I remember thumbing through many a Essence magazines as a teen and a young adult. As much as I enjoyed seeing the glossy pages featuring beautiful women of color whom I could relate to, and Miki Taylor’s impeccable beauty product picks, or the gorgeous fashion spreads, I say this with the least amount of shade and malice, but as far as content much does not change; its redundant. One subject in particular is the ‘Girl Make Your Money Grow!’ articles, which time and again has suggested the same handful of side hustles that can allegedly net their readers some extra income with relatively little to no overhead. They’re usually listed as follows:
Girl, become a clown for kid’s parties!
Girl, sell fish dinners or cater on the side!
Girl, become a secret shopper!
Girl, sell Mary Kay/Avon products!
Girl, Clean Somebody’s Home!
Forgive me if you don’t find this list to be comprehensive, but I can assure you it’s like 89.98% accurate.
While I’m sure their hearts are in the right place, one cannot blame their readers for responding to these suggestions with a deep sigh and a complimentary eye roll. What if I’m scared of clowns, burn water, can’t keep a secret, and suck at selling cosmetics Essence?!
I know what you’re thinking:
“So Danielle, do you have some better suggestions or somethin since you’re being so shady?”
Why yes, I believe I do. Here are a couple of legitimate side hustle and work at home gigs that are not listed in the seedier sections of craigslist, require a ‘small investment’ or have their sales pitches spammed on youtube channels. Some I’ve tried, and other’s I’ve known friends and acquaintances to partake in.
Working From Home
1. Alpineaccess.com –
So obviously there are three things you will most definitely need if you plan on doing any work from your home office, or bedroom, or hell even your closet.
1) High Speed Internet ( some companies will require an ethernet connection as opposed to WIFI)
2) A home landline in some cases
3) A computer
4) A headset
5) Somewhere relatively quite to work from
What You Need To Know -I cannot stress this enough, most LEGITIMATE work at home positions do not require you to pay for ANYTHING. This is the case for Alpineaccess and all the other sites I’m suggesting. However they will require you to have the aforementioned equipment, and in some cases may request you purchase a headset to take calls with, so you can operate hands free. Some might even request you pay out of pocket for a background check to be reimbursed contingent on obtaining employment. Your operating systems must be up to date, and you must be able to download their operating systems. Most if not all of these types of gigs are in sales and customer service, so having customer service, sales, and/or call center experience is ideal. They work with several companies in different industries, so if you have experience in say the financial sector, you’d be considered more apt for an assignment along those lines.
* Also Mac users, a lot of times these WAH companies systems are not compatible with Mac’s…they’ll usually be clear about that in the beginning sorry 😦 *
I believe they require much of the same as Alpine. Usually they do more seasonal hiring, so look for them to hire around the holidays ie; Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, graduation season etc., If I can recall they do have pretty strict system requirements so you want to make sure if you are using a PC to at least be operating with Windows 7.
3. FancyHands, Odesk.com
These are virtual assistant jobs, which basically consist of you being assigned administrative, and or research oriented tasks for a nominal fee. How nominal? well in the case of Fancy Hands it can range anywhere from $2.75 to $5.00 per task. I believe with O desk the format is different , basically people post their tasks on the task board, and different assistants bid on how much money they’d perform it for. Either way you need to have the same equipment (laptop, phone, internet access), and a helleva set of time management skills. The rub here, is that some people want you to do a hell of a lot of work for a small nominal fee, sometimes it’s something as quick as making a dentist appointment for them, or it can be to call around and find them a wedding venue to rent in Glascow during peak season, and create a spreadsheet of its amenities, availability, prices and Yelp reviews ( I did not make this up). So the trick here is to have a minimum amount of tasks you’d want to complete a day, and try to get tasks that do not end up taking 3 days to complete( for instance 10 tasks a day at a high end of 5.00 per task that ideally will only take you 3-4 hours to see to completion is an extra tax free $50 bux a day X 5 days a week = 250 per week keep in mind this is the most IDEAL outcome, not at all typical ) . Once you have some senoirtiy with Fancy Hands you can become a “mentor” which involves overseeing other associates work, and approving their tasks before they reach the client, you get paid per task you approve or reject as well. While in the case of Fancy Hands you can get awarded bonuses for doing exceptional work for an important client, I am not sure if that’s the case for O Desk.
