Hey Mama, are you trying to find a job that you can do from home, but are a bit daunted by all the options? Are you unsure where to find quality jobs vs. getting caught up in garbage and scams? There are now tens of thousands of work from home jobs out there and there are dozens of great places to find them!
The following is a simple list of 4 sites that will give you 100s of listings each and that have a good reputation for providing decent job postings:
LinkedIn – If you are serious about getting a work from home / remote job, you need to create a way to legitimize yourself and get found. If you do not already have an account on LinkedIn, get one. Then setup your profile and resume. Lastly, start looking for jobs. Just go to the Jobs link and type in a search like – Remote Jobs, Work From Home Jobs, or Remote + the city you live in.
Rat Race Rebellion – Silly name, but these guys do a great job of vetting out most of the junk and finding jobs that you and I would want to do. I have already applied for a few jobs myself this past week (that pay $18 or more per hour).
The Penny Hoarder – A similar site to my own, but they have a whole load of people working for them, so they list hundreds of jobs throughout their posts.
Remote.com – Someone got smart with the name on this one! Mostly Tech and Professional level work.
I apologize – it has been a few weeks since the last post in this series. But I was doing something very important to the Work At Home Mom – I became a mom (again). Now that I am getting into a little bit of a routine with the baby and my other children, I am writing the 4th post in the 5 Ways To Earn $500 Or More Per Month Working Part Time From Home series. If this is the first time you have seen the series, be sure to read the other parts, as they all contain great ideas.
Here are 5 more businesses or jobs you can do from home!
Disclose: This post contains affiliate links.
Social Media Manager – This is becoming quite the hot job in this internet age. Every business should be online and almost every business needs someone to manage their social media and social media marketing. This isn’t just for large corporations, or online only companies, but your local market, coffee shop, and boutique all need a quality online presence and a way to connect with current and potential customers. They also don’t have a lot of time or the knowledge, and will usually outsource this work.
I recently came across a gal from New Zealand that was selling a “how to become a Social Media Manager” training course. She stated that she made over $100,000 a year as a Social Media Manager. I know a few people making at least $25 per hour!
If this is something that you would like to do, I would recommend starting with a quality social media blog / online magazine (I subscribe to the Social Media Examiner) and finding a book or two on Amazon.
You can also look into some great tools that automate may tasks, allowing you to make more money with your time. One favorite for Facebook is to use HootSuite. The first choice for Pinterest is BoardBooster.
Personal Shopper – There are millions of elderly and disabled folks who need help either getting to stores to purchase stuff or sending someone to do their shopping and purchases for them. There are also a lot of executives and other very busy folks who simply don’t have the time to run all the errands in a week that they need to. This opens the door for women to do what many love most – shop!
You can find clients by placing ads and networking with friends and family. Obviously, you will need transportation and you will have to go out of the house to do the actual work, but you could find clients who don’t mind if you take you children with you.
In-home Caregiver – Keeping with a similar theme as the previous job / business as a Personal Shopper and taking care of the elderly and disabled, we have the business of being an in-home caregiver. I know a couple of people who have done this successfully. The have an extra bedroom in their home and take care of an elderly person. Although the woman (mom) is the main caregiver, in one case, the children help out too with meals, cleaning, and such. For many folks, the cost of this is less than a nursing home and preferred to the somewhat stale environment of most nursing homes.
Transcription – Work from home transcription has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, so have a lot of scams. To avoid the scams and find some legitimate jobs, check out the job postings at Rat Race Rebellion. BTW, I do not make any money or get any kickbacks from their site, I share it because it such a great resource and I really want to help you find the right work for you.
Artist – I am amazed at the opportunities available for Artists today. Not only the field of Graphic Arts being huge, but animation, book illustration, comics, and much more. Plus, I have seen web sites where one can sell their paintings or turn their artwork into posters, T-shirts, accessories and more. I sincerely wish I had artistic talent!
Be encouraged, if you want to work from home, there are many, many opportunities out there. This is the 3rd post in the Ways To Make Money Working From Home series! Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not yet. Also, join my FB Group – Work At Home Moms Who Want More Than Spam – to network with other women, learn about more opportunities, or share your existing business with others.
