work at home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6361/all en-US The 5 Worst Work From Home Jobs http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-work-from-home-jobs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-worst-work-from-home-jobs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sad-man-desk-466203577-small_0.jpg" alt="sad man desk" title="sad man desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Telecommuting &mdash; that is, working from home instead of a traditional office setting &mdash; offers employees freedom, flexibility, and nearly infinite pantlessness. No wonder it's a growing trend.</p> <p>Some work-at-home opportunities are more hype than hope, however, and many workers find that they are trading in convenience and lower commute costs for a lower earning potential and less job security. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs?seealso">30 Great Side Gigs</a>)</p> <p>So before you start fantasizing about an at-home work day, take a look at some of the <em>worst</em> jobs you can do from home, and why they often don't pan out for remote workers.</p> <h2>Mystery Shopping</h2> <p>I admit to having done this job myself, over the course of six years. For the college student, retired person, or foodie who just wants a little &quot;pocket change&quot; and a free meal once in a while, shopping incognito in exchange for some honest feedback can be fun. Mystery shopping is realistically more of a hobby than a real career, however, as assignments pay far less than minimum wage in many instances, and signing up for a steady stream of jobs is exhausting.</p> <p>For those who live in a busy urban area, it's possible to line up jobs that pay more or that come more often. Rural shoppers or those with less experience, however, will rarely see more than one job a week per shopping company, and the rate of pay is typically reimbursement for your shopping, plus $4-10. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper</a>.)</p> <h3>Direct Sales (MLM)</h3> <p>Many of the ads for work-at-home opportunities promise freedom from the 9 to 5, unlimited income potential, and the perks of being your own boss. These same ads, if they fail to mention exactly what it is you'll be doing, are often the first in many sales pitches to get people on board a multi-level marketing plan. MLMs aren't new, although the methods used to sell them are. All of them require some kind of upfront buy in (anywhere from $15 to $1,000) and only pay you when you sell the company's product or sign up friends and family to also sell the product.</p> <p>While there are cases of those who have achieved financial success with MLMs, there are many more cases of those who fail. The pressure to sell all the time, to everyone, in an often saturated market, often brings frustration and strain to the seller. MLMs are notorious for bringing success only to those who sign on in the early stages of the company. You can often tell if a job listing is an MLM in disguise by the failure to disclose just what it is you'll be doing or selling, along with a referral to a conference call or affiliate website to get &quot;more information.&quot;</p> <h2>Lead Generation</h2> <p>Many of the customer service jobs listed on work-at-home job sites are nothing more than hard sales, often obtained by what are called &quot;cold calls.&quot; Cold calling is essentially telemarketing to potential customers who have not previously expressed an interest in your product or service. Cold calling is a hard job because people today generally value their privacy and do not want to be contacted on their home or cell phone to be asked to buy something. Lead generation is necessary to gain more customers, but the turnover for these positions is high; many companies have found that having at-home workers do the job is more profitable than housing employees in a call center.</p> <p>Money can be made doing this job, although wages vary. Some companies pay a flat hourly rate that is competitive with formal telemarketing jobs, and others pay a straight commission (so you don't get paid anything unless you sell or make appointments.) If you have had experience telemarketing in the past and have been successful, this job could be for you. For the majority of those trying to escape the rat race, however, it's a difficult job that many people don't want happening in their own homes.</p> <h2>Pay Per Task Sites</h2> <p>Since the invention of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-money-with-amazon-mechanical-turk">Amazon's Mechanical Turk</a>, other websites have popped up allowing everyday computer users to complete simple, mundane, and often repetitive tasks for money. These tasks can include everything from verifying the CAPTCHA characters on a web form to ranking web searches based on usefulness. The work involved in making money this way, however, is often more than people realize.</p> <p>First, available tasks fluctuate from season to season. Workers who can work odd hours (overnights, for example) often have a better chance at getting tasks than those who work when the majority of people are competing for tasks. Tasks are often paid out at a rate of just pennies per task, requiring hundreds of tasks to be done before the payout threshold can be met. (Many companies require a minimum of $50, for example, to be earned before they issue payment.) U.S. workers are often competing with international workers with a lower standard of living, as well; minimum wage expectations are often not met.</p> <h2>Home Daycare Provider</h2> <p>A few years ago, caring for children in your home was considered a profitable endeavor, as the startup costs were low. For the stay-at-home mom, adding a child or two to your care used to be a reasonable way to increase income to the household budget without too much additional strain. As years have gone by, however, increased regulations and zoning laws have made it too much of a burden for the typical family to even consider. Transportation of children, even in a car, often requires liability insurance or additional driving licensure. Caring for even the youngest children may warrant college credits or outside classroom hours. Add in the cost of bookkeeping and the payment of self-employment taxes, and it's not worth it for the average person to do in many jurisdictions.</p> <p>Working from home can be an amazing experience. I have been doing so for over seven years, and I never regret my decision to leave the cubicle life. But not all work-at-home jobs are the same, and I encourage you to research before jumping head-first into any telecommute endeavor.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken on any of these, or other, work-at-home jobs and been disappointed? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-work-from-home-jobs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-side-jobs-you-can-do-on-your-bicycle">6 Great Side Jobs You Can Do on Your Bicycle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-side-jobs-for-people-who-are-good-with-money">6 Side Jobs for People Who Are Good With Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-retail-jobs-for-working-parents">5 Great Retail Jobs for Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income side gig side jobs telecommute work at home Tue, 12 Aug 2014 21:00:21 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1180823 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Got Over the Hump and Sold My Blog for $3 Million http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/obstacle-167160369.jpg" alt="obstacle" title="obstacle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's note: Jim Wang launched the personal finance blog Bargaineering.com in 2005. Five years later, he sold the site for $3 million. Today, he runs <a href="http://microblogger.com/introducing-lifetime-income-blog-course/">Microblogger.com</a>, where he teaches new bloggers how to build successful blog businesses.</em></p> <p>There's always a wall. A hump. A plateau.</p> <p>It might come on day two, it might come on year two, but there's always a point in every business where you feel like you've hit a wall. That moment when you aren't quite sure if you're just going up a small hill or if you've just run into Mount Everest.</p> <p>For me, that moment was about six months in. I'd started <a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/?utm_source">Bargaineering</a> in January of 2005 and by July and August, in the depths of the summer slowdown, I felt as if the site might have run its course. I started it as a journal to document everything I was learning about personal finance. Six months in, when the rush of constant discovery and of daily growth had subsided, I was left with a website that was only making a few cents to maybe a dollar a day and a feeling that I'd learned enough.</p> <p>This is very common. When the euphoria of starting a new venture, of meeting all these new people, and of discovering something fresh and new subsides, you're left with the reality of running your own business &mdash; and it's tough.</p> <p>Fortunately there are techniques you can use to get over the wall, crest that hump, and overcome the plateau so you can escape the local peak and reach your full potential.</p> <h2>Hit the Reset Button</h2> <p>Any business can be a grind; sometimes you need to hit the reset button. I don't mean that you should reset the business &mdash; reset <em>yourself</em>. If the business can handle it, step away and go on a sabbatical. Use this time to think about what's important to you, what you want to focus on, and whether you can adjust your situation so that you spend more time on the things that are important, rather than the things you &quot;must&quot; do.</p> <p>If you can't get away, take some time to re-evaluate your situation. Are you doing tasks that drain you of your energy and could be outsourced? Are you stuck doing the day to day, which you hate, instead of strategizing and planning? Oftentimes it's the day to day minutiae, which is a necessary evil, that causes us to feel like we're in a rut &mdash; not the business itself.