6 Home-Based, Easy-to-Start Freelance Careers That Can Replace Minimum-Wage Jobs

I once responded to a Facebook post by a friend on my personal page. It was about the proliferation of tip jars, ie, you see them everywhere and for everything it seems. The conversation evolved from there to being paid a living wage. One friend chimed in with:

If corporations would stop being greedy and pay a living wage it wouldn’t be this way. They try to substitute a living wage with tips that you then legally have to claim to irs so they can take it back out of your paycheck that isn’t nearly enough to begin with!!!! It’s a ridiculous cycle that benefits nobody but the employers. The employees suffer.

Another friend replied something along the lines of, if you’re not working in a capacity as a traditional server, I don’t feel obligated to tip (eg, tip jars on counters at convenience stores). And the conversation mushroomed from there.

The next morning the conversation was still going on. Think we hit a nerve? 🙂 That’s why I decided to write this post, which brings me to this … let’s take an up-close look at the “risk” of freelancing versus working a minimum-wage job.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

Freelancing: Just How Easy Is It to Replace a Minimum-Wage Job?

This conversation got me to thinking about how grateful I am to freelance. And although some may consider it a harder road, I think freelancing is easier than working a minimum-wage (or just above that) job. Why? Because it’s so easy to replace your salary.

For the sake of argument, let’s run some figures. Let’s say you’re earning $25,000. And let’s be generous and say you work 35 hours per week (instead of 40). Your hourly salary works out to roughly $13.84 ($484/week) — before taxes. I got this by using this formula: 25,000 /12 (months per year) / 4.3 (weeks per month) / 35 (hours worked per week).

Here’s what you’re likely bringing home — roughly $1,750/month. Note: $13.84/hour is much higher than the minimum wage in many states, which makes your “risk” of freelancing much easier to overcome. The chart below assumes you work 40 hours per week, which is why the hourly wage is lower ($12.02).Freelancing vs. Working a FT, Minimum-Wage Job: How Easy Is It to Replace Your Salary?

6 Freelance Jobs That Can Replace Minimum-Wage Jobs

These are the ones I’m intimately familiar with as a freelancer. There are many, many others. Just go on sites like Fiverr and Upwork to see the kinds of skills people are willing to pay for. FYI, here’s a list of the 8 most in-demand freelance skills for 2017.

1. Virtual Assistant

You could become a virtual assistant (VA) and earn more per hour. FYI, the average salary of a virtual assistant is $15.61/hour.

2. Freelance Writing

You could become a freelance writer and earn more per hour. A freelance writer earns an average wage of $24.70 per hour.  Recently, an online writer I know earned $20,000 in one month writing web content for businesses. Yeap – five figures in one month! And when she started, she had no previous experience as a freelancer or as a writer.

How to Become a SEO Writer: Free Ecourse (Click to Enroll)

3. Social Media Consulting6 Home-based Freelance Jobs You Can Start Today

You could become a  social media consultant and her more per hour. Salaries for social media consulting (like many jobs in freelancing) are all over the place. Here’s a great breakdown.

Just know, the average salary for a full-time social media marketing person is between $35,000 to $50,000/year.

4. Develop/Teach Ecourses

You could develop and teach your own e-courses – on almost anything. This month alone, I’ve grossed almost $3,000 in ecourse-sales from my school on Teachable.

Here’s a guy who earned $1,200/month by just filming simple weight-lifting videos. He went on to earn much more — $66,000/month — by creating a course totally unrelated to that.

My point? You can create an ecourse on almost anything and earn as much or little as you want. And I do mean anything — and proof of that is a woman who has a very successful ecourse on how to raise goats. Yes, goats!

5. Write Romance

You could write romance and earn more per hour (if you publish prolifically). I once earned almost $4,000/month just from my romance novels (not my non-fiction titles). And I’m not alone. Proof?

10,000 Month Writing Erotica

Writing erotica is the fastest and easiest way to make money online. If you put out three or four short stories a month you could easily earn $800 to $1,000. More serious authors who are releasing 10 or so stories a month are pulling anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000.

And it’s because romance sells. I haven’t put out a book in almost a year, and I still earn between $200 and $300/month from the titles I wrote mostly between 2013 and 2015 (I’ve published 3 since then).

6. Affiliate Marketing

This one takes a bit longer to get going, but you can make really good money in affiliate marketing. Here’s a blogger who earns over $100,000 — per month. She started her blog in 2011, and it took her about four years to get to that point. But how long would it take you to earn that working for someone else?

Unless you’re a highly trained professional like a doctor, lawyer or finance expert, it’s highly unlikely that you’d ever earn that much working for someone else. But you can working for yourself — given time, a plan and hard work. FYI, here’s one of the best programs for starting a profitable niche blog. Within a year, you could be earning close to six figures — more.

FYI, even if the training class is closed, be sure to sign up for their free webinar — and register when they open again. If you have an idea for a niche blog, these guys can help you learn if it’s worth fleshing out and turning into a real business. And if it’s not, they can help you find a profitable niche. It’s what they do — and they’re the best in the business at it.

