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Guest author, Melanie Citron, shares ideas on how Moms can make a little extra income while juggling all their other responsibilities!

Realistic Opportunities For Busy Moms
By Melanie Citron

Raising a family is demanding, and today’s economy is only making it harder. Because of this, we’ve compiled a few practical tips that Work At Home Moms can use to generate an income in their spare time. These easy and effective ideas might not make you rich, but they can help with managing your bills or building your savings. A little extra cash is always nice!

Go Freelance

There are plenty of businesses willing to pay you for your time and skills; you just have to know where to start. For instance, many companies now outsource content production to freelancers instead of paying for an in-house staff.

If you have passion for a subject and can put your ideas on paper, sites like Elance, GetaFreelancer, and ODesk can connect you with hundreds of companies that will pay you to do so. All you need to start is a sample portfolio of original material (write about what you know!) and you’re on your way to making up to $50 bucks an article. 4,000 new jobs are posted on Elance every week with fees totaling $2 million, so the work is definitely available.

With a college degree, you can help tutor students across the globe. will pay you by the hour for tutoring, mentoring, or reviewing essays, while another popular site (Transwebtutors) provides live homework help on specific disciplines. If you’re bilingual or have a specialty in a subject such as math or social sciences, this could be the way to go.

Many small businesses are feeling the weight of the recession and have been forced to cut back on staff; however they still have to manage day-to-day operations. Sign up as a Virtual Assistant with a site like Elance or a recruiting firm such as Team Double Click, Virtual Office Temps, or Alpine Access and make up to $20 an hour, a few hours a week. You’ll work on bill paying, travel arrangements, and many other tasks, all from home.

Go undercover as a “Mystery” shopper and take your infant or toddler with you while you work! Sign up free on sites such as Service Excellence Group, Shoppers View, and Service Intelligence and earn around $20 for visiting local businesses and restaurants. You’ll need to make a small purchase as proof of completion then fill out a detailed questionnaire so these companies can see things from a customer perspective.

Build A Business

Of course, why work for others when you can work for yourself? Most Moms are gifted with unique talents and abilities learned in the life they had before starting a family. You can use these talents to build your own business.

One of the easiest ways to go into business for yourself is by using a free website builder to make a website, then filling it with great content like parenting advice or family recipes. You can make it about whatever you love, then put affiliate marketing links and advertisements up to turn it into a genuine money-maker, all without any investment or technical knowledge.

You can also capitalize on your natural skills. Are you good with computers, interior decorating, or event planning? There are tons of potential clients out there that would rather hire those skills out than deal with them. Because you have all of the knowledge and skills necessary, you won’t need to invest extra time or money into learning the task.

Spread word about your talents around the community by placing a free ad in a local paper and printing flyers to post in stores, then watch as your business grows. If you commit to great work, your clients will spread the word for you. You can also utilize your knowledge by answering topical questions (paid per minute) on sites like JustAnswer or LivePerson.

Sell, Sell, Sell

Did you know that according to an eBay/Nielsen survey there are 52 unused items in average US households worth over $3,000? Use sites like eBay, Craigslist, Hoobly, and efleaa to make cash off your old furniture, baby equipment, jewelry and clothes. As long as you set a minimum asking price you are guaranteed to see a nice bit of cash.

You can also try going to clearance events or local garage sales to find cheap items that can be resold at a profit. If you’re selling it, odds are there are people out there that want to buy it.

Corporations everywhere are willing to pay you to take photographs. Sites such as ShutterStock, Fotolia, and BigStockPhoto will sell your photos to these companies for use in advertising and on web sites. You can make between 25 cents per download to a nice percentage of a commission sale, so upload lots of pictures to create a nice residual income. The best part is that you can take photos of anything you want!

EBooks are another great thing to sell on the web. You can buy the master rights to eBooks about subjects you’re interested in, and then use one of the best website builders, Wordpress, to build a page to sell from. If you buy the master rights, you keep all the profit!

If you’re the creative type, try selling your own handmade crafts. Etsy is a site dedicated to connecting buyers with handmade goods, whether it be scarves, dolls, toys, or anything else. Etsy charges 3.5% on a sale and a modest start up fee, but with $88 million in sales during 2008 it’s great value for the cost.

Another popular site for crafting, Silkfair, is a little different in its approach. Signing up is free, but you can also run your own custom store for 24.99 a month. They’ll take an even 3% off your sales. Once again, vintage items and handmade crafts are the name of the game.

Work At Home Moms have more power than ever to make a nice income in their limited spare time. The economy may be in recession, but business is booming for those that are willing to put effort into home-based businesses. All it takes is a good idea, a little work, and a few spare minutes a day. Success is entirely up to you!

Melanie Citron is a freelance author who wants the web to be open to everyone. She regularly researches and writes about great free or low cost resources to help all have a great presence on the web. See more of her writing at


Related articles:
5 Great Tips on Becoming a Successful WAHM
Counter-Intuitive Time Management Techniques to Tame Your Never-Ending To Do List

Related forums:
Balancing Work and Family

Related Blogs:
7 Tips on Balancing Work and Kids

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