If being faced with a situation wherein you see yourself not earning as much for the unforeseeable future, here are a few simple-yet-practical ways to pocket a few extra bucks, all whilst staying in the comfort of your own home.
With the internet being a big boon for us; from allowing us to shop groceries and takeaways, to providing virtual events and the means to stay connected with our loved ones. So it is no surprise that it is the best place to kick start a new side hustle too.
Here are top 11 ways to make money online in this dire day and age.
1. Share knowledge and earn money
If you like the idea of sharing your expertise with others while earning extra money doing remote work, there are some trend setting websites that are now becoming increasingly popular.
JustAnswer, PrestoExperts, Maven, Experts 123 (and several sites like them) allow doctors, lawyers, engineers and others with enhanced knowledge to earn a small income merely answering questions from people who would otherwise have to pay a hefty sum for those answers.
All you need is an internet connection and a computer or a smart phone. Set your own hours and choose the questions you want to answer. Depending on the specialty, you'll earn between $20 (Dh73) and $100 (Dh367), which change depending on how badly the sites need experts in those fields.
2. How about testing websites for money?
Believe it or not, there are sites out there are willing to pay you for simply giving them some feedback. That’s right, you can make some money from sharing your opinion.
Websites like UserTesting, Userbrain, Lookback, UsabilityHub and others are always looking for people to test websites and new features for top brands like Adobe and Facebook. All you have to do is sign up, take the test and you’ll get some cash in return.
What they do is research uses an online platform to record the screen (and voice, depending on the software you choose) of test participants as they interact with your product or experience in their natural environment—at home, in their office, or a specific location.
3. Self-publishing and selling your book online
If you’ve been writing a lot, one option you can exercise is self-publish those books as eBooks and paperbacks with Kindle Direct Publishing, and reach millions of readers on Amazon.
Publishing takes less than 5 minutes and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. One can earn up to 70 per cent royalty on sales to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and so on.
One can keep control of one's rights and set their own list prices and also make changes to one's books at any time. BooksFundr and Pblishing.com are two other places to get your book published and earn money.
4. Sell used or barely-used products online
As the widely-used old adage goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. You could either sell old books and games on Amazon or old tech and furniture.
You can make more than just a few bucks if you have pricey textbooks from college on Amazon. But ensure the books are in good condition, else you'll get negative reviews. Be upfront about any defects, no matter how small they might be.
Else, if you have an old phone laying around, a TV you’re not using or maybe even a sofa you’ve outgrown, then you could sell it.
5. Sell self-made products like art, photos online
If you’ve been spending the majority of your time creating canvas paintings or drawing portraits then it’s time to turn it into a side hustle by making some money from your creations.
Etsy is a site to use to sell your handmade art and if you’re serious about starting your own business, create an Instagram account where you and build a following and sell your products, too. You can also do it also by creating your own website.
As there's lot of competition and several existing websites in place already catering to this market, try to create a niche in terms of products. Or, you can use the platform such as Amazon, Flipkart to sell.
Stock photography websites are huge repositories of photographs, covering almost every possible subject you could imagine.
How does it work? Photographers can upload their images to any one of a number of huge databases, allowing magazine editors, designers or any organisation with a website to buy them.
The main perk of stock websites is photos can be sold any number of times, so you can continue to make money without much effort.
Photography sites to check out include Shutterstock, Photoshelter and Getty Images, but keep in mind whether websites require exclusive rights or license to publish the photos you provide them.
For selling stock photos under an extended license, you can earn up to $500 (Dh1,836) per sale. On average stock photos earn around $0.35 (Dh1.29) per image per month.
6. Create ‘How-To’ videos for money
In recent years, YouTube and other video sharing platforms have evolved into avenues for all manner of video courses and guides.
Instructors can monetise videos by charging a subscription fee or password protecting content for paying customers only, or by allowing advertisers to advertise on their platform.
To find potential search phrases, start typing “how to [your topic]” into the search bar and notice what phrases are generated in the auto-fill dropdown.
Use the same keywords when you write your video title, description, and tags, when you create videos, and depending on the market’s need for the information and views, you are paid routinely.
Average YouTube pay rate hovers between $0.01 (3.7fils) and $0.03 (11fils) for an ad view. Forbes estimates top videos can make about $5 for every 1,000 video views.
