online jobs for moms with no investment

Top Online Jobs for Moms with No Investment: Best Ways to Earn Without Spending a Dime

If you want to make money while you’re home with your kids or as a side income, check out these top online jobs for moms with no investment.

As a mom juggling a busy family life, chances are you don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around. You want to work from home, but think that the only way that’s possible is to invest a lot of money in a product you have to sell, or invest in a new business.

It is true that some new jobs come with a lot of upfront costs that can be out of reach for many families. It’s also true that there are jobs that you can start for absolutely free.

If you’re on a budget or you just want to be a little savvy with your spending, you don’t have to spend a cent in order to start working online. There are plenty of high-paying online jobs for moms you can do without an investment.

If you’re ready to start making money from home, check out these legit online jobs you can do without paying any cash up front.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. 

How to Know an Online Job is Legitimate

work at home online without any fees

Before diving into the list, let’s look quickly at how you can tell if an online job is legit. If you’ve been on the hunt for a work from home position, you know how many scams are out there. It seems that everywhere you look, there are ads promising that you’ll make oodles of money without doing a thing (except paying a large fee, of course).

Then there’s the MLM-schemes that would have you spending a fortune in inventory, which you’ll then be forced to turn around and sell to your family and friends in the hopes that you recoup your costs. While these jobs do seem to work for some, I think by and large they are not the make-money solution that so many wish they were.

If you’re job-searching, here are a few ways to know that the job you want is legit:

  • You don’t have to pay entry-fees or other kinds of money upfront (however, paying for education or training doesn’t always mean that the job is a scam)
  • The listing company has good reviews in a variety of places (e.g., Google, Better Business Bureau, Facebook)
  • You actually have to work for your pay (hint: envelope stuffing is not real work, and it is a scam)
  • You aren’t “guaranteed” a certain compensation or amount of money (for instance, no legit job will guarantee that you’ll make thousands per month)

While there are plenty of companies that hire remote workers, most of the online jobs listed here require you to be self-employed. This means that you’ll find your own clients and could even mean that you set your own rates. In other cases, you might work as a freelancer or independent contractor for a specific online company.

You may find that there are optional fees for each job listed below. For instance, you could pay for online education or training to help you find your footing and give you a leg up over the competition. However, in every case, this training is completely optional.

You don’t have to pay for any education to start online as a freelancer, although the path to success may be a bit longer than if you pay for guidance and training.

Top Online Jobs for Moms with No Investment

mom working from home online jobs for moms no investment

Ready to get to work? Check out these top jobs that require no startup fees.

1. Freelance Writer

There are a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs that hire freelance writers to help them. Brick-and-mortar businesses and bloggers alike need regular content to propel their business forward. In many cases, they’ll outsource the writing for all their content needs to freelance writers.

You don’t need to spend a dime in order to get started as a freelance writer. If you’re looking for work, you can get started by setting up a LinkedIn profile and begin applying to jobs at freelance writing websites or looking at content-specific Facebook groups.

The best part about freelance writing? You can make A LOT of money doing this from home. If you want proof, check out my interview with Rebecca Lake, a single mom who works from home as a freelance writer. She homeschools her two kids and still makes six figures a year freelance writing.

In my own experience, my freelance writing helped my husband and I pay off our student loan debt and buy our first home.

There are lots of options when it comes to freelance writing. You can provide content in the following ways:

  • blog posts
  • articles
  • eBooks
  • copywriting
  • white paper
  • academic papers
  • other website content
  • ghostwriting

You can choose to do this for some side income through one of the many freelance writing websites, or set your own rates and secure clients all on your own. When you do this, you can make much more (I’ve made $1200 on just one article!).

Read this guide to get started, or find writing jobs right away with these websites where you can write and get paid instantly.

2. Online English Teacher

If you have a knack for connecting with children, you could make money from home teaching English online. Some companies will require you to have a college degree, while others may stipulate that you have experience teaching (but coaching could count).

The one thing that isn’t a requirement is an upfront payment. Some ESL companies will require applicants to have a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. If you don’t have this, it would be a small cost to receive this certification. However, since not all companies require this, you could just as easily spend nothing and only apply with those organizations that would accept you without those credentials.

In general, this is a type of job that requires you to regularly get online and video chat with your students. In many occasions, these students will be schoolchildren from Asia who are trying to better learn how to speak English.

The average pay for most ESL teachers is $18 per hour, but that does vary depending on the company you work with.

There are a number of companies hiring for this work from home position. Some of the most popular include:

You’ll almost always do this job through one of these companies, which means your pay is limited to the set hourly wage they offer. On the flip side, you can usually expect regular, consistent work, and you don’t have the hassle of trying to find clients all on your own.

3. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant provides all sorts of administrative services, from answering emails to providing customer service to shipping out online orders. While this sort of job is one where you can easily pay for training, there is absolutely no investment to get started.

