Due to the current state of our world, more and more people are trying to figure out how to make extra money. The pandemic has sparked a huge rise in financial problems for many people. Heightened uncertainty over the economy, employment and finances are a major concern for many. We all want to feel safe and have a sense of control over our lives.
Whatever our fears or personal circumstances, we need to try to refocus our minds from ineffective worrying into active problem-solving. Having savings can be a form of stress relief in itself. Incredibly, only 40 percent of Americans are in a position to pay a $1000 emergency expense.
Being able to access cash in tough times can be the difference between coming through a difficult situation and everything just falling apart. By focusing on the positive things in life, we begin to see the limitless possibilities available to us. We can become more creative and constructively motivated.
If we choose to put our energy into alleviating our financial pressures, we can shift our thinking to a more proactive mindset. Tough times can be our opportunity to learn new ways to grow our money.
Now is the time to evaluate our options and make a plan of action. Perhaps our 9-5 simply doesn’t pay enough, we need more earning flexibility in our life or we have a great business idea we want to explore. Whatever your reason may be, improving your financial stability can be the key to more freedom.
Low Cost Side Hustle Options
At this financially difficult time, wanting to boost your main income with a side hustle can seem a little disconcerting. But if you initially try to keep any start-up costs to a minimum, then as you grow in confidence and ability, any small future investment may not be out of the question
It’s often not difficult to get started in a new business venture and great things can grow from a good side hustle.
Consider the positives;
Often, there will be no prior vetting, no interview procedure and no formal qualifications required. It’s also very cost-effective if you can adapt any existing skills or hidden talents in a new and creative way.
Whether you’re looking for ways to earn a few extra bucks or you’ve lost your job and need to start generating some serious cash, a side hustle might be just what you’re looking for to set you on the right path to financial stability.
The Problem With Blogging
Although blogging is touted as a great way to make money as a side hustle, and it can be, it can also be significantly challenging at times. The bottom line is anyone can start a blog, however, creating a successful one is another story.
Blogging requires creativity, dedication and patience and the new blogger can face many problems. It can be soul-destroying when you’ve poured your time and energy into creating your informative and interesting blog content, only to post your efforts and then receive no traffic to your site.
You may experience difficulty monetizing your blog. You need to be incredibly patient when it comes to making money and striving towards your first $1000 month paycheck. Income from your blog usually remains slow, as nothing usually happens right away. Another source of income is a must initially to cover your living expenses and to help fund the costs of growing a profitable blog.
It can also be difficult to meet demands and keep quality content. Your audience will have increasingly high standards for the depth of your knowledge as your blog grows. So it’s important to keep learning your subject and developing your blogging skills. Remember the most popular well-established blogs probably have a whole team contributing to it’s content.
At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge with others and solving your readers’ problems. So as long as you have a passion for your topic, the process of starting a successful blog can be a genuinely enjoyable and interesting experience for you and your readers.
5 Low Cost Side Hustle Options
It may be worth considering these 5 low cost side hustle options as a better way to achieve some financial breathing room. All the side hustles listed here have very little start-up costs and ongoing financial commitment. You can get started for almost no money and if you stick with it, generate a decent income for years to come.
1. Freelance Writing
A freelance writer is someone who works on a self-employed basis. You will usually write for more than one client at a time as the world is always crying out for new content and the consumer appetite for new information means freelance writers are constantly in demand.
Anyone can be a freelance writer as long as you know how to string a sentence together. You can simply seek out freelance writing opportunities from the comfort of your own couch. Consider what appeals to you and fits your skillset, then submit your credentials or perhaps a sample of your writing.
There are many different freelance writing services you can offer such as blog post content curation, editing, ghostwriting and copywriting. Potential clients may include: publications, agencies, educational establishments, and blog owners.
Typically you will be paid according to the quality of the work that you can produce. Initially, as you are beginning to establish yourself within the industry, you could be charging from between 0.03 – 0.06 cents per word. As your expertise, skills and experience develop 0.30 cents per word or $100+ per 500-word article would not be unreasonable.
There are a number of highly reputable places where you can find freelance writing jobs, including: Fiverr, Freelancer, Flex Jobs, Upwork and iWriter. As well as these online freelance writing platforms, you could also utilize Facebook blogging groups to connect with people actively searching for content creators.