</p> <h2>Lean on Your Support Network</h2> <p>A strong support network, whether it's just a handful of close friends or a more structured mastermind group, can help you overcome many of the emotional challenges of running your own business.</p> <p>You just spent the last week putting together these awesome posts that you swore would become popular, but didn't. You just recorded and edited these amazing podcasts, but only a few people listened. You just released several new products, but no one is buying.</p> <p>You're starting to doubt yourself, doubt the mission, and ponder quitting.</p> <p>Lean on your support network. Ask for their opinions, bounce ideas off them to see what might work better next time, and otherwise just use them as a way to get things off your chest.</p> <h2>Network, Network, Network</h2> <p>Ask anyone who has ever been successful and they'll often point to their network. Networking, which is a fancy term for going out and meeting new people, is absolutely essential to any business and can be a lifeline when you've hit that proverbial wall.</p> <p>Meeting new people gives you the opportunity to constantly evolve that support network, and it also gives you the opportunity rely on the expertise of others when yours might be insufficient. There is so much you can learn by meeting new people, especially if they're outside your domain, and you can only do so if you meet them!</p> <h2>Create or Update Your Plan of Attack</h2> <p>When you started your business, you probably had a plan of attack. A list of things you were going to accomplish, target milestones, and a schedule managing it all. Oftentimes, we run into that wall when our business reaches the end of that plan or we get derailed somehow. Our efforts become unfocused, we don't see progress, and we feel like we're in a rut.</p> <p>Use this opportunity to update your plan of attack, reset your milestones, and focus on your effort, rather than the results. It's very difficult to get over the hump if you have no plan for doing so.</p> <h2>Pick Up a New Hobby</h2> <p>I love the concept of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)">flow</a>, which is defined as a mental state in which a person is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full engagement, and enjoyment of some activity. When someone says they're &quot;in the moment&quot; or &quot;in the zone,&quot; that's the feeling we're talking about.</p> <p>You want to pick up a hobby so that you have something else that you are constantly improving and can feel &quot;in the flow.&quot; I started running, and it's given me an opportunity to both exercise and think about my business with a clear mind.</p> <h2>Focus on Data, Not Emotions</h2> <p>Why do you feel like you've hit a wall? Is it because sales have stagnated? Traffic? Revenue or profits? Has growth slowed? In many cases, it's data that's driving the emotion, so why not focus on that and dig deeper?</p> <p>If your business is a blog and you measure your progress based on traffic, dig into the numbers to see if you should be focusing on one channel over another. How much traffic do you get from social media? Search? Referrals? Which channel needs more attention? Should you be doing more in social or perhaps writing more guest posts?</p> <p>In almost every case, there is always something you can do. If you can't think of what that might be, ask people you trust for their advice.</p> <p>I'm glad I was able to persevere through those moments of doubt because by September of 2005, just a couple months after I had hit that wall, I was featured in the New York Times, and I never looked back. I hit a few more bumps in the road, found myself stuck on a few plateaus, but the rush of being on the New York Times, the prospect of being in it again (I would eventually get mentioned three times, each one was a thrill), and of the techniques I shared was enough to push me through.</p> <p>If you ever need a little help getting through the hump, reach out to me. I'm happy to help.</p> <p><em>Jim shares insights and lessons learned with new bloggers at Microblogger.com. Be sure to </em><a href="http://microblogger.com/introducing-lifetime-income-blog-course/"><em>sign up for his free (and very in-depth)</em> Create a Lifetime Income Blog <em>course</em></a><em> to learn from his experiences.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jim-wang">Jim Wang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship blogging extra income freelance small business work at home Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:36:19 +0000 Jim Wang 1098710 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save on Babysitting Without Ending Up on the Local News http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2908191073_1d47167564_z.jpg" alt="babysitting" title="babysitting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A recent survey by online childcare matchmaker <a href="http://www.urbansitter.com/">UrbanSitter.com</a> found that the average parent pays $14 per hour in my area &mdash; San Francisco &mdash; for care for just <em>one </em>child.</p> <p>My husband and I have three children.</p> <p>Combine these two facts and you might be able to guess that we haven't been out on a date in months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget">From&nbsp;$5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget</a>)</p> <p>When we do pay for childcare, we don't turn to a website to hire a sitter, because, as UrbanSitter pointed out in its own survey, it's too expensive. We're cheapskates. Still, childcare is not one of those things where I can just try the cheapest thing I can think of. I can't go down to the local day labor lineup and pick up a sitter or give my 8-year-old the password to the Netflix account and hope for the best. If I don't want to end up on the news &mdash; and staying off the news is my minimum goal for each parenting day &mdash; I need to get quality childcare for my meager funds.</p> <p>These are some ways I've managed to do that.</p> <h2>Parent Co-Ops</h2> <p>Whether it's a highly organized network with a thick rulebook and mandatory fingerprinting or a loose understanding among the parents on your block, a parent co-op can be a lifesaver to financially pressured moms and dads.</p> <p>In a co-op, you babysit for other families' kids to accrue points that you use to pay other parents to watch <em>your</em> kids. We have belonged to three co-ops: one spread over the entire North Side of Chicago, one that involved only four families who could practically shout to one another from our front porches, and one of intermediate size. I've used the services of other parents in order to get work done, to get to appointments, and yes, for date nights.</p> <p>A few years ago I wrote about <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/establishing-a-babysitting-co-op-part-i" target="_blank">how to start a babysitting co-op on Parenting Squad</a>. Even if you don't belong to a formal parent co-op, trading off play dates with the families of your children's friends can be great, too.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong>: You know other parents are experienced at taking care of kids. It's free.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong>: If you're busy, it might be hard to find time to babysit other peoples' kids. Many co-ops don't do background checks, and you may not know all the families.</p> <h2>Nanny Sharing</h2> <p>When you have only one child, it's kind of a waste to hire a babysitter to come to your home just to watch over him or her. Most caregivers are perfectly capable of taking care of several kids at a time.</p> <p>Ask around or check with local parent groups to find families willing to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nanny-sharing-lowering-the-cost-of-personal-childcare" target="_blank">share a nanny</a>. I use a nanny share once a week for my preschooler, so I can get a few extra hours of work in while the older kids are at school.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong>: Hourly rate is usually at least 30% less than hiring a babysitter on your own. Your kid will probably have more fun with playmates around. If the other families have already found a great nanny, you're spared the vetting process.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong>: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-tips-for-a-smooth-nanny-share" target="_blank">Less flexibility due to other families' needs</a>. More administration needed to coordinate schedules. If the other child or children get sick or drop out you may end up paying the sitter's whole fee on your own.</p> <h2>The Gym Childcare</h2> <p>This sounds cheesy, but I have joined gyms before almost entirely because membership included two hours of childcare per day. Plans vary, of course, but if you are a stay-at-home parent who needs a daily break, or a part-time entrepreneur who needs an hour each day to answer emails, the amount of care you can get with a gym membership may really work for you. You might even find time to work out once in awhile, too.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong>: Some are quite affordable since they are supplemented by dues from all those members who never show up at the gym. It's flexible.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong>: Quality varies widely. You might catch a few glares from other parents if the childcare is busy and they notice you spent your whole visit using your laptop.</p> <h2>Parks and Rec</h2> <p>Many cities offer low-cost classes, playgroups, and even preschools for small children through their parks departments. Some early childhood programs require the parents to stay, but others don't. You may not actually care if your little one learns gymnastics or painting &mdash; but for $5-$10 per hour, they are out of your hair for awhile and not watching TV. Really awesome park systems offer such classes on school holidays to help working parents out of the childcare-gap pinch.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong>: Affordable and often nearby.