Beat the Coronavirus Blues
As a rideshare driver, you’re probably suffering from a severe case of Coronavirus Blues since everyone is stuck at home–including you. Even though you have your car packed and loaded with hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, your app just isn’t pinging you the way it used to because very few people are moving around.
Hopefully this will change before too long. But in the meantime, whether you’re a part-time driver who’s more attached to that extra income than you’d like to admit, or a full-time rideshare warrior who relies on it as your main source of cash flow, you’ll need to find some other ways to earn.
The Gridwise team doesn’t want you to feel financial pain. So we spent a lot of time pulling together a list of money-making ideas that you can work on from home, which can help you stave off financial scarcity while being productive.
When the sinking feeling of losing your passengers hits, you can get lost in negativity and ask the question, “What am I going to do now??”–but you’ll be in far better shape if you skip that and take action right away. Believe in yourself. There are other ways to make money, and some good things can happen as you find new ways to work from home. Such as …
- Getting some cash coming in to cover expenses
- Finding out you have more talents than you thought
- Maybe discovering this new way of earning can add to your income permanently, even after the coronavirus crisis has ended.
One thing you can definitely do is make a shift from driving to delivery. Many rideshare drivers find traffic on the food and dry goods delivery apps is reaching new peaks. This is something you can do safely, and continue to bring in at least some money to meet your basic needs. Check out our article about delivery driving for more tips and tricks.
If you don’t find enough delivery traffic to keep you collecting some cash, or if you’re not in a position to take the risk of venturing out into the public, you still have alternatives.
There are plenty of jobs you can do from home, and along with making you money they might turn out to be fun. We hope this list of portals and places inspires you to explore, and find, your ideal way(s) of working from home, at least until you can get back on the road–and maybe even after that.
Surveys for Cash and Cards
There are quite a few services that pay people to complete surveys. We picked out the best below.
Yes, you really can earn money sitting at your computer, or even using your phone, to offer your opinion to companies who want to know what’s on your mind. Survey Junkie will pay you with points, which you can cash in for gift cards or payments via PayPal. All you need to do is create your profile, and you’ll be matched to surveys that match your needs and interests.
Here’s another chance for you to get paid for your opinions. You’ll be sent surveys, based on what you tell the company when you sign up and create your profile. The company pays with points, which you redeem for gift cards or cash. Some surveys might be geared toward TV shows, while others focus on brands that you love or have special knowledge about.
The LifePoints model is similar to the others: you earn points for completing surveys, which you can trade for cash on a card or gift cards. This company has been around since the 1940s so the topics might seem less trendy, but meatier. You could be asked about automobiles and household goods rather than shoes or nail polish, but you’ll get paid just the same.
If you just want the cash and don’t want to fool around with a point system, Vindale Research could be the company for you. The hitch is, you’ll have to accumulate $50 or more before you can cash out. Since you’re collecting only $.50 to $2.00 for each survey, you’ll need to keep busy! This can still work for you, though, because the surveys are short and there are a lot of them. Besides … where do you think you’re going to go?
Rideshare drivers like variety. So, because Swagbucks lets you do more than just fill out surveys, this might appeal to you more than the others. You can get paid with cards or cash, and you can watch videos, shop online, or search the web … and then give your feedback and get paid.
Now, if you really want to get sophisticated about your survey game, Survey Club will hook you up with just about any survey that exists in the known universe. The pay varies, and you’ll notice the site is actually an aggregator of many of the companies mentioned here. Still, this brings them all together and allows you to pick and choose what you want to do on a given day, based on what’s available in your area and for your demographic group.
This one literally involves fun and games. You can get paid for testing games, writing reviews, testing out offers, and of course, filling out surveys. When you get bored with rearranging your furniture, this can definitely help you pass the time, and make some money in the process.
Computer as Cash Cow
If you can type, even at the basic hunt-and-peck level, you can make money with your computer. Companies want you to post links, send emails, and make social media posts on their behalf. This may not be as exciting as a Saturday night rider surge, but it’s a somewhat lucrative way to pass the time while you’re holed up in the house.
You’ll get tutorials, coaching, and coaxing from this company, and word has it they do pretty well by you. Your tasks will range from posting links and opening emails to making social media posts, and you’ll put in about 60 minutes a day. You have to pay $47 to get started, but if you’re even halfway serious about developing this into a side gig, that’s a drop in the bucket. By some accounts, if you get serious enough about it you can make $500 or more a week.
