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First thing’s first: this is not a guilt-tripping article.
If you’re spending your time in lockdown Netflix and chilling, binge-watching the latest Scandi crime drama or a certain tiger-themed documentary, that is entirely your call. We live in a ‘rise and grind’ culture that prioritises productivity above all else, where all of our free time must be monetised and work-induced burnout is simply a byproduct of ‘success’.
Since lockdown, social media has been awash with posts that read: ‘If you don’t come out of isolation with a side hustle, you didn’t lack time, you lacked discipline’.
That is toxic hustle culture talking and we are not about that life. The most important thing right now is simply to stay healthy, in whatever way that means for you.
But we do know that financial anxiety is currently sweeping the nation, with the Coronavirus pandemic restricting our ability to work and an estimated half of UK companies planning to furlough staff on restricted pay. Jobs are uncertain, household incomes are under remarkable strain, and pretty much everyone’s lives have been turned upside-down in a matter of weeks.
As a result, it’s no surprise that many of us will be looking for new ways to generate additional income in the coming weeks. So we thought of a few ways you could get started. They may not be impossibly lucrative get-rich schemes, and some may take time to nurture and build like any business, but if anything can help to take even the slightest bit of financial pressure off right now, then it’ll be worth it.
This is a great idea for a side hustle at the best of times – there will always be students who need extra tuition at all levels – but especially at the moment, when schools across the world are closing their doors. In fact, these closures are impacting over 91% of the world’s student population, according to UNESCO. In place of class-based lessons, online tutors are offering private tuition via virtual platforms, and this is an area that’s booming across the globe, according to the FT.
This may seem like the obvious option, but sorting through your wardrobe and selling whatever you can is the quickest and easiest way to make small sums of cash. There’s a whole host of sites to choose from, but remember that the key to selling your item – and profiting the most from it – is a good, clear, Insta-worthy photo. Ebay is great for selling high-street clothes, while Rebelle is your best-bet for designer. Sell influencer hits on Depop and vintage items on Etsy. You can even rent your clothes out on Hurr Collective.
Essentially the same as above, but instead of clearing out your wardrobe, you’re sorting through your bookshelves. Particularly useful if you’re a student or spending lockdown at your parents’ place where your old uni books might be hiding, because academic textbooks can rake in decent cash. Just enter the ISBN number, get a quote, package the books up, print the free postage label and post with designated couriers.
If you’ve got some Adobe Photoshop or InDesign skills, why not use this time to put them to good use? You could offer custom illustrations for everything from dissertation covers to website logos. Sign up to certain freelance marketplace platforms, such as Fiverr, to offer your work to clients.
Many of us are spending much more time on social media at the moment, and many small businesses don’t have the time or expertise to be pushing their brand on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, or the funds to hire a full-time social media manager. Start by offering your expertise to spots in your local area who may already know you.
Many of us are turning to baking to fill the free time in lockdown (side note: why does everyone else’s banana bread look so much better than ours?!), and if it’s a skill you’ve really honed, why not share your bakes on social media, with friends or in your local community forums? Even though children can’t go outside right now, parents may still want to celebrate their birthdays with a showstopper of a cake! Just make sure delivery is contact-free when you drop it off and, even though it’s very unlikely that you can catch the virus from food, make sure food hygiene is upheld.
If you’ve always looked at the influencers and bloggers filling up every corner of social media (and earning big bucks from it, too) and thought, ‘I could do that’, then now’s your chance. Generating profit from blogs and social media platforms takes time as you’re building a business, but why not start investing the time you have now?
As with blogging, it takes time to see profit from a venture like podcasting, but podcasts have been big news for a while and with more of us tuning in from our quarantine quarters, now’s never been a better time to get yourself on air.
Digital course creating
According to a Twitter thread by blog coach Monique Solomon, video and digital course creation are the next big things when it comes to content consumption – and all you need to get started is a smartphone. Consider your skills, and teach people how to do something you’re good at via video. The e-learning market is filled with opportunities for you to share your knowledge with the world.