Wondering exactly what a virtual assistant does? Here are just a few of the many services you could offer:

  • Keyword research
  • Content writing
  • Proofreading or editing
  • Ad management
  • Webinar set up and promotion
  • Product launch management
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Video management
  • Lead and sales generation
  • Website analytics
  • Social media management
  • Blog management
  • Blogging support
  • Affiliate management
  • Podcast support

It can be overwhelming, but it’s actually one of the most freeing and rewarding work from home jobs out there. You can choose to offer one or any of these types of administrative tasks, set your own rates, and then package your services in a way that’s attractive to clients.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at how becoming a virtual assistant works, you can check out this free introductory course led by Abbey Ashley. Within a month of starting her own VA business, Abbey was able to make double the salary she had at her full-time corporate job. Today, she teaches others how to be just as successful as she was.

While she does offer a paid course, there is also a lot of information to gain from her free introductory course, Become a Booked Out VA. With the information you get from this free class, you’ll be better equipped to start your own virtual assistant business.

Click here to check out the free virtual assistant training.

4. Transcription Services

Transcription involves listening to audio recordings and typing what you hear.

In order to do this online job, you definitely need accuracy, speed, patience, and excellent typing ability. What you don’t need is to spend any money!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a transcriptionist in 2019 was roughly $33,000.

If you want to learn more about this work from home job, Janet Shaughnessy can teach you. She started transcription from home several years ago and was quickly able to turn a full-time profit. She now teaches others all the ins and outs of how to get started with transcription through her program, Transcribe Anywhere.

Thankfully, you don’t have to pay for the course to find out more details about transcription work. Janet also offers a free introductory training which is highly recommended for anyone who is considering this job.

Click here for the free transcription training.

Once you take Janet’s free training, you can also get your feet wet with transcription tasks through Rev.com or Quicktate.com.

This kind of work won’t earn you a full-time income – you’ll want to branch out on your own as a freelancer for that – but it can give you some experience for your resume and give you a better feel for how transcription works.

5. Editor or Proofreader

Both editing and proofreading are good work at home jobs that require no special software or expenses. In fact, the only asset you’ll need to succeed is a good grasp on grammar and an eye for detail.

Just as there are a lot of content needs, there is also a huge need for editors and proofreaders. This job is essential for making sure that all content is in tip-top shape before its published.

If you’ve ever written anything, you know that there comes a point when you’ve dealt with it too closely for too long. When that happens, it’s almost impossible to catch typos or other errors yourself. That’s where editing comes in.

As an editor, you can expect to work with the big-picture of a document. This could mean rearranging paragraphs or removing sentences where they aren’t needed. Proofreading is a little different, in that you’re merely providing a fresh set of eyes, looking for any last-minute typos or errors before print.

While you can pay for training, it isn’t necessary to get started with this work from home position. In fact, you may quickly find freelance work searching online job boards or platforms like Upwork.

6. Search Engine Evaluator

Also called a web search evaluator, the search engine evaluator job involves evaluating web search results to make sure they are high-quality.

Have you ever typed a query into a search engine and wondered how it knows which results to give you? While there is a huge technical component of it to be sure, there is also a human behind the scenes making sure only the best websites appear at the top of the list. This person is called a search engine evaluator.

There is absolutely no cost to get started with this job. However, there is some learning involved. You will have to carefully study the evaluator guidelines and take a test in order to get hired.

Appen and Lionbridge are two companies that hire for this job. Most web search evaluators make around $15 per hour, although pay varies depending on the task and the company.

7. Online Tutor

There are many students who need a little extra help in classes. Thanks to the skyrocketing popularity of virtual technology, it’s easier than ever to become an online tutor.

You can really get started as a tutor without spending a dime. All you need is a computer with a good Internet connection and a thorough knowledge of the field of study you wan to help with.

There are two ways you can become an online tutor. You can choose to work through a tutoring company, which will connect you with students. Some companies do the pairing, while others simply create a profile for each tutor and then let the students choose.

This is a good way to reach a wide range of students from across the world, but you may find that your income is a bit more limited with this method. This is because the overseeing company usually takes a cut of the pay.

The second way to become an online tutor is to advertise your services and find clients all on your own. If you have a large social network or you live in a populated place with a lot of schools or universities, this could be a great way to quickly establish yourself as a go-to tutor. Plus, you can set your own rates which often top anywhere from $30 to $60 per hour.

8. Data Entry Specialist

Data entry is a fancy way of saying that you’ll be doing a lot of typing. While this type of work at home job could entail a lot of different tasks, it often means compiling lots of information into one cohesive document, table, or chart.

Most of the time, companies have information coming from a variety of different places. For one reason or another, they might need that information in one easy-to-read document. This usually involves a lot of typing. It can be a tedious job, but it’s also easy enough to do from home in your spare time.

