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Living the Dream: A No Nonsense Guide on How to Work From Home

by Matt Banner | 2 COMMENTS Add yours here | Last Updated on

How to Work From Home HeaderI think I speak for everyone when I say that we would all rather work from home than spend years of our lives in a cubicle.

In some cases, you can even earn more money working from home rather than commuting to a typical 9-5. Why can’t you take a piece of this delicious pie as well?

According to Global Workplace Analytics, over 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000/year. With the right tools & habits in your arsenal, you can take advantage of thjis golden opportunity.

Working from home is ENTIRELY possible, but make no mistake my friends, it’s not easy.

Once you learn how to work from home, you’ll figure out that It requires hard work, dedication, all of the things you would expect from any other job. In fact, it requires something else beyond all of this:

“Working from home requires immense amounts of self-control.” [click to tweet]

In fact, according to a study by Telework Research Network, one in every 5 Americans actually work from home with a 5 year forecast indicating a 63% increase.

Working from home statistics

So, the opportunity is yours for the taking!

Of course, when you’re working from home there’s going to be bad days, and times when you’re ready to just give in and join the army of pencil pushers, but don’t, because you deserve better.

With several years of experience working from home under my belt, I’m here today to give you an honest and complete guide on how to start a career that lets you have the freedom working where you want and being your own boss.

What you’ll learn today:

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Is This Career Move Right For You? Consider These Things BEFORE You Quit Your Day Job

I am fully aware of the gravity that a decision like this carries with it.

Trust me, I was in your same shoes what seems like an eternity ago, faced with a choice that could make or break my career.

That’s why I’m going to promise you right here and now that I won’t sugar coat anything in this guide, nor will I try to sell you something you don’t need.

I never take my readers for granted, but these types of posts can be massively influential on someone’s decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly by the writer, or the reader.

I’m fully aware of this, which is why I want to set the expectations now before we move into the possibilities and benefits.

With that being said, there are some important things to consider before you put in your two-weeks and transition to this life style:

1. Not Many Small Businesses Make it 

Statistically speaking, working for yourself is something that is, in and of itself, a major risk. There are countless start ups that crash and burn unfortunately.

There’s not any single reason for this, but it’s an important reminder that getting up off the ground as a blogger isn’t easy.

2. You Won’t See Profits Right Away 

Your blog can make money, but it’s not something that happens overnight.

Sometimes you’ll hit that stride right away, but other times it will be a slow burning fire that eventually catches on and spreads.

3. There’s No Plan B 

If you drop everything to pursue this incredible opportunity, you need to know that you don’t have a backup.

If you have a spouse with a steady job or a lot of connections, you can always look to that, but you won’t have any guarantees in writing that you’ll have somewhere to go if things don’t pan out.

4. You Have to Spend Money to Make Moneyatm money

You’ll need to spend some money at first to set up your hosting and domain. Things like ads, themes, plugins, all of these things should be factored in.

5. You’ll Have Rough Days (And Good Ones Too!) 

I don’t want to beat you down, but working from home can be extremely stressful. Between the need to get as much done as possible, and the need to live your life, it can be too much pressure for some people.

The distinction and balance between your life and your work is one that can be extremely difficult to define.

So, what’s the bottom line? 

A life of working from home isn’t for everyone.

Do I think everyone deserves to have the option? Absolutely, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can be too much for some people.

That’s why you’ll need to really consider this switch.

I for one spent years working in both a day job and using my free time at home to get my blogs up off the ground. I would recommend starting your pursuit this way.

Build up a following, take all the help you can get, find stability in this new lifestyle, and then make the switch.

Potential Careers to Consider

When it comes to working from home, you might be wondering what industries are poised for future growth. Bankrate recently put together some of the best stay at home employment opportunities.


Top Work from Home Careers

  1. Virtual assistant
  2. Medical transcription
  3. Translator
  4. Web developer/designer
  5. Blogger
  6. Tech support specialist
  7. Teacher
  8. Writer/editor


The Best Reasons to Work From Home

So, now that we’ve set the expectations and established the gravity of this decision, let’s talk about some of the things that make working from home such an attractive career option:

1. You Can Set Your Own Schedulecalendar

No one’s telling you when you have to work.

You’re the boss, so the work shift starts when you say it does.

If you’re not feeling the 9 to 5 grind, try something a little latter like 12 to 8. Mix it up and change it around, no one is going to yell at you for being late.

2. You’re Free to Live Your Life 

Flexibility is the name of the game folks. If you need to pick up the kids from school, run a couple errands, or step out to help your friend with something, you have that option.

You’ll need to find ways to make up for the lost time, but in the moment, you’ll have the freedom to do what needs to be done.

3. You’re Building YOUR Brand 

Working from home allows you to create something from nothing. That’s an incredible feeling, to cultivate a business and a career with your bare hands.

