By Amari D. Pollard
I started freelancing in college solely as a way to build my portfolio and make connections with reputable publishers. But now as an adult paying rent that I can barely afford, freelancing has become a much needed source of income.
The side hustle game requires a lot of extra hours outside of work—with at least half of those dedicated to warding off heavy eyelids—but the #struggle is well worth it. As professionals in a creative field, we’ve been lucky enough to grow our careers out of our passions, but chances are, that passion isn’t paying you as much as you deserve, especially in the beginning stages. Your side gig opportunities are endless, but in case you haven’t found the right one yet, we’ve got a list of possibilities that’ll take advantage of your professional skills.
Write on the side.
The easiest and most obvious side hustle option is freelance writing. Through internships and jobs within the industry, you’ve probably managed to build a network, so take advantage of your contacts and start pitching them. Even if they pass on an idea, you’ll stay fresh in their mind and they might be able to forward it to another editor. Another benefit to freelancing? You can easily choose how much energy and time you want to put in to a project. Writing short clips can bring in what I like to call allowance money ($50-$100) or you can opt to work on longform pieces, which produce bigger paychecks, therefore allowing for longer breaks in between assignments.
Become an amateur photographer.
A friend of mine was taking pictures at his friend’s birthday party when a woman saw the camera slung around his neck and started chatting him up. At the end of their conversation, she gave him her card to get in touch with her for a potential gig without ever seeing his actual photos. People love to get their pictures taken and are willing to shell out a decent amount of money for them, so if you own a nice camera and have a decent eye, consider offering your services for events or personal photoshoots—after all, creatives are always looking for their next best profile pic.
Work with brands on their digital strategies.
As a writer, editor, or social media producer, you’re alway thinking of ways to attract a certain audience to your content. A lot of us have also grown up in the social media age, where learning how to brand ourselves and our work is just a part of the culture. For many startups or small nonprofits though, digital strategy skills aren’t second nature, so keep an eye out for organizations that might need your talents to get their business off the ground.
Put on those assisting shoes.
Between special events like Fashion Week and Essence Fest in New Orleans, there are numerous outlets looking for extra hands at various points throughout the year. Whether you’ve interned or started out as an assistant, you know how to follow someone’s schedule and make their life easier. So when you know one of those special occasions is coming up, put your feelers out and see if anyone could use your organizational skills. The answer will more than likely be yes.
Amari D. Pollard is the Social Media Editor for The Week. She has written pieces for Parents, Popsugar, Elite Daily and Inside Lacrosse. She’s a news junkie obsessed with her collection of glasses, vintage shopping, and brunching. Check out her work at amaridawn.com and follow her slightly above average life on Instagram and Twitter.