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Top 10 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs

by on 29/06/09 at 2:32 pm

At Ideate, we get a lot of request for information on legitimate work from home jobs. While making money from home has become all the rage recently, especially with the rise of the web (and with it, internet home business opportunities), it seems that our audience still need some prompting on where they can make their moolah from home.

So, without further ado, here are our top 10 work from home business ideas:

1. Tdictionaryranslation

Here’s where those Spanish lessons you took at school can finally come in handy. So what if you only did them thinking that it would be your ticket through Latin America while you learn how to surf? If you know German, Italian, French, Portuguese, or the biggie, Mandarin, you’re in the money. Place your free ad on Gumtree or Craigslist and you can start raking in the orders.

What you need?

Dictionaries for all the languages you know.

Where to start?


  • Advertise online on directory sites
  • Contact the relevant embassies and consuls in your area to let them know you’re available.
  • Language schools are also a great source of referrals here, so look them up online and give them a ring to let them know you’re around.

2. Teach English

skypeThis is a no-brainer. English is the de-facto standard of the web, and hence the new frontier of business – especially in exporting stuff online. Everyone wants to learn the language of our old colonial oppressors… so brush up your grammar and get teaching.

What you need?

A dictionary and an active sense of humour, especially when teaching Eastern bloc, Chinese or Indian visitors to the country. You’ll do well to download Skype, since a lot of folks will contact you via the net.

Where to start?

  • Varsity College if you need to get qualified
  • Gumtree or Craig’s List to advertise to all the migrant workers visiting the country, as well as the  sons, wives and daughters of visiting dignitaries and business people.

3. Website content writer

lettersEvery website needs content. Every website owner is too busy to write content. Hey presto: a gap in the market! Fire up your laptop, google “writing for web” and tell your friends that you’re a bonafide copy-writer. Despite your lack of experience, chances are pretty strong that you’ll churn out better content than 99% of the crap out there.

What you need?

Home pc with a good internet connection.

Where to start?

4. Product photographer

lighttentYou got a 10mp digicam for Christmas, but the only pics you’ve taken are of your cat and the potplant. Instead of sitting at home checking your non-existent bank balance every five minutes, why not fashion a quick infinity curve in your garage and start snapping? There are many, many product sites being launched every day (E-commerce is on the rise, fast, and products pics will be in demand). Odds are that some of these new sites will need a cheap alternative to updating their stock online.

What you need?

You’ll need a camera, the curve, some lights, a laptop, an internet connection and some photo-editing software.

Where to start?

5. Home baker

bakerYour mom’s old recipes are not necessarily only to entertain your book club once a month. There are hundreds of corner shops, market stalls, schools and churches who will gladly pay for your cooking goodness. Make sure you do your sums when charging for them, though. It’s easy to short sell yourself in the catering business.

What you need? A decent oven, and some cooking tools. A blog (you can also use your Facebook page) is also a good idea to write about your recipes and publish some pics of your gastronomic greatness.

Where to start?

  • Your local printer to design a little knock n’ drop brochure to distribute to your neighbourhood’s homes  and businesses.

6. Internet marketing

internetWeb marketing is a fast growing industry and there’s more than enough work out there. Once you figure it out, it’s actually a nice little earner – you can charge a few grand a month for your services and once you hit 10 clients, you’re doing quite nicely thank you very much. The only thing is that this industry is notoriously unstable, and you’ll have to keep your wits about you to stay on top of this fickle game.

What you need? Laptop, internet and subscriptions to SEOmoz, Internet Marketing Centre, Daily blog and the 1000’s of other services out there.

Where to start?

  • Find a small business networking group near you, something like BNI, which is cost effective and perfect for getting you in touch with your target market.

7.Music teacher

keyboardWho’d a thunk? Your many hours of recorder, piano and violin lessons actually will come in handy. Depending on how good you are there are many adults, adolescents and children out there searching for their inner Tchaikovsky. A good start is to contact some of the schools in your area and sound-proof your walls.

