Side Hustle: Online Gigs to Earn Extra Income in College

Last Updated on May 5, 2018

African-American HBCU student using a smart phone to manage her side hustle gigs.
Everyone needs a side hustle—you know: the money you earn outside of your primary source of income. If you’re a college student, your primary source of funds may come from your parents, loans, net checks or a part-time job—if you’re fortunate enough to have these. If you’ve been looking for ways to increase your cash flow, this article is for you. It’s time to start working “smarter, not harder.” Forget about the traditional college jobs: pizza delivery, waiting tables, waiting for work-study opportunities and so on. The game has changed, and today’s students need to leverage technology to get ahead and diversify their income.

With a bank account and access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, you can take full advantage of global and national marketplaces from your dorm room or apartment, or even on the go. This will allow you to showcase your talents and receive fair compensation for your time.

Here are a few online gigs to get your side hustle up and running:

Lyft: Get paid to give rides

Have you seen those cars with big pink moustaches on the front grill? Those are Lyft cars. Lyft is an online transportation network that uses its mobile app to connect people who need a ride with drivers willing to give them one—for a fee. This is a great side hustle for college students with a dependable car. Depending on your availability, you can make up to $35 per hour. Plus, the money is deposited directly into your bank account. You must be at least twenty-one years old and own a car (2000 or newer) to sign up as a driver. Don’t have a dependable car? Read on for sites where you can sell services based on your personal skill set.

Fiverr (pronounced five-er): Earn $5 to $500 for gigs

Fiverr is an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers from across the world, with services starting at $5. College students interested in making extra money can start selling services right away. All you have to do is create a gig (a service you offer), publish it and wait for the orders to come in. After your work is delivered, you will receive a rating from the customer, after which you will get paid and be able to withdraw the funds. This is an ideal side hustle for students who want to get their feet wet selling a service online. The services offered on Fiverr range from the very simple to the high-tech. Categories include graphic design, online marketing, writing & translation, video & animation, music & audio, programming & tech and gifts. There are also a few bizarre categories. Trust me when I tell you that you have something to offer that someone on Fiverr will want to buy. Be sure to check out the mobile app too.

Elance: Make top dollar freelancing in the cloud

If you’re a college student looking to upgrade your side hustle by advancing your career, building your client base or expanding your business online, Elance is the place to go. Elance is one of the largest online global job marketplaces available. With more than 500,000 small and large companies currently hiring and 25,000 new jobs posted on a weekly basis, there is bound to be an opportunity you can take advantage of. Just like in the “real world,” your reputation is important in this online environment. Be sure to provide your customers with quality service and great communication; there are public feedback and rating systems attached to your profile. Services you can offer on Elance include IT, web & mobile, design & multimedia, writing, translation, office & admins, customer service and marketing & sales, to name a few. Registration is free, and a mobile app is available for managing your account on the go.

Task Rabbit: The Smart Way to Work

Task Rabbit connects a network of qualified service workers (called Takers) to individuals seeking to hire someone to do a variety of tasks. These tasks include running errands, house cleaning; handyman work, moving help, and personal assistance. The whole purpose of the using the platform is to save the user time and increase productivity by outsourcing low-end tasks. Task Rabbit is another great side hustle for students, but it is only available in 19 cities currently. Of the 19 cities, just 5 are available in Black college cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Washington DC. If you’re interested in becoming as “tasker”, there is a 3 step process: 1. Apply online via facebook or LinkedIn. 2. Get verified through identity verification and in-person interviews. 3. Star tasking by connecting with local people looking for your services. The task rabbit platforms will manage online payments for you and provides 24/7 support.

This concludes our short list of sites where college students can earn extra income from a side hustle. There are many further side hustle options out there. If there is a site you would like to mention or if you have experience with one of the sites mentioned above, we would love to hear from you in the comments.

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