Photo courtesy of Annie Spratt
Money is top of mind for many Americans right now. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 18 percent of American employees have been laid off or have had their hours cut significantly in the past few weeks. Many families have lost their main source of income and have been forced to scramble to secure enough money to make ends meet.
Some traditional side-hustles like house cleaning and private cooking are in less (or no) demand because of social distancing and quarantine guidelines. But whether you’ve been laid off, seen your hours slashed, or are looking for supplemental income, there are still several safe ways you can make money.
Here are 12 ways to make money during COVID-19:
1. Online tutoring
On sites like Chegg, you can tutor students in tons of school subjects like mathematics, English, history, science, etc. You can even tutor in engineering, helping future programmers master Python and Java. If teaching English as a second language is your thing, VIPKid allows you to teach ESL kids all over the world.
Read more: How to Work from Home with Kids
2. Selling handmade products
Are you that friend that spends hours creating the perfect handmade card for every birthday or special celebration? Your hobby could actually make you money. Set up an online shop through Etsy, and start selling your products, whether it be greeting cards, watercolor art, jewelry, or embroidered scarves.
3. Graphic designing
Calling all Adobe Creative Cloud and Canva queenzzz. If you consider yourself a graphic design goddess and can maneuver tedious design projects with ease, you should list your services on UpWork. Upwork helps connect agencies to specialized individual talent and allows collaboration through video chats and trackable milestones throughout the entire process.
4. Food delivery driving
You could be the dame in shining armor to a hungry person in need of a large pepperoni pizza and warm, buttery garlic knots. If this strikes your fancy, become a food delivery driver with services like DoorDash and GrubHub.
5. Selling your career expertise
Say you’ve developed a master training course packet that dishes advice and best tips for success in marketing, consulting, or food writing. Newbies in the field will flock to your expertise and are generally willing to pay big bucks for inside industry knowledge. Spread the word on LinkedIn, your personal website, and through email marketing.
6. Delivering groceries
Grocery delivery rising in the ranks. With services like Instacart and Shipt, you can apply to become an approved Shopper and earn money by delivering people’s groceries. Once you complete 30 successful deliveries with Shipt, you can start making around $22 per hour.
Consulting is a super diverse field. You can consult in marketing, business, law, politics—wherever your interests and skills lie, there’s probably a consulting opportunity. Help a business grow their following on social media, consult on which companies are worth investing in, teach best practices for surviving as a small business, etc.
8. Nursing from home
Demand for doctors and health specialists are surging right now, but you don’t have to take temperatures in the hospital to make money. If you have medical credentials like an advanced nursing degree, an RN license, or an LPN, you can earn some cash online. There are several options within telemedicine like virtual clinical research associates, remote diabetic educators, and nursing evaluators. Check on Indeed for the latest local postings in your area.
9. Resume writing
Resume writers are always in high demand. They’re adept at formatting and writing client’s resumes to ensure they’ll stand out in the candidate pool, and experienced resume writers can make anywhere from $100–$400 per resume. Talent Inc. and LinkedIn are great places to apply to and market yourself.
Anyone can start a podcast—all you need is a microphone, a recording app like Anchor, a host, and a passion for marketing yourself. Start earning money through ads and sponsorships (Anchor can even match you with sponsors to boost your income).
11. Working in the yard
Go outside, get your hands dirty, and rake in some cash. Especially during allergy season (hello pollen, my old friend), many people look elsewhere for help in their yard—think mowing the lawn, tending to the garden, getting rid of pesky weeds, etc. List your services and rates on Angie’s List or NextDoor or market yourself the old-fashioned way—taping flyers on to street signs in your neighborhood.
12. Babysitting (with very strict boundaries)
You can still inquire about neighborhood babysitting as long as everyone involves knows the risks, and you're abiding by all local regulations and safety measures. This article from The New York Times outlines what babysitting in the time of coronavirus means for everyone involved. Your safest bet is forming an isolation pod with a family you already know and trust after you yourself have been in isolation. You can also offer virtual babysitting—scheduled chats over video calls so parents can get some work done—if that's outside your comfort zone.