A Legitimate Way to Make Money at Home—Helping Others

If you are like my spouse and me, you are living on a relatively limited or tight budget. We don’t have much money for extra things and do a lot of thrift shopping and looking for deals online.

cost to raise a baby from birth to 18

Created at babycenter.com

When our infant granddaughter came to live with us, we knew it would be an added expense, but we also knew that we couldn’t let her go anywhere else.

Because we had another person in our family we needed a good way to make extra money to help us with raising her because raising children can be expensive!

In fact, according to babycenter.com‘s cost to raise a baby from birth until age 18 (plus college costs) calculator, it will cost about $280,230. That’s a lot of money! A lot of extra money we don’t have.

When our granddaughter moved in with us, my spouse was under-employed—in other words, not working full-time and not making much money working at a local restaurant. I was working part-time as the director of a chamber of commerce. It was a good job, but again, not full-time and not much money.

We were in that proverbial place, caught somewhere between a rock and a hard place. What were we going to do to make more money?

I was also working very part-time for the newspaper that I have worked at for the past 23 years, but that only brought in a few hundred a month.

I began researching options and found a few things online that I thought I might be able to do to bring in extra money.

I started taking surveys online

Click here to sign up to take surveys

First, I started taking surveys. Yes, surveys. I signed up through several sites that looked promising, but I knew, unless I took surveys for at least 16 hours a day, I wouldn’t be able to make more than $100 a month tops.

Nonetheless, I began to take survey’s (in fact, I still do. You can click the link here to sign up! If you’re watching TV or something, it isn’t hard to multitask taking a survey at the same time!).

You get a $5 bonus for signing up. I get about $40 a month now taking surveys, reading e-mails, searching the web, watching videos and doing a few other things. Once in a while there will be an offer listed that I want to try. For a while we got Highlights Magazine through one of the offers. You can earn varying amounts of money by taking advantage of the offers.

While doing this has not made me a millionaire, it has made extra money that has helped with our raising of our granddaughter. If nothing else, it gives us gas money for getting to our day jobs!

Because this is a site that relies on users to take surveys and respond to advertiser’s offers, it is possible to also make an extra $5 for five referrals to the site. The real bonus comes if those five people take part in the program because you can also earn 30% of their earnings. (The friend still gets their money, you just get to be rewarded with a 30% “bonus” from the company and advertisers.)

Obviously, we needed more of an income than taking surveys and watching videos/TV and looking at a couple of e-mails a day.

So we continued our search and it seemed like the perfect opportunity had come up.

referral bonus

I became a network marketer…sort of

telephoneIt seemed like the perfect opportunity was dumped right onto my head. Network marketing! I am not disrespecting it, I think many people make a very fine income from doing it. However, I did not, but I did spend a lot of money on training, going out and promoting the product and trying to be a sales person which, to say the least, I was absolutely horrible at!

I signed up two people out of the 50 people I showed the opportunity to. Not very good odds! Not very good income (I made exactly $0)! But I did learn a lot from doing it. One of the best parts of my two-year-long trial of network marketing through the two companies that I worked through was the emphasis on personal development.

I received a book each month that was beneficial to that end and in spite of not making any money, I still felt that my efforts were not a complete waste of time.

There are a lot of these opportunities out there and if you have the heart for this kind of work, you can probably make a really good living doing it.

I don’t have the heart for it.

So I needed to try something else that I could do in my spare few hours between working and family time and sleep.

I began to write websites

I have actually taken two courses of writing websites to make money. One was through a company which I trust and respect, but it just wasn’t a very helpful course. I did get two websites up and running, but learned very little about how to monetize them.

writing a websiteSo, in spite of having two websites with money-making potential, I made exactly zero on them, too. But I did spend several hundred for that first course. There is benefit to that course, because I have lifetime access to it.

The training was just not the training that I needed to get these sites off the ground and so they never went anywhere.

I was still very interested in writing websites, though, so that way of making money continued to bubble in the back of my mind.

The next time around—this time—I took a different approach and so far it has worked out quite well.

I am training through a site called Wealthy Affiliate and not only is the training superb, the community of other website designers/writers/bloggers is amazing. These are some of the most giving and helpful people I have ever encountered.

The majority of us are there to create niche websites that help others. In fact, this website—Second Story—is the site I created to help other grandparents like my spouse and I who are raising their grandchildren.

Wealthy Affiliate gives people an opportunity to learn how to create a profitable website in any niche. A niche is by definition “a distinct segment of a market.” My niche for this site is grandparents raising their grandchildren. Another site that I have focuses on fitness and health for people with type 2 diabetes. A niche can be anything that you are interested in and want to help other people with.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a free trial of their premium program and also offers a free starter version that lets you host two websites.

