The 7 Secrets to Making Money Online as a Single Mom
I left an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with almost nothing to my name and a 7-week old baby. I knew that I quickly needed to figure out how to make an income while still being able to care for my son.
I spent the entire next year testing out different ways to make money from home.
But I had two requirements:
- It needed to have a low start-up cost.
- I needed to be able to do it while also being a full-time mom to a growing, rambunctious boy.
And here’s what I found. I’m super excited to share the top 7 secrets I discovered on my OWN path to making money online. Let’s start with #1.
Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.
Secret #1: Find a Remote Job
If you’re looking for consistent income quickly, the best option is to find a job working from home. There are SO many online jobs now, but doing some type of virtual assistant work will provide the most flexibility for a single mom.
A virtual assistant may answer emails, manage social media accounts, make phone calls, and schedule appointments. But your daily tasks will really depend on who you’re working for.
You can find work at home jobs through traditional job boards by searching for ‘remote’ or use websites created specifically for online jobs. This is the safer thing to do, and what I recommend, because the website monitors each listing to ensure that it’s legitimate and not a scam.
HireMyMom is a great place to start. Entrepreneurs post job listings daily for various online positions. The only downside is that you do have to pay a monthly fee to apply for the jobs listed on their website. However, I think it’s worth the cost due to the type & quality of jobs posted.
RatRaceRebellion is a free online job board. They post new jobs on Fridays but keep an entire list on their website of companies hiring remotely at all times. The only downside is that they have a huge volume of traffic so the weekly job positions are typically filled quickly.
Secret #2: Sell your Stuff / Reselling
There are two options here. The first option is to sell your own things that you no longer want. If you are absolutely broke and need money to pay for groceries, gas, bills, etc., I would start here. It literally costs you nothing to list an item on Mercari. Once it sells, you ship it using their prepaid label and collect your earnings as soon the buyer rates the purchase.
The second option is to create a reselling business. This is where you buy in-demand items for a low cost then resell them at a higher cost, therefore making a profit. You can find items to resell at thrift stores or discount stores then go through the same process as above. There will obviously be an upfront cost for the item, but if you’re able to make a profit, it can be enough to live on.
I used to have my own reselling business and I made decent money selling thrifted Lululemon leggings and video games.
Reselling Tip: Visit thrifts stores in wealthier areas to find higher quality items and name brand clothing!
Below is an actual screenshot from my account of my earnings from selling my old stuff on Mercari. There are other places online that you can sell your stuff like Ebay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace, but I’ve found the most success using Mercari.
Check out this couple that sells full time on Mercari:
Secret #3: Open a Print-on-Demand Etsy Shop
You’ve probably already heard of Etsy. It’s an online marketplace where people can sell handmade & custom items. But did you know that you can start an online store completely for free and without having to keep or ship any inventory? Yep! Pretty amazing, right?
To get started, you’ll need to create designs using Canva or Photoshop. Then upload those designs onto a t-shirt, blanket, phone case, or whatever else you want to print on. You’ll do that using a Print-on-Demand company like Printify. You can connect this printing software with your Etsy shop so that whenever someone orders something from you, it’s automatically printed and shipped to your customer. All you have to do is collect the profits.
The hardest part about this business is figuring out what people are searching for and wanting to purchase but isn’t already oversaturated. You’ll also need to come up with the right long-tail keywords for each of your products so that they show up when someone makes a search on Etsy.
I have my very own etsy shop myself that I opened following this method called True Crime Mama. I sell true crime themed merch.
Another option is to sell digital products, like printables. A huge perk of doing digital products is that every sale is almost entirely profit. You can take this course to learn how to create printables.
Take Action: Open your Etsy shop & Get 40 free listings to start.
Secret #4: Start a Blog
If you have decent writing abilities, patience, and something to share, blogging may be right for you. Blogging has changed a lot over the years and it’s important to note that blogging is no longer a personal diary. Sure, there are still lifestyle blogs, but very few are successful anymore due to the rise of social media which are basically…lifestyle blogs.
You’ll need to have a specific topic (also called a niche) that you can help people with. This is how you can stand out from the crowd and gain loyal readers. Here are random examples of niche blog topics:
- Caring for Houseplants
- DIY Farmhouse Decor
- Online Dating as a Single Mom
- Montessori Homeschooling
I recommend doing this in addition to another option from this list because it can take some time to make an income from your blog, but it could also be incredibly lucrative. Michelle from MakingSenseofCents consistently makes over $100k every month from her blog.
If you want to learn how to start a blog but have no idea where to start, I highly recommend the Blog by Number course from Start a Mom Blog. It’s the course that I took & the exact process I used to start this blog! It takes you step-by-step through setting up your blog and even teaches you how to make money from it!
Take Action: Start your blog by signing up for WordPress hosting through Dreamhost.*
*Every blogger will recommend Bluehost due to its amazing affiliate program, but Dreamhost is the cheapest & best option I’ve found. Plus you can pay monthly instead of putting down hundreds upfront.
Secret #5: Become an Online Influencer
I know that you may be thinking this is a completely ridiculous idea because you don’t have a large following and you have no idea how to get one.
But the real secret is that you don’t need a large following (or be mind-blowingly beautiful) to make money being an “influencer.” All you need are a thousand or so dedicated followers that consistently like/comment on your posts. That’s super easy to gain if you’re creating quality content with the right hashtags.
I know moms that are making a full-time income from their Instagram with under 5k followers. Brands are reaching out to them wanting to send them free products and pay for sponsored posts.
There are plenty of free videos on Youtube that explain in much more detail how to grow an audience on Instagram and then how to make money on Instagram.
Take Action: Watch the video below to learn about being an online influencer.
Secret #6: List yourself on Freelance Websites
If you have a specific skill that would be useful to online entrepreneurs, you can create a listing on freelancing websites showcasing your abilities. Some skills people are looking for include:
- graphic design
- website building
- social media management
But they’re are so many more. Too many to even list!
And If you don’t think you have a special skill that people will pay you for, I can almost guarantee you you’re wrong. Take a look at other people’s listings to get ideas for what you could be making money doing. Always remember that something you find easy is difficult for someone else.
Freelancing is a great way to find a more reliable income, but flexible work. And who knows? One gig may lead to you becoming the go-to for a company.
Secret #7: Publish Low-Content Books on Amazon
I saved the best secret for last. I consistently make well over $1,200 per month from selling my books on Amazon. And the best part is, I haven’t touched them in months!
Once you do the upfront work to create & upload your books, it’s entirely passive income. Making it perfect for a single stay-at-home mom! Who doesn’t want to make money while they’re sitting at home playing with their kid?
So let me break it down for you since you may have no idea what I’m talking about. Check out this planner on Amazon. That’s a low content book that I designed myself using Powerpoint & Canva then uploaded onto Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service for free.
The same way that you can self-publish books on Amazon, you can publish easy-to-create planners, journals, activity books, puzzle books, coloring books, & more that people actually want to purchase!
If want to learn exactly how to build a sustainable income by publishing your own planners & journals on Amazon, take this course. You’ll even receive done-for-you books to upload and start making money right away!
Take Action: Sign up for Amazon KDP.