In an era defined by social distancing and digital communication, online side hustles are a great way to make some extra money.
Becoming a freelancer during my last year in college was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was able to save more than $12,000, giving me the flexibility to travel and pursue my dreams after graduation.
Whether you’re a college student or a full-time worker, there are tons of online side hustles that you can do to make some extra money. Here are some of them!
- Virtual Assistant
- Digital Artist
- Regular Artist
- Drop-Shipping Store Owner
- Language Teacher
20 Online Side Hustles For College Students
A V.A. is a remote administrative assistant who helps businesses and/or professionals with tasks such as answering emails, scheduling appointments, and making phone calls. If you’re an organization junkie, this could be the perfect side hustle for you. Some specific virtual assistant jobs are:
Administrative Assistant – Helps an individual with administrative tasks such as maintaining and updating their calendar, creating presentations, and ordering items/ services for an event.
Transcriber – Translates or listens to recorded speeches and types it out in a written format.
Data Entry – Types out important information such as medical records, inventories, and potential hirees into a spreadsheet or other data entry software.
Bookkeeper – Tracks and manages cash flow in order to keep payroll and financial issues updated and organized.
Tech V.A. – Skilled with digital technologies such as editing software, email systems, and web analytics. Focuses on enhancing the back-end of businesses.
Blogging V.A. – If you’re an aspiring blogger, writer, or editor, consider becoming a blogging V.A. Usually this entails helping a business or professional blogger with tasks such as editing content, sourcing blog post ideas, and uploading content to the website.
Finding V.A. Jobs –
- I personally think LinkedIn gives you the best chance of scoring your first V.A. gig. You can network with the recruiter directly and they have quick access to your experiences on your profile. Search “virtual assistant” and type “remote” into the location tab.
- You can also find jobs posted on sites like UpWork, Fiverr, and Flexjobs. For beginners, these sites can be a bit difficult at first, so I’d recommend using LinkedIn and existing connections first.
- Indeed is another site to search for remote virtual assistant jobs.
My online side hustle in college was my freelance business! I launched this at the end of college and made more than $12,000 during my senior year. If you have a strong marketable skillset, you can definitely become a freelancer – even if you’re a beginner.
Here are a few examples of the types of freelancers out there:
Social Media Manager – In charge of overseeing and running the client’s social media account(s). This may include writing and scheduling posts, managing giveaways, setting up new pages/ accounts/ groups, etc.
Community Manager – Facilitates online conversations, replies to comments and DMs, guides actions in Facebook/ LinkedIn groups, etc.
Vector Illustrator – Designs and creates branded, digital illustrations that are often placed on a company’s website or online promotional materials.
Content Writer – Writes a wide variety of content for the web, including copy for emails/ newsletters, social media captions, website pages, and eBooks.
Resume and Cover Letter Writer – Helps students and job seekers write effective resumes and cover letters.
Video Editor – Crafts a cohesive video by cutting, splicing, and meshing the raw b-roll together in Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.
Web Designer – Designs and builds websites in accordance with the client’s specifications.
For more information on freelancing, check out the following:
- Free Freelance Proposal Blueprint to help you secure high-paying clients
- How to Become a Freelancer With No Experience
- How To Find Freelance Clients As a Beginner
- 40+ High-Paying Freelance Jobs For Beginners
If you’re skilled in Photoshop, InDesign, or even Canva, consider starting an online side hustle selling digital designs.
The most popular place to submit digital art is Redbubble, but Cafe Press, Printful, Society6, and Teespring are also worth looking into. These sites give you the opportunity to sell your art for usage on stickers, phone cases, clothing items, masks, wall art, and more.
Felicia Salden of Felicia’s Designs has a fantastic Redbubble account and was kind enough to give me some tips on how to be successful on these types of sites:
- Set up a Google Analytics account to see what designs are getting traffic, where the traffic is coming from, and how to best target your audience. For example, if you see a lot of traffic coming from California, consider creating more California-themed designs to cater to that audience.
- Do keyword research to make sure you’re using searchable tags on your products. Check out popular designs similar to yours for inspiration.
- Upload frequently and don’t be discouraged if certain items don’t sell. It’s hard to predict what will resonate with customers. For Felicia, about 80% of her sales comes from 20% or less of her designs.
Whether you tie-dye cropped sweatshirts, create necklaces made out of seashells, or paint custom photos of people’s dogs, selling your artistic creations can be a profitable online side hustle.
A popular way to sell your art is by setting up an Etsy store. Keep in mind that there are seller fees (usually a 20 cent listing fee, 5% transaction fee, and 3% + 25 cent payment processing fee), so be sure to budget that into your finances. Additionally, it’s important to note that being successful on Etsy requires time and effort to build up your page and products. It’s not a good place if you’re just trying to make a quick buck.
If you want to have virtually no overhead, head to social media! There are tons of people who use Instagram and/or TikTok to grow their personal brand and market their products there. With enough organic traction, you can make a significant amount of money doing this.
Blogging is a great online side hustle that makes you money from writing about something you love.
Once you have consistent traffic coming to your site, you can make money through affiliate marketing, ad revenue, and sponsored posts.
If you’re serious about making money through your blog, I highly recommend HerPaperRoute’s Blog Monetization Course. I took this myself and it completely transformed the way I approach blogging!
Drop-Shipping Store Owner
What’s great about this online side hustle is you don’t have to pay for overhead costs like storage and shipping. All you have to do is find your ideal product (Alibaba is a great place to start), set up a branded storefront, and market your products to your target market.
English/ Foreign Language Teacher
If you’re a language enthusiast or enjoy teaching in general, becoming a language instructor is one of the perfect online side hustles for you.
There are tons of websites that pair you with students – most of which allow you to set your own hours and eventually your own rates. Here are some of them:
- iTalki is one of the best sites out there with the option to be a teacher (requires more credentials and charges higher rates) and a tutor (more affordable). If you’re a student with less teaching experience, becoming a tutor might be your best bet.
- Cambly is one of the best language sites for beginner English teachers. It doesn’t require any prior experience, but you get paid by the minute rather than the hour so the rates are less than other sites. However, it’s a great place to get some experience before applying to more advanced sites.
- Verbal Planet connects tutors and students all around the world via Skype.
- Verbling is highly-esteemed with some of the best teachers in the game. Verbling has higher standards for teachers than some other sites, so without the proper certification and experience, it’ll be difficult to get a job with them.
- Vipkid is specifically for Chinese students trying to learn English. Fun fact: it’s ranked in the top 10 of best places to work by Glassdoor!
Each site has its own set of rules and requirements, so pick the one that’s best for you. Some require a high school or college degree, previous teaching experience, and/or a TEFL certification.
If you’re highly skilled knowledgeable in a specific area, consider becoming an online tutor!
There are tons of different ways to do this, whether you create your own course from scratch or work with a service provider, so check out this article for details on all the options. If you’re a student, check with your school’s department heads to see if there are any tutoring services you can become a part of.
If you’re fluent or native in multiple languages, you can help businesses translate their documents for an average of $25/hour. Check out this article for more information on how to get started as an online translator.
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