Mystery Shopping –
Last year, I made a couple hundred dollars a month Mystery Shopping. I really liked it and was able to generally find Shops that I could fit into the routine with my children and our usual outings. For example, one shop was at a grocery store that I shopped at a couple of times per month. So, with a little extra work and time, I was able to get my shopping done and complete a Mystery Shop – I got paid $25.00 for it.
There are actually 3 ways to make a living as a Travel Agent, however, all require some training:
Become an independent agent / run your own agency from home. Of the three options, this will take the most work. You have to get training, get licensed, join an association, get software to connect to all the available reservation systems, and then promote your business.
Work for a Travel Agency from home / remotely. This can be a small, local agency or a large corporation like American Express or 1-800-Cruises. Some of the large agencies list jobs on Rat Race Rebellion. You may have to get some training first to get these jobs.
There is a direct sales (MLM) business that sets you up as a travel agent, provides training, provides a web site, and gives support for a small start-up fee. I know a couple of people doing this, so contact me if you are interested. However, some in the Travel business do not consider these “real” travel businesses, so do your research before getting involved.
Up-cycle and Refurbish from garage sales and thrift stores –
This idea came to me recently because I have a friend doing this. They peruse Craigslist and Facebook for stuff that people are giving away or selling really cheap (usually because it has a major issue, is broken, etc….). They then they fix the item(s), clean them up, paint them, etc… and then turn around and sell them at a profit. You can do this on a small scale (i.e. household items, toys, knickknacks, clothing) or a larger scale (furniture, automobiles, appliances).
You can also pickup stuff at Thrift Stores and garage sales and try to resell through Ebay and places like My Kids Threads.
Organizing people’s stuff / home –
Another idea that came in the last week was from a friend who has started a personal organizing business. She posts ads on local FB groups (buy/sell or networking) and then helps people organize their “messes.” This could include: setting up or organizing a pantry, helping someone organize their home office, taking a pile of photos and making a scrapbook, organizing an old recipe collection, setting up shelving in a spare room to organize storage, and much more. If you are super organized and love to sort, color code, alphabetize, etc.. this could be a great PT gig for you.
House and/or Business Cleaning Service –
I know a few people who have successfully started and worked for years doing their own cleaning service. Yes, it is hard work, but most find it easier to market, get and keep clients / customers than many of the other businesses I have mentioned to date. If you keep a clean home and have some great tricks that you use to make your house sparkle, you can make good money. I have known people to make anywhere from $10 an hour doing homes to $30 an hour cleaning offices and businesses.
If you do go the route of cleaning businesses, you will need to have more equipment than cleaning households.
I am going to be blunt, I wasted two years blogging.
It wasn’t that the blogging was a waste, but how I did it, giving up and taking long breaks, and the things I was not willing to do to actually make it work and successful, that is what was a waste.
If you are starting blogging or even have been blogging for years, I want to share a few things with you that I WISH I had known a couple of years ago when I started blogging.
Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links.
I Was Not Willing To Invest In Myself, I Was Not Teachable
I was convinced that I was so very smart and that I could figure out this blogging thing all on my own. I didn’t need any books, I rarely read site dedicated to teaching blogging, and I really just thought that I would do it my way and it would be great.
Well, it wasn’t great. My blog looked amateur, although there was a few good posts there was no real theme or order to my site, and I really did not know what I was trying to do with it or where I was going.
Once I was humbled and realized that I needed some help, I:
Joined some FB Groups like the Inspired Bloggers Network
I learned a LOT in a very short time and I continue to learn now, it is part of my weekly blogging routine.
I Could Not Accept That I Would Need To Invest Some Money
I was convinced that I could build a business without investing one penny into it. Although starting a business on a shoestring or bootstrapping are good concepts, they don’t mean don’t invest a single penny. They just mean you might be able to start a business for $10 or $50 or $100 vs. $1000s.
Once I spent a few dollars on stock photos, useful books, getting my domain name and moving my blog to a host, I found my blog really started to grow and many more opportunities started to come my way.
