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Lucrative Work-at-Home Jobs

Lucrative Work-at-Home Jobs
Posted By: Sierra Austin on May 29, 2008

by Kristina Cowan, PayScale.com

Digg When Jeff Zbar launched his freelance writing career almost 20 years ago, a good friend remarked, "I've never met a starving writer before." Zbar's prompt reply was, "I'm not going to be your first."

He has delivered on that promise, writing about a variety of topics in different styles, "from journalism to corporate copywriting and beyond, as well as public speaking on various topics," he notes. Zbar, who is based in Florida, has been making more than $50,000 a year for some time.

Freelance writing is one of various fields where individuals can work from home and, through hard work and determination, earn $50,000 a year, or more. Success with work-from-home jobs depends on self-motivation and professional experience, freelancers say -- the more you have of both, the better. You also must be disciplined and skilled at networking, so you can attract clients/contacts.

Here's a look at several careers where you can work from home and earn a good living:

1. Public Relations Professional

Thanks to technology, PR professionals can set up home-based shops -- something Cynthia Schick has done with her PR business, CLS Communications, in Lebanon, New Jersey. Schick pitches stories, trains small business owners on positioning themselves as experts for the press, and does copywriting for brochures and websites. Schick has been working from home for three years; her first year, she earned just under $50,000. "I think $50,000 is a fair target to reach pretty early on," she says, noting this year she expects to make in the high $60Ks, or more.

2. Graphic Designer

Rick Shaffer, a freelance graphic designer/marketer since 2001, runs his business, Shaffer Design Works, out of a studio in the basement of his home in Streetsboro, Ohio. He works for several national clients as well as small businesses, designing logos, brochures, websites and other marketing materials.



"My first year I was probably making $40,000. It didn't take me long -- my second year I made something like $85,000, and this year I made six figures. It has grown exponentially for me," Shaffer says.

3. Realtor

As an independent contractor selling properties for Weichert, Realtors in Flemington, New Jersey, Lori Stellwag works from home 80 percent of the time. She goes to Weichert's offices for meetings and to check in periodically. Stellwag has done work from home for three years, and says computers and cell phones are a boon, enabling her to stay in touch with clients and do research about properties. "I make at least $50,000 or more doing this. ... To make at least $50,000 in this industry, you have to be a go-getter and you have to do it full-time, unless you are pretty lucky," she says.

4. Freelance Writer

Ed Finkel, a freelance writer based in Evanston, Illinois, who has been working from home for nearly six years, says he came close to earning $50,000 in his first year. "I think $50,000 is definitely doable. It's more doable for someone who has had more jobs and is out in the business for a while. It's just like any profession where it's better to work for a while and build up some subject matter expertise," he explains. According to Finkel and Zbar, freelance writers should be flexible about taking on a variety of different assignments -- but also specialize in an area, such as public policy, technology, or education. It's akin to being a generalist and a specialist at the same time.

5. Financial Planner

Investments, taxes, and retirement and estate planning -- Jerry D. Murphy consults with his clients on these matters as a home-based certified financial planner in Bowie, Maryland. Murphy has been operating his business, JDM Financial & Investments Inc., since 1996; he says he hit the $50,000 mark after about four years. "You have to have the dedication to stick to it when the going gets rough. One thing that kept me going was my
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