What you need?

A nice quiet room, where you can finally put your piano / guitar / violin, / recorder / triangle to good use.

Where to start?

  • Get a little brochure designed by a local designer (again, the printer should have an inhouse graphic designer to knock something up) and get it out there.
  • Directory sites like Gumtree and Craig’s List

8. Personal shopper

bagBelieve it or not, there are loads of people out there without a heck of a lot of time on their hands. Hey, you got time right? You can offer it to these poor rich folk in order to bend their credit cards on all the various trinkets that they need on a weekly basis – from food to toys, gifts to underwear.

What you need?

Time. A good eye for what’s in – the Internet will help to keep you on top of the trends.

Where to start?

Again: Gumtree or Craig’s List are great for these kinds of services.

9. Pet chef

petsYou’re one of those weird tree-hugging, liberal animal rights activists. No one EVER took you seriously. Until now. Just wait til those haters see you RAKE in the bucks by preparing meals for rich people’s pets. Yep, you heard me. Rich folk will actually pay you to cook gourmet meals for their imported Saluki’s, their Russian Blue’s or their pure-bred Shitzu’s. Call it a guilt thing. They don’t have time to love them. However, they DO have money to pay YOU to feed them. Make it happen.

What you need?

Pet ingredients. Thick skin.

Where to start?

  • Get to your post office and get them to distribute your business card to the rich suburbs in your area. If you can, make your business card interesting, like having alitte bite cut out of it, or designed in the shape of a bone… something like that, y’know?

10.Book keeper

moneyIf you’re male, you’ve spent the last few years in a cubicle. If you’re female, you’ve spent the last few years popping out your 2 kids. Your head is about to explode. You need an outlet. You’ve got dreams. You want to make real money. It just so happens you’re good at maths. What can you do? Ok… so there’s not much else than becoming a book keeper. (Sorry.) But, you know what? It’s not that bad. You can make a good living, and your expenses are low. Give it a go, and save up for that Mauritius getaway (if you can find babysitters for 2 weeks!)

What you need?

QuickBooks. A laptop.

Where to start?

  • Correspondence school to get qualified
  • Gumtree, Craig’s List to advertise

Post your suggestions and links in the comments. We’d love to hear feedback and thoughts on working from home ideas.

Fred Roed is the marketing guy in the Ideate crew. Fred is the CEO of web marketing company World Wide Creative and the co-founder of online learning portal Heavy Chef. Fred loves writing about people out there doing marketing right. Follow Fred on Twitter here. View more articles by Fred Roed.

Tags: job offer, work from home, work from home jobs

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97 Responses to “Top 10 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs”

  1. Fred Roed

    Mar 22nd, 2011

    You’re welcome Star.

  2. vdmerwe

    Mar 23rd, 2011


    seen your list and i joined these guys, so far thy kept to their promises

  3. vendgalaxy

    Mar 23rd, 2011

    Hi Hendrick,

    have you actually BEEN PAID by Paytel yet? If so, i’d be interested! You know i only advertise programmes from which i’ve received payment! It is no guarentee that anyone else will be paid though.

    I’ve recently received payment from a South African PTC (Paid To Click) site. This i immediately re-invested! Mosey on over to my blog if you’re interested.

    I try as much as possible to support LOCAL , but I’ve had my share of dissapointments though. Some long stories and some short…i’ll keep to the latter for now!

  4. savvas

    Apr 2nd, 2011

    Godd day all, i am enquiring about this opportunity and how one gets started as i have no idea. This is for my parents who live in Hermanus South Africa. Any advise would be greately appreciate.


    Savvas Augusti

  5. vendgalaxy

    Apr 3rd, 2011

    Hi Sawas,

    i’d like to help, but i need you to be a bit more specific regarding the opportunity you’re interested in!

