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Mailbag: Can You Help Me Find Work from Home Jobs?

By April 23, 2007

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LT Writes:
Hi, I've found your articles and have spent the last 2 hours reading them. It is some good and logical information, except the w-a-h jobs I think are legit still ask for a credit card at the end of filling the forms out. I have yet to run across one that doesn't ask you to pay them. I believe with you that a legitimate company shouldn't ask for payment.

Perhaps, I've become too leary; but I am still searching hoping that the right position will turn up for me.

If you can help me with any advise or direction so I can hopefully begin working at home I would be so appreciative.
My reply:

Thanks for visiting the site LT. A lot depends on the kind of work you're qualified to do - is it something that lends itself to working from home?

You are absolutely right - you don't want to give out credit card information or pay for the privilege of working at home - with one possible exception. Some telecommuting job sites - for example, Guru.com and eLance.com - offer more features and more positions if you register with them and pay a membership fee. That's how they make their money. Although sometimes you can get a free basic membership, you'll find that the information you can access and the projects you are allowed to bid on are severely restricted unless you opt-in for a paid membership. Some of the virtual assistant websites and other job registration sites also work that way. So while you might consider paying a registration fee for a site that offers job postings in the area you're interested in, you never want to pay an "employer" directly for a job - those are just scams.

Three of the best sources for searching legitimate work from home jobs in my experience are www.wahm.com, www.craigslist.org and www.tjobs.com. While you'll never have to pay wahm.com or Craig's List to search for work from home jobs, Tjobs does charge a nominal fee for access to its job postings - at least for the ability to apply to one of the jobs. This is a very small annual fee - $15 - to purchase an annual password to access individual job postings.

Many of the jobs on wahm.com have been picked up from what the editor believes are legitimate job postings on Craig's List. But the jobs posted there are just a small subset of the work from home jobs posted around the country and around the world on Craig's List, so it often pays to search Craig's List on your own. Just go to www.craigslist.org, select a city, state or country from the right hand side of the page. Then click on any jobs area under Jobs and/or Gigs. Once that page loads check the telecommute box and then select either All Jobs or All Gigs from the in list and then click Search.

I find it's best to leave all the other boxes blank. (In other words, don't just select one category or type in specific keywords - select All Jobs and leave the search text box empty.) I've found that different employers use different terminology and see positions as being in different categories than I was thinking. For example, a writing position could be listed under Business, Marketing, Web, Internet, Software, etc. By leaving everything but the telecommute check box blank you'll get the best collection of listings.

There are two downsides to Craig's List. First, you can't conduct a single search that looks at all states and metro areas at once. If you're looking for a 100% telecommute arrangement, you don't need to restrict yourself to your local area when conducting a Craig's List search for a telecommuting position. For 100% telecommuting, you'll probably have better luck searching the biggest job areas - New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, etc. regardless of where you live now. This can get time consuming, so I recommend you pick several areas one day and then several more the next, and so on. You could even set up a schedule to list the areas you'll check each day or each week.

The second downside is that although Craig's List provides visitors with the ability to report scams, scam operators can and will post here as well, so you still need to remain vigilant for phony and sometimes even illegal job offers. But I think nowadays you have to do that no matter where you look for work from home jobs or which website you visit.

Keep visiting my site and continue to use the links I provide on the site for additional work from home jobs search tools as well. Again, since anyone can post and get away with it for at least awhile, you need to remain vigilant for con artists. Unfortunately, they are everywhere.

Do your best to keep a positive attitude and don't give up. When you finally find a legitimate work from home opportunity you'll want to project a positive, can-do attitude to improve your chances of nailing it down.

Thanks for your inquiry, LT. I like to know what my visitors are going through and learn how I can be of assistance to them.

How you can help:

I encourage my readers to contribute their iwork from home job search ideas by posting a comment to this post (click the Comments link under this post) or join the work from home job search discussion in the forum.
June 19, 2008 at 12:38 am
(1) Bryan (Works At Home) says:

Craigslist is an excellent thought as a place to look for work, but since it’s free, it’s riddled with scams and freeloaders trying to make a buck. It’s much easier to either find a job locally and telecommute or get into a field where the majority of work is done at home.

