We’d all love to know how to make extra money, whether it’s by freelancing, telecommuting, or even starting our own side business. But it’s not always easy to figure out how to make extra money, when to work, how to get a telecommuting job, or what job search sites to check for these types of opportunities. But we’ve got you covered with our definitive list on how to make extra money, and increase your spending – and saving – power.
The Best Ways to Make Extra Money by Freelancing, Telecommuting, or Starting A Side Job
The Best Side Gig Opportunities
In order to have a successful side gig, you need to have the confidence to put yourself – and your business – out there, grit, and an abundance of energy. Another plus? If you pick something you love as your side gig, it will never feel like work.
Having a side job is becoming increasingly common as a way to earn extra money, increase your income, and build job security. It may seem difficult at first, but it doesn’t have to be.
Below are six promising side gigs that are easy to get into, and offer the possibility of making extra money.
Start Your Own Etsy Store
If you are creative or DIY-inclined, then you will probably be able to find a market for your wares on Etsy. The site is known for connecting customers with talented artisans, who handcraft everything from Christmas stockings to hand-painted decorative letters. There is also a market for vintage items, handmade goods, and craft supplies. Think shoes, clothing, bedding curtains, frames, furniture, even homemade deodorant. Yes, I’m serious.
If you have any sort of craft-related hobby, chances are, you can find someone who wants to buy it on Etsy. But to be successful on Etsy, customer service is key. Each time a customer buys one of your products, encourage them to write positive reviews on your page. It’s the best way to build a following of loyal customers and make extra money.
Become a Photographer
One of my favorite photographs of my family was taken by a woman who works in a doctor’s office full-time but takes photos on weekends and at night. While her rates are less than that of a studio photographer, (and she has little overhead), she is making a good-sized side income.
In order to start your own photographer business, you should first take the time to understand the basics and fundamentals of photography. If you really want to make it a profitable side gig, you can’t just pick up any point and shoot camera and take all photos in automatic mode. You need to have a reliable camera body, a few different lenses, and at least a bit of understanding of manual mode, if not more.
Before going out on your own, gain experience by working for free for other established photographers as either a second shooter or assistant. This provides you with a rare opportunity to work with and observe other photographers in action. You can gain knowledge about techniques they use and how they interact with clients.
As with any new skill, practice makes perfect, so the more hours you log, the more advanced your skills could become.
How much money you will earn on your side gig photographer business can vary. Rates for some photographers run from $150 to $300 and beyond. It also depends on how much you hustle. Some successful photographers do as many as four shoots a weekend, two in the morning and two in the late afternoon. Others book sunset shoots for the summer months, increasing their extra side income even more.
Start a Food Business
If you love to cook, starting your own food business could be a great fit for making extra money. Many states employ a cottage food law, with allows for the legal home processing and preparing of food. First, you should research your state’s rules. For example, many foods that are legal to sell do not require refrigeration, like brownies, granola, or cookies at local farmer’s markets, shops, and restaurants.
How much extra money you can make with a home-based food side gig varies. It depends on your local competition, market, skill level, and the time you commit to the venture.
Before you start, you should form a business plan, which will calculate startup costs, supply price, and how much you will price the items you produce. You can’t just start baking and selling; it’s a recipe for disaster.
If you’re not one for baking, you can still start a food-based side income business. You could prepare entire meals or host dinners in your home, like other startups Cookening and EatWith.
Get Into the Pet Care Business
If you’re an animal lover, then starting your own pet walking or pet sitting side gig could be a good option for you. Plus, these options could be both profitable and enjoyable for you. Many people, after leaving their full-time jobs, make enough money dog walking to not have to return to a regular job.
Pet sitting is another great option. Many pet sitters are paid as much as $100 a day to watch other people’s pets while they are on vacation or out of town. If you’d rather stay at your home, try an online marketplace site that facilitates this type of side gig, like Rover and DogVacay. Through these job search sites, you can host others’ dogs or other pets in your home while their owners are on vacation, making a healthy side gig income in the process.
Try a Coaching Side Gig
Consulting and coaching jobs are in great demands right now, making them an ideal money-making opportunity for those looking for a side job, or those who already have full-time jobs.
There are a variety of options in this field: Success coaches, life coaches, retirement coaches, transition coaches, even career coaches. There are training programs to help get into the field, like The Coaches Training Institute and the Institute for Life Coach Training, but a major plus of the industry in terms of side gig opportunities is that virtually anyone can get into it. However, there may eventually be a certification involved in this field, experts say.
Regardless of your certification, you still should have experience related to the industry of field that you’d like to coach. For example, if you want to be an executive coach, you should have corporate leadership experience. Same with business coaches – you should have run your own business (could be any type) for a significant amount of time.
Another plus of coaching as a telecommute job is when you can work. Many coaches offer phone sessions, so they are not bound by location when it comes to acquiring new clients. Coaches also usually provide email coaching and advice in between sessions. This flexible schedule makes it an idea telecommute job to earn extra money on the side.
Other Great Side Gig Opportunities Based on Your Skills
When considering how to make extra money, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: You should always teach what you know. Most everyone is an expert in something, and people will very often be willing to pa you to learn what you do know.
Consider conceiving and executing your own live or online course, workshop, or seminar focusing on your area of expertise. If you decide to take on a live class, you can partner with local schools or colleges or even a local learning program or extension office. Online video course might be a bit more lucrative, however, because once they are posted, people can purchase them at all hours – nights and weekends included – and you don’t have to do anything, yet you’re making a profit.
If you want to take on this route, try websites like SkillShare and Skillfeed, which offer marketplaces to post and sell your e-courses. SkillShare focuses more on topics like business, fashion, advertising, design, food, film, drink, publishing, television, technology, and writing. Skillfeed is more focused on career-building, so courses like photography, video editing, Web design, and programming make more sense. The latter also pays instructors monthly, another plus when trying to make extra money.