According to Payscale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry clerks make an average of $13 to $16 per hour. It certainly isn’t the highest-paying work-from-home job, but with no commute and no expenses, it is a great option for someone looking to supplement their income.

Click here to find out more about data entry work from home.

9. Social Media Manager

If you enjoy spending time online, have a thorough knowledge of the mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and you are good at customer service, you can work from home as a social media manager.

Having a positive and active social media presence is a big deal for most businesses, but maintaining that presence is also a huge time commitment. Many business owners and entrepreneurs will gladly outsource the maintenance of regularly posting and adding comments to an outside freelancer who can represent the business.

This job is easy to do from home, and it requires zero investment. As long as you have a computer and Internet access, you’re good to go.

Some of the tasks you could expect to perform as a social media manager include the following:

  • Setting up business social media accounts
  • Regularly posting relevant comments or updates
  • Responding to customer inquiries or concerns
  • Monitoring user comments

In general, this is a freelance position that you do all on your own. This means you’ll find your own clients and set your own rates (which is great news, because you can charge a premium for your services).

Click here to find out how to become a successful freelancer when you have no experience.

10. Pinterest Virtual Assistant

I put Pinterest virtual assistant on its own because it’s a popular yet very specialized form of virtual assisting.

While most of us focus on Pinterest for browsing for dinner recipes or home décor ideas, most bloggers focus on Pinterest for a whole different reason – traffic. By developing a pinning strategy, many bloggers are able to get lots of visitors to their website each month. In general, more visitors means more money, so getting Pinterest just right is a big deal.

That’s where a Pinterest virtual assistant comes in. As a VA, you could offer to manage Pinterest accounts, create boards and fresh pins, and develop a pinning strategy. This is an online job that requires absolutely no investment.

11. Online Moderator

An online moderator is someone who works online representing a company or business. The moderator position typically means you’ll be monitoring the businesses’ online presence while overseeing forums and social media profiles to ensure everything looks good.

This isn’t quite the same as a social media manager, which is why it’s in its own category. As a moderator, you won’t be managing the creation of any social media accounts or even posting for these businesses. Instead, you’ll be tasked with ensuring that the company has a positive online persona and watching to make sure things aren’t inundated with spam or negative comments.

In general, this kind of job is a good option for people who want to make extra cash on the side. You won’t make a fortune with this work at home position, but it’s ideal if you want to earn some extra money.

12. Online Coach

Are you a fitness guru? How about an organizational mastermind or a motivational speaker? Whatever your special talent, you can use it to make money as an online coach.

With an online coaching business, you can teach others how to become a master in their field or interest. This could mean outlining an exercise regime for someone who wants to lose weight, or instructing parents how to better care for their children. If you have a business background, consider coaching executives or entrepreneurs. The possibilities are endless.

As an online coach, you can conduct all of your business over phone, Zoom calls, or email. You have a lot of leeway with how you conduct your business, and there will always be both free and paid options with the tools you use. If you’re on a budget and you just want to get the ball rolling, you can definitely start this online job with no investment.

13. Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper manages the day-to-day expenses of a business. If you’re savvy with numbers and well-organized, this is a good service to offer a small business owner who may be juggling this task on his or her own.

As an online bookkeeper, you might be asked to oversee the following tasks:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Overseeing payroll
  • Managing the general ledger
  • Monitoring inventory
  • Monitoring petty cash
  • Filing accounting reports

While these bookkeeping services fall under the general umbrella of accounting, you do not need to be an accountant to be a bookkeeper. You do need a strong foundation in math and will probably need a college degree to qualify for this job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for a bookkeeper in 2019 was $41,000.

Extra Ways to Earn Cash

woman working from home

If you’re looking to work from home, chances are you want to make extra cash.

One of my favorite ways to earn some extra spending money is through online surveys. You certainly won’t get rich taking surveys, but they are a fun way to make some money while you’re looking to pass the time.

My favorite survey company is Survey Junkie. Survey Junkie is one of the best for matching users with qualifying surveys, and their payout is good too. It doesn’t cost a penny to sign up, so click here to get started today!

In addition, you’ll find other money-making ideas here:

Final Thoughts on Finding Online Jobs for Moms with No Investment

You don’t need to spend a penny in order to start working from home. While it can be tempting to pay for a company that promises you abundance in return, remember that there is no such thing as a get-rich-quick job.

All of these work from home jobs are completely legitimate, but they also require work. Often, though, the hardest part is getting started.

Have you found an online job that you can start with no investment? I’d love to hear other ideas to share with my readers!

online jobs for moms with no upfront costs

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Hi, I’m Bridget Sielicki. 

I’m a freelance writer and a mom of four. For the past 10 years, I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer, creating content for major brands like Hertz Car Rental, Bankrate.com, and Credit Sesame.

Working from home has been a dream come true for me. Now I want to share my expertise with you, so you can make money while you’re home with your own kids. Learn more here.