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How to Make Money From Home by Starting an Online Business

Welcome to Money-Making Stay at Home Moms Series 2: How to Make Money From Home by Starting an Online Business. There are 38+ interviews in this series (see links below interview).

Today we have Alison Moore Smith who will be sharing her knowledge about how to work from home by starting an at home online business. Alison has worked from home for over 26 years so she really knows her stuff! Welcome Alison…

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter in 1987, I was also finishing my bachelor’s degree. As the pregnancy progressed, my long-held idea of getting a master’s degree and working full-time came into conflict with the idea that I couldn’t possibly entrust the care of my child — MY child — to anyone else. That inspired me (even though I had sworn from the time I was 13 that I would NEVER stay home with kids) to work from home.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?

A. I developed skills that were in demand. At that time desktop publishing (printing reports, magazines, etc. using special software) was in demand. I began advertising (in a local newspaper classified section) offering lower rates than most companies. The lower rate was something of an exchange for the then very unconventional nature of a home business. Once I produced superior work, I had all the work I could do merely by word of mouth.

This morphed into an online homeschool supply company in 1994 (which I sold in 1997) and then to professional blogging and WordPress setup and custom work for clients.

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar to help out financially?

A. Find something you genuinely like to do — and perhaps would do just for fun — and find a way to make money at it.

Q. How many hours does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. It is completely flexible. I try to be fairly regular on some blogs and to be reasonably available to my clients.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. I work on my own blogs while I homeschool my kids in the mornings. There’s a lot of downtime between questions and redirection. So the homeschool room is in my office and we work together on our own things. I stop when they need me.

Most of the work for my clients is at night after the younger kids are in bed.

Q. Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. Be reasonable about your real skill set. Be willing to learn new skills and to adapt. Be disciplined in your approach. Don’t be afraid to charge for your talents. There are a ton of things you can do online. If you truly enjoy doing something like graphic arts, writing, web design, editing, etc. begin advertising/marketing yourself on classifieds, job sites, by word of mouth, etc. Charging less than the competition will usually help get you started. Charge less but deliver quality. That will help you develop a good clientele and get you referrals.

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. I have a bachelor’s degree in applied business, which helps with the accounting and business side, but the actual work I do wasn’t even an invented technology when I was in college. I have taught myself by reading lots of books and sites and reverse engineering code, etc. If you are interested in starting an online business, start studying and learning all you can about it your niche. There is a wealth of information and training available online or in other forms. You don’t have to have an official education in many cases to begin making money online.

Q. Does the income help a little, a good amount, or is it the main source of your family’s income?

A. My husband works full time as an engineer. There have been times when my income was primary (such as during business startups, etc.) but most of the time it has been supplemental. Since we don’t generally need my income, it has given me the freedom to work when I want or when we have a particular financial goal that more income will expedite.

If you have any questions please type them below.

Thank you Alison!

Alison’s WordPress service is:
Alison’s blogs are:
Check out the rest of the series here:

Introduction to Money-Making SAHM Series

Series 1: Medical Billing

Series 2: Starting an Online Business

Series 3: Housecleaning

Series 4: Cosmetology

 Series 5: At-Home Airline Assistant

 Series 6: Become an At-Home Employee

 Series 7: Beachbody Coaching

 Series 8: Freelance Writing

 Series 9: Run an at-Home Daycare

Series 10: Write and Self-Publish an eBook Part 1 Part 2

Series 11: Teach Music Lessons from Home

Series 12: Distribute a Product You Love

Series 13: Blogging

Series 14: Become a Virtual Assistant

Series 15: Buy and Resell Cheap Finds

Series 16: Become an Editor

Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist

Series 18: How to Write and Publish a Paperback or Hardback Book

Series 19: Do Online Tech Support from Home

Series 20: Graphic Design

Series 21: Sell Your Own Sheet Music Part 1 and Part 2

Series 22: Start a Preschool from Home

Series 23: Start Your Own Boutique

Series 24: How to Make Money on YouTube

Series 25: Take Legitimate Online Surveys

Series 26: Open an Etsy Shop

Series 27: Become a Photographer

Series 28: Become a Property Manager

Series 29: Make Money Locally Teaching a Talent, Sport, or Hobby

Series 30: Substitute Teaching

Series 31: Make Money through SwagBucks

Series 32: Review Websites for UserTesting

Series 33: Tutoring—coming soon

Series 34: Become an Affiliate with Spark Naturals Essential Oils

Series 35: Quilting and Embroidery

Series 36: Make Money by Doing Laundry for Others through Laundry Care

Series 37: Make Money on Fiverr

Series 38: How to Make Money from Home with Contena

more coming…pin or bookmark for more.

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How to Make Money From Home by Starting an Online Business

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10 Responses to How to Make Money From Home by Starting an Online Business

  1. Sherri says:

    I really enjoyed your posts on making money from home. At present, I am at home helping care for one of my grandchildren and due to some health issues I have developed over the years. My husband has retired, so we could certainly use some supplemental income. I am blessed with a creative flair and I am attempting to sell my crafts on Etsy. I also set up a booth at a local church spring fling a few weeks ago. Neither of these efforts have been very fruitful. After reading through some of your series of working from home ideas,I feel encouraged again. Thank you for posting this information.

  2. […] So far Anita has ten different work-from-home opportunities listed and she’s planning to update her page weekly until she has about 25 different jobs posted. (She even featured ME in two of her articles!) I particularly love the advice Alison Moore Smith gives in Part Two of Anita’s series: […]

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I am very interested in staying home and making money! I am a great cook. All my friend think I should post some of my recipes on line. I was wondering if or how to make money at it. If you have any ideas let me know!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Elizabeth- I will be covering two posts in the next two weeks that may just be perfect for you. One is how to make money by blogging online. There are many recipe bloggers that make great money doing it. The other post is how to publish a paperback or hardback book. You could create a cookbook and sell it as well. A couple of other ideas are catering, selling specific food, or starting a service based business where you cook and bring meals to someone who can’t make meals themselves. Do a bit of brainstorming, check back in the next two weeks for those upcoming posts and I hope you find something you’ll enjoy doing related to food and making money :)!

  4. Amii says:


    • Anita Fowler says:

      I’d recommend becoming a business (registering) with you state as soon as you know you are serious about making a profit. I really don’t want to give business/tax/insurance advice because each state varies either slightly or significantly on business law, insurance requirements etc. I just have to say check with your accountant, insurance agent, etc. for specific questions on your state guidelines.

  5. Eileen Parker says:

    My name is Eileen. I would like to start a women’s group on morals and values. I want to help little girls to understand the real meaning of being a lady and helping them to develop self respect. How to set a table, make a bed, knit crochet , sew, cook, bake and show their mothers that these tasks are important to know. Not to take care of a man ,but to be a virtuous women.

    Please help. I think this is very important to share. How do you blog making money? I don’t need to make a lot.

    Thank you.


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