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong>: Some cities will have waiting lists. Quality varies.</p> <h2>&quot;Mother's Helpers&quot;</h2> <p>I started babysitting at age 11, but nowadays most parents don't consider it safe or responsible to leave such a young child in charge. Which is too bad, because 11- and 12-year-olds have really great rates.</p> <p>Luckily, I work from home, so I am sometimes able hire an under-aged &quot;mother's helper&quot; in the neighborhood to play with my kids and keep them from bursting into my office while I conduct a phone interview. Many kids this age are anxious to get started babysitting and can be a real help.</p> <p><b>Pros</b>: Cheap. Small kids <em>love</em> playing with older kids. You can train a neighborhood kid for several years until he or she is old enough to become a real babysitter.</p> <p><b>Cons</b>: Kids this young may have trouble enforcing rules with smaller children. They tend to let the kids make a big mess. Between school, sports, and activities, many 'tweens are available for limited hours.</p> <h2>Grandma and Grandpa</h2> <p>I so envy those families whose retired parents care for their kids full time. That has never been the case for us, but we still engage the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-do-with-help-from-mom-and-dad" target="_blank">ultimate free babysitters</a> every chance we get.</p> <p>No, Grandma and Grandpa don't do things our way, and they don't follow instructions to the letter the way a paid sitter might, but they <em>love</em> our kids, and that is so important that I am willing to overlook even the fact that the kids ate nothing but hot dogs and chocolate eclaires all weekend. Getting the grandparents to babysit has involved hours of car and even air travel for us, but it's always worth it.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong>: Free (for most people). Family love, precious memories for the kids.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong>: They don't do things your way. Travel may be involved.</p> <h2>No-Childcare Alternatives</h2> <p>The other way I've saved on childcare over the years is simply by avoiding using any. No, I'm not talking about leaving the kids alone &mdash; remember, the goal here is to stay off the nightly news. Instead, I'm talking about optimizing time, making schedules that work, and prioritizing what really needs to get done.</p> <p><strong>Split the Shift</strong></p> <p>You get home from work, kiss your spouse, and he heads out the door for the evening shift. It's not easy on a marriage, but millions of families make it work. Both my mother and my husband's mother are nurses, and this is how things worked when we were little. On the upside, with this arrangement, both parents get experience parenting independently, which can be really good for their relationship with the kids.</p> <p><strong>Bring the Kids</strong></p> <p>Most jobs nowadays don't allow for kids in tow, although a few do &mdash; babysitter, newspaper deliverer, for example. But you can try to bring kids on errands when possible to minimize needed childcare time. It's much harder to grocery shop or go to doctors' appointments or exercise with kids along, but it is actually good for the kids to learn to behave in these situations, and it allows you to get more done in the day.</p> <p><strong>A Little TV Won't Kill Them</strong></p> <p>I'm not a big fan of screen time for the kids, but I view it as the parenting equivalent of your emergency savings account. You shouldn't use it every day because you want to save it for when you really need it. So yes, when I have a deadline and I'm not done working by the time they get home from school, there might be an after-school video session now and then.</p> <p>If you're too good a parent to let the TV (or iPad) be your babysitter, then make a <a href="http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2012/06/diy-busy-box-how-and-why.html" target="_blank">busy box</a> or <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/tag/busy-bag-ideas" target="_blank">busy bag</a> &mdash; a stash of self-service activities to keep the kids quietly occupied when you're too busy to entertain them.</p> <p>Obviously, use your parental judgment to determine how much supervision your children need while distracted by such activities.</p> <p><strong>Outsource It or Do It From Home</strong></p> <p>If you are hiring a sitter so you can do something other than work &mdash; shop, clean house, do yardwork, walk the dog &mdash; ask yourself if the task is really worth the babysitting costs. After all, in many places you can <a href="http://shop.safeway.com/superstore/default.asp?brandid=1&amp;page=corphome" target="_blank">order groceries online</a> for a small fee, so even if you don't want to take the kids to the store, there is still a cheaper way. Or, check out <a href="http://www.taskrabbit.com/" target="_blank">TaskRabbit</a> to see if you can hire someone to run your errand for less than the cost of a sitter.</p> <p>You can't outsource your date night, of course, but there <em>are </em>ways to have a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/05/date-night-ideas-_n_2412110.html" target="_blank">fun night in after the littles are tucked in their beds</a>. At our house, setting aside an evening to watch a movie, accompanied by a special snack and cocktail, has replaced a lot of expensive nights out. And if you have friends with kids, combining a get-together for the parents with a sleep-over for the kids can be fun for all.</p> <p><em>How have you saved on childcare while keeping out of sight of the news choppers?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-totally-free-babysitting-alternatives">6 Totally Free Babysitting Alternatives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-a-great-babysitter">How to Find a Great Babysitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-your-kids-rich-friends-from-ruining-your-budget">How to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Rich Friends From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle babysitting child care date night work at home Thu, 28 Mar 2013 10:24:30 +0000 Carrie Kirby 971468 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6829327061_495cb4753d_z_0.jpg" alt="woman working in kitchen" title="woman working in kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's estimated that <a href="http://www.teleworkresearchnetwork.com/research/people-telecommute">10 to 15 million Americans work from home</a>. Many people, including a great percentage of moms and dads, find the work-from-home opportunity the perfect fit for their lifestyle.</p> <p>But working from home is hard work, especially with kids in the picture. Whether you're contemplating a work-from-home opportunity or already heading to your in-house office each day, here are 10 tips to help make the business adventure a success. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sources-for-freelance-work-at-home-jobs">3 Sources for Freelance Work at Home Jobs</a>)</p> <h3>1. Get everyone in the house on board</h3> <p>Without family support, your at-home business won't survive. The kids must understand the times when mommy or daddy might be home but can't be disturbed. Your spouse must step up to duties you might otherwise assume but can't because of work. Share the household workload.</p> <h3>2. Create an office or work space</h3> <p>Even if you can do your job sitting on the couch with laptop in hand, creating work space is important. Whether it's an actual office with doors and a desk or a corner of the bedroom partitioned by a <a href="http://shop.roomdividers.com/search/index?query=&amp;sort=sort+asc&amp;gclid=CMatitCK-K0CFQyc7Qod-xFytQ">room divider</a>, you need an area that's off limits to the kids. Another bonus: Office space for an at-home business is <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2007-10-12/living/home.office.taxes_1_tax-deductions-home-office-tax-work?_s=PM:LIVING">tax deductible</a>.</p> <h3>3. Establish a schedule &mdash; but work when you can</h3> <p>Establish a base schedule: A set chunk of hours, certain days of the week, etc. where you perform the bulk of your duties. This is especially important if you have clients working traditional business hours at an office.</p> <p>But embrace the flexibility working from home allows. Are you an early riser or night owl? What tasks can you complete late at night when the family's asleep, or in the morning before everyone wakes up? Do quick tasks when the baby's napping.</p> <h3>4. Take breaks</h3> <p>Just because you're already home doesn't mean you don't deserve a break. Take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break, long enough to stretch your muscles, do some breathing exercises, or make a quick personal call. Schedule a lunch hour and step away from the computer.</p> <h3>5. Don't do laundry during office hours</h3> <p>It's so tempting to fold those clothes or unload that dishwasher, but you couldn't do any of that if you were at an office building. Treat your at-home job as you would any other job, avoiding the temptation to do house chores during business hours.</p> <h3>6. Write a job description and keep track of goals and achievements</h3> <p>Write a job description that highlights your duties and responsibilities, and track your goals. Doing so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom">keeps you on target</a>. Additionally, having an updated resume is essential when you're working from home. Writing a job description makes the task simpler.</p> <h3>7. Multi-task wisely and organize</h3> <p>If juggling multiple duties at once doesn't come naturally, figure out a way to learn this all-important skill. Working from home affords flexibility, but with flexibility comes the need to do multiple duties. Organize your day. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=white+board&amp;sprefix=white+%2Caps%2C194">White boards</a> and <a href="https://www.google.com/calendar/render?pli=1&amp;gsessionid=8LXDDmNhoZqYOenr7w8Q8A">calendars</a> become your new best friends. Also, check out <a href="http://www.zoho.com/">Zoho.com,</a> <a href="http://www.thebalancingact.com/newsletters/Newsletter_page_2010.php?nid=2426&amp;d=2012-01-04">recently featured on Lifetime Television's <em>The Balancing Act</em></a><em>.