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In several other articles, we have given our readers a lot of advice about savvy ways to earn income in unusual or less familiar ways. We recommended all kinds of authentic Online Survey Sites that could give you substantial returns for your time. We looked at ways to use Household Items to make money recycling. We talked about the effortlessness of Car Wrapping as a secondary income. We have considered activities like reselling tickets, money via dumpster diving, working as a mystery shopper and more.
We have also looked at participating in clinical trials, working as a freelancer in many ways, driving for a living, using Fiverr and the list just goes on and on. Of course, one of the activities that we consistently remind readers to explore is affiliate marketing. This is really one of the smartest approaches to a “side gig” because you can often set it up and see it practically run itself for the long term. Through it, you get a steady supply of passive income, but that is only if you have selected the ideal products and services, and laid a good foundation beneath it all.
And because this is one of the best side gigs with major earnings potential – money that takes you beyond a part-time or side gig and into the realm of full-time career – we need to re-emphasize it in this article.
A Simple Illustration of the Simplicity of Affiliate Marketing as Your Full-Time Gig
In our article on earning income with your “smarts” we looked at how your specialized knowledge or your keen interest in a specific niche or subject could net you a tidy packet on a regular basis.
Just by offering up blogs, articles and eBooks for sale through a website or even an Amazon page, you could garner a regular source of income from just a small, one-time effort (writing, editing and designing the pieces). However, don’t ignore how this could make your life as an affiliate marketer an enormous success.
So, whether you choose to affiliate with something as simple and obvious as Amazon or directly with a producer or vendor, your work as a writer and editor is a natural companion to a “side gig” as an affiliate marketer. Though we have already provided links to the top sites for affiliate marketing, we reproduce it here to help you find the ideal partners:
Remember that you don’t just market once and move on. Success in affiliate marketing, or business of any kind, means you have to constantly produce champion content and continually strive to develop an audience, new leads and ongoing conversions. To that end, remember that content can include videos (how to and informational rather than sales oriented work best), infographics, Pinterest boards, and apps are some really innovative examples to attempt in addition to eBooks, whitepapers and blogs or articles.
Don’t forget to branch out into online teaching through sites like Udemy that let you create a course and continue earning indefinitely. You can also sell pre-packaged courses and workbooks around your niche if that also builds anincome with affiliate partners.
What other kinds of side gigs can you do in order to create consistent income? If you are eager to work online but you are not so fantastic at writing or creating content, think creatively. For instance, virtual stylist jobs are a growing niche and with the arrival of clothing subscription services, you can definitely build a fashion career.
If the thought of working in retail makes you shudder, but you know you are great at selecting outfits for friends and family, have been told you have an eye for style, and you want something to do in your downtime, then virtual stylist jobs are the niche to explore.
Also called remote styling, virtual stylist jobs can be done independently, with you developing a website as a private stylist. It can also be done through sites like Bombfell and Stitch Fix, which let you choose outfits based on your clients’ budgets, body types and personal preferences. You can work as few as 15 hours per week if you align yourself with such sites, but you can also just use online job search engines to find listings for virtual stylist jobs and remote stylists.
You do need to be good about communicating since you are not one on one in the real world with potential clients. Whether or not you work for a site like Bombfell or another firm, or you go solo, be sure you are strong where communications are concerned. You also have to be willing to travel. This is because many of the top virtual stylist jobs have headquarters near major cities and they want stylists to make visits a few times each year or for initial training.
What are some other options apart from Bombfell and Stitch Fix? You will want to look at websites like JustFab, Dia&Co,Trunk Club, Keaton Row, and RueLaLa. If you are very progressive and confident, you could actually pair your affiliate marketing efforts with the creation of your own virtual stylist website – suggesting lines of clothing, shoes and accessories to clients in return for kickbacks from your affiliates.
Okay, you are the jeans and t-shirt type, and you are not all that keen on affiliate marketing. So, where can you grab a nice and steady amount of side income to supplement your earnings at your “day job” (even if it is at night?).
