The pandemic has us all changing our lifestyle to fit a digital world. For better or for worse, we have all been touched by the novel coronavirus that hit the world in the winter of 2020. A lot of people have lost their jobs or have faced reduced hours, in addition to facing the fatal threat of the coronavirus.
So it is natural that we should all turn a more serious eye to side hustles: aside from our normal 9-to-5, how do we make money in a world that seems to have come to a standstill?
As it turns out, there is plenty of room in the digital space for us ALL to make a little money! Think about how much time, energy, and money you spend browsing social media, browsing the internet, and just generally consuming digital content.
And the best part about making money online is that most of the best methods are passive! When I say passive, this doesn’t necessarily mean “easy.” You need to put in some hard work as an initial investment.
1. Print Unique Mask Patterns
Do you like to draw? Are you a graphic designer? Can you use photoshop?
You do not need specialty equipment to provide unique products to customers any longer. In fact, the internet has made it easier now more than ever for artists and general creative types to make money by selling their original work.
How does it work? Platforms like Red Bubble, Society6, Teespring, and many more provide on demand printing services for customers. Artists post their designs on the sight and optimize the images to fit a range of products, often of their choosing.
These products range from t-shirts (hence the name of the platform ‘Teespring’), to mugs, to pieces of furniture, to tapestries.
Different platforms offer different benefits for artists. Some offer larger cuts for artists, which could be due to a variety of factors that have nothing to due with greed on the part of the print-on-demand platform. Other print on demand services offer fewer products which means smaller commissions for artists.
This initial legwork researching what differentiates the multitude of print on demand services out there is vital. Some are more popular than others, so if you find a site offering huge royalties for artists, you may be shocked to learn that you’re not making any money—because the site itself isn’t attracting customers!
When you’re choosing your ideal print on demand service, you want to choose a service that offers an easy-to-use interface. If you are relying on another company or platform external from your control to make money, you want to investigate the platform from the consumer’s perspective.
2. Transition Existing Services to Digital Platforms (and vice versa)
If you already have a business that is doing just fine as a brick and mortar establishment, maybe you think there isn’t a benefit to transitioning your services or products to online platforms. However, think about how much your business could benefit by reaching audiences that are not in physical proximity.
And in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, more people will be finding businesses online and through social media than they will be in person. So you really have nothing to lose, because digital platforms have little to no start up costs!
And if you are unsure of starting a business in the first place, an online business is the best place to start. Take it from financial expert, accountant Manuel Mattz who says, “Many budding entrepreneurs have sound business ideas but lack the capital to get their new venture off the ground. You could start a business on a shoestring budget, but then you would probably lack the working capital to make the business viable.”
It’s better to dedicate the entirety of your capital to providing great service to your clientele.
3. Feedback Apps
Applications like Ibotta help their users make money by reporting back to the app about their spending patterns. Google also offers an application which rewards users for answering questions about places they visit frequently. (This works only if you are OK with this google application tracking your location.)
It works very simply: all you have to do is load up the application, tell it what you are planning on purchasing at any of the supported retailers, and ultimately take a picture of your receipts after shopping at those places.
Programs like these work best if you are prone to shopping at major retailers, especially if they are nation-wide.
4. Cash Back Programs
Have you found that there has been an uptick in your online shopping during the pandemic? You are not alone! (There’s a reason this article was written after all.) This year, digital sales during the holiday season peaked at 76% one day during the first two weeks of December 2020, when compared to that same day’s digital sales from 2019.
Of course, you should be shopping from home anyway! It keeps you safe, it keeps our communities safe, and we should be doing more of it.
And there is potential to make a ton of money by online shopping, as well as SAVE a ton of money using plug-ins that search for coupon codes on your behalf.
If you use apps like Rakuten, you can make a killing just by installing the app and going on to buy things at stores you were already going to be shopping at.
As for finding discounts using a plug-in, the process is fairly simple. Use a plug-in like Honey, which attaches itself to your browser and scours the internet for the best deals. Honey can even track the prices of products across time, predicting whether the product might be found cheaper later if you decide to wait to purchase.