In times of crisis, money matters are a top concern. More than 10 million people have applied for unemployment in the United States as COVID-19 continues to shutter businesses and instill fear throughout the country. What’s worse, that number is projected to reach as high as 47 million before things take a turn for the better — or in other terms, an unemployment rate of 32%, or one in three workers.
On the flip side of things, many should also view this time as an opportunity for the following:
- Reinventing yourself or your business when the time comes to re-enter the market.
- Diversify your income, focusing on healthy cash flow options as well as cash reserves.
- Join specific online communities that are interested in the same field you are, so you can lean on one another for support, generating new ideas, and network.
If you’ve lost your job in the wake of the coronavirus or are concerned about finances, there are several side hustles you can start doing today to make legitimate money, even if you’re sheltering in place.
1. Stock Photography
If you have an iPhone full of pics, consider turning those images into cash by selling your photos to stock photography sites. Businesses pay good money for images that bring their own content to life, even though there are tons of free stock photo sites to choose from. Many businesses want to use photos that not everyone else is using, and you’ll make money from every download. Check out platforms like Shutterstock and iStock to get started.
2. Offer Coaching Services
If you have the wisdom to share that can benefit others, you may want to start charging for the advice you give. Offering coaching services for business, health and fitness, or any type of skill is a growing industry. You’ll need to factor in your desired hourly rate plus expenses, but most coaches charge anywhere from $50-$100 per session or more.
3. Start a Membership Site
Membership sites have a level of exclusivity to them, which is the very thing that makes them so intriguing. Members have access to content that not just anyone can get, which automatically makes your content seem more valuable and authentic.
Through a well-designed membership site, you can earn recurring revenue, highlight your skills, and become a known expert in your industry. Consider adding high-value content like blog posts, e-books, webinars, guides, how-to’s, videos, and user-generated communities that will keep people engaged.
4. Personal Shopping Service
On-demand shopping services like Uber Eats and Postmates are in high demand right now. You could sign up to become a service provider, or you could go your own route in your community and offer your services to family, friends, or friends of friends.
Uber Eats drivers revealed they earn as much as $8-$12 per hour after factoring in vehicle expenses. If you’re offering your own service, you’ll have more flexibility over what you charge for delivery.
5. Host Informational Webinars
If you’ve got a lot of knowledge on a subject, host a webinar and charge a gate fee for anyone wanting to attend. This is an easy way to make money at scale, as you can provide the same high-value information to multiple people at once.
The cost of entry is relatively low, too. All you need is a place to host your webinar, such as ClickMeeting or Demio, and a way to market your webinar. One of the most effective ways is to run Facebook ads, where you can control costs and dial down into a focused audience.
6. Create an Online Course
If you’re knowledgeable on a subject that others would likely want to learn about, you can transform your knowledge into an online course. Platforms like Udemy make it easy to create a course and post it for others to purchase.
Even better — many professionals offer courses as a long-term passive revenue strategy. Once you make the course, you’ll have unlimited earning potential depending on where you post it and how well you market it.
7. Conduct Customer Interviews
Companies are continually seeking feedback from users about their products, and many are willing to pay good money to hear from you. Sites like Respondent let you browse through companies’ requests for interviews, which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. But the payout is well worth it — you could earn more than $100 per hour!
8. Sell Professional Services on Fiverr or Upwork
Freelancing network sites like Fiverr or Upwork allow you to advertise your skills and set your own rates. Businesses are increasingly using platforms like these to outsource their needs to skilled professionals, and many sellers are making six figures or more.
Some of the most popular categories are graphics and design, web development, writing, marketing, and social media.
9. Start a Subscription-Only Blog
If you’re a great content creator but don’t want to share your information for free, consider putting up a blog with a paywall to earn some extra money. People are willing to pay for high-value content, and their willingness to pay shows they’re truly interested in what you have to say.
Blogs like Medium already do this, where you pay a small fee and get unlimited monthly access. This is also an excellent way to keep competitors out of your content, unless they’re willing to pay to see what you’re doing behind the scenes.
10. Rent Out Your Car
If you’re sheltering in place or otherwise don’t use your car often, you can rent it out through services like Turo or Getaround. These companies handle all of the logistics and insurance on your behalf. The income can help you pay for your regular car expenses or you can use it for a financial cushion.
Times like our current situation with the coronavirus can be scary, especially since nothing is certain at this point. But it also presents the opportunity for you to diversify your income and set yourself up for continued success that can help you future-proof your finances.