Spending a relaxing hour watching YouTube videos while sipping your morning coffee was meant to generate some ideas for making money without going back to that job you had three years ago and trying to squeeze a shift in between your current full-time job, your music, and taking care of your kids. Three videos in, and you’re starting to feel like an out-of -touch loser instead. According to the perky, smiling channel hosts you’ve found this morning, all you need to do is sign up with a company that provides a needed service today, and the money will start rolling in.
Each person you see urging you to join the gig economy or start that side hustle probably is indeed making money from the work they are doing. As long as you sign up with a legitimate company and follow the rules you agree to follow when you sign your contract, you will be paid for the service you provide. But the cash does not flow as fast as many of these “How YOU can make a fortune online..” videos would have you believe. There is always something they tend to leave out.
Content creators who promote their $300/day delivery jobs are giving you their gross, not their net, income. You have to invest additional money into your car to work one of these jobs.
Driving for a rideshare company, or delivering takeout, groceries, or other online purchases to customers might be the solution for you if you need some side work you can do on your own schedule, and you do not mind turning your personal vehicle into your workplace. The work itself is time consuming, tiring, and requires you to use excellent customer service skills. You never know who you might have to deal with during the course of your day. But driving from place to place, shopping, and picking up takeout are everyday things you already do, and this type of work will leave you plenty of time and mental energy to focus on your other work.
The main drawback, and the detail that is often left out of articles, videos, and other content promoting this type of work, is that your net income is often much lower than what the company pays you. If you devote an entire day or an entire weekend to delivering or giving rides, the pay you receive from the company you work for may be several hundred dollars. It just won’t all go into your bank account or wallet.
In order to determine how much money you are actually earning from rideshare, takeout delivery, or shopping and delivery work, you will first want to determine how much money you are paying out in order to get to do the work. These expenses include increased insurance payments on your car, additional money set aside for maintenance, extra tanks of gas, and anything you use to promote your business to customers. Keep track of that amount. Add up what you spend in a month, and subtract it from the money amounts the company deposits in your account in that same time period. What you have left is your net pay, or the amount you actually made from your work.
Online tutors who tell you how much their company pays per hour are telling the truth, they’re just not mentioning that many students do not want full hour sessions.
Any legitimate online tutoring company will make it clear that you are paid for the time you spend in a paid tutoring session, and not the amount of time you spend logged into their website. People who promote doing this type of work on social media are often a bit unclear on this detail.
Imagine you have just been hired on at a website called “Tutory Tutors.” They are paying you $15 per hour. You understand that this is actually going to amount to around $12 per hour once you deduct your 20% from each paycheck for taxes, but you still think you can bring in some money. You tend bar in the evenings as your day job, and your art just doesn’t happen until the afternoon, so your mornings are open. You can work from seven a.m. until one p.m, giving you plenty of time to bring home about $360 more each week.
That is an excellent goal, and if you are in a similar situation, there is nothing wrong with striving for it. Just remember that it may not happen. You may log in to Tutory Tutors bright and early on Tuesday morning, only to be greeted with a blank screen. None of the students have arrived yet. You sit there for an hour before somebody books a session with you. It’s a college student. Your student is polite, honest, and serious about his studies and a pleasure to work with. But he only needed you to look over his paper and make some suggestions as to where he might add detail. It only took you half an hour. It is another half an hour before another student logs in. You will certainly feel like you were at work at Tutory Tutors for two whole hours, and you were. But you will only be paid for that thirty minutes you spent helping your student add detail to his paper.
Vloggers, bloggers, Tik Tok video creators, and everyone else who claims you can “just create a course, offer it online, and make up to six figures” is glossing over the amount of time and work it takes to create a course.
Creating a course is certainly making plenty of money for those who create courses as their business, or who create and market courses as a part of a wider professional focus. It is just far from the “easy, low cost side hustle that quickly turns into passive income” so many content creators present it to be.
As a steady, salaried job, I teach writing courses to adults online as a university faculty member. The courses are already written when they are assigned to us. I do not have to create the syllabus, design the assignments, write the main instructions, or set up the grading system. My job is to create lessons that teach each assignment, write supplemental teaching materials, and do the actual grading. I do about half of the work it would take to create and design a course from the ground up. And I still work on those lessons several days a week, every week, throughout the year. My current set of teaching materials took me about six months to create, and require a review every ten weeks, often a revision or even a complete overhaul.
You may still want to create a course. It would be a wonderful way to add to your career and pass your skills and knowledge on to others. But creating a course is going to take the same amount of time and energy as it takes you to make an album, create a series of paintings, write a novel, or complete your latest book of poems. It is far from something you will be able to throw together for some quick side cash.
Unlike many “make money online” pitches, signing up to offer deliveries or rides, tutoring online, and creating a course are legitimate opportunities. It is just important to gather all of the details about them before jumping in on the advice you stumbled upon online.
by Jess Szabo originally published on Artist Cafe Utica www.artistcafeutica.com