Working at home can be described in one word. Actually two words, “an experience.”
It is an experience traveling the non-traditional route, trying to navigate your way through the telecommute job market, hoping to get noticed by employers all the while hoping to avoid the dreadful work-at-home scams. It is not always easy but well worth it if you want to stay at home with your children or have the desire to earn income from your home office.
You are not alone. There are many people that have gone through or currently going through this process too.
What did they experience?
Who did they work for?
And what are they doing now to earn income online?
The answers to those questions are shared with you in a very compelling interview that I recently posed to Anna from Real Ways to Earn Money Online.
She has a very successful work-at-home website but she started her journey like many of you. Trying to find reputable companies to apply to online, looking for ways to earn money from home, and hoping to find a way to earn a full-time income.
Hearing someone else’s story can prove to lessen the sting of discouragement and anxiety that sometimes comes with being a job seeker, especially in the work-at-home field. It can also open up new ideas and alternatives for reaching your work-at-home goals. I know that you will be inspired by her story just as I was.
Here are some of the questions that I presented to Anna in no particular order and her responses are listed below.
What made you decide to work from home?
Mainly becoming a mother. Like lots of new moms, I really wanted to be home with my babies. And I also like the idea of working independently. I’ve worked in an office setting before and I knew it wasn’t something I really wanted to do again.
What was your first work at home job?
The first thing I did from home that could be considered a job was answer questions as a guide for ChaCha. Back in 2008, they actually paid fair, and sometimes I was making more than $8 an hour. That’s not the case with ChaCha anymore, though.
What obstacles did you overcome?
Balancing work and home life was the hardest. You don’t realize how stressful it can be to work and live in the same space until you try it.
How much was your first paycheck and from what company?
My first real paycheck was probably from ChaCha for around $600 (that was for a month’s worth of work).
How long did it take to earn a steady or full-time income from home?
I wasn’t earning really steady money until I started doing freelance writing. I wrote for wiseGEEK, Demand Media, and also Textbroker regularly enough to bring in something close to an actual income from home.
When did you start your work at home blog?
I started it in the summer of 2010.
Why did you decide to start your work at home blog?
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|Screen cast of Anna’s blog|
As someone who actively was working from home, I was forever on the lookout for new, better opportunities. So I was constantly scouring work at home websites, forums, etc. trying to find what I could. I was learning about all kinds of cool things and I realized that it would be good to have them all just in one spot with all the vital information everyone wants to know about each opportunity really easy to find. Things like pay, hours, eligibility, etc. I did lots of research on all kinds of opportunities and just wrote about them, hoping it might be helpful to people who were looking for legit work at home.
How much did your blog make in the first 6 months to a year?
Probably only about $30 or $40. It took a long time for me to make money because, in the beginning, I had no clue about ad networks, affiliates, etc. It took a while to learn about all that stuff and figure out how to implement it into my website.
How much does your blog earn in revenue now?
Without giving a specific amount, I can say that it’s now my primary job. It makes enough that I am free to focus on just the blog. I do still keep a few little side gigs on hand like Textbroker, and GAO, just in case I need them. It’s always good to have things to do on the side no matter what.
Did you ever think of giving it up?
I thought about giving it up a few months in when it seemed no one was reading, and I was getting overwhelmed trying to learn how to get people there. I can’t remember why I kept going, but it was most likely a few visitors finding me through search and leaving encouraging comments. The positive feedback and comments kept me going in the beginning and would motivate me when I was feeling burnt out.
What tips/techniques did you use to get your blog noticed?
I just kept writing. Eventually, I started getting some steady search traffic. Once Facebook turned into a huge thing, I set up a Facebook account for my website and I used it regularly to share leads and promote my posts. I also got friendly with other bloggers in the same niche, joined blogger groups, etc. It still definitely didn’t happen overnight though.
Please share info about your family, where you reside, how they support you, etc.
I’m a wife and mother of two. We live in GA. My family is very supportive, especially my husband! They’re all very understanding about the ups and downs of running a blog.
Would you have done anything differently?
I would have given my blog a different name. I really didn’t put enough thought into what I called my blog. I feel like it’s just too long and some people who aren’t familiar with my website would probably think it’s sketchy.
What advice would you give to other moms about starting a blog or business?
Be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. Take time to learn about what you’re doing and also network with others in your niche. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed and frustrated when things don’t fall into place right away. All of that stuff just takes a while. If you put in the effort, eventually you’ll probably get some payoff, but know that it takes time.
What would I do if I were not working from home?
I’d probably want to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, but most likely I’d be working doing something. I’d either have another office job or I’d have started my own business cleaning houses or selling things. I’ve always been a little intrigued by real estate, too.
You can find Anna’s blogs listed below — Make sure to visit her for more ways to earn money online.
Real Ways to Earn Money Online is a blog updated 4-6 times per week with new reviews of work-from-home companies, work-from-home job leads, tips, resources, and scam warnings for readers. The point of the site is to provide as legitimate, real work-from-home information as possible and to provide something for everyone regardless of skills or prior education.
Extra Cash and Rewards is a blog updated once per week. It’s similar to Real Ways to Earn, but it focuses more on extra cash things like survey panels, GPT sites, smartphone apps that pay, and random little things to put a few extra dollars or free gift cards/codes in your pocket each week.
Thank you Anna for participating in this work-at-home interview.