There are many ways to earn extra money as a virtual assistant. There are websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com where you can register your skill set and find tasks that others need done. On some sites, you will be able to click on a task and complete it as instructed right away. Others require the task-setter to review profiles and pick the right person for the job. Either way, this is a great way to take advantage of all your skills, practice using them and get reviews/references that can help you in the future.
Check out the various tasks that virtual assistants do. If you don’t already have the skills, there are some affordable online classes on Udemy or even free YouTube tutorials to get you started. Obviously, it is important to be honest about what you can and can’t do to protect your reputation. Just keep in mind that some skills, such as using Excel or Photoshop, can be picked up quickly with the right tools. Also, some virtual assistant tasks focus on time versus skill. There are always various data entry tasks that anyone can do.
Surveys – Get Paid to Answer Questions
Those ads you see pop up while you browse the internet are not all false. It is possible to make some extra money taking surveys. However, you need to spend a lot of time doing this to actually get paid and the amounts are low. Websites such as InboxDollars, Survey Junkie, Swagucks and MyPoints are among the most popular. In 2017, three people on NerdWallet spent 50 hours answering survey questions and only made $90. So is this a viable way to make money? Depends on your needs.
If you sign up for several of these websites and spend your free time taking surveys, you might make a profit over time. For example, if you take a survey instead of scrolling on Facebook every time you use the bathroom, you’d probably accumulate some money after a few months or even a year. It will not be significant but it also requires little effort as well as zero skill beyond pressing buttons or typing your responses.
Make Money by Spending Money
If you are in a crunch to make some money, you will obviously not be shopping. However, sometimes buying something is inevitable. You can use cash-back services such as Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and Ibotta. These actually track your purchases, tell you when shopping in a certain store will give you better rewards to help you shop smarter, and will send you checks regularly. The amount you get depends on what you spend, but I have personally received $100 checks for doing just my regular shopping for about four months.
The concept for Rakuten is similar to using a credit card. They incentivise use of certain sites so that they make a profit, and they give you money for doing it. Rakuten gets money as an affiliate for sending you to certain websites and companies pay them to promote special deals. That is how they can afford to give you money for shopping – there is no catch or anything to be suspicious about.
Speaking of affiliates, you can take out the middleman and become an affiliate yourself. Basically, you just need a platform to reach people who may be interested in certain products or services. Various companies including eBay, Amazon and even DJI will let you register to have a code/link that will give you a cut of the profit if someone buys the item you are advertising. The amounts are small per purchase, but they can add up over time or if you have a large audience.
A popular way to take advantage of affiliate marketing is by incorporating it into your blog. It doesn’t matter what you are blogging about as long as you can link it to a product that is relevant. Another popular option is to build a social media following and advertising products there. This can also be combined with getting free products or money to advertise or review certain items directly from the companies selling them.
If you work from home, like to travel and/or prefer a minimalist on-the-go lifestyle, house sitting can be a great way to make extra money while saving on rent. Depending on the country of your residence, it may be legal to have a registered home but not live there permanently. In these cases, you can find houses to stay at while the occupants are traveling. This can give you the opportunity to live in fancy homes in exchange for maintaining and cleaning the home while sometimes also watering plants or taking care of pets.
The amazing thing about house sitting is that you can save on rent at the same time as making money. If you can’t give up your apartment or home while you are house sitting, you can Airbnb or rent it out to someone else. Although it can take time to get great house sitting opportunities, you can quickly build up a regular clientele. Since basic home-care doesn’t take up too much time; you can spend the rest of your time making extra money in other ways on top of this. Check out Mind My House and Trusted House Sitters to get started.
The opposite of making money by living in other people’s homes is renting out your own. Once again, there are legal issues to consider before listing your place on Airbnb. If you don’t own the home, you may need special permission from the landlord. If you do own it, you need to double check with your insurance company if you need to change your plan to accommodate renting. More recently, certain cities and areas have regulations when it comes to short term rentals so all this needs to be considered.
If all legal matters are resolved, this is a great way to make money. Whether you rent your entire home out while on holiday or take advantage of a spare room, there is always great demand for rental properties. Renting also requires little skill or time commitment other than keeping your house clean, welcoming your guests and learning to cohabitate with whoever is staying with you. In addition to making you money, you may also make new friends and connections.
Uber and Lyft
If you have a car, driving Uber or Lyft in your free time or between errands can be lucrative. Most drivers at these companies don’t do it full time, although there are those who end up quitting their jobs because ride sharing can sometimes make them more money than their regular full time job. When you first join these companies you will likely be doing shorter trips and relying on every rider to be satisfied enough to rate you well before you get better opportunities.
Things to consider before ride sharing are getting the proper car insurance, gas costs, wear and tear on the vehicle as well as location – you may need to drive to a specific location before you can make any real money. Larger cities and college towns will obviously be better choices than a rural area or suburbia where everyone has cars. The great thing about Uber and Lyft is that you can do it whenever you please and set your own hours. Since so many people quit their jobs to do it, it is obviously a great source of income.
Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney
There are many non-traditional ways to earn extra money that can be done on the side or in lieu of a full-time job. Statistics show that more and more people are becoming freelancers because it gives them flexibility, new opportunities, and sometimes even a better salary. These little tasks can also help supplement your income if you need extra cash to save up for something special or as a permanent addition to your regular work. More tips here: