours of research, some seriously bad decisions, and years of trial and error to figure out.

I wrote this post as a rescue for other parents who want to earn an honest living at home without hosting a single Mary Kay makeover, taking a single supplement pill, or signing up your 80-year-old grandma to sell Amway.

Why Most “Business Opportunities” Fail

The Networking Marketing business is BIG business. We’re talking billions.  This means, that for some people, multi-level marketing (MLM) really works.  Which is awesome.

If you’ve discovered a product you’re really passionate about, and want to sell it to your friends, I say go for it and make your millions. 

Most people, though, who sign up to sell those things end up crashing and burning a few weeks later.

it’s not really their fault.  They require something most parents are usually really short on.

If there’s one thing my husband’s sales job has taught me, it’s that sales should really be spelled T.I.M.E.

  • Time to set up a sales goals and objectives.
  • Time to analyze target markets
  • Time to develop a marketing plan for those markets.
  • Time to market to that market.
  • Time to follow-up on those efforts later.
  • Time to close the sale.

So, shooting for something different, I’m only going to share the opportunities and companies that are sales-free.

Being different:  It’s how I roll.

Use Your Cubicle Skills at the Kitchen Table

Here are some WAHM opportunities for the entrepreneurials among us.  These are Independent Contractor (aka Work For Yourself) jobs.  You won’t have to sell anything, but you will have to organize yourself, put more effort into budgeting your personal finance, and be your own boss.

That’s awesome because you are in complete control of how much and when you work.

It’s NOT awesome because come tax-time you’ll be responsible to pay the taxes on everything you earn.

Hire Out Your Skills

There are two companies I would recommend for moms wanting to hire themselves out on a project-by-project basis:

  • ODesk ~ If you have talents that make you a good administrator, or writer, or customer service representative, Odesk will connect you to companies who need your skills. Open to all nations!!  www.odesk.com to start your profile.  Free to join.
  • Hire My Mom ~ www.hiremymom.com This company links professional WAHMs with companies who need their services. Companies post what services they need, and you bid to become their Go-To-Gal. Costs $29.95 for a quarter or $99 for a year.
  • Elance ~ www.elance.com If you have any graphic design, writing, programming, or other technical skills, Elance will let you freelance yourself across the world. Personally, this is my go-to place when I need a smarter, more creative brain than my own.  I use it ALL the time.  I will warn you, it takes time to get to know how the website is organized. But you can make some seriously sweet cash from less talented people such as myself!
  • Etsy ~ www.etsy.com Are you crafty? Can you make beautiful things?  Etsy is like a gynormous flea shop on line.  Have your own storefront and sell your goods around the world. When I need sponsors for my Mystery Mom Contests, this is exactly where I head!

Website Writer/Blogger

Passionate about a topic? Create a website/blog about it and bring in income for your family 24/7/365.  I know this works, because this is what I did (and still do).  😉

I started my first website in 2007, when I knew NOTHING about the Internet except how to email.

Here’s the company I used to teach me what I needed to learn.

Let me warn you though, blogging is insanely hard work.  A lot of fun, yes, but a LOT of work.  I spend hours and hours on this website every week.  Be prepared to make sacrifices to get things moving.  Once the ball rolls down the hill, though, you’re efforts compound on themselves.

One could argue that it takes as much time as selling in fact, but if you can commit to it, it reaps excellent rewards.

  • You get to interact with amazing people all over the world.
  • You get to do something you love.
  • You can promote things you’re passionate about.
  • You can earn money 24/7 on articles and posts you wrote 5 or 6 years ago. This means that the time you DO give it, can keep paying you for years and years ahead.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the pros/cons of becoming a professional blogger, feel free to write me at heather (at) incredibleinfant(dot) com.

In-Home Babysitter

Offer babysitting from your home.  Call a local church, list in the local paper, or hang up fliers advertising.  First research how much other places are charging, then offer a discount for the first few children.

Most states will allow you to watch 3 kids or less without needing a license.  Look up the rules for your state.

Grant Writer

Good grant writers can make some seriously good money.  If you love to research and helping non-profits makes you feel warm and fuzzy, head over to www.agwa.us for details.

Teach a Musical Instrument

Music lessons are SUPER expensive.  We pay $20 for a half hour per child! Trim a few dollars off your local going rate, with the understanding that students come to your home.

Hang up signs, advertise in the paper, call your local homeschool groups, and see what happens!

