Freelance/part-time/side hustle ideas?
February 7, 2017 4:09 PM   Subscribe

I think developing some sort of freelance side gig would be a substantial help to me in keeping up my special snowflake nomadic non-committal lifestyle. I'm looking for ideas of things I may not have thought of, and guidance on which types of work would be semi-approachable or have a semi-reasonable amount of money in them.

Soooo for the last few years I have been working mostly in tour guiding and outdoor education. These things are awesome but they totally eat up my life while I'm doing them and then the money runs out soon after. I know the logical answer is get a normal full time job (and I know that I am being a very special little snowflake trying to avoid something that most people have to have and don't like), but if I can at all avoid it right now, I'd love to.

I'm hoping for some kind of freelance or part time side gig to smooth over my transitional times and maybe/hopefully become more than that down the line. I've thought of freelance writing, but I'm a bit skeptical about the money vs time payout. And while I love poetry (obviously not really monetizable) other writing can tend to be a bit of an agonizing experience in self criticism. I have also thought of voiceover acting (I did stage acting for most of my life, and frankly it just sounds fun and like something I could be good at) but I'm thinking it might be a lot of money and equipment with a scary amount of uncertainty about if I fit the needs of the industry. I'm hoping that perhaps there are some ideas I've not yet thought of.

I'm willing to put in work and money to get into something if I feel like it's a viable source of income that I am reasonably capable of doing, but I admit I'm fighting a whole lot of self doubt, some reasonable and some not. I am pretty extremely frugal, and will be keeping up my seasonal work that I can stretch for a while so the money doesn't have to be great at first. I do also have a little savings egg to put some but not a ton of money into getting something started.

Any ideas I've not come up with, or direction as to where I stand a reasonable chance of actually making money?
posted by Wanderwhale to Work & Money (6 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Have you read The 4-Hour Workweek? I am not a Tim Ferriss true believer, but it might be interesting and inspirational to you.
posted by primethyme at 4:28 PM on February 7, 2017

Back-end coding is probably the best-paying gig that you can do remotely. UX/UI design, app development, front-end coding, and web design can also pay well and allow you to stay nomadic. The best part is that these skill can largely be self-taught online with a modicum of discipline and focus.

A good way to keep this up is to get yourself to a place like Central America where your dollar goes a lot farther. Keeping your overhead low ensures that the work you do get pays for your lifestyle and doesn't eat up all your spare time.
posted by ananci at 4:40 PM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you're a native English speaker, teaching ESL online through video chat is probably something you'd be qualified for now. Pay is around $10 - 20 an hour (I've done this and started out right at 20) so not a ton of money, but if you're living frugally, not bad. The company I work for lets me completely set my schedule and it's been great as a traveler.
posted by horizons at 4:55 PM on February 7, 2017 [9 favorites]

People keep suggesting online tutoring to me as a currently under-employed person (and it's not appealing to me, for Reasons, though those may soon cease to matter) -- this was the site recommended by a teacher friend for that purpose.

Good luck.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:32 PM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

When I traveled in Asia, hairdressers and massage therapists would often set up shop to bring in a bit of money. It was all under the table, but it worked for them.
posted by momochan at 7:33 PM on February 7, 2017

FWIW, I had a friend who was a voiceover actor - he had been on-camera in a national, long-running commercial, so he had some connections. Also, his father had been a voice actor before he passed, and friend sounded exactly like him, so friend picked up his dad's contracts. He had a recording studio setup that sounded incompatible with a nomadic lifestyle (you would have to perfect the acoustics in each new space you moved to). And he was still working full time at a day job and living with his girlfriend's family.

So, anecdote against voice acting as a reasonable plan.
posted by momus_window at 5:11 PM on February 8, 2017

« Older Becoming a full-time IT freelancer?   |   What would you do if your job depended on a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.