9 Online Side Hustles That Are Worth It

Daniel May
Oct 25, 2019 · 6 min read
Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

“Side hustles” are really popular right now. For those of you who don’t know what a side hustle is, it’s something people do in their spare time to make extra money. From driving for Uber or working a second job to starting a blog or YouTube channel, it seems like everyone these days is making money outside of their primary job.

Not all side hustles are created equal; some are worth your time and some aren’t. Side hustles come in two different forms: online and real life. Usually side hustles that get you out of the house tend to pay a little better, while online gigs are more accessible. This article will be all about how to make money online (for those of you who don’t want to leave the house), and side hustles that require you to put shoes on will be covered in a future article.

Can you make money online?

Who hasn’t seen the ads? “Work from home and make [a huge amount of money] every month!” As a teenager, I probably clicked on every one of these ads. I wanted nothing more than to stay at home all day and let the easy money from the internet roll in and pay the bills. The more ads I clicked, the more my frustration grew, and my dream of living off the internet was quickly dead.

You probably won’t be able to get rich from working online, but you can make some money. I like to put online jobs into two categories: side hustles anybody can do, and side hustles that require a special talent or ability.

How anyone can make money online

There are some tasks online that almost anyone with a pulse can do to earn money. As you might expect, they don’t pay much. But if you’re really bored and looking for something to pass the time and make a few extra bucks, they might be worth the effort. Without further ado, here is my incomplete, non-conclusive list of different ways anyone can make money online:

  • Amazon MTurk lets you complete different tasks for money. These tasks are called HITs, or human intelligence tasks. The tasks range from surveys to studies to transcribing data. It’ll take a little while to get familiar with the system, but once you do you can earn a decent bit of cash. Some tasks have paid me upwards of $10 an hour, but you should probably expect to earn $5-$6 an hour or less consistently.

Those are the only reliable ways to make money online that require no skill that I know of. Fortunately, if you have some skills or abilities, there are many more options available to you.

Online side hustles that require a talent or ability

If you’ve got a unique skill or ability, you may be able to monetize it and make money online. Many businesses turn to the internet to find skilled freelancers for both ongoing and one-time jobs. Content creators are also going online more and more often. (I mean, what are they going to do instead, get a job at a newspaper?)

I’ve monetized my writing in a few of the ways listed below and I’ve got to say, there’s nothing better than getting paid for something you enjoy doing. A few items on my list below are specific to writers and content creators, but most of you with unique skills should be able to find the side hustle for you.

  • Upwork connects you with businesses and entrepreneurs in search of freelancers. The environment can be competitive for good-paying jobs and it can be hard to get your first gig. Once you’re established on the Upwork platform and have some ongoing relationships, things get easier. I haven’t spent a ton of time on Upwork, but a few general rules: 1.) Never apply to gigs that require a ton of work just to apply. I’ll send my resume and the standard writing sample I send to everyone, and if they want more than that I stop pursuing the job. 2.) Define the relationship upfront. How much will you be paid, and will it be hourly or per job? Is this an ongoing relationship or a one time job?

There are probably many other ways for you to use your skills and abilities to make money online that I’m not familiar with. Selling your skilled labor online can be very lucrative, but it can take years to build up a reliable income stream from the internet. Make sure you go in with low expectations and don’t expect to make much money starting out.

Know what your time is worth

Whatever type of tasks or labor you’re performing online, make sure you aren’t selling yourself short. It’s probably not worth your time to fill out mindless surveys for hours on end for a couple extra bucks. Making any money online may not be for you; it can be a lot of work, and the return might not be great. Your time is the most valuable resource you have, so don’t give it away for pennies on the dollar.

Originally published at https://timeandmoney.substack.com.

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Daniel May

Written by

Helping you make the most out of your two scarcest resources, Time & Money. Writing here and at https://timeandmoney.substack.com.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +568K people. Follow to join our community.

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