4. No Annoying Co-Worker Drama 

Working in an office brings all kinds of fun things like gossip, drama, and the big “p” word: politics.

Dont want to work with me


Yeah, not something you want to deal with, trust me. Let’s skip the drama and get down to the real point of a career: pursuing success.

5. The Sky’s The Limit rocket

Now remember, this pursuit can be rough, it can even become too much, but there’s also limitless potential for your blog to grow and evolve into something you can’t even imagine.

There’s potential to make a whole lot more than you would in any mainstream career. For me, that’s enough to take the leap (with my common sense intact, mind you).

6. Make the World a Better Place globe

With all of that free time, you can start getting around to that volunteer work you kept saying you would do.

“Working from home can allow you to create a business that eventually runs itself.” [click to tweet]

You can also use some of your immense profits to donate to your favorite charities, or even do a fundraiser to collect donations from your followers.

These 10 Essential Tips and Best Practices Will Help You Maximize Your Career Working From Home!

Working from home, as we’ve been discussing, is a total life-changer.

Your entire routine will be flipped on its head, and your financial security will be murky at first.

Once you become settled though, and things start to come together, you’ll suddenly wonder how you ever worked any other way.

If or when you decide to make this change, consider these tips and best practices.

Remember These Things: 

1. Have a Short and Long Term Plan 

First and foremost, you need to go into this with a plan. It needs to be detailed and it has to have realistic and attainable goals.

I once had a colleague who used the term B.H.A.G, here’s what it stands for:

  • B – Big
  • H – Hairy
  • A – Audacious
  • G – Goals


Now that you’re picturing a giant Sasquatch, or perhaps one of your your ex boyfriends/girlfriends (got ’em!) let’s bring this back to the topic at hand.

Your goals need to be ambitious, but they also need to stay within the realm of being realistic and achievable.

Start with a long term goal, then move down into the day-to-day details.

Here are some examples:

  • My long-term goal is to have a WordPress self-hosted blog up and running with (X) number of email subscribers and followers + (x) amount of revenue coming in through advertising, affiliation, and product sales.
  • My short term goal is to establish a posting schedule and maximize my blogs design as I reach out to attract followers and network with fellow bloggers.


For me, it was always about finding that rhythm. I told myself that once I had that steady stream of income, that strong rapport with my followers, that was when I would dive into this as my one and only career.

Remember to incorporate some key points into your goals:

  • How long could/would this goal take?
  • Why do you want this career?
  • What platform/resources will you use?
  • What is it going to cost to get started?


Just keep things like these in mind when you’re setting your goals and deciding when the time for a full transition is right.

2. Become a Master of Your Industry/Niche medal

Regardless of your topic, you need to be an absolute master of what you do. You may already be extremely knowledgeable, but everything is constantly moving forward.

You have to updated on all of the latest news constantly.

Research is a time consuming aspect of working from home and writing posts, but it is a key portion of the process when writing the perfect blog post.

During your research, you need to ask yourself some important questions:

  • What’s the competition looking like?
  • Can you improve on what they have?
  • How do you get a piece of the pie?


There are many different ways to answer these questions.

For starters, you have plenty of blogging tools and resources at your disposal that can help you get a leg-up on the competition. Ultimately though, this part is up to you.

Start searching for keywords related to your topic or niche and see what competition is topping the Google charts.

Examine these sites and blogs from top to bottom and find out what makes them “tick.” It also wouldn’t hurt to comment on the posts you like or reach out to the writer of the blog with a friendly email expressing your interest in the profession.

Building a network this way will massively decrease the time you need to get yourself known. Other bloggers and businesses are surprisingly nice about helping others get up on their feet, all you need to do is ask.

3. Build a Strong List of Email Subscribers envelope

Email subscribers are the backbone of any businesses.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, a storefront, or even your collection of coffee stain art pieces sold in front of the local Starbucks.

Of course, knowing how to start a blog would be the best approach, since you can reach far more people that way.

So, why are email subscribers to important to your success?

Check This Out: 

  • For starters, email subscribers offer you a guaranteed place to spread promotions and build your reputation. Anytime you have a new post or a new product going up, you can promote it to everyone on your list.
  • Using plugins, or just good old fashioned questions, you can perform surveys with your readers and find out  what they prefer and learn more about them.
  • These people choose to be part of your circle, which means they will most certainly share your content. They will also visit your site to check out the new most, which will result in a massive spike for your traffic and visits.


4. Always Focus on Expanding Your Reach megaphone

Your blog should never stop growing.

You should always be looking for ways to expand on your current audience and growing your email list, your followers, and your businesses.

The farther you reach, the more loyalty you garner, at least according to Professor Byron Sharp and his famous book How Brands GrowI would trust his opinion.

