The sting of inflation may have you pondering how to earn money. If you have the time and energy, you can put your skills and passions to work with a side hustle.
NerdWallet has rounded up 7 real ways to make money at home, online, or out and about. For each potential side job, we list details like what it takes to get started, age requirements, and how fast you can get paid.
Real Ways to Boost Your Income
While most people want to make money fast, don’t discount the slow gigs, as they may pay more in the long run.
Making money online is the sweet spot people look for in the gig economy. Whether you aspire to be a six-figure social media influencer or are just looking to supplement your regular income with some online side jobs, we’ve found some viable options.
1. Pick up freelance work online
Make money online through websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. These sites offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry, and being a virtual assistant.
Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or Blend Express, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know what to charge.
A recent report from Freelancer.com found that creative writing jobs had the fastest growth in listings on its site in the second quarter of 2023, up 58%. Although generative artificial intelligence (AI) is being used more for content creation, it can’t fully do the work of human writers.
Companies are looking for writers who know how to edit AI content and who have at least a basic understanding of search engine optimization learning or beefing up SEO skills could be a lucrative side hustle. Some freelancers are charging $100 an hour or more for their freelance writing services.
2. Test websites and apps
Another way to make money from home is on sites like UserTesting.com. You get paid for your thoughts on how well or not so well certain websites and apps work. You’ll have to complete a short test to be accepted, and then you’ll be paid depending on the test type.
3. Learn to use AI tools
The use of generative artificial intelligence is on the rise. A recent report from PwC estimates that the North American economy will see a $3.7 trillion impact by 2030, thanks to the AI market.
4. Take surveys for money
You can make money from home by taking online surveys but don’t expect to earn a lot. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Survey Junkie.
5. Make money from your blog with affiliate links
If you’re a blogger who gets decent traffic, you could make money by joining an affiliate network. Affiliates (that’s you) get paid when someone clicks through from the website to the partner site and buys something there. Some bloggers make a lot of money this way, particularly those who do affiliate marketing full-time.
6. Sell your wares on Etsy
Have a penchant for woodworking, jewelry-making, embroidery, or pottery? Sell your crafts on Etsy, the go-to site for artisans selling home goods, art, and knickknacks. According to Etsy, the company has 95 million active buyers and grossed over $13 billion in merchandise sales in 2022.
7. Self-publish an e-book
Writing a good book is tough, but the internet makes it easy to bring it to market. If you’re a writer who can churn out pages, you can use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to sell your book(s) on the Kindle store. It’s free to publish a book, and you can earn up to 70% of each sale in royalties.
Write your book, enter a clear description and the details to be displayed, and upload your manuscript. Set the price and see if it sells.
In these challenging economic times, these seven options offer diverse ways to boost your income and potentially even turn your side hustle into a full-time endeavor.
Whether you’re tapping into the gig economy, embracing AI, or pursuing creative endeavors, there’s something for everyone to explore and find success in making extra money.