</em> Zoho has organizational solutions, paperwork, productivity apps, and much more for professionals who work from home.</p> <h3>8. Utilize pre-school, child care, or sitters</h3> <p>Ah, the joys of taking business calls with a tired toddler at your feet! Don't confuse working from home with being at home. If your budget permits, consider preschool, child care, or other options during daytime hours. You'd do so if your office was downtown instead of downstairs, right?</p> <h3>9. Establish connections within the profession</h3> <p>Join a professional association, attend conferences and seminars, and participate in online forum discussions. Networking and staying in tune with current topics within your industry are critical for your professional development.</p> <h3>10. Get out of the office</h3> <p>Remember the idea of taking a break that was mentioned earlier? Make one break long enough to allow you time out of the house. Meet a friend for lunch, go to the gym, walk the dog. Yes, it's your office, but it's also your home. You'll burn out and go stir crazy if you don't find a change of scenery.</p> <p>Working from home is a great alternative for many women wanting to balance their personal and professional life, as long as family support and the right mindset and tools are in place.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Working from home is hard work, especially if you have kids in the picture. Here are 10 tips to help make the business adventure a success. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This post is by Kelli Robinson from our sister blog, Parenting Squad. Visit <a title="Parenting Squad" href="http://parentingsquad.com/">Parenting Squad</a> for more parenting tips and news:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/eat-your-veggies-6-tips-for-getting-your-fill">Eat Your Veggies! 6 Tips for Getting Your Fill</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ways-to-take-the-scare-out-of-the-dental-chair-0">7 Ways to Take the Scare Out of the Dental Chair</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-reasons-to-feed-your-family-organicswholesome-foods">7 Reasons to Feed Your Family Organic, Wholesome Foods</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-manage-the-family-shopping">Tips for Managing the Family Shopping Chore</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/seven-tips-to-help-improve-your-childs-handwriting">7 Tips to Help Improve Your Child's Handwriting</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/parenting-squad">Parenting Squad</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-jobs-for-people-who-hate-the-9-5">10 Great Jobs for People Who Hate the 9-5</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity home office work at home work from home Thu, 16 Feb 2012 10:48:16 +0000 Parenting Squad 898269 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Productivity Hacks From a Work-at-Home Mom http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/multitasking_child.jpg" alt="Baby with two phones" title="Baby with two phones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I work at home, part-time, as a (you guessed it!) freelance writer. So, I'm a writer. I'm also a mom. Of four kids. Under five years old. My youngest, in fact, is only a month old. While I can't share anything much about the experience of high fashion, expensive restaurants, or periods of silence lasting more than five minutes, I can share about getting maximum work done in minimal time slots. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-time-by-spending-time">10 Ways to Save Time by Spending Time</a>)</p> <h3>1. Plan for transitions.</h3> <p>Transitions will kill you &mdash; those moments when you're ending X activity and beginning Y event. I don't like them personally, but with four kids transitions are the moments of weakness. Everybody is in limbo a little bit, and it's when things get lost and shoes get thrown and there's great potential for us all to end up in a weeping pile of humanity by the back door. Not pretty.</p> <p>Plan for transitions by setting aside enough time for them, making them as systematic and routine as possible, and then getting through them (and, hence, on to the next thing) as quickly as possible. No, don't rush. Just keep things moving.</p> <h3>2. Resist the urge to control-freak on details.</h3> <p>You have to control-freak on some things, or nothing would ever get done. But details are a waste of your energy. Make sure, for example, the bed gets made, but don't waste time making sure the sheets are wrinkle-free and the throw pillows are stacked in an alternating color arrangement. You get me? This applies to everybody; make sure the article gets written, the project gets done, the budget gets made, the garage gets cleaned, whatever. But don't flip out about how those things get done.</p> <h3>3. Quit cleaning after every mess.</h3> <p>I'm all for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">cleanliness</a>, but I'm also for accomplishment. Sometimes the two are enemies, because if you're taking time to clean after every single mess, big or small, you're creating a hundred transitions between work and clean-up when you could just focus on the work and then have one clean-up time at the end. Cleaning does need to happen, but it doesn't need to happen constantly.</p> <h3>4. Have a set time for cleaning and other routine physical chores.</h3> <p>If you have a designated time for the cleaning and other chores, you can relax and know that you'll be able to get to it at that time. This is true not just for work-from-home folks who get the privilege of doing laundry in between calling clients; this is also true for folks who work in offices or factories or shops. Do your important work and hold to a set time for filing papers, clearing your desk, straightening the shelves, wiping the display counters, putting away tools, etc.</p> <h3>5. Declutter everything.</h3> <p>Clutter &mdash; both physical and mental &mdash; is an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">enemy of productivity</a>. Clutter will make your space seem dirty even when it isn't, which will make you want to clean instead of work, which will keep you distracted and give you lots of great reasons to procrastinate. Cut the clutter. Set up systems. Get storage containers. Get rid of stuff you don't need anymore. Label everything, and put things away where they belong.</p> <h3>6. Work in terms of daily goals.</h3> <p>It's good to have a schedule and a daily plan, but when you work from a schedule divided into 15-minute increments, you can get thrown off by one long-winded caller. Set a schedule if it makes you happy, but try to think and work in terms of your goals for the day. Figure out what they are first thing in the morning (or, better yet, last thing at night the day before). Get started on that most important goal and keep at it, coming back to it after every interruption, until you've accomplished it. Then move on.</p> <p>Interruptions will happen. Schedules will get completely ruined. But daily goals? You can remember them (without a planner), and you can keep coming back and plugging away no matter what happens in the meantime.</p> <h3>7. Do a weekly plan-and-divide.</h3> <p>Pick a time for a weekly planning session. I like Sunday night, for the obvious reason that it comes right before the beginning of a new week. Preferably do this when you're feeling motivated and fairly energetic. (An espresso does the trick for me...) Write down all the things you want to accomplish on Monday. Go ahead, be ambitious! Then stop. Don't make any more lists for Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on. Instead, divide Monday's list out into the whole week. You'll be looking, most likely, at a reasonable amount of stuff to do within a week, given all your other obligations, events, activities, and the invariable interruptions.</p> <h3>8. Start out with a vengeance.</h3> <p>Conquer the morning, and you have conquered the day. This doesn't mean you have to get up at 4 a.m., though I personally find I'm much more productive when I do get up early. But get up, get through your morning routine, and get started as soon as possible on the most important task for the day. You'll set the tone &mdash; energy begets energy, and progress begets progress. And you'll also get to your most-important-thing first, so if the rest of the day does fall apart, you've still reached that goal.</p> <h3>9. Time yourself.</h3> <p>The little things kill you in two ways &mdash; you either overestimate or underestimate how much time they will take. If you overestimate, then you keep putting that task off because you think you don't have time for it. Meanwhile, it's a mental distraction, hanging over you and keeping you from being as productive as you could be. If you underestimate, then you get caught up in that little task and spend far more time on it that it deserves. Facebook, anyone?</p> <p>Use a timer to find out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-time-with-batch-processing">how little time some tasks take</a>, so you know you can get them done in between phone calls. And use a timer to stop yourself on those other tasks that tend to eat up more time than they should.</p> <h3>10. Expect an ebb and flow of productivity.</h3> <p>No matter what the productivity gurus might say, nobody can be at 100% maximum output all of the time. We all have different work rhythms to consider, as well as normal living and working patterns that affect what we can accomplish. Figure out what your best work hours are and try to get a solid block of time then to do your most important work. Then expect that you'll tone down in productivity, get some smaller tasks done, or take a break. The same goes for the days of the week; I find that I usually have a very productive, energetic day followed by a more mellow day. If you pay attention and see your own patterns, you'll be able to schedule unavoidable but less-important stuff (meetings, reports, things like that) for your less-productive times and mellow days. Then you can focus your best hours and most energetic days on the most important work.