photographer, visual artist and designer.

4 Side Hustles to Keep the Cash Coming in While WFH

Haneul Park Seoul South Korea

If you look on the Internet, there are supposedly many ways to make money as a freelancer, but I’m not about to advocate or recommend anything that I’ve never tried and tested before. That’s also the reason why you’ll never see ads on my platforms. There are a few ways that I have been making money since the start of my freelance career before photography found me and I’m glad to still be able to make an income from home during this trying period when photography and videography assignments are not viable.

The four side hustles:

  1. Tutoring
  2. Translation
  3. Transcription
  4. Writing

Of course, as with any other job, it takes time to build up a network of clients and you will have to relentlessly apply for every opportunity that you come across and take rejection in your stride. This may take time. But it will pay off in the long term, as you are essentially building a portfolio life and diversifying your source of income.

Out of the four options, my favourite side hustle is writing. Just like photography, the opportunities are bound by your imagination (and perhaps luck). There are jobs that pay close to nothing; I have seen offers that pay $5 per 800-word research article, which makes me wonder why the employers aren’t writing the article by themselves if that’s the value they place on it. On the other hand, there are also copywriting gigs that will pay you four- to five-figures. Writing is a high-income skill once you find the right market and build a solid portfolio.

As for the other side hustles, it’s harder to upsell as there are fixed market rates and it’s unlikely that you will be able to go beyond the market rates, no matter how good you are. Still, they are decent ways of making money from home.

Opportunities are emerging for tutors as more students are getting used to online learning and as more parents are open to their children being tutored online even after the Circuit Breaker has been lifted. This means less travelling time and more time to conduct lessons. It is a good time to get into tutoring, especially if you did well for your O and A level exams.

It’s slightly tougher to get hired for translation and transcription jobs, as agencies might not be hiring and even if they are, you’ll have to go through a series of tests. It’s also worth noting that although it’s possible to make a decent living with translation and transcription, the future is in artificial intelligence. With enough data collected, these jobs could be replaced by machines. Just check out how decently accurate YouTube’s auto-captions are. That is the future we are talking about. Rates will likely continue to fall as machines take over the jobs. And human intervention will likely be needed only for proofreading and for inputting new data as language evolves and as new lingo develops. Therefore, take up these jobs only to keep the cash flow going. Don’t bank on it being your main source of income in a decade’s time.