If words are your thing, and you’re really, really fast with your fingers, and you’re as accurate as you are fast, you can type your way to a fatter bank balance by signing up with this service. You listen to a recording and type every word that’s said. There are very specific instructions, and if you follow them, you’ll build your confidence and be able to build up to some decent pay.
In case you’ve ever thought computers were smarter than you, the fact that this mechanism exists will prove you wrong. Amazon (who’s behind Mechanical Turk) collects requests from a wide variety of companies. You might be asked to complete a survey, rephrase a sentence, or create a title for a video you watch. The pay isn’t so great, but it goes up as you do more work. This is one way to salvage your brain before it turns into a pool of Netflix-inflicted mush.
All drivers have talents that go way beyond the road. Freelance marketplaces are great places to sell your skills and services.
Diverse is one way to describe this site. It’s also project-based. The pay might be hourly or by the piece, depending on the kind of work you can and want to do. You’ll probably be pulling a skill out of your back pocket here, such as writing or even drafting or engineering. It’s worth a try to see if you have some stuff you can offer to the huge community of employers this website serves.
It’s important to connect the right gig professional with the proper employer, and that seems to be the thing at LocalSolo. Now, they used to work solely with face-to-face relationships, but now, like most of the rest of the world these days, they’re embracing telecommuting. That will eliminate any fear you might have of not getting hired until after the social distancing rules are relaxed, at least enough to be in the same room with your team!
If you would call yourself a “guru” at something, be it web developing or legalese, this is a great sight for you to peruse. From the artistically creative to technologically imaginative, there are jobs to suit people with all different kinds of talents, and chances are you could be one of them.
This is a very cool electronic bulletin board, and you can put yourself on it. Fiverr offers freelance workers to the business community, so you will create a beautiful profile detailing what it is you’re able and willing to do for money. You’ll be inspired to assess yourself, identify your talents, and put your abilities to the test, as you make money engaged in things you can and enjoy doing! Write blog posts, offer consulting services, create websites, produce business cards, produce or edit videos … the possibilities are virtually endless.
“Creative “ is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but if you know you are, it’s good to find out about this site. It offers full and part time jobs to people who have visual or verbal talents. A little tech savvy-ness never hurts when you’re looking at gigs like this, either. Never say no one’s looking for someone like you, because this company has a ton of people in heavy pursuit of hot creative talent.
You know that hobby you have, or that little knack for design, writing, or coding? You might not want to do that kind of thing full-time, but there’s plenty of work out there for you to bring in a little money now. You might even get hooked on using your other-than-driving skills, and discover a whole new stream of income! Employers put up listings of what they need, and you bid the jobs. If you’re selected, you do the job…and get paid. Worth trying, right?
Jobs That Keep You Moving
If you’d be shocked to hear it’s possible to make money while doing things that actually benefit you, join the club. You might have to be self-motivated as well as eager to learn for these gigs, but there is some decent money involved; and even some gift cards and free merchandise. Plus, there are side benefits you might not have ever expected.
With the painful absence of fresh sporting events, those of us who like to place a bet here and there will be happy to hear about this opportunity. Healthy Wage allows you to (get this) bet on your ability to lose weight! You tell them how much weight you want to lose, the amount of time you bet it will take you, and you’re on. You have to pay to play, which is incentive enough to stop opening your refrigerator! If you “win,” there can be serious money coming your “weigh.”
This one brings out your competitive spirit. You sign up for challenges in exercise and weight loss, and everybody who’s “in” contributes to the pot. If you beat out all the other people in the challenge with you, you get all the money. Sound good? Start cranking out those crunches.
If you’re more into moving than staying in one place, this is the game for you. It’s more about self-motivation than competition, and there’s no betting involved. You simply track your progress in the running game, and set goals. Your ability to outdo yourself can win you prizes such as smartphones and gift cards. Not up for being a marathoner? You can do a walking or walk/run version, too.
You don’t even really have to move a whole lot to get prizes here. You do have to let them know how you like the items they recommend for you. The other catch is you have to buy the items, which include everything from fitness wear to protein powders. Still, when you redeem your Swagbucks, you get far more than you put in, and you can cash out for gift cards from more than 200 brands.
