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No matter how big your salary is, you’ll always find yourself thinking you don’t earn enough money. Whether you want to speed up paying off student loans, saving up for a vacation, or getting out of debt, your best strategy is to start making extra money on the side. And that’s where a side gig comes in.
Where to Begin?
While finding a side gig that caters to your needs is rewarding, the process can be quite overwhelming. There are so many options out there — where do you even start looking?
We outlined the whole process of getting a side gig from coming up with the idea to receiving your first bit of income. Read on to find out how to start earning more without having to quit your current job or look for a new one in five easy steps.
1. Know Where Your Heart Lies
Currently considering cleaning people's houses in my undies as a side gig. I love to clean and have a nice ass so legggo??
— Philip Hernandez (@XOJamesMoreno) February 19, 2017
Choosing or finding the right side gig opportunity can prove difficult if you don’t know where to begin. Identify the skills and resources you already have to narrow down the search. The questions to ask yourself here are “what am I good at?” and “what do I enjoy doing?”
Sometimes even the skills you use at your full-time job are enough. Say your sphere is finance. Are you good with Excel spreadsheets and research? There are people out there who won’t know much about Excel and will pay for your professional help.
Are you good at writing? Maybe you enjoy taking quality pictures? How about graphic and web design? If you don’t have any specific skills that seem marketable, fear not — you can make money with simple skills like cleaning, cooking, and driving a car.
2. Do Some Research
Now that you’ve identified the skills you want to sell, it’s time to do some research. Find out where people with your skills are needed, as well as who’s ready to pay for your work.
How many people are selling your skills? What are they charging? Where do they get jobs? Find out where they hang out online (see the next section for some ideas or check out Reddit for some ideas). If anyone you know is has a side gig that you’re interested in, ask them how they got started and where they get jobs.
3. Find the Right Platform
Look both online and offline to find the right place to sell your skills. There are dozens of websites that connect freelancers with clients, like Fiverr, Upwork, Mediabistro, and even Craigslist. Register on one or two of these, build up your profiles, and start bidding on or applying for freelance contracts.
If you’re looking to sell arts and crafts, Etsy might be the right place for you. It’s a community-like website that helps you sell handmade products. You can even set up your own business. Amazon Handmade is less established, but focuses on the same types of products.
If you have free time and a car available, consider joining Uber, the transportation company that revolutionized taxi service and made becoming a taxi-driver hassle-free. Lyft and Instacart will also reward you for driving people (or groceries) around.
And there are all sorts of other places. Italki, for example, will pay you to teach languages online. ToursByLocals will hire you to give a tour of your city. PostMates lets you deliver food, packages, or just about anything else for pay. If you can hire yourself out to do it, there’s almost certainly a website that will let you.
4. Set Your Money-Making Goals
You probably already have in mind a desirable amount of money that you’d be satisfied with. It’s important to decide how much you need or want to make and set your goals ahead of time before you start doing an actual job.
This one has a special importance to those who choose to work freelance. Platforms like Upwork make the client search easier, but that comes at a price of high competition. Some might choose to stand out by lowering their bid to get the job. While that might work in some cases, you might end up working for peanuts.
Always know the price of your work and how much you need to make in order to keep it beneficial for everyone.
5. Keep Going
Bear in mind that it might take a while till you start making a decent amount of money with your side gig. Finding the right clients, filling in numerous applications, and setting up your own business can be challenging and frustrating.
Nevertheless, a little extra income can make a big difference and bring extra security into your life. Don’t get discouraged and keep up the work — after all, you must climb the tree before you get to eat the fruit.
Would you consider getting a side gig? What sort of side job would you like? Do you already have one? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below!