January 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm
(2) gladys says:

hi i’m a stay home mom. i get laid-off from my job in late 2007 and i am very interesting in getting a job to work at home. i am bearly making ends meet, looking into a job like stuffing enveloped or assembly jobs. i never job at home before so i am scare of all the scammed out there. please help me find a safe and good job. thank you, gladys Millan

January 8, 2010 at 7:46 am
(3) homebusiness says:

Hi Gladys:
Thanks for joining the discussion. You give no indication of the type of work you used to do when you got laid off. It also doesn’t sound like you’re not really sure what you’d LIKE to do. Those two things are important when considering what type of work at home you might be best suited for. Unfortunately, assembling things at home and stuffing envelopes, like at home data entry, are the very areas that seem to attract the most scam artists. Be very careful.

Randy D.

March 17, 2010 at 9:21 am
(4) maybemaybell says:

I am really trying to work from home. My schedule right now would be perfect for the wah jobs. Problem right now is I’m trying to set up a web site and can’t understand how to put my url on the site. It seems if I can do that I can then have advertisements on the site which would give me an almost automatic source of income. Please help. I have been out of work for a couple of years after getting out of Americorps. I did not realize how difficult it is to re-enter the work force until last year when I really tried to find work. That is why I am trying to start my own business.
Thank you in advance for any assistance

March 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm
(5) homebusiness says:

I’m not sure what you mean by:

“I’m trying to set up a web site and can’t understand how to put my url on the site. ”

The steps to setting up a website are:

  1. Register a domain name (which then becomes your URL (like http://www.mydomainname.com). This should cost no more than $10 per year or so.
  2. Sign up for a web hosting account. You can get a full-featured hosting account for about $3.99 per month.
  3. Put content up on your site. Most hosting accounts have an easy-to-use file manager for doing this.

Then, to put ads on your site:

  1. Sign up for a Google account
  2. Go to http://www.google.com/adsense and click the Sign Up Now button, using your new Google account.
  3. Use the Google AdSense tools to set up your ads. Once you get the ad set up the way you like it, you’ll need to copy the code for that ad group onto your website’s pages.

An easier way to do it would be to set up a free Blogger account. You’ll still want to register for AdSense first, but then:

  1. Go to http://www.blogger.com
  2. Sign in with your Google account.
  3. Set up a blog by following the step by step wizard in Blogger.
  4. Once the blog is set up, go Settings and click the Monetize tab. The Setup AdSense tab opens first.
  5. Make your selections on the Setup AdSense tab and follow the instructions to start running your ads.

There’s a lot more than meets the eye here and I see I need to get this type of content up ASAP so it’s easy to understand.
Things to keep in mind:

  • It’s a good idea to put some content on your site and have it there for awhile before you start putting ads on it. AdSense displays ads based on what your content is about on each page, so the more content you have before you start running ads, the better. By putting up the content first, you give search engines some time to find and index your pages and you’ll be more likely to get decent ads that could draw clicks.
  • To make any kind of money (other than just a few cents) your site needs traffic. Only a very small percentage of people who visit your pages will click the ads to make you money. Therefore, the more traffic you have, the more likely it is you’ll get clicks.
  • This is not a way to make an immediate, decent income. It takes time, persistence and good content.

You may also consider getting help to get set up. You may be able to post a free ad in CraigsList and look for some local college students who could help you get set up.

Hope that helps in some way. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. For many of my readers this is a big leap and I need to find a way to make it more understandable.

In the meantime, I saw a very good article today on how to create a small website and make money on it with AdSense. See http://www.seoish.com/an-in-depth-guide-to-creating-small-websites-that-rank-well/.

Keep in mind that an Internet business is the answer for everyone. There’s no shame in that. If you feel overwhelmed by technology you might be better off doing something else.

Randy D.

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