The premium version is pretty amazing. The first month is $19 and then each month thereafter is $49 a month. If you pay for a year, it is even more of a savings.

I’ve included a chart so you can compare the two membership options.

wealthy affiliate comparisonI wholeheartedly recommend the premium as it offers all the training and support you could want or need to build a truly amazing website. They teach you how to market and promote your site through social media and other tools and they teach you ways to make money with your site! All from the comfort of your own home!

Don’t be afraid to try it. Even if you don’t like it, you are not out anything as the starter program is truly free. If you do decide to sign up using my link, I will be right there with you to help you along the way and answer your questions, concerns.

Another great part of Wealthy Affiliate is that they teach you everything about building a website. You will be using a tool online that is called WordPress through which you will write and set up your site or sites.

If you are ready to start your free starter membership and find out what this is all about, then click my link above or on the image below!

Wealthy Affiliate going up

As always, if you have any questions, please list them below or send me an e-mail!

Thank you for visiting my site. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!

Notice: Purchases are made on external affiliate company websites. When you click on an affiliate link located on grandparentssecondstory.com to purchase an item, your are buying the item from the seller directly (not from grandparentssecondstory.com). Amazon and/or other companies pay grandparentssecondstory.com a small commission or other compensation for promoting their website or products through their affiliate program. Prices are exactly the same for you if your purchase is through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link. You will not pay more by clicking through to the link through my site.

G.G. and JazAbout the author

Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has five grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this websites with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: gg@grandparentssecondstory.com.



  1. Wow, what a touching story. I cannot image the burden and a blessing raising grandchildren would be. Their world is so much different than the one we grew up in. Bless you for being so strong. Great website with great information.

    • Thank you so much for you thoughtful comments. It is more of a blessing than a burden to raise our granddaughter. But it sure is a different world than when I grew up. Thanks again!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  2. Great story! My wife and I are also raising our grandchildren and there is 4 of them. I won’t bore you with the details but agreed it is really costly. We are exactly the “grand parents second story” family. We struggle day to day but cannot stand to see our grandchildren go anywhere else. I am now a part of wealthy affiliates, and I can vouch that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something to help our need of extra income.

    • Brian,

      It is great to meet fellow grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. It is a definite struggle at times, but like you said, we cannot stand to see them go anywhere else. Wishing you the absolute best!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  3. I love your website! It was just a good and genuine read which I thoroughly enjoyed so thank you for that! Wealthy Affilaite looks pretty good and a great way to make money doing what you love 🙂 Thank you again!

    • Thank you for your comments, Danielle. Wealthy Affiliate is amazing. I can’t say enough good about them and the training they provide. It suits me well because I love helping people and I love writing websites!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  4. Hi Karin- I really like this post a lot- It is from your heart and your honesty shines through and I am sure many people will join Wealthy Affiliate
    I know this because I am a member and this platform truly is the best place to build a successful online business and I wish you continued success

    • Vicki,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Wealthy Affiliate has changed my life. I love building websites and having the training has really been a plus!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  5. Hi Karin,
    So cool that you are taking care of your granddaughter. My mother in law is a huge help to us taking care of our children so I know how much of a blessing you are to your family. Thank you for the information on Wealthy Affiliate. Have you considered using the money earned from the surveys for the program? That way you don’t have the out of pocket cost while you build your business and income. I’m wishing you well. Kudos to you. You are a very determined person. I have no doubt you’ll succeed.

    • Nicole,

      I never thought of that, but that’s a great idea! It’s awesome that your mother-in-law is able to help you take care of your children. Thank you for your very kind words!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  6. Hello Karen,

    I also tried taking surveys and other MLM type businesses but they just aren’t for me! Like you, I am not comfortable “selling” to people. I love building websites to help people by offering information people can find when they search for it online. If people search and find my site and choose to buy something, I never have to “sell” anything. I can make a commission and give people solutions at the same time! This is a win, win business!

    I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate and I love that it allows me to build a business based on any interest I have. I have two websites and both are based on topics I am personally interested in. These are both topics where I can share important information with the wold and offer solutions to problems with products I can recommend.

    I am glad you found Wealthy Affiliate too! You certainly have a site based on your personal experience raising your granddaughter!


