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The news suggests that America’s economy is doing well. Nationwide unemployment numbers remain stable at or slightly below 4 percent. Despite all of this apparent economic strength, close to 30 percent of Americans make less than $35,000 a year.

That’s especially bad news for them because the cost of living rose 14 percent in the last few years.

With numbers like that in play, it’s no wonder that so many people look for legitimate home based businesses that they can start. Without some way of augmenting their existing earnings, they can’t afford that cost of living increase.

Fortunately, those home based businesses exist and can work for you. Keep reading and we’ll cover ten that you can start right away.

1. Thrift Reseller

People donate their belongings all the time. Some do it because they’re moving and must downsize. Others simply don’t realize what they own has value. 

That means that thrift shops and secondhand stores can provide you with a secondary income. You invest a little at the local thrift shops and resell those items online through marketplace websites. Whatever doesn’t sell online, you can recoup your investment on with yard sales.

2. Freelance Writer

With so many websites and social media site out there, businesses can’t keep up with all the content people expect them to produce. They use freelance writers to make up the difference.

Most people set up a website as a promotional tool, but you can start by offering your services writing blog posts or social media posts for local businesses.

3. Freelance Web Developer

Some businesses use content management systems as the base for their websites. Their product or services don’t require anything too complex. Other websites need more complex websites or web-based applications.

If you know a few key programming languages — HTML, CSS, and Javascript — you can get started as a freelance web developer. Again, you may want a website, but you may find local businesses more receptive when you first start.

4. Lawn Care Services

Anyone with a lawn knows the struggle of keeping it mowed and edged. In some locations, a homeowners association will even mandate you keep your lawn trimmed to a certain length.

If you don’t mind working outdoors, offering lawn care services in the local area can provide a tidy second income. Lots of people prefer outsourcing that kind of work to either free up their time or simply get a chore off their plate.

5. Babysitting

If you don’t mind watching other people’s kids for a few hours, you can set up shop as the neighborhood’s go-to babysitter on weekend evenings. That gives over-stressed parents a few hours of blessed alone time to go out on a date or just have an adult conversation.

Take care that you don’t overbook your time. While extra income is always nice, don’t cut down too much on your own time with your family and spouse.

6. Pet Sitter

Finding someone to take care of their cats or dogs while they leave town is one of the biggest challenges for pet owners. Many pet owners will pay decent money for you to show up a few times for pet care duties.

Most of the time it’s nothing more complicated than putting down some food, giving a bit of attention, and maybe walking the dogs. Shoot the owners the occasional text about their pets’ conditions and you’re set.

7. Operator for a Virtual Call Center

Virtual call centers provide similar functions to brick-and-mortar call centers. One big difference is that the operators handle phone calls remotely.

For example, you might log into a web application or system and have calls routed to you. Then, you interact with customers from a menu system or script. It’s an ideal way for businesses to maintain a customer service presence even in their off hours.

8. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can provide a wide range of services for their clients. For example, one virtual assistant might only manage a client’s calendar and travel arrangement. A different virtual assistant might take on a significant role, with duties including:

  • Making phone calls
  • Answering emails
  • Basic marketing duties, such autoresponders
  • Research
  • Recruiting new remote employees

The responsibilities all boil down to your comfort level and what you and the client negotiate.

9. Blogging

Blogging is a home based business that you can do from almost any computer, including inexpensive Chromebooks. The best blogs focus on a fairly specific niche, so it helps if you’re passionate about a topic.

Blogging lets you develop several different potential revenue streams, such as:

  • Selling information products
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Selling ad space
  • Ad networks
  • Sponsorships

Blogging is one of the slower businesses on the list. It takes a while for most blogs to develop the kind of following that makes it a practical revenue source.

10. Home Organizer

In recent years, de-cluttering has become a serious trend in the US. De-cluttering can help reduce your stress and improve your overall quality of life.

Of course, getting started often proves a significant challenge for many people. After years of accumulating belongings, knowing where you should start your organization project.

You can help people with the de-cluttering and organizational tasks. You can take a mostly advisory approach where you offer encouragement and suggestions. Alternatively, you can offer a more hands-on approach where you help someone reorganize their space and belongings.

Parting Thoughts on Legitimate Home Based Businesses

The strong economy doesn’t necessarily reach the people who might benefit most from it. For people earning less than $35,000 a year, finding legitimate home based businesses can mean the difference between going under and staying afloat.

If you’re ready to stop relying entirely on your day job for your income, take the first step and sign up for more information about our home based business opportunity.