Finding An Online Side-Hustle During Lockdown

I am sure that many of us have been hard-hit by the lack of availability to go into your part-time job and make some extra cash. Having a side-hustle while you study is important not only for your pocket but, for your self-confidence and self-sustainability. I cannot be the only 20-something-year-old that grinds their jaw when they have to ask their parents for things that they used to be able to pay for themselves.

During the lockdown, I have been researching many side-hustles to try and bring in as much cash as I can, even when I cannot leave the house. By doing this, I have come up with a list that I can share and maybe help other students along too, starting with the most obvious - freelance writing!

  1. 1. Freelance Writing

    This is more underrated that you’d guess. Many people use freelance writing to make a living and if you do it well, you can land a permanent position with a company to write for them. Freelance writing is easy and enjoyable because you get to pick the topic that you write about. Most of us are writing 172 essays every week so why not add one that can bring in some extra cash? 

    A good site I have found for this is FreelanceWritingJobs which has updates every day and multiple job availabilities. These can pay up to R450 an hour, if you find a good one and they decide to hire you. Either way, writing from home is an easy way to bring in extra cash, especially if you have a knack for writing articles. If you’re not a diligent humanities student and writing isn’t really your thing, there is online tutoring.

    Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer In Bed
  2. 2. Online Tutors

    Tutors are still needed during a worldwide pandemic. Yes, the world hasn’t completely stopped during lockdown. Schools are still going, and children need help now more than ever with their work. This is done over video calls and does require some preparation from your side. I advise using TurtleJar due to their wide range of subjects that one can tutor. 

    This job does require a stable internet connection and can get you up to R200 – R270 an hour. If you have never tutored before, I suggest you speak to a friend about it to see if it is something you’d be good at and would enjoy. Another form of online tutoring is to teach English to foreigners through conversational videos.

    Gray Study Dice on Table
  3. 3. Teaching English

    This can bring in the same amount of cash as online subject tutoring, but it is considerably easier because all you have to do is talk to the person on the other side of the screen. There are many sites that allow you to do this without a degree. Cambly is one of them. And if you want to earn slightly more (range between R400 – R450 per hour) there is a site called Magic Ears for students that are currently in a degree and wish to teach English. Both these sites are safe and reliable. If dealing with people while being on camera isn’t your thing and it makes you feel awkward, then being an online transcriber might be for you.

  4. 4. Online Transcription

    This involves you listening to audio and writing it into English text. You will have to be good at spelling and great at understanding different accents. The most trusted site to do this is called Way With Words. The awesome thing about this site is that you can do your work whenever you feel like it. So instead of watching TikToks until 2am you can watch a few videos and get some cash in. 

    Transcribing pays around R8 – R35 per minute of audio that you transcribe. If you can do 10 – 20 minutes of audio per day you can get a decent salary from it.

  5. 5. YouTube

    Videos are also an easy way to get extra cash, and no, you don’t have to be a rich influencer for people to watch them. Find something you’re interested in and start making videos where you educate people about it or simply discuss it and debunk myths about it. Take your major and start making videos about each topic. This way you can educate people online while you study for your online tests and exams. If you have a strange talent, start using it in weird and wonderful ways. If you can throw a ball into a bucket with your eyes blindfolded, then do that, but start doing it on your roof. Make it interesting. Make it fun. 

    On average, a Youtuber earns R70 per 1000 views on a video. If you make a video every week you have a higher chance of being recognized and viewed by people. And if one of your videos makes it to 15 000 views, that’s a lot of money in your pocket that you didn’t have before. A good place to learn about making money off Youtube is The Youtube Creator Academy.

    smartphone with youtube logo

Lastly (and perhaps controversially), remember that there are still jobs out there! I’ve noticed a lot of pet-store vacancies in my area that pay well and accept part-time workers. If you use the correct protective gear and practice good hygiene, then there is no reason why you cannot be a frontline worker. Despite the mass panic, it is still possible to go out and stay safe at the same time. 

I hope that everyone who read this has found some value and possibly a new avenue to explore during your free-time (because there’s not much else to do with our free-time nowadays). Use this week to dig your teeth into researching these jobs and find one you like best. Sending my love to you all. 

Your girl, Nat.