During the shelter-in-place for COVID-19, many of us had to be creative to meet daily challenges — whether that was creativity in keeping the kids entertained, finding new ways to earn money, or just figuring out how to take care of our normal needs like grocery shopping.
Figuring out a new or additional source of income can be especially challenging. If you’re unemployed or looking to add to your income with an online side hustle during an uncertain time, here are some ideas to help you get started.
1. Online tutoring
Parents all over the world are looking for ways to teach their children new skills — and keep them occupied. OutSchool and Chegg Tutors are platforms that thousands of students use each day. You can sign up as a teacher and get paid to lead sessions from the comfort of your home.
Small and large businesses always need help with managing their finances. Thanks to cloud bookkeeping tools such as Gusto, Xero, and others, you can provide a full bookkeeping service remotely.
3. Health and fitness coaching
If you have a background in medicine, fitness or nutrition, you can offer virtual sessions to people who need guidance or want help reaching their goals. Social media is great place to promote this.
4. Remote work consulting
Many companies are adjusting their work environments to be more accommodating of remote workers. As they do this, they will need guidance on how to create a cohesive work environment. If you have a knack for organizational leadership and community building, you can offer to consult with management teams.
5. Business coaching
As the economy continues to change, more and more people will be looking for advice on how to become a freelancer and grow their small business. If you have skills in business development, you can coach small business owners. Social media is a great place to promote this type of work.
Companies hire transcribers who work from home transcribing audio or video files. Classifieds like Craigslist may also have work-from-home transcription jobs. Whenever you’re dealing with job postings, remember that legitimate employers will never ask you to pay money or fees to apply or start working.
7. Virtual assisting
Check out freelancing sites such as Upwork or scour ads on Craigslist to see who needs virtual help. With more work going remote, more businesses are employing remote assistants, too.
8. Gift cards for your services
If you have a service-based business such as house cleaning, esthetician services, or hairstyling, offer digital gift cards on your website that buyers can redeem in the future once social distancing guidelines are relaxed. Many people are willing to buy gift cards now to support freelancers and small businesses.
9. Video editing and graphic design
Videos and images are powerful mediums for marketing a business. If you have video or graphic design skills, you can help business owners do the marketing they need. Reach out to your local business community or use sites like Fiverr to find design opportunities.
10. Customer interviewing
A lot of companies use customer interviews to get feedback on new products. Ping Pong and other companies facilitate those interviews remotely.
11. Secondhand selling
Companies like Poshmark have created digital platforms where you can sell your gently used clothes — with the ease of an app. eBay is a great platform for selling all kinds of second-hand items. And for larger items that are difficult to ship, you can use classified ads. Just remember to always deal locally when listing on classifieds — anyone who contacts you and asks you to accept a check or ship an item is probably a fraudster.
12. Reading to children
With kids stuck at home, parents are looking for new ways to entertain their young children. Talk to your friends with kids, or put up a listing on NextDoor to let parents in your neighborhood know that you are available to read stories to their kids via conference call or Zoom.
About the Author
Danetha Doe is the creator of Money & Mimosas, a site dedicated to helping you achieve financial freedom without having to live too frugally. She’s also the star of the Webby Award-winning TV series Going for Broke, produced by Ashton Kutcher, and has been recognized as a personal finance expert by the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. Her work has been featured in Elle, The Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and NBC.