If you're one of the many who have lost your freelance job or gigs during the COVID-19 crisis, then you’re likely worried about where your next paycheck is coming from. And while a $2 trillion stimulus bill aimed to help those affected by the crisis has been passed, there's no guarantee that it can or will cover the living expenses for those who are unemployed. Still, there are certain jobs hiring even during the coronavirus crisis. If you're looking for an extra side gig to make a little cash during quarantine, here are a few virtual, online jobs you can look into to pass the time. You might not be able to make the same amount that you were pre-quarantine, but hopefully you can still make some additional money. 

It’s important to remember that your worth isn’t tied to what your job

Survey Taking

If you Google “make money online,” the first few links you’ll find will probably involve getting paid from taking surveys online. However, if you’re a little suspicious about the legitimacy of online survey taking, we totally understand. To be honest, you’re not going to make a ton from surveys, especially because many of them require you to fall into a certain demographic or location, so you won’t qualify for every single one. And on top of that, they don’t pay much. NerdWallet actually estimated that survey takers can make as low as 41 cents to $1.92 per hour, depending on the site. Of course, if you’re at home all day anyway because of social distancing, then you might as well fill your time being financially productive. 

Just beware: scammers may try to take advantage of out-of-work gig economy workers. If a site is asking you to pay to join, don’t do it! 

Below are some of the more reputable sites for survey taking: 

Freelance Writing

Blogging and writing for online outlets is a lucrative career that can make you quite a bit of money in the long run. However, it does require that you have expertise in a specific field -- whether that be in celebrity news, sports, video games, the list goes on -- as well as an ability to write well. A background in journalism or English definitely helps, but it’s not always required. You should also have a few writing samples or “clips,” as they’re called in the writing world, that demonstrate your knowledge and abilities. 

I recommend diving into writing for smaller publications to start off your blogging career -- these posts can initially make you anything from around $5 to $20 each. Then you can make closer to $100 to $150 per post as you start to write for larger outlets with bigger budgets. To find some of these job postings, online job hiring boards like Fiverr, Upwork, ProBlogger, and BloggingPro are incredibly helpful. 

In addition, several bloggers and writers have their own guides to freelance writing, most of which are free for the public to access: 

Online Tutoring

If you were/are an individual who excelled in school, then online tutoring could be the perfect side hustle for you. Especially now that kids have to stay home, parents may be looking for professional virtual tutors to help their kids through their school curriculum -- this can be where you come in! Sites like Tutor.com can help you find the right tutoring jobs hiring for you depending on the subject you want to teach. You can teach anything from English, to social studies, to performing arts subjects, and more. Usually, tutors will get paid around $30 an hour (according to Tutors.com), and the main requirement is that you have your high school diploma or GED; you don’t always need a degree! 

Honorable Mention: Working at a grocery store

If you’re truly strapped for cash and you don’t think that any of these options are viable for you right now, it would be remiss to mention that many grocery stores and food delivery services have been hiring people on the spot, according to the New York Times. These other jobs are currently hiring, if you think you’d be willing to brave the front lines to make up for any lost finances right now. However, if you live with someone who is part of the at-risk group for COVID-19 (namely the immunocompromised or the elderly), then working at a grocery store or for a food delivery service may not be the best option for you.

Trying to find real-life or online jobs in the gig economy when there isn’t a pandemic is difficult enough, so it makes sense if you’re finding it even harder during this time when unemployment has skyrocketed. It’s important to remember that your worth isn’t tied to what your job is right now, so there isn’t any shame in finding new (and sometimes odd) ways to make ends meet during times like these. And it’s absolutely understandable if you need to distance yourself from all of the noise on social media or if you need to take a break from your side hustles in order to keep your mental health intact. Your health and happiness should always come first.

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