If you need some extra money, a side gig is the fastest way to get it. There are more choices than ever these days with all of the apps and websites out there with new opportunities springing up everyday. Some, however, pay more than others. If you’re going to do a side gig, you might as well do one that pays you a solid wage.
I’m a strong believer in having work you don’t hate so the list contains a variety of jobs. Hopefully, you can find one that fits your personality, too:
Handyman and Home Improvement Work
Taskrabbit.com is an awesome app because you can do anything from assembling furniture, heaving lifting, helping someone move, TV mounting and more. You can even set your own hours. Beginner “taskers” average $22 an hour in 2018 but some earn $65 an hour or more. It all depends on your locations, the task, and your experience. But you set your own rate. Task Rabbit takes 15% of that. Also, don’t rule out thumbtack.com, homeadvisor.com and even craigslist.com as places where you can find additional customers.
You can make hundreds of dollars an hour answering questions for companies doing product development at sites like Maven.co. You don’t have to be an expert in the field of the products you review but it does help you have some sort of specialized knowledge such as education, medical, construction and more.
Start by selling your own stuff. You could also offer to sell items of friends and family and then split the profit. Etsy, ebay and Amazon are the big three but don’t overlook the LetGo app or your local craigslist.com. Also look on Facebook to see if there is a local group that lets you post used items for sale. I recently sold a printer I wasn’t using for $100 through a Facebook group. Items that sell well online are electronics less than 3 years old, office equipment and more expensive recreational equipment such as tents and bikes. Aim for items that you can sell for at least $50 each or more for used items and at least $30 each if you find new items to sell. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time. Also, don’t forget to factor in shipping costs.
If you love cleaning out closets and cabinets and getting everything in order, this could be a great side gig for you. You could start with your own home and take before and after pics. Then offer to organize for friends and family and take before and after photos as well. Get a website up, order some business cards and join an organization like National Association for Professional Organizers and you can charge between $30 and $80 an hour for your work.
Freelance web design
If you think you would have a knack for designing websites, check out YouTube or courses on Treehouse.com and Udemy.com to learn. You don’t need a college degree—you just have to learn the skills. You can charge anywhere from $30 to $150 per hour once you’re up and running. The best way to get work is to have a portfolio of websites (at least two to start) by designing a couple of hobby sites for yourself or people you know and then network like crazy through Meetup, Facebook and your local chamber of commerce. You can also sign up with sites like Upwork.com but you’ll be competing with designers in places like India who charge $20 an hour. Your best bet is to talk to people you meet and hand them your business card. Also ask your friends and family if they can help spread the word.
If the idea of designing things like logos and brochures seems exciting to you, this could be your side gig. Graphic designers usually charge between $75 and $150 an hour and you can learn how to do it in your spare time. Most graphic designers use the Adobe products of InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop for their work and there are certainly plenty of tutorials on YouTube to teach you how to use these. But these software programs aren’t cheap. Although Adobe offers monthly subscriptions, you might want to try Inkscape or Gimp to start–both are free. If you like what you’re doing, work on honing your craft and then create a portfolio of designs you’ve done for fun to show potential clients.
Everyone’s heard of Uber and Lyft but you can also sign up to drive for Amazon Flex delivering packages which will pay you more. You schedule a block of time when you’re available then pick up packages from a local Amazon warehouse. The Amazon app will give you directions on how to deliver. You’ll earn between $18 and $25 an hour. Unfortunately, this job isn’t available in every city so you’ll have to check the Amazon Flex website to see if it’s offered in your area.
Helping People Move
If you have a large vehicle like a van or truck you can use it to help people move larger items such as furniture. Check out GoShare.com or BuddyTruck.com. You can earn up to $40 an hour or 80% of the total fee for the vehicle rental, depending on the site you use.
Get a few of your musical buddies together and put together a bunch of gooey love songs like “Marry You” and fun dance songs (Macarena, anyone?) and you have yourself a repertoire of songs fit for a reception. Bonus points for matching suits. Wedding bands can charge up to $7,500 if they’re good. Not bad for attending a party.
I have a friend who needed extra money to pay off her credit card debt, which was starting to get out of control. She had been shooting photos as a hobby for years. She even had all of the proper gear. She decided to set up a small website and make up some business cards to market herself as a wedding photographer. By running a few free ads on craigslist.com and posting her new side gig on Facebook, she was able to snag six weddings last year. The income she earned paid off her debt with extra to spare. She estimates she spent about 72 hours total for the year on this side gig, yet it earned her so much money, she’s considering quitting her full-time job to grow her business. With her average rate being around $1,900 per wedding, I can see why.
Private Music Instructor
If you’re good at an instrument, consider becoming a private music teacher. You can earn an average of about $29 per hour. You can teach in your home or at a studio (but keep in mind a studio will either charge you rent or take a cut of your earnings). If you watch some videos on YouTube and take a little time to brainstorm ideas of how you can be the best teacher possible, you could easily command $50 an hour or more. When I owned my music lesson business, we charged $55 an hour in 2017. These days, we would charge even more. We did, however, do in-home lessons so we were able to charge more for this convenience. You might want to do the same.
Didn’t get enough of calculus or writing essays in school? Become a tutor. Avoid tutoring centers, which will likely only pay you $10 to $15 an hour. You can earn much more if you tutor in your own home or go to the customer’s house—charging anywhere from $30 to $80 an hour, depending on your qualifications. Want to tutor online? Certain companies, like Revolution Prep and Skooli, pay between $25 and $30.
Specialty Freelance Writer
Freelance writing in general doesn’t pay well but if you have some inside knowledge in a field like business, finance, marketing, SEO, building websites etc then you can charge more per article. Your best bet is to first offer to guest post articles for blogs for free or start a small blog yourself to showcase your knowledge and writing skills. Then get a LinkedIn account and put a link to your site on it—or list the articles you’ve written with links to those sites. Also, be sure to put your specialty in your profile description, such as “freelance business writer,” or “freelance medical writer.” People will find you. You can also check out freelance writing jobs on indeed.com, upwork.com, problogger.com and contena.co. By focusing on a specialized niche, you can charge enough to earn you $90 an hour or even more.
Local Tour Guide
If you live in a larger city, enjoy meeting people and playing tourist yourself, you can act as a tour guide for visitors. You can sign up with sites like toursbylocals.com or vayable.com. You can earn roughly $210 per tour. Tour lengths can vary so it’s hard to say exactly how much you would earn per hour but guiding people through a local winery or scenic hike shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 hours each. Besides, getting to enjoy these places yourself while earning money has to be a good deal.
Some of these jobs can cross over into other areas. For example, a musician can both play at weddings and teach private lessons; a writer can also do editorial work; a web designer can also do graphic design and so on. Don’t limit yourself! Think of all the ways you can earn money doing the one or two things you enjoy doing. You always have the option of starting a blog, writing an ebook, or even turning your side gig into a full fledged business. The sky’s the limit. It’s up to you how you want to get there:)