32 Ways to Turn Your Talent Into Extra Income

 July 28, 2020
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use talents make money

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Are you looking for some extra cash to supplement your income? Do you have skills or talents you think might be marketable? If so, you should consider how to use your talents to make money.

Below you’ll find several options for turning your particular talents into a potential income stream.

How to use your talents to make money

Click on the talent that describes you best:


If you’re good with words…

Are you a master word wrangler who enjoys writing for fun? You may be able to turn your love of words into cash by helping others carefully craft their communications, or by writing in a strong voice about a particular passion. Here are some ways you can earn extra income with your writing skills.

Write résumés. A killer résumé can mean the difference between having your job application ignored or getting that interview. Yet many people struggle to create a strong résumé that does a good job of highlighting their skills and getting a potential employer’s attention. You may be able to earn extra income by helping people craft a résumé that stands above the rest.

Write cover letters. Cover letters are often the first thing prospective employers look at when evaluating candidates, even before they read a résumé. Just as is the case with résumés, many people struggle to write strong cover letters. If you’re adept at writing, you can create a potentially lucrative side business by helping people write cover letters that get them noticed.

Work as a translator. Are you bilingual, or even multilingual? If so, you may be able to earn extra money by working as a translator — government agencies and community centers, for one, often need help with written document translation in order to serve diverse communities. You might even be able to help an individual who wants to translate their personal writings into another language.

Become a freelance writer in a specific niche. Are you passionate about travel? Cooking? Movies? Politics? It’s competitive out there, but you may be able to find work as a freelance writer for traditional or online publications. You might also consider starting a blog on a platform like Medium. While you shouldn’t expect it to be easy to make a lot of money through this platform, it’s possible that you could earn some extra spending cash if your blog really catches on. But understand that, in order for that to happen, you should be good at marketing yourself and your words.

Create an e-book and sell it on Amazon. Share your passion, expertise or stories by writing an e-book and selling it on Amazon. While it can be difficult to make real money this way (the competition is fierce), it is possible, especially if you have a keen understanding of reading audiences and specific markets. For example, if you have a flair for the language of love, you might consider writing a romance novel — some self-published romance writers on Amazon have found real success. But you must ensure that what you put out there is just as good as any professional writer with a traditional publisher, so you should strongly consider working with an editor.

Work as a ghostwriter. There are many people out there who aren’t gifted when it comes to writing, but still need to put out written communications. For example, many financial advisors have blogs, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually writing the posts. Often, they will hire someone to put their unique ideas into well-crafted blog entries. Some people are even looking for an outside writer to turn their musings into an entire book. This may not seem entirely satisfying to people who are concerned about getting a byline, but ghostwriting could be a good way to earn a nice amount of cash.

Write dating profiles. Side hustling often requires thinking outside the box — you don’t have to write in a traditional way to make money. And believe it or not, some people are willing to pay others to write dating profiles for them. Consider this option as a unique way to put your words to work.

If you’re great with animals…

Do you feel like you have a special talent for communicating with furry, feathered — or even fishy — friends? Consider the following:

Become a dog walker. Busy professionals who are gone all day need someone to let Fido out of the house for exercise. Depending on your availability, you could walk several dogs in a day and earn a good amount of extra money.

Be a pet sitter. Being a pet sitter can be the perfect side hustle for an animal lover. Consider working as a long-term pet sitter taking care of dogs and cats while their owners are away. If you adore animals, this won’t even feel like work.

Work at a cat cafe. Cats and coffee can be a great combination for cat lovers, and you may be able to find part-time work at a cat cafe. Your duties may include caring for the cats, managing customer visits and working to place the felines in new homes.

If you’re a people person…

Become a brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors are the high-energy people you see giving away free swag at stores, concerts and sporting events. If you can talk to the public and stand on your feet for a few hours at a time, this gig might be the right fit for you.

