A part-time job is a time-honored way of bringing in some extra income, but that doesn’t always mean you need another physical workplace. These days you can monetize your untapped skills, unused time, or unwanted items using websites. There are many options available, so let’s take a look at some trusted platforms for boosting your earnings.
As the name suggests, Toptal is looking to supply top talent, so if you’re a project manager, someone skilled in finance, a web expert, or designer, then you’ll find many hourly, part-time or full-time work opportunities available. That’s assuming that you can get through their screening procedure though, which only takes the top 3%, but if you make it through the cut, it’s a good bet that you won’t be short of work and you’ll be well rewarded for your time. Companies come to Toptal because they’re looking for the best people, so they expect to pay good rates in return for dependable, pre-screened talent.
Ever since the downturn of 2008, people have been trusting their main job less and less. Many have started side hustles on sites like eBay, some of them just hoping to make some extra cash from the stuff lying around in their attics, while others have managed to start fully-fledged businesses. eBay will let you sell clothes, electronics, software, comics, dietary supplements, and pretty much anything else that’s legal. It pays to find a niche though because naturally there is tons of competition and that’s why it’s so important to carefully manage your reputation. If you can’t maintain 100% customer satisfaction, then it’s easy to become invisible. Still, plenty of people have turned their side hustle into a main hustle on this platform, and if you’re prepared to do your homework then you could join them.
Fiverr is another freelancer platform but isn’t as selective as Toptal. Most jobs start at $5, so you might be wondering why you should bother. The truth is, it’s a great place to start for a beginner. It could help you to land your first gigs, and even though you won’t make a fortune straight away, with a few successful jobs under your belt you’ll have the beginnings of a portfolio, which is to say, a reputation. A good reputation will be your key to more lucrative jobs in the future, which is the point when clients start approaching you. Fiverr lets you list the skills you excel at, so tell the world what you’re good at and start earning from it.
What if you’re not a web developer? What if your hobby is something old-fashioned like painting art on canvas, or sculpting, or printmaking? That’s where websites like Artfinder can help you. In 2016 the online art market grew by 15%, as against 1.7% for the total art market. These days more artists are making sales online and gaining more visibility than they are from hanging their work in galleries. The downside is that Artfinder takes a hefty 33%-40% of every sale you make, but you need to weigh that against the fact that it’s better than making no sales. Displaying your art on the site is free, and it’s also searchable, so you and your work will be exposed to a worldwide audience.
Upwork was created when older sites Elance and oDesk merged, so it’s now one of the biggest freelance marketplaces there is. Millions of graphic designers, animators, web developers, accountants, marketers, writers, and customer service agents (among others) use the platform to offer their services to businesses all over the world. There is a lot of competition, but if you complete enough lower-priced jobs successfully and maintain a good reputation then you can gradually increase your prices over time. To bid for jobs that you see listed, you need to spend Upwork tokens that you can buy from the site. Interested clients will request an interview, which can be over video chat or instant messaging. Once you’re hired, complete the assigned work by the deadline you’ve agreed, and once the client is happy, they will release the payment. When the contract ends, you’re both given the opportunity to anonymously review each other, and those reviews become public. It’s a great site to build your reputation and income.
If you’re good at designing things like logos, web pages, and software UIs, then 99designs could be another good avenue to get paid for your abilities. It’s more focused on graphic design than the other freelancer sites and it also operates a little differently too, with each job being run like a competition. If someone wants a logo for their company then interested designers will submit their best design, and the client will pick the one they like most. So, in effect, you’re doing the work and then crossing your fingers that you’ll be paid for it, but if you’re good and you can work quickly then it can provide regular income. On top of that, 99designs publishes resources to help designers develop their skills such as tutorials, toolkits, tips for improvement, and interviews with established professionals.
So, there you have it, 6 suggestions to get you started on your quest for money making opportunities online because this is only just the beginning. There are many other sites out there offering all sorts of other opportunities, so check out Chegg Tutors for online teaching, Uber for driving gigs, Amazon for online selling, and dozens more.
Brian E. Murphy