To create a profitable and stable business from home, you need to continuously grow the number of people in your audience.

Here’s How You do That: 

  • Create evergreen content which is posts that never lose their relevance. Look for problems that people in your niche have and write content that helps them find solutions.
  • Invest into advertising on both Facebook and Google. This will increase your conversion rates and bring in more money ultimately for you.
  • Don’t be an online hermit! Engage with people on other blogs and platforms. Build your repertoire of backlinks through proven tactics, find opportunities to write guest posts, and look for new types of content like videos to put on your own site.


Computer Keyboard

5. Find Ways to Create a Recurring Income 

You want to make money, we all do, but you also want to build a sustainable income. This is the key to creating a long-term career when working from home. Here are some major methods for gaining this time of income:

  • Advertising Space – When you sell space to advertisers on the site, they will pay you a certain amount for a specified amount of time which represents a consistent cash-flow for you.  
  • Premium Membership – Memberships and subscriptions provide an ongoing value to your readers, but they also provide a consistent income each month as they renew their subscription to your site.
  • Offer Your Skills to Other Sites – You can also offer services based around social media, SEO, and management to other sites and build clients who come to you consistently for assistance.
  • Use Affiliate Programs – These types of offers allow you to receive a sum of money when someone purchases a product you recommend. If it’s an ongoing service, you receive a sum each month for as long as the customer remains a subscriber.


This type of income is slow, but it builds up over time as you increase the number of clients and customers.

6. Diversify as You Grow maraccas

You can start out as a simple blog, but you don’t have to stay that way.

You can start offering various services as you grow.

Start with a e-book download, then move into premium memberships, hosting services, plugins, themes, the sky is the limit. Find new and exciting products that you can offer your customers and diversify your business as you grow.

This allows you to have several sources of income.

You shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket as the saying goes. Say you decide to go full force into Google AdSense. Great, and maybe you start making a ton of money on it, but then one day something goes wrong and your account is banned.

With no other avenues, you’re left without any options. No back-up plan as it were. The main point is don’t rely on one single source of income. 

Use These Methods: 

  • Bring in traffic from various sources. Use your guest posts, outreaches, and advertising to bring people in from all kinds of places, not just Google.
  • Vary your income streams, make sure you’re not relying on a single method of making money.
  • Backup everything. Store your posts, content, and anything else important in several different places so it’s never lost.


7. Always Keep Your Personal Health in Mind apple

Unless you’re running a fitness blog, you may not think about your health as you’re plowing away on the keyboard each day.

Your business may be an immortal being on a computer, but you’re still human. If you disagree with that previous statement, I would like to formally pledge my allegiance to the coming robot army and humbly suggest that On Blast Blog being the cornerstone for the glorious robotic future.

Sorry, just had to cover my bases for when the machines take over.

Okay, so back to your personal health. You see, one of the nice things about a desk job is the ability to call in sick, but that’s not really something you have an option for here.

You can take off a day or two if things get out of hand, but ultimately you need to keep yourself happy and healthy. The problem is, you’ll feel fine, but things will be going bad in the background and you won’t notice until it’s a major problem.

Keep an Eye Out For These Things: 

  • Your back, neck, and hands are all things that receive a lot of use in this career. This can lead to some nasty problems later, so remember to take regular breaks to stretch, walk around, and so on.
  • You may not realize it, but your mental health is also at risk. Think about it, you’ll be working alone most of the time and the starting days will bring plenty of stress with them. If you start experiencing signs of anxiety or depression like lack of energy, changes in your appetite, headaches, irritation, and so on, you shouldn’t ignore them.
  • Your Weight and Lifespan can be affected by sitting for long periods of time. You need to keep yourself active by going on walks, stretching, and moving around every 20 minutes or so.
  • Don’t sacrifice your sleep patterns. You may feel the urge to stay up late working or getting up earlier to squeeze in more work, but resist. Messing with your sleep schedule can add undue stress and pounds to your life.
  • Don’t let your relationships and social life go down the toilet. Setting aside time to spend with your family, friends, or significant other is far more important than letting them become more distanced as a result of your work.


Here’s the Bottom Line: 

Your health is the more part of this whole equation, end of story.

You may have a caring significant other who is willing to keep you sane (I know I’m lucky enough to have one myself) but otherwise, it’s on you to keep yourself happy and healthy.

You’ll feel the urge to let your health slide if it means one more post, trust me, I’ve felt it more times than I can count. It’s not worth it though.


That one extra post isn’t worth your health. Keep your mental and physical well-being in mind in everything you do.

8. Remember That You’re Not Alone 

If you stop and think about all of the things that go into a business, it’s a lot.

Marketing, content production, research, social media, advertising, design, and so on. You’re probably thinking something like How could I possible do all of this myself? 

The Answer? You can’t, and you shouldn’t. A business is something that requires more than a single set of hands.