Become a Mystery Shopper

Probably not the best “steady” opportunity here, but since you get paid to shop…I had to mention them.

Keep in mind that as fun as it sounds, they are looking for helpful and detailed reports.  The better and more precise your shopping account, the more likely they are to use you again!

  • National Shopping Service ~ www.nationalshoppingservice.com The mother of all mystery shopping sites.
  • Amusement Advantage ~ www.amusementadvantage.com Mystery shopping at amusement parks!
  • BestMark ~ www.bestmark.com Contains many Fortune 500 companies with restaurants, casinos, retail stores, and resorts.
  • MSPA ~ www.mysteryshop.org/ Mystery Shopping Providers Association  has a directory of 100% scam-proof WAHM opportunities

Medical Transcriptions

This is a little tricky, since medical billing and transcriptions requires some training.  Applied Medical Services ~ www.appliedmedicalservices.com can help connect you with work.

Companies Hiring At-Home Employees

Here are actual companies who are specifically looking for a WAHM like you.  You won’t have to worry about taxes (since they will withhold for you), and in many cases they offer benefits.

The main negative with using a WAHM company is flexibility.  Some of them allow you to set your own hours, being project based.  Some of them, though, require you to work certain hours.

Some of them only allow US applicants, but not all!  Visit their websites to dig out more details.

Customer Care

These companies use at-home-workers to provide customer service to their clients (companies).

Keep in mind as you apply that these jobs are not really work-and-parent at the same time types of jobs.  You will need to have working hours without interruptions.  Plan on using a husband in the evenings, or a sitter for one or two days a week.

[pullquote width=300 float=right]If you need affordable childcare, call a local homeschool group and ask for referrals.  High-school aged homeschoolers are very eager to make money (less expensive!), can come to your home (less schedule disruptions for your baby!), and usually very hard-working and polite.

Since they are homeschooled, they can come and watch your child in your home during the day, and do schoolwork during naps or in the evenings when they’re home.  It’s a win-win for everyone![/pullquote]

These companies have full-time and part-time work-at-home positions available.

  • West Corporationapply.westathome.com  There is a non-refundable $29.95 fee for a background investigation.
  • Alpine Access ~ jobs.alpineaccess.com  Hiring for both the US and Canada, and they do offer benefits.
  • VIPdesk ~ www.vipdesk.com Hires for US, Canada, and UK with benefits.
  • Uhaul ~ jobs.uhaul.com/contact_center.aspx?jobtype=workfromhome – Thanks to Elena who shared this one in the comments!

Blogger & Online Researcher

There are a few companies who will pay you per blog post or article to expand their online universe.

  • About.com ~ guide.about.com Only certain topics are available, but if you can research and write about these subjects, the pay is really good.
  • Families.com ~ about.families.com/become-a-blogger# Will pay you per blog post on their website.
  • Writers Research Group ~ www.writersresearchgroup.com Provides content for online and print media.
  • ChaCha ~ becomeaguide.chacha.com/ Wonderful way to bring in extra income!  This actually an Independent Contractor position. Basically, people ask questions, and you find them answers.  VERY EASY.

Online Tutoring

Teach others from the comfort of your iPad or laptop.

  • Smart Thinking ~ https://careers-smarthinking.icims.com
  • Homework Tutoring ~ http://www.homeworktutoring.com
  • GoFluent ~ http://gofluent.com Offers business English training for international companies (hire from Philippines, US, and Europe)

Outsourced Bookkeeping

For those WAHM with accounting backgrounds, you can do bookkeeping from home working for these companies.

  • Bookminders ~ http://www.bookminders.com Only for those in the Pittsburg or Philadelphia areas.
  • Balance Your Books ~ http://www.balanceyourbooks.com Available for anyone in the US

Now Go Forth, and Make Money

There you have it friends!! All my notes, nicely arranged.

I hope this list re-kindled some hope for you.  That it gave you some new options to try, new companies to look into.

Now all you have to do is start applying.

Let the life changing begin.


  1. Uhaul hires people to work at home for their contact center. http://jobs.uhaul.com/contact_center.aspx?jobtype=workfromhome

  2. For someone like me who has avoided becoming a MLM independent consultant like a plague, this list is great! Thanks for taking the time to research all other non-selling job opportunities.

  3. I’m a piano teacher, hire ME!
    Just kidding, but I love your blog and checked out some of these websites for extra income to supplement my piano teaching.

