This blog was contributed by Reanne Brian.

The stay at home job market has boomed astronomically in recent years. What used to conjure up images of miserable looking people stuffing envelopes for hours on end is now a legitimate and lucrative option for many people. The popularity of the Internet for conducting business is one of the leading factors in the rise in numbers of people working from home. Previously, all business communications and transactions were carried out by telephone, post, or face to face. Now any business deal is just an email or a Skype call away.

Working from home can suit many people much more than working in an office. Workers who live out in remote areas can work without lengthy commutes. Individuals with disabilities or severe social anxiety, who either can’t work in an office or find it very difficult to, now have the option to earn money remotely. Working from home can give these people a lifeline that they didn’t have access to previously.

The level of flexibility can be expected to be much higher when working from home as people are able to dictate their own working hours more freely. It’s also becoming an increasingly popular option for parents and full-time careers who want to earn money around their responsibilities for their loved ones. People whose partners have to move around frequently for work, such as military spouses/partners, also enjoy the liberty of being able to carry out their work anywhere in the world, without having to change jobs every couple of years.

If you’re sick of the daily grind or you’re struggling to find regular work in your local area, then some of these work-from-home options might just be right up your alley. Many of them require only an internet connection, a computer, a decent grasp of written and spoken English, and a can-do attitude.

Blogging

If you’re the sort of person who thoroughly enjoys writing and has some specialist interest or training, and you enjoy the idea of getting paid to write about it, blogging might be just what you’re after. Keep your posts concise and compelling, don’t get tempted to waffle to fill space. Your personal blog acts as an advertisement for yourself. Try to keep it relatively niche and specialist; for example, if you’ve got legal or educational training, write about these. Know your target audience.

Once you’ve got a good quality blog established you can reach out to companies within your target group, and sell your services to add to their company blog. Websites like LinkedIn are perfect for casting your net wide, and the use of social media to share your own blog and reach out to target companies is an easy way to get noticed. Don’t be afraid to directly contact businesses for whom you’d like to write. It takes a little perseverance to get started, but once you’ve got your first paying gig you can use this as a lead back to your personal blog so prospective clients can find you, and it’s smooth sailing from there.

Investing

When you think of investing stocks and shares, it brings images of Wall Street Bankers shouting at their computers – looking very stressed. Investing doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular method of making money working from home. You might struggle if you’re risk-averse, and there is an element of uncertainty with it, but if you’re comfortable with trying anything new and you’re willing to put your research in, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try. If you want to start by investing a relatively small amount, some firms will have a minimum deposit requirement that you’ll have to reach. Do your research and find companies that will allow you to open an account with as little money as you feel comfortable.

Ensure you’ve got a financial back-up plan in place, such as freelance work or the like. It would be foolish to put all your eggs in this one basket right from the start. You’ll also need to decide which sector you’d like to specialize in, such as property or corporate. This decision is something that many people base on their previous professional experience. For example, many people in North America now are investing in oil, as it’s a pretty good time to do so. Why not look up prices today and see if investing is something you can envisage yourself doing.

Start Filming How-To Videos

If you’ve got specialist knowledge on any subject and you enjoy performance, this can be a great little money spinner. Creating videos that people want to watch will bring in advertising revenue through YouTube. Many people find this to be a fantastic supplement to their income, but some people find they’re able to make enough to do this full time. The more unique your subject matter and approach is, the more you’ll stand out from the crowd.

All it takes it a smartphone or good quality webcam and microphone to film the video, and Windows Movie Maker or a similar piece of software to edit. Once you’ve uploaded the video to YouTube, which is free, you can sign up to their partner program, and chose the option to ‘allow advertisements’, and opt into the monetization feature. And then away you go! Make sure you share your videos like crazy on social media, as the more people that watch the video, the more money that comes to you.

Teach

Teaching English is a great option for individuals who have excellent English language skills and a lot of patience. Many international students and professionals have an interest in learning English to further their careers, and many have chosen online courses which are one-to-one over Skype or other platforms. A corporate background can be beneficial for a point of conversation, as many students will be from a similar background. You will have to be flexible with your hours, as time differences mean that students might want their lessons to be in the middle of the night in your country.  This can be a very consistent stream of income if you’re willing to commit.

If you come from a teaching background, but you no longer want to work in a classroom environment, why not look into online tutoring. Many high school students and their parents are looking to online tutors. These are more likely to be domestic students, and generally will be looking in the core subjects of math, English, science, and history, although other subjects are offered. Sessions are conducted online via Skype or some visual platform.

Consider joining the group of nearly four million Americans who’ve chosen to work from home.

Freelance

If you’ve spent a few years working in a particular professional field, whether that be web development or accounting or anything similar, why not consider going freelance? It is perfect for people who’ve tired of working in offices or who enjoy the idea of becoming their own boss. People are sometimes put off this concept because they don’t believe it offers the same level of job security. I would argue that as a freelancer and the director of a company, you create your own safety. If you build a good rapport with customers and have an extensive enough client base, the worst that can happen is that one of two clients move on. In the current economic climate, you have no more job security when working for a large company than you do when you work for yourself.

Working as a freelancer for yourself means you have sole governance over the direction the company moves in, your salary, and your time off. After the initial start-up costs and time, many people report that taking their job freelance allowed them considerable freedom to spend time with their family and friends, and they felt a reduced level of stress as a result.