How to make money during the coronavirus lockdown
Explore handy ways you can keep earning from home, even if your income has been affected by lockdown.
Explore handy ways you can keep earning from home, even if your income has been affected by lockdown.
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just a health crisis – millions of people worldwide have also seen an impact to their jobs, whether in reduced hours, different working patterns, or losing work entirely. A third of people in the UK have been economically affected, with under-25s and women worst off.
If you’re one of these people, you might be looking for methods to make ends meet. We’ve put together a handy list of 27 ways to make some additional money during the coronavirus lockdown – including everything from one-off tasks to ideas that may end up as an additional income stream even after the lockdown has been lifted.
There are a huge number of government plans created to support people who are in financial hardship because of the lockdown. Look up your local options and make sure that you’re taking advantage of everything that you’re eligible for. In the UK, this includes furloughed wages if you’re employed or a taxable grant if you’re self-employed and submitted a filed tax return for 2018/2019.
While this isn’t necessarily ‘making money’ it’s an essential first step if you need to make up lost income. For more info, check out our blog on what to do if you’ve been made unemployed due to coronavirus.
If you’ve always wanted to be a writer, what better time to start than during lockdown? While a lot of online writing jobs don’t pay, there are still quite a few websites where you can make money by creating high quality, relevant content. You can get started by looking at:
All of these sites only pay for accepted articles, so make sure that you review their criteria and read through the websites for an idea of their existing content and style before you start. Some websites also prefer to receive pitches before the main article.
While a lot of freelance writers have regular clients, writing for some select websites allows you to build up a portfolio, create a niche, and work up to higher-paying and more reliable income, if that’s something that you want to pursue.
If you’re a good communicator, have strong digital skills, and excellent organisational skills, you could work as a virtual assistant. You will need to accurately type at a speed of 80-100 wpm, work well remotely, and adjust to the needs of the business or person that you are assisting, but this is one of the more long-term and reliable options to make additional money during lockdown.
There are a number of virtual assistant websites like Virtalent and 24/7 Virtual Assistants, offering $10-12ph and 20-120 hours per month. However, these websites typically require extensive experience within the sector before they will take you on. If you’re new to being a VA or PA, you can apply for jobs on jobs websites like Reed, TotalJobs, or Glassdoor.
If you’d like to brush up on your skills or improve your CV before you apply, you can take some free courses that can help you get hired by improving your communication, growing your digital skills, or just learning how to write a great job application.
If you’re sitting at home 23 hours a day, you might notice the clutter a lot more than usual. Luckily, online auction sites and retailers are still open so you can follow lockdown rules while turning your unwanted belongings into cash. Some sites even offer collection from your door during lockdown.
These websites are a great place to start once you’ve identified the items you’d like to sell:
Some people have managed to discover new hobbies during lockdown, or remember old projects. If you’re into arts and crafts, you could turn that hobby into an additional income. You can make your own jewellery, homemade cards, print t-shirts, upcycle things around the house, or even make beautiful terrariums to sell on sites like Etsy.
Not all crafts sell well or will make a profit, so before you get started it’s a good idea to check out what’s already on there, how much it sells for, and compare it to what you’d expect for the time, effort, and spend associated with it. You can also see how much competition there is, and decide how you will make your own crafts stand out.
If you’d prefer a lower investment in both time and expense, you can make money by responding to surveys online. You can even do this while you’re binge-watching Netflix. The rewards depend on the website – some offer vouchers but a lot of them also payout via PayPal or directly to your bank.
While it is relatively low-effort, it can also time quite a lot of time to build up your earnings – surveys pay as little as £0.05 and as much as £10 each, with the majority towards the lower end of the spectrum. You can get started with sites like YouGov, Prolific, Swagbucks, LifePoints, Survey Junkie, and OneOpinion.
If you have some driveway space and live in a busy area or city, you may be able to make an income from renting out that space. The need for additional parking may have increased in your area, as people are at home more during lockdown and need to park all their household vehicles at once.
