10 Side Hustles You Can Do at Home
It’s no secret that most of us are spending a lot more time at home than usual this year. While our current status as forced homebodies has its downsides, staying home can also provide new opportunities to earn money, learn new skills, and have a little fun all at the same time.
For those looking to pass the time at home safely and productively, taking on a side hustle just might do the trick. Keep reading for some fresh ideas for tackling side hustles from home.
10 At-Home Side Hustles
If you’re eager to get to work but aren’t sure what direction to head in, consider trying out one of these side hustles from home. Almost any skillset or passion can be turned into a side hustle, so don’t limit yourself to this list. Instead, consider how you can adapt these ideas to suit both your professional and personal needs.
1. Survey Taker
To dip your toes into the side hustle word, taking surveys can be a great first step. Anyone can easily tackle this side hustle without investing any money to get started. Companies like Survey Junkie, SurveySavvy, or Swagbucks allow everyday folks to take surveys for money. This side hustle is ideal for someone who is looking for stress-free tasks that can be completed at any time and don’t require special skills or a great deal of energy. If you like having your opinion heard, then this side hustle may just be a perfect fit for you.
2. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants have been rising in popularity for years and it’s easy to see why: Professionals can hire virtual assistants part-time or on a project basis, so they get help when they need it and don’t pay for when they don’t.
On the flip side, virtual assistants can work from home and—depending on the client—often do so on their own schedule. Depending on how much time you have, you may be able to work with multiple clients to increase your revenue. If you are organized, are a team player, and can handle administrative tasks, then being a virtual assistant can be a flexible and profitable side hustle.
3. Create Online Educational Resources
Everyone has a skill or two under their belt that other people want to learn more about. Whether you’re an expert at business strategy, photography, or baking French pastries, there are people out there that would literally pay to pick up your skills. Enter: online education resources.
Consider creating online courses, video tutorials, e-guides, worksheets, or even writing a digital book that teaches others how to gain your skillset. Online education is really popular right now and can be an affordable solution for customers while remaining profitable for the side hustler who creates the materials. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to subject matters within your comfort zone. You can always do some solid research and create materials around a variety of subject matters.
Digital education resources such as online courses or e-guides are inexpensive to produce and are easy to sell online. Sales in the e-learning space are expected to grow to $325 billion by 2025, so there is room to make money in this field. And you can keep costs low, as you won’t need physical materials for every sale you make, a warehouse, a shipping system, or a storefront.
4. Virtual Tutoring
Speaking of education, tutoring has always been a fun and rewarding side hustle, but nowadays tutoring can be done virtually thanks to video chat technology and the fact that children have experience learning online. The one downside of in-person tutoring was driving from student to student. Now, you can tutor from home—increasing your profit and saving valuable time and gas money.
You may have to spend a little time on your own learning how to tutor someone from a digital distance, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a side hustle on your hands that can bring in a hefty profit with all the convenience of working from your own home.
5. Virtual Babysitting
While tutors can help students of all ages, virtual babysitting is perfect for people who love spending time with children. Virtual babysitting is a relatively new concept brought to us by social distancing orders but can be super helpful for parents who need an hour or two to focus on work or chores without having to entertain their children. Essentially, virtual babysitters keep children focused for an hour or two so they don’t go running to mom or dad every time they need something.
Virtual babysitters can play games with kids or help them with their homework via video chat, but they aren’t a real replacement for childcare. The parent should still be home and available in case of an emergency. That being said, this can be a fun way to earn extra money for an hour here or there and is way less labor-intensive than actual babysitting that involves cleaning, cooking, and endless games of hide-and-seek.
6. Affiliate Marketing
If you’ve already built a web presence through a blog, social media, or email, then affiliate marketing might be a natural step toward a new side hustle that can be done from home or anywhere you please. Creating content can be really fun, but there’s no reason you can’t make money from it. If you’ve established authority over a specific topic, such as digital marketing, finance, or even fashion, you can use affiliate links to promote the products you would usually promote to your audience while making income off your recommendations.
Let’s break this down further. Essentially, affiliate marketing is a system that allows individuals to make money when a customer purchases a product from another company based on their recommendation. The company then rewards the promoter for sharing their product and providing them with a sale by giving them a small commission from each sale.
Individuals can sign up for affiliate programs, also known as referral programs, with brands that have products that align with their own brand and audience. Sometimes they can obtain discounts for their audience to encourage them to make a purchase, but other times there is no benefit to the customer. To earn income, affiliate marketers utilize links and codes to track how many clicks and sales they send to a brand that then lead to a purchase. Once a purchase is made, the promoter receives a commission from the brand.
7. Coaching and Mentoring
To take tutoring up a notch, you can offer coaching and mentoring services to working professionals from home via the phone or over video chat. It’s possible to provide coaching or mentoring services for almost any career path, so consider where you excel and what expertise you can leverage.
To start, all you’ll need is a website to advertise your services and to spend a little time marketing your offerings over social media or email. You don’t have to create educational materials if you don’t want to (although many coaches do to supplement their sessions) but it will be helpful to think through a loose curriculum of topics you want to cover and how each session can build on the last.
A business like this requires even less effort upfront than creating ebooks or e-courses and can be simply managed through a website and a series of phone calls or in-person meetings. To make your side hustle a bit easier, consider using an appointment scheduling software to help keep track of your calendar and to make it easy for clients to book sessions with you.
8. Home Rentals
If you have extra space in your home, like a guest house, or have a vacation property you don’t utilize all that often, consider renting out your home on websites like Airbnb or HomeAway. Renting out unused space can be a great way to make a profit and the whole process can be managed from your home if you’re renting out space on your primary property.
For secondary properties, if you don’t want to physically visit the location, there are services you can hire to ensure that your guests get settled and to handle the check-in and out process. Before you start listing your home on a rental site, make sure that you’re following proper regulations regarding renting out your home per your city’s and homeowners association’s rules. The last thing you want is to be hit with a hefty fine if your neighbors complain.
9. Creative Services
Whether you like to write articles, design logos, edit photos, paint custom artwork, or pursue any other creative pursuits, you can likely turn your creative passion into a side hustle that is equal parts entertaining and profitable. Creative projects can often be done on your own time, making them the perfect side hustle pursuit for those already busy with a full-time job. Offer up web design services to small businesses or write copy for your favorite brands. You’re a creative after all, so turn this side hustle into whatever you want it to look like.
10. Customer Support
Because many companies need customer support help after typical office hours, many big companies offer part-time customer service jobs that can fit around your own 9-to-5 job. This type of side hustle can be done from home as long as you have access to a phone and computer and it is ideal for someone looking for a consistent and reliable source of side hustle income, without having to drum up work. Look for these roles on job search sites like LinkedIn or head directly to the career section of major ecommerce websites.
The Bottom Line
Besides helping you earn extra income, side hustles are a great way to gain experience, pursue a passion, grow your professional network, or just have fun. Plan your side hustle around what excites you, interests you, or challenges you.
Because you’re not relying on a side hustle as a source of full-time income, there is more room to be selective about the work you take on. Open that Etsy shop where you can show off your knitting skills or help brands tell their story with your amazing graphic design talents. Of course, if you find you enjoy working from home more than you thought, check out some of these home business ideas as well.
Jacqueline DeMarco is a small business owner and freelance writer and editor based in Southern California. She has written on everything from finance to travel for publications including LendingTree, SoFi, MagnifyMoney, LearnVest, Northwestern Mutual, and Apartment Therapy, among others.