Let’s say the next black swan event isn’t a pandemic, but a zombie apocalypse. Or maybe World War III breaks out due to a fight for scarce resources. Clearly, instead of venturing out into the wild, we all need to find the easiest way to make money from home!
The pandemic has been a little strange for our family. Before all the lockdowns began, I had already decided to try and make more money online. My son turned two in 2019 and we faced a new expense: $1,950/month for preschool. The weight of $2,200/month healthcare premiums plus $1,950/month preschool tuition started cracking my back.
We wanted him to go to preschool to learn how to play with others. With an anticipated more difficult pregnancy with baby number two and another expected 3-6 months of sleepless nights postpartum, preschool would be a welcome help in 2020. Then the virus came.
The Easiest Way To Make Money From Home
The easiest way to make money from home is through the internet. However, there are many ways to make money from home through the internet. In my case, it is by owning a personal finance website since 2009. With almost infinite scale, starting your own website is a no-brainer. And a blog is the easiest type of website to start.
Since I’ve owned Financial Samurai for so long, the pandemic didn’t disrupt my workflow too much. I had a full 11 years of practice before our world changed in 2020.
The biggest lifestyle disruption was having kids. Therefore, don’t take lightly your decision to have kids. It may be worthwhile to first come up with a net worth or career goal before having them. Work out your relationship problems beforehand too. Raising kids is tough!
While the lockdowns disrupted our ideal lifestyle, they only disrupted our income flow for a short two months. Further, I never stopped publishing at my three-times-a-week cadence since 2009. With something always happening in the world, it’s too interesting to quit.
Online Income Defensibility
Below is a chart that demonstrates advertising rates as measured by Revenue Per 1,000 sessions (RPS) during the pandemic. In other words, if a website had 100,000 sessions in a month at $20 RPS, it would make $2,000 that month.
After a big dip in advertising rates in March and April 2020, advertisers resumed their normal spend (see below).
What’s good to know is that RPS is seasonal. It generally starts the year low and peaks during the holiday season when consumer spending is generally highest.
Given the defensibility of online income, I would say one of the best ways to make money from home is with a blog.
If you love to write, any online advertising income earned is a bonus. After all, you would gladly write for free since writing itself is a reward. Further, the value of your website increases because its earnings is harder to shut down.
The Joy Of Making Money From Home
Here are three posts I wrote during the scariest time of the pandemic, right when lockdowns began in March 2020.
All posts were written in a way to try and help us make sense of the chaos. The first post hopefully helped you not freak out and sell all your stocks near the bottom. The second post tried to figure out what the right balance was between giving up our freedom and staying safe. Finally, the last post discusses how we might change the way we approach financial independence going forward.
Not only were these posts a joy to write, but they were also good for my uncertain soul at the time. I started Financial Samurai during the height of the global financial crisis in July 2009. Writing has always been a cathartic way for me to deal with my concerns. There’s probably no better free therapy, which is probably why I’ve written so much during the pandemic.
The drop in online advertising from March – April 2020 didn’t matter because it has always felt like a bonus. Once you install the advertising code on your website, it just programmatically displays hopefully relevant ads. Therefore, such advertising revenue is relatively passive. Once installed, I can then focus on what I like doing best, which is to write.
If you write for a long enough time and with enough passion, I truly believe your website will grow into something meaningful. With almost 8 billion people on Earth, you will naturally attract like-minded people.
I call this my green marble theory. You might have the ugliest, most unimpressive green marble. But if you put it on eBay, you are bound to find someone who wants to buy it.
The Best Work From Home Job
Now that I’ve argued the easiest way to make money from home is through a website, let’s move on to the best work from home job. After all, not everybody has the desire to launch a blog, despite how cheap and easy it is to do nowadays.
When you run a blog, you’ve not only got to write, you’ve also got to do the following if you want to grow:
- Filter and delete thousands of spam comments
- Design the website
- Update the content
- Optimize the content
- Answer outreach questions
- Respond to comments and requests
- Fix bugs and technical glitches
- Deal with plagiarism
- Find graphics
- Post on social media
- Work on business development
- Incorporating in your podcast, YouTube channel, etc.
All this stuff takes time, which is why I hardly did any of it my first 10 years. I spent 90% of my time writing because that is what I enjoyed doing most. I already had a steady stream of passive investment income to keep my family afloat. Thankfully, Financial Samurai organically grew despite my lack of focus on these things.
However, there comes a point where your site grows to a size that you should spend more time doing these things. For example, at the start of the year, I had over 500 posts that haven’t been updated in several years. Spending time updating these posts takes hours. And each hour I spend updating posts is one less hour I have to write. It’s an energy drain that also zaps my creativity.
Therefore, the best work-from-home job is to do something that helps a website grow or improve user experience. Whether you are in high school, college, or working full-time, develop skills to make the internet better.
The Best Work From Home Jobs Ranked
Let me rank the best work from home jobs based on feasibility, joy, and income potential.
1) Author Or Writer
Written communication will always be one of the best forms of communication. We can all read much faster than we can watch or listen. Further, we’ve all taken a language and writing class. Therefore, we all have the potential to be authors or writers.
