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Growing a business can take some time and if you’ve been in this a while, you already know that it can be frustrating seeing more money go in than comes back in. That can happen if you’re spending too much on business services without knowing whether you can reasonably afford them or if the expense is worth the amount you’re shelling out (consider your ROI – return on investment).

That’s where a side job comes in.

What is a Side Job?

A side job is exactly what it sounds like – a job you do on the side (in addition to the job you do full-time).

They come in all kinds of varieties and you can get one in almost any industry.

With a side job, you can bring in more money to put into your business to help it thrive. You can buy the business tools you need to help you keep your business running smoothly, such as email marketing, CRMS, social media business tools, and more.

Why Get a Side Job?

Sometimes when you start a business, things don’t take off automatically. In fact, it could take years to see a profit, especially in industries like the restaurant industry.

That’s why it can be helpful (if you have the time) to get a side job to help offset the costs of running a business.

For example, if you’re already making some money from your business, but not enough to cover your business and personal expenses, getting a side job that doesn’t take a lot of time or effort could help give you a needed boost.

Related: How to Get Business Funding in 5 Easy Steps

Types of Side Jobs

When it comes to side jobs, there are plenty of options – especially right now when a lot of people aren’t working. You might have your pick of side jobs, even more so now that the holidays are coming up.

1. Customer Service.

Customer service is in high demand right now and you might even be able to work from home thanks to the pandemic. And dozens of companies are hiring right now so if you’re looking to make some extra money and you’ve got problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and people skills, you could be great at customer service.

Pay: Average pay for a customer service representative as of July 21, 2021 is $17/hour, according to Salary.com.

Companies That Hire Customer Service Reps: Pearson, Sutherland, VIPdesk Connect, Kelly, Aerotek, Concentrix

2. Copywriting.

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I’m always going to be a HUGE cheerleader for copywriting because I love writing and it’s super easy to get started. Anyone – and I do mean anyone – with a basic grasp of the English language can learn copywriting and get good enough at it to make a decent living. And I’m always rooting for the underdogs of the world, so I love that it can help take you from where you are to where you wanna be.

Pay: Varies, but the average copywriter salary in the U.S. is $52,069 as of June 28, 2021, according to Salary.com. Top copywriters earn six figures or more.

Companies That Hire Copywriters: Clear Voice, BuzzFeed, BKA Content, Nerd Wallet, The Balance, Screen Rant, Investopedia, Onward Search

3. Virtual Assisting.

Becoming a virtual assistant can be rewarding if you like helping people. You can do it from home and you can even be your own boss if you want. It entails completing virtual tasks like scheduling appointments and answering virtual phone lines.

Pay: According to Zip Recruiter, the national average salary for a virtual assistant is $67,115 per year or $32 an hour.

Companies That Hire Virtual Assistants: Equivity, Trusty Oak, Profit Factory, Belay Solutions, Perssist, Zirtual, Smith.ai, Buolo Solutions, Gabbyville, Time

4. Editing or Proofreading.

Grammar nerd like me? Proofreading and editing are both great ways to make a little extra money on the side. If you’re not a grammar nerd, though, and you don’t have the credentials of one, you might have to take a course on proofreading and editing or get a certificate.

Pay: The median salary for proofreaders in the U.S. is $53,608 as of July 28, 2021, according to Salary.com.

Companies That Hire Editors and Proofreaders: Language Bear, Welocalize, American Journal Experts, VIQ Solutions, Cactus Communications, Scribendi, WebFX, Bumble, Duolingo, Wordvice, Planet Technology, Study.com

5. Grocery Shoppers and Delivery Drivers.

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Grocery delivery is a somewhat easy way to make money as long as you don’t mind shopping large orders and then delivering them on top of that. It’s a lot of work. It can get pretty strenuous when it comes to Shop Rite orders in certain areas and sometimes customers don’t tip so you have to determine if each batch is worth your time.

Pay: Varies, but orders range from $8 to $35 on Instacart.

Companies That Hire Grocery Delivery Shoppers and Drivers: Instacart, Shipt

6. Fast Food Delivery.

Another gig that doesn’t require training or experience, fast food delivery might be a great side gig for you. I’ve personally tried DoorDash, but none of the others. It’s pretty easy to make money on DoorDash. You just have to make sure you follow all of the steps to complete the delivery and be as courteous (and fast – without speeding!) as possible so orders are on time. Communicate through the app to report any issues you encounter. Usually, they’re pretty understanding.

Pay: Varies, but you can make up to $20 per hour in areas with more traffic.

Companies That Hire Fast Food Delivery Drivers: Grub Hub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Post Mates

7. Dog-Walking or Pet Sitting.

Dog walking and pet sitting are two more side gigs you don’t need any training or special skills for. It could help to be good with animals, too. So if you’re a dog person or a cat person (and you want to do some pet sitting), one of these could be a viable option for you.

Pay: Varies, but dog walkers and pet sitters can make an average of $11 an hour working part-time, according to GigWorker.com, or around $1,000 per month. Pet sitters make an average of $17 an hour on Rover, according to GlassDoor.

Companies That Hire or Contract Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters: Rover

8. Become a Digital Marketer

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Digital marketing (which includes content marketing) is exploding right now and companies are looking for people to help them create online content at increasing rates. That means if you’re a creative entrepreneur, you might be able to make some extra money creating content for other brands.

Pay: Varies, but the average annual salary for a digital marketer is $54,672 as of July 2021, according to Zip Recruiter.

Companies That Hire Digital Marketers: All kinds of companies hire digital marketers. Several types of companies need digital marketing, including law firms, auto dealerships, healthcare organizations, entertainment companies, food companies, and moving companies, among others. More and more companies are starting to jump on the digital marketing bandwagon (especially with content marketing). Search Indeed for companies hiring digital marketers.

