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Pad Your Pockets
27 Profitable Side Hustle Ideas That You Can Start Right Now
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Liv McConnell
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Pie > cake.
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The state of the job market in these COVID times is more uncertain than ever. Although June brought with it some positive indicators of economic recovery, with 4.8 million in growth added to U.S. payrolls, there were still 15 million fewer jobs than in February. And now that the spectre of soaring case counts and further lockdowns loom, some believe a new round of layoffs and furloughs could be on the horizon.

Against a backdrop like this, having multiple streams of income becomes especially appealing. It’ll make you less reliant on any one income source to sustain you, and should your “main” job disappear, a side hustle can help line your pockets during a difficult job search.

So, what are some examples of relevant, profitable side hustles for this day and age? We’ve rounded up 27 ideas below.

1. Teach a language online

How many times have you heard someone refer to learning a new language as one of their “quarantine projects?” For all the Rosetta Stones and Duolingos of the world, the efficacy of actually talking to someone who speaks the language can’t be replaced. If you speak more than one language, this could be a great opportunity to start online tutoring. Sites like VIPKid, for example, have been around to help meet this need for some time.

2. Rent out your home

Live somewhere especially bucolic? Perhaps now is the time to try listing it on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. You could rent something cheaper yourself, then pocket the difference.

3. Rent out your car

Many city dwellers, in particular, are clamoring for access to cars right now. If you’re OK to be at home without car access yourself for a little while, try listing yours on sites like Turo.

4. Deliver food and/or groceries

Companies like Instacart have seen a major boom in users during the pandemic. If you’re already going to grocery stores yourself at this time, doing someone else’s shopping at the same time may be an easy way to make extra money. Delivery services like Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash have seen upticks in users (and a need for more delivery people), too. 

5. Become an editor or proofreader

Have excellent copy editing skills? Sites like Fiverr and UpWork are two examples of places where you can score projects on a freelance basis.

6. Donate plasma 

You can expect to be paid around $20 to $50 per donation; some centers pay more for first-time plasma donors, too, or pay more to those who donate very frequently. Given the pandemic, you’ll want to call your local center to see if plasma donation guidelines or practices have changed.

7. Tutor kids online 

With back-to-school plans continuing to loom as a giant question mark, for families who have the privilege of affording it, online tutors may be particularly sought after to help provide supplemental education (and a break for parents who are working from home).

8. Teach online cooking classes

A lot of folks have been attempting to expand their culinary skill sets while at home. If you’re someone who already knows their way particularly well around the kitchen, teaching a cooking class could help you earn a little extra money while also functioning as an enjoyable at-home activity. 

9. Design websites

Have a knack for HTML, CSS and other coding languages? Start offering your services for pay and help businesses get their digital services up to snuff.

10. Edit cover letters and resumes

Have experience with seeing and scoring a lot of resumes? Become a resume and/or cover letter coach and help folks up their job search success odds.

11. Sell on Etsy

Have a craft? Want to start one? 

12. Flip furniture

If you have a car and are able to (safely!) scour thrift stores, estate sales, or even pick up items from Craigslist’s free section, these are all items that you could spruce up and sell for a profit online.

13. Start a subscription box service

From “book of the month” clubs to new age-y wellness packs, there’s a subscription box service for everything nowadays. Have an idea for one of your own? The platform Cratejoy can help make it happen.

14. Become a career coach

Plenty of folks are having to make major shifts in their career paths right now. If you’ve previously considered getting involved in the career slash life coach business, now could be a particularly good time.

15. Try out affiliate marketing 

Have a blog? With affiliate marketing, you can link to companies’ products and get paid a commission if a purchase is made through your link. Amazon’s Affiliate Program is most often used for this, but in the spirit of divesting from Amazon, try out ClickBank, CJ Affiliate or go directly to a product company’s site to see if they have an affiliate program.

16. Start a podcast

Not only does this sound like a particularly enjoyable quarantine activity — if you create a page on Patreon, your listeners can help support you.

17. Take online surveys

It sounds a little scammy, perhaps, but it is possible to get paid for taking surveys online. Millennial Money has a good roundup of sites that will pay you for this.

18. Walk dogs

It seems like everyone and their uncle has a new-to-the-family dog these days. Using sites like Rover, you can walk them for a little extra side money!

19. Monetize your Instagram account

… which is another way of using the dreaded words “become an Instagram influencer.” You might also be reticent toward the title, but accounts with 10,000 to 100,000 followers do make an average of $200 per post, according to a guide put out by Shopify.

20. Become an SEO freelance writer or consultant 

Understand how SEO (search engine optimization) works? Like to write? Reach out to sites and companies with the offer of not only providing them with content, but helping them improve their search rankings at the same time.

21. Transcribe interviews 

Sites like Transcribe Anywhere will pay you to transcribe audio recordings of interviews. Some creators on YouTube, as well, will hire transcribers so that the copy can be uploaded alongside their video content. 

22. Try peer-to-peer lending

Sites like Lending Club can help you make an extra buck off of your savings. You’ll invest funds that others can borrow, and when they do, the interest will be paid to you directly.

23. Test out new websites

You can earn up to $60 per test for providing user feedback on new websites through platforms like User Testing. The same goes for downloading and testing apps, as well — sites like Feature Points are a good place to start for that!

24. Repair cracked phone screens

Putting a new screen on smartphones is actually pretty simple, and the materials are fairly inexpensive. Relatedly, if you have any old, used smartphones sitting around that you’ve been meaning to get rid of, sell them on sites like Gazelle.

25. Do data entry

Some companies will pay independent contractors to manage data entry for them — which essentially means paying people to manually digitize handwritten info. If you know your way around a spreadsheet, there are a few platforms that post these kinds of roles, most of which are hourly.

26. Be a freelance social media manager

A manager, a consultant — whatever the title you use, there are plenty of businesses that need help building and maintaining their social accounts. And when budgets are tight, hiring folks to do this kind of management on a freelance and/or project-based basis may have added appeal.

27. Reduce your expenses

Okay, technically this isn’t a way of generating more income — but only technically. How much of your money goes to memberships or subscriptions each month, and how many of these subscriptions do you really need? Though they may seem minor when considered separately, paying for five different streaming services simultaneously can certainly add up. Do an inventory of your monthly recurring, automatically deducted expenses and ask yourself where you can trim back. It’ll be money added back into your pocket. 

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