With COVID-19 in full swing and 22 million+ Americans filing for unemployment, a lot of people are scrambling to figure out how they can make money during the coronavirus crisis.
On the downside, most media outlets are talking about all of the industries that are crashing at the moment, particularly small businesses.
However, there are a handful of industries that are still doing well, and there are five main areas in which anyone can start working to earn some extra cash in these trying times.
If you’re looking to make money during COVID-19, here’s what you can do:
Writing is fundamental to how the Internet operates. It’s the #1 form of media that’s used online (with video streaming catching up quickly).
The best part about this is that you can definitely write, just like everyone else.
Even if you’ve never written in a professional capacity before, you have some options at your fingertips that can really work well for you.
Freelancing is great because you probably have an area of expertise or interest in which you’re really good.
In fact, it might be the day job that just laid you off.
While you’re looking for another source of reliable income (or waiting for your stimulus check), you can start freelancing on networks like Upwork and Fiverr to earn some extra cash on the side.
Making an account is free because these networks thrive on freelancers collecting income on their platform. Once you do, you’ll have the chance to apply to one-time or recurring jobs that can provide you with some much-needed scratch.
And if you can’t find a good fit for writing freelance, you can always try…
Blogging is awesome because it lets you create an entire website dedicated to whatever the hell you want to talk about.
(And I say that as the cofounder of the website you’re reading right now.)
Blogs are great because you can generate ad revenue from people reading them, essentially giving you limitless incentive to promote yourself in any way you can.
In a nutshell, the more people you get to your blog, the more money you make.
And if you can drive consistent traffic to your blog (which takes a while to establish), you can earn a nice side income from your past work.
Here’s the downside: Blogs and websites cost money. So if you’re not in a position to invest or if you’re not serious about maintaining a blog every day, don’t pursue one.
But if you’re up for the challenge (and the allure of ad revenue), give it a shot.
The best blogging platform is by far WordPress, where you can sign up for an account for free.
That way, you can test the waters before you go HAM on a paid website.
2. Speak (into a Microphone)
Did you know that streaming services like Spotify are serving more users than ever?
It’s probably because 99% of us are home and we have a lot more time to listen to music and podcasts.
But more importantly, that means those artists and creators can still earn money, even during an economic downturn.
So why not you?
Podcasting is an incredible medium right now because it’s kind of like what the Internet used to be — if you have an idea, give it a shot and see if it goes anywhere.
Much like the way everyone created blogs about everything back in the day, everyone with a microphone is creating a podcast about their passions.
That’s basically all it takes, from a non-technical standpoint.
What’s your area of expertise, and what do you have to contribute to the conversation?
Once you answer those two questions, you just need the equipment to start podcasting and you’re good to go.
(PS: We have a kit of beginner podcasting gear if you want to start.)
Voiceover & Narration
Today, audio content includes a lot more than just podcasting.
It also includes narration, which just about every video producer and writer needs at some point in their careers.
This opportunity may not be as hot or reliable as podcasting right now because it’s based on available freelance work, and freelance clients aren’t exactly eager to spend during COVID.
Still, it’s an area you can try if you want to pick up a few odd jobs here and there.
3. Sing (also into a Microphone)
Once again, this is because Spotify is absolutely killing it right now in the usership department.
If you have any musical inclination whatsoever, now is a good time to put yourself out there.
Platforms like Spotify now make it easier than ever for you to record music and post it for people to enjoy. It’s called Spotify for Artists, and it’s basically a free shortcut to posting the music you love creating.
So if you’ve always wanted to start your music career, here’s your chance — you have the time!
YouTube is great because, just like Spotify, its viewership is increasing as more people have more time available (for better or for worse).
In other words, it’s never been easier for you to find an audience of viewers and subscribers who like to watch you do things.
So if you have a camera and a microphone (or just, y’know, your phone), you have everything you need to start a YouTube channel.
YouTube makes you but a certain number of subscribers before you can “monetize” your channel to earn ad revenue, so it can feel like a steep climb to get a channel up and running.
But once you do — you have a nice source of passive income.
Streaming is kind of like YouTube except it’s live.
Livestreaming platforms like Twitch let your broadcast yourself and whatever you’re doing while people donate to you.
A lot of streamers play video games, but others act like moderators of chatrooms where people go to hang out and socialise.
And during a time like coronavirus, there’s never been a better time to hang out via streaming.
It’s easy enough to sign up thanks to outlets like Twitch. Just have an email, a camera, a mic, and a computer — you’re good to go!
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting someone else’s products or services via a unique URL so they can give you a cut of a sale’s revenue.
That’s basically how we pay the bills at Gents of Lancaster. We have affiliate deals with multiple vendors, the main one being Amazon.
But we also do work with WordPress, Fiverr, and a few other outlets that give us kickbacks whenever someone buys something using our links.
It’s a modest living, and we don’t earn much from it.
But because it’s free to sign up, it’s essentially limitless profit potential.
Mirajobs is a company that allows you to sign up for an anonymous profile and then connects you with employers who like you based on your merits.
It’s a pretty cool way of finding a new job, especially if you’re sick of typing out your resume 300 times just to apply for the same job that took you 30 minutes to find in the first place.
Instead of actively searching for your next full-time offer, you can post your accomplishments, your work history, and your best moments to help employers figure out if you’d be a good fit.
Then, they ask you for an interview.
It’s the next wave of human resource innovations that has the potential to change how every company hires and how every prospect gets hired.
The best part is that it’s 100% anonymous, meaning your boss can never find out if you’re looking for a new job. You just make yourself available in your field, and employers reach out to you when they like what they see.
Give it a shot by signing up for Mirajobs.
And here’s the best part…
Doing All of It
So let’s say you want to maximize your profit potential without spending a lot of time working on a lot of different projects — you want to be efficient.
Here’s what you can do:
- Start a blog, like with WordPress
- Create a podcast based on something you’re passionate about, and record multiple episodes at a time (you can make this easier by signing up for Anchor.fm)
- Grab your favorite instrument and record yourself playing (post to Spotify)
- Add a camera to your recording sessions to get a video version (add to YouTube)
- Stream yourself talking, performing, playing video games, or anything else you want to do (via Twitch), upload the video to YouTube, and upload the audio to Anchor / Spotify
- Sign up for affiliate marketing opportunities (like Amazon) so you can talk about products, link them from your profiles, and earn kickbacks on sales
- Add yourself to Mirajobs to passively look for your next full-time job while you’re killing it as a self-employed Internet entrepreneur with multiple incomes
Get started with any of the options above. All of them are free or require minimal investment. And as long as you keep up with them, you can start earning some much-needed cash during a time when 30%+ of the US’s employable workforce is out of the job.
(But that’s a post for another day.)
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