Pandemic Have You Short on Cash? Here’s 21 Money-Making Side Hustles You Need to Try
Chances are, if you’re a human being right now on planet Earth in 2020, you’ve probably experienced some insane changes; not just in health and safety procedures, but financially as well.
Your workplace may have taken a hit by cutting employee hours. Or maybe your particular business has seen its lowest sales numbers in, well, ever. Even worse: perhaps you just lost your job.
Each of these can be quite damaging to your livelihood as your income is suddenly impacted by COVID-19.
The stimulus check and extra unemployment amounts are beneficial to an extent. But what if you could start an online business or online job on the side, make some extra cash, and possibly keep current situations from affecting your finances even more?
1. Affiliate Marketing
This particular job is one of the most popular ways to make money on the internet.
For those who don’t know, affiliate marketing is promoting a business’s products (skin care, athletic wear, sunglasses, whatever) and earning a commission when you make a sale.
Usually, you’re given a special link for your customers to specifically buy from, so that you’re credited with the sale if you make one.
You can promote the products anywhere you want, but the most popular include using social media platforms and blogs.
There’s no limit on the number of sales you can make, so affiliate marketing has a lot of growth and development potential!
This also involves selling other people’s products, but this time, you’re directly marketing for and selling them using your own price points.
So essentially, dropshipping involves you setting up your own store that sells products. When you make a sale, you put the order in with a third-party supplier who directly ships the product to your customer.
The way it works is that you set up a store that sells products, but when you make sales, you then put the order in with a 3rd party supplier directly to your customer. Your profit comes from charging more than your supplier.
Similarly to affiliate marketing, dropshipping has no limit on your sales either.
3. Service Arbitrage, or “Drop Servicing”
Drop servicing, as you may have guessed, is similar to dropshipping, but you’d be selling services instead of products.
So, when you make a sale for a service (things like web building, video editing, marketing services etc.), you’ll act as the middleman between the person who will actually do the service, and the customer. Here, typical suppliers are freelancers on marketplaces like Fiverr.
Again, your profit is the difference between the price points.
This business model is extremely scalable as well, because you only have to focus on selling the product.
4. Print On Demand
Also resembling dropshipping, print on demand involves being the go-between from supplier to customer; but in this case, you’re working with the supplier to get blank white-label products like T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories.
You’ll then be responsible for putting a design of your own on the products and adding them to your online store!
Yet again, the profit you make comes from charging more than the production cost.
Market your work on your social media platforms or popular marketplaces such as Redbubble, which already has traffic, so it’ll be easy for people to find your work.
5. Sell SEO Backlinks
One way for businesses and blogs to increase their visibility is through search engine optimization (SEO).
This can be done through backlinks — a hyperlink that links from one site or web page to another. In any type of competitive niche, you’ll need them; a high-quality backlink, however, usually costs at least $100.
To sell backlinks, you’d reach out to site owners and offer a backlink opportunity in exchange for something like a piece of content, or something of the sort. You could then negotiate and get links for clients.
Backlinks help boost traffic and rankings tremendously, so this business model has lots of growth potential and will probably always be around.
To make matters easier, there’s tools that automate these processes for you that land multiple links per day.
Just be sure to research and learn about links first; you’ll need to understand link-building to sell links.
6. Domain/Website Flipping
Since you’d be a beginner and wouldn’t want to lose money, I’d recommend starting with domains, as websites are usually more expensive.
The idea itself is pretty simple: you’ll buy domains and sites for a low price, and then sell them to people who value them at a much higher price. The difference between the price points is your profit.
7. Write and Sell an E-book
E-books are widely used and purchased and the entry barrier is low, or even non-existent. Literally anyone can write an E-book and self-publish it on Amazon!
You could write about anything you want, and again, there’s no limit on sales with this choice.
8. Create a Paid Group
Using Facebook as an example, you could create a group to help people in a specific field of choice, for which they’ll pay you like a subscription.
Let’s say you enjoy playing the guitar and want to teach others how to play and answer their questions. You could have 100 people in a Facebook group who pay you $30 monthly to get access to your uploaded lessons and get one-on-one advice.
Just like that, you’ve made yourself an extra $3,000 in one month, and you’re passionate about it too!
9. Sell a Course
The advantage of selling a course is that, once it’s created, you won’t need to continuously spend time on it; you’ll be able to focus on selling it.
If you’ve created an excellent course (it should be if you’re selling it), your customers may like it so much that they’ll want to become affiliates — just like we talked about earlier!
You could make this course about anything you wish; it doesn’t have to be generic like health or financial advice, or even academic subjects. As long as you’ve got an audience it could help, you can sell it.
