There’s a massive need for alternative ways to earn money right now. With thousands of people losing their jobs or worried that they may lose them in the near future, people are looking for work from home job opportunities more than ever before.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I may or may not make a small commission. (Hint: This is another creative way you can make money from home – affiliate links!)
My Work From Home History
I’m blessed in the fact that I was already working from home 90% of time before this COVID-19 crisis surfaced. I currently work full-time for a photography company as a production assistant, which went from mostly remote to now completely remote for the time being.
But, you can basically just call me “Queen of the Side Hustle” because in addition to my full-time job: I also run this blog, my online fitness coaching business, my 2 Etsy stores, and a growing stock photography portfolio. And when sports come back into play (pun intended), I will be photographing again for the local newspaper that I work as a freelancer with. Long story short, I’m a multi-tasking master! Or at least, I aspire to be.
As a freelance photographer, I’ve had to get really creative in the past 6-7 years or so to make a living before I took my current full-time position. Though fulfilling, freelance photography is not always a consistent career path. Here are some pretty random ways that I have used in the past (and some I’m still using) to help fill in the gaps between paychecks and help supplement my income. I’m hoping that one, if not many, of these will help you find some extra income in this crazy time.
None of these are “get rich quick” tactics and most of them will not take the place of a full-time job, but they will help out you a little bit if you use them consistently.
I will also mention a few opportunities that could potentially become a part or full-time job if you put the work into it.
Smart Phone Apps
Let’s start with apps! We paid a lot for our smart phones, so why not try to use them to make us a little money back? You do have to be careful when searching for a “money making app” because there are definitely scammy ones out there. The apps I am referring to you are apps that I have used myself and earned money with, or have received cash back for qualified purchases.
Achievement is an app that you can earn money with by tracking your steps and exercise activities.
How it works:
When you earn 10,000 points you can cash out for $10! Simply connect your Apple Watch/Apple Health or over a dozen other health tracker apps that you might already use to track your walks or runs. These apps include Strava, FitBit, MyFitnessPal, Garmin, and more.
You can also earn points by participating in brief health surveys on the app or even by connecting your Twitter account and posting a health related tweet. I own a FitBit scale, so I earn a few points for weighing myself and I even earn points doing an indoor workout if I am wearing my Apple Watch.
So, the more active you are, the more money you can earn! If you are pretty active and going on walks or runs everyday and participating in many of the extra points options then you could earn around $10-30 a month using this app! (This is just an estimate, it all depends on how active you are!)
Sweatcoin is a lot like Achievement, but in addition to being able to earn cash by inviting friends you can also purchase things and redeem special trials and discounts with your Sweatcoins.
How it works:
You earn Sweatcoins by logging steps (happens automatically after you connect your health apps) with your smart phone.
I’m still kind of feeling this one out, I’m not quite sure of it’s earning potential yet. I haven’t spent any of my Sweatcoins yet because I’m wanting to save them up!
I just started using Dabbl in January and I was skeptical before I tried it out. But, I love it! And I have earned 2 gift cards so far by just watching ads and participating in surveys.
How it works:
Now, I know that this does not sound very fun. However, Dabbl does do a good job of providing quality ads and surveys so that it doesn’t all feel like a bunch of garbage. I’ve actually found myself spending a few extra seconds finishing up an article because I was actually enjoying it. There are some articles from sites such as Well+Good and Yahoo! Sports that you are basically getting paid to read.
I am going to be totally honest with you, it does take a little while to get to the payout threshold, which is a $5 minimum. But, you can earn extra points if you decide to cash out at a higher threshold.
If you use the app for a few minutes a day consistently, you could earn $5-10 worth of gift cards in a month. If you used it REALLY consistently you then you might be able to get up to $20! Surveys generally earn you more points than ads.
One of my absolute favorite apps ever that you should try is Ibotta, a cash back rewards app that I use to make real money every time I shop for groceries, online purchases, and more!
I’ve made nearly $600 using this app over the last several years! I know that you can’t physically shop many places right now, and I’m definitely not encouraging you to do so. But, you can still use your grocery receipts even if you are ordering ahead online and picking it up! We started doing that this week and we will likely be doing it for weeks to come.
Sign up here and use my referral code “anyxfg” at registration to unlock a $20 bonus for joining!
Transcribing & Captioning
These jobs must be done on a desktop or a laptop. There are no apps for these and they are much more involved, making them more like part-time job opportunities. Both do not pay a lot, unless you put a lot of time into them. However, they are legitimate earning opportunities that can help you in a time of need.
Rev is a company that hires freelancers to caption and transcribe audio and video. There is an application process to see if you are able to complete and accurately transcribe a sample video, with provided instruction and guidelines.
Average earnings per month is $240 and the top earning freelancer had made $1570 in a month. You do have to put in a lot of time and work to get to those numbers. I personally have only captioned a few videos and earned a few dollars. When I started doing it, I thought I would have more time to invest but I ended up getting too busy!