This is where you let people with training in these things help you out. Known as outsourcing, this is a great way to bring in some talent to help you handle all of the responsibilities.

I Recommend This Strategy: 

  • Create a list of things you’re not comfortable with doing. You may be an amazing writer, but HTML coding could make you nauseous. Put together all of these things and you’ll know what kind of help you need.
  • Start exploring some of the outsourcing websites out there. I personally like ODesk, Elance, and Freelancer. These provide you with profiles on candidates and reputable security so everyone gets what they want.
  • Remember that this is going to require an investment of time and money. It can also be listed as a business expense though, and therefore qualifies as a tax deduction.
  • Whatever you do, do not go all in at first. Start them out on a tester contract and see how they do before you invest a large sum.
  • Provide your freelancer with clear instructions and if they do a great job, consider throwing a little bonus their way to reward a job well done.


9. Learn How to Take Setbacks in Stride 

You’re not going to reach the top without a few setbacks.

In fact, Henry Ford (a pretty successful entrepreneur) knows setbacks all too well.

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”

You need to be okay with these things though. Obviously you want to put in 110% effort into everything you do, but you can’t hold yourself back because you’re afraid it may not work out the way you planned.

There are going to be failures, set backs, and possibly even crippling downturns. Don’t be afraid of them, instead keep pushing forward and trying new things.

“Every failure is just a lesson learned.” [click to tweet]

10. Create a Routine (One That Makes Sense Long-Term) 

When I first started, I went into every day with the intention of working until I couldn’t type another word.

I know, it’s a horrible idea, but when you look at everything that needs to be done, it’s hard to say “okay, I’m done for today.”

You need to learn to say that and mean it. If you intend on doing this for the long-term, you need to have a schedule and a routine that you can do every day without getting burned out. You’re no good to anyone if you run yourself into the ground.

If you’re like me, you’ll try and beat yourself up when you don’t completed ten thousand words or ten different posts in a day, but I speak from experience when I say that you have to set limits and work at a reasonable pace.


All of those things I mentioned before this? They crumble if you can’t create a routine that keeps you moving without running you dry each day.

Oh, You’re Working From Home Already? Debunking 5 Major Stereotypes (and myths)

Whether you start out as a freelancer yourself, or you jump straight into a blog, you’re probably going to be subjected to stereotypes from friends, family, or people in general. As with anything new and exciting, people tend to make assumptions about it being too good to be true. 

To help you (and those around you) understand this career choice better, let’s look at 5 major stereotypes that people have and why they’re wrong:

1. You Just Sit Around In Your Pajamas While the Money Rolls in

I think we’ve already covered this one in some detail.

Working from home is not the luxurious lifestyle people seem to think it is. It takes a lot of work, dedication, and more than a spoonful of self-control to make it happen. Can you work in your Pajamas? Sure, I guess?

You still have to work though. A lot.

2. You’ll Never Know Where Your Next Paycheck is Coming From 

Alright, this is one that a lot of people will use as ammo against your decision.

Yes, there are times when things will be tight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a normal life on a budget as good as, or better, than anyone else you know with a “real” job.

3. You Just Don’t Know What You Want, You’re Flaky

When you choose to drop the day job and pursue a life of blogging, people may think you’re doing this because you don’t know what you want.

On the contrary, you’re actually pursuing your dream. This decision requires a lot of forethought and even more focus, as you know by now.

You’re not flaky, not even close. You’re dedicated, strong-willed, and ready to fight to the end for what you want.

4. So in Other Words, You’re Just Unemployed 

Wrong, so wrong. Not only are you employed, but you’re also your own boss. Not only that, you have a business.

This is one of those nasty stereotypes that results from the fact that you can switch your focus at a moment’s notice.

You don’t have to be nailed down to that one job or that one blog. You can jump around and go where the business takes you!

5. You’re Going to Become an Anti-Social Shut-in

While it’s entirely possible to lose yourself in the work that you do, this isn’t the norm. When you work from home, you don’t immediately become an anti-social hermit.

You could, but it would take a while and I’m sure someone would stop you before it got that bad.

Did I mention I love my girlfriend? I would have already been a blogging Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame if she didn’t rip me away from my work when enough was enough.

Final Thoughts

Stretch of road

You know how to work from home and you know what needs to be considered before you make that leap.

I’ve given you all of the tools and knowledge to make it happen and make it successful.

The rest is up to you, but you’re not alone.

Are you going to start working from home?

Share in the comments below 🙂


  1. iykmezu@gmail.com'Ikechukwu Mezu

    You just made the whole work from home thing clearer in my head. That is my ultimate target and with some facts I got from you now, I am more prepared. Thanks

  2. laurigee@gmail.com'Lauri

    It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this paragraph as well as from
    our discussion made at this place.


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