With your wages on the downslide, it can’t hurt to get some free stuff from everybody’s favorite brand. Under Armour invented this app, and you get to sign up for challenges, prove you met expectations (possibly even by connecting to your Under Armour Smart Shoes), and then get some really useful and cool Under Armour gear.
For the Handy. Hearty, and Clean
When your head is filled with bad news, like it’s been lately, it can be very therapeutic to work with your hands. Now, some of us are better at doing work around the house than are others, but as the economy begins to open up, there will be a lot of demand for people to come by to fix leaky toilets and squeaking doors.
If you have that ability to look at something that needs to be fixed and make it work again, here are some ways you can get gigs that will hold you till they let everyone out to ride in your car once more.
Trust is a big deal when people let you into their house, and this service puts that quality about its people up front. It will cost you money, but you’re almost guaranteed to get referrals for your investment. If you have the ability to do work around people’s houses, this could work for you. Gutters seem to be a big thing these days, so if you’re good at that, it looks like you could make out particularly well!
You’ll need to pay for a listing on this service, but it’s very well advertised and highly trusted by the people who will ultimately be doing the hiring. It can’t hurt to have an app right there on your phone, too. Even after you go back to driving, you can pick up gigs here and there to pay for extra expenses, right?
Glamorous? Maybe not; but cleaning for a gig can be flexible, rewarding, and lucrative – all the things you love about driving. While you can always do this as a private, cash-only kind of thing, working with a service has its perks. One of them is insuring you, and also getting the gigs so you don’t have to exhaust yourself finding people who need your services.
What kind of crazy maneuvers do you think companies will go through once they have to clean up after coronavirus? One can only imagine. But…if you happen to memorize the steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, and can talk some local businesses into letting you clean up for them, you can probably get a lot of work once the economy starts to open up. Here’s a cheat sheet for you, here and in the title above.
What do you do well? What do you like to do? Answer those two questions, and you have the key to success in starting your own side hustle/business. You don’t have to make a million bucks; all you have to do is keep the money flowing while you’re waiting for the quarantine to come to a most welcomed end.
But…as a driver, you have the incentive to make your own way through any economy, so who’s to say you won’t keep your little biz going even after we’re back to whatever “the new normal” might be?
Here are some ideas you might want to ponder:
This isn’t always the most glamorous of jobs, but it can bring in money and keep you busy during quarantine. In essence, you’ll be in charge of keeping someone else organized. You’ll make and take calls, run errands, and be a good listener. You’ll have to know what you like to do and be honest about what you can do well, but don’t limit yourself. You’ll never believe how easily this job puts all your talents to good use.
Who? You? Who better than you? As a driver, how many romances have you witnessed? From first dates with all the right sparks flying, or two people who were ready to throw in the towel, they’ve all been in your vehicle, and you probably had some advice you wanted to offer. As a dating consultant or coach, you won’t have to bite your tongue any longer. You can get right in there and help people find the love that will entertain and enchant many rideshare drivers in the future.
You’ve heard about flipping houses, and that would be cool…if only you had a couple of hundred grand or so to spare. Chances are, especially post-COVID, that you don’t; but there’s no need to give up. You can flip websites instead! This is the art of buying and selling urls – the names people use to attract visitors to their sites. Pick something you’re passionate about, think of some catchy names, and put them up for sale. This could be kind of addicting, come to think of it, but potentially lucrative, too.
Do you happen to be…bilingual? There are tons of drivers who speak more than one language, and we’ve taken a lot of flak for English maybe not being the one we speak best. Now…you can make money with your native language, or any you happen to be fluent in, by being a translator. This is one of those jobs that can also be really heart-warming. Picture yourself helping an older person navigate some government bureaucracy with you by his or her side, using all the right words!
You’ve got skills, so why not share them with others, and get paid? You can teach languages, math, and just about any subject or topic on line, from your home. With all the social distancing rules in effect, can you imagine the demand for people like you who can help people learn everything from academic ABCs to welding, keyboarding, or even driving? You’re a smart cookie, so let your brain leverage a little dough for you.
Sounds dangerous, but it isn’t. Can you imagine what it’s like to work from home, run a huge corporate job, manage kids, AND cook meals? People must be pulling their hair out. Keep their coifs intact by selling them your culinary skills. There are plenty of openings for you, if you’ve got the cooking chops, to provide healthy meals for families who might otherwise be living on bad pizza and burgers.