I Wish I Had Purchased My Domain And Setup A Blog Host
I started my blog on WordPress.com because it was free. I won’t say it was a total mistake, but going back, I would have just started with a domain name and host from the beginning. The cost for a domain name can be as little as $2.00 and maybe as much as $20.00 per year. The cost for a host for a small blog is from $5.00 (which is all I am paying now) to $20 per month. A very small investment.
I Wish I Had Learned To Use Graphics And Pinterest From The Beginning
I was so sure that I could grow my blog by sharing it with my friends on FB and they would share with all their friends and so on. Well, when crickets kept chirping when I shared on FB, I realized that there was a lot more I would need to do.
I joined some FB Groups, started participating and sharing my posts. I also finally go into Pinterest and saw the need for me to improve my graphics so that my posts would be “pinnable.” I started using a free online app called Canva to make my graphics, occasionally purchasing some quality stock photos from them. I have seen some amazing work done with Pic Monkey on other people’s blogs.
I Wish I Hadn’t Spammed!
Unfortunately, when I got frustrated with my friends and family not really paying attention to my blog and not sharing much, I started spamming some blogs, groups, etc… My mindset was still focused on myself – come look at me – vs really caring about the people around me, what they needed, and if I was providing something useful for them. Changing my mindset changed how I approached promotion and I try to do it, in a real, organic way – but I probably haven’t perfected that yet.
Blogging Helps – Use Them Now!
There are so many sites, groups and resources out there to help bloggers. I wish I had taken the time to tap into these much sooner. I am still using many of them!
Blogging has become one of the biggest industries on the web. Mom blogging is one of the biggest niches within the blogger community. If you have wanted to start blogging, and just need a few helps to get started, then you have come to the right place. I am not a BIG blogger, but I have learned a few things along the way that could be of help to you, the new blogger, to get started and maybe even make some money blogging.
Decide What You Want to Blog About
As with any business or other endeavor, you need to have a vision for where you are going. Who are you and what do you want to share with your friends and family, your like-minded community, or the world? Before you setup your blog, write your first post, etc… Take a few minutes, close your eyes and dream – what do I want my blog to look like in a year or so? Now start writing down those ideas and let it form into an overall vision.
Using my blog as an example, my overall vision is: A Simple Life Too is for anyone who would like to learn how to make their life less complicated and more simplified. Whether this means decluttering and getting rid of stuff, getting out of debt and getting rid of an entitlement mentality, finding things, solutions and hacks to make things a little easier, or letting go of wrong thinking, this blog’s vision is to be a help and resource.
After you have the initial vision, break it down into simple, granular concepts. Again, using my blog as an example, I wanted specifically to write about:
Saving money, living frugally and simply
Making simple foods, making menu planning, shopping, etc… easy
Being able to help others
Encouraging my children and keeping them productive
Share what God is doing in my life
Share about how we try to deal with illnesses naturally
How to work at home and keep it simple
This became the categories of writing that I would mainly focus on, giving direction to my blog and allowing me to brainstorm lots of post ideas. If you are not to sure how to brainstorm, let me know. I would love to help.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.
Get a Host
Although you can blog for free on WordPress.com or Blogger, if you want your blog to be more than for friends or family and/or your vision for your blog includes making money from it, then I highly recommend that you setup you blog from the beginning with your own, unique domain name, and you hire / purchase a host company to host your blog. The cost for a domain name can be anywhere from $2.00 to $20.00 per year and the cost for a host for a small blog is from $5.00 to $20 per month. Very inexpensive if you consider what it costs to start a more traditional business.
This is probably the hardest part for those w/o a technical background and are new to blogging – setting up your blog for the first time. While there are other software choices out there, I recommend that you create your blog with WordPress.
All the hosts I mentioned above have WordPress available (usually included in your hosting package) and I believe (please correct me if you find I am wrong) they all have a one-click install to setup WordPress on the host. Each of the hosts should also have (free) tutorials and help pages to walk you through the process.
However, if you would feel more comfortable, you can pay the host, or an experienced blogger that hires out for that kind of work, a small fee to set it all up for you.
Write Your First Post
You have a vision and now it is time to start on the path to making that vision a reality.
