Create your own office space at home

I have put together what I hope will be some useful tips to help you set up your own office space at home. These tips are important because if you have decided to work from home, you will need to plan exactly how you are going to combine both home and work under one roof.

1- First off and probably most importantly, you are going to have to discipline yourself. Can you be certain that after 1 hour of working, you are not going to get distracted and put the television on or do a spot of gardening because the weeds are beginning to overtake the flower beds and it’s all beginning to look like a set from the film, the day of the Triffids! I suggest that you set yourself daily targets and write them down. Once you have achieved a target, tick it off and move onto the next one.

2- Make sure that your office space is in a part of your home that you like. Lighting is important although there is no need to have bright strip lights, keep the lighting in tune with the type of work that you will be doing and a homely balance. Chose space where there is access to a window for ventilation and fresh air.

3- If you need to keep a stock of items for your home business, then make sure that your supplies are kept tidy and not just thrown around. You need to be able to find things as you need them. Boxes and shelves are most suitable.

4- Unless you live alone, then make sure that your office space is not close to any distractions, for example the kitchen, children’s play room.

5- Make the most of your home office space and keep your working area clean and tidy. Don’t allow rubbish or old faxes to clutter your desk. Position a waste basket under your desk so that you can continually keep the work space ‘workable’ While this sounds very basic, being tidy and getting rid of any clutter helps to create an efficient work space.

6- Make sure that your work space is just that- Only for your work. It will become distracting if you bring other types of jobs to your work space.

5 top ways to earn money at home

1-Sell your photographs or art work online through Society6

Are you creative? Society6 was launched back in 2009 and sees itself as a platform for emerging and established artists from every creative discipline to showcase their talents. It’s a great way to make money online by selling your artwork, images or photographs on selected products such as iPhone cases, pillows, t-shirts, laptop skins and much more.

All of the artwork that you see on Society6 has been created by thousands of artists from around the globe. Society6 allows artists to showcase their work and then produces the products on behalf of the artist for sale.

Selling your artwork or images as a product with Society6 is as simple as creating a blog post. The difference being, you will make money from it.

Getting started is easy, all you have to do is post your artwork or image and make it immediately available for sale as a variety of products. When you sell a product, society6 will produce it, package it and ship it to your customer.

All of your earnings and sales are easily tracked through your account and payment is made monthly via Paypal.

Find out more about selling on society6

Need some ideas before you get started? If you are a Freelance or budding photographer, then check out the Freelance photographers market handbook (2013) and pick up some tips for taking and marketing your photographs for books, greetings cards, postcards, calendars, posters and more.

2-Earn money at home hosting students

Hosting foreign students is an interesting way to earn some extra money especially in the summer months. Foreign students on language programmes are accommodated at ‘host houses’

The visiting students stays generally coincide with the summer holidays and as well as lessons, the schools offer recreational and cultural visits which means the students will be out and about all day.

Good host families within proximity of the language schools are always much sought after. Host families will provide the host students with bed and breakfast and an evening meal. Some organisations will require a packed lunch to be provided for their students.

Students may stay from a few days to several months depending upon your agreement. Hosting students if you have a spare room can earn you in excess of £5,000 a year.

If you are interested in earning an extra income from home and want to host students then check for your local language schools. There are also organisations which recruit host families and place students from different language schools. Here are two links to student exchange programmes which will help you get started;

Study abroad UK and Host International

3-Earn money-making candles at home

Another way to earn some money working from home is to make and sell candles. This is a popular craft and sales of candles increase quite dramatically over the Christmas and Easter periods. Candles, in particular aromatherapy candles make popular gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and of course house warming’s.

Before you get started, I suggest that you pick up a couple of books about candle making. Why not start off with a candle making kit and see how you get on before buying supplies for your candle making business.

Buying your supplies will mean selecting different types of waxes, for example beeswax, paraffin wax, soy wax. You will also need to buy a selection of wicks and dye as well as fragrances, moulds/jars and a candle thermometer.

While candles can certainly be made at low-cost from home, if you want to avoid messy process, then pick up some ready-made plain candles and simply decorate them with glitter, pressed dried flowers, ribbons etc.

Candles and tea lights can successfully be sold at craft fairs, gift and specialty shops as well as furniture stores. If you prefer to sell you candles online, then selling your handmade candles through your own online shop with Etsy is easy. This website will allow you to create your very own Etsy shop through which you can sell your handmade goods and supplies.

