So we are coming up on a time of year where we all could use a little extra cash since Santa likes to drain the bank account. We’ve gotten used to our budget throughout the year and now we need to make our paycheck stretch a little further than we are used to. Even more so in 2020 since we are experiencing layoffs and the job market has contracted, things seem a little tighter this year.
I had taken some side gigs throughout my time, and my side-gig, I guess turned into a business. Many of us want to be our own boss and having a side-gig gives you that chance; and you never know, maybe it will flourish into something bigger in the future. Sounds exciting. I feel there are two types of side gigs – the recurring side gig, and the one-time side gigs. Let’s first talk about the recurring side-gig opportunities that you could look into to earn a little cash on the side of another job.
I see recurring side gigs as ways that you could just set it and forget it or it’s a legitimate side job or hobby that you have and continue to advertise for.
I don’t know if you’re the type that likes to write or has a knack for editing, but you can get some side-gigs in writing to help bring in that extra cash. You can go to sites like ProBlogger, Fiverr, Craigslist, Upwork and post your profile and set up yourself for some freelance work. I have a friend that is an English teacher and she does some proofreading on the side for a company. She makes more per hour as a freelance writer and proofreader than she does as a teacher. Not too bad.
It’s not what it used to be but some people are living extravagant lifestyles from blogging. I started a pretty niche blog and at one point, I was earning $200/month. Granted, that was 11 years ago after a couple of years of writing with a few hundred articles. But why not give it a shot if you have a passion for a particular subject, or whether you just like to write for therapeutic reasons. You can do blogging from home or at any time anywhere at your convenience. You can schedule your posts to be posted at specific times. My experience is that you have to be very patient, dedicated, and consistent with engaging content. It is not as easy as it used to be, but if you are not in a rush, you have a passion, and you like to write, then start blogging. Of course, you will need to set up a blog and install AdWords. Just a bit of advice here. Don’t throw ads on your site until you are consistently getting 20,000 unique visitors a month. Anyway, I don’t want to get too down this rabbit hole because there are so many articles out there that tell you how to do this.
Once again, this is going to take some work to get you there, but once you arrive, it pays for itself. Influencers charges usually start at $100 a post and go up from there. Getting started is easy, but gaining followers is not easy. Just like blogging, it takes dedication, consistency, and also your brand needs to be attractive. I’m throwing this out there as my little bit of advice. Remember that you are in a very volatile and constantly evolving industry with social media, trends, and technology. You must be on your toes, must know how to cater to your market, and be valuable to them. But imagine if you had reached an influencer level and all you had to do was make one small post from a company and bam! There goes $300 in your bank.
If you are an amateur photographer or if you like to take photos as a hobby, you could sign up as a producer for some stock photo sites. Sites like istockphoto and depositphotos is a good place to start. Another great potential with selling your photography is that it could turn into a business for you. To throw in a little plug here, don’t forget Alliance offers commercial liability insurance for your small business. Of course one of the down-sides to being a photographer are the costs of the equipment, but hey, if you already have good equipment, you’ve already overcome one of the biggest hurdles to getting started. Photography is just a fun thing to do anyway, so what’s the harm in trying it out for a bit?
I know this is an obvious statement and you’re probably thinking yeah, thanks, I’ve already thought of that. But I want to help you maybe think outside the box a little here with my own story. When I started my business years ago, I needed to make sure there was a little cash coming in before things ramped up. It wasn’t much at all, but I worked at a gym and opened the doors at 4:30 am. I usually worked til 9 am and then went straight to work on my business. I also worked the weekends as well. Maybe there are part-time jobs you can look into that have normal operating hours, but you see the potential for working at different hours during the day or night. Look into the opportunities that offer flexibility for what has the potential to be convenient for your timing. I’d like to throw in another tidbit here that the holiday season is one of the best times to find a part-time job. So many retail positions and shipping positions open up.
