We are living in gig economy times, and many people now have several income streams. Even those with permanent full-time positions keep an eye open for a side-hustle which can bring in a little extra money – something to pay off the credit card a little quicker, to put towards a holiday, or to treat the family at Christmas. If you generally think that a second income stream is just not something that you can do, think again! Here are some unusual ways in which you can make money online.

1. Clothing Specialist

If you have very good taste and a carefully selected wardrobe – for example, you have saved to be able to buy a few designer outfits or dresses – did you know that there is a market for renting your high-end clothing out? People who want to make a very good impression but do not have the budget to buy excellent garments are often willing to hire a dress, suit or outfit, and will pay well for it. It is easy to rent or rent out dresses online, on sites such as The Volte.

You can also sell clothing that you no longer want on one of the many online auctions and sales sites that are out there. There are even apps for that these days!

2. Market Research

Companies love to know what people are thinking, and they will often devote a hefty budget to finding out. Sign up with market researchers to fill in surveys, give your opinion on local events, attend focus groups and even be a secret shopper to test out sales teams; and get paid for doing so. At first, you will find that some survey companies occupy a lot of your time for little recompense, but you will quickly find those that pay the best for your time. Some offer goods instead of cash, but the goods can be beneficial or resold if you do not want them, so do not be too quick to turn down these options.

3. Online Tutoring

If you have academic skills rusting away, why not put them to good use and simultaneously earn yourself a little cash? There are a range of options, from strict company set-ups where you earn a salary and tutor whoever the company assigns to you, to casual community hubs where you pay to hire an online classroom and send the links to your privately sourced students. You can teach everything from cooking to a language to higher mathematics.

4. Get Crafty

If you have a hobby such as making toys, cushions, clothing or even cakes, why not set up an Etsy page or a Facebook marketplace site so you can sell these to customers. You can also use community discussion boards to let people know about what you can do, and provide links to your website. There is a growing taste for hand-crafted and unique products, and you will be surprised at how many people will show an interest in your hobby!

5. Photo Bundle

If you can take great photographs, think about selling them in blocks to stock photography sites of the sort that allow their clientele to use the images for free. Often, if people get good quality free shots from these sites, they will come back to them when they need specialist paid-for shots. Or you will earn a commission is the site has paid photos. This encourages the sites to offer plentiful free shots, which they buy in vast quantities. This is unlikely to make you a great deal of money, however, some amateur photographers can make extra money for a limited amount of work. After the initial set-up and some photographs might be bought up entirely (the buyer obtains all rights to the photo) which will bring in a healthy payment.

6. Spare Room for Spare Change

Renting out your spare room is a good way to have someone check on you every day for free while bringing in a nice boost to the finances, especially if you live in an area where accommodation is scarce and expensive. Do check up on the person you are allowing to live in your home, and have a written list of rules for them: as friendly as you want to be, it is best to have everything as clearly detailed as possible before they move in.

7. Handy Hands

A final option, and rather a fun and sociable one, is to sell your handyman and helper services in your local community. You can walk dogs for busy people or those who are elderly or ill, mow lawns and do light gardening and any number of other tasks, depending on what skills you have that others might like to take advantage of. Pop your skills into a local Facebook discussion group and see if you get any takers.

Remember to update and boost your post every so often, so it is seen by as many people as possible, and don’t be hesitant about asking for recommendations from satisfied customers so that others know you are genuine. It will not be long before you are acquainted with everyone in your immediate neighbourhood, with new friends and a healthier bank balance than ever before!

Overall, there are many wonderful ways you can increase your income online. Whether you rent out a room or dress, or take on a few extra chores around your neighbourhood, you can make some extra money for your next holiday or gift.

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