Make Money

9 Low-Stress Side Hustles For Introverts That Pay Surprisingly Well

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If you’re an introvert looking for ways to make extra money, you’ve come to the right place.

In fact, this short guide has now been shared over 100,000 times on social media.

The best part? All of these ideas are working GREAT right now.

Let’s dive in!

#1) The side job for people who love to read

Love to read? Love spotting errors? Love to work independently? If so, you probably have the makings of a successful proofreader.

Proofreading doesn’t require certification, and the explosion of web content in recent years has skyrocketed demand for reliable freelancers in the field. Plus, you can do it as either a side hustle or a full-time career.

If you’re interested, Caitlin Pyle, the creator of Proofread Anywhere, has a free daily workshop: Learning the Skills You Need to Start Your Freelance Proofreading Hustle.

Caitlin earned a full-time income while working only part-time, so her free workshops are worth checking out. See when the next class is here to turn your love for fixing others’ mistakes into a profitable business.

Proofreading Pros:

  • Zero start-up costs and no required certifications.
  • A foundational skill that can be transferred or combined with higher-value skills. For example, a proofreader can learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) to increase their value.
  • The amount of content published online continues to grow.

Proofreading Cons:

  • Clients often want a quick turnaround, so you need the flexibility to complete projects on tight deadlines — often in 24 hours or less.
  • Without a significant barrier to entry to work as a proofreader — e.g., certifications or start-up costs — there’s a lot of competition among beginners.

#2) Become a bookkeeper

How would you like to make your own schedule, working where and when you want?

Those are the potential benefits of starting your own bookkeeping business according to Ben Robinson, an accountant and business owner who has helped over 3,000 people do just that.

And no, you don’t need to be a CPA or have prior accounting experience. All you need are a few basic computer skills and a love for numbers. 

What’s also great about becoming a part-time bookkeeper is that the business has:

  • Low start-up costs
  • High profit margins
  • Consistent demand

That’s why Entrepreneur magazine recently listed bookkeeping as America’s most profitable business.

If you’re interested, check out Ben’s free three-class series: How to Own a Virtual Bookkeeping Service, Earn Good Money and Be Your Own Boss.

Bookkeeping Pros:

  • Minimal start-up costs.
  • Room to specialize, which can increase your hourly rate over time.
  • Clients are typically on retainer, allowing you to earn a stable source of income.

Bookkeeping Cons:

  • Takes time to build up a stable base of clients.
  • While specialization (such as taking a certification course offered by a bookkeeping software provider) can increase your hourly rate, purchasing both the software and the certification require a larger investment. 

#3) Get paid to test products at home

Here’s how it works: market research companies send you free products to test out and share your opinion on. You simply use the products (which are yours to keep) and then get paid for sharing your thoughts.

A fun way for introverts to make some extra income is to become a product tester.

Brands benefit from your valuable feedback on upcoming, not-yet-released products, which helps them do things like discover their ideal target market and identify where they should spend their advertising dollars.

You can get started making money by signing up for a product testing company like i-Say (they offer online surveys as well).

Just sign up, confirm your email, and complete the basic profile survey.

Note: They do ask for your phone number, as it’s required to ship products. However, i-Say is owned by Ipsos, which is a publicly-traded company that was founded in 1975.

From there, look for survey opportunities that contain trials, which means you’ll get free products sent your way.

Product Testing Pros:

  • Testing out and giving your opinions on new products is a fun way to earn money on the side.
  • You get to keep the products. Or, as many others do, you can sell them online to make more money.

Product Testing Cons:

  • The opportunity to test new products is limited. Some months there might be one new product a week, while other times there may be zero opportunities. As such, this shouldn’t be counted on as a consistent source of income. 

Learn more about i-Say here.

#4) Make money while you’re watching TV

Did you know market research companies will pay you to answer questions on your phone, even while you’re watching TV?

It won’t make you rich, but it’s certainly one of the most popular ways to make extra money.

One of our favorite apps, Survey Junkie, has over 5 million members. They have an excellent rating on Trustpilot, as well as a highly-rated app for both Android and iPhone.

Survey Junkie is known for offering fun surveys, such as rating new music. It takes less than a minute to sign up and get started. 

And of course, it’s 100% free and no phone number is required.

Paid Online Survey Pros:

  • Allows you to earn your first dollar today.
  • You can complete the surveys on both computers and smartphones, which allows for a lot of flexibility.

Paid Online Survey Cons:

  • Unlike what you may have read elsewhere online, this isn’t a way to make hundreds of dollars a month. You can, however, earn a few dollars a day — which can add up to a decent bit of extra spending money over time. 

#5) Become a virtual assistant and help small business owners succeed

One position that more and more small business owners are hiring for is that of a virtual assistant. Being a virtual assistant can mean many things, as the title is really a catch-all term. As a virtual assistant, you may find yourself answering emails, bookkeeping, scheduling social media posts and more. It really comes down to your strengths and your client’s needs.

To get a sense of whether becoming a virtual assistant is right for you, check out the free webinar from Esther Inman, the creator of the Virtual Assistant Internship.

Esther quit her job over 5 years ago when she realized it wasn’t suitable for living a healthy and happy military wife and mom life. To make up for the loss of income, she started working part-time as a virtual assistant. Her success came quickly, as within two months she had two clients and was working 35 hours per week.

Esther’s free webinar covers:

  • What virtual assistants are (and what they are not!).
  • How to find legit work without prior experience.
  • What you’ll need to start your virtual assistant career.

Sign up for the next class here.

Virtual Assistant Pros:

  • Zero to minimal start-up costs.
  • Clients are on retainer, providing a stable source of income.
  • As long as it’s clearly communicated with the client, you get to choose your available working hours.
  • Many virtual assistants grow their business enough to start an agency, which increases earning potential.

