“Side hustle” is the economic term of 2016 (aside from “Brexit”, that is). Stagnant wages amid the increasing cost of living have necessitated new income streams. For many this is a way to cover bills by supplementing your ordinary, day job salary. Can a side hustle actually become your day job?
New parents often ask themselves this question. Returning to work after having a child is difficult. Emotions are in flux as you see your time with your child diminish. Costs escalate as childcare expenses become part of the monthly budget. For these reasons, many are interested in the idea of making a stay-at-home plan work. In this article, we’ll look at four practical ways a parent can generate income so they can stay at home and enjoy more time with their children.
Embrace The “Gig Economy”
There are numerous platforms for advertising your skills to a wide base of paying professionals. In the ever-competitive landscape of today’s business world, companies are unwilling or unable to hire full-time professionals to handle fluctuating workflow. This is how one can make money from home. Many firms have succeeded in using an “as needed” approach to jobs within their industry that expand and contract regularly. This is where you come in.
Consider your existing skill set. This could be based on your education or an outcropping of the skills acquired in a previous job. Bringing these skills to an active marketplace has never been easier. You can set up and design your profile in minutes. Consider the below list based on your area of expertise:
- UpWork: Good for all around freelance work covering a wide variety of skill sets.
- WeWorkRemotely: Designers, programmers, and customer service professionals.
- Guru: Programing, software, IT, and design.
- Toptal: Well established professionals in the programming, design, and finance realm.
- PeoplePerHour: Programming, writing, design, and video/audio production.
The best way to start: produce quality work fast for less than anyone else. In the beginning, the payoff is small. You must start by proving yourself and building a respectable body of work. After this, you can command a better rate. Nearly all skill sets can find a home in one of these five sites.
Sometimes the payments are held in escrow for a few days even after the work is completed. Be prepared to account for this lag time in your budget. The vast majority of experiences on these platforms are positive on both sides of the transaction. The risk is minimal.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Even errands have been digitized. In minutes you can build a profile as a personal assistant on a site like FancyHands.com. Work orders are segmented into 20-minute increments and no task is too ordinary. The site is built for busy professionals who need simple jobs completed so they can focus on other issues.
You might be asked to perform research for an upcoming presentation. A user may request that you assist in booking travel plans for a family of four or organize a small corporate function. Many of these requests will develop into reoccurring work where the freelancer can eventually expect a regular income.
The starting pay for a single task is between $2.50 and $7.00. This, of course, isn’t much. However, many can make it work by stacking tasks. The more you do the more you make. In some cases the potential for $20-$30 per hour is possible. Hiring is sporadic. Consider jumping in and giving it a try. The results are mixed but making it work to your advantage offers flexibility.
Remember that one subject in school where you really excelled? Now you can help others succeed like you did. Tutor.com offers the perfect venue for doing this. The list of subjects covered ranges from biology and math to literature and essay writing. All the work is performed online. The job requires all the skills of a traditional tutor; this includes the ability to keep a student motivated, understanding of the student’s particular learning style and of course depth of knowledge.
The pay ranges from $9 to $13 per hour of tutoring. The actual amount paid corresponds to the complexity of the material and the history of the tutor. The job of tutoring also offers a benefit rarely seen in online work: satisfaction. Many learn that they truly enjoy coaching others to perform better. Some of the most effective success stories are those of students who reached the college of their choice with the help of a professional on Tutor.com.
Amazon has made it easier and cheaper than ever to self-publish a Kindle eBook. The value here is the breadth of Amazon’s presence online. Imagine being able to walk into the world’s largest chain bookstore and place your title on a display table. When you publish a Kindle eBook that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Nearly everyone is an expert in something. There is an insatiable demand for authoritative “how-to” information online. If you can clearly convey the critical steps of a process (e.g. personal finance, home renovation, accounting, etc.) you’ll find your audience on Amazon.
A manuscript of 10,000 to 25,000 words will take less than you think to write when you truly understand the topic. To start, stay away from fiction. Make yourself the expert on your non-fiction topic. Choose a catchy title. Sites like Fiverr.com offer fast, affordable (often just $5 a task) solutions to getting a killer cover or having a professional format your book for acceptance into the Amazon publishing machine.
Consider releasing your title as a free purchase for a limited period. This enables Amazon to promote your title. Positive reviews are the currency of Amazon books. Encourage friends and family to generate positive feedback online. Once you’ve gained a respectable ranking convert the book to a paid title for a retail price ranging from $2.99 to $4.99. With consistent promotion, the royalties (70% of the retail goes to the author) can add up.
Remember that you have a deeper set of skills than you realize. Your previous work experience is only the surface. Take what you love and bring it to a paying audience willing to learn from you.