I love reading about what others do for work, especially when they are self-employed. In fact, “how to make money working from home” was all I googled when I first made the decision to leave my full time job. That is why I am so excited to be able to write a post telling you how I make an income working from my sofa.
Now I would like to preface this by saying that I am not about to tell you how I became a millionaire in six weeks…as much as I’d love to. This isn’t a “how to get rich quick” type post. I earn an average income now after eighteen months of working from home.
My primary source of income is my freelance work. More specifically, freelance architectural drawing. After studying architecture at university for six years and then deciding that working in a professional practice for me I began looking into other options. I already had the drawing skills and a couple of years of work experience under my belt. Freelance drawing was the natural choice.
A CV and portfolio were my starting point. I set up both on a basic website so that they were easy to share with potential clients. Then it was just a case of finding someone who wanted to work with me. The emails began…and then some more emails…then some more. After a few weeks of trying I finally found my first client, and so it began!
After eighteen months of freelance work I am now working with five different clients who send me varied amounts of work each month. I continue to look for new clients every couple of months, using the same simple tactic of emailing to offer my services.
All I need to do my work is a laptop and a mouse. A desk isn’t even necessary, hence my habit of working from the sofa. It’s comfier and I can have the television on in the background. Don’t worry, I turn it off for phone calls! Each month I pay a small amount for some drawing software and I am ready to go.
This set up also means that I can essentially work from anywhere. It allows me to be flexible with my hours, take my work on trips to Glasgow when I go for a long weekend and I can do quick emergency pieces of work when I get the inevitable “urgent changes needed” from a client.
There other great thing about working from home is that I can set my own fees. I no longer rely on having an awkward conversation with my boss to ask for a pay rise. This is something I can decide for myself.
Selling on Etsy
When I first chose to leave my full time job I went through a short period of trying out different businesses. One of them was wedding stationery. While it never took off fully as a business, I was left with a large collection of digital designs and I knew there was still an opportunity to use these.
After doing some research I found that Etsy was a great option for selling digital products. They have a big following and an established marketplace, so it just made sense. The process is nice and simple, I set up a new listing with a good description and an image and that listing stays live for three months. When it expires, I renew. When a customer buys a product it is emailed to them instantly. Any earnings I make come to me once a week, straight into my bank account.
Now I will once again be open and tell you that I currently only make a handful of sales each week. This is due to my lack of marketing and maintenance on my shop. It is definitely possible to make a good income from Etsy and that is something I plan to work towards!
You’ve heard me mention this one before, but I’m going to tell you about it again anyway. Online surveys are a fantastic way to make some money. Especially if, like me, you work from home. Whilst I’m working away during the day I leave a tab open on my browser and keep an eye on it, checking to see if there’s a new survey every hour or so. In an average month I will make around £40.
I actually just stopped writing for a second to switch tabs and complete a survey. The survey took about ten minutes and I made £1.65.
Prolific Academic is my favourite survey platform. They pay well and you never get chucked out of a survey, which can happen on so many other sites. I have an affiliate link for Prolific which I will leave here. There is no charge to you, but I do receive a small commission if you choose to use it. If you do, thank you!
There are so many more ways to make an income from home, but these are my favoured options. They are all very flexible, work around each other well and I can do them all from my laptop meaning I can always make an income working from my sofa!
If you would be interested in reading about my work efforts before I found freelancing, the period of time that got me into debt in the first place, you can read about it here.