Virtual Assistant Cons:

  • If you’re not offering a unique set of skills, gaining your first few clients is a difficult task.

#6) Turn your passion into a thriving online business

When it comes to my personal favorite side job, blogging tops the list. In fact, I started this blog in 2016 as a side hustle. Yet, in just 14 months, this site was doing well enough to go full-time.

By no means did I begin with the goal of leaving a stable career in finance I held for 10 years that soon, especially with two young kids and a mortgage. 

When I started, I only knew I enjoyed learning and writing about personal finance. But once I dove in head-first, I learned of the incredible business opportunity that blogging provided.

If you’ve ever had the slightest itch to start a blog, I can’t recommend it enough. You can write about what interests you — whether that’s home decor, cooking, fitness, fashion or finance — which makes it quite fun.

Not sure what to blog about? Here’s a good question to ask: “When you walk into a bookstore or browse a magazine rack, what is the subject you look at first?” Is it business, cooking, crafts, home and garden, parenting, sports or travel? Asking this helps ensure there’s demand for your topic — publishers don’t publish books/magazines on topics that aren’t profitable.

Blogging no doubt takes some dedication to get off the ground. But that dedication can really pay off.

As an example, posts I wrote years ago still generate traffic (and therefore, income). So, blogs can be that rare passive income business model that everyone desires to have.

If you’re interested in making money blogging, I wrote a free e-book that walks you through building a successful blog from scratch using proven strategies for content, marketing, and monetization. Sign up below to get a download link sent to your inbox:

#7) Work in the gig economy

The gig economy has allowed millions of people to make money in their spare time. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft get a lot of attention, but let’s face it: driving people around all day isn’t ideal for introverts.

Fortunately, there are other quality opportunities to earn beyond ridesharing. 

In a recent article, we found a total of 32 legitimate gig economy jobs available in 2020.

Check out the article for app reviews from the workforce and the requirements needed to start, as well as details about what each gig economy job pays per hour (not what the company says you can earn, but what actual workers reported).

While not all of them are ideal for introverts, jobs like one-on-one online tutoring or even working as a remote data-entry clerk are a few that stand out. 

If you live in a larger city or urban area, delivery jobs tend to pay well because of the tips. The one caveat is that you have to know your true hourly wage, which is reduced based on transportation expenses.

Gig Economy Pros:

  • You can make your own hours, working as little or as often as you want. 
  • If you tend to get bored, you can work a variety of gig economy jobs.

Gig Economy Cons:

  • Very few gig economy jobs offer any benefits to their workers.
  • Due to tips, the pay can be inconsistent. 
  • For some jobs, there are associated expenses. While these expenses are typically tax-deductible, it’s important to keep in mind they will reduce the amount you take home.

#8) Take your existing career to Upwork

Proofreading and bookkeeping are excellent examples of skills that are easy to learn, and which therefore allow you go from a beginner to making money fast in way that’s not possible with more technically-demanding fields like web programming.

But before jumping into a new field, it’s beneficial to examine your existing skillset, specifically thinking about whether any of your past work history transfers well to a side job.

This way, you’re not starting from scratch but building on the existing career capital you’ve acquired over the years. 

One way to find out whether you can leverage your previous work experience is with a quick search on some of the popular freelance marketplaces, where businesses post jobs of all types.

Jobs on these sites range from part-time customer service work, to one off graphic design projects, to full-time roles in almost every niche and field you can think of. 

Here’s the thing: These marketplaces are crowded. You’re competing with individuals from all over the world.

But even with that high level of competition, there are thousands of freelancers making a very good living on these platforms. So the trick is analyzing what the top earners do differently, and then applying those same principles to your own line of work. 

Fortunately, we’ve done this hard work for you.

Our article on how to choose a freelancing niche outlines four best practices for selecting a profitable niche, and our guide to getting started on Upwork (the most popular freelance site) gives you both the knowledge to identify the valuable skills you can offer and a step-by-step plan for finding a good freelancing job quickly.

#9) Launch a freelance writing business

Freelance writing was my first real success making money outside of a traditional job.

I earned a whopping $50 for what was close to 10 hours of work, writing a brochure for a small business. 

But soon after that — with a few happy clients under my belt and a five-star feedback rating — I was billing at much higher rates. And within a year, I was doing very well writing and designing web pages…

Upwork Freelance Writing Snapshot

As an introvert myself, I loved the work. Every new assignment meant getting paid to learn and write about an interesting new topic. And while I wasn’t earning a lot of money at first, I came to realize quickly just how much opportunity is available in freelance writing.

If you’re interested in making a living as a writer, I wrote an entire guide on how to find your first freelance writing job.

Final Thoughts

I can’t speak for all introverts, but if you’re anything like me, there’s nothing better than finding work that makes it easy to get out of bed in the morning. 

That’s why I included things like proofreading and bookkeeping on this list; they can be side hustles you do in your spare time to make extra money right now, but they also have the potential to become much more than that — lucrative careers that allow you to earn a great living on your own terms.

If you’re looking for something a little less involved, taking surveys with Survey Junkie can be an easy and stress-free way to generate a little bit of quick cash. 

It’s true that it won’t make you rich, but it can help you buy something you’ve been wanting without busting your budget, or help you make progress towards your highest priority financial goals. 

What to read next: 17 Fun And Creative Ways To Make Money Quickly

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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1 Comment

  1. I am very interested in most of the online jobs listed above. I was glad to see that there were free classes offered to show how to begin. I am very excited to give some of these a try because since I retired two years ago my income has slowed down drastically.

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