Staying productive when you’re cooped up at home is not the easiest thing in the world. If you’ve been struck by the dreaded Chinese flu, you have all our sympathies and we hope you get well soon. On the other hand, you may simply have tested positive without showing any symptoms, come into contact with someone who became sick later, or be taking care of someone isolating at home. “How to earn money during quarantine?” becomes a pretty important question in any of these cases.
Lots of simple moneymaking opportunities have dried up during the pandemic. This makes it difficult to pursue many side hustles that would have been open to you if you weren’t quarantined. Few people nowadays, for instance, will want their kids babysat by a stranger or even a relative who doesn’t live in the same house. Nobody is comfortable with someone with a dry cough delivering their food, certainly not during a pandemic. Walking dogs around your local park for a fee while hacking away like a smoker isn’t advisable, either.
In addition, many of the easiest and best-known ways to earn money online are already flooded with applicants from previous months of the pandemic – it’s time to get creative and find new ways of how to earn money during coronavirus.
If you haven’t yet skimmed over our list of the top work-from-home jobs, by all means do so. If none of these suit your current situation, read on for a couple of opportunities you’ve probably never thought of. Except for the first one, only a few are based on the idea of doing what you were doing before corona but now online. Some seem, at least at first glance, a little wacky. Keep an open mind, though: success often comes from doing something other people think is insane.
Table of Contents
- 1 Your First Port of Call: Convince Your Boss Your Job Can Be Off-Sited
- 2 Bringing the Past Into the Future: Offer to Digitize People’s Old Photos, Slides, and Videos
- 3 Losing that Quarantine Gut – Get Paid to Exercise
- 4 Crunch the Numbers: Become an Online Personal Shopper
- 5 Cutting the Fat: Review Your Phone Plan, Insurance, Bank Accounts, and Investments
- 6 Digging up the Dead: Become a Genealogy Researcher
- 7 Elite E-Vites: Offer to Plan a Virtual Event
- 8 Turning Into Your Weird Aunt: Making Money From Arts and Crafts
- 9 Wheels Keep on Turning: Rent Out Your Car
- 10 Bytes Instead of Bricks: Sell Virtual Property
- 11 Unleash Your Inner Kid: Design Video Games
- 12 An Eye for Style: Become a Virtual Interior Designer or Fashion Advisor
- 13 Pennies for Pixels: Organize Your Photo Collection and Sell What You Can
- 14 Work Smarter, Not Harder: Put Your Brain to Use
- 15 Justice Is Blind: Become a Mock Juror
- 16 Cupid’s Whimsical Arrow: Try Your Hand at Online Matchmaking
- 17 Taming Bears and Riding Bulls: Learn How to Use the Stock Market to Your Advantage
- 18 Rapunzel, Rapunzel: Sell Your Hair
Your First Port of Call: Convince Your Boss Your Job Can Be Off-Sited
It goes without saying that keeping your current job is about a hundred times easier than looking for work from step one. In addition, you probably don’t want to abandon all the goodwill and friendships you’ve built up there. Realistically, though, a lot of businesses are struggling, and things are likely to get worse before they get better.
It’s therefore up to you to remain visible and indispensable to avoid your function going to a freelancer and avoid any potential layoffs. Continuing to do your present job is also, of course, the easiest way to earn money during quarantine.
With all this in mind, be proactive: identify where snags may occur if you start doing your present job from home and suggest solutions for circumventing them. One of the positive effects of this pandemic has been to convince managers that not everything has to be a meeting: there are plenty of free tools remote workers can use to stay in touch and do their jobs more efficiently.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, though. If some of your work is best done at the company premises itself, ask to swap these tasks with one of your colleagues instead. Accept that you may get worse if you’re already sick or start showing symptoms if you’re not. If possible, ask to be made part-time for the duration. This way, you don’t have to be available every minute of the day and can actually enjoy some rare time at home – most office workers don’t do more than a couple of hours’ real work per day, anyway.
Bringing the Past Into the Future: Offer to Digitize People’s Old Photos, Slides, and Videos
This side hustle is no longer as popular as it was a decade or two ago. Even so, plenty of people are still unearthing old photo albums and videotapes from attics and basements. Often, they want to record these for posterity in a format that will last.
The reason they don’t do it themselves is two-fold: you may need some special equipment, and it takes a lot of incredibly tedious work. Well, if you’re currently binge-watching daytime TV, you may as well earn money during quarantine doing something equally boring. The gear you need isn’t all that pricey, either: as long as you have a high-quality scanner, you can always get a VHS player from Goodwill and add a cheap doohickey that connects to your computer.
