Amid the Great Resignation and an ongoing pandemic that is contributing to the dramatic surge of inflation, the American work life is changing. People are working as hard as ever, but many (particularly millennials and Gen Z) are placing greater importance on flexibility and the option to work from home. Side hustles are becoming increasingly common, with one in three Americans holding a second gig as of last January, according to research from Zapier. That number is expected to rise, too.
Over the years, certain side hustles have become famous. For instance, everyone knows about driving for Uber, or renting out a room on Airbnb, just as they know about selling crafts on Etsy and reselling on eBay. But in the ever-expanding gig economy, the number of viable second jobs is increasing and hopeful hustlers have more options than ever. Here’s a look at some of the most popular up-and-coming side hustles of 2022, and how to get in on the action.
Zoom Workshop Host
Hosting a paid Zoom workshop is a side hustle that can be accomplished by just about anyone with a solid Wi-Fi connection and passionate expertise about an industry or profession that others want to learn about.
“First, start a free private Facebook group on a specific topic you have experience in and others care about,” said Jonathan Milligan, blogger, speaker and the author of “Your Message Matters: How to Rise Above the Noise and Get Paid for What You Know.”
“For example, If I want to help other accountants advance in their careers I would create a ‘Career Tips for Accounting Professionals’ Facebook Group. I then would invite people through my social connections and the social connections of my friends to join the group.”
Next, you might host a live three-day challenge in the Facebook group.
“Choose a topic your ideal audience cares about,” Milligan said. “Using the accounting career niche, I would host a ‘3-Day Create a Killer Resume Challenge’. Go live in the group and teach what you know. [Next], make a paid offer to a 2-4 hour Zoom workshop. At the end of the challenge, offer the participants an opportunity to go deeper with you by hosting a paid Zoom workshop. If you charged just $100 and got 10 people to join, you would make $1,000 on a Saturday hosting your workshop on Zoom.”
“With the pandemic continuing, many students and parents will be in search of extra help from home, which means online tutors will continue to be in high demand,” said Scott Winstead, founder and editor-in-chief of My elearning World.
“Online tutoring can range from general homework help to specific specialized assistance with preparation for tests such as the SAT. Pay can vary, but most online tutors will make around $20 an hour. Tutors who specialize in specific, high-demand areas can make upwards of $40 an hour. It also depends on if you are tutoring through a company, or if you make arrangements direct-to-consumer.”
To get started, Winstead recommends that you register with platforms like TutorMe and Tutor.com. You can also try to go direct-to-consumer by advertising your services on sites like Craigslist and Facebook.
“Social media influencing isn’t only for musicians and socialites,” said Terry Kasdan, founder and creative director of atCommunications, LLC. “Micro influencers with a few thousand followers are in high demand by brands looking to reach smaller, more distinctly targeted audiences. All it takes to become a micro influencer is starting an Instagram or TikTok account and sharing engaging content. It costs nothing but time and effort to start.”
Successful micro-influencers typically create or curate content around highly specific niches or genres.
“For example, a board game manufacturer can partner with a teenager who every weekend unboxes and plays new games on [their] YouTube channel that’s followed by 10,000 other teens who also enjoy gaming,” Kasdan said. “Micro influencers with a few thousand followers can make $100 or more for running a sponsored post. Influencers with more than 10,000 followers can approach bigger brands and earn even more.”
Niche Website Founder
“I think one of the best side hustles out there is starting a website,” said Dave Evangelisti, founder and CEO of Test-Guide. “There are tools and platforms out there that allow individuals to start a website without having to know anything about web development or coding. The best thing about starting a website? You can pick a niche you are passionate about. The niche can be about anything. People are always searching for things.”
Evangelisti provided a broad overview of steps to start a website side gig:
- Pick a niche
- Choose a domain and register it
- Choose a website host
- Choose a content management system
- Determine what you want to create content about. Use tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and WordStream to find out more information on the specific keywords for your topics.
- Publish great, high-quality content.
- Monetize your content using ads, affiliate links, surveys and videos
Evangelisti’s niche site started out as a $5/day side hustle and has blossomed into a thriving business with four full-time employees.
“What I’m seeing from search trends, such as a 145% increase in searches for ‘how to raise your vibration’ and a 36x increase in searches for ‘aura colors’ is that millennials and Gen Z are embracing their spirituality, leaning into mindfulness and meditation and growing interest in the esoteric world,” said Sol Spier, founder and creative director at Dawning Digital.”
“This new demand for information and services means there’s a huge opportunity for experts in this field to turn their passions into side hustles.” Just last year Spier helped a Microsoft employee build her spiritual coaching, akashic records and tarot reading side hustle.
“Only a few months in and she has already reported over $10,000.” Spier said. “In the coaching space, I can confidently say that you can expect to earn more than $100,000 running a spiritual, service-based side hustle.”
Online Course Creator
“In 2022, online course creation will dominate as a top side hustle,” said Hanah Alexander, editor-in-chief of TodayTesting.com. “Using platforms like Udemy, it’s easier than ever to get your own course up and running. Whether your expertise is exercise, coding, cooking, whatever it may be, there are people looking to be taught what you know.”
Creating a course is pretty straightforward. “You choose a topic and create an outline,” Alexander said. “From there, you record video lectures and put together written portions. You can create them directly in Udemy, which makes it pretty easy, or create on your own and upload them.”
A strong social media presence will help you to market your course, and those who succeed can expect to earn anywhere from $10 to $100 per course sold, Alexander said.
“The translation industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, estimated to be $50 billion in size,” said Nikita Agarwal, head of growth at Milestone Localization. “Even if you speak only one language, providing language services is a lucrative side gig — one that can turn into a full-time career if you enjoy it.”
Based on your talents, you can provide translation, proofreading, transcription, subtitling, voiceover and multilingual data labeling services — and typically the only equipment needed is a laptop and an internet connection.
“Look for LSP (language service providers) and sign up on their website for work,” Agarwal said. “Most of these gigs can be done with a few weeks of training — sometimes provided by the company hiring you.”
Agarwal estimates that you can make anywhere between $8-$40 an hour based on which languages you speak and how many years of experience you have.
“As a single mom of two young children, working 40+ hours a week as a Bodily Injury adjuster, I needed to find a side hustle that would allow me the flexibility of working from home and working a schedule outside of my current 9 to 5 career,” said Crystal Saleh, BS, CCLA, a notary public.
“By becoming a commissioned electronic notary and working for Notary.Notarize.com, I am able to work from home and make my own schedule. I know notary loan signing agents who make $10,000+ a month, [and others] who make six figures a year.”
Each state has statutes in place that lists how much a notary can charge for fees of the notary service. You can learn more here.
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