If the public transport in your area is on a skeleton service or people in your neighbourhood need to make larger purchases, you could also make money by renting out your car. Websites like Get Around help to connect car owners with potential renters.
If you’re considering this, it’s important to weigh the risks against your own situation as car surfaces can hold bacteria and viruses well after people have returned the rental.
Now that schools and colleges have closed, there’s been a huge increase in parents looking for online tutors for their children. If you have in-depth knowledge around a particular subject, great communication skills, and feel that you have the right temperament to keep your students engaged and nurture their interest, you can apply to a variety of online tutoring websites that link up tutors with students. Some focus on academic subjects but others offer the chance to teach music, crafts, and other skills.
If teaching for the first time feels daunting or you don’t know where to start with a lesson plan, we have a range of free courses specifically designed for teachers. They can help you become a better music teacher, plan a great English lesson, or provide a grounding in how to teach online.
If you’re interested in photography or have lots of photographs on your hard drive, why not try selling them online? Businesses are creating a lot more online content at the moment, so the right images and themes could help you earn some money. Rather than uploading a lot of landscapes and only selling what you have, take a look at the kinds of images that business websites, news websites, and blogs have been using over the last few weeks. Try to shoot images around those themes and stay on top of what’s in demand at the moment.
Stock photography sites like Shutterstock, Alamy, Getty, and iStock take a commission from sales and allow people to find your images based on keyword searches.
Switching bank accounts can be a pain, but a lot of high street banks offer switching bonuses for people who move and for people who recommend banks to their friends. Some of the accounts require a minimum monthly deposit, but others don’t have specific requirements. You can see recommendations and compare your options on websites like Love Money.
While you’re reviewing your bank account, make sure that you’re registered for rewards and cashback wherever possible. Some bank accounts offer cashback on spending, and you may be eligible for rewards schemes. If not, you can still register for schemes that let you get cashback when you spend online via sites like QuidCo.
You can make money by testing out websites and letting businesses know whether or not they’re user-friendly. Small adjustments can make a lot of money for people selling online, so it makes sense for them to get opinions from their target audience, rather than just their own marketing and development teams. You can get paid $5-$90 per test or interview, but most tests are around $10 and will be paid directly into your PayPal.
You can get started with these sites:
You don’t need to be a digital expert to make a good tester, you just need to answer the questions honestly and understand what you’re looking for. But if you’re interested in brushing up on your knowledge, we have a free user experience course from Accenture to help you understand the questions and decision-making process.
If you wanted to lose weight during lockdown, you can stay on track and actually get paid for it. My Achievement works with a variety of popular fitness apps and gives you points for anything from logging diet information and taking surveys through to exercising or meditating. You can earn $10 for every 10,000 points and choose from activities based on the number of points they give you. You’ll also be contributing to health research while you do it.
Transcription has always been a popular job to do from home – pay tends to start at $20 per audio hour, and how quickly you can transcribe will define the pay per hour worked. The increase in online video content has fuelled a rise in demand for transcription services, but speech to text software is also getting better so it can be a tough industry. Websites such as GoTranscript and Transcribe Me can help you to get started.
Popular websites and blogs earn hundreds if not thousands through affiliate marketing, advertising, and brand partnerships. Now that everybody is at home during lockdown, lots of websites are seeing a boom in traffic and it could be a good time to build an audience.
Creating a blog that makes money definitely isn’t a short-term fix, but it could provide income over the long-term if you’re dedicated and willing to learn how digital marketing works. Most successful blogs either get the majority of their traffic through organic search (via a process called SEO) or via social media by building a quality following. If you’re not sure where to start, we have some free courses on digital marketing, social media, and web analytics to help.
It’s no secret that there’s a huge demand for delivery drivers at the moment – both to deliver online shopping for food delivery services. Despite tough prospects across a range of industries, there is still a huge need for delivery drivers but it is one of the riskier ways of making money given current transmission rates.
If you’re considering this option, it’s important to consider your risk category and the risk to others in your household.
