Whether you want to fill time, boost your income or pursue a hobby, now is a time to explore side hustles

Whilst it can be difficult to find the silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, this period of self-isolation could present a unique opportunity for your career. Depending on the needs of your family, you may have more spare time than usual to explore a side hustle ‒ and boost your finances during this turbulent economy. 

Whether you'd like to make a few extra pounds or you're hoping to turn a beloved hobby into a full-time career in the future, there are many lucrative online side hustles that can be set up in a short amount of time.

Inventory your talents and passions

There are numerous side hustles you can develop whilst practising self-isolation. The key is to sort out which one is right for you. Start by making a list of your skills and interests and exploring which side hustles best align with these. Bear in mind that some require a greater time commitment or initial investment than others. It's important to take all of these factors into account when determining the most appropriate one for you. Below are just a few of the online side hustles that you can pursue during self-isolation.

Capitalise on your expertise

If you have a niche skill or expert knowledge, you may be able to offer your services and opinions to others as a side hustle.

Freelance your skills

Sites such as Worksome and Upwork make it easy for you to quickly build a profile and advertise your expertise to thousands of potential customers ‒ all without having to create a personal website or spend money marketing your talents. Luckily, most specialists can freelance their skills remotely; some of the popular freelance side hustles include IT development, SEO consulting, UX and UI design, journalism, proofreading, copywriting, graphic design, web design, and PR consulting, to name but a few.

Become a JustAnswer expert

Websites such as JustAnswer will pay you to answer professional questions. If you possess subject matter expertise in a specialised area such as law, medicine, or information technology, you could get paid to share your expertise with others online. Another benefit? You can choose which questions you want to answer and when you want to share your expertise, allowing you to successfully work around your regular job and childcare responsibilities.

Monetise your hobby

You don't have to leverage your professional skills in order to start a side hustle. In fact, many people turn to side hustles as a means of capitalising on a creative outlet. 

Teach what you love

Whether you fancy singing in your church's choir, painting still life at weekend, or knitting jumpers for your friends' children, now's the time to turn your hobby into a side hustle. With a little help from Zoom, consider charging customers for virtual one-on-one or group lessons to learn your craft. These for-profit tutoring sessions work well for a variety of artistries and interests: drawing, dancing, speaking foreign languages, playing a musical instrument, organising cupboards and closets, sewing, and so forth. 

Sell your wares online

If your hobby produces something tangible, consider opening a shop on sites like Etsy or eBay and selling your items online. Similar to freelancing, becoming an official vendor on an established website allows you to quickly gain customers without having to incur the costs associated with developing a brand, creating a website, and advertising your merchandise.

Sell your unwanted items

Decluttering your house can provide more benefits than reducing your stress and providing a sense of control during a tumultuous time ‒ it can also benefit your bank account. Once you've finished sorting out your closets and drawers, celebrate this reorganisation by selling your clutter. Take pictures of your discarded items and sell them on second-hand sites such as Preloved, Zapper or Vinted (clothing only), auction sites like eBay, or on social media.

Offer your opinions for profit

Even during a global pandemic, companies are paying for marketing research. Providers such as Take Part in Research and PaidFocusGroup are continuing to organise virtual focus groups, phone interviews, and online surveys to provide insights for their clients on a range of things, from product packaging to advertisements. Should you decide to participate in one of these activities, you will be asked to look or do something and then provide your honest feedback. Your candour will be rewarded financially. 

Tips for developing a successful side hustle

To successfully launch an online side hustle, there are three things you need to bear in mind:

Be honest with yourself

 You may have spare time available, but at the moment it may be consumed with activities to keep everyone in the family healthy, entertained, and sane. Consider your day-to-day responsibilities carefully so that you can choose a side hustle that will truly fit with your new availability. 

Set a fair price

In most cases, it will be up to you to determine how much to charge for your goods or services. Your goal is to choose a price that's competitive enough to draw in customers whilst being substantial enough to be worth your time. If you're unsure what to charge for your side hustle, take a look at your competition's pricing for something similar. Bear in mind that you may need to offer a lower price initially if you have little experience.

Don't neglect your regular job

Whilst it may be tempting to focus most of your energy on growing your side hustle, it's important that you don't let your regular job performance suffer. After all, you wouldn't be able to pursue your side hustle if you didn't have another source for the bulk of your income.

Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to developing a successful side hustle during self-isolation.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Family Friendly First. It is reprinted with permission.

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