If the tutorials to setup your WordPress install did not include how to write a post, then you should search for one now (either in your host’s help database or through the internet). If you can write an email, you can write your first blog post with WordPress! However, you will want to learn more about what is available to you, so a tutorial or two is very useful.
As for the content of your post, go back now to your vision and your concepts. Your first post could be introducing your blog to the world and including that vision and concept list, or you could pick one of the concepts and start with it. Whatever you do, your post should be at least 250 / 300 words and for starters, probably not more than 1000 (there are times to do more, like the post I am writing, but probably not your first one). Make sure you stick to one theme, thought, concept – with the rare exception, posts should not weave in and out of various topics – no bunny trails!
Also, consider your title: Would you want to read the post if you saw that title on the web? Sometimes your title is all you have get people to read, so make it clear and concise.
Oh, one really important point: SAVE every 10 to 15 minutes while writing. Nothing is worse than a computer crashing, the phone ringing, the children crying or whatever, only to come back and find your post is gone. I have already saved this post 8 times!
Add A Graphic To Your First Post
In today’s world of 1000s of things vying for our attention, using a graphic with a blog post to draw attention to it is almost required. There are many ways to get and create graphics. You can create your own from scratch, using your own photos or purchasing photos. You can also create with clip-art and using graphic art software. If you have some experience with graphic arts, then this step will be easy. If you are like me, however, you could use a little help.
I use Canva to create most of my graphics. Canva is free to use with your own photos and they have a limited selection of free text and clip art. They also sell stock photos for $1 each. I use my own photos about 50% of the time and purchase Canva’s about 50% of the time. I think I have spent less than $20 on graphics this year.
Some bloggers love Pic Monkey. They have a free option or an inexpensive subscription option that allows the use of advanced graphic editing tools and such.
Promote Your First Post
Now that you have written your first post and clicked the publish button (if you haven’t clicked the publish button, do so now), how do you actually get people to read it?
I have found the best way to get folks to start reading my posts is to share it with people I know, and some I don’t, through social media. I would be a bit surprised if you have not ever used any social media, so I will make the assumption that you are familiar with at least one of the following:
Facebook – Share your first post with your personal friends and family and ask them to read it and give feedback. However, don’t be discouraged if not many respond. There is an audience out there for your blog. Create a professional / business page and join some FB groups that are relevant to your blog topic / topics. You might be able to share your posts in some of those groups.
Pinterest – If you are already on Pinterest, then you probably have friends and family following you. Go ahead and pin the graphic that you created to one of your Pinterest boards or create a new board just for your blog. If you haven’t joined Pinterest and you are a female – do so now. Pinterest is currently one of the hottest ways to promote blogs. You can also join group Pinterest boards (I will share a resource at the end of this post on how to find some).
Google+ – There is lots of debate on the usefulness of Google+, but I use it because 1) Google is the major player in search engines and I know posting to Google has some tie into the search engine. 2) Because I can see that people are viewing my posts to Google+, I just don’t know what the conversion is to people coming to my blog and actually reading the post.
Twitter – I do not use Twitter, but I know some folks have 1000’s of followers and find this a good way to promote posts.
There are other social media venues, but I am not as familiar with them. If you are on something else, use it!
Monetizing Your Blog and Posts
If you want to make money with your blog, I recommend starting to monetize it from the beginning, even if you are only making a $1 per month to start. It helps set expectations that your blog is, at least to some degree, about making a living and that readers will be used to affiliate links and ads as part of your blog.
There are many ways to make money with your blog, but I am only covering a couple of ways for now.
Affiliates – These are folks that you choose to partner with. You then place text links, coupons and/or banners on your site and/or in your posts. Usually, when someone purchases something through your affiliate, you get a % commission. Amazon.com is one of the biggest affiliates out there. Here are some other affiliates worth checking into:
Moms Affiliate – Moms affiliate is one of my favorites because it is a hybrid of the 3 methods of monetizing your blog that I am sharing today. They have affiliate programs that are very mom-centric, a small advertising network, and they have opportunities for sponsored posts.
Commission Junction – literally has 1000s of brands available to partner and affiliate with. Are you writing a blog post about people with vision issues? This would be a place to find companies that sell glasses.