  4. Melanie C. Crawford says:

    Hello Heather,
    I found your article on Pinterest (so glad). I spent the last five years writing curriculum for one of the largest school districts in the US . I am curious about doing that level of work for myself.

  5. Mrs Smith says:

    I’m taking the plunge to give up my 14 year career for the Love of Family. I’m anxious & excited but facing a true reality of “what else can I do” from home. Your article is right on time. Thanks for the information, it will be put to good use.

  6. Oh, I love you! Thank you for this post! I’ve tried the Avon thing and a few other of those types of work. Never worked out… this is perfection!

    • Good April! I hope you can find one that works! I’m going to be working on another article similar to this one – if you’re not already a subscriber, you may want to get on my list so you can see it when it posts! Good luck friend!

  7. Hello!
    I live in Greece, I am a stay-at-home-mom and, from time to time, I search the Internet for ideas, tips and inspiration for some paid activity I could be able to do from home. I am a philologist, I speak 4 languages (and understand other two) and am passionate about books, working with kids and… Greece. Unfortunately, we are spending some hard times here the last few years, so the jobs are getting fewer and fewer. So I am eager to find something in order to be able to continue to live here in the future.
    I know that your tips apply better to your country’s data. Never the less, I can’t help myself but wonder if, in your digging over the net, have you found some information about writing articles or bloggin on travel / tourism subjects.
    I am not from Greece, I moved here 7 years ago. But I love this country, it’s places, it’s history and it’s people. Also, I can understand that, if something can work here those years that’s tourism. So I am searching for something in this field (not refusing others too…), something that I could do from home, since I have a child and hoping to expect another one soon.
    Thank you for your post. Greetings from Greece!

    • Ioana! Thank you so much for posting your comment! Sounds like you’re really passionate about getting to know and traveling around Greece! I would recommend taking a look at the company that first introduced me to the concept of making money online through blogging. It’s called Site Build It. It taught me the basics of blogging and the website I built there in 2007 is still bringing in monthly income, despite the fact that I haven’t added anything to it in 4 years. What do you think about doing a website about traveling Greece? SBI has a lot of tools – including helping your run numbers to make sure that your possible topic (traveling Greece) is a good choice for making money and getting visitors. You can read more about SBI here, or click here to watch a 30-minute video on how the whole thing works. I highly recommend it for moms who are just starting to think about making money through the Internet. Good luck friend!

      • Thank you for answering! Very nice of you. I’ll surely take a look. It sounds like a good idea. I just wonder if this could work nowadays. Who knows… Anyway, I hope to keep in touch. Good luck with your project! So happy to see that something is working out there. All the best!

  8. Awesome article! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m pregnant with my second now and I’m very interested in earning income from home. I absolutely do not want to use day care, so working at home would be amazing!
    Do you still make payments to SBI? I just checked out the link you posted and saw the two diff options they offer. I know you mentioned that you used them to start your first site years ago.

    • I believe the options are to pay monthly or pay yearly. Paying yearly saves you (I think) about $30. I do still have that website, and I do still pay SBI for it. Mostly because it is still bringing in more money than it costs to keep it going – this despite the fact that I haven’t opened up and worked on it since 2011. I still think that SBI is the best training tool on how to get your foot in the Online door. It’s not magic money – it takes a lot of effort for several months before things pay off. But it DOES make money eventually…and it’s good at continuing to make money on auto-pilot for years to come. I hope that answers your question. Good luck, friend!

  9. Everybody I have talked to that has start using the Internet eventually asks the question: How can I make money online? And for most people, they never learn what they need to do in order to make a couple hundred to thousands of dollars online.


    Everybody wants to make money online, but very few people know where to start. For most people it comes down to having to learn advanced skills that they never have time to master, resulting in the feeling of helplessness about making money online.


    Luckily for me, I found an easy way around that about a year ago. Instead of trying to learn crazy web languages or graphic design, I started search for nontechnical ways to make money online. This led me to taking paid surveys online.


    One of the great things about the Internet is that it can connect people and companies almost instantly, and companies have found out about it. Companies have found that they can receive almost instant feedback about their products, services, or ad campaigns through the Internet. This is called market research, and before it used to take companies hundreds of thousands of dollars and many months to find average and sometimes outdated data.


    Now, companies have a direct and almost instant link to people that use their products, and will pay people to help them speed up their market research. When I found out about it, I was a little skeptical, but I decided to try my hand at it anyway.