Believe it or not, there are national businesses that make a profit doing exactly this. You’ll learn more tricks of the trade as you go along, but for now you can get started by advertising locally on Craigslist, or post ads on the internet and ask people to mail their memories to you for processing – registered mail preferred.
Losing that Quarantine Gut – Get Paid to Exercise
Unless you’re Dean Karnazes, this isn’t any way to get rich, but we thought it worth mentioning just because of how innovative and beneficial the concept is. SweatCoin doesn’t deal in actual money; instead, you get one token every time you’ve taken 1,000 steps. These can later be redeemed on the app’s marketplace.
When you get right down to it, this really a way to get you to pay real dollars for the products SweatCoin advertises: other, paid fitness apps are plentiful on their website. Still, if you’re planning to become more active, you may as well get your SweatCoin on. Though the rewards aren’t exactly tangible, they are a great source of motivation. Other, similar apps you can check out include Fit for Bucks, StepBet, and Achievement.
Crunch the Numbers: Become an Online Personal Shopper
Everybody loves to save some money – why, then, is it so damn hard? The truth is that few people are willing to put in the time to learn the inner workings of some industry: cellphone plans, car insurance, banking products, mutual funds, internet service providers…really, what a complicated world we live in.
Looking in from the outside, it’s difficult to make sense of which deals are good and bad, leaving the average consumer at the mercy of whatever advertising they happen to come across. You can now be their hero: by spending a few days figuring out what’s what and then keeping track of special offers and changes in the market, you can recommend exactly the best, cheapest option to whoever asks. This is exactly like being a travel agent, but for almost any product or service sold online. If someone wants to buy an exercise bike, food processor, or air compressor, for instance, you can read through customer reviews on Amazon and elsewhere and use this knowledge to steer them towards the one that most closely meets their needs.
You can specialize in any of these areas, or ask clients to send you a budget and completed lifestyle questionnaire and try to find any way you can of curbing their spending without cutting into their little luxuries. You’ll generally charge either a flat fee or a percentage of the amount saved. The more details you can give in the recommendation and the better you can show that you understand your clients’ real needs, the more successful you’ll become.
Cutting the Fat: Review Your Phone Plan, Insurance, Bank Accounts, and Investments
While you’re at it, you may as well start by practicing on your own financial situation. If the coronavirus pandemic has caused you to lose your regular source of income, your first step should be to investigate what unemployment benefits you’re entitled to and how to get them.
After that, you have several possible avenues to pursue. Given your spending patterns, can you get more cashback with a different credit card? Are you better off buying a cellphone or getting one included in your plan? How have your 401 (k) investments been performing compared to industry benchmarks?
Ideally, you should run this exercise once every twelve months or so. Most of us don’t, though. So, why not make a start while you probably have little else to do? If you want to know how to earn money during coronavirus, begin by checking Unclaimed.org to see if you have any cash lying around that you’ve literally forgotten about.
Digging up the Dead: Become a Genealogy Researcher
Many people have a profound interest in their family history and would like to learn more if they ever have the time. They probably don’t realize just how simple this is once you know about the proper internet resources for constructing family trees, leading to a perfect opportunity for you to earn money online.
Professional genealogists charge at least $50 an hour and sometimes twice that. You will probably not be able to justify such lofty fees right from the beginning. You won’t really be selling any special qualifications or experience, so be open (in a vague kind of way) about what you can and can’t do without leaving your house. What customers will really be paying for is patient, methodical research they could do themselves but would prefer not to.
Elite E-Vites: Offer to Plan a Virtual Event
How to earn money during coronavirus? Let social distancing work for you, of course.
Plenty of everything that can’t be postponed indefinitely, from business conferences to weddings, has moved into the digital realm. They still need to be coordinated, though, and someone needs to take charge of making them a success. The hosts have probably never organized such an event – neither have you, of course, but you’re willing to figure out what needs to happen, do the legwork, and learn as you go.
What you’ll be doing is things like researching and resolving any special technical requirements, helping to choose and expand a theme, mailing out party favors if it’s that kind of event, advertising on Facebook and elsewhere, keeping track of invitations, and, if it’s a business event like a product launch or seminar, follow up with attendees. None of this is difficult and it will become easier as you learn the ropes. You can then start drumming up more business on your own: why not ask your local yoga school whether they need help setting up online classes, or suggest to a tax preparer that they host an online Q & A session to connect with clients?
Turning Into Your Weird Aunt: Making Money From Arts and Crafts
Did you know that carpenters earn an average of $50,000 a year? That’s not bad for a job that doesn’t require even a high school diploma, and many of them – particularly those that do high-quality decorative rather than construction work – earn quite a lot more than that.