There will always be a large variety of topics that people need guidance and assistance with. If you can coach someone to get where they want to be, or if they can consult you to solve a problem they have, they’ll pay you for it.
Consider what you’re best at and figure out how you can utilize that to teach or help others.
And remember, it can literally be anything: chess, relationships, buying advice for a certain product, and so on.
11. Flip Social Media Accounts
The process here is the same as flipping domains and websites, but an interesting advantage that flipping social media accounts has is that some owners don’t necessarily understand the value of their accounts. They just want to get rid of them if they think they’re too much effort.
This is where you step in, and get a sweet deal while you’re at it. You could then sell this account to a marketer who’s looking for an account like the one you bought to market products.
Or, you could even use it as your own account to sell affiliate products.
12. Become a Freelance Writer
I would actually describe freelance writing as a bit more than a side hustle; this job could rake in about $35K in just the first year.
Here, you’d be self-employed and could write for many different clients, including blogs and magazines. Usually, a freelance writer is paid per writing assignment, or per collection of assignments.
As with most things, if you get good at it, you could expand your client base and make a lot more!
13. Become a Social Media Manager
Believe it or not, a lot of people use social media for marketing, but hire other people to put the time and effort into it.
You’d be paid to represent a brand across their various social media platforms, while replying to comments, creating content, and organize campaigns.
14. Start an Etsy Store
Etsy is a marketplace for handmade items. By starting your own Etsy store, you could create items from home (paintings, jewelry, etc.) and sell them to others.
This is a great option if you’re creative and enjoy keeping your hands busy with arts and crafts!
15. Start a Podcast
If you love to talk, tell stories, or inform people of interesting facts, you could start your own podcast.
A podcast can be grown and monetized through different methods such as affiliate marketing and sponsorships.
You could do the show by yourself, or make things more interesting by having weekly guests to have an interview or conversation about whatever topic your podcast is about!
16. Become a Web Designer
If you’re artistic, but more in the technology department, you could consider web designing and be responsible for constructing the visual and aesthetically pleasing elements of a website.
It’s also a great opportunity to become your own boss, and at some point, you could start your own web design agency.
17. Start a Blog
Blogging for a company involves doing research and targeting their audience by writing about interesting topics that flow with the overall voice and vision of their brand.
On average, a blogger who publishes 3 times a week consistently for 5 years earns anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000 per month (financial samurai).
Of course, this is an average number and nothing is guaranteed, but I haven’t seen many jobs with that low of an entry barrier and a pay rise of that fashion.
18. Test Apps & Websites
One of the golden tickets to the success of a product is user experience. Businesses pay users to test out their products (in this case, apps and websites) and get feedback on what they can do to improve them.
Trial runs and constructive criticism will ultimately help them sell more after they tweak a few things here and there.
19. Start a YouTube Channel
It’s no secret that successful YouTubers make good money.
YouTube itself pays well, but most YouTubers have multiple streams of income: ad revenue, sponsorships, and even affiliate marketing.
There’s a channel for just about anything. Beauty, fitness, DIY tutorials, you name it. This allows you to be creative in what kind of content you’d like to focus on.
20. Create and Sell Stock Photos
You can create stock photos one of two ways: go out and take them yourself, or make them using Photoshop.
From there, you can upload them, and every time someone downloads one, you’ll earn money.
You could even sell your stock photos directly to businesses depending on what it is they’re looking for.
This is a risky one, so if you’ve been furloughed and can’t afford to lose money, this isn’t the right choice for you. It’s also something that could take months or even years to learn, so keep that in mind!
In this job, you’ll aim to make a profit through the buying and selling of financial instruments.
I’d only recommend trying this one out if you’re aware of the risks and are willing to lose some money while starting out.
So — what’s the simplest side hustle idea to earn some extra cash?
Well, it depends.
Many of the options on this list are fairly simple, but I’d have to give it to freelance writing.
This side hustle is literally a case of writing, and offers a lot of room for improvement as you go along, both personally and in writing style/techniques.
A lot of the other items on this list are businesses and can potentially get confusing, but they’re all quite lucrative nonetheless.
Two other good options based on general simplicity are selling E-books (write about whatever you want) and service arbitrage/drop servicing (you won’t be the one fulfilling the service).
Take a bit to reflect on yourself and figure out what your interests and passions are. Try to find something on this list that aligns with your natural likes and desires. You’re more likely to enjoy yourself by identifying something you’re good at or are interested in, and implementing it into the job you choose. Make it yours, and make some money while you’re at it!