    • Jessica,

      Thank you for your comments and for sharing about your past experiences. Wealthy Affiliate is a great place for anyone looking to earn a passive income! I love it!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  7. I liked your story! I can relate to this one. A year ago I was searching how to earn money online. I joined several platforms and spent some bucks. However, one thing I noticed is that most online money-making platforms are not for newbies. I tried and tried and didn’t make a dime. I found no value in promoting these platforms. So stopped. Until one day, I gave Wealthy Affiliate a try. Yes the monthly fee is a little higher than the platforms I joined before but the value of the training is worth promoting to others especially for newbies to online marketing. I learned a lot from this platform and my niche website is now starting to earn.

    • Dan,

      Thanks for your comments. Wealthy Affiliate is really an amazing place from the training to the people involved.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  8. Hi Karin, I loved the way you put this invitation to join Wealthy Affiliate. It is personal and one can feel the passion behind it.
    If I were not already a member would try it out, for sure.
    Wishing you all the best.

    • Thank you, Jill. I am very passionate about Wealthy Affiliate! It has totally changed my life around!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  9. It must be really challenging having to be a parent all over again when you are supposed to be good ol grandma. The expenses are one thing. As a grandparent who isn’t a sole caretaker of their grandchild, you are able to splurge and spoil your grandchild as any grandmother or grandfather would do. But things are different in this situation. 

    You know I tried doing the survey thing but it didn’t make as much money as I would have hoped for the time I put in. Also you have to be screened for all potential surveys, kind of like a survey before the survey and if you don’t qualify then you can’t take the survey. I just feel like its sort of a waste of time. 

    Wealthy Affiliate on the other hand looks promising. $19 for the first month to try out is something that is within my budget and realistic. I am going to check it out because I also am searching for ways to make legitimate money at home helping others

    • Sophia,

      It can be very challenging, but each day is such a great experience that it makes it so worth it. It can be a challenge balancing the time we spend with all of our grandchildren. They don’t always understand, but mostly they think of her as our “kid” too, so it is a bit easier now that they are a bit older and comprehend the situation better.

      The surveys certainly are not for everyone. I used to qualify for them a lot more often and now with building my websites, I don’t have a lot of free time to take surveys. Once in a while I still do, though, because it is nice getting that check once every couple months!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  10. I can’t even imagine having to raise your grandchildren in a very tight budget. We all have been there and I agree with you that there are so many so call make money online that don’t really help at all. Wealthy Affiliate is definitely the place to be for any affiliate marketer. Thanks for this amazing and compelling story!  Much success to you!

    • Andrea,

      It isn’t always easy, but it is very worth it to know that she is being cared for.

      I love Wealthy Affiliate. It is the best training I have found in a long, long time! Everyone is so helpful. It is a great way to learn how to create a great website!

  11. I just love the down-home honesty of your website and posts. I feel like you’re chatting just with me over a cup of coffee 🙂 I’ve thought about trying those survey sites and just don’t have the patience for it I guess. For me, it takes so long to do them and I don’t find them very interesting so it’s just drudgery for me. I too kind of stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate by accident when I was looking for some way to make money from home. I had heard of affiliate marketing before and even slapped up a couple ads on another website I had. I really had no idea how to do it successfully though so nothing ever came of it. Wealthy Affiliate has training that walks you through it step-by-step so I feel much more prepared to be successful this time around.

    • I love having coffee with friends! In fact, one of my upcoming posts will be about the Koffee Klatch that I belong to. We meet every Wednesday and have coffee and breakfast. We solve all of the world’s problems and then go back to the real world! It is a great way to connect with others and just talk openly.

      I love the training at Wealthy Affiliate. It is truly top-notch! I am so glad we have both “stumbled” upon it!

  12. It’s inspiring to read your story, how you never give up looking for and trying out new opportunities. I wish I could be half as enterprising as you! I have never tried network marketing, but I think to receive a book on self development each month, it’s like the company is providing free training! That’s such a unique way of doing a business, I mean for the company you were with. 

    As for your current endeavour, I’m on the same path as well, building out my own website! Thoroughly enjoying it cos it’s a niche that I get to choose, so I’m passionate about it. All the best to your writing journey!

    • Joo,

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply! I can’t give up, my family relies on me! 🙂

      Receiving the monthly books really was a great bonus of the networking marketing that I did. They were a good company, I’m just not very good at selling!

      I love building my websites and talking about things that I love, like my grandchildren and Wealthy Affiliate!

  13. Hi Karin, thank you for sharing your amazing journey! The ways in which you’ve tried to earn an income and bring up your grandchild is truly inspiring! Some great advice for others too! How has your experience been with Wealthy Affiliate in terms of finances so far? Wishing you all the best! This is certainly a website that other grandparents should definitely read!

    • I am glad you enjoyed the story of my journey so far. My experience with Wealthy Affiliate has been amazing. Like anything we do in building a business, it takes time so I have not seen a lot of income from my work yet, but my main focus has and will continue to be to serve others through my experiences. I love to help others.