</p> <p>Do you have any real-life productivity hacks from your own experience? Share them in the comments so we can all benefit! I'm always looking for ways to get more done in a day and have a good time while I'm at it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success">10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tools-that-stop-computer-distractions-and-help-you-stay-on-task">6 Tools That Stop Computer Distractions and Help You Stay on Task</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity decluttering distraction multitasking work at home Thu, 30 Jun 2011 10:24:09 +0000 Annie Mueller 602193 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Spot Work-at-Home Job Scams http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5660288995_90a7370999_z.jpg" alt="caution deep water" title="caution deep water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve been working from home for over three years now. While I haven&rsquo;t paid a penny for online programs designed to teach you how to work from home (or that promise to help you get rich quick), I can smell them from a mile away. Many of the letters I get from Wise Bread readers inquire about specific work-from-home programs, and while I don&rsquo;t have experience with any of them, it&rsquo;s usually possible to tell at a glance if they are legitimate. Examples of programs that get asked about most often include those that promise money from being a billing processor, internet sales specialist, or blogger. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sources-for-freelance-work-at-home-jobs" title="3 Sources for Freelance Work at Home Jobs">3 Sources for Freelance Work at Home Jobs</a>)</p> <p>In addition to perusing this fantastic collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">tips for finding legitimate work at home opportunities</a>, here are my suggestions for spotting the scams.</p> <h3>You receive unsolicited information about the program</h3> <p>Whether you get it in your email box or as an invitation through your favorite social networking site, if you have never signed up for more information or didn&rsquo;t receive the offer from a friend you know, it&rsquo;s unlikely that the offer is &ldquo;real.&rdquo; Legitimate marketers usually get info from mailing lists that you have opted into or signed up for specifically, and emails should always follow <a href="http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-Compliance-Guide-for-Business">CAN-SPAM rules</a> that require their subscribers to opt-in to email newsletters. If something pops up in your email that doesn&rsquo;t ring a bell, you can most likely delete it.</p> <p>Common scams that come to you through email include scams like this <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_mule">payment processing job</a>. They usually have misspellings in the message of the email or have a subject line with random characters or capitalization to help get the message through email spam filters.</p> <h3>The program landing page has bold promises and even bolder highlighting</h3> <p>I know that many of my blogging friends offer legit programs, ebooks, and offers via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_page">landing pages</a>. In fact, much money has been made by teaching well-meaning business people how to create the perfect landing page. That being said, the scammers almost always show a landing page with red, blue, pink, or yellow highlighted text; photos of past customers holding up wads of cash; testimonials that seem too good to be true; and the like. If you see an offer with a <a href="http://www.homeincomeblack.net/">gaudy landing page</a> that just doesn&rsquo;t seem right, leave.</p> <p>Other warning signs that a program won't be worth the investment include:</p> <ul> <li>Images and logos of legitimate news sites that appear to convey they endorse the plan. Look carefully: The wording usually says &quot;ads seen on&quot; &mdash; not &quot;as seen on.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The photos of customers are stock photos or headshots of models purchased from a commercial site.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The low-cost trial period is very brief (often as short as three days). After that, the charge is high &mdash; $100 or more &mdash; giving you little time to cancel if you are not satisfied.</li> </ul> <h3>The offer is limited in the number of customers <em>and</em> time to act</h3> <p>&quot;Hurry now, this offer is going fast!&quot; How many times have you heard this in commercials, offering to only allow the special promotion to a select number of customers? While this is a common tactic designed to get people to buy &mdash; today &mdash; without giving them a chance to listen to their instincts, it can also be a sign of a subpar product (one that wouldn&rsquo;t pass the sniff test if given more time to be investigated).</p> <p>Many of the work-at-home job scams out there also rely on this type of predatory emotional manipulation. It will sometimes invoke a fake number of &quot;original&quot; available program spots, which is usually crossed out and replaced with a &quot;new&quot; number. It is designed to put pressure on buyers to make them feel like the product will not be available much longer. It is also a weak way to do business.</p> <h3>Google searches turn up bad news, again and again</h3> <p>Some programs are the same programs, cleverly disguised as something new. A quick Google search of a few of the programs a reader recently asked me about alerted me to the fact that the same scammer has been operating for years, changing the name of the program every so often to cleverly stay under the radar. As more and more work-at-home sites, bloggers, and forums got wind of how bad the opportunity was, the scammer would go into hiding again, only to pop up with a rebranded opportunity for a new batch of victims.</p> <p>If you can catch a work-at-home opportunity being discussed online, take the feedback with a grain of salt. It is possible that the program didn&rsquo;t work because the person wasn&rsquo;t qualified to take advantage of it (see the next section below). If you do hear about multiple or unauthorized credit card charges, sneaky sales tactics, or a complete lack of delivery on the promised product, however, run!</p> <h3>The opportunity requires no skills, knowledge, or effort</h3> <p>Common sense would tell you that if you don&rsquo;t have the skills or patience to complete a business task, you might not do well at that particular business. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many of the job scams appeal to people who wouldn&rsquo;t be qualified to run an at-home business &mdash; and they have little chance of succeeding in this (or any other) home business endeavor.</p> <p>I agree that most anyone can <em>learn</em> a task. Many can also perform that task, unsupervised, day after day until a profit comes in. A few can also take this money and reinvest it wisely into their business &mdash; all the while balancing family and other obligations to form a romantic work-at-home picture.</p> <p>In a typical sales pitch, these job scams place the romantic picture far before the work required to achieve results. That&rsquo;s why they are so appealing. If a home business program swears that it will be effortless, it&rsquo;s likely not legit. (Even larceny &mdash; the most lucrative career I know of &mdash; takes effort.)</p> <h3>No one else has succeeded</h3> <p>Most work-at-home opportunities pony up plenty of testimonials from what seem like real people. But do you know any of them personally? And could you track them down to ask them questions if you wanted to?</p> <p>Franchises and other ground-floor opportunities offer potential investors access to others in the business, because they understand that a significant amount of money and time will be put into the business. Online opportunities aren&rsquo;t so forthcoming, and the legit ones should point you in the direction of real customers who are willing to share their stories. (You wouldn&rsquo;t care about the rave reviews on the backs of new books if they were all from people you had never heard of, or worse yet, cartoon characters, would you?)</p> <p>It's also very important that consumers read the fine print at the bottom of these offers. Common legalese that you should be on alert for includes:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Earnings disclaimers</strong>: These should include warnings that the level of success will depend on time devoted to the program, your own ideas, techniques used to build business, your own financial situation, and skill level.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Income-claim warnings:</strong> These will convey that testimonial results are not likely to be your own. They should also tell you that the people and images are not of the actual people who have used the program, and there should be a note that some individuals who invest in the program will make little or no money at all.</li> </ul> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Working from home takes research, hard work, some capital, and the desire to see success. This may mean working at 2 a.m. when your newborn has colic, skipping that night out with friends to do inventory, and sending notice after notice to late-paying clients. It&rsquo;s not a glamorous life, but those who do it usually love it. Before you play into the next best thing, ask a home-worker what to expect, and avoid anything that seems counter to reality.