Working from home by Gitta Hodgetts


The idea of working from home can be very daunting when you start calculating the risk. There isn’t a guaranteed pay cheque at the end of the week. You can’t file for unfair dismissal if all of a sudden you stop getting work. You have to stand on your own two feet and work hard for every dollar you bring in. In the beginning you find yourself busier than you were when you worked nine to five. It’s disheartening because there’s no secret code to make it work, there will be days that are extremely slow. You’ll tell yourself to give up once every so often.

Yet in spite of all the risks, writing from home to pay my bills has been one of the most liberating choices of my life. I get to decide what I write, how much for and if I write at all. It’s the perfect job for a university student because my time becomes my own. I am able to plan each part of my day around assignments and class time, without worrying about being let go from a casual job that wants me around more. One of the biggest plus sides, is that it allows me to build up a portfolio of paid work, that I can show to future employers and prove my worth.

Creativity has always been at the centre of who I am as a person. Ever since I was a kid I have been writing stories, even if they used to be about sporting heroes coming into my life to make me a superstar. Now, thanks to the internet and social media, I am able to make money off the one thing I believe I am destined to do. It’s a genuinely uplifting thing and while I have to work hard and earn every dollar that I make, the reward is more that worth it.

The key to working online is knowing what you’re good at. Believing you can achieve something is half the game. If you believe you can, others will too – your passion will shine through. Determining what you’re going to sell is the easier part. Planning the best way to monetise it is a different story. There are lots of options out there, Google Adcents, affiliate marketing or you could plan to sell your services directly. Not every option works for every product or skill set and it’s important to map out where you plan to go and how you are going to get there.

The next step is to determine whether there is a niche for your skill or product. When it comes to writing, the demand is ample and constant. Not every skill set is that easy to build your name in though. For example, trying to sell clothes online puts you in direct competition with BooHoo, Myers and eBay. If you do decide to enter a market where the competition is that high, you have to find yourself an edge. In other words, you need to be able to offer something the majority of your competition can not. Even then, building a reputation and having brand name awareness will be key.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will be vital in helping you do this. SEO crawls your website so that it will appear high on the list of links a search engine, such as google or, will compile. This helps trading posts and Gumtree appear above eBay, when you type “buy and sell websites” into google. eBay relies very heavily on brand name, and it can get away with doing that, because eBay is the google of buying and selling goods online. People who are starting out, particularly people who work by themselves, can’t afford to rely on brand name. Investigating how to make SEOs flag your sites, will go a long way to making you successful.

Overtime you will build a client base and it’s important to keep in contact with them. You are selling a service at the end of the day, and you aren’t the only one doing it. Keeping up a friendly narrative with your client’s will help them to feel valued and will encourage them to come back again. Communicating with your client base needs to rely on much more than just a twitter following, who read your tweets every now and again. Lots of people see email as an outdated way of communicating but its a good way to communicate with your clients in a personal way, while still maintaining a professional appearance. A newsletter, detailing new services you offer and your latest achievements to date, won’t go astray either.

At the end of the day, anyone who knows their way around a computer can make money from their kitchen table. Success will depend on a stubborn persistence to keep going, even on the days you feel you’ve made a mistake. Working from home isn’t a shortcut to making thousands of dollars, it’s the key to making a living doing something you love. If you want to be a graphic designer, a writer, start a website making business or have another unaccomplished dream, there is no excuse not to tackle it head on. It’s the twenty first century, our technology is limitless, if you really want to do it – there is no reason why you can’t. Just remember to investigate thoroughly, plan ahead and you’ll remain on the top of your game.

Gitta sends us a photo of her and her Cozy looking workspace

Click here to view Gitta’s contact page.

2 replies
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