The economy has been completely shaken by COVID-19millions of Americans losing their jobs and having to find other ways to make ends meet.
As many workplaces are closed or restricted due to lockdown restrictions, more people than ever before are looking online for ways to earn extra cash straight from home.
Here we’ve rounded up 10 of the best ways to make money online with the skills you currently have.
Give an online lesson
One of the advantages of the Internet is the ease with which it allows us to share knowledge across borders. If you’re an expert in a particular field or think you can contribute something in your field, consider selling an online course.
Dozens of sites make the process easier for you, like Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera, where you can create a course and upload the videos and course materials.
Depending on the site you use, students can either purchase your individual course or subscribe to the site and access all courses whenever they want. Most sites pay you per student, so the more popular your course, the more you earn.
Start a blog
Another way to share your knowledge with the world is with a blog dedicated to your area of expertise. Bloggers usually earn money by placing ads on the site.
The most popular way to do this is with Google AdSense – you decide where on the page you want the ads to appear and Google AdSense will match your blog content with advertisers looking for readers like yours.
Another way to make money blogging is by placing affiliate marketing links on your posts. With affiliate links, the URL is associated with a unique code. When readers click on the link and make a purchase, you receive a commission.
Creating a blog doesn’t have to be difficult. Sites like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix can help you quickly create an attractive, easy-to-navigate website with in-app ads.
Sell your old clothes
Most of us have items in our wardrobe that we would like to get rid of, but throwing away an old dress or a pair of vintage shoes can seem like a waste if they are still in good condition. A great way to make extra money is to sell clutter in your home.
For clothes, online thrift stores like thredUP, Poshmark, and Depop can help you free up space and save a few dollars at the same time. For most sites, you do the selling and shipping yourself.
Other sites, like thredUP, will require you to send your items to their fulfillment center, where they will handle the sale and send you the earnings.
Find gigs in independent markets
These days, it’s easier than ever to work for yourself. A Statista report shows that 57 million freelancers were working in the United States in 2017. This number is expected to grow to 90 million over the next eight years, meaning that just over half of all workers will be freelancers — online and offline — at that time.
A popular way to find freelance gigs is through sites such as Upwork, Toptal and Fiverr. There you can advertise your work in a number of categories, from graphic design and web development to voiceover work and illustration.
Processes vary from site to site, but typically clients will contact you with their request and you can accept or decline the job. Once the job is complete, you submit it to the client and receive payment.
Sell stock photographs
Stock photography is a great alternative for artists looking for a side hustle. If you have a professional-grade digital camera, you can sell your high-resolution photos on dozens of sites. Some of the most popular are Shutterstock, Getty Images, Dreamstime and iStock.
To sell photos and videos online, you’ll need some basic knowledge of the types of images customers are looking for. You will also need to consider whether your photos will be royalty-free (meaning there will be no additional payment after the first purchase) or rights-managed.
If you use models, you may want to review model releases to protect your models’ image and your own liability.
Offer online courses
With the recent boom in distance education, there are plenty of opportunities to create a side-hustle in online tutoring with students of all ages. Math and science tutors are perhaps the most popular, but tutors in all subjects are in demand, including ESL tutors for language learners.
Some popular online tutoring sites are TutorMe, Skooli, Wyzant, Chegg, and Khan Academy.
If you are a native speaker of a language other than English, you might consider language tutoring sites such as Italki, Preply, and Verbling, where students sign up to practice their conversation skills with native speakers of the languages they speak. ‘they study.
Become a lender
The rise of “crowdlending” is just another example of how the internet has shaken up virtually every sector of the economy.
Previously, a person looking for a personal loan had to go to the bank, credit union or payday lender. If the person did not have good credit, they would face high interest rates if approved for the loan.
Now, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending websites connect borrowers with lenders who are just regular people like you.
Instead of taking the entire amount from a single lender, a loan can be consolidated from multiple lenders. As the borrower repays the loan, you will receive a portion of your investment plus interest.
Some popular P2P lending platforms are Prosper, Perform, and Upstart.
As with any investment, there are risks associated with P2P lending. The borrower can default on the loan and leave you and other lenders in the lurch. But if you have extra money to earn in a savings account, equity lending could be a way to earn passive income.
Start a streaming empire
It’s hard to imagine the internet before live streaming became so prevalent. It used to be reserved for gamers playing live and talking to their viewers.
While gaming is still at the heart of live streaming, you don’t have to be a gamer to make money online as a streamer.
Creators of all kinds broadcast their lives on the internet, from cosplayers making their costumes on camera, to groups of friends hosting a live Dungeons & Dragons session, to everyday people talking about their lives.
Streamers’ revenue comes from subscriptions, donations, affiliate marketing, advertisements, and third-party sponsorships.
The most popular streaming site is Twitch, but other sites like YouTube and Facebook offer user-friendly streaming tools. Likewise, social media apps like Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok also let you stream from your mobile.
Sell your creations
If you’re crafty or artistic, there are plenty of ways to make money from your hobby.
Etsy is the most popular site for selling handmade products like leather handbags, wall prints, custom phone cases, sewing patterns…the list goes on. Whatever weird, weird thing you do, you’ll probably find a home there.
If you’re an artist looking to sell prints of your work, print-on-demand sites like CafePress, Big Cartel, RedBubble, and Society6 can make your life easier by printing and shipping products every time customers buy.
If you’d rather ignore a marketplace’s transaction fees and handle all aspects of the business yourself, e-commerce sites like eBay, ShopifyBig Commerce, Squarespace, and Wix can help you build your own online store, complete with payment processing.
Amazon is also a great choice if you are interested in drop shipping.
Get support from your followers
Finally, if you are a creator of any kind, you can receive financial support from your subscribers to continue your projects.
Sites like Patreon let you set up a tiered membership program so you can produce exclusive content for your followers that other people can’t see. It’s a great way to show off works in progress and sketches, or develop an idea with the help of your fans.
Another popular site is OnlyFans, which is best known for its unsafe content for work; however, the site is open to creators of all fields.
If you prefer to receive money for a specific project, crowdfunding is the solution for you.
Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe allow you to create a project proposal with a funding goal. Supporters can support you, and once you reach your financial goal, you receive the money (minus a central processing fee) with a promise to pass it on to your supports.
Before you start hustling
There are countless options for making money online, but you should always make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company. Beware of scams that require you to make a large cash investment to purchase merchandise to resell.
Also watch out for clients and customers who want to take advantage of you. Know what your work or product is worth and advocate for fair compensation whenever you can.
It is possible to earn a lot of money working full time online and from home. Making your own way in the online job market will be difficult at first, but it will be worth it.