9. Become a Part-Time Tech Advisor

To be a part-time tech advisor, you’ll need to have some sort of technology background. If you’ve got a degree in the field, you could help people who have trouble with technology with their problems. For some apps, you’ll have to be at least 18 and pass a video interview, as well as a background check. Some might also require you to pass a skills assessment. 

Pay: Varies, but on some apps, you can get paid up to $90/hour.

Companies That Hire Recruitment Reps: HelloTech

10. House Sitting

If you’re looking for a non-traditional job, there’s always house sitting, which isn’t technically a “job” per se. But it comes with some of the perks of one. Possibly free food, free internet, possibly a pool (if you get a really nice one), rent-free living (depending on how long they’ll be gone – sometimes it’s months at a time, hence the need for a house sitter), and maybe more. Who knows?

As a pet sitter, you can help provide homeowners with security that their home and their belongings are safe. You can also help provide care for their fur-babies while they’re gone and give them peace of mind. 

Pay: The average annual salary for house sitters is $70,166 as of July 2021, according to Zip Recruiter.

Companies That Hire House Sitters: Trusted House Sitters, MindMyHouse, Luxury House Sitting, Morning Side Nannies, WorkStream

Where to Find Side Jobs

1. Flex Jobs.

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Flex Jobs can help you find jobs with a little more flexibility than most. So if you’re looking for a temporary job or a job that allows you to work from home, you might just find it on FlexJobs.

The only downside is that it costs money to gain access to their jobs, but based on what others are saying, it’s worth the small fee.

2. LinkedIn Jobs.

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LinkedIn Jobs is a great place to find a side job in your chosen career field. For example, if you run a social media management agency and you need to make extra money by getting a side job as a social media writer, LinkedIn would be a good place to start looking.

3. SIFTLY.

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SIFTLY matches you up with jobs based on the profile you complete. It’s another great way to get a little extra work in your chosen career field. SIFTLY sends me job matches all the time. In fact, I just got two matches as I’m writing this. One for Associate Creative Director/Copy in New York City (Remote) and VP, Group Copy Supervisor in New York City (Remote) because my chosen career field is copywriting.

4. FreeUp

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I’ve been a member of the FreeUp marketplace for some time and at first, their site was a little hard to navigate, but they’ve made some improvements over the years and it’s really shaping up to be a great platform. You can find writing, editing, proofreading, and other types of jobs on the platform.

5. Fivver

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Fivver is a great place to find gig work. Even though the gigs start at $5, you can always upsell your packages and add additional services or allow customers to order more words of copy, etc.

Related: 40+ Places to Find Freelance Writing & Editing Jobs

6. UpWork

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UpWork has been a great source of income for thousands of freelancers in all kinds of industries from writing to editing to graphic design to translation. If you’re a freelancer in any of the following fields/categories, you might be able to find work on UpWork.

  • Accounting & Consulting
  • Admin Support
  • Customer Service
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Design & Creative
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • IT & Networking
  • Legal
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Translation
  • Web, Mobile, & Software Development
  • Writing

7. Toptal

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Toptal claims it only hires the top 3% of freelancers in the world, so you’ve got to think pretty highly of yourself if you’re going to apply. Or work on your portfolio a little bit before applying. The site claims they leverage world-class talent to build amazing teams on-demand.

So if you think you’ve got what it takes, go for it.

8. Solid Gigs

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Solid Gigs is another good place to find decent side gigs.

Get on their weekly gigs list and they say they’ll do the client-hunting for you. The site claims it “sour[s] the web for the best freelancing jobs” and that you’ll get “hand-picked quality leads” so that “your business improves and grows.”

9. People Per Hour

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People Per Hour is a freelance job site that allows clients to post projects and “people” to complete those projects.

Apply to become a certified freelancer by completing an application. Once you’re approved, you’ll get access to all of the available projects. People Per Hour has jobs in:

  • Technology & Programming
  • Music & Audio
  • Design
  • Writing & Translation
  • Marketing, Branding & Sales
  • Social Media
  • Business
  • Video, Photo & Image
  • Digital Marketing

10. Facebook Groups

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I’ve actually hired writers from Facebook groups, so I can attest to the fact that Facebook groups can absolutely help you find work. You just have to join groups relevant to the industry and type of job you want.

Start searching for Facebook Groups relevant to the career or job you want to get. Keep an eye out for posts that mention job offers. You can also find groups specifically dedicated to finding a job and you’ll get tips and resources to help you find a side gig or part-time job.

Ready to Start Your Side Gig Journey?

Side-gigging while trying to grow your business is more common than you might think. It just isn’t talked about because everyone loves the overnight success rags to riches story more than the “my business didn’t pick up quite as quickly as I thought and I needed extra money to put into my business so I got a side gig” story.

Probably because it’s more glamorous and it doesn’t mention the hard work it takes to make a business work sometimes. But I’m not gonna sugarcoat it for you. Sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles. 🍪

What side gigs have you tried? Let me know in the comments. And feel free to share with your like-minded friends and family on social media.

Author

Founder at The Ultimate Freelance Guide and author of The Ultimate Guide to Using Blogging to Boost Engagement and Drive Sales and Copywriting vs. Content Marketing: A Guide to Understanding the Difference Between the Two and Using Both for Maximum Engagement. Her work has been featured at USA Today and Small Biz Daily and she's written for clients like Columbia, LifeLock, eSurance, Anthem Health, USAA, Rev.com, Princess Cruises, and Rodan + Fields, among others.

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