Published April 20, 2020
Author: Megan Reibel, special to penqu.in
Over the last year, the United States saw an unprecedented increase in unemployment claims. Alongside a health crisis and an economic crisis, the United States is entering a devastating period of mass unemployment. One that has the potential to cause severe financial and psychological damage for the workers and families caught in it.
Many individuals and families have lost their primary source of income and are looking for new and creative ways to make money. Many traditional side hustles, such as cooking and cleaning, are in low or no demand. Regardless of your skills or education, there are ways to make money in safe and reliable ways from home.
1. Sell your isolation craft
If you have been in isolation for a couple of weeks, you may have picked up a paintbrush or renewed your love for your hobby of choice. Did you know that your hobby can make you money? There are so many platforms that you can sell your craft on. You can set up an Etsy store, list on Amazon, or if you want to take it to the next level, you can set up a Shopify store.
Before selling online, do your research and compare different websites. How much do they charge for an account? How much do they cost for a listing? What is their commission fee per purchase?
For example, Etsy has a Free Standard account, the listing fee is around $0.20, and per-transaction they charge a 5% transaction fee.
2. Sell your expertise
With the high rate of unemployment, people are flocking to websites like Skillshare seeking experts in their industry. If you know how to do your job and you know how to do it well, why not share your expertise? Create a beginner guide then promote and sell it through LinkedIn, Skillshare or Udemy.
As mentioned above, do your research and find out which website works best with the service that you’re offering. Always check how much sites will charge for an account or listing fees.
Consulting is a broad term that can mean anything from marketing and social media to legal and admin. Regardless of your area of expertise, there are opportunities available now. The best client you can find during COVID-19 is a brick and mortar business who aren’t online. Be mindful that they are probably struggling financially right now, so offer your service for free or very cheap. By doing this, you will build rapport and create an ongoing relationship with them.
Another way to find clients is to join small business Facebook groups. Small business Facebook groups are very active places where owners will ask each other for advice and references. Just be sure to read the rules of the group. Some groups don’t allow advertisement of services but, if you are patient, people will ask for your service eventually.
4. Resume writing
Resume writers are always in demand, and now that there are more people unemployed they will be looking for writers to help their resumes stand out. Before diving in, be sure to research what recruiters are looking for in a resume. Some industries have specific ways of formatting resumes. Be mindful of this when completing a job and always research best practices.
You can offer resume writing services on any freelancing website, such as Freelancer, Fiverr, Moonlighting or Upwork. Promote yourself on LinkedIn and Facebook to start getting jobs. You can charge anywhere from $50-$150 per resume, depending on the size of it.
5. Content creation
Content creation is a broad term that covers anything from video and photography to blogs and infographics. Companies love content marketing because it brings in 3x as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less. And if there is one thing companies are trying to do now, it’s cutting costs where they can.
So, what kind of content is in demand during the pandemic? Video content and visual storytelling. With so many tools available, you don’t need to be a qualified graphic designer to make visually appealing content. Websites such as Canva, Stencil or Snappa allow anybody to make stunning content.
6. Online tutoring
School children and college students are beginning to learn from home. As the pandemic continues, there will be more students taking their learning out of a traditional classroom setting, and some of those will require help to keep on top of their education.
Websites like Chegg and Club Z allow you to tutor students securely and safely. If you enjoy teaching English, you can teach children to speak English on sites such as VIPKid or Udemy. Most of these websites pay well, and you don’t need a degree to get started.
The two most important things to remember when starting a side hustle or turning your side hustle into your primary source of income is to be patient and promote. You will rarely create a listing and 24 hours later be overwhelmed with orders. Growing takes time and consistency. So, keep at it, blow your own horn and let as many people know as possible that you are open for business.