With temperatures starting to drop and the threat of another potential quarantine on the horizon, there is no doubt a large portion of time this winter season will be spent at home. This makes it the perfect time to turn a skill into a money-making opportunity. Since the start of the pandemic in early spring, I’ve seen so many women find a way to turn their passions into income. Nothing is stopping you from getting rich off of a laptop. No matter your hobby, the internet has a wide variety of resources, programs and expert individuals that can help you turn a passion into a hustle. You may already have things you are skilled at, but in case you need ideas here are just a few skills that you can master with just your laptop.
If you have an ear for music or find yourself constantly remixing your favourite songs, music production or songwriting can be an extremely profitable way to put your skills to use. Commonly used applications for music production such as FL Studios (Fruity Loops) or Logic have removed most of the work from in beat production, making the learning curve much shorter. With plug-ins, beat samples and loops available for purchase on Fruity Loops and Logic, you can easily construct rhythms that would interest artists in any genre. If you are already musically inclined and have experience playing instruments like piano, drums or guitar, you also can plug them directly into your laptop, eliminating the need to go to a studio and record. It’s an easy way to get your creative juices flowing from the comfort of your bed.
Here are some tutorials and tips from producers on how to craft beats and monetize your creations:
Similarly, if you’re passionate about poetry or spoken word, songwriting is a hustle that you could consider. Platforms like SoundCloud or Instagram are great ways to start gaining exposure for your lyrics. To get started, use a platform like BeatStarz to access beats and music made by producers and start building a portfolio. Software and applications like MasterWriter and Soundcraft are great tools that you can utilize to write lyrics and chords or to upload audio files from any device. While Instagram or TikTok are networks you can use to gain exposure and build a portfolio, the Songwriters Association Canada is a great platform specifically for artists or singer-songwriters looking to connect. Other great platforms include Tunecore and Soundbetter, which both serve as an online marketplace for buying and selling lyrics.
Check out some useful platforms here:
Graphic Design and Animation
Whether it’s designing album covers, creating YouTube thumbnails, logo design or content creation, graphic designers have never been in greater demand. Software like Adobe Photoshop (or the cheaper alternative GIMP) are effective tools that will help you create anything from t-shirts to event posters to social media content. While you can use GIMP to create gifs, software like Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects can be used to create advanced motion graphics. In addition to sharing your work via Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr, DeviantArt and Reddit are forums that have made it easier for designers to gain exposure and get constructive feedback. Fiverr is another great platform that acts as a marketplace for creators to find freelance work either in their city or internationally.
Here are some helpful resources to get started:
YouTube and Video Editing
You cannot think of social media careers without mentioning YouTube, which no doubt can be credited to starting the careers of many influencers we know and love today. If you are someone who is full of personality and can entertain an audience with stories, reaction videos, beauty secrets or creative hauls, then YouTube might just be your calling. If you have an exciting and bloggable life or can create video tutorials on anything helpful like cooking, you might want to consider hitting the record button and creating a profile. The key to success is consistency and creating quality content. Constantly promoting yourself, building a strong following and networking with other creators can lead to things opportunities such as monetization and collaborations with larger brands. If you would rather not be in front of a camera, YouTubers are always looking for creatives who can create amazing edits or intros to make their videos more appealing. Software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Pro Cut FX or Filmora is great if you want to edit professional-looking videos. iMovie is an infamous editor great for beginners as well. There are so many YouTubers who have grown a following during lockdown, such as Toronto-based creator Ethiogoddess who amassed 10k followers in only a few months during the pandemic. The opportunities are endless!
If you’re interested in launching your YouTube career, check out these links:
This winter is the perfect time to turn a passion into an opportunity to profit. With the internet at your disposal, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. Good luck!