Work from Home: 18 Experts Share the Honest Truth To Be Successful

Even though the perks of working from home are evident to everyone, here are some quick numbers for you:

  • 86% of participants in a SurePayroll survey reported that they ‘hit maximum productivity’ when they work alone. In fact, two-thirds of managers agreed too.
  • 82% of those who telecommute reported lower stress levels and 80% reported higher morale in a PGi report.
  • A Stanford University Study found that remote work options reduced attrition by 50%.

Clearly, you too have thought about working from home to achieve increased work-life balance, more independence and of course, freedom from the commuting and traffic woes. The breed of work-from-home professionals and freelance workers is thriving and there is real money to be earned if you know where to look. Great news is, a growing number of companies understand the value of remote work and hence, opportunities abound.

Knowing where the opportunities are is the biggest step in the process of work from home success. A large number of people turn to craigslist and other such sources which are often crowded with low paying gigs and sometimes, even scams. Sites like Upwork do have decent job listings but due to the nature of bidding sites, rates are always a race to the bottom where the lowest bidder wins the job. That is hardly a sustainable option for those who wish to make a good living, month after month.

The real money lies in directly contacting companies that support remote work, or looking at high credibility sites like LinkedIn. I spoke to 18 people who have been there, done it and made a successful career out of working from home. Here I bring you some invaluable snippets of the experience they gained from hustling for gigs, trying different companies, failing and ultimately succeeding.

Also read: 21 Best Weekend Jobs That Pay Well To Make Extra Money

Here are the two biggest questions:

Q1: Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?
Q2: What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

And here are our experts’ answers:

#1: Ashlee Anderson from

About Ashlee: Ashlee is a work-from-home blogger, freelance writer, and out-of-the-cube thinker. She shares information and insight about remote work, freelancing, and solopreneurship to help others find happiness in working on their own terms.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

Thanks to distributed companies and remote-friendly businesses, there are many legitimate work-from-home jobs that pay! Familiar brands like American Express, Apple, Amazon, Hulu, Groupon, and Hilton Hotels, to name a few, all hire remote workers.

Plus, a number of startups and forward-thinking companies have built remote work into their company’s culture giving anybody, regardless of geographic location, the opportunity to work remotely. A short list of these companies include Buffer, Meet Edgar, Automattic, GitHub, and Help Scout. If you want to land a work-from-home job that really pays, stick with companies that are known to hire employees to work remotely.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

To avoid scams, I always recommend going directly to the hiring pages of remote companies and distributed teams. This ensures you’re not handing out sensitive information to online ads that may or may not be the real deal.

Another great source of work from home job leads can be found on LinkedIn. And thanks to their Open Candidates feature, you can signal to remote recruiters that you’re interested in telecommuting without your current employer knowing. Some of my other favorite source of real work-from-home leads include Remotive, WeWorkRemotely, and AngelList.

#2: Dusti Reimer from

About Dusti: Dusti is the owner of Elevate PR & Marketing. She is passionate about helping people develop their passion about their businesses. She is an avid runner and hiker.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are really only a few legitimate jobs that I know of that aren’t ones that involve you being self-employed, be a medical coder/biller, do some digital advertising sales, website coding and design, and perhaps a paper route.

If you are a freelancer the sky is the limit for working from home. A lot of places are looking for people who can code, or do remote IT work, even random jobs such as proofreading, if you’re lucky enough to know the right people to get that position.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

I’ve had the best luck with seeing Linkedin job postings, or watching our local work space job recruitment emails. In our area, we have a co-working space that regularly sends out recruitment emails. A few of these, most of the time, tend to be opportunities to work from a home office.

Also, I think just understanding your job market. There are a lot of professionals that are going into job interviews that have the qualifications and performance track record that give them an edge to negotiate being able to work from home – at least part time. If you plan to proceed with that route, make sure you go in with a clear work plan.

Anyone can ask to work from home and have it easily brushed off. I think most bosses, especially those of a traditional mindset, have an idea of you drinking coffee while watching videos on your phone with your email open and you in your pajamas.