Share A Sale – also has 1000s of brands available to partner and affiliate with, but I also like the fact that many of the brands pay bloggers to send affiliates to the program.
Ebates – Ebates is an especially a good affiliate if you are going to write about any products that can be purchased online. Ebates gives people coupons and cash back on their online purchases, so it blends in good with review sites, fashion sites, book sites, gadget sites, etc….
Note: all of these programs are free to join. You should never have to pay to join an affiliate program. Ebates will pay you $10 to join them.
Ads – The most popular ad program is Google Adsense. However, it is not always the most profitable. Moms Affiliate, as I mentioned above, makes me more money. So does selling my own ads. You must be on your own host to run Adsense and related ads.
Sponsored Posts – Many companies like the feel of a sponsored post vs. advertising to get their message across. One example of a sponsored post can be a company giving the blogger free product(s), and then the blogger tells about the product and experience. Another can be that the sponsor company pays a cash fee to have the blogger write a post that highlights the company’s product within a useful, informational post.
I currently use IZEA and Moms Affiliate to find sponsored post opportunities. There are other sites too. Sponsorship opportunities are fairly limited until one reaches about 10,000 view per month to their blog.
For Further Blog Education, A Couple Of Books, Groups And Sites I Recommend
I hope you find this post a great starting point for your blogging career. However, there is so much more to learn and if you really want to be successful, you need to continually invest in your knowledge and skills. I have a few books, FB Groups, and web sites that I recommend to help you on your path.
How to Blog for Profit w/o Losing Your Soul – The writer, Ruth Soukup is a very successful blogger with over a million views per month to her site, LivingWellSpendingLess. Her book starts off with assuming you have been blogging for a couple of months and does not cover any sort of blog start and setup. However, it is still worth a read from near to the beginning of your blog endeavors, as she goes in depth into creating your brand, your topics, what a great, share-able post should look like, how to use social media, and how to make some money with your blog.
ProBlogger – ProBlogger is the biggest “how to blog” site out there and may also be the most read book in the category. Co-authors Darren and Chris start the book for the new blogger and take you from conception to setup to promotion to making money, Even though I have been blogging for 3 years, I still have much to learn from this book.
Inspired Bloggers Network – I would not be where I am today if I had not discovered the Inspired Bloggers Network FB Group. Actually, I was commenting on another blog’s post (lamenting really) and she told me about it. The community is so helpful to each other and will answer almost any question. Just be sure to read the rules before posting.
Pinterest Collaborators – If you remember, I mentioned before that I had a great place to get included in some Pinterest Group boards? Well, this is the place!
Last month I started a series that has become one of my most popular: 5 Ways To Earn $500 Or More Per Month Working Part Time From Home. As it turns out, there are actually 100s of businesses and jobs that you can do from home in this technological age. Since I want to take time to write about each one, I am breaking the list down and writing about 5 at a time. The goal is to have a 100 great ideas for jobs and businesses by the end of the series. Subscribe now if you want to keep up and get all 20 posts!
Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links.
Freelance Writer – Freelance Writing has grown dramatically in the past decade with so many online sites wanting content. Plus, the classic magazine and book market is still there, along with the explosive growth of the eBook market.
If you are a beginner Writer, you may want to start out with what we call a “content mill.” Some people disagree with them, but if you don’t have any writing experience and you aren’t getting told regularly that your writing is great, then these are places to gain some experience and build up a portfolio. Two that I am familiar with are Textbroker and Demand Media Studios. Expect to earn $7 to $15 per hour.
If you are more seasoned in your writing, or if you have spent a couple of months writing for something like a content mill, you then may be ready to start looking for the quality freelance writing jobs. Blogs can pay anywhere from $25 to $100 per post and magazines can pay as high as $500 to $1000 for a large, quality article with a quality magazine. You can find writing jobs for the Christian Market with the Christian Writer’s Market Guide, writing jobs for the Secular Market with the Writer’s Guide, and some good blog / online leads through Rat Race Rebellion.
Virtual Assistant – Another work from home job that is seeing huge growth is the Virtual Assistant. According to Wikpedia: a Virtual Assistant (VA for short) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.