Visit garage sales and yard sales on the weekend find the stuff that looks valuable and resell on Ebay, Facebook marketplace, or Craigslist. There are apps that some use to scan barcodes of items they find and see what the prices are going for online so you can verify your profit. There are a few articles out there that talk about strategies and how to go about making some good money and how to get the hidden gems that really get you a steal. What’s nice about this is that garage sales are on the weekend, so you don’t have to worry about taking time during the workweek to get your inventory. You can set up shop at night and ship things out when you come home from work.
This can have some pretty good potential if you have the tools and a keen eye. If you like working with your hands with woodwork and enjoy maybe the artistic side of things, this may be one of the best options for you. What works well with this is finding furniture that others have given up on. If you find nice solid wood furniture that just needs a coat of paint and some shabby chic makeover, then you may make a good buck. I bought a tv stand that a woman had got for free, she put a coat of white paint on it and sold it for $200. Not too bad. Of course, you will need some space in an area to work with, but if you have a nail gun, and a sprayer you could make quick work of a project. Upholstered furniture is different, but if you can get some fabric, know how to sew, and can use a staple gun and drill then you can probably go at it as well. I’m sure, the more you do it, the better you will get as well.
If you have a reliable, clean vehicle, then you have an opportunity to drive for Uber or Lyft. If on your way home from work and you are on the road, then you can turn on the app and make a few bucks along the same route you are traveling on. I’ve heard some conflicting stories about how well people do with Uber. I would make sure that you’ve done your math in your head and factored in the time, cost, & maintenance of ridesharing services. I don’t know much about the service, but if you can limit Uber or Lyft to stay within a certain radius while driving home from work, maybe 10 minutes out of your way is worth the $15 you’ll make for your 40-minute commute home. Make sure that you contact your car insurance company about your plans for pickup and ride-sharing
The food delivery service has just boomed with the pandemic afoot. I’ll be honest, aside from getting a pizza delivered, I’ve never used a food delivery service. I guess I’m just that guy that doesn’t like to justify the extra costs when I can get off my bottom and do it myself. If you’re one of those that have more money than time, then this is great for you. With food delivery services like Door Dash you get to use your car, but not have to carry passengers. One differentiating factor with Door Dash compared to Uber and Lyft is that you keep 100% of the delivery service fees. Instead Door Dash charges the stores and restaurants the fees. If you think about it, the rest of us are footing a little of the bill for people to get food delivered to their homes. What an awesome service for my grandmom and disabled friend. On the other hand, your lazy video game friend should get out of the basement and get some sunlight.
Maybe for some of you who enjoy shopping, this is the next thing closest to complete nirvana. If you love shopping, then this is for you. Somewhat similar to restaurant delivery for Door Dash you can sign up to do grocery shopping for people. If you see people in the grocery store pick up an item and seem to take a picture of the product then put it in the basket, then you’ve seen someone who is probably shopping for someone else. Instacart is the biggest name on the market and probably where you should start.
I’ll admit, this one is very peculiar to me. It has so much potential and opportunity, but getting past the whole part of having a stranger around my family is where I have some hesitation. I don’t mean to put a whole cloud on the situation because I have family that does this and they rent a room in their big house to cover the costs of the mortgage. It works out well if you even know the person. In that case, that sounds like a great deal. Other considerations are if the individual has private access with private cooking and a private bathroom. I’ve spoken to investors who buy homes and rent out the rooms and actually make a business out of it where they rent out the three or four bedrooms to singles or college kids. You’ll need to get a hold of your home owners insurance company and update them on the situation.
Rover is an app where people pay dog sitters and walkers to take care of their animals. This is pretty straight forward. All you have to do is sign up and set up your account. Make sure that you start getting reviews and build your reputation so your services become more coveted.
I could split these two up into testing and also a separate category for research studies. But they both go hand in hand because companies use these two methods to do market research and gain feedback from users. Sites like UserTesting need users that can test websites and apps. They offer a service for companies that have built applications and need feedback or suggestions on improving their offering. You can be paid from $10 for a 20-minute session or up to $120 for a full video session. Respondent is a site that is used for companies to perform research studies and surveys.