  14. Great post and it has lots of truth in it.

    They calculated how a child cost for parents, guess what: A house!

    1 child cost you a house, so having 3 childs means you could have bought 3 houses!

    Now being that said, there are many ways to make money online, like surveys, PPC’s, but yet, the affiliate marketing is the best you can have, like the Wealthy Affiliate.

    I hope your post can reach a lot of people, because the most have the same money situation as you.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Thank you for your comments, Emmanuel. Yes, having children is expensive! But the joys, at least for me, have far outweighed the cost. Still, having an additional source of income is important and necessary. I whole-heartedly believe in the program at Wealthy Affiliate. It is one of the best I have ever seen!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  15. I love that you’re targeting to the retired community.  I think that affiliate marketing would be great for a lot of retirees because most people (my mother included) are living off of a very small income from the government work working part-time, and it doesn’t give them much at the end of the month.  That’s not really a great way to spend your retirement!

    Affiliate marketing for retirees is great because they can do it from home (in their pjs), not have to commit to giving up hours in their day to physically go to a job, it’s a great hobby to fill the day and they can make as much extra money as they want.

    This is a really great site and I look forward to seeing your next post.  I know I will be sending my mom here and maybe this will help her get on board.

    • Thank you for you comments, Nicki. Our older citizens are a perfect match for Wealthy Affiliate because they have so much to give in the ways of knowledge, experience and wisdom. And they, like me, need to be able to make more money just to meet the day-to-day living expenses.

      It’s also a great platform because even if you don’t know much about computers, you can create a website and monetize it through Wealthy Affiliate. The training is top notch and very easy to follow. And if you have questions, there are experienced people on the site to help!

      I love it!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  16. First off I think you are a saint to take on raising a grandchild, especially an infant. My mother is about to take on one of my brothers children, he is 14 years old. I’ll be sure to have her reference your site. It’s admirable how diligently you have looked into money making opportunities. Seems as if you have tried a lot of things and have not been afraid to explore different venues. I think its great that your attitude appears to pull something positive learned from every experience, whether it ultimately worked out or not. Good luck with Wealthy Affiliate. Looks like it could be the one that works!

    • Thank you for visiting my site, Melo Ann!

      It isn’t always easy to care for these grandchildren. It isn’t the same as caring for your own, although there are many of the same things like physical care and things like that. But, especially when the parent is still somewhat involved, it can be confusing understanding the role. Am I the parent or the grandparent? My granddaughter is 5 now and she is just the joy of my heart and life!

      Wealthy Affiliate is a God send! I have not made a ton of money yet, but I am doing something I love to do and it is giving me a lot of joy doing that and knowing that I may be helping someone else!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  17. Dad has been retired for a couple of years and isn’t really doing anything at home. But one thing I noticed is that he loves going online – especially on YouTube – to learn new stuff. I always find the internet to be a challenging place for people his age to start something new because of the technology and jargon. Yet, I like for him to try something that can be productive and make money too. Will certainly give your recommended platform a try. Sounds legitimate to me. 

    • Thanks for visiting my site, Cathy! It sounds like this would be a fun thing for your dad as he enjoys going online. He would enjoy Wealthy Affiliate’s training as it is very easy to follow and if someone doesn’t understand something, there are always many people on who can answer questions. And from personal experience—Site Support is amazing!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  18. This is a great story. It is a big responsibility to take care of a child. I think the decision to do that is a big one, but also an important one. The financial aspect to raising a child is also a vital component to figure out. I think that the internet is full of opportunity to make a living.

    The problem is to find one that isn’t a scam. I think Wealthy Affiliate is one of the best opportunities out there by far, 

    • It is a big responsibility. There are many factors that I can’t disclose that sometimes make raising a grandchild an even greater challenge! But I wouldn’t change this opportunity and responsibility. 

      I believe wholeheartedly in the training and community at Wealthy Affiliate. I feel like I have finally found a place where I can grow the websites that I have always wanted to, including this one!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  19. Hi 

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are a wonderful grandparent as well as parent. 

    I am not a grandparent nor not even a parent yet, but I can relate to your journey. I tried doing surveys too but it gives no money after putting so much effort on it. Unfortunately, only few people gets wealthy on MLM. I am doing stock trading but my return at then end of the year is minimal. 

    I think our best option right now is writing a blog. I reads dozens of testimonies saying that you can make a lot through affiliate marketing. 

    You mentioned that you use Wealthy Affiliate to learn how to blog for income. How is your experience with them? I noticed you didn’t give us a link for us to sign-up. What is their sign up page?


