The current COVID-19 crisis has left many people in the workforce in bad situations. Some employers can’t pay enough, some can’t pay at all, and for people who were self-employed and are unable to work now, that means no money. If you are looking for a new, work-from-home job or a side-hustle to make up for lost income, we’ve got some ideas for you. Hint: These are also great ideas for parents at home with kids who have some, but not full, time to get some work done.
Here are our top picks for side hustles for just about any interest out there.
For Those With A Flair For the Arts
Freelance graphic design – if you’ve ever designed a birthday party invitation or a flyer for a local event, there is likely someone out there looking for your help. You don’t need to have a lot of professional experience for this (and if you do, even better), and there are lots of great free tools out there to help you with your designs, such as Canva. You can start small with an ad for the local food drive and as you get more experienced, market yourself for bigger projects. And if this is something you really like, you can turn it professional by taking an online course.
Selling stock photos online – for anyone who has an eye for photography, stock image sites like Shutterstock are always in need of more content. You can submit photos you already have or take new ones in and around your home of nature and scenes. They will pay you each time your image is downloaded.
Selling crafts and handmade objects online – Etsy is the biggest marketplace for crafts and handmaid objects and the variety of items sold on their site is huge! If you have the talent and materials to create just about anything (earrings, knitted hats, pillows, quilts, personalized temporary tattoos, you name it!), Etsy is the place to sell it. Explore their site to get some ideas or, if you’ve got a stockpile of crafts, start selling.
Event coordination – while weddings and other big events are probably less extravagant these days, Zoom parties are very much a thing. Many entertainers and other types of event vendors have changed course to create parties and activities that can be shared over Zoom, such as paint night, trivia games, or even cooking classes. If you think this is something you can do, start reaching out to friends and family to try out your talents and then turn it into a paid business.
Baking – for everyone who enjoys baking, know that there are many more people who enjoy eating fresh baked goods. If you’ve got that baking talent, go for it! Make personalized cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for birthdays. Or delicious homemade bread. Get your name out there and start selling! You can even help out another friend in need who can make deliveries for you.
Subscription boxes – if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, a popular business you can start from home is a subscription box. Your box can target any sort of audience you can think of – parents looking for toys and games, puzzle lovers looking for new puzzles, foodies, beauty product gurus, you name it. This will require some investment and organization on your end but if it’s something you’re passionate about, it could turn into a very fun and lucrative business.
Fast Money With What You Have
Selling clothing – If you’ve got clothes in your closet in good condition that you can part with, selling them is an easy way to make money. There are hundreds of places you can sell so your best bet is finding the right place for your items. If you have designer items or clothing from a brand name (like Everlane, Anthropologie, or Lulu Lemon), you can sell with options like ThreadUp. If you have something very specific, like a wedding dress or other type of gown, you can try eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Or check if your local consignment or thrift shops are open (depending on the state, these may be considered essential businesses).
Selling accessories – Whether you have a collection of high-end bags at home or just one or two you can part with, designer purses and other accessories are another great item to sell. Depending on the brand you have, check out The Real Real, Rebag, or Vestiaire Collective.
Selling jewelry – Have an old piece of jewelry that you no longer wear or a gift from someone you want to forget? This is the perfect thing to sell right now – you won’t miss it and it will make you money. The tricky part is where to sell it. Pawnshops can get you the money quickest but your not likely to get a lot for your item. eBay is a gamble, especially since there are over one million pieces of jewelry up for sale at any given time. Worthy is a smart option as you are selling to professional diamond buyers who can pay true market value and all you need to do is send in your item, approve the bid, and get paid.
If You’ve Got A Special Interest
Do you love to cook? Did you train your own dog? Are you an at-home wine-maker? If you’ve got any special interest, chances are you know A LOT about that subject and there are a myriad of money-making ways to share your knowledge base with others. Here are some of the most popular:
Podcasting – Podcasts have been and are still very popular and you can find one on just about any topic under the sun. You can plan out your own podcast and record it yourself with online recording tools or programs you can download. You’ll see how fun it is to share your knowledge and, if it goes well, you can sell ad time and make money.
Blogging – Similar to podcasts, blogs are easy to make yourself and there are billions of blogs out there. If your blog is popular (and it very well might be!), you can sell ad space or even create affiliate connections with businesses and make money off sales.
Online video series – There are all sorts of video series out there, especially how-to videos for products like electronics, make-up, or other gadgets. If explanatory videos are something you think you could do, give it a try!
Writing eBooks – If you’re a person who has always wanted to write a book, now is a great opportunity. You can write an eBook about your life, share your professional or personal experience, or write the next great novel. You can self-publish an eBook on Amazon pretty easily and share your work with others for a small (or large) fee.
For Anyone With Language Skills
Freelance writing and editing – Writing and editing is something that can be done very easily from home, with or without a global pandemic. Companies are always looking for content writers, either to add content and explanations to their site or to write articles on random topics. Many companies also need editors to review texts that come in. Some pay per project and others pay by the hour so find whatever works best for your schedule. If you like to research and write, this could be a dream job for you.
Translation work – If you speak another language, you’re in luck! Many companies with international customers or partners have translation work to be done. The rarer the language, the more they will be willing to pay.
Transcribing – You don’t need to be a fast typer to transcribe recordings from home. Podcasts, speakers, and even educators all need their recordings transcribed and if you have the skills to do it, you can make a pretty penny.
No Experience Necessary
Taking online surveys – All sorts of institutions conduct research and some are willing to pay. These can be easy to do and many surveys are looking to get as many participants as possible. Be aware that some surveys come with a small paycheck or even an Amazon gift card but if you need to make up for lost income, this can be one way to help.
Data-entry – Some data-entry positions require more background knowledge than others but many just need someone to input data from collected forms into a spreadsheet. It’s a good and reliable way to make money.
Playing video games – There are a few ways this dream job can make you money. Some game companies will pay people to try out their games. Or you can put recordings of yourself playing online. If you’re really good, there are even some video game tournaments out there with cash prizes.
Delivery route- speaking of deliveries, there are tons of businesses looking for more people to join their delivery teams. If you have the means of transportation, check out your local options. While this is the only non-working from home option on this list, it does involve minimal close contact with other people
Take Your Profession Online
If you are a bookkeeper, office manager, executive assistant, or teacher, your work can be moved online. Online bookkeeping is popular for companies without physical office space and can be easily done remotely. The same for virtual assistants, especially for companies working outside the US who want someone available during US work hours. And online tutoring in any subject can be easily done without too many adjustments.
If you have work experience others could benefit from, consider an online consulting business where you work with clients and companies remotely by email and video chat. Online coaches like fitness trainers or life coaches can easily move their interactions with clients to Zoom or other forms of video conferencing.
For The Tech Experts
Tech companies are always looking for programmers and developers (especially app developers) so if you already have these skills, great! If not and you have the motivation, check out some of the free and paid coding courses out there, like Code Academy, and then start marketing your new skill.
Finally, with all of these new home businesses getting started, there is tons of work out there for website builders. People and companies all over are looking for personalized websites so if that’s something you can do, get a move on!