It looks like you can rent out almost anything that’s worth more than $100. You can rent out your car, RV, or boat. You can rent out musical instruments. You can rent out photography equipment and golf clubs. There is farm equipment, machinery, and tools. There are few websites and apps out there that you can access to help you rent your stuff. I have so many tools and things that are just sitting there collecting dust. Some of the stuff may even never be used again. Of course, I have wishful thinking and have ambitions, but you know how that is.
Getting into peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding real estate takes you more into the investment category of things. Investing is not for the faint of heart either. It’s also not for someone that’s looking for cash this week. There are risks involved with crowd-funding but it seems that the rewards could be greater than if you were to open an IRA and manage an account that sees a 6% growth. From what is going around online the peer-to-peer investments are ranging from 7% to 11%. You will need to do your homework on this. There could be many factors that skew the returns.
You could make money by just turning your car into an advertisement. Companies like Wrapify literally turn your car into an advertisement. They wrap it in a company’s branding with decals and vinyl to advertise that company. All you have to do is drive your car. On their website, it says you can make between $174 – $452 a month. Not bad. If you drive all day anyway, this doesn’t sound like a bad proposition. It could essentially pay for your car payment each month.
This is probably the most obvious but some of us have a hard time just letting go and need a little push here. Rummage through all of that stuff and just get rid of it. You could really go Marie Kondo on this and make your life much happier. Ok, if you don’t know Marie Kondo, i apologize. You don’t just have to have a garage sale if you only have one or two large things to sell. Use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for that. Make sure that you search for tips on how to have a good garage sale.
Are you good at an instrument? Are you a workout junkie? Are you a whiz about a certain topic? Are you bi-lingual? Are you an artist? There are people out there looking for your talent. There are websites and local classifieds that you could post to get the word out there. People are looking for a tutor or an artist. Get yourself out there for one-time gigs.
I know your hair and plasma regenerate so you could turn this into a recurring business, but you don’t need to set up anything or build a profile or maintain inventory. If you have really long hair you could sell it online for a little cash. You can go on HairSellon and get an estimate for your hair. I entered 12″ of redheaded goodness and saw that it was worth $688. Hmm, too bad I’m mostly bald. Blood donation banks also pay for donated plasma. The average is around $50 per donation. They recommend only donating once a month. But here’s the good part for people like me, the more you weigh the more they pay. It’s just an all-around great excuse to put an extra scoop of ice cream in that bowl tonight.
Woah! A place that pays you to lose weight? What! Yepper. Why haven’t I found out about this sooner? Well, because there’s a bit of a catch. You need to pay to play, which means, you could lose the money you paid if you don’t reach their benchmarks. I looked into it at one point on HealthyWage, and my conclusion was that it seemed that it is a great idea if losing money would be a good motivation for losing weight because the amount of money you gain seems very little. For instance, if I wanted to lose 30 pounds over a 10 month period and pay $100 a month, then my payout could be a range from $1076 – $1600. So, I could lose $1000 for the chance to gain $76? I am going from memory here, but I believe your amount of earnings go up based on how long you can keep the 30 pounds off afterward. If I could give $1000 to lose 30 pounds today, I would do it. I’m sure this has worked out for many people and sounds like an intriguing option.
This could probably fall under the recurring category because the income stream is a set it and forget it type, but creating an online course is a one-time gig that you could set up once and start earning money for it. Because I’ve taken many online courses I can tell you that the ones that do the best are the ones that are organized, great detail, and are energetic. This requires you to be two things – knowledgeable and talented. If you are not sure that’s you, then do a small test. Set up a 15-minute video lesson about a topic you want to teach. Write your outline and then record yourself. If you have a hard time watching yourself, then you probably either need to find ways to improve or just move on to something else. Another tip is to have family take a look at the video. If it’s my family, they would FREELY give out a critique. I personally, wouldn’t mind doing this one day because I am an animated, energetic person that loves teaching and speaking. So, maybe one day before I kick the can. If you have experience with an early trend or newer technology and you are great at teaching, then you may be the best candidate.
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