Ever wondered just how much you can earn in a career working from home? We all know that a work from home job brings a number of benefits such as flexible work hours and a host of major lifestyle improvements like getting out of the 9-5 rat race, avoiding traffic congestion & long commutes, being present in your children's lives, and many more.
But if it's so great, why doesn't everyone do it?
There's one big drawback,
Work from home pay often sucks!
But not for everyone. Some bright people have managed to buck the trend and make money (a lot of it) by doing things that can easily be accomplished from home. If you're not looking for the usual WAH job lists (i.e. paid online surveys) but would rather explore some creative and unusual ideas (that might come with greater risk, but offer much higher rewards) and see how much the highest earners are raking in doing it, then this is the right place for you.
We're going to run down the top 10 highest paid "jobs" that are generating millions in revenue requiring nothing more than a space to work in (i.e. office or studio) at home, Internet access and perhaps a bit of equipment. Let's dive in.
1. "Crushing-It" App Designer
Potential earnings of $1.5 billion
According to the Software Guild, runaway smash hit game, Candy Crush, earned its developer, King, a pretty neat profit exceeding half a billion dollars in 2013.
They're not the only ones either. Remember Pokemon Go by Niantic? It was the fastest app in history to generate over $1 billion in revenue. A few other have gotten around the $1 billion mark, so clearly this is a profitable industry.
How to Make Money from Apps
Designing apps takes a significant amount of programming and development know-how, along with plenty of creativity and design skills. However, if you have the knowledge and experience to build apps then you are limited only by your imagination in terms of what you can build and how you monetize your creations.
Most app developers make money in two ways:
- Charge to download the app
- Provide the app for free and make money from advertising or paid upgrades
You can learn how to submit an iOS app to the Apple app store or publish an Android app for most other mobile devices.
2. Prolific Author
Potential earnings of $86 million
According to Forbes, James Patterson topped the list (beating J.K. Rowling who won the previous year) with earnings of $86 million on his numerous books in 2018.
In the same year, J.K. Rowling earned $54 million (probably a little disappointing given her previous year's earnings) and Stephen King is still up there with a respectable $27 million.
While breaking into the world of publishing is difficult for aspiring authors, the good news is that there is plenty of earning potential at the top, middle, and all the way down to someone like me (I used to subsist on writing programming and development books, usually about PHP, which were published globally and translated into more than 13 languages worldwide).
How to Sell Books
The world of publishing has undergone some serious changes in recent times and for writers this brings a lot of new opportunities (as well as competition). Gone are the days when you had to find and convince an agent to represent you. Gone are the days when that agent had to pitch your book to publishers and convince them to publish it.
While you can still seek representation from an agent and go the traditional publishing route, there are plenty of other options available for the modern author:
- Self publish using an on-demand printer (Lulu is a good example of a service that allows you to create, publish and sell a book)
- Sell an eBook version
- Publish directly to Amazon with Kindle
3. Famous Artist
Potential earnings of $58.4 million
Now I'm not much of an artist but I'm fairly certain that you can do it from home. For example, HuffPost reported that Jeff Koons' Ballon Dog went for $58.4 million on auction at Christie's.
Jeff's not the only one bringing in the big bucks. Damien Hirst, a British artist and sculptor, is reputed to be worth $1 billion.
How to Sell Art Online
Selling works of art is one of those things. No-one is interested until they think everyone else is interested. Then everyone's interested. To get started you're going to at least need a fantastic portfolio website. Build one quickly and easily (and for free) using our step-by-step guide to setting up a website with Wix.
A portfolio website will at least help you display your works to potential buyers and galleries, but if you want to actually sell directly to customers your going to need to build an online store using Shopify.
For great quality, creative crafts and handmade goods, of which (hopefully) your art qualifies, Etsy is a great, established platform that can help your artwork find paying customers.
4. Music Hit Maker
Potential earnings of $50 million
According to The Chive, Happy Birthday, written back in 1893 by the Hill sisters, has earned over $50 million in royalties to date. So potentially that's how much one can earn from a single song.
Becks' album Odelay was recorded at home and went on to earn an estimated $3.3 million.
OK, so Beck did it. You might still be skeptical about how much music can be produced at home. Fortunately a lot of big names have already proved it works, including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, and many more.
How to Sell Music Online
Music is actually a great product to promote and sell because the market is well-established and there are plenty of channels for you to use. You can sell your content on iTunes (check out the iTunes FAQ to get started) and Amazon, and a host other online music stores.
Create a website to promote and market your song(s) and use social media to share them as widely as possible. If you're feeling adventurous, make a music video and post it to Youtube to promote it even further.
Finally, if we've learned anything about making it in the music biz,
It's apparently vital to pick a Twitter fight with an online celeb to drum up popularity.
5. YouTube Influencer
Potential earnings of $22 million
According to Forbes, the highest paid YouTuber in 2018 was a 7 year old kid called Ryan who reviews toys on a YouTube channel called Ryan ToysReview.
Ryan currently has amassed around 19 million subscribers and most of his videos rack up a few million views within the first month of being published. His influence has led him to sign agreements with leading toy companies and he even has his own line of toys coming out with Walmart.
YouTube is not short of wealthy influencers who are famous not only for what they do, but the insane amounts of money they earn doing it. Folks like Evan Fong, PewDiePie and Logan Paul all sit above the $10 million mark.
How to Make Money from YouTube
YouTube comes with built in advertising (you can watch YouTube's intro to revenue for creators) that can help you generate an income from any and all videos you post. They start off with some very important advice,
Build an engaged audience first.
