Ways to Make Money From Home
Even though there’s probably no such thing as being fully prepared for a global pandemic and its effect on all industries, one thing is most likely true: People wouldn’t mind having more money right now.
While many pundits are predicting the “new normal” might also usher in a radical re-shift to many jobs being permanently remote, we likely have some time before the economy stabilizes. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to stay proactive and optimistic about shoring up your finances.
Here’s a rundown on what you can do to make more money now while stay-at-home orders are still in place.
As people are home in quarantine, they may be thinking more about how to make money from home. Looking for a new job or side gigs might be a good instinct, but it isn’t necessarily the most actionable plan right now.
A good strategy to help with strengthening current cash flow is targeting ways to make money from home, both as a way to build up an emergency fund and generally stay ahead of your monthly burn rate.
Fortunately, for starters, the federal government is offering help in the form of Internal Revenue Service stimulus relief funds. (These “economic impact payments” are offered as part of the CARES Act to offer assistance for American workers and families.)
There is a direct deposit option, which can help facilitate the transfer of that money to get deposited even quicker. For now, this is a one-time strategy to help ease the pandemic’s harmful effects, and hopefully one that can help cover groceries or bills while you figure out a more long-term plan of action.
Filling the Gaps
Even if you’re lucky enough to still be holding onto your pre-pandemic job, now may be a good time to consider branching out work-wise, with a focus more on survival rather than making calculated career moves.
Online surveys were a mainstay for low-effort extra bucks in the “Before Times,” that remains true today: Survey sites like Vindale Research, Survey Junkie, MyPoints, American Consumer Opinion, Swagbucks, and MySoapBox are just a couple avenues for exchanging your time and opinions for money.
While these sites may not necessarily help you build up significant savings (or pay out immediately—read the fine print!), they are pretty straightforward and low-effort ways to earn more cash.
Joining a focus group is another, similar opportunity to potentially pursue. Reddit’s Beermoney community is dedicated to discussing, cataloging, and also sharing about experiences on platforms such as the few mentioned here.
Fiverr is another well-known gig-economy freelance outpost. The site is a marketplace pairing people with business, creative, marketing, and other skills with hiring parties who need quick jobs done for, as the site’s name suggests, typically five bucks a pop.
The site is best known for projects of that scale and fee. Nowadays, workers can also earn hundreds per job—it all depends on what folks hiring are willing to pay. Unlike Craigslist (another place to turn for trawling for similar opportunities), Fiverr allows you to build a profile/resume that allows potential employers to peruse your experience, rates, specialties, and overall reputation.
Speaking of Craigslist—while it’s a popular go-to resource when hunting for jobs, it’s also one of a few sites to consider for adjacent opportunities: Offering your services as a virtual assistant.
With so many workers shifting to the new normal of telecommuting (and the requisite, constant Zoom calls!) and industries being shaken up, chances are pretty good there are more and more people out there who need a little help juggling everything they’re still struggling to juggle all these weeks later.
In addition to Craigslist, there’s also Zirtual and Upwork when looking for virtual work. If you have any downtime, it’s worth casting a line out and see who out there would be willing to pay you—now—to help them better balance their increasingly blurring work and home life.
Ashley Stahl, Career Expert at SoFi, emphasizes the importance of taking a hard look at the skills you have right now that could be of use to a company. This could be a language, technical skill, or artistic ability.
“Realize that in this moment, you have a skill someone will pay for… Don’t underestimate the power of owning what you know, and putting it out there,” says Stahl.
Selling Your Clutter—Physical or Digital
Since you’re no doubt spending lots and lots of time at home, this is an opportune time to consider monetizing your spring cleaning. If you have photos cluttering up your house of digital folders, Foap is a platform that allows creators to sell their photos in an online marketplace.
When a brand, agency, or another individual wants to purchase your photos, Foap splits the profit with its users 50/50. Also under the “clear the clutter” header would be holding a digital yard sale. Shutterstock, Photoshelter, and Getty Images are other possibilities.
If you haven’t sold your stuff online since the early days of Craigslist and eBay being the only options out there, it’s a brave new world online: There are now apps like LetGo, VarageSale, Poshmark, and ThredUP.