Many of you may be looking to pursue business ownership for family-focused goals, like wanting to be home with your children when they are young or trying to find a part-time freelance opportunity to make extra income. These types of business opportunities can be hard to find, and won’t always be found on job search sites, but we’ve laid out some great options for telecommuting to earn extra money on the side.
Try the Vending Business
This category encompasses business opportunities with the exception of franchises that are in the areas of food, drink, natural food, water stations, and ATMs. While being a part of those businesses won’t allow you to be fully self-employed, they will still let you decide when to work, while also allowing you to make extra money.
The vending sector also requires you to have some upfront capital, (between $25,000 to $40,000), but remember, the more you invest in your vending machines, the larger the possibility of making some serious side gig money. Think of it this way: More machines equal more income.
Financing Is Another Option
There are franchises within the financial services industry that offer small businesses short-term financing that provides them with quick cash. Here’s how it works: You would essentially be buying accounts receivable of your clients at a discount, then collecting on those invoices.
It’s not collections, though, and many of these invoices are solid, so the risk isn’t huge. You also can choose which invoices you are actually interested in buying.
This side gig also requires you to provide your own capital, (between $50,000 and $100,000), which is then usually matched by the franchisor. They then teach you how to do everything within that business, thus lowering the risk even more.
The key to this side job is lead generation. Expect to put a good chunk of time into calling and scheduling appointments with bankers and other lenders, who will then serve as your primary sources of referrals. This telecommuting job is ideal for those who are great networkings and patient. But in the end, it could generate a pretty healthy side income.
Home-Based Travel Consultant
The grandfather of all home-based franchises, this type of business is long established and allows you to make money for booking and selling cruises and travel packages while also building a steady client base.
This isn’t a business that will generate enough income to cover all your living expenses, but it’s a fun way to make some extra spending money. You will probably also need to put in an investment of between $10,000 and $15,000.
There are several franchising opportunities where the work cycle is either event-driven or seasonal, perhaps four times annually or more. There’s a large range of options within this category: Think: smoothie or ice cream trucks, photo booths, the list goes on.
You’ll definitely be doing a lot of the legwork, both at home and once you’re at the event or out selling. It’s a part-time gig, so expect part time pay. But it’s a fun and profitable option if you love people and getting out there. You should probably expect to invest between $50,000 and $150,000 to get started.
Side gigs are a great way to earn a little extra money, but they still come with this own set of restrictions; hours needed versus your availability, location of the job versus where you are, the list goes on. But all you really need is a workspace and high-speed internet to make some extra money – without having to leave home.
If you’re looking to boost your earning power with a telecommuting side gig, here are seven starting points.
When a company launches a new website, they need real people to test them first and provide unbiased feedback on which parts work well, which don’t, and which aren’t user-friendly, which are, etc. And in many cases, companies pay for these insights, which makes them a great way to earn extra money.
If you’d like to pursue website testing to make extra money but aren’t sure which job search sites to search for these types of telecommuting opportunities, try middleman companies like UserTesting.
This company pays $10 via PayPal each time a tester reviews a site, and sometimes more if you review the mobile site, too. Many testers say that it takes 15 to 20 minutes to conduct each review, which isn’t a bad hourly rate if you ask us. However, sites like these have many reviewers, so there is no guarantee of regular work – and pay.
If data entry is more your thing, try a company like Virtual Bee, which hires home-based keyboarders (formerly known as typists) to provide data entry services for their clients. To use a site like this to complete data entry to make some extra money, you will need to take an efficiency test to show your skill level.
And like many freelance or telecommute gigs, there is no guarantee of regular work, so keep that in mind. However, data entry is an easy, flexible way to earn money, and pays about $13 to $20 an hour.
Do you have an opinion about everything? Then doing surveys as a way to earn extra money just might be for you. Various businesses rely on surveying their customers to decide which products are meeting their needs – and which aren’t. Many people even make a full-time income by doing surveys.
Companies like iPoll, My Survey, and E-Poll Surveys will pay you to do surveys about varying products and services. It’s the perfect telecommuting job – you decide when you work, you don’t have to leave home, and you have the opportunity to make a healthy side income. Pay for surveys ranges from $20 for a two-minute survey to $7.50 for a much longer survey. It all depends on the company.
College and high school students who need help with their schoolwork or to prepare for tests are increasingly turning to the Internet to find the resources they need, which is why tutoring can be a perfect way to earn extra income. If you’re a good communicator and have experience teaching, you could be a successful online tutor.
You can advertise on the Internet, answer ads, or place a classified ad to get your name out there. Or, if you prefer, you can find an online tutoring company and start working for them.
A good company is TruePrep, an online SAT prep company. Through this company, you have to take an SAT skills set and score at least a 95 to be accepted as a tutor. You also have to demonstrate strong teaching skills via a teaching audition to be considered.
The best part? You don’t have to leave your house to teach. It’s the perfect telecommute job! Basically, you teach classes via screen sharing, audio chat, video chat, and annotation. Many teachers earn up to $50 an hour tutoring, making it the perfect way to earn some extra money.
On that note, proofreading is another excellent side job to earn extra cash. If you have strong grammar skills and a good eye for spelling errors, you could make a healthy amount of extra money as an online proofreader. A good resource to get started is this website, Proofread Anywhere, which includes a free seven-day course.
Proofreading jobs are available in the following fields: court reporting transcripts, proofreading for lawyers, medical professionals, college professors, even graduate students. According to the Editorial Freelancers Association, freelance proofreaders earn about $30-$35 an hour.