It’s important to consider your preferred writing niche. As you have control over how much time and energy you choose to invest in your new venture, it’s important to consider something you enjoy, as inevitably you will be happier investing more time into something that gives you pleasure. So if you love to write and have a knack for it, then maybe this is the side hustle for you
2. Online Teaching
If you have a skill or a hidden talent, you can teach others online and get paid for it. It’s not always necessary to have any formal qualifications but it’s a good idea to at least have some experience and interest in your subject matter.
Platforms such as Outschool allow you to deliver classes to students under the age of 18yrs via their online portal. You can schedule your own classes, the material that you cover and the format in which you deliver it.
Other platforms such as VIPKid give you the ability to teach English online to children in China where you can earn $14 to $22 per hour. Again, you can set your own schedule with no commitments or minimum hours.
3. Sell Services On Fiverr or Upwork
The explosion of online freelance platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork has made the monetization of a whole myriad of skills easier than ever. There is a massive demand for micro outsourced services such as logo design, graphic design, content writing, video editing and even voiceover work.
If you have the skill to produce good quality micro services then these platforms are definitely worth considering as a low cost side hustle option.
The key to success is to offer high quality work for which you will be positively reviewed by your customers. This will generate an extremely sought after profile and create high levels of demand for your services.
In recent months, I have sourced a logo, infographic and podcast intro all from the micro-gig economy. There really is money to be made if you have the right skill set.
4. YouTube Tutorials
Not everybody likes to be in front of the camera but Youtube is fast becoming one of the easiest platforms to monetize and generate a consistent side income. Producing quality content will require some knowledge in video editing, but this is nothing you can’t learn from, you guessed it, Youtube.
There is almost no cost in getting started with your own Youtube channel aside from a decent camera and microphone.
Choosing a subject that you can speak authoritatively about and deliver in an entertaining way is the key to growing an audience of raving fans. And it is this audience that will generate a decent side income for you when they watch your videos. For every 1000 views you get you can expect to earn around $3-$5 in ad revenue. And some videos get literally millions of views!
So get creating!
5. Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is a great low cost entry-level side hustle option. In the modern world of technology and fast internet, small businesses and startups often utilize virtual assistants to keep costs down. Almost all of the tasks required of regular assistants can be adequately performed remotely within a well-organized framework of communication.
Offering your services as a virtual assistant requires almost no investment and could potentially lead to a regular full-time income. Some of the key tasks that would need to be offered would include, managing emails, scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, bookkeeping and social media management.
Platforms such as Flexjobs and Peopleperhour are great places to find virtual assistant positions within a myriad of industries. As a new entrant to the virtual assistant market you could be looking to charge around $30 per hour, rising to $100 + per hour as your experience and skills develop over time.
An underutilized resource for seeking virtual assistant positions is Facebook groups. Find topical industry-specific groups and be an active member that contributes to discussions. This type of networking can be extremely fruitful in developing long-lasting relationships with key industry players. I have witnessed firsthand, virtual positions being advertised and fulfilled in many of the blogging and business Facebook groups of which I am a member.
Just think, your next low cost side hustle could be just one click away!
If your aim is to make money outside of your main occupation to enjoy greater financial freedom, then a good side hustle is definitely worth your consideration. Taking the time to find an affordable side hustle limits your risk and exposure while still giving you the ability to earn some extra money.
First, reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and consider your values and the direction you would like your life to go in. Ensure you are able to schedule any time you’ll need to devote to your new venture without negatively impacting your day job. Then, most importantly, be sure to investigate if there is any potential financial outlay involved, either initially or further down the line.
Remember you don’t have to limit yourself to just one great side hustle at a time. Diversifying your earnings can give you maximum returns. Personal preferences, experience and existing skills will largely determine what you are more suited to.
A good side hustle could also be the best opportunity to change your career direction. As you gain awareness and insight into fresh and exciting experiences new possibilities may present themselves. The more success you achieve the increased freedom you have to choose.
Chris Panteli has a degree in Business Economics from the University of Liverpool, owns a small fast food business and is the founder of LifeUpswing.com. He helps people to make money, save money, and think about money in a way that will give you back your freedom.