By putting together a clear work plan: regular office hours for email and voice response, clear project mapping and communication, you should be able to slowly warm them up to the idea.

Again, in my personal work from home environment, I tend to be able to accomplish my work goals quicker than when I worked in an office, due to less distraction. This gives me a competitive edge, because I can accomplish tasks quicker and under budget.

#3: Elizabeth Becker from

About Elizabeth: Elizabeth is the Client Partner of IT Staffing Firm PROTECH. Her expertise has been featured in a variety of publications including The Ladders,, Monster, LinkedIn, and more.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

Finding a legitimate work-from-home position can be difficult. Due to the attractive nature of remote roles, there are a lot of low-paying or even scams out there. Be careful to research any opportunity to ensure it is legitimate before providing any personal information.

The best paying, legitimate work from home jobs are typically within the technology space. More and more tech companies are allowing partial or full telecommuting, with some roles in the $100K+ range.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

It’s important to realize that in our era of technology, many jobs can be done remotely. However, being hired right away into a remote position is very tough, because there is still a negative stigma on remote working (ie you’re at home in your pajamas all day watching Netflix) and the competition is so fierce.

Whenever we have remote positions at PROTECH (, we receive easily 10x more applicants than the typical position. Chances are there is someone out there with either better skills or willing to work for less, in order to snag a remote role.

I recommend another strategy if you aren’t the most skilled and aren’t willing to cut your pay significantly. I have a remote position now, however, I was not hired to be remote and first worked 2 years in an office first before I had the remote discussion with my manager. Since going remote, my productivity has actually gone up.

If you are looking for a remote job, I would recommend narrowing your search to jobs and companies where that would be possible, then asking for a day or two a week remote after you have proven yourself in 6-12 months. Asking in an interview about a company’s remote work policy is also a great way to help make a decision when an offer comes in.

#4: Lesley Pyle from

About Lesley: Lesley is the founder and owner of, a website connecting entrepreneurs with virtual, talented help. She began her work-at-home journey in 1995 with the launch of her first website – Home-Based Working Moms.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

All legitimate jobs should pay but if you are bidding on jobs on some websites you may not be getting the rate you deserve. Unless you are just starting out and looking to build your portfolio, you may want to consider websites like which are set up for you to be hired directly without bidding or paying a percentage of your wages. The higher skilled you are, the more you can ask for.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

You can search by your field such as writing, web design, etc. You also can search on websites that offer work from home jobs in all fields such as The more time you spend on applying for jobs you are qualified for, the better chances you will have of getting a job.

You also will want to make sure you have a professional resume with no errors as well as a cover letter written specifically for the job you are applying for.

In addition, do your research on the hiring person and company to make sure they are legitimate and have a good record. You can search on sites such as, and as well as google the company name and person’s name for reviews or news on them.

#5: Slavik Boyechko from

About Slavik: Slavik is a work-from-home independent video producer and owner of the site Gear Dads.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are many work-from-home jobs that pay decent hourly wages, such as transcription services. I spent a few years in college transcribing at a rate of $15/hour, which was a great wage then and is still now.

The problem is, it never takes you just one hour to earn an hour of work. While traditional 9-to-5 employees earn 8 hours of salary every workday, no matter what they achieve that day, the stay-at-home person only gets paid for the actual work time.

So taking a break to go get coffee, checking your email, or answering your phone doesn’t count toward your work time. And with something like transcription, which can be an exhaustive activity, trying to hear what one or multiple subjects are saying over mediocre audio conditions, requiring numerous rewinds to figure out that one word, it can easily take you a full day of work to transcribe and bill for one hour of work.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

There are many sites that list work-at-home opportunities, but it’s best to hear from current or former employees about what it’s like to work that job. You might find reviews at, or at, or personal blogs.

One thing to be cautious is the reviews of work-at-home job tend to be either 100% positive, from websites that exist to promote the concept of work-at-home as fun and easy way to make money, to completely negative from former employees who despised their job and are going out of their way to blast the company online.