Kidizen is an app exclusively for reselling kids’ clothes, but you can of course sell those on the other platforms, as well. Setting up shop as a third-party seller or individual seller on Amazon is another well-tread way to sell your stuff (or, alternatively, to trade it in for credit on essential purchases).
If you happen to speak and be fluent in another language aside from English, becoming a translator or interpreter is another service to offer. FlexJobs maintains a healthy list of opportunities—often remote—with companies like Welocalize, where you can peruse translation opportunities on product manuals, user interfaces, and more.
Polishing Your Network
Outside of picking up new gigs, it’s worth mentioning that people are still continuing to work jobs and even getting in the door with new remote side jobs from home.
Registering for online staffing platforms like Snagajob, Crowdstaffing, and Upwork, is one way to keep aware of remote positions that are opening up—or of roles that are similar to your recent experience and might inspire new, overlapping territory to consider.
Not all platforms are equal, so use your best judgment and investigate their reputations online when appraising the opportunities you find on their sites.
Curated email newsletters are another popular way to stay abreast of jobs, gigs, and other ways to earn money from home. Literally Googling “newsletters for people looking for work” is a good general place to start, and while there are many industry-specific newsletters out there, two examples of more general newsletters include We Work Remotely’s digests and Words of Mouth.
LinkedIn is another great, albeit obvious, resource for people trying to grow their professional network and potentially find work. The tricky thing about LinkedIn is users tend to get out of it what they put into it, and often only visit the service/social platform when out of work. That means if your profile is out of date, that should be the first point of focus before reaching out to others and joining groups.
LinkedIn tends to be more useful as a passive way for people with opportunities to seek you out, rather than the other way around—but you never know. (LinkedIn also has an option to signal to recruiters that you’re actively looking for a new job via the “open to job opportunities” button.)
Ashley Stahl suggests searching on LinkedIn for companies that are hiring for a part-time employee, or even someone full-time, using a skill you could offer up as a consultant.
“Email asking if they’ve ever thought about pricing their need out as a consulting job versus the pressure of a full-time hire,” Stahl suggests.
Creating Your Personal Brand via Blog Content
Having your own personal brand can be very useful while navigating the virtual workforce. According to a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 66% of employers claim to have used search engines while researching potential job candidates.
Jobseekers without an online presence may be hindering themselves during the application process—nearly half (47%) of employers claimed they are less likely to set up an interview with a potential candidate who doesn’t have some sort of web presence.
“Remember that your personal brand is useful whether you’re an entrepreneur or someone in the workforce,” says Stahl. “Take the time to start establishing yourself as a voice on social media, or on a blog.”
While starting your own blog may not bring in the bucks immediately, it sets you up for potential paid freelance writing gigs in the future as it can act as your writing portfolio.
Learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics may be useful when creating your content, as this gives your blog posts a better chance at being discovered via search. Depending on how popular your blog gets, monetizing your articles through advertising may be a potential way to also bring in revenue.
If you are particularly knowledgeable on a subject, look into what some of your favorite blogs are doing and potentially try pitching them your work.
“Rank the media outlets you’d love to write for in the order of which one is easiest to get to,” suggests Stahl. “Look into the contributor guidelines for each of these outlets, and pitch yourself as a writer for them.”
Not all blogs will accept pitches, but it’s worth doing the research if you’re interested in making some extra cash for something you already enjoy doing. The blogging platform Medium offers a Partner Program which allows writers to make money based on a few factors, one being the amount of time paid members spend reading your content.
Building for Whatever’s Next
For many, the pandemic has given them a renewed focus on what’s really important to them, and in hindsight how they’ve been spending their money—perhaps having the realization that they’re spending more on impulse purchases and realizing they need to break other feel-good-at-the-time spending habits.
For others, losing full-time employment has made the current situation more acutely worrying, and causing more focus on what can be done in the near term to shore up savings, generate an income, and find different ways to make their money work for them.
For anyone, but especially those who are seeking to take a more careful look at their finances, SoFi Money® could be worth checking out.
SoFi Money offers a variety of features to help anyone navigate these trying times. From cash-back rewards for all purchases, to fee reimbursement at 55,000+ ATMs worldwide, to the handy Vaults feature that gives you more control of tracking your budgeting and saving, SoFi Money is a cash management account that helps you save, spend and earn—all in one place.
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