The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has had a substantial impact on many workers’ lives. Employees are seeing their hours reduced, being placed on unpaid furlough, or are outright losing their jobs. Many traditional gig economy jobs (driving for Uber, becoming a babysitter) one would turn to in order to make money in a pinch are unsafe due to the avalanche of curfew and quarantine orders, not to mention the health risks of being in close contact with many potentially sick people.
If you are in a position in which you need to make money in a hurry in this environment, do not despair! There are numerous available options to make money from the comfort of your home without needing to go through a lengthy application process or putting yourself at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.
Become a Tutor
Given that nearly all schools and universities have gone online-only, there is a significant need for tutors who can fill in knowledge gaps created by the lack of in-person instruction.
You don’t need to have a graduate degree or be a subject matter expert to become a tutor. For example, if you are proficient in speaking a foreign language, you can become a language tutor at Preply. You can monetize your language skills even if you’re only fluent in English. Several companies, including The TEFL Academy, allow you to become Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) accredited. This can put you on the path of becoming an English teacher in a foreign country, a highly rewarding profession.
If providing language instruction is not for you, there are other options available. Two of the largest companies in the online tutoring business, Tutor.com and Chegg, are looking for tutors in a wide array of subjects across different knowledge levels (from pre-K to college). Wyzant is another major player in this space. If math is your forte, Skooli is a website that connects students with math tutors.
As an example of how much you can earn as a tutor, Chegg says that hourly pay rates start at $20, and top tutors can earn $1,000 per month.
If you are particularly confident in your teaching skills, you may want to consider creating and selling your own online courses. This can potentially be a very lucrative gig – some top instructors have earned six- and seven-figure amounts for their courses.
Udemy and Skillshare are two prominent platforms for online courses. Both companies provide resources to prospective instructors and allow content creators to keep 50% or more of the revenue they generate.
Freelancing marketplaces allow companies and individuals to hire people to perform a wide array of different services. Some of these services, such as dog walking, babysitting, and cleaning services, can be performed by nearly anyone without any specialized training. Other marketplaces focus on work that requires specific knowledge, such as programming or legal advice. A list of different marketplace categories is listed below:
- Babysitting: UrbanSitter and Bambino
- Home Maintenance & Improvement: Merry Maids, Lawn Love, and HelloTech
- Pet Care & Dog Walking: Rover and Wag!
- General Marketplace (no specific speciality; offer many different services): Takl, Fiverr, TaskRabbit, Envoy, and Thumbtack
- Programming: Upwork and Toptal
Writing, Graphic Design & Content Marketing
Writing is an underrated way to make money on the side. Many people assume that they lack the skills to be a competent writer, but as long as you can write in a clear, coherent manner, you can make money in this field. Most writing gigs don’t require you to have the reporting chops of Hunter Thompson or be a virtuoso with words like Charles Dickens.
There are many companies looking for freelance content creators who can craft blog posts, how-to guides, and other forms of content marketing. These firms may attempt to hire content marketers directly, but often use freelance marketplaces such as Verblio, ClearVoice, Freelancer.com, iWriter, and ProBlogger.
Content marketing is not limited to just writing. If you are whiz in videography and editing, photography, and/or graphic design, you can also find ways to monetize your skills. If you specialize in photography, there are numerous stock photo websites, including Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, that allow you to make money selling your photos. For those who are proficient in graphic design, 99designs and Hatchwise both provide excellent opportunities to find work.
It may be hard to believe, but you can actually make money taking surveys.
Have you ever looked at the bottom or back of a fast food receipt and seen an offer for taking a survey? Something like, “Fill out this 5-minute survey and receive a free order of small fries your next visit!”
There’s a reason companies do this: consumer insights are very valuable, but it’s hard to get anyone to volunteer their time to fill out a survey.
Thankfully, there is a way you can profit from this situation: getting paid to fill out surveys!
Companies like Survey Junkie, Prize Rebel, and Clixsense make it super easy for anyone to sign up and start taking surveys for money right away. As you fill out surveys, you earn virtual points which you can use to receive a digital gift card or PayPal credits.
Just be careful when searching for companies that pay you to take surveys: there are a lot of scams out there. Fraudulent firms will pretend they are conducting research on behalf of legitimate businesses, and then turn around and steal or sell your personal information or try to bill you for a product or service you did not purchase.
Make sure to do some research before signing up with a survey provider. Be especially wary if you’re asked to provide any kind of payment information – legitimate survey companies generally don’t require you to do this. Side Job Board has a list of some of the top survey-for-money companies – and we only work with legitimate businesses.
Sell Goods on Marketplaces
Selling unwanted things you own can be a quick way to make money in a jiffy. You may think that the old jacket you no longer wear is useless, but you never know – it could be valuable to someone!
Everyone is aware of the 800-pound gorillas in this space: Amazon and eBay. There is nothing wrong with using either of those sites to sell your stuff (note that it is easier to get started selling on eBay compared to Amazon.) They are extremely popular and have millions of visitors interested in myriad different products.
However, it is definitely worth checking out other online marketplaces that focus on particular niches.
Some examples of these apps and websites include:
- Mercari – An app for selling nearly any item. Similar to eBay.
- Poshmark – A website dedicated exclusively to buying and selling clothes.
- StockX – Allows you to buy and sell athletic shoes, with an emphasis on rare, collectible sneakers.
Who knows – you may even get lucky and find an extraordinarily valuable item for cheap at a flea market or thrift shop!
There are many, many other ways you can make money without needing to leave your home. A few of these opportunities are listed below:
- Virtual Assistant – Companies are looking to hire people to take care of common clerical tasks, including making phone calls, scheduling phone calls, data entry, price comparison, and setting travel plans. FancyHands is seeking virtual assistants to work from home.
- Transcription Services – Many companies are looking for people to transcribe videos and audio files into written text or translate their foreign-language courses, books, articles, and podcasts into English. Two well-known companies that hire transcriptionists are Rev and GoTranscript
- Become a Website or App Tester – PingPong pays people between €40 to €100 ($43.50 to $109) an hour to give feedback on apps and websites via user interviews and tests.
- Place Advertising on Your Car – You read that right – you can make money by placing advertising on your car! This could be in the form of a wrap that goes around some part or all of your vehicle or a sign that sits on top of your car. Wrapify specializes in car advertising wraps. If you are a rideshare driver, you can use Firefly to make money by placing an advertising sign on top of your car.