Somewhere in the middle, there are people who are currently working traditional stay-at-home jobs, like as transcriptionists or customer satisfaction reps, and they’re happy for the work, but not jumping for joy. Kind of like most jobs.

#6: Lisa Mills from

About Lisa: Lisa is the work at home mom of three and publisher of Work at Home Mom Revolution, a work at home job site for moms (or anyone seeking work from home). She has worked from home in a variety of professions, including over a decade as a general transcriptionist.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

Well, from personal experience, I can tell you that transcription from home is a legitimate work at home opportunity that pays a living wage. I’ve worked for more than a decade as a general transcriptionist myself.

I have seen an explosion in healthcare work from home employment in the past few years. These jobs generally pay well and have excellent benefits to boot. Work at home customer service can be a good home-based opportunity, if you work for an established brand and benefits are available.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

Well, there are the obvious choices – Indeed, Careerbuilder, Monster. But I also recommend you visit work at home forums, like the one at There, you’ll find not only work at home opportunities, but people offering information on what it’s like to work for a particular company. I also recommend sites like mine, Work at Home Mom Revolution. I post new work at home job opportunities daily, as well as home business ideas.

#7: Faith from

About Faith: Faith is a wife and mom learning to balance life by working from home while raising her family. Her passions, in addition to helping others manage the “work-at-home” waters including, Jesus, family, and coffee.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

Of course you always have to be careful, but content writing and transcription, especially freelance and contract opportunities, are common. Website testing, or user testing, is also very common. Insurance companies also commonly have work from home jobs. Anything that has to do with internet marketing, design, or social media is also a good bet. There are more, but I find these are the most common.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

The key is typically not the type of job, but were you are looking. If you check reliable job sites you are probably gonna be okay. If you only check newspapers and craigslist you may find problems. Check only those sites you trust. is great, as is Indeed and FlexJobs, but FlexJobs does charge a fee.

DO NOT simply do an internet search for work at home jobs. That is total scam bait. Build a list of reputable sites, including those above, and work from there. Other job sites such as and specialty sites (such as those that list only accounting jobs) are also good options, just use “work at home” or “work from home” in the search.

It is also a good idea to research companies that hire work from home positions and keep an eye on their jobs page.

If a site lists legitimate jobs that are not work from home, they are likely to list jobs that are work from home as well.

#8: Kristin from

About Kristin: Kristin is the creator behind Believe In A Budget. She teaches others how to start a blog and how to side hustle. Her course, Pinterest Presence, helps bloggers + businesses drive traffic to increase their website’s profitability.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

I think this really depends on how much work you want! If you are looking for a side hustle where you only have a few hours a week in your spare time, I would look into panel studies, surveys and mystery shopping. Many people are always surprised they can mystery shop from home, but it usually involves just making phone calls to various companies and mystery shopping them over the phone!

If you are looking for more regular income, I would get started as a virtual assistant. I started my freelance career as a Pinterest virtual assistant, but there are also careers where you can help bloggers and businesses with their website design, writing and editing blog posts, scheduling tasks, etc.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

If you are looking to side hustle, there are dozens of national panel studies and mystery shops that are always hiring. If you want to get a little more serious and find steady work, I would start with joining different Facebook groups! There are a ton out there where you can find work leads based on your niche. I would also cold pitch your favorite bloggers and ask if they are hiring.

#9: Matthew Allen from

About Matthew: Matthew is a full time trucker – part time blogger and imaginary entrepreneur. He is the only known trucker who is blogging about creating passive income online.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are lots of ‘work-from-home’ jobs that pay. I’ll highlight just two that I have experience with.

One – an in-home daycare. My wife ran a daycare from within our home for several years. Getting clients was easy. There are always people looking for good, reliable and trustworthy in-home daycare providers. The income can be quite lucrative – as people are often willing to pay a premium for a great personable in-home experience, rather than sending their kids off to one of the commercial daycare centers.