Once you have grown a following it's time to make real money. This comes from having reach in a specific niche industry for which brands and advertisers are willing to pay. It really doesn't matter what niche you choose. There are companies that will be willing to pay for virtually any type of demographic you can think of. Sure, you might get paid more for wearing a t-shirt than mentioning a slug-repellent but the concept is the same.
6. Instagram Star
Potential earnings of $1 million per post
According to CNBC, Kylie Jenner can command up to $1 million per sponsored post on Instagram. Kylie has a round 137 million followers on Instagram and is a household name.
Instagram also seems to be a platform that supports a broad array of high earning stars. What's interesting about Instagram is that the big earners tend to be famous in their own right - as opposed to becoming famous from using the platform itself (like Ryan ToysReview from YouTube). The likes of Dwayne Johnson, Selena Gomez, Beyonce Knowles , Justin Bieber and Cristiano Ronaldo all command significantly more than $500 000 per sponsored post.
How to Make Money from Instagram
To start with, you'll need to create an Instagram account.
Like most online ventures, making money from Instagram relies on having a lot of followers. The more followers you have, the more likely you are to earn from ads and brand endorsements. This means you have to find something unique, interesting and engaging that you can share with people via photos and clips.
Everyone's favorite feline, Grumpy Cat notched up 2.7 million Instagram followers without the benefit of opposable thumbs.
7. Online Poker Winner
Potential earnings of $17 million
According to Poker Update the all-time online poker playing winner is Patrik Antonius who has amassed a fortune of $17 excluding any other earnings outside of his online playing.
Both Daniel Cates and Ben Tollerene have earned in excess of $11 million, so it looks like there is a bit of wiggle room at the top to make an embarrassing amount of money.
How to Make Money Playing Poker
Step 1 is learning how to play poker. There are many, many great guides to playing poker online - simply Google it to get started.
Like chess, poker is one of those games where simply knowing the rules is necessary but not sufficient to become competent. However, there are aspects of poker that can be honed through practice.
In addition to the normal risks that come with playing poker, online poker is even more fraught with peril and unwary noobs could potentially lose a lot of money pretty quickly. Don't do this. Instead learn as much as you can playing for free, or extremely low stakes, against human opponents in order to gain experience.
8. Popular Blogger
Potential earnings $12 million
According to GUI Tricks, Pete Cashmore's Mashable blog earns approximately $1 million per month using Google's Adsense - a platform that serves adverts to monetize website content - most often associated with blogs.
Blogging is such a wide industry that it's probably safe to say that the top blogs in virtually any niche are probably earning handsome amounts of money. Blogs like Techcrunch are earning many millions of dollars a month, while a blog like Perez Hilton earns a smidgen over the half-million mark.
How to Make Money Blogging
I guess this sums up my experience of blogging,
When I first started blogging I was sure it would be a cinch. After 8 years of back-breaking labor I've finally proven it.
Blogging is a complex, exciting, challenging and sometimes, just sometimes, rewarding (I mean financially) occupation. There is a lot of money to be made, but a lot of experience and skills to gain too. It's a steep learning curve, but here are a couple resources that will set you on the right path:
- Blogging (A Beginner's Guide)
- Sales Funnels for Bloggers
9. High-End Photography
Potential earnings of $4.3 million
According to the The Hub, a single photo by Andreas Gursky was sold for $4.3 million. That's not a fluke either. His photos regularly sell for more than $1 million.
While big names like Annie Leibovitz will always show up on list of the top paid photographers in the world, it's worth noting that there is plenty of room in this industry. For example, Eric Kim is a street photographer who earns over $200 000 per year from her photography, which includes offering training and workshops.
How to Make Money from Photos
Selling photos online is actually a well-established industry. One of the best ways to make money from photos is to sell them as stock for royalties. Shutterstock is a good example. They have paid out more than $500 million to their contributors and you can earn up to $120 per photo sold based on the terms and conditions laid out in their Shutterstock payouts page.
Stock photography aside, like the other jobs in this list, making money directly from your photos will require an attractive online store as well as plenty of social media (and traditional) promotions, networking, relationship building, marketing and so on. Essentially, the more you can drive Web traffic to your online photo gallery store, the more likely you are to make sales and generate revenue.
10. Online Courses (of Course)
Potential earnings of $3 million
According to Business Insider and English teacher called Rob Percival created and sold an online course in coding that earned about $1 million dollars. Since then his other courses have earned around $3 million in total.
How to Sell Online Courses
In addition to building your own brand of online courses by selling via an online store, you have plenty of effective sales channels for your courses.
Udemy, a site dedicated to producing and publishing online courses, allows anyone to create and market their own course. They have a useful guide to creating a course that you can follow along with.
While Udemy, and others, offer an established marketplace with millions of learners who are potential customers of yours I believe there is still scope for a more immersive learning experience that you can put together using a wide range of existing technologies. For example, why not post and include video lectures on YouTube to supplement the written aspects of your course. Use online learning companies to run and administer testing and grading facilities online. There are a myriad of options for super-powering learning online. Combine technology and your imagination to break away from the dry, academic ways of the past.
That's all I've got for now.
All in all I hope I've managed to inspire you with knowledge that there are people out there earning millions upon millions of dollars for work that can be done from home. Yes, admittedly, many (but not all) of them had to leave home at one point or another and gain notoriety in order to be in a position to generate huge wads of cash.
But, they did it. So why not you?
Feel free to share your ideas (and any money you make as a result of being inspired by this article).