2020 is a very strange time. As COVID-19 sweeps across the entire globe many people are being laid off, furloughed and asked to stay home.
Stimulus checks aside, how can you make money when you’re trapped at home and it feels like the whole world just came to a screeching halt?
Many online opportunities are still limited – eCommerce orders are shipping on a delay. It’s a great time to start upskilling to get a side hustle started (brings me back to the days of selling on Amazon and Shopify), but not all of us have that luxury.
I’ve made a list of things you can do to make money from home RIGHT NOW.
Keep in mind most of these opportunities require an internet connection, a smartphone, and/or access to a computer. If you’re reading this now, you likely have an internet connection. I would also recommend investing in a low cost Chromebook if you’re able. They retail around $200-300 and most retailers offer financing options, especially now given that most people’s financial circumstances have destabilized.
1. Visit a remote work directory
Despite lower capacity & hiring freezes across the world, believe it or not, some companies are still looking for new hires to work remotely. Take a look at job boards for remote work. There may be part time, contract, or even full time opportunities out there that match your skill set.
To name a few:
- Flex Jobs: they have 50+ industries to choose from
- Remote.io: keep in mind, they are startup focused
- Outsourcely: mostly geared toward digital designers (UI/UX, graphic design), marketing pros and software engineers
2. Caption writing
You can write subtitles & captions for videos. Simple as that – audio to text transcription is hugely important. You are helping to improve accessibility for all, and making money while you do it. Check out Rev as a starting point.
In the same vein as caption writing, providing translation services helps make information more widely accessible across language barriers. If you are bilingual or multilingual, consider putting those skills to use by translating documents online.
4. Sell items on Facebook Marketplace
Many people are using this time at home to sort through old items and “Marie Kondo” their house. Facebook Marketplace allows you to buy and sell items directly from other people. I have seen a lot of good examples of folks who are selling items, but waiting to ship them until it’s safe to do so. If you’re looking for a home for an old monitor, bass guitar, standing kitchen mixer, or something else that could be useful to another person, throw it on Facebook Marketplace and let the community bid on it!
5. Build an online course
As more people turn their attention to online learning and upskilling, now could be the be the best time for you to leverage your existing skill set to help others grow as professionals. Are you good at explaining concepts in layperson’s terms? Amazing at floral arrangement? A skilled photographer who knows exactly how to make someone smile just right for their portraits?
You can build online course material and sell your courses through your own network, or via an advertising campaign. One approach I have seen work well is having your course material divided into a few key sections, and offer the first section at no charge to give your students a flavor of your style before they buy.
To get you started, check out this post from Learning Revolution that walks through the process and helps users choose the platform that best fits their needs.
For inspiration, check out Angie Gensler, a marketing guru who’s built an impressive portfolio of course material and marketing templates.
6. Use Instagram / Facebook Live
Do you have skills that are best displayed via video format? Fitness instructors, self help coaches, comedians, and musicians alike are turning to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to show their work. Using the LIVE feature on either platform, you can run a live broadcast and *humbly* ask for donations via Venmo / Cashapp / equivalent.
If you are able to provide a valuable service to the public, you should be compensated!
Fitness instructors can run regular workout cadences and link their donation portals at the end of the workout. Check out my sister’s Instagram where she is running live, equipment-free workouts: Natalie True on Instagram
New England Fitness & Athletics (a gym based in Maine) is also posting daily home workouts, with and without equipment. Check them out here.
If you’re in the self help field, consider a live Q&A.
Musicians are doing living room concerts.
Comedians can do a stand up half hour from their living room!
Artists can live draw, sculpt or paint their live stream followers for donations.
There are endless possibilities. Think about your audience – who follows you, and what value can you give back to them that might help ease anxiety (or boredom!) during a tough time?
To conclude, this shortlist contains a few basic ways to make extra money from home, and I’m sure there are plenty more. As COVID-19 progresses, try to stay positive and remember that your act of self isolating and quarantining is saving lives.
We’re being mandated to pay attention to our social interactions, daily routines and physical health. We need to be patient, and we need to be creative, whatever creative means to you.
Best of luck.