    What I found was that I could make decent money just by filling out online surveys for an hour or so, everyday. It was surprisingly easy since I could do them while chatting on Facebook or after my kids went to bed, so I figured I would give it a month and see how much I could earn. At the end of the month, I was so excited when my first check came in the mail for

    • I’m glad that was your experience. I did that before I started blogging, and it did make a little money – except that many times you have to do paid offers…so you’re investing up front for something, that you have to remember to cancel, in order to get paid on the back end. Unless things have changed a lot in the past 10 years. I guess I’m saying, buyer (or worker) beware. Read ALL the fine print and make sure you understand the process first. You could lose a lot of money, instead of making it.

      Also, it’s interesting that your comment stops RIGHT before you reveal your big earnings. I’m hoping you can come back and continue you testimony…

  10. Thanks for sharing this Rose! You have to be very careful with paid-survey sites, being disorganized can sometimes COST you more than you make. That said, I’m glad it has been helpful for you!

  11. Hi Heather, I wonder if I haven’t missed the bus so to speak… I’m nearing 50 and still at home – its difficult to find any work when you’ve been a stay at home mum for so long (girls beware… keep one finger on the workplace pulse). Anyway, I speak fluent French but live in NZ (these are two of my main leveraging areas) and I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to how to search for online jobs that accept NZ’ers. Is there a specific search I can/should do ? Thank you so much for the above article and any advice you can send my way. A bientot !


    • Mary, I’m not sure what kinds of skill sets you have (besides French) but it might be helpful to create a resume and see what jobs you can get via some freelance websites. Two that come to mind are HireMyMom.com and Upwork.com (used to be Odesk and Elance) This way you can try to reach people in NZ (or at least in your time zone) perhaps as a translator? Or a transcriptionist? I would look down those paths and see if anything inspires you. Hope this can help. xo

  12. hi heather… i tried the cha cha guide but the registration is closed . and i read about.com a little bit complicated since im not great at writing . another thing is . what do you think about youtube? i seen a lot of parents buying toys for their infant )walkers..ect) and video their baby playing it . with lots of views.  do you think youtube is a good start to make some money for a stay home mom ? What do you think on this? thank you

    • Lani, that’s a great question. It’s worth trying, why not! The main struggle you’ll have with online marketing is that it’s a big bad world wide web and getting visitors can be a challenge. Just be patient and do research on how to grow your youtube channel. (This article on video marketing may be helpful.)

      The other thing you’ll want to research more is diversification. If all of your income comes from one place (Youtube Ads), then you’re at the mercy of Youtube. They could decide to stop advertising and then you’ve got nothing. So try to find ways to have more than one stream of income. Hope this can help!

  13. https://mintvine.com

    Sign up for online surveys.. this one is my favorite 🙂 cashes out to your PayPal after every $10

  14. Jennifer says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am trying to find a way to help contribute to our income because my husband is the only one that works and although he has a good job with good benefits some extra income would help greatly. We have three children ages three, seven and ten and I am a stay at home mom. My husband suggested starting a vlog because he noticed I watch one daily but I am just not that great in front of a camera so I thought about starting a blog.  I noticed that wordpress is the best platform to use what is your recommendation?


    • WordPress is a great platform (I use it) because it’s very user-friendly. It has a blog layout similar to Word, so it’s easy to feel like it’s “doable”. You can also customize it pretty easily.

      That said, blogging as a business can be very overwhelming at first. There’s just so much to learn! How to pick a good topic, how to build an audience, how to handle social media, how to monetize your hard work, how to make Google love you so you get free traffic, how to create a newsletter people want to read, etc. etc.

      If you are really interested in blogging, and you have no tech background (like myself), I would recommend using a training company like SiteSell. They take all those tasks and break them down into manageable steps (including how to customize & use WordPress).

      I never would have gotten here without Sitesell. They really made things easy to learn. They ALSO have great tools to help you pick a profitable topic (which is REALLY important). When I started my first website with them, I KNEW it was going to provide me with an income, because I had used their algorithms to test it out. I believe it’s about $30 a month to get started, which (I think) is a great price, considering everything you’re getting. My very first website that I used with them is still trickling in money, and I haven’t TOUCHED it in over 5 years.

      Click here to visit the SiteSell website.

      If I were going to start this journey completely over, I would still begin it with them. Trying to piece together everything I needed to learn from a zillion sources really overwhelms. It’s very freeing to say, “That’s in Step 7. I’m in Step 4. I’ll learn about that when I get there.” Otherwise it can feel like everything has to be learned NOW. I hope this can help! Good luck!

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