In 2019, Amazon paid over $300 million to self-published authors on its Kindle platform. While it’s a very competitive marketplace, it has been incredibly lucrative to those who have managed to build a following and gain additional income from Kindle Unlimited. The financial barriers to entry are low and you can decide how much you charge for your books.
If you like the idea but you’re not sure where to start, we have a free course to help you start writing fiction.
Clickworker is another website that offers gigs and tasks that you can do at home. The site states that you make an average of $9 per hour but may be able to make more than that with time. The tasks include everything from categorisation to recording audio, so you should be able to find something that you’re comfortable with.
A total of £308 million was overpaid to The Student Loans Company in 2009/2010 and 2017/2018 and while most of it has been refunded, around a tenth was still waiting to be claimed in early March. If you haven’t had a letter from the company recently and suspect they have an old address on the system, it’s worth getting in touch to see whether you’re due a rebate. You can call The Student Loans Company directly and go through their security questions to make sure that your file is up to date and see whether you’re owed any money.
Fiverr is a freelancing marketplace that used to advertise the majority of tasks for $5. The current marketplace is less restrictive, but the expectation is typically that people will pay $5-20 for anything from marketing tasks through to relationship advice. You can browse the categories to see what’s on offer before deciding on what you want to advertise. Most of the work is bespoke, but if you want to scale your earnings it’s a good idea to advertise work that you’ve already done, such as creating a guide or ebook that people can buy as a pdf.
If you’d like to listen to some new music while you make money, Slice the Pie is a good place to start. You get paid to listen to at least 90 seconds of a track and review it. The pay rates depend on your star rating (which increases with the number of reviews you submit) and the number of words in your review. Unfortunately, your 2 cents aren’t paid much more than that, so it takes a long time to build up enough money to withdraw but it may be one of the more enjoyable activities on this list.
Animal lovers can make friends with some new dogs and earn money too. Although people are at home on lockdown, some people may have to still work long hours or be unable to take their dogs out, so there are still opportunities to get dog walking gigs. Just make sure that you follow social distancing rules when picking up your canine companions and throughout the walks too.
If you’ve lived through some unusual experiences, you may be able to make money from your story. Magazines and websites will pay for everything from extreme weight loss through to family drama and first-person accounts of dramatic incidents.
Options like Real People Mag focus on more extreme events and pay up to £2,000 for featured stories. There are also groups like FeatureMe! on Facebook which feature journalists offering slightly less (typically £100-£500) for smaller features and less shocking stories.
Businesses often need outside help solving problems or improving their products, which is where corporate problem solvers come in. Problem solvers need detailed knowledge of their subject and an innovative approach, but can earn $20,000-$100,000 for their solutions, as well as professional acclaim. You can register with websites like InnoCentive to review current challenges and submit your solutions – the subjects range from medicine through to tech and product design.
When you hear ‘psychological experiment’ you may think of things like the Stanford Prison Experiment but tests taking place today are very different to those in the 1970s; you can get paid for anything from taking online questionnaires through to having your eye movements tracked when looking at paintings. Universities typically recruit students but they’re open to non-students as well. You can see Bristol University’s current experiments here – many of them can’t be completed with social distancing in place but some are available remotely and during lockdown.
If you’re interested in just learning a little more about psychology before diving into an experiment, you can take a range of free psychology courses (including intros aimed at beginners) with FutureLearn.
It’s a difficult time for a lot of industries. Some jobs work easily from home and the lockdown doesn’t affect them as badly, while others may still take weeks or months to recover even after lockdown is lifted. If you’re concerned about your industry or want to reskill, this may be a good time to consider your options.
While changing careers often comes with a drop in pay, you may be able to move to a more lucrative field and regain lost earnings quickly. This may not help to make money specifically during lockdown, but it could be a long-term investment in your future.
We have a variety of free courses for people who want to change career. They can help you test out whether that career move is really for you, and get started on your new CV. You can also explore our interactive career mapper, to help set you on the right path.