Two – internet marketing. I’ve been creating extra income, totally on the side, by running various internet-based businesses. Most of my income is derived from blogging and various niche websites that I own. Many people who try to ‘make money online’ fail and don’t make any money at all. I’ve found that persistence and consistency are the keys to success in online marketing.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

You could always do a basic search on Google – but unfortunately, many of the results you come across could be spammy or scammy. Beware of ‘get-rich-quick’ or ‘easy-make-money-from-home’ opportunities. I’ve discovered that there are no easy ways to make money. It all takes hard work.

I would say that the best way to find work-from-home opportunities is to get involved with various Facebook Groups or online forums. Talk to others who have already done (or are doing) what you want to try. Read blogs on the topic. Ask questions. People want to help you and will be eager to answer any questions that you have.

For example: if you want to consider starting your own in-home daycare – find a Facebook group that is dedicated to that and join and start reading through the various threads. Leave your own comments and questions and try to help others when/if you can.

#10. Anna Thurman from

About Anna: Anna is a work at home mom and blogger for the last 7 years. She researches legitimate work from home jobs and extra cash ideas and publishes them on her blog.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are many that are perfectly legitimate and do pay. For example, if you wanted to do call center work from home, a company like Active Network is usually hiring. For transcription, you could try Focus Forward or Verbal Ink — two very reputable companies. And if you want to do something like search evaluation, Leapforce and Lionbridge are two known companies that pay.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

Using is very effective. I usually just put “work from home” in the keyword field and/or “remote” in the location field to narrow it down to home-based jobs. Craigslist is also good, but you have to be extremely careful there because a lot of scams are posted.

#11. Gina Caro from

About Gina: Gina is an award-winning blogger, editor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Devon with her partner, two kids, and a dog.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

Blogging is an exciting and viable way to earn money from home. It’s perfect for work at home parents as you can set your own hours and work around your children. I work full time from home and still drop off and pick up my children from school every day. Being your own boss is very liberating and personally, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else now.

Blogging often leads on to other types of work too including VA work, freelance writing and coaching.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

The best place to search for work from home jobs is online and by networking. LinkedIn is a particularly good source for searching for work. You can also find websites that specialise in particular fields of work.

#12. Alicia Washington from

About Alicia: Alicia, author of 300+ Companies that pay you to work from home.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are literally hundreds of work at home jobs that really pay in various categories. For example Uhual, Enterprise rent a car, Apple, Xerox now Conduent and so many other companies hire and pay remote workers to complete various jobs and tasks from their home office.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

The best way that I have found to search for work at home jobs is to follow a work at home blog or become a member of a work at home forum. Because that blogger and community will constantly post new work at home job opportunities that are legit that will help to save you some time, assist you in avoiding scams and even reveal details that may not be readily disclosed online regarding the application process, pay and any other details that may be helpful in your work at home journey.

I also feel that is a very helpful website with real reviews from remote workers who have previously and currently have experience working with a lot of work at home employers to help you find the best opportunity for you.

#13. Kenneth Burke from

About Kenneth: Kenneth is the marketing director for Text Request, owner of Kenneth Burke Media, and loves being the first to recommend a good book.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are a surprising number of viable WFH jobs, and depending on what you need, they might all pay well! I’d recommend doing some more research for yourself to find the right fit, but here’s my experience.

Like most freelance writers, I work from home (or the nearest coffee shop). I charge by the project, but my rates boil down to roughly $30+ an hour. And honestly, I’m sure I could charge more. So creating content for brands and/or helping them build backlinks through publishers can pay well. Good graphic designers and web developers can earn even more!

Another good option is to become a virtual assistant. A few friends of mine started doing this a year, maybe 18 months ago, and they make a few grand each month working little more than part time! There are other jobs, too, like transcribing and product testing, that pay $15-$25 an hour, working as you wish.