So posting instructional videos can earn on average around $18 (Dh66.12) per 1,000 ad views, which comes out to $3 (Dh11) to $5 (Dh18) per 1,000 video views.
7. Becoming a copywriter or promotional content creator
Want to earn a great income no matter where you live? Copywriting could be ideal for you.
Copywriting is a process of writing promotional materials geared towards convincing the reader to take an action. This could be to make a purchase, opt-in or engage with a product or service or firm.
Copywriters are experts who create the text you see on websites, adverts, emails, billboards, brochures, sales pages, press releases, how-to guides, blog posts, among other materials.
In the copywriting industry skilled copywriters are always in high demand. More businesses are understanding the importance of working with a skilled copywriter for their marketing efforts.
In 2021, the average cost for website copywriting services starts at $25 (Dh91.83) per page. However, there are several cases wherein the cost can go up to $25,000 (Dh91,827) per page.
This broad price range results from several factors, like content, as well as the page length and topic. It also depends on the skill, experience, and background of your copywriter or copywriting agency.
8. Turn your interests into a podcast that pays
Podcasting doesn’t have to be complicated. With a microphone, laptop and free recording software, you’ll be up and running.
Plus, podcasts don’t need to run every day (market research shows once a week is more suited and ideal) and are better when they’re short.
There are a number of ways to make money from a podcast. The most obvious is commercial sponsorship, but you can also use it as a platform to advertise your own products or services.
Proofreading is another lucrative online career. Most agencies will pay around 25 per cent of the price of a translated document to a proof-reader.
Agencies charge about Dh270 for the translation of a five-page standard business document. So proofing the same document – which takes about an hour – pays out about Dh65 to Dh75.
9. Translating, interpreting, proofreading
Multi-lingual people find the need for interpreting and translation services in any expat community, where English is not the first language.
You can also do translation and interpretation work online, where you’ll find a number of resources for being a translator or an interpreter.
UpWork is a global platform that posts requirements for translation and interpretation services, among other freelance work.
Some of the many companies involved with this work is UAE-based Agato Legal Translation, Lionbridge, Rev, World Lingo, Gengo, Pacific Interpreters, among several others.
10. Drop-shipping with online retail platforms
Drop-shipping is a method of retail where the seller doesn’t actually have physical inventory. This can be done with online selling platforms, with Amazon being one of them.
Instead, when a customer makes an order, you purchase the item from a third party, and they ship it directly to the customer.
This means you’ll never have to spend any money to store your products or maintain your inventory, and you’ll never have to buy products in bulk, hoping to sell enough to recoup your investment.
According to Google Trends, drop-shipping’s popularity is rapidly growing, highlighting its viability as a way to make money online. But how do you best make money while drop-shipping?
Most entrepreneurs focus on a few marketing strategies: running Facebook ads, having influencers promote products, or sending Direct Messages (DMs) to potential customers on social media.
How much you earn varies on the portfolio of products you sell on the platform and its margins. On average, an Amazon drop shipper makes between $1,000 (Dh3,673) to $10,000 (Dh36,731) per month.
However, multiple research shows that Amazon drop shipping has a really big failure rate as most of the time people tap into competitive niches and quit too early.
11. Promoting brands through ‘affiliate marketing’
If you have your own website or any online platform, you could opt for ‘affiliate marketing’.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. Throughout the years, its popularity has gone up and down, but it continues to prove to be a stable way to make money online.
Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a living by promoting other brands. If you’re a savvy marketer, you can earn a commission from sales by promoting retail products, software, apps, and more.
Though affiliate marketing you allow firms to insert web links on to your site. You can earn between $5,000 (Dh18,000) to $13,000 (Dh50,000) via affiliate marketing per month, surveys show.
When visitors to your site buy products or services by clicking on such links, you earn from it – making it another way to earn money online.
While earning a commission may seem small, keep in mind that you can be an affiliate for several brands and include several affiliate links on a single blog post.
By building out a blog with several pages of high-quality content, you essentially create an asset you can call your own.
The best part about focusing on content marketing is that if an affiliate program shuts down, you can switch the affiliate link to a competitor without negatively impacting your side hustle income.