As a writer, you can be a freelance writer for blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Your income potential could be between 10 cents to $5 a word. In other words, if you write a 1,000-word article, you could make $100 – $5,000 in the comfort of your own home. If you write five articles a month at $200 per article, that’s a nice $1,000 a month in income.
As an author, you can self-publish a book that has the potential to earn you passive income for years. The median annual earnings for a self-published author is somewhere around $5,000. $417 a month is not bad! If you can build a platform online, then your earnings could grow much larger.
As an author, you can also traditionally publish a book. The money you will make will mainly be from the book advance. The median book advance for a first-time author ranges between $10,000 – $20,000, and can go way up after more experience.
BTW, I’ve decided to proceed with my book offer with Penguin Random House. We will release a new personal finance book with my own spin by end of 2022. The book deal should be enough to feed my family for at least six months. Whoo hoo!
As a writer, you can also make money with a subscription newsletter. There are platforms like Substack making subscription newsletters easier to launch. Let’s say you have just 100 subscribers paying $10 a month. Not bad!
2) An Editor
Given the best work from home job is being an author or writer, it stands to reason that great editing skills is not too far behind.
We take for granted many of the things we read because the words have been scrubbed to perfection before being released. Many bloggers are at a big disadvantage when compared with writers at larger publications due to the lack of having a professional editor. Therefore, hopefully more readers can give bloggers more slack and offer suggestions when they see errors. Shout out to FS reader Lily N. for always doing just that!
The problem for editors is that many writers don’t think their work needs editing. Therefore, many writers won’t want to pay for editing. For example, as a writer, I often wonder why more editors don’t write since they have a good eye for words. But I supposed the skillset is different.
I’m thankful my dad has helped edit at least a couple hundred articles since I started. He always finds an error or something missing. His feedback also improves my structure.
Not only should you learn good editing skills, it’s good to learn how to manage an editorial calendar. To be a conductor of content is a huge responsibility that can lead to improved brand awareness, traffic, leads, and overall business. Therefore, I do believe the Chief Content Officer is going to be one of the most important jobs going forward.
3) An Optimizer Of Content (Search Engine Optimization)
In the past, I naively thought great writing or really helpful content would always find a way to rise to the top of the search engines like Google. However, what I’ve come to realize after listening to a lot of podcasts, reading a lot about SEO, and observing other sites grow is that optimizing content for the search engines is perhaps more important.
Sadly, you don’t need relevant experience or expertise to write about anything online anymore. If you did, websites that hire a team of freelance writers without the relevant subject experience to write lots of content wouldn’t be flourishing. Here are some examples I’ve observed recently where direct experience doesn’t matter:
- A guy writing about investing in real estate, despite having never owned real estate.
- A gal writing about the proper safe withdrawal rate in retirement while gainfully employed and just several years out of college
- Review of any product that hasn’t been tested by the author
When it comes to ranking content online, your expertise and experience are overrated. What’s underrated is your messaging and your ability to optimize your content for Google. SEO entails keyword research, keyword density, building intralinks, earning outside links, writing featured snippets, optimizing titles and subtitles, PR, and more.
It is sad that after so many years, Google and other search engines can’t fully figure out whether the author has subject matter expertise. But that’s just the way it is. You can game the system, which in a positive way, means anybody can grow and make money from home.
Don’t make my same mistake. For 10 years, I let pride and honor get in the way of growth. I thought I needed to experience something firsthand before writing about it. If money and growth is what you want, there are plenty of ways to hack the system. Every day I’m reminded that almost anybody can achieve almost anything if they really want to.
Make Money From Home And Everywhere
My sincere hope is that all of you figure out a way to make extra money from home. You may be blessed with being able to work from home with your day job. However, it’s important to build as many income engines as possible so you don’t ever crash and burn.
The easiest way to make money from home is through your own website. Build your brand. Even if you don’t make much money directly from your website, your website will act as a lead generator for new income opportunities. The stronger you build your brand, the more income opportunities will come through consulting gigs, book deals, speaking opportunities, new job offers, you name it. It all depends on how much time you want to spend making money.
The best work-from-home job is being a writer or author. If you can figure out a way to write something funny, entertaining, and helpful, you will always be able to make money.
Writing for your website, authoring a book, or being a freelance writer aren’t the only ways to make money. You can also write music, TV shows, plays, marketing material, PR announcements, business development plans, movies, and more. If you become a better writer, you will mostly likely excel at your day job. After all, a big part of getting ahead at your day job is selling yourself internally.
I know writers who’ve been able to land lucrative jobs at prominent venture capital shops and private money management firms due to their blogs. Investing experience not required!
Do not underestimate the power of persuasive writing. It is the easiest way to make potentially a lot of money from home. Writing is also one of the most rewarding ways to create something new.
If you can speak forever, you can write forever. And if you ever lose your ability to speak, may you always be blessed with the ability to write.
Readers, what do you think is the easiest way to make money from home? How have you been able to make extra money from home during the pandemic? What do you think is the best work-from-home job we should consider?