In the same way many people who can afford it would prefer an antique armoire to an IKEA wardrobe, handmade, unique, and thoughtful gifts continue to sell. You don’t even have to be especially talented or creative to get started, though it doesn’t do any harm if you are.
How to earn money during quarantine with crafting? The only real limitation is that you have to be able to order anything you need online, and sell your finished goods the same way on websites like Etsy, HandmadeArtists, and Artfire. This still leaves you with a ton of products to choose from:
- Handmade greeting cards,
- Custom-printed T-shirts,
- Cleaning products,
- Scented candles
You can let your own interests guide you as to which to attempt, but it’s strongly recommended that you do at least a little market research before investing any serious money in your new hobby. If you find that there is indeed substantial demand for what you’re thinking of selling, you can even spend $100 or so on semi-specialized equipment like a butter and oil infuser or an embroidery machine. How to earn money during coronavirus may be all that’s on your mind at the moment, but it never hurts to have a permanent sideline to supplement your ordinary earnings.
Wheels Keep on Turning: Rent Out Your Car
If you live in a densely populated area, you can also rent out your driveway as a parking spot. You needn’t stop there, either: your unused bicycle, gas grill, tent, and lawnmower can all be of use to someone in your area. Look into websites like Fat Llama and Loanables to see which of your possessions can make someone’s day.
Bytes Instead of Bricks: Sell Virtual Property
In terms of how to earn money during quarantine, this is certainly one of the weirder ways, but don’t knock it. Jon Jacobs sold a space station he built in an online video game for $635,000, while Ailin Graef generated a thriving business out of designing and marketing digital items in the popular game Second Life. Virtual buildings and digital clothing are popular items to sell online.
Some online game communities lend themselves to exchanging virtual currency for real-world dollars more than others. If you’re already a devoted fan of one of these, you’ll have some idea of how much work it should take to earn money online while having fun. One point to ponder, though: these transactions, at least in theory, have to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
Unleash Your Inner Kid: Design Video Games
If making money by playing video games is your fantasy job, as well as a way to earn money while in quarantine, creating your own must run a close second. This dream may be more accessible than you think: while you would assume that you need some fairly impressive programming skills just to get started, all that’s really required is patience, the ability to think logically, and an innate sense of fun.
Roblox is one platform that allows you to create games easily, though you’ll have to learn a little bit of coding to get the most out of it. The majority of Roblox games are, in fact, created and published by children. Game creators aren’t paid for the games themselves; instead, players can buy a variety of in-game items using Robux, a virtual currency that can be exchanged for dollars (see above).
Other tools you can check out include Stencyl and Game Maker Studio. Neither of these really require you to type in any programming code whatsoever: if you can use Microsoft Paint, you can create your own game. Don’t expect it to look like Assassin’s Creed, but a clever concept can go a long way towards making a DIY game successful. Once it’s done, you may make it available on platforms like Steam or allow a website to host it either for a monthly fee or a payment determined by the number of players it attracts.
An Eye for Style: Become a Virtual Interior Designer or Fashion Advisor
We’ve all wondered, at one point or another, some equivalent to “does this make me look fat?”. Asking your friends isn’t necessarily helpful, but it turns out that there is an easy solution: style consultants who earn money online by looking at photos taken by clients, then imagining how things could be improved.
Even if you’ve never held a paintbrush or installed wall molding in your life, you can assist people with combining light, color, and texture into a room worth living in. Some experience with CAD and 3D modeling will be a great help but isn’t necessarily required. A website like Decorist can help get you started, though it is your own skills, especially the ability to communicate and realize a concept, that will get you repeat business. If this sounds like exactly your cup of tea, Modsy and Havenly are also worth checking out.
If you prefer to flex your creative muscles on human subjects instead, you can also get paid to give people advice on makeup, fashion, and hairstyling through a number of online services specializing in exactly this, or strike out on your own and hope word of your good taste spreads.
Depending on your work and life experience, you can even help people design (and/or rescue) their gardens or give advice on nearly any specialist topic under the sun. One person I knew, for instance, would charge money to look over the plans for new security system installations: checking that there were no obvious mistakes, that the budget was reasonable, and so on.
Pennies for Pixels: Organize Your Photo Collection and Sell What You Can
Have you ever tried to find a very specific stock photo online, like “girl hitting her brother with a butterfly net” or “elderly man trying to climb a coconut tree”? It’s not easy. Even if you do manage to find something suitable, it can easily cost upward of $200 to license it for use on a pamphlet, website, or poster. Yet businesses often need a picture of something peculiar to help their graphic design work stand out and don’t have the budget to hire a professional photographer.