    If you refer to the programmes i’m talking about, you can visit my site at for more info. Should you still be uncertain or need more information, do leave a comment on the blog or email me. I’ll be glad to assist.

  6. vendgalaxy

    Apr 8th, 2011

    Hi alursuave,

    you should see this forum as a place where you can make a valuable contribution to the discussion, whether to give advice, ask a question or at the very least make a comment…..not just post a link…and a link without a description of what’s it’s for or where it’ll take us!! What cheek..!! You’ll not get any fans that way! You’re preying on people who don’t know better and want to find some honest means to fill a gap or two in their pockets.

    I’d strongly suggest to the admin. to have your ‘link’ removed.

  7. Fred Roed

    Apr 8th, 2011

    That comment has been removed and the contributor marked as spam.

  8. vendgalaxy

    Apr 14th, 2011

    Hi mybeatfuzz,

    the fact that you’re posting these links is evidence that you didn’t read the comments on the forum and you’re just interested in spamming your links. Don’t you guys ever learn…..

    Do yourself a favour and apologise or as a minimum read the previous posts….maybe you’ll pick up a hint or two regarding netiquette!!!

  9. Thabo

    Sep 13th, 2011

    Hi I’m going to study next year and my parents cant afford to pay for accommodation and school fees at the same time so i have been looking for a home job that i can do that is promising , but i find nothing please help at least if i can pay for my accommodation and help my parents please help i have INTERNET access and a computer.

  10. Gail

    Sep 17th, 2011

    I’m a disabled lady desperately looking for work to do from home. I have lots of admin, telesales & typing experience.

    Most of the “Work from home” jobs require and upfront fee – I’ve already paid out close on R1’000 and received no work. Any idea where I can try where NO fees are required??

  11. [...] great work-from-home career opportunity, and judging by the evergreen popularity of our article on work from home jobs, this is something that many of our readers are interested [...]

  12. Ross

    Oct 20th, 2011

    Hi Gail and Thabo

    You can become a furthermore inc agent selling fragrances and health products. This a South African company based in Cape Town. It can be run entirely from home. Visit

    Feel free to visit Membership is free. Read emails, receive points. The number of points you aquire denote your ownership in the business.

  13. Natasha Steyn

    Oct 24th, 2011

    Can any one help with a suggestion as to how I can make some serious money and which option to take to get started on a work from home project that will make money and not just cost money. I am a serious candidate and burnt my fingers with this work from home scams more then once. I trust you understand my sceptisism. PLEASE HELP.

  14. sardon

    Oct 29th, 2011

    Well, Ive been looking for an online work from home since i have access to full time internet connection,my concern is,is there really an online work from home or is this just a dog eats dog field which captures victims taking advantage their last bit of hope to pay large amount of money before work can be “awarded” to a person.Please help, we really need a straight,simple and forward solution

  15. [...] occurred to me more than once that 98% of my work stress as a freelance copywriter comes from 2% of my clients. The majority is utterly divine: easy to work for, easy to work with, [...]

  16. Natalie

    Nov 21st, 2011

    To everyone looking to work from home – its all a bunch of nonsense!! Every one advertising job opportunities from home is an absolute criminal! If anyone can PROVE me wrong, I DARE you to leave a legitimate link bleow my comment

  17. Fred Roed

    Nov 21st, 2011

    Hiya Natalie – sounds like you have been burned. There are tonnes of good businesses that are operating from home, but I agree that there are also a lot of scams out there that ask for your money with not much in return.

    Personally I think that people should avoid things that promise get rich quick schemes and rather try one of the items listed above.

  18. Natalie

    Nov 22nd, 2011

    Hi, Sorry about the outburst, I had a really bad day. All I am looking for is good honest work. I am prepared to work hard, I don’t expect to get rich quick.
    Thanks for the tip, I’ll check them out.

  19. Fred Roed

    Nov 22nd, 2011

    No worries – it happens to all of us : ) Let us know how it goes.

  20. Jacqueline

    Nov 28th, 2011


    I am looking for something for my dad. He had a stroke in 2009 and finds it very hard to talk to people face to face now. Nothing wrong with his mind though, still sharp as a tack! Please let me know if there is anything/anywhere I can find something for him. He is really struggling although us kids send money every month to help him out. He needs to feel that he is earning his way in life again. Thanks so much!!

  21. [...] Africa is the perfect place to start a small work from home business. It’s one of the fastest growing markets in the world with an economic climate that bodes well [...]

  22. Tess

    Nov 28th, 2011

    Thanks Fred for writing this article.

    To Natalie, and everybody else thinking that working from home is “all a bunch of nonsense”: it’s not. It definitely works! …or all of us digital nomads wouldn’t do what we do.

    I’ve been working from home for many years now, and can’t imagine going into an office anymore (which is one of the downsides of being an online entrepreneur…office life become scary) ;)

    Yes, initially it might require you to work harder than you did when working in an office, and you will probably have to change many of your ways, but it’s worth it…or we wouldn’t keep doing it.

    If you’re into online work, then register on the many freelance networks out there – especially focusing on the freelance job sites specializing in your field.

    Get involved, be social, ask questions, do your research.

    I warmly recommend to start off with free work (if you’re in a position to do so), for example with translations, content writing, catering friends’ events etc. The experience and references you gain will help you get the paid work, so make sure you get those LinkedIn recommendations, testimonials etc to show your potential paying clients.

    Also, remember that you can look outside South Africa for online work – there are many freelance networks around the world that pays out via Paypal, Payoneer, or bank transfer.

    Best of luck to all of you – if you put your mind to it, you can do anything!


  23. [...] you’re a trailblazing entrepreneur who works from home, deftly selling your talents to grateful clients who are only too lucky to have you as their remote [...]

  24. shonimaze

    Mar 3rd, 2012

    Can’t anybody just give us a website that works.

  25. Patrick K

    Mar 9th, 2012

    It’s often written off as a scam, but I think if you are really committed to it, paid surveys can deliver a fairly decent wage, if you have a Blog you can take advantages of referrals and all of that sort of thing… there are plenty of sites that cater to ZA residents too… Hiving/Surveyhead/Opinionate etc…

  26. [...] year. Furthermore, of the certified Best Employers in SA, 36% have formally-defined HR policies on working from home, and 33.5% have a formally defined HR policy on special leave. Both of these are applicable for all [...]

  27. vendgalaxy

    Apr 4th, 2012

    Here’s a number of answers/comments ALL in one go!

    Firstly, Shonimaze…visit my blog (click on the link below my avatar) – here you’ll find sites that will definitely suit your fancy…not only does it work, the best paying 1 (at the moment) is actually a Proudly South African site, hence it gets top honours from me and deserves it’s big headline banner.

    NB: I only promote sites on my blog from whom i’ve recieved payment or that have delivered a benefit to me, e.g. traffic, referrals, etc.

    Secondly. i agree with Patrick K, paid surveys CAN deliver a decent earnings i wouldn’t go as far as describing it as a decent wage though – perhaps income is a better more suitable term. What he doesn’t mention is that it requires patience, time and effort. To put it into perspective, the best survey site i’m registered with send me regular surveys, at least 1 per week, but i often don’t have time to complete it (typically 15 – 30min; 1hr or more is an exception, but worth the time). This results in me getting a check of R400-R500 (after deduction of banking fees, etc.) every 3 months.

    NB: The number of surveys you receive largely depends on your own unique profile. Also, ALWAYS, always be honest when answering the surveys.