Coach/consult. Do you have a unique talent that others are always asking about? You can turn that into cash by coaching others on how to do what you do. For example, many people have a hard time letting their best selves shine during job interviews. As a people person with great interviewing skills, you might offer interview coaching sessions for a fee.

Become a tour guide. In nearly every major city — and many not-so-major cities — there are tour companies that help tourists experience the city like a local. This side hustle can be a great opportunity for interacting with others and enjoying your own city through a visitor’s eyes.

If you have design skills…

If you’re savvy with design and have tech skills, you have many options to potentially make extra money.

Design websites. Having a good design on a website is huge for first impressions — and many people or small businesses just don’t know where to start. Knowing how to design websites is a skill you can use to potentially make a nice amount of extra cash.

Create logos. Every website and business needs a logo. If you have design chops, you may be able to use that creativity to create logos for a wide variety of businesses and products.

Craft book covers. We already mentioned self-publishing books as a potential extra cash opportunity. But if your skills are more on the design side than the writing side, you might consider working with self-published authors to create eye-catching designs for their book covers.

Design presentations. Everyone knows how boring PowerPoint presentations can be, especially if they’re created by people who don’t have strong design skills. You may be able to use your skills to help businesses and brands by designing their presentations so they can actually engage audiences, instead of putting them to sleep.

Design communications for events. Consider how many printed materials are required for events, special occasions and even everyday business interactions. You could ask your friends and acquaintances if they or anyone they know need a designer for their wedding invitations, event marketing materials or even their business cards.

If you’re a social media expert…

Become an influencer. Sure, pretty much everyone is on social media these days. But some people are particularly good at creating and managing their online profiles. You may even be good enough that brands will want to pay you to promote their products. You should start by creating a strong profile with an original voice, posting very consistent content and attracting an audience that’s sizable enough to pique a relevant brand’s interest, then let it know you’re open to collaboration. This is another area that can be quite competitive, but if you have the right skills, you might be able to earn a nice income.

If you’re crafty…

Do you like making things with your hands? Are you good at knitting and sewing? Making furniture or jewelry? Consider using your crafting skills to earn a little cash.

Sell your wares online. If you make anything from quilts and baby clothes to jewelry and colorful bowls and mugs, you may be able to find a market for your wares using sites like Etsy, ebay, ArtFire and iCraft.

Sell your wares at a craft fair. If you prefer person-to-person contact, you may be able to reserve a booth at a craft fair to sell your handmade goods.

If you’re handy…

Paint homes, install cabinets, hang pictures and more. It’s easier than ever to make extra cash by being a part-time handy person. Sites like Taskrabbit and Handy allow people to market their skills in this realm — plus, you can set your own hours and only work when you’re able.

If you’re a foodie…

Sell your gastronomic creations. The food business can be tough. However, if you’re particularly talented in the kitchen — perhaps you make a mean cookie, or a particularly tasty pasta sauce — you might consider selling your culinary creations at local farmers’ markets, or through an online marketplace.

If you have photo skills…

Do you know your way around a camera? While many people consider themselves Instagram photographers these days, there’s still a need for people with a truly talented photographic eye. Here’s how you can use your skills to make extra money.

Take headshots. It’s not only actors or models who need headshots these days — anyone looking to improve their LinkedIn profile or social media game, for example, needs a great picture of themselves. You can start out by working with friends to build a strong online portfolio. Then you might consider advertising yourself through a Facebook business page or in a photographer’s directory to get more work.

Become an event photographer. Consider marketing yourself to take photos at live events such as panels, conferences, weddings and parties.

If you have musical or theatrical skills…

If you majored in music or theater, you can leverage your skills to make money.

Sing telegrams. Yes, people do still hire telegram singers for events like birthdays and bachelor parties. If you can belt out a good tune, you may be able to brighten someone’s day and earn extra income for a small amount of work. Start by Googling telegram opportunities in your area.

Work as an actor for corporate or medical videos. It’s notoriously difficult to get acting work in Hollywood or on Broadway — but not all acting work has to be glamorous. Medical students often practice with “standardized patients” or actors who portray real patients. Corporate training and trade show video directors may also be on the hunt for actors. You can look online for casting opportunities.