There are some creative and fun ways to earn regular income apart from those already mentioned. One of the most competitive, but utterly exciting, is as a professional taste tester. Yes, you read that right – get paid to taste food and drinks. So, that leads to a major question:
How to become a taste tester?
To be honest, it is an equal part luck and persistence. It also involves a bit of advanced knowledge about just what employers are seeking from their tasters. They use phrases like sensory testing and perception in addition to just old fashioned taste testing. The top firms for finding these gigs are:
MMR – One of the most recognized names in the food tasting industry, they post a constantly changing range of opportunities. Check in often, register as a taster and see where it takes you!
McCormick – If you bake, you know this brand. They are the main producers of flavorings and spices and they need a wide array of consumer taste testers on a regular basis. You are invited to their Maryland facility to do the work, but if you are within a reasonable distance, it could pay well and happen four times each year.
Contract Testing – With a tagline of “taste, touch, smell…and cash in” you would be crazy not to register for this site’s offerings. Create a profile and earn a minimum of $25 per session. If you test well – we are not sure just exactly what that means – you can get ongoing work!
Covance – This group does a great deal of medical and clinical testing but it also has sensory and taste testers. Search for jobs with their career center and see what kinds of food tasting gigs they make available now.
Consumer Product Testing Centre – This is a Canadian based entity that focuses on a lot of grain-based foods but also looks at sports drinks, energy bars, and some meat and dairy foods. If you are in the Edmonton area of Canada, register as a taster and get regular, paid gigs.
Franklin Foods – Are you a fan of dips? If so, this is the panel to get yourself welcomed into. It looks at nothing but sauces, dips and spreads – most cream cheese based. What’s not to like? You don’t get paid cash for your feedback, but you do get high-value coupons and discounts in return for your time.
Solae – They host regular panels and pay you in gift cards to big names like Starbucks, Red Lobster, Best Buy and more. While it is not earning money as a side gig, it does give you a lot of potential rewards (and you can always sell them for cash on sites like eBay if you won’t use them! Better yet, give them away to build an audience around your blogging or social media efforts!)
Food Perspectives – They are based in Minnesota and recruit people of all ages to taste and sample foods and flavors for their growing consumer database.
Herron Research – They are based in Florida and Indiana and have regular panels to taste new and familiar products. You are matched by the preferences and details you provide when you sign up, and participants are compensated.
Northland Laboratories – They run food and beverage studies and panels and it takes seconds to sign up and get yourself a potential slot in one of their objective studies. You get paid cash for each study you participate in!
Schwan Foods – Get $15 every single time you complete a study. They send samples and host onsite panels, and foods can range widely based on the company’s current array of products or new offerings.
You will also want to look online for job search engines to see if anyone is looking for food tasters, taste testers or sensory panelists. Those are the most common terms used to describe the work, and this is a great way to get authentically paid gigs. Keep in mind that the more responsive you are, the more likely you will get ongoing opportunities and you may eventually bring in substantial earnings – such as the $60 to $75 per hour that many make.
So, maybe you’ve gotten to this point and realized that computer work is not really your thing, and you are not stylist material. Perhaps the sporadic nature of food testing is not for you, and you are not sure about a niche for affiliate marketing. This is the time to consider the kinds of part-time and side gigs that ask very little but pay well. One of the best is actually nothing more than driving.
While many people are now monetizing their cars through a few hours a day or week driving for Uber and Lyft, you can actually earn a nice amount delivering cars for dealerships and rental agencies. When they have inventory they need to be relocated to a different area, they pay well for qualified drivers to get their vehicles where they need them. Look at firms like Enterprise, Budget and other rental agencies to see if they are in need of drivers. You drive one way and they shuttle you back home!
Also pay a visit to a local dealership or two, or ten, and ask them if they require people to drive vehicles to and from other areas. Quite often you can pick up a full day’s work right from the start.
Side gigs are a wonderful way to boost your income, and if you keep a day job as you do it, you can set those earnings aside, pay off debts or start a full-time job with a company of your own!
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