With all that time…days on end with nothing to do but binge on trashy TV, there’s something you can do to make the most of the time and create a cash stream, too. Tons of people have video stored on old media, such as VHS tapes and even those awkward video cameras people hauled out at all those 1990s birthday parties. With a minor investment, you can make a mint converting the old stuff to new and usable formats!
Okay. People aren’t going on those three-week treks to New Zealand these days, but there still is a need for dog walkers! Think about those health care workers who are hardly ever home now, or the disabled vet down the street, whose two huge huskies are just too much for him to handle. There are no-contact ways of doing this good deed, and people pay a lot for you to do it, too. In a world where human touch is taboo, the unconditional love of a pet – even someone else’s – will brighten your day, too.
It may be some time before you become an Instagram sensation, but you have lots of that on your hands these days. “Influencers” are people with large social media followings, who then leverage all the contacts they make to get free swag. Those marketing new products, from grooming aids to masks you can wear to protect yourself while driving (hint-hint), look for people who will display them on social media, and “influence” their following to click and buy.
Are you good at making useful or fun things for people to buy? You could jump on the COVID train and create your own special hand sanitizer, craft reusable gloves, or design protective masks. If you figure there’s enough competition already, maybe you have another craft you’re good at. Create a jigsaw puzzle, invent a card game, or build toys that can keep little hands busy at something besides playing video games.
The next question is, how do you find advice about being an entrepreneur of this nature? Check out this sub-reddit group, Entrepreneur Ride Along. It might have little or nothing to do with Uber or Lyft, but it sounds about right for rideshare and delivery driver types, right?
Jobs Inside, Outside, and Even Around the Town
The coronavirus crisis has left us with just a few businesses staying open so the rest of us can get essential goods and services–and this has created job openings. Your local drugstore, for example, will need help, as will local grocery stores and big box stores that remain open for business. And of course Amazon is hiring vast numbers of new workers to help them handle the surge in orders they’re suddenly dealing with.
These companies advertise job openings, part-time and otherwise, and can really be a lifesaver as you wait for your rideshare app to start pinging you again.
This job listing service works on your computer or as an app on your phone. It lists a wide variety of jobs, from work at home and work anytime, part-time, and full-time. Simply enter your zip code and the listings will populate your screen. There’s way more work out there than you might imagine, and Steady lists lots of it for you, all in one place.
This is a wildly popular site for job seekers of all kinds. Although you’re probably already aware of it, there are some things about Indeed you might not realize. For instance, did you know there are more than a thousand delivery-type job listings? Even if you don’t decide to apply, reading through the listings can give you leads and ideas for other things you can do, with or without your car.
Glassdoor runs as a phone app or a browser site. It lists jobs from just about any field you can imagine, and in every location you can think of, including your living room or car. One of the sweet features of this outfit is their company reviews. While the employer you’re applying to sweetalks you in the listing, you can get their backstory from people who actually work there – or used to!
Most rideshare drivers recognize that name, right? In case you didn’t notice, Uber is rolling out a way to introduce people like you to shift work in a variety of industries. You could find yourself packing stuff up part time in a warehouse, lugging chairs and tables to set up events, or logging in time as a customer service agent. Say what you want about Uber, but this outfit is pretty good at bringing people together, so chances are you might be able to meet the perfect part-time gig to fill you in till “Coronavirus” is no longer a word you hear every 3 minutes. Check and see if it’s made it to your area yet.
You have to play to the audience you’ve got, and right now people are stuck in their homes. There’s no way it’s easy to take care of a houseful of family while you’re trying to please a boss while you’re “working from home.” That’s where you come in. Task Rabbit connects you with people who need you to run the errands they can’t even think about having time to do. As a great driver who knows your way around, you’ll be every client’s favorite “bunny” runner.
Win Your Victory Over This Virus
You’re a rideshare driver–resourceful, dynamic, and ready for anything. There’s no doubt you can overcome the obstacles that might be in your way at the moment. We hope the suggestions we’ve offered here will help you rearrange your life just enough to keep money coming in until the crisis is over.
If you still find yourself falling short of the income you need, don’t forget about the new provisions in the CARES Act that allow you to collect unemployment benefits, even as an independent contractor. Here’s some insight into what’s available, and how you can apply for assistance in this recent Gridwise article.
Meanwhile, keep in touch with us on the app. If you haven’t done so already, one of the many things you do while you’re all secluded and sequestered is download Gridwise now!