    John Greg 

    • Hello John Greg! Thank you for visiting my site.

      I agree with you. I believe that writing a good and helpful blog is a way to make a steady income.

      My experience with Wealthy Affiliate has been phenomenal! The training can’t be matched and the community that is there is so helpful and giving that I feel like I have found a home!

      Here is a link to get started with Wealthy Affiliate: https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=79ddef7c

      You can’t go wrong with this company in my humble opinion!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  20. Thank you for the efforts you put in to raising your granddaughter 🙂  It’s so great that there are people like you around. I was searching around for a while there for something online to work from home with.  I also ran into a few things that were….hmm….somewhat helpful, but weren’t completely dependable.  I had been a stay at home mom for many years and then things happened and I had to support my children on my own.  Then, things happened where that wasn’t a great option.  So I started looking at work from home opportunities.  I was so happy when I found Wealthy Affiliate!  It’s been helping out sooo much!  The community is awesome!  There is so much encouragement and the education is truly superb!

    Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

    • Some days I feel like I am doing a horrible job. But most days I know that she is getting the best life possible with my spouse and I raising her.

      I am so glad you found Wealthy Affiliate! It truly is a great place to learn and potentially earn!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  21. I thourougly enjoyed reading your story and I admire you taking on the mammoth task of raising your grand daughter. 

    Your story sounds a bit like mine. Also tried the survey thing, selling beauty products and trying to recruit others to do the same – bit like network marketing. 

    I was so happy when I found the training on Wealthy Affiliate. Even though it takes a while to build a full time income, I know that one day when I retire, I will never have to worry about my finances again.

    • Michel,

      I am glad you liked the article. I think the path I have taken is similar for a lot of us—we try many things and somehow we find Wealthy Affiliate and it is the fit we have been looking for! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  22. Hi Karin,Your story is like mine. I began in taking surveys, totally failure. As you, I found Wealthy Affiliate, even I haven’t earned yet, I hope I will. In WA I have learnt a lot, also to improve my written English, my own language is Spanish. I hope I will raise my first grandchild next year 😊Thank you for sharing this post 😉

    • Thank you for visiting my site, Maria. I am glad you found Wealthy Affiliate. I feel that we can definitely succeed here! I am glad you have learned so many things through the program. You are doing very well with your written English! Keep working on it. Have a great day! And thank you. Check back to my site often!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  23. Well I can understand exactly where you are coming from.  We thought we would be retiring but instead we are raising our 7 yr old grandson and have been since he was one.  So yes we to needed to find a way to do a little better with our income.  I love Wealthy Affiliate and as long as we work hard there is no way to fail.   Hope we can talk more.

    • Thanks for commenting, Dale. I am glad you found Wealthy Affiliate, as well. I think the world of the platform and the education! Being able to earn money from working at home is the ideal. I am working hard to replace my income as well as my spouses. As we get older, we feel the aches and pains more and more. Being able to spend time with our grandchildren (especially our granddaughter whom we raise) is more needed. We want to be able to spend more time with her as her needs are growing.

      Please check back often.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  24. Hi Karin, I really enjoyed your post – Legitimate Ways to Make Money at Home—Helping Others. I think it sounds great that it is legitimate as there are alot of scams out there and you read about them everyday. It sounds like something anyone can do as long as they are willing to put time and effort into their writing work. Being able to work from anywhere especially with children at home and being able to fit around this is a wonderful working opportunity for mothers like myself. I have heard about affiliate marketing before. This program looks very interesting and educational too. What I like about this program is it is about helping others. Thanks for sharing. Mary

    • Thanks for visiting, Mary.

      There are a lot of scams out there and I am so glad I found Wealthy Affiliate. It gives me the opportunity to do at least three things I enjoy doing—writing, helping others and making a little money! Writing a blog is a great way to do those things. It gives us parents and grandparents the perfect way to be able to make money while being there for the little ones.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  25. I am also a grandparent but unfortunately I do not see much of my grandchildren,   I have also tried different survey sites, but have not made very much, there at all.  They like to tell you that you can make lots of money with surveys but I find when I try to fill out a survey that I am told that I do not qualify.  There are all kinds of other tasks that can be done but they do not add up to very much in the end just some pocket change for too much of your time.  Wealthy Affiliate has a great community of people that want to help you to succeed.

    • Thanks for visiting.

      I don’t get qualified for very many surveys either. Most of the time it appears to be my geographical location as I am in a small, rural area. Most of the ones I would qualify for were a quarter for 15 minutes! Yeah, not great money for sure.

      I am really enjoying Wealthy Affiliate and feel that I am learning the skills to be able to make a nice income.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

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