4-Become an affiliate

Earn money at home by becoming an affiliate. Most of the main websites have affiliate programmes and best of all, it’s free for you to sign up. Amazon run probably the best known affiliate programme and they offer excellent support and tips on how to improve your performance.

Signing up to become an affiliate has an added bonus because there are no set up fees and you don’t even need to have your own products to sell!
Learn step by step through this 5 star rated book how to make money online with your own branded affiliate website. A Complete Step-By-Step Guide To Affiliate Marketing

Basically being an affiliate means that visitors will come to your site and from your website or blog, these visitors will click on the affiliates link and hopefully they will make a purchase because it is from this purchase that you will earn your commission.

Purchases are tracked by referral links from your website to the originators site which means that you can track your commissions online 24/7. Many affiliate programmes are run through Commission Junction.

To find the affiliate programme most suited to you, check online for affiliate directories. Alternatively you may want to become an affiliate for a website that you already use. Amazon and Booking.com for example are 2 highly successful and renowned sites that both offer affiliate programmes.

Once you have decided which website(s) you want to affiliate with, all you need to do is to sign up by clicking on the affiliate button and complete a short application form.

When you have been accepted as an affiliate then you can start to earn commission straightaway. Amazon have a very straightforward procedure and you can start earning as soon as you have signed up. Unlike some affiliate programmes which need to see your business plan first and others who will not accept you if the number of monthly visitors to your website is below a set amount.

Do bear in mind, that the amount that you earn will depend on how much marketing you make and how much effort you put into getting your website seen and known. Your earnings will be as successful you are in your marketing techniques!

Being an affiliate is cost-free, it’s fun and ultimately it can be very rewarding.

Check out the Booking.com affiliate programme Or here for the Amazon affiliate programme

5-Get paid to write about your travel experiences

This is perfect for all you budding travel writers out there because here is your chance to get paid to write about your travel experiences. Here are two companies that are always on the lookout for travel writers:

Firstly, there is the independent media company, Matador which rocked the boat in 2006 by launching its innovative interactive travel magazine website. Attracting a huge active community, the site successfully connects travellers, writers, photographers and intrepid travellers from all around the globe. With over 2 million unique visitors a year, this is the place to go if you want your travel related articles to get noticed and commented on.

The website Matador offers all budding writers the opportunity to write and get paid for travel related topics such as food, culture, the arts, travel planning, sports, festivals and so much more. Payment is generally $20 – $25, depending on the type of article that you write. The average article should be between 400-2,000 words and original articles are always in demand.
Before you submit an article, check out the website to get some idea of the type of articles that are likely to be accepted.

Secondly, there is always the opportunity to join the database of writers for Viator.
Viator is a wholesaler selling sightseeing tours, helicopter rides, theatre tickets and much more. Viator sell activities from destinations all over the globe, so if you have any travel background, or even if you live or have lived in one or more of the cities that they sell activities for, you will be eligible to join their database. Good news is that they are always on the lookout for freelance destination writers with a good knowledge of destinations.

As well as their database, Viator also accept articles for their travel blog. Articles can be written about any aspect of travel, and not restricted to a destination that are featured Articles should be both inspiring and informative.

”Submissions for our Travel Blog should be original (your own work and not appearing elsewhere online) and can range in length from 750 to 2000 words with at least 2-3 original photos. Standard payment is $100-$150.”

Alternatively, sign up to join the writer database of Viator

As well as looking for new and original pitches for their travel blog, Viator also welcome freelance writers to sign up for their database for future assignments.

 

 

 

Click  for the 5 best work from home jobs

5 best work from home jobs

Wouldn’t you just love to have the freedom be able to work from home? Thanks to the global use of the world wide web, the opportunity to work from home has opened its doors quite literally to everyone.

To get you started, here is a list of 5 of the best ways to earn some extra money working from the comfort of your own home.

1- Writer/Copywriter
A writer/copywriter will write articles, online content including SEO optimization and press releases etc. There are a majority of companies prefer to hire freelance writers who will work from their own home than pay regular employees because this cuts down considerably on their costs.

Want to get going? I find my own freelance work through Elance  (Taken over by UpWork in 2016) and I have been with them since 2011. Currently UpWork has more than 2 million skilled freelancers from around the globe on its books. It’s free for freelancers to create an account and start searching for freelance jobs. Just be aware that UpWork will take a 10% project fee which is automatically calculated when you submit your proposal for a project.