Part of the trouble is that it takes a lot of time to write text tags that accurately describe an image in terms of what publishers may be looking for. Well, if you’re wondering how to earn money during quarantine, time is one thing you have a lot of, perhaps along with thousands of photos you haven’t bothered to look at in years. Though most stock photo websites have certain minimum standards for quality – think DSLR, not cellphone camera – there are plenty of places to post your photos online. You retain the copyright and, if someone wants to use it, they will send you a royalty payment.
It will be worth your while to learn how to use photo editing software if you’re serious about making money in this way and become a better photographer besides. Sometimes a single mouseclick can make a world of difference to a photo.
Work Smarter, Not Harder: Put Your Brain to Use
Are you, perhaps, secretly a genius? Maybe you simply have a unique set of experience and skills, like knowledge in two completely separate industries. It could be that you’ve always dreamed of being an inventor, or you have a good track record of dreaming up solutions to problems most other people simply learn to live with.
If so, now might be the time to dust off your Bunsen burner and soldering iron, grab a sketchbook, and start ideating. Innocentive is a well-regarded platform where major organizations can post challenges that have them stumped for members of the general public to solve – for some serious cash prizes. If, on the other hand, you’ve had an idea for some new gadget for a long time but never actually did anything with it, invention brokers may be interested enough in your idea to approach third parties about developing it further.
If, on the other hand, you’re not the kind of person who’s likely to come up with a better mousetrap, you can still harness your expertise, get paid, and help others by doing so using a website like JustAnswer. The rates they pay can be pretty competitive, and all you really need to do to earn money online is sit in front of a computer and share your wisdom.
Justice Is Blind: Become a Mock Juror
There are certainly enough TV shows based in the courtroom. Trials in real life are usually much less dramatic. Still, if you feel that you’re objective and level-headed enough to serve on a jury, listening to pretend trials is one good way to make money online.
Lawyers often use these as focus groups to test their strategy before the real trial starts. This means that you may be asked about your opinion about the evidence and the way in which it was presented, something against which stringent rules exist when it comes to real legal proceedings. You don’t have to know anything about legal practice yourself, though: they’re looking for people similar to those likely to end up on actual juries. You can apply for this gig at eJury or OnlineVerdict.
Cupid’s Whimsical Arrow: Try Your Hand at Online Matchmaking
One particular aspect of online dating, namely matchmaking, is such a growth industry that you can now actually take one of several courses on the subject. This may be the perfect side hustle for you if you have a natural talent for psychology – not the kind they teach in college, but the practical knack of being able to sense which couples will hit it off and stay together.
Everybody claims to love food, fun, and long walks on the beach. Your task as a matchmaker will be to find out, via online interviews and psychometric testing, what clients are really looking for in a partner, who they’ll be compatible with, and how likely the two of them are to go the distance. To get started, you can apply at Tawkify.
Taming Bears and Riding Bulls: Learn How to Use the Stock Market to Your Advantage
Investment, especially day trading and similar short-term strategies, is a complicated game with its own jargon and rules. Perhaps the best way to get to understand it is by immersion: instead of reading a chapter of a book on the subject every once in a while, throw yourself into the deep end and learn by doing. Theory can come later.
A virtual portfolio allows you to treat this as a game instead of risking real money. A word of warning, though: there are a thousand philosophies on how to earn money online by trading stocks, and 100% of them don’t work 100% of the time. While learning about investments will certainly pay dividends in how it benefits your financial insight in the long run, day trading is not how to earn money during quarantine for the vast majority of people. In general, you may as well play online poker (not something the ProMoneySavings team recommends as a source of income).
Rapunzel, Rapunzel: Sell Your Hair
How to earn money during quarantine, when nobody cares about what you look like? Chopping off body parts probably wasn’t what you had in mind when you thought about earning money online, but don’t worry: it doesn’t hurt and it will grow back. Why not go for the quarantine-chic look?
Truth be told, you’ll probably not get as much for your locks as you hoped for (check here for an estimate). Still, if you’re thinking about trying out a new style anyway, you may as well get paid for it.
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Most likely, if you’re wondering how to earn money during quarantine, you’ve already read a dozen online articles suggesting exactly the same dozen options: online tutoring, microtasks, transcription and other administrative work, publishing an ebook, and earning a pittance by completing surveys and watching videos. Hopefully, we’ve just shown you that there are plenty of other ways to earn money online. If you can think of any more, especially ones you’ve tried yourself, please share: that’s what the comment section is for.