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-terrible-work-from-home-jobs-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Work-From-Home &quot;Jobs&quot; You Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs">30 Great Side Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income home business job scams stay at home jobs work at home work from home Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 366048 at http://www.wisebread.com Save the Planet: Work at Home http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-planet-work-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-the-planet-work-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009596496.jpg" alt="Telecommute" title="Telecommute" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If every person in the U.S. with a telecommuting-compatible job worked at home on Earth Day, collectively it would:</p> <ul> <li>Save 900 Million vehicle miles<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 45 Million gallons of gas &mdash; $188 Million in consumer savings<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 2.3 Million barrels of oil &mdash; valued at $185 Million<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Eliminate 423,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases &mdash; the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 28 million kWh in net electricity &mdash; enough to power 2,600 homes for a year<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save 775 people from traffic injury and deaths</li> </ul> <p>Less than 2% of U.S. employees work from home the majority of the time (not including the self-employed), but 40% could. If they did so just half of the time (roughly the national average for those who do), as a nation we would save over a half a trillion dollars a year and much more.</p> <p>Telecommuting &mdash; specifically, home based work &mdash; offers a relatively simple, inexpensive solution to some of the world&rsquo;s most vexing problems:</p> <ul> <li>Environmentalists applaud telecommuting because it significantly reduces greenhouse gases and energy usage.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Astute company owners support telecommuting because of the cost savings and increased productivity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Work-life experts endorse telecommuting because it addresses the needs of families, parents, and senior caregivers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Workforce planners see telecommuting as away to avoid the &lsquo;brain drain&rsquo; effect of retiring boomers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Human resource professionals see telecommuting as a way to recruit and retain the best people.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Employees see telecommuting as a way to save time and money, and improve the quality of their lives.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Baby Boomers find telecommuting offers a flexible alternative to full retirement.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gen Y&rsquo;ers see telecommuting as a way to work on their own terms.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Disabled workers, rural residents, and military families find home-based work an answer to their special needs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Urban planners realize telecommuting can reduce traffic and revitalize cities.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Governments see telecommuting as a way to reduce highway wear and tear and alleviate the strain on our crumbling transportation infrastructure.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organizations rely on telecommuting to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a disaster or pandemic &mdash; all federal workers are required to telecommute to the maximum extent possible for just this reason.</li> </ul> <p>It's time we made the road less traveled the way to work. Let's start with Earth Day.</p> <p><em>Editor's note: Kate Lister was the principal researcher at <a href="http://teleworkresearchnetwork.com/">TeleworkResearchNetwork.com</a></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-planet-work-at-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-we-keep-buying-that-are-killing-the-planet">8 Things We Keep Buying That Are Killing the Planet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community">Super-Cheap Building Supplies and a Way to Help Your Community!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow">7 Simple Rules that Your Work-at-Home Employer Should Follow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Green Living Earth day environment telecommute work at home Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:00:02 +0000 Kate Lister 38832 at http://www.wisebread.com Welcome All You Magazine Readers: Q & A With Linsey Knerl http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-all-you-magazine-readers-q-a-with-linsey-knerl <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/welcome-all-you-magazine-readers-q-a-with-linsey-knerl" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frog rider.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m so excited to be featured in the newest issue of All You Magazine! Many of you have come here to learn more about Wise Bread, my blogging career, or just life as a work-at-home mom in a tight economy. I hope to answer some of your questions here!</p> <p>Since the article first ran last week, I&rsquo;ve gotten several emails and even phone calls from other moms looking for a way to help provide for their families, as well. While each situation is different, there are a few questions I can hope to answer to help get you started.</p> <h3>Why would I want to start a blog?</h3> <p>There are two reasons that you may want to consider blogging on your own website:</p> <p><strong>1. For fun</strong> &mdash; Many moms find the outlet of writing about their daily lives and their families to be a great way to unwind at the end of a stressful day, connect with a community online that holds similar interests, or to just document those first special moments with a new baby (not all of us are talented scrapbookers).</p> <p><strong>2. For money</strong> &mdash; This is the type of blogging I get asked about the most. In reality, it is very difficult to make any kind of substantial income from blogging, alone. My income is made up of a combination of blogging on my own website, blogging for others (like Wise Bread), traditional freelance writing (for magazines and online websites), consulting, and marketing services.</p> <h3>How can I earn a living blogging?</h3> <p>As the article pointed out, it took me almost a full year of dedicated 40-hour a week blogging and research to get to a point where I could earn that first part-time income. I put in several hundred hours of setting up my blog, posting a few dozen well-written posts, researching revenue options, and connecting with other bloggers and companies to begin building my blog traffic. This seemed futile at first &mdash; but I was unable to take a job outside the home, and so it was the only income I could make at the time.</p> <p>You can earn revenue from blogging in a couple of ways:</p> <p><strong>1. Advertising income</strong> &mdash; This is income from placing ads directly on your blog. You can sell ads to companies, use affiliate programs, or complete paid posts. All are slow to build, but can continue to bring in a steady revenue after time.</p> <p><strong>2. Blogging for others</strong> &mdash; When I first joined Wise Bread, I wasn&rsquo;t prepared for how successful it was about to become! Within my first year, I went from making just $6 that first month to making a wonderful part-time income from the advertising revenue on my blog posts. I went on to write blog posts for several companies, including American Greetings, an event management company, and a major floral company. Sometimes my name would be published, but most often I was a &ldquo;ghost writer&rdquo; &mdash; meaning someone else got credit for my work (but I still got paid).</p> <h3>I see ads for blogging jobs all the time, but they all require writing samples. How do I get my foot in the door?</h3> <p>Just like traditional freelance writing, getting into blogging is a kind of two-way sword. You can&rsquo;t get jobs without published work, but you can&rsquo;t publish work without a job. Here is what I suggest for improving your odds (and the benefits are lasting):</p> <p><strong>1. <a href="http://wisebread.com/how-to-start-your-own-blog">Start your own blog</a>, and update it frequently</strong> &mdash; Very rarely will major blogging outlets look solely at a personal blog to decide if you have blogging talent, but it is a good way to start. You not only have a chance to put your writing style and skill on display, but you&rsquo;ll be keeping your creative juices flowing, can refine your writing craft, and will have a chance to learn basic tech skills that you&rsquo;ll need when blogging (basic HTML, for example).</p> <p><strong>2. Guest post</strong> &mdash; Many popular and reputable websites (<a href="http://wisebread.com/guest-post">including Wise Bread</a>) have a guest post policy or program. Some are paid, and many aren&rsquo;t paid, but they all allow outside writers to contribute a post with full credit to you and most often your own blog! Not only does this help build quality <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlink">backlinks</a> to your own blog, but it can help get you known as a blogger. Don&rsquo;t forget &mdash; these guest posts can then be used in your portfolio (you know, those pesky writing samples that blog jobs ask for when you apply).</p> <h3>What about article sites like eZine Articles, Helium, and Creative Commons?</h3> <p>These sites are nice to practice writing/blogging, but honestly, I have never made too much money from them (and my exposure was even less notable). Furthermore, when bloggers submit their writing samples for a real blogging job and their entire body of work is housed in these types of sites, it tells me two things:</p> <p><strong>1. They may or may not be able to write</strong> &mdash; Article submission sites literally allow most anyone to submit; no writing skills are required. While some sites may outright buy your article (indicating that it is probably up to snuff), there&rsquo;s no way for a potential hiring company to see this from your writing sample.