Also, a lot of companies these days are open to remote workers! Working for someone else (who probably has more money to pay you) doesn’t mean you have to sell yourself to a cubicle. Working from home is up for negotiation in many case. And plenty of people earn 6 figures working from home, doing all sorts of different jobs! The key is that you find something you can motivate yourself to do every day, without needing a boss to keep you accountable.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

If you build it, they won’t come. But, if you build – and you announce it – they will come.

The best way I’ve experienced to land WFH jobs is to first do free work in a very public way that draws people in. While starting my writing career, I wrote for free for a few online publishers. These publishers regularly brought in more viewers than I ever could alone, so I took advantage of it. I’d write 1 or 2 articles a month, and eventually brands started reaching out to me, because they found out what I could do, and wanted me to do it for them.

It took about 16 months to go from my first words to landing a paycheck. I had a full-time job during those 16 months, and completely understand if others have more pressing responsibilities. But I also haven’t had to reach out to anyone for work since, and now I get to be selective about who I work with! That’s a great feeling.

Other helpful things you can do are to create accounts under as many freelancer platforms as you can find, and to upload your resume wherever applicable (e.g. LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter). You can also start reaching out to brands directly, but in my experience it’s best to prove your abilities and make it easy for people to find you.

If you build it (do the work), and announce it (display your work publicly), employers will find you.

#14. Cori from

About Cori: Cori is a blogger, a freelance writer and she do a little web design on the side. She left her job in Corporate America so she could work from home and be with her family. She blog about the different ways to make money from home and how to improve your blogging game.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are many legitimate work-from-home opportunities but the ones that are most secure would be to apply with companies we are familiar with. Companies like U-Haul, JetBlue Airlines, Apple many others now offer work-from-home positions.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

The best way to search for work-from-home jobs is to check job search sites like Career Builder, Indeed, and Zip Recruiter. There are other sites like Craigslist but I never recommend do search there for safety reasons.

#15. Matthew Kaboomis Loomis from

About Matthew: Matthew is a blogger, online entrepreneur and free speech advocate who agrees with Seth Godin that EVERYBODY should be blogging.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

As a solopreneur myself, I haven’t been looking at the work-from-home market for the past 4 years. So I can only speak from my experience since 2012 and what I’ve read.

I do know that freelancing a service is legitimate and it does really pay. That’s how I got started working from home–I was a freelance copywriter and content producer.

Freelancing continues to grow. If you have a skill that is in demand and something you can do from home, I recommend learning all you can about freelancing and how to market yourself in the digital age.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

I know some freelancers use services like Elance or Fiverr. I think a simple Google search works. Just type in “work from home jobs” and you’ll find some legit websites to help you.

As a freelancer, you can set up your own blog and use it to market yourself. Then use social media as well.

#16. Michelle Schroeder from

About Michelle: Michelle is a full-time blogger at Making Sense of Cents. She currently earns over $100,000 per month blogging, and she shares exactly how on her website.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are many legitimate work-from-home jobs that actually pay. Some include being a freelance proofreader, blogger, bookkeeper, selling on Amazon, writing online, and more.

My favorite way to earn a living from home is to become a full-time blogger. It’s exactly what I do and it allows me and my husband to earn a great living, to travel full-time, to be our own bosses, to have a flexible schedule, and we will also be able to retire early if we want to as well.

My favorite way to earn a living through my blog is through affiliate income. This is a somewhat passive way to earn a living from home and it allows us to travel full-time more enjoyably because we can earn an income while we are out exploring a new place.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

To find a legitimate work from home job, you’ll want to research a company that you’re interested in to make sure that it’s not a scam. You’ll want to do things like contact the Better Business Bureau, before you give out any personal information, such as your social security number, you should make sure it’s a legitimate job, and more.

While there are many scams that exist when it comes to work from home jobs, there are also many real work from home jobs as well.