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Over the last several years, I have used the Amazon Mechanical Turk website in phases. I have not been using it consistently in terms of daily or monthly, but I have used it in chunks of time that I have needed a little extra cash.
You do want to be selective on the tasks that you choose, but also don’t spend so much time searching for “the perfect task” that you just waste that time instead of completing tasks. You can give yourself daily completion goals to complete a certain number of tasks or to earn a certain amount of money.
One of the most consistently available tasks I have found is transcribing grocery receipts. It can be a little tedious yet, but you’re earning money!
I have earned $120 total using this website by transcribing and completing random tasks such as labeling photos and taking surveys. Some tasks pay a few dollars, and some tasks pay a few cents. Depending on the tasks you choose and how many you complete in an hour or a day, you could potentially make anywhere from $1-20 in a day. I’d say $20 would be on the less common side, and $10-15 might be more realistic. Not a lot, I know, but in a pinch it can be helpful.
For Photographers & Designers
Since this is my bread and butter, I have several ideas for you to be able to sell your art! There are so many places you can sell your art and photography online, but I’m only sharing the ways that I have found a little bit of success selling my photos and designs.
Start An Etsy Shop
If you are an artist – a photographer, designer, or illustrator – then you can open an Etsy Shop and potentially sell your designs without having an inventory by using Printful!
I have an Etsy Shop where I sell shirts and other apparel and accessories, and I have another shop that is dedicated just to selling my photography.
There are thousands of success stories of artists making their Etsy Shop their part-time or full-time career. This may not happen for everyone, but if you are creative and consistent and put a lot of work into your shop – this could be an amazing opportunity for you!
Since you can also sell digital downloads on Etsy, you could sell your photos as stock photos (make sure you are following copyright laws) as well as apparel mockup photos, photo editing presets, and so many other digital assets!
Open a Zazzle Store
Another opportunity for photographers and designers is to open a Zazzle store to make your designs available on their products.
You can add your designs and photos to shirts, phone cases, hats, pillow, and thousands of other products.
Here are some screenshots of my Zazzle Store and products!
I have a stock photography portfolio with Adobe Stock. Let me be clear – this takes A LOT OF WORK. But if it’s something you think you’d enjoy or be good at, then it’s definitely worth it! I’ve been growing my portfolio for a few years now and I have about 20 assets that now earn me about $100 a year.
I’m always looking for ways that my travel photos can become a stock photo and and trying to come up with ideas to create stock photos at home.
Here’s a a screenshot of my bestselling photos:
There are many things that are already lying around your house that have the potential to create a great stock photo – you just have to get creative and follow the guidelines and copyright laws.
For inspiration, just check out the Adobe Stock homepage or search for photo subjects that interest you!
You can apply to open a shop on Creative Market. They are known for selling quality creative content such blog templates, photo presets, stock photos, fonts, and so much more.
It’s a little bit competitive to get accepted to open a shop, but it’s worth trying if you believe your content matches their qualifications!
They also have an affiliate marketing program where you can earn commission by sharing products on social media or your blog/website if a purchase is made through your link.
Online Health & Fitness Coaching
Did you know that many online health and fitness coaches started their business by turning their hobby into a part or full time job?? It really is possible! I am one of those who has turned my pursuit of fitness into a side hustle.
The best part? You don’t have to be perfectly fit already or have a degree in exercise science to choose this path for yourself. You just have to be willing to use the resources given to you, commit to working out and choosing better nutrition, and share your journey with your online community.
This opportunity is based off of home workouts and nutrition programs, and your entire business model is online. You can help change people’s lives by sharing your health and fitness journey through social media. Even though you may not be connecting face to face in person, you can still find creative ways to personally connect with people and help them meet their health and fitness goals. One of the best parts is the community of coaches that you get to serve alongside and connect with each other!
Now, I know that blogging is an over-saturated market in our time. And believe me, I know first hand that it is a very difficult thing to be successful at! It’s taken me a couple of years just to find my niche and groove as a blogger, and I’m still looking for new and creative ways to keep it going as a side hustle.
There are HUNDREDS of ways to monetize a blog and make a supplemental income. Google Adsense is a really good way to start out if you don’t already have a large social media following. Many affiliate programs require you to have a big following to be approved.
The very first things to do when starting a new blog is to choose a topic, think of a name, and then choose a hosting site!
I use WordPress.org as to create my content and Siteground as my web host. From there, it’s hard to guide you in just a few sentences and I have not yet made a blog post about how to start a blog! Eventually I will, but for now you can check out my Blogging Pinterest board.
Hope This Helps!
I genuinely hope that this post finds it’s way to people who are really needing it right now. I will continue to explore alternative ways of income to share with you for maybe even a second post on this topic!