Many large blogs and websites use Virtual Assistants to manage day to day operations, do some writing, or manage their Social Media campaigns. There are a few books on the market to help you get started and a here are a few places to get started marketing your services: eLance, Upwork, and Freelancer. And there is my favorite site, Rat Race Rebellion with job listings (you have to subscribe to their site to get occasional listings in their newsletter)
Website Tester – Google how many websites are created each minute and you will find something like 500. Anyone who really wants to put a quality website out there should have someone else look the site over, give feedback for how usable it is, check for bad links, check spelling, etc… There are now business that hire the average person with some decent observation skills to look over websites and give feedback. Many people are calling this “crowd sourced web testing.” Rat Race Rebellion has a list of businesses who hire for this kind of work. It isn’t high pay, maybe $10 per site reviewed (which should take nearly an hour for a good review), but for a little fill in cash here and there, it would be worth it.
Here are some great sites to get supplies: Annies:
Farmer’s Markets – Staying in the same genera as the Etsy shop, if you make something, a Farmer’s Market is a great place to sell it to your local community, especially if it is food related. I have a friend and her two teen girls make a great little side wage every summer selling goodies at the local Farmer’s Market. Our family went in with them a few times and I sold loaves of homemade, Artisan bread. You can also sell handicrafts and art at a Market.
To find a local market, just Google your nearest city and the words Farmer’s Market.
Haven’t seen something that you want to do yet? Subscribe to my blog as I will be publishing more and more of these posts. Also, feel free to leave me a comment. I would love to chat with you and ask you some leading questions to help you find the work from home that is right for you.
Yes, you really can make money working from home. There are 1000’s of great online jobs, businesses and opportunities. Unfortunately, there are just as many scams and cons out there.
I started this series after spending time on some Work At Home Mom FB groups, seeing how much junk and scams there were, and wanted to provide a resource to give people looking for a job or a business from home, good, legitimate resources.
Subscribe to follow the series – I will be writing about 5 jobs and/or businesses per post for a total of 100. Or you can keep an eye on the landing page: Work At Home Mom.
Blogging – Yes, there are lots of people making money blogging. However, there are lots of people not making money blogging. It takes time, continual learning, and hard work to make it as a blogger. There are also a lot of flooded niches, so you need to find what is “you” and hasn’t been done 100s of times.
Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links.
If you really want to start blogging, don’t fall for the “get rich quick” blogging schemes out there. Take the time to really think about what you want to blog about and why. Get practice writing your first few posts and having friends and family critique them. Then start learning what it takes to grow your blog, gain followers, and make money from it. Two great starter books are: How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul & ProBlogger – Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. I have also written two posts about blogging:
Customer Service – While Blogging is a business, doing Customer Service is a job. You should NEVER have to pay to find the jobs, get the jobs, and get paid by the jobs. There are many companies that now hire virtual Customer Service Reps and most of these are reputable companies with real, paid by the hour, jobs. I even saw a post once from American Express Travel – they were paying $16.00 an hour for virtual travel agents!
Direct Sales – You may have also heard these called MLM (Multi-level Marketing) Businesses. Businesses, instead of selling through a retail store like Walmart or Amazon, sell their products through individuals, like you or I.
When you start an MLM, you are starting your own business. And just like Blogging, you can make a lot of money or you can make very little or no money. It depends on hard work and learning from other people how to build your business. Usually you sign up for such a business under someone else and they teach you how. However, there are 100’s of sites, books, etc… out there on how to grow and build your business also.
Some companies include: Avon, Aribonne, It Works, Scentsy, Posh, Thrive, Plexus, Young Living, Useborne Books, and MANY more. If you know of a business that you have been considering or would like to know more about, I probably know someone who is working that business. Contact me and I will connect you.
Online Tutoring – In college, part of my work-study funds came from tutoring students who were struggling in math, especially Algebra and 1st quarter Calculus. Today, millions of students from elementary through college can find a Tutor online, and therefore, you can find a job Tutoring online.
You will either be paid by the client or by the hour. Usually the Tutoring company is the one providing you clients, but you may get bonuses for bringing in your own clients. Your best bet is to Google online tutoring companies or look in your local phonebook.