    So that’s my bit in a nutshell…for more check my other posts here or visit my blog

  28. joel

    Apr 28th, 2012

    hi there!

    am interested in doing some work at home business, but i don’t where to start. could someone help me. i want to do some extra income on part time or full time as long as it does affect my full time job

  29. vendgalaxy

    May 1st, 2012

    Hi joel,

    have you had alook at any of the above suggestions that have been posted? Here we can only make suggestions and hope people would believe…and even try some of the programmes we promote! Other than that, you’ll have to do some work…NSTAAFL – (no such thing as a free lunch) …remember that concept and you can’t go wrong!

    Also, do some research, just because we are mentioning a site/program, etc. on a legitimate and very well established website like this one doesn’t mean the sites mentioned are….SO DO THE RESEARCH…nowadays with big G it’s so easy to check up on sites and find out if it’s a scam or not!

    So have a look at my site and leave me your comment ! Feel free to feedback to this forum on your experience or how further we may help you!

    Good luck!

  30. chantelle

    May 31st, 2012

    Hi my name is chantelle. I have recently become a housewife, I sit at home all day, i have been looking for something to do in the lines of working from home, i have bare minimal experience in computers and am currently having internet and computer training, however my question is what kind of work from home opportunity do you think it best for me to delve into. i would like to make extra cash and dont want to be taken for a ride.
    will it be possible for you to assist me please.
    thank you
    sincerest regards

  31. vendgalaxy

    Jun 1st, 2012

    Chantelle Dear,

    lucky you to be a housewife and have the time available to do some online work…yes, some would say that’s rather unlucky…not having ‘job’, but i think with the right guidance, patience and commitment, you’ll find it an absolute joy, being at home and not having to answer to a boss.

    That said, it can be the opposite as well, if you don’t plan and manage your time well, you could end up longing for the ‘routine’ of a ‘regular’ job. So you’re off on the right track…asking for help; be careful though…whose advice you accept/trust, etc.

    For starters, i’d say look at what interests you and what you good at and take it from there; try and align that with what you find. Don’t be scared to make mistakes…we all have to start somewhere.

    Also, look at the older entries here click on some of the links provided and EXPLORE if it fancies you. NEVER, NEVER just dive in and accept what you’re being told…as truth!

    RESEARCH x 3….

    Finally visit my blog for (what i think) are some excellent advice and programmes…!

    Cheers and good luck with your online endevours

  32. Hannes

    Jun 2nd, 2012

    10 Ligitimate jobs now just increases to 12. I belong to probably the
    most reliable opportunities on the net. Check it out for yourself.

  33. [...] rising cost of living these days has started a lot of people thinking about running a business from their home. There is the added convenience of cutting out the daily commute, and now that most things can be [...]

  34. Monica

    Mar 14th, 2013

    Good day,

    I have read about the opportunity to be a stay at home mom of 2 kids doing bookkeeping. As I am retrenched today and a mom of 2 kids, I am looking for work and because work is hard to find and you are always unhappy, I am looking at being my own boss. I am scared though! how do I come over the fear of my business not being successful? I know you have to take chances in life but I am so scared as I do have family members that tried to make their own business work but failed many times.

  35. Taryn

    May 8th, 2013

    I also go with local companies, it’s hard to get payments out of the international agencies. A good South African platform is, you auto copy those who are making money.

  36. Sarie

    Jul 25th, 2013

    Hi All,

    Just want to warn you about adverts, especially ones containing “workingfromhome” in the e-mail address.

    They advertise for Data Entry Clerks or Typists, you have to pay R180 which according to them is a bargain, as others charge from R900 upwards and once they receive your payment, they send a Manual.

    The “Manual” consists of a couple of pages of rubbish and all it tells you is to do exactly what they do, i.e. just taking your money and then you don’t hear from them again.

    Yes, I was caught, my own stupidity, but please be EXTREMELY careful with ads for working from home for Typists and Data Entry Clerks. Especially where they ask you to pay for a Manual!!!

  37. Leigh

    Jun 10th, 2014

    Are there any real legitimate Work from home job” out there?????? have been looking for days….not sure who I can really trust!!!

    Help PLS!!!!!!!

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