What Makes Freelancing So Scary for Many

It’s the idea of not being able to pay your bills. I get that. At least you can “count on” a steady paycheck from a job. But let’s look at it this way … are you able to pay all of your bills at your minimum-wage job? And save for retirement, pay for healthcare, have a decent (or any) emergency fund?

How about getting ahead? Saving for college tuition for your kids? Saving to make a down payment on a house? Where do you see yourself in a year, three years, five years? And what if you lose your job? What will you do? Go find another minimum-wage job so you can stay on that same get-nowhere-fast treadmill?

Are You Willingly Staying in a Cycle of Poverty?

This is what’s known as the “cycle of poverty.” In order to have something different, you have to do something different. The six opportunities I listed above cost either nothing or very little to get started. If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can get started on most.Yuwanda Black of InkwellEditorial.com: Reviews, Scams, Testimonials (What They're Saying)

Is there a learning curve? For sure. Are you guaranteed success? Nope, not at all. Will you fall flat on your face? Probably, a few times. But you know what else will happen?

You’ll pick up new, marketable skills. You’ll gain confidence. You’ll learn to think out of the box and discover opportunities you never dreamed possible. You’ll learn something with every failure.

And with the right training, you don’t have to fail at all. You may have to do two things at once — eg, work your minimum-wage job and burn the midnight oil to get your own thing up and going, but in a year or two, you could be living a whole different life.

The Real Value of Becoming a Freelancer

It teaches you to make money under your own steam so you’re never at the mercy of a j-o-b. Sure there will be hard times, and at times it’ll be scary — just like when you were in a low-paying job. But, you’ll have that extra layer of confidence; that extra layer of thick skin that makes you go, “I can weather this!

The Real Risk of NOT Freelancing

If you’re at the bottom of the wage-earning scale — I argue that the risk is not in quitting your job, but in keeping it. There are so many opportunities out there. If you’re eager to learn, and willing to work hard, there’s no reason you have to stay stuck.

With all of that being said, following is my original post to my personal FB page.

Tip Jars, Freelancing & The Global Economy

I don’t normally talk about work here on my personal page, but I was having a conversation with another friend about “tip jars” (are we going overboard with that, etc.). Anyhoo, the conversation evolved from there to being paid a living wage. Part of my response went something like the following:

People need to stop relying on these low-wage jobs. Get trained to get in a better position, or better yet, start ur own thing. As an online worker, I can’t believe how easy it is to replace a low-paying, minimum-wage job these days, eg, by being a social media account manager.


I’ve trained many online writers over the past decade or so — and quite a few earn 6 figures now; they started with no previous writing/freelancing experience. One just had a $20,000 month. Yep — $20,000 in one month for writing online content for businesses.

If I hadn’t branched away from writing for clients to writing exclusively for myself, I could be pulling in these numbers too. That’s why I say staying in a low-wage job and then complaining. Not necessary. Find a way to start your own thing it’s a helluva lot more work, but worth it IMO not to have to worry about getting a j-o-b.”

The reason I bring this up is, I created an online writing course years ago (2009). Hundreds of students have gone through it and/or bought an ebook I wrote about how to start an online writing career. More than a few are earning 6 figures or more per year — as I said above, with no previous experience.

The emails I get thanking me for “changing lives” remind me why i do what I do — and why I love what I do.


If you’re a young person, a stay-at-home parent, an older person who needs more retirement income, etc., there are so many online jobs that don’t require a degree, or experience, or massive amounts of training. With the right course or ebook (or even research on your own in many cases), you can earn the same — most likely more — than a low-paying job.

For this reason, if I had it to do all over again, I’d start freelancing right out of college.

How to Avoid Freelance Scams Online: 4 Things to Always Look for

Sure, there are a lot of online scams, but I’m here to tell you, things like freelance writing, being a VA (virtual assistant), and social media account management aren’t among them. They’re viable, work-from-home opportunities that anyone who knows how to read and write can be trained to do. If you’re motivated, organized, and not afraid of hard work, you can make a success of an online biz.

Is it a lot of work? Heck yeah! I’m not here to tell you that it’s going to be easy. It’s it worth it? Double heck yeah! I’ve been freelancing since 1993; and have been full-time all this time, except for an 18-month stint between 2006-2007.}

I work completely online as a writer/blogger/self-publisher. These days I write almost exclusively for myself (publishing my own line of books and ecourses). I could earn more if I went back to writing for clients full-time or took on more projects. But, I intentionally transitioned away from that in order to have even more control over my income in the coming years.

And that’s another beautiful part of freelancing — you can structure your biz the way you want. My point? You don’t have to slave alway in a minimum-wage job. We live in a global economy now and the need for skills like online (SEO) writing, social media account management, web design, etc. is greater than ever.

It’s up to you to grab the opportunity(ies) and run with it/them. #JustMy2CentsToday

P.S.: Make Money Writing in 3 Different Ways: Get full details.

P.P.S.: A Practically Fail-Proof Way to Start a High-Paying Online Writing Biz

As these listings highlight, there are many, many online writing opportunities. With the right knowledge, it’s a great work-from-home career to start — PT or FT. Get trained to get started!

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    1. This is so informative. thanks for sharing this.

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