</p> <p><strong>2. They haven&rsquo;t differentiated themselves in the blogging market</strong> &mdash; Article sites are rarely niche, meaning that they contain millions of topics that all get jumbled up amongst one another. Bloggers who have contributed content to a particular topic site (like guest posting for a pet health blog, for example) have proven that they can make necessary connections within their community and can focus their writing on their own expertise.</p> <p>When helping to edit guest posts here on Wise Bread, I may or may not take a look at an Ezine article to get an overview of someone&rsquo;s writing style or to make an initial decision about whether they are a compatible as a guest poster here. I am far more impressed, however, with a blogger who&rsquo;s taken the time to set up their own blog or write for other blogs. This shows an ability to create and connect &mdash; something that&rsquo;s very important when blogging professionally.</p> <p><strong><em>Important Note: While anyone can start a blog and even keep a blog going, not everyone will make a substantial living as a blogger.</em></strong></p> <p>As I said, before, much of my income comes from blogging, but an even larger portion comes from traditional freelance writing and marketing/consulting services. All of these were born from blogging, so it&rsquo;s still very much my declared profession, but to fully realize the kind of income that a family of 6 (and soon to be 7) needs to live on, I needed to diversify my skills and pursue a variety of opportunities.</p> <p>Additionally, not everyone will be cut out to blog. Perhaps there will be a lack of writing skill, not enough interest in the blogger&rsquo;s niche expertise, or not enough time available to dedicate to the endeavor. These are all some of the reasons why many bloggers don&rsquo;t thrive.</p> <p>So what do I recommend to the many who have written in about their current financial struggles and their desires to help out their families by contributing to the family income &mdash; perhaps by blogging? I say, &ldquo;Go for it!&rdquo; But remember, it may take more time than you have to meet financial obligations and keep things afloat in <a href="http://wisebread.com/being-poor-without-being-pitiful">dire circumstances</a>. It may be something you build while pursuing more cash-ready endeavors.</p> <p>My family is not unfamiliar with the struggles of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">job loss</a>, illness, and raising a family. I&rsquo;ve written about these trials here on Wise Bread, and I&rsquo;ve helped see my family through a number of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-theres-no-tomorrow">financial setbacks</a> by working hard to help earn more money. Past jobs that I&rsquo;ve taken while raising young children include waiting tables, managing a fast-food restaurant, working in a dermatology clinic, acting as an account executive to a subrogation firm, and numerous &ldquo;temp&rdquo; jobs (one of them involved stuffing envelopes for days on end). Whatever was needed to help keep us afloat, I did &mdash; as did my husband. No work was beneath us, and I didn&rsquo;t worry that a few hours away from my children was going to somehow leave them impaired (we homeschool and I work from home now &mdash; the perfect combination &mdash; but it wasn&rsquo;t always this way). We did what we had to for tummies to be fed and a house to be warm.</p> <p>I encourage parents everywhere who have come here &mdash; whether as a result of my article, or not &mdash; to take away some <a href="http://wisebread.com/5-tips-for-making-do-with-the-right-now">feeling that they are not alone</a>. This economy can be disheartening. I know: my husband has two degrees and has not been able to find work in his field for years. But we have come together as a family to create a new business &mdash; one built on blogging, but flexible enough to take us through whatever online trends may come.</p> <p>I wish you all the best in whatever you pursue! I hope you find some of my <a href="http://wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">other articles</a> useful, and I encourage you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/contact">contact me</a> with questions or comments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-all-you-magazine-readers-q-a-with-linsey-knerl">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million">How I Got Over the Hump and Sold My Blog for $3 Million</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-part-5-your-own-blog-or-website">Write for money online - Part 5 - Your own blog or website</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa">Write for money online series - Part I - Bukisa</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-your-own-blog">How to Start Your Own Blog</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> All You Magazine blogging linsey knerl Making Extra Cash work at home Mon, 25 Jan 2010 14:00:02 +0000 Linsey Knerl 4839 at http://www.wisebread.com Write for money online series - Part I - Bukisa http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bukisa.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="175" height="54" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I started writing online in 2007 at my personal blog and have not stopped since.&nbsp; I am very fortunate to have been selected to join Wise Bread last year and I have made a steady amount of gas and food money from blogging since then.&nbsp; A lot of my friends have asked me how to earn money online with their writing, and oftentimes they are deterred by the process of setting up and marketing their own blogs.&nbsp; So I decided to research the various websites where people can sell content online and review each of them one by one.&nbsp; Today I am reviewing <a href="http://www.bukisa.com/join/4762 ">Bukisa</a>, a relatively new pay for content / ad revenue sharing site.<br /> <strong><br /> Website use and feel</strong></p> <p>The<a href="http://www.bukisa.com/join/4762"> Bukisa</a> website is very clean and content submission is very easy.&nbsp; The workflow makes a lot of sense and the ads on the pages are not overly jarring or distracting.&nbsp; You can add tags to your content or let the system automatically generate tags based on your content.&nbsp; I think that is a great feature because I spend a lot of time manually tagging my articles on pretty much every other site.</p> <p><strong>Allowable content</strong></p> <p>Bukisa allows the submission of a variety of content including text articles, presentation slides, videos, and audio.&nbsp; The content has to be in English and be educational and informative in nature.&nbsp; If you are writing an article it has to be at least 250 words and contain no vulgar words.&nbsp; It is actually quite easy to write 250 words if you are writing a how-to article.&nbsp; You can also republish articles you have written elsewhere, but they prefer that you write unique content.</p> <p><strong>Copyright</strong></p> <p>The content you write at Bukisa is completely owned by you.&nbsp; Before you publish the system allows you to choose your license type.&nbsp; You can choose Creative Commons or no syndication.<br /> <strong><br /> How you earn money</strong></p> <p>Bukisa has something called a Bukisa index for determining their payouts.&nbsp; Right now the Bukisa index is 3.95, which means you are paid $3.95 for every 1000 unique page views your submissions receive. After running my own blogs for a while I can tell you for a fact this is pretty decent pay for page views.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Bukisa index changes based on how much ad revenue they earn.&nbsp; Sometimes members promote their content extensively and do not earn that much revenue and the whole site has to adjust.</p> <p>Another thing that is very unique about Bukisa is that they have a revenue sharing program for referrals and the program goes three levels deep.&nbsp; I have not seen this in other pay for content sites. Basically you get 25% of the payment of your direct referrals, 6.25% of the payment of the second level referrals, and 1.5625% of the payment of the third level referrals.&nbsp; This is probably the most interesting thing about the program because referrals can add up.</p> <p>Bukisa pays by Paypal and the minimum paypout amount is $50 and it is open to everyone that has an active Paypal account.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>I really like the website right now and I think it has the&nbsp; potential to be a good passive income source for many content producers.&nbsp; One big reason is the referral system and another reason is that their payment model is pay per view.&nbsp; You do not need to wait for someone to click on an ad in your article to make money, and that makes the revenue stream a bit more predictable.&nbsp;&nbsp; You also have the freedom to write almost anything you want so you are not constrained to one topic.&nbsp; Finally, it is also great because it is not restricted to U.S. residents only.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The only problem I see with this site right now is that it is very new and there is a chance that it would fail completely, but some writers have already reported that they received their earnings so that is encouraging.</p> <p>If you would like to sign up with <a href="http://www.bukisa.com/join/4762 ">my referral link please click here.</a>&nbsp; Otherwise, go ahead to <a href="http://Bukisa.com">Bukisa.com </a>and try it out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-for-your-psychic-skills-at-predictify">Get Paid for your Psychic Skills at Predictify</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-3-ehowcom">Write for money online series Part 3 - eHow.com</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-ii-associated-content">Write for money online series - Part II - Associated Content</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips Art and Leisure bukisa make money online Making Extra Cash selling work at home writing Fri, 30 Jan 2009 01:29:43 +0000 Xin Lu 2782 at http://www.wisebread.com Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p>When you search for work at home opportunities on the internet, oftentimes you will find sites pitching programs that could make you thousands of dollars a week.