2-Travel agent
There are quite a few home based travel agency opportunities. Preferably you will have some travel knowledge and a tourism background although this is not essential because many agencies offer their own training programmes.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One option is to Join the award-winning innovative company Travel Counsellors and operate your own home based travel business and become your own boss working from home. This leading independent travel companies has more than 1,000 self-employed agents working remotely from their own homes. This dynamic company was set up in 1994 and offers some great opportunities.

If you become a self-employed franchisee with Travel Counsellors then you will have your own personalised website and profile as well as your own clientele. There is no set salary so basically you will earn as much as you are put into your business because your earnings will be on a commission basis only. While Travel Counsellors will give you all the back up and support that you will need including administration and accounting, to IT and marketing . It will be up to you to generate and establish your very own client base.

There are number of franchise options available and if you have never worked in a travel agency before the Travel Academy franchise would be your nest choice. You will be provided with a 1 year training programme which is structured to allow you learn all about the travel industry as well as to build your business. The cost for the academy which includes the bonding and licensing is £10,000 + vat.

Find our more from Travel Councellors

3-Turn your unwanted things into cash with eBay
Selling anything that you don’t want anymore is a good way to get some extra cash. New or secondhand, there is always someone out there who wants to buy even the most unlikely things.

Image courtesy of nixxphotography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you don’t have the time to sell yourself, then let an experienced eBay member sell your things for on your behalf. Trading agents will sell your things and there are some who will even pick up from your home. eBay lets you auction off your goods online through your own sellers profile. Some sellers are working full-time and making good profits while others are happy to work part-time from home or as a hobby.

It’s important to remember that you need to create a well polished product page for the things that you want to sell. Write a description which is easy to read and make sure that it includes the type, brand, and condition—This is especially important if it is used. After you have written the description then make a spell check. Include lots of clear images. You can add up to 12 photographs for each listing.

You need to get prospective buyers interested. Start off by finding out what your goods are worth and then start by setting a reasonable bid which will make sure that people will want to buy from you.

Communicate with your customers. Above all it is imperative to give the type of customer service that you as a customer would expect. Your aim is to get positive feedback and this will show future clients how reliable you are. Always respond in a timely manner to buyer questions. Surprise and delight your customers with a neatly packed item and a handwritten thank you note in the parcel. Leave feedback for your buyers so that they will do the same for you.
Learn how you can become a seller on eBay

4-Telesales / Direct marketing
There are many possibilities to work from the comfort of your own home in telesales. Having said that, this type of cold selling work is not for everyone. Telesales is basically a direct marketing method whereby you will call prospective clients in an attempt to sell products or services over the phone. An effective telesales process will more often than not involve more than one call to a prospective client. The first few calls will determine the needs of the client and the subsequent follow-up calls will motive the client to make a purchase or sign up for service.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prospective clients are identified by the company or charity using various means such as tracking the clients past purchase history. Previous requests for information, competition entries and completed application forms . Names of prospective clients may also have been purchased from the database of another company or obtained from a telephone directory or another public listing. This qualification process determines which clients are mote likely to purchase a product or service.
Companies like to outsource their telesales because it cuts down on their costs and also it means that they can cover more parts of the country or even diverse into different countries.

The best way to find virtual telesales work is to sign up to UpWork which is the platform  I use. To be honest I have to say that I much preferred the Elance platform (taken over by UpWork) However, UpWork is still a good way to find freelance work.

5-Set up a sewing business from home
Has sewing always been a hobby of yours? Why not turn your hobby into something more profitable and set up a small sewing business which you can run from home.

Firstly you need to think about what type of service you will offer. For example one of my neighbours used to make curtains to order and she always had a waiting list of customers. You may care to consider what you are best at: Alterations and repairs, knitting, bridal wear, costume design, baby clothes, beach bags, toys……Some seamstresses have even discovered a niche in the animal market and are busy making dog outfits and blankets for horses.

Needle and thread

You must have excellent sewing skills. If you feel that you have scope for improvement then sign up for an adult education class and learn some new techniques or improve on what you already know. Avoid any misunderstandings with your customers and discuss exactly what they want and what you can offer. Some customers may provide their own fabrics, while others will rely on you to do this for them. Remember that deadlines are important so be realistic with your deadlines and make sure that your customers know when to expect their order.

Turn your talent into a business is a useful paperback book which has been aimed at people who want to turn their hobby into a business