There are a lot of think pieces out there that have detailed the rise of and the inner workings of our current “gig economy.” The short version is this: if you want to make small amounts of quick and easy money it is totally possible. Apps like TaskRabbit and Gigwalk make it possible. But what if you want to earn more than a few bucks at a time? What if you want to bring in a reliable and even profitable second income?
Before we start listing the things you can do for good part time and independent income it is important to understand that these things are rarely easy. You’ll likely need to go through some training or even obtain a certification. It takes work to create a second freelance/income that actually makes money.
That said, it usually takes less work to create a profitable secondary income than it does to go full time freelance/indie worker! So, if you’re still interested in real money earned in your own time, here are some suggestions.
Independent Massage Therapist
This is one of the examples that will require some schooling and training. The good news is that most of the time you can earn your massage therapy certification in around a year (sometimes faster if you have the time to really load up on classes and tests). Then, with a modest investment at www.earthlite.com for a portable massage table (or chair) you can take on clients in your spare time. Currently the average cost for a professional massage is $60 an hour. Even if you only take on one client per weekday, that’s an extra $300 per week! That’s pretty great!
You’ve probably seen the ads: “make a jillion dollars in your spare time driving for Uber (or Lyft)!” You probably won’t make a jillion dollars. And you’ll definitely add some wear and tear to your car. Still, it’s a good way to earn some extra money when you’re not working–especially if you love driving and spending time in your car. Unlike signing up with a taxi company, you don’t have to commit yourself to driving full time. You also get to use your own car instead of leasing one from the taxi company. Just know, though, that any damage incurred while driving someone will likely wind up being paid for out of your own pocket.
Freelance writing is often where people start when they want to begin bringing in extra money. This is because writing often looks easy. And it is definitely something you can work on in dribs and drabs between your other projects. Perhaps most desirable of all, starting a freelance writing career costs nothing up front. You can simply start emailing companies who need writers or pitches to publications. If you want to earn more than a few bucks per piece, though, you need to work on improving your writing skills and you need to spend time developing ideas and pitching clients.
Arts and Crafts
Many people who love making art and crafting have found that selling their work through sites like DeviantArt and Etsy brings in a nice side income. Where this gets tricky is trying to find a way to price your products so that they pay you for the time you spend making them as well as for the materials you used. You do not want to go into debt trying to earn a second income!
Many artists and creators have started using services like Patreon to help fund their creative projects. Patreon is a crowdfunding site but, unlike KickStarter, IndieGogo, or GoFundMe, Patreon allows subscribers (called patrons) to continuously fund creators and the projects they make. Your patrons can choose to pledge money per project or per month, depending on how you setup your campaign. They can also cap their pledges at certain amounts based on what they can afford.
Getting your pet sitting certification isn’t difficult and, if you sign up with a pet sitting service or database, you’ll likely get as many jobs as you can handle. You can also market yourself independently to people. Pet sitters typically charge between $10 and $50 per visit, depending on how much work is involved. Some pet sitters even take care of other people’s pets in their own homes, which obviously brings in a much larger fee. Depending on how many visits you can make and how many pets you can keep in your house (harmoniously), you can easily bring in a few extra hundred per week.
The point is: there are options. You don’t have to limit yourself to gigs or odd jobs. Why limit yourself when there are so many other great jobs out there?
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