Also Fancy Hands is also hiring for hourly assistants as well, not sure what the pay scale is on those positions.
What You Need To Know About Interviewing For These Types Of Positions:
This is important, when you interview, please make sure you do so in the quietest location in your home possible. Make sure there are no surprise visitors. I use to work for an ROI company and had to conduct many interviews for remote positions, and no matter how well you do in an interview, how much you dazzle the person on the other line, if we hear a small iota of a noise in your background, you will be disqualified. There are no exceptions.
Other Side Gigs:
1. Lyft.com – You might currently see this being promoted heavily on Facebook. Apparently it is a sort of ride sharing business, where Lyft app users can summon a ride from nearby Lyft drivers at the push of a button. You have to be at least 23 years of age, own a car (2000 or newer) have a clean driving record and own a Android or iPhone. “Community Drivers” get 80% of the total donations received by passengers. Unfortunately I have no clue what the average donation is, but according to Lyft you have the potential to make 25 an hour.
2. KeatonRow.com – Actually I’m just testing this one out myself. If you’re the person all your friends and family contact for styling advice, then this is for you. How it works, is that you basically act as a free online personal stylist, you create lookbooks and a profile and what not, and invite your friends, family, whoever has a pulse and a credit card to utilize your styling services. Whatever merchandise they buy on the site, you get commission off of. I know there are also opportunities to make additional income in other ways, and become a merchandiser but.. I’m just getting my feet wet in this, so my deets are surface at best. Top earners report netting $500-$1500 per month of extra income, for just a few hours out of their day. Obviously the larger your network, the more opportunity you have to garner more potential clients, and thus potential commission. There are no start-up fees, and all they require you to do is submit a look, using the clothing articles they provide, in your “Styling Assessment’. Also, and this is completely unrelated,
3. PHOTO TAGGING – Basically this consists of describing objects seen in photographs. Seems easy enough but from what I’ve heard the test can be challenging, All that is required is that you type a min of 45 WPM, and have great attention to detail. While I am unsure of the current average pay for these positions, I do know of one place that starts at 8.00 an hour. Here is a link to what I’m told is a legitimate photo tagging job posting on smartrecruiters.com
4. GIRL, GET INTO WEB DESIGN ! – Now this may skew more towards the more computer savvy and/or artistically inclined. But of you have a knack for design then getting into some simple web and graphic design side jobs can be great supplemental income. Whether it be your friends small start up business, the local Mom&Pop shops, the notorious Facebook club promoters who need more flyers featuring Kim Kardashian and Rihanna to entice club goers to attend their 800th ‘Grown & Sexy’ event, or your 40 year old cousins debut mixtape cover…almost everybody needs web presence. The great thing is you can definitely be self taught, just be honest with your clients about your ability, and price your work accordingly. There are literally 100’s of youtube tutorials on design, simple coding, illustration, and all the web and graphic building programs you need for simpler tasks can be found for free on CNET.com and you can get coding lessons for free on codeacademy.com . How you price your projects are completely up to you, however even a novice’s fee for a multi page website shouldn’t go lower than $150.00 imo. Also know that these types of tasks can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, so be sure to be honest with your client and yourself about what your capable of and the time frame they need to allow you. Also BEWARE OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY, THEY DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR NOTHING! Avoid them at all costs….trust me.
So, I hope these suggestions are more helpful and potentially profitable than those other one’s I just shaded the hell out of.
Got any questions about the process? I’m happy to help hit my up via email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Till then, Happy Hustlin!