&nbsp; Usually these programs are scams designed to take your money.&nbsp; So how do you go about finding legitimate work at home jobs that pay you for your time?&nbsp;&nbsp; Read on for some ideas and resources.</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> <strong><a href="http://craigslist.org">Craigslist</a> </strong>- The Craigslist job board is where I have found all of my jobs after college, and it is a great resource.&nbsp; When you search for jobs you can check the &quot;telecommute&quot; option for jobs that allow you to work at home.&nbsp; I have found a work at home job with a technology company this way that paid $15 an hour when I was in college, and I was able to pick my own hours and fill out my work online. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2. Freelance sites</strong> -&nbsp; <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a> and <a href="http://ifreelance.com/" target="_blank">iFreelance </a>are two sites that allow you to find freelance jobs and bid on how much&nbsp; you wish to be paid.&nbsp; The problem is that you will be competing with people all over the world so the pay may not be as high as you would like.&nbsp; However, as long as you do quality work it is possible to charge a premium for your services.&nbsp; You can also try your hand at freelance writing at a content hub site like <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3358344-10785211">Suite101</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3. Virtual agent companies </strong>- If you do not mind working as a customer representative or an virtual assistant, companies such as <a href="http://liveops.com">LiveOps </a>and <a href="http://workingsolutions.com/" target="_blank">Working Solutions</a> might be right for you. Both of these companies have on demand call centers, which means you take calls at home.&nbsp; I know LiveOps pays 25 cents per minute, which works out to be $15 per hour of talk time.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. </strong><strong>Work at home online communities</strong> - A great site that I read from time to time is <a href="http://wahm.com">WAHM.com.</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; They post job opportunities for free on their site and they have plenty of tips on avoiding scams and starting your own business.&nbsp; The forums is also a great place to find out other peoples' experiences with various opportunities.</p> <p><strong>5. Your current job</strong> -&nbsp; Would your current employer let you work at home?&nbsp; Some of my coworkers actually live in other states and work from home exclusively.&nbsp; If you can show that you can be extremely productive at home, it may be worthwhile to ask your current employer for the opportunity to work at home. They may be more accomodating than you think.</p> <p>Most of these work at home opportunities are part time contract jobs that require you to do your own taxes and do not have benefits.&nbsp; However, there are fulltime positions that offer an entire benefit package including health insurance and 401k.&nbsp; You should always find out the terms of the job before you start.</p> <p>Finally, if some opportunity requires you to pay a startup fee and promises an incredible amount of return, it is probably too good to be true.&nbsp; As with any endeavor, you should do your research before you plunge into a job.&nbsp; Search for what others say about your potential employer, and see if the job matches your interests.&nbsp; As long as you are professional and cautious, you will be able to find great opportunities that allow you to work from home.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity">Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa">Write for money online series - Part I - Bukisa</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Career Building General Tips Productivity job Making Extra Cash money online part time telecommute work at home Fri, 21 Mar 2008 07:42:24 +0000 Xin Lu 1937 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Simple Rules that Your Work-at-Home Employer Should Follow http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/work_at_home.jpg" alt="desk with computer and papers" title="desk with computer and papers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working from home, as a contractor or full-time employee for a legitimate business, seems to be a great way of making money while keeping a flexible schedule with plenty of time for family, friends, fun, and sleep. Or is it? </p> <p>Last year, I investigated contract writing as a way to give myself what I thought might be a more me-friendly schedule. So I sent some samples in response to an ad in a professional-association newsletter, completed a do-it-our-way training session, and started accepting project assignments. </p> <p>The good news is that the company paid on time, precisely what it promised. But hardly anything else matched what a reasonable person (me) would have presumed based on communications with the company owner and its designated trainer / tyrant. </p> <p>The pay, though advertised as excellent, was below even my fairly priced rates. But, according to the owner, each of a nearly full stable of happy, qualified, and loyal writers could complete 2 assignments per day (sometimes 3) so that, according to my math, an assignment should take 4 hours for completion. Given the speed and volume with which I could complete the projects, I could supplement my income very nicely. </p> <p>I was assigned to a trainer who would teach me the company’s way. Perhaps I should have been concerned that she shared the name of a former Caribbean-Basin dictator but I pressed on. </p> <p>According to the agreement, I would confirm my availability to complete each project upon its receipt. In practice, however, I was asked to give a number of weekly assignments that I could handle, which I did, calculated on the 4-hour average. Straying below that number, I later learned, had to be approved by the owner. </p> <p>The assignments involved reviewing client-supplied documents (2 – 20+ pages, occasionally with conflicting information); preparing a 2-5 page, well-written, and completely proofed draft within 48 hours; and responding promptly to any client concerns that included dissatisfaction with the prescribed and unchangeable format.</p> <p>Let me admit that I am a steady but sometimes slow processor of information. I like to review, reflect, analyze, synthesize, and then recast words into a what I hope will be a compelling, though corporate-like, story. Sometimes, I can assemble, knead, bake, and deliver a project within 24 or 48 hours but oftentimes I cannot. Bottom line, it took me a minimum of 4 hours and an average of 8 hours to complete the assignments. </p> <p>Trying to fit it all in (the assignments and the ever-increasing workload from my own business) took nearly every waking hour. I did ask my trainer-turned-manager for tips on speeding up the process. I received silence in response. Questions on how to handle certain scenarios according to the company way were met with what I now deem the Management-by-Magic-8-Ball method: “do what you think is right,” “all signs point to yes,” etc. If I asked the wrong question, misunderstood a requirement, or made a mistake, I would receive the digital equivalent of being yelled at: an email with words written in a very large font. </p> <p>I never dreamed that a virtual work environment could be run like a sweat shop. </p> <p>Less than 7 weeks into my tenure as a contract writer, I quit. </p> <p>My choice was simple, but for others who are breadwinners with little time to search for another position, quitting is not so easy. For example, the husband of a friend has been telecommuting for a large, publicly-held, seemingly well-run company. His job is to provide technical services 24/7 to a designated customer. As the customer grew over the years, so did his workload. His pay and his support from the company (none, ever, it seems) did not change. To maintain service levels, he became chained to his computer, sleeping erratically to view system performance throughout the day and night, and unable to take a few days off in a wireless location. Sure, he could have quit (before a mild illness turned bad and put him in the hospital, etc.) but there should be accountability on the part of the employer, who seemed to have to dangled the promise of a change in schedule or staffing without ever making one. </p> <p>Here are 7 simple rules for companies who engage work-at-home employees or contractors: </p> <p>1. Deliver what you promise when recruiting new employees or contractors. </p> <p>2. Set policies for time off / days off that are easy to understand and easy to follow.</p> <p>3. Require your employees to visit a physician at least once a year.</p> <p>4. Make sure that compensation is competitive for hourly workers as well as salaried employees or pay-per-project contractors.</p> <p>5. Limit hours on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.</p> <p>6. Encourage employees to take a vacation and provide back-up support for the vacation.</p> <p>7. Evaluate virtual workplace arrangements on an annual basis, identify changes needed, set a deadline for making them, and stick to it.</p> <p>If you are a work-at-home employee or contractor, it&#39;s your job to make sure your work-at-home employer plays by the rules. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-your-boss-wishes-you-knew">10 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success">10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income contractor employee employer telecommuting work at home Thu, 21 Jun 2007 01:23:47 +0000 Julie Rains 763 at http://www.wisebread.com