Many work-from-home jobs involve answering or making phone calls as customer service agents or sales representatives. But what if you don’t have the noise-free environment required for many of these jobs? Or you’d simply rather walk over broken glass in bare feet than talk on the phone? Well, that’s actually not such a big problem these days.
There are many options available for people who want the freedom of a work-from-home job, without the hassle of being glued to the phone day and night. Here are some of the best options for “phonephobics.”
1. Customer service email and chat support
How are your people skills? Can you happily sit and chat over a messenger app, or reply to emails like a pro? Well, you could do very well in a customer service position where you write your responses to customers. Several big companies now employ work-at-home reps to assist with issues over email and chat, including AppleCare and Convergys. In fact, at the time of this writing, AppleCare at Home has positions for over 60 advisers available.
You can make over $30,000 per year, or about $15 per hour, performing this kind of work for Apple and other companies, and all you need is a computer, reliable internet access, and good typing skills. Most of the time, you are provided a document telling you how to reply to specific questions or concerns. If you cannot handle the request, you can elevate it to an adviser with specific knowledge of the problem at hand.
2. Data entry
Perhaps the most popular choice for people who hate talking on the phone but want to work from home are data entry jobs. The typical data entry job is just as is sounds; you take data from one form, be it audio recordings or handwritten documents, and usually enter that information into a computer.
What you get paid for this kind of work depends on the kind of data you’re entering, and the skills required to do it. You’ll be paid more if it’s a specialized service, such as medical transcription or language translation. Standard data entry jobs usually pay minimum wage, or less (if you’re working per piece, for example, and aren’t particularly fast), but it’s relatively easy work and you can do it any time of the day or night.
Just beware of fraudulent data entry schemes that are really pyramid schemes or other scams that make you pay for classes or certifications that should be free. It’s often hard to find reputable sources for data entry jobs, so be sure to research any potential employer company you find.
You can use your skills to make money at home doing one-on-one tutoring in a subject at which you excel. Whether it’s math or physics, a musical instrument, or a foreign language, at-home tutors are in demand in every state. What’s more, you can set your own hours, your own hourly rate, and the students can come to you. If you prefer, you can travel to them for an additional fee.
If you’re looking to get into this kind of work, you have a few options. You can simply place ads online, on outlets like Craigslist and Nextdoor, or you can register yourself with an institution like Kaplan or Smarthinking. (See also: How to Earn $1,000 a Month or More as an Online Tutor)
4. Accounting, taxes, and bookkeeping
If you are skilled with numbers, you can set up a home office and help clients with their books, budgets, and taxes. To do the latter, you will need to be up to speed on all the latest tax laws, and have the best tax software available. For bookkeeping and accounting, you can actually do well even if you don’t have a degree in those subjects. However, it usually takes several years of experience before you can build a roster of dependable clients from whom you get regular business.
Some of the biggest names in taxes, including Intuit and TurboTax, employ work-at-home accountants and bookkeepers, and places like AccountingDepartment.com offer full benefits. If you’re self-employed, you could easily charge $250–$350 for a session that lasts just a few hours.
5. Freelance writing and blogging
If you have a way with words and research, this is a perfect gig for you. Content is king these days, and there are thousands of websites and publications that are desperate for good, well-written articles and stories.
When you’re just starting out, you should not expect to get a lot of money for your work. And if you are starting your own blog, it can take many months to even see a dime for your efforts. But blogging, and writing for the web and magazines in general, is a slow burn. Once you build an audience and get a reliable following, the money will start to trickle in. Do it well, and that trickle can become a rolling rapid. Some of the top bloggers out there earn six-figure salaries, all from the comfort of home. You can get started by browsing sites like Freelance Writing Gigs for jobs. (See also: 5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Blogging)
6. Proofreading and editing
How’s your grammar? Do you have an eye for detail? Does the prospect of poring over hundreds of pages of text scare you, or could you handle the challenge? Proofreading and editing is meticulous and laborious work, and therefore it’s not for everyone. But if you have a fabulous grasp of language, and know (or can learn) the various editorial style guides (such as AP), you could have a great career as a proofreader or editor.
The money you will make depends on what you’re proofing, how quickly it needs to be turned around, and how many pages there are. Some places pay around $3–$4 per page, which can be to your benefit if you’re fast. Other places charge a standard hourly wage, or you could find a gig that pays an annual salary with benefits.
7. Social media moderator
Also known as a content specialist, a social media moderator is responsible for the content of a brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels. To do this job well, you need to have a strong grasp of the brand’s core values, as well as the ability to speak in a tone of voice that is appropriate. For example, the contents of Nike’s social media will differ vastly in tone from Dove.
You will also need to have almost unlimited availability, as social media is a 24/7 advertising medium. Social media monitors have to pay close attention to customer posts, and must be ready to respond quickly, even pulling posts if they cause offense or come at a bad time. The pay for this ranges from minimum wage up to $80,000 including benefits and bonuses. Just remember — you must be available day and night, and that can be stressful.