With coronavirus continuing to wreak havoc on the job landscape, that long-distance automobile commute to the office has been pared down to a short stroll from your kitchen coffee pot to the living room, bedroom, or desk in a corner. Others have either lost their traditional job completely or find themselves struggling to make ends meet with reduced hours and have resorted to sticking their toes into the hot and cold world of freelancing to get by.
For some newbie freelancers, it can be tough to get started. You don’t know exactly what activity to pursue on the side or which offers the best chance of success. This article examines some of the best side hustles to pursue during the Age of Covid.
Unsurprisingly, unless you’ve been living under a rock, all the entrants on our list require an internet connection and assume you want to work from home. Though the ability to go online at will is not quite ubiquitous yet, with 61.4% of the global population able to access it regularly, these side-hustles are within the reach of most.
One of the most common and easiest ways to make money off your side gig is to create a blog based around the niche topic of your choice. Requiring little to no upstart costs, all you have to do is a little keyword research and start writing. Once your blog accumulates readers, you can include paid advertising or affiliate links. For the former, each time a reader clicks on your ad, you get paid a small amount. The latter lets you collect a commission any time a product or service is sold through your link. It can take weeks or even months to grow a readership, but once you do, you’ve reached the utopian land of passive income.
2. Tutor English Online
Whether you are a hyper, child-loving person or prefer to share your language skills in a more serious, adult-oriented context, there are tons of opportunities for online English language tutoring.
With a host of options that include test prep, beginners’ language skills, academic writing support, and basic homework help, you can tailor tutoring gigs to your specialities. If you have advanced knowledge of a particular subject, you can help with SAT preparation, or college-level subject-specific tutoring. Drawing on your niche expertise can allow you to charge more for your services, with some online tutors earning as much as $60-$70/hour.
Depending on the company, you can schedule sessions around your other side-hustles. With the modern global audience, tutoring in the early morning hours or even the middle of the night is a definite possibility if that suits you.
3. Social Media Influencer
Instagram or Youtube sensations, sit up and take notice. You might be able to monetize your social media hobby.
Apps such as “Heartbeat for Ambassadors” can connect you with brands that will pay for social media product placement. Depending on how many followers you have, you can expect to earn anywhere from $3 to $50 per post – more if you’re a Big Dog on the scene – but if that describes you, it’s probably already a full-time hustle. Regardless, all you have to do is feature their product, thus “influencing” other social media users (hence the name).
Do you have a unique hobby or skill that other people might be interested in? Are you, let’s say, an expert knitter? Or a skilled home chef?
With more people stuck at home during the pandemic, there is more opportunity to share your skills and knowledge with remote audiences. For a fee, of course. Skillshare.com and Udemy provide platforms for online learning that help you connect with the right remote audience.
Websites like Fiverr allow you to post whatever skill you would like to share. Don’t worry that yours might be too esoteric. Offerings can be quite obscure, ranging from home gardening demos and philosophy lectures to “How to cast a love spell” or “How to be a good friend.”
5. Home Auction House
Remember those Beanie Baby plush toys you have saved in pristine condition for years, waiting for the moment when their vintage value would skyrocket? Or your grandfather’s old stamp collection? Do you have an attic full of typewriters, retro clothes, or other oddities? Maybe you’re just good at scoring the best deals at Goodwill.
If this describes you, consider setting up an online auction house (from home). While Ebay is the most famous online auction website, there are plenty of alternatives to explore. Some sites may be better than others at connecting with your ideal buyers.
6. Scripting Alexa
Mark Cuban, the billionaire investor (and judge on TV’s “Shark Tank) recommends that any savvy side hustler learn “scripting,” the process of creating simple codes for voice command-enabled devices.
Learning to program personalized “skills” for devices that use systems like Alexa, Cortana, and Google Home offers a valuable, and surprisingly easy, skillset to share with businesses and personal home systems. And because this knowledge is relatively new, you will be able to charge more than your average side hustle. According to Cuban, the world’s first trillionaire will be skilled at navigating AI, so there’s no time like the present to start learning and get that side hustle going.
7. Take a Survey
Arguably the easiest side hustle on this list is this final one: surveys. There are oodles of focus groups that offer remote and in-person survey opportunities. All you have to do is sign up and to get paid for your opinion. What could be better?
Survey topics range from marketing campaign tests, which ask for feedback on different products and advertising approaches, to movie poster designs, mock trials, and craft beer tastings.
Market research opportunities can take anywhere from half an hour to three hours to complete, making this a great occasional side gig.
Use Your Skills
When considering which side hustle to pursue, the most important thing is to start with your skill set. What are you already great at? What do you like to do? If you can make your hobbies work for you, then it’s a snap start getting paid doing what you love. And that is what the best side hustle is all about.