Work and Travel

Life on Lockdown: 5 Ideas to Make Money from Home

One thing is for sure: now is not the time to travel.

Covid-19’s global spread coincided with a round-the-world trip I’d planned from mid-March to late May. But instead of flying off to visit family in the US and Europe before touring Asia, I ended up leaving Manila on government mandate. 

Taking it one step at a time after a streak of flight cancellations and rerouting, it took five planes and five days to reach an end destination.

Luckily, I made it. Now I’m self-quarantining in the Dutch countryside and, like so many these days, I’m going to have a whole lot of time on my hands.

One of the first things on my mind to do was get this post up on ways to supplement your income while stuck at home waiting for the quarantines, lockdowns, and isolation to end.

1. Teach English Online To Chinese Kids 

I started my online working career almost exactly three years ago when I switched from private tutoring to online teaching. The companies I’ve had the most and least success with are listed in this post on whether or not teaching online is worth it.

Here’s a short summary.

If you have an open schedule and want to fill it up with work as soon as possible, companies that set up online classes with kids in China—the likes of VIP Kid and DaDaABC—might be your best bet.

Requirements include:

  • Native English origin
  • Degree and/or certification and teaching experience 
  • Good internet and “classroom” set up

Note: VIP Kid only accepts applicants with a Bachelor’s degree, while others such as DaDaABC may accept applicants with an Associate’s degree and/or TESOL certificate.

2. Teach Any Language To Anyone 

Alternatively, you can use a website like Verbling if you’re not in a rush to fill your schedule and want to set up a self-managed platform where you’re more likely to teach adults from all around the world.

Bonus: you don’t have to be a native English speaker. You can set up your profile to teach any language.

Requirements include:

  • Setting up your own profile, including an introductory video and resume
  • Marketing yourself to students 
  • Creating your own material
  • A good internet connection and reasonably professional backdrop

3. Tutor School Children

If you have any talent or experience teaching or entertaining kids, chances are there’s a way you can help some of the parents who are trapped at home with their children.

Kids and teenagers across Europe, the US, and many other parts of the world are home from school—and likely will be for some time.

Fortunately, there are already loads of websites out there for online tutoring, including Tutor.com (owned by The Princeton Review), Chegg, Preply, Skooli, and more.

I have no personal experience with these platforms to share but, with a bit of Googling, I’m sure you can find the right fit for your skills and qualifications.

4. Create A Udemy Course

Here’s one if you’re in it for the long-haul and want to invest your time in something with a potentially lucrative outcome.

If you’re not familiar with Udemy, it’s a website where people buy courses created by all manner of subject-matter experts. You can learn anything from singing to SEO, and you can teach, too.

Creating a course will involve:

  • Outlining your lesson plan
  • Filming short videos for each lesson
  • Creating and including relevant resources
  • Marketing your course (there are even Udemy courses on how to do this)

Bear in mind that Udemy is a highly competitive space. If you’re going to invest time and effort creating a course, make sure it’s something you love doing and can present in a way that’s uniquely yours.

5. Try Some Freelancing

With platforms such as UpWork and Fiverr, hundreds of skills are freelanceable. 

Generally speaking, though, getting established in a competitive environment such as UpWork is a challenge. 

Often, it entails starting at the bottom with low-paying jobs in order to build up your job success score. The downside there, of course, is that you can get stuck with a low pay rate. Plus, there are hundreds of other freelancers willing to work for low rates.

However, if you are well qualified and have specialized skills, you can bolster your profile by requesting testimonials from employers or clients outside of UpWork.

Having been on both ends of the UpWork hiring universe, I can say that it’s often just as hard to find reliable talent as it is to get good jobs. If you can deliver quality work, try putting yourself out there.

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