Surveys, feedback, samples – If you are not specifically looking to make a full living working from home, but just need a little spending money, Swagbucks might be for you. You can earn Swagbucks for registering, taking surveys, shopping online, printing coupons, watching videos, and playing games. Redeem the Swagbucks for giftcards from most major retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target and many more). There is currently a $5 bonus for signing up. Although folks used to make serious money from these sites, these days you will only be likely to make $25 or $50 per month.
I had heard about Mystery Shopping before, but did really grasp its legitimacy as paid work until I decided to do a little research. It turns out that there are many professional shop companies out there, maybe even 100! However, there are also scam companies out there. To be sure you have a legitimate company, you want one that is listed with the MSPA – Mystery Shopping Association and/or SASSI (Available shops through JobSlinger). You never need to pay anything to register or shop with a company. The MSPA does offer certification training for a small fee, but it is NOT required for most companies (they just give preference to certified shoppers).
It Takes Work
I need to make it clear that Mystery Shopping is work. You have to learn quickly, retain a list of facts, have good observational skills, and good writing skills. It takes me about 1/2 to 2 hours to prepare for a shop, depending on complexity. The actual shop can take 10 minutes or a couple of hours. The report after the shop takes 1/2 hour t0 2 hours. During the shop, unless you have a photographic memory (I do not), you have to find a way to take notes w/o being seen so that you remember all the important facts of the shop. I did one shop for a major grocery store chain, which I was going to shop at anyway, and I had to visit every department in the store and: note the exact time, the name of the worker in the department, what they were wearing, how the department looked, and much more! I was sneaking notes on the back of my shopping list continually. I was pretty tired by the end of the shop.
Many Reimburse vs. Pay
I actually decided to take Mystery Shopping seriously when, the first company I registered for happened to have a shop for a prescription reimbursement up to $50. Since the adults in our family do not have health insurance, this was a great find. This was a quick shop with 30 minute prep, the time it took to fill my prescription, and about 30 minutes to fill out the post shop form. Our prescription was only for $20, but was still worth the work it took to get it reimbursed. I should note that most companies take about one month to pay and reimburse.
Getting What We Can’t Afford
That is how our family is now able to afford a few “small things” in life. Through mystery shopping I have:
Been paid anywhere from $20 – 75 for the shop
Been reimbursed for an oil change that we needed and some clothing that we didn’t so much need:-)
I will continue to do a few shops per month. I have seen shops to:
Get paid to test drive a car
Get reimbursed for a nice dinner or hotel
Get reimbursed and paid for a coffee shop and similar for fast food restaurants
Get paid to shop cell phones
Get reimbursed for beauty products
I would be happy to answer any questions I can about mystery shopping and I would love to hear your mystery shop stories.
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I have been blessed by a friend who passed me one simple link. A link to a site that has been vetting and making connections with real companies that provide real, work from home, in your PJs, with your children playing quietly type jobs. Companies like Amazon.com, American Express and LionBridge are just a few. For those that just want to move onto the jobs, here is the link: Rat Race Rebellion. I recommend signing up for the email newsletter.
For those that would like a little more information first, here is an overview of what is available on the site.
Types of jobs available include: Accounting, virtual admins, blogging, call center and customer service, teaching and education, healthcare, legal, medical transcription, mystery shopping, technical, translation, web testing, editing, and writing.
Companies include: Pizza Hut, Amazon.com, LionBridge, American Express Travel, Intuit, PricewaterhouseCoopers, American Airlines, Crushable, Apple, Best Western Hotels, CenturyLink, Cruise.com, Hilton, HSN, Blackboard, MySQL, About.com, Textbroker, and Yahoo. There are a few 100 more.
The two areas that interested me most when I went to the site is the listing of legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies and the listing for all the corporations that have work from home call centers. These I have looked into a little more than the other areas.
If you click on the link on the upper left corner – Today’s Screened Job Leads – you get exactly that (with some ads throughout the page as that is how they make their money).
Obviously, you still have to double-check anything you would apply to. These guys really appear to be doing their research, but they can make mistakes.
Search Ebates for coupons from your favorite retailers for $20 – $1000 off of products and 12% cash back on all purchases.
Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links.