Work as an extra. Television shows and movies are always in need of extras, and they’ll often pay a day rate. Being an extra isn’t the same thing as starring in a movie, of course, but it can be your start on the road to greater success. And even if it’s not, it can be a decent way to make spending money on the side.

Work as a DJ. Turn your love of music into cash by becoming a DJ for live events like weddings, parties, corporate events and more.

If you’re good with kids and/or academics…

Some people have a natural affinity for communicating with children. If that’s you, consider these side hustles.

Be a babysitter. This is a side hustle that will always be in demand, and you don’t have to be a teenager to do it. Many families are looking for adults who are responsible and have lots of experience working with kids.

Work as a tutor. Do you love kids and have a specialized academic skill? You might consider becoming a tutor. Lots of parents are looking for people to help their kids with subjects like math and English, or college test prep and essay writing, for example. You can set your own rates and build your side business by getting testimonials from your clients. Keep in mind that tutoring work doesn’t have to mean only working with kids; there are adults, for example, who may speak English as a second language and need tutoring to perfect their skills.

Become a part-time instructor. After-school programs and community centers may be in need of people to teach classes to kids. You also might consider teaching adult education classes at community centers.

What you can do with your extra cash

These are just some examples of how you can use your talents and interests to generate extra cash, or even move toward a full-time career path. And you can put this money to use by paying off your student loans or other debts, or letting yourself have a luxury or two, like that dream vacation you’ve wanted to take for years.

One important thing to note, however, is that many of these gigs may be independent contractor positions, not employee positions — that means you’re likely going to be responsible for paying your own taxes, so be sure to set aside a percentage of your income every time you’re paid.

Where to find gigs

You can find gigs using a variety of resources.

  • Start by telling your network of friends and family about your new side hustle.
  • Look on social media networks for opportunities.
  • Join relevant groups on Facebook.
  • Learn from others who are already making extra money through side hustles.

Here is a list of some resources you can use to find potential money-making opportunities:

  • Craigslist
  • TaskRabbit
  • Fiverr
  • Cloud Peeps
  • Thumbtack
  • EventSpeak
  • Guru
  • Upwork
  • Your local newspaper
  • Alternative local weekly magazines
  • LinkedIn
  • Toptal
  • 99Designs
  • Tutor

You can also make your own flyers and business cards and post your services libraries, coffee shops and community centers. Once you get your first client and start building word of mouth, it should only get easier.

Looking for even more ideas for making extra cash? Here are some online gigs that can earn you more than $15 an hour.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
2.49% – 11.72%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.50% – 6.30%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

4.13% – 7.39%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.49% – 7.99%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.49% – 7.99%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit NaviRefi

3.24% – 8.24%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.48% – 7.98%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.74% – 7.99%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Purefy

3.69% – 9.92%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Citizens

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount. Fixed loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 20 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.47% for a 12-year term would be $94.86. Variable loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 25 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.90% for a 15-year term would be $83.85.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 6, 2022.

2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.


This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.

3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 09/09/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 4.13% APR – 7.39% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR – 9.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

4 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 3.99% – 8.74% APR (3.74% – 8.49% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.74% APR to 8.24% APR (2.49% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.

5 Important Disclosures for Navient.

Navient Disclosures

You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 3.99% – 8.74% APR (3.74% – 8.49% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.74% APR to 8.24% APR (2.49% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.

6 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates range from 3.99% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.

Purefy Disclosures

Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.  

8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

CitizensBank Disclosures

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%-9.92% (3.69%-9.92% APR). Fixed interest rates range from  4.49%-10.11% (4.49%-10.11% APR). 

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.39%- 9.60% (6.39% – 9.60% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.58% – 9.79% (6.58% – 9.79% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).

Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%- 9.09% (3.69%- 9.09% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.28% (4.49% – 9.28% APR).

Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).