7 side hustles for the COVID-19 era
The South African job market is tight in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and many people have seen their income drop during the national lockdown. If you’re needing to earn extra cash now that the economy is opening again, or if you are not yet able to resume your usual job, here are some side hustle ideas to fill the gap.
- Digital media pro
- Word whiz
- Online teacher
- Second-hand trader
- App developer
- Virtual assistant
- Courier or driver
You can do many of these side gigs from your home, needing little more than a computer, an Internet connection and a healthy helping of enthusiasm. And all of these side hustles are suitable for you to do in your spare time, outside of your usual working or studying hours. Here is more detail about the side hustles that you can consider.
1. Digital media pro
If you’re an expert in social media, graphic design or building and maintaining websites, there is a definite demand for your services in the market. Some of the side gigs available in this area include building and designing WordPress websites; managing social media accounts; capturing and editing video content for brands to put on YouTube; search engine optimisation; and digital campaign management. You can look for gigs on both local and international platforms like Niche Market Upwork and No Sweat, as well as promote yourself directly to your contacts or through your own website.
2. Word whiz
If you have good language skills, there are many ways to put them to use in a side hustle. Though the competition can be fierce, and the rates may be low, some quality writers find their niche writing specialist content for publications. There are many opportunities in corporate press release, translation, proofreading, and copywriting gigs, too.
Other options include helping people to sharpen their CV or their LinkedIn profile; you can also offer your writing services to smaller businesses who can’t afford the cost of a traditional agency. And if you already blog for fun, and have a sizeable audience, you can monetise it through ad placements, affiliate marketing, or asking people to back you via a vehicle such as Patreon.
3. Online teacher
If you’re an expert in an area – from social media to yoga to personal finance – you can offer seminars and classes. During the pandemic, many people are looking for online tutoring and courses. There are plugins for that on platforms like WordPress. Or you can put together a series of video lectures and other materials to be hosted on an eLearning site like Udemy. One option that is becoming popular is teaching people from other countries English as a foreign language. To get started, you’ll need to complete an accredited TEFL Course.
4. Second-hand trader
Trading second-hand goods can be a fun way to make some extra money, though you’ll need a bit of seeding funding to get started. You can buy and sell goods like furniture or electronics, or you can focus on specialist areas like retro videogames, rare books, antiques, photography or art. You can sell through local classifieds and auction sites like bidorbuy, OLX, and Gumtree, or international platforms like eBay if you want to go global.
5. App developer
This is a great option if you’re studying towards a technology qualification or already work in tech and want to earn some cash on the side (but do check that your employer does not object to you moonlighting). Skills such as software engineering, coding, user interface design and quality assurance are in high demand in the offshore and local markets. As is the case with digital media and writing, you can look for work and promote yourself on one of the international gig economy platforms. You can also let your contacts know that you’re available for app development projects.
6. Virtual assistant
Are you organised, personable and hardworking? Then this might be the right side hustle for you. A virtual assistant is a person who helps someone else to accomplish something remotely (or virtually) rather than going to their physical workspace – a perfect fit for these times of physical distancing. You can help people manage their diaries, run their admin, manage their email lists, run their social media accounts, and more. This is a business you can get up-and-running relatively quickly, cheaply, and easily.
7. Courier or driver
During the national lockdown, ecommerce and food delivery services have exploded. Even though the lockdown has eased dramatically over the past few weeks, many people are still cautious about going out. If you have a scooter or a reliable car, you could investigate doing deliveries to make some cash on the side. You can become a driver for a company like Wumdrop, which does ‘last-mile’ deliveries in the major cities, or deliver food for people ordering via an app like UberEats or MrDFood. You can also put your parked car to use through AfriRide by listing it on the AfriRide app for their members to book which will enable you to generate extra income from the peer to peer rentals.
Your website – a home for your side hustle
While you can promote yourself through third-party sites like gig platforms, elearning portals and classified sites, it’s also worth thinking about setting up your own website. It’s a way to sell your services directly to the world. One benefit is that you can cut out the fees that many these of intermediaries take from you or your client, and either offer better rates or pocket the difference.
You will have more control over the brand you create for yourself. Plus, you will not find yourself having to build your brand from scratch if something changes on the marketplaces you use (i.e. if they change their rules or policies). You can also refer clients you find on web platforms to your website to learn more about you.
The GoDaddy Website Builder makes it quick and simple to get going. You can use GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing as a single stop solution for building your digital presence. Use the Website Builder to create a site, send out emails with email marketing, and manage your business profiles on Google, Instagram and so much more —all from any device, be it your phone, desktop or tablet. You’ll be up-and-running in next to no time.
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