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With the advances in technology many companies are moving away from large call centers, and outsourcing their call centers…to home. There are many legitimate opportunities to work from home as a call center rep. Most call center representatives answer calls from customers wanting to place an order. If you have technical skills you might be placed as a technical support person, where you will be helping customers with support issues. There are also opportunities for people with financial and insurance backgrounds.
Like all work from home positions you have the benefit of no commute costs. Because you will never need to meet with clients in person you will also not need to spend any money on special clothing or dry cleaning. With most call center companies you have the flexibility to choose when you want to work. Also, many call center companies will hire you as an employee, not an independent contractor, so you have a guaranteed hourly wage, no matter how many calls you take.
You must provide all your own equipment. Including a computer with high speed internet access, a dedicated corded phone, (No cell phones or portable phones)and a hands free headset with noise canceling microphone. This is not a good position for parents who need to take care of children, because you are required to have a work space that is quiet with no noise from children or pets. The companies don’t want their customers to know that you are working from home!
What to Look For
Before you are hired make sure you know whether you will be working as an employee, or as an independent contractor. As an employee, you will be guaranteed a minimum hourly wage, and taxes will be withheld from your paychecks. Some companies also offer benefits for their work from home employees.
As an independent contractor you will be paid based on the number of calls that you take. It is possible that you will commit to a shift and recieve very few calls. You will be responsible for paying your own taxes. However, as an independent contractor you have your own business, and it is easier to deduct the expenses of working from home. Depending on the number of hours you work you may be able to deduct some or all of your internet and computer costs. Please consult with a tax advisor about your particular situation.
The companies I looked at all had the following requirements:
- You need to be a United States legal resident and speak English
- You need to be at least 18 years old
- You need to have a high school diploma or GED
- You will need a tax ID number
- You will need to pass a background check
The companies I looked at did not require any fees to apply for a position. However, all of them required you to pay for a background check after you were offered a position. The cost for the background check varied widely, anywhere from $35 to over $100, depending on the type of calls you will be taking.
How Much Can You Make as a Call Center Rep?
Working as an employee, it looked like the starting pay was anywhere from $8 to $12 per hour, with opportunities for bonuses for working during certain hours, or for exceptional performance. The companies that hired independent contractors reported around the same potential income.
Working from home as a call center representative looks like a opportunity for someone who can dedicate a block of time with no distractions. This may make it difficult for parents with small children, as you would need to arrange for childcare. The pay is actually pretty good for this type of work, and without the costs of working outside the home makes it a very attractive work at home opportunity.
Here are a few companies that I found.
With Convergys you are hired as an employee. They offer paid training and a full range of benefits.
Live Ops hires independent contractors. You are paid per minute of call time. They do not offer paid training.
Alpine Access hires reps as employees. They state their average rate of pay is $9 per hour. Certain jobs will pay more. They offer paid training and limited benefits after 3 months of working an average of at least 20 hours per week.
This is the first in a series on how you can work from home blogging. There are many different ways to make money with your blog, and I will try to explore them all here! But, before you can start making money with blogging, you need to have a blog! So how do you start a blog?
1.Pick a topic or theme for your blog. Would you like to join the masses that blog about making money online? Or would you prefer to be one of the relatively few that blog about ancient Russian literature? Or maybe something in between! Whatever it is, make sure that it is a topic that you enjoy and that interests you. You will be spending a lot of time with it!
2. Select Hosting for Your Blog. You may be tempted to save money and go with free hosting from sites such as wordpress.com , or blogger.com. But don’t do it! You will soon find that free hosting sites may put limitations on your blog. Plus many paid posting sites do not accept blogs from free hosting sites.
Your own domain and hosting hosting aren’t really all that expensive. With a company like Hostgator you can get hosting for as little as $4.95 per month. Use the coupon code “green” and get another 20% off.
3. Select your domain name. For me, this is really the hardest part. Your domain name will set the tone for your whole blog. There is a lot of debate as to what makes the best domain name. Dot coms are the favorite, but getting a “good” name will be difficult.
If you want to get a domain really cheap, I suggest you go to the digital point forums. You can buy domains there on the aftermarket for as little as $1. You may not get the exact domain you want, but the price will be right!
If you would prefer a brand new domain, then I would suggest that you take advantage of the Go Daddy $6.95 .com Sale. I have all of my domains at GoDaddy and I love their customer service! They have plenty of online tutorials and if you need more help, support is just a quick phone call or email away. You can also buy hosting from GoDaddy and have your domains and hosting all in one place. Some people like it that way. Some people say it is best to have them separate. I like the convenience of having my domains and hosting all in one place.
4. Point your nameservers. If you buy your domain and hosting together than this may already be done for you. If not, all you are doing is telling your domain registrar where your blog is hosted. Your hosting company will tell you what to enter for your nameservers.
5. Install WordPress. There are other blogging platforms out there but I really like WordPress. I might even be considered a WordPress fanatic. WordPress is easy to use, it is versatile, and because it is so popular, there are literally thousands of free plugins and themes you can use to customize your blog.
6. Start writing! You are going to need at least 10 posts before you can start marketing your blog. Make it a habit to write a post a day and in less than 2 weeks you will be ready for the next step, paid posting. I’ll cover that in the next part of this series on Working From Home Blogging. To make sure you don’t miss a post be sure to subscribe to the feed.
If you find all of this a little intimidating, and would like help in setting up your WordPress blog, then I have a deal for you. Just sign up for a hosting account at either Hostgator or Go Daddy using the links in this post. Then send me an email at email@example.com and I will get you all set up for FREE! Plus I”ll give you some consulting time via email or Google messenger and show you all the cool things you can do with your new WordPress Blog.
To get your free setup and consulting you must use my affiliate links when purchasing your hosting. It won’t cost you any more than if you went to the site directly. If you have any question feel free to send an email.