There are around five million stay-at-home moms and dads in the US. And if you are one of them, you might be looking to earn a little extra cash in your downtime.
Sure, when your kids are little, you can rarely go to the bathroom in peace. But when they start going to school? That is the time to find your passion, pursue it, and make a little extra money too.
There are plenty of ways to earn an income online that gives you the freedom to stay at home and work when you like. If you do not know your options, this guide has some creative ideas:
Start a Blog, Podcast or YouTube Channel
Stay-at-home moms and dads need a full-time income or a side hustle that is flexible and allows them to manage their own time. While creating a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel is not the most reliable way to make online, they are flexible options.
If you work hard enough, you have unlimited earning potential.
With either a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel it is a good idea to have a focus or niche. A lot of stay-at-home moms create content around parenting, but you can choose anything that interests you.
And, no matter what you decide, you will need to come up with an original name.
A blog is a personal website where you can write and upload articles (with photographs) that inspire, entertain, and/or help people.
First, sign up for a hosting company like Bluehost or A2 Hosting and start with a basic plan. You will also need to sign up for a content management system like WordPress and buy a domain name. There are plenty of YouTube tutorial videos if you need help.
Next, you need to write the content. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so you can attract as much traffic as possible. After a reasonable amount of time and a lot of great content, you can monetize your blog.
One way to make money through blogging is through ad networks like Mediavine and Ezoic. Another is to sign up for affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Associates. If you have a big social media following, you could do brand partnerships too.
Podcasts are perfect for people who love the sound of their own voices. It is a lot like running a blog because you need to create the content, but most podcasts only air episodes once a week.
To run a successful podcast, you will need the following:
- Decent microphone
- Quiet location to record
- Guests and/or great solo content
- Audio editing skills
- Be able to upload to podcast networks
Podcasters need to build up a loyal audience before they can make money. When you have done that, you can monetize your podcast by getting brands to sponsor your show. Or, you could start a Patreon and upload every other episode on there instead of on a free podcast streaming service, like Apple Podcasts.
You could release a podcast episode teaser for free but make the full episode exclusive to paying Patreon members.
A popular way to make money by creating online content is through YouTube. Video content is “where it’s at” these days, so it is a great choice.
If you are stuck at home most of the day, travelogues are unrealistic. But, you could create tutorials or how-to videos. Do you speak another language or know how to style hair? If so, these skills are perfect for YouTube.
To join YouTube’s partner program and make money, you will need at least 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months. So, the more videos you upload and optimize for keyword search, the better chance you have of earning.
Teach English as a Foreign Language
Since you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, you likely love kids! And if you are a native English speaker, you could earn a full-time income teaching English as a foreign language online.
There are no formal qualifications to become an English language teacher. But you get a better chance of finding a great gig (with opportunities to progress) if you have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate.
You can gain a TEFL certificate online from a range of providers. There are many types of courses, but a 120+ hour course with a telephone class course will be the most beneficial.
Then, all you need is a computer with a webcam and a microphone. Some flashcards and a small whiteboard also help too.
Here are some great companies that hire English language teachers:
- Magic Ears
They will set you up with lesson materials, and most offer training materials. You set up a profile and choose the hours you are available to teach so students or parents can book lessons with you.
Keep in mind that most students on these platforms are Chinese. So, you will have a better chance of earning if you are available during China’s time zone.
You could earn around $20 an hour teaching English online. And once you become skilled, you could start your own teaching business and teach adults if you prefer.
Become a Proofreader or Copyeditor
Did you major in English Language and/or do you have a keen eye for detail? If so, you might be successful at online proofreading.
A proofreader is someone who checks a written piece of work for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. They are not responsible for editing, SEO, or making any other changes.
If you think that sounds easy and are wondering “how much do proofreaders earn?” the average proofreading salary is around $35 an hour.
There are no formal qualifications necessary to become a proofreader. But you need to have total confidence in your skills to spot every single mistake.
Copyeditors are like proofreaders but they often have more tasks. Not only do they check pieces of written work for grammar errors but they also do the following:
- Fact check statements
- Spot technical errors e.g. email or e-mail
- Repetitions and inconsistencies
- Legal liabilities and defamation
- Brand voice
So, online freelance copyeditors have more tasks to fulfill. You often need a communications or journalism background too. But the average copy editor earns $45-55 per hour, so you can charge a higher fee.
Sell Pre-Loved or Vintage Clothes
In our eco-conscious world, buying new clothes is out of fashion, and buying pre-loved is in.
Selling vintage clothing online is perfect for fashion-forward stay-at-home moms and dads with a great sense of style.
Head to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or thrift store and try to find anything special. Search for items that would make a great “collection” or pick a niche. You could become the go-to online store for 1980s womenswear or mid-century kitchenware.
Next, take photos of the items in an eye-catching way. Invest in patterned fabric for flat lays pictures.
Then, upload your items to an online store. Here are a few great ones for selling clothing and vintage items:
- Facebook Marketplace
Hold regular sales and think like a clothing store. Do not try and sell plaid in spring or florals in winter! Once you gain momentum you could create your own eCommerce website with Shopify so you keep 100% of the profits.
If you are unsure whether selling clothing online is right for you, sell a couple of your own unloved items first. As a stay-at-home parent, you likely have a few suits or dresses gathering dust in your closet.
Become a Landscape Photographer
Do you have a creative side and want to skill-up your hobby and make some income? Landscape photography is perfect because you only have to leave the house to take beautiful photographs. No clients or models are necessary.
With landscape photography, smart moms and dads can make money online.
If you are an amateur photographer, you will need to improve your skills and invest in a decent camera. You could educate yourself for free through YouTube videos and blog posts. Or, you could follow a comprehensive online course for around $300.
A landscape photographer should have the following kit in their photography bag:
- Camera body from a reputable brand e.g. Canon or Nikon
- Wide-angle lens
- Telephoto lens
- Macro lens
- 55m prime lens
- Filters and lens hoods
- Spare batteries
- Spare memory cards
Practice as much as possible and seek out professional photographers whose work you admire. When you improve, you could sell your prints on sites like Etsy and stock photo websites.
Wall prints are great, but consider selling your photos on coasters, bookmarks, and other items. Team them with inspirational quotes and start selling greetings cards, too.
Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads Can Pursue Their Passions Too
There is more to being a parent than being a provider. Stay-at-home moms and dads still need to pursue their passions and find purpose.
Your children are not only counting on you to keep them safe. They are counting on you to show them how to live a fulfilling and meaningful life by living one yourself.
Finding freedom and value through making money online could be the way to do that.
Want to learn more about career choices? Browse our articles for more tips, ideas, and advice.