#17. Lauren Stevens from

About Lauren: Lauren is a professional blogger, writer, and editor, drafting web copy and SEO optimized content for businesses. She possesses an extensive background in blog content management and uses her writing and editing skills to help businesses reach their target audience through compelling, on-topic blog posts and web articles. In her free time, Lauren dabbles in creative nonfiction and many of her pieces are published both online and in print.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

My short response is that any work-from-home opportunity that costs you money, is not the route you want to go. I started my freelance writing business without spending a dime, and once I began receiving regular work, I spent a small amount of money to buy a web domain, create a site and pay hosting fees. I don’t think anyone should have to pay for the privilege to work.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

I’m a writer, so many of my opportunities come through networking. I will add that I began working from home to be at home with my son, so Lisa Mills’ Work At Home Mom Revolution is a great place to find job listings and get your feet wet. I discovered Lisa Mills through Twitter, which is a great place to make connections and find jobs — use hashtags to target your field or expertise, as well as to find work from home opportunities.

If you’re interested in freelancing, there are many Facebook groups dedicated to leaving your 9-5 and venturing into freelance work. Facebook groups are also great for networking and finding work. I highly recommend Carrie Smith Nicholson’s website Careful Cents, in addition to her dedicated Facebook group, The Careful Cents Club.

#18. Lizzie from

About Lizzie: Lizzie is a business and marketing writer who helps brands create content that connects and converts. She also runs Wanderful World, a resource that helps freelancers build and grow successful businesses they LOVE. When she’s not typing away at her laptop, you can find her exploring new places around the world.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

The thing about work-from-home jobs is you need to find something that’s in demand – that clients need and will actively pay for, so it all depends on who you’re targeting. Lots of companies have a need for people who have skills outside of their remit, so we’re talking things like writing, graphic design, and coding. These are all areas where the freelancer has a unique skillset that can help the client towards their goal.

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

To find the best clients who pay well and are a pleasure to work with, you ideally want to be going out there and searching for them yourself. That means packaging up a service that your target client needs (and literally can’t say no to!) and reaching out to them via cold emailing or building up a connection through LinkedIn or other social channels.

#19. Robert Mening from  

About Robert: Robert is a work-from-home blogger and freelance web developer. He is on a mission to help as many people as possible build their own gorgeous websites at a minimum cost to them. He does this by writing incredibly in depth guides on topics such as ‘How to Make a Website‘ and ‘How to Build an Online Store’.

Which legitimate work-from-home jobs really pay?

There are a ton of scams out there, but you can avoid all of that by simply understanding this one fact. Your job if you want to earn a solid living working from home is very simple.

You just have to figure out what other businesses out there want and need. You then need to create a product or service that fulfils that need and tell the businesses that would be interested in it about your offering.

If you are able to do this (providing that what you offer is solid and actually produces that results that these businesses are looking for then you will get paid) after that it’s just a simple matter of building up your reputation, building case studies of the results you’ve managed to produce for your clients and over time you’ll find that businesses will start to come to you. That’s when you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your effort and focus exclusively on making your product of service better and better.

Oh, and people seem to make finding clients something that is really difficult… it isn’t if you are willing to work hard and perhaps start by offering your product or service for free as a way to prove that what you offer actually works… It’s a great way to get your work from home career off the ground!

What are the best ways to search for work from home jobs?

Start with one service that you standardise so every potential client knows exactly what it is that they will be geting should they hire you. Create a page on your site where you list exactly what you offer in a step by step format and then simply show potential clients this page either through freelance sites like or directly emailing the businesses or perhaps even running ads on Google and Facebook.

This way only those clients who actually want what you offer will contact you, and ultimately go onto to hire you. Yes, this does take a lot of work but if you’re willing to put in the work then the rewards are incredible!

Brian’s note: added after the publication of original article.

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly, all that advice is a goldmine of knowledge for someone testing the waters of home-based jobs. If you have always wanted to spend more time doing things you love instead of travelling to work and if you feel you can be more productive and creative when working in the comfort of your home, the above information will guide you in the right direction.

Even though Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City made it look easy, working from home actually requires a great deal of discipline, patience and effort. Learn from our experts to achieve the success you deserve.