Having some side gig options in your back pocket for some extra greenery in your front one is always a good idea. The thing is, most of the popular ideas don’t involve things I like to do. Walking other people’s dogs, babysitting children, helping people move? Getting paid to work out and throw in your old Dragonball Z DVDs does have its perks, but where are the techie gigs? Oh look! I found some.
Has anyone noticed how little you can find an HP Probook 4330s (and other hackintoshable laptops) for on Craigslist? Has anyone noticed how much Macbook Pros cost? Has anyone noticed that there is still a vast number of people who have no knowledge or interest in learning how to hackintosh a laptop, yet wish they could afford a Macbook Pro? You can be the answer to their prayers.
Start by doing your research: find out which laptops are most compatible, which ones aren’t, and how to get the job done. You may not want to quit your day job for this gig, especially since Dell is dipping its own hand in the cookie jar, but it’s a great idea for making some extra cash to buy your mom a new Coach purse for her birthday.
When it comes to operating systems Linux Distributions can be a side-gig gold mine if you’re into the tutoring business. This is because so many people want to learn it, so many security/networking students need to learn it, yet there’s no such thing as documentation that teaches you quite as well as a real-live Linux Guru.
Just do some research on how to market your services to college students, and head to your closest campus, find out where the Computer Science department and labs are located, and get to work. Don't forget to check out your local and global networks as well. You can always tutor over Skype, and make videos lectures, so this gig option has a lot of reach and potential.
Do you like web design? Do you also like music? Great. You may be interested in working with the local talent and beyond. A lot of musicians are leaning towards Tumblr over the more heavy-duty WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal solutions because it’s simple, lightweight, and easy to use as a channel for teen-crowd attention. Lucky for you it takes no time to slap together a unique theme or two over the weekend, unlike those more complicated alternatives. Again, there won’t be enough money in this to quit your day job, but if you’d like to rent a cabin in the sticks and take a sabbatical one weekend, this may provide the cash you need to make it happen.
If you’re thinking about Elance, then you’re right. A lot of those gigs don’t pay too well. But if you keep looking, both locally and on Elance, you may find someone who’s willing to put their money where their mouth is to make sure their new idea is everything they want it to be. Working with visionary clients who are passionate about the work, as well as practical enough to understand how much it can cost, can be fulfilling in addition to pocket-filling. Just get a couple of references together, put up a web portfolio, and start submitting some kickass proposals.
If none of these options sound good to you, don’t worry. There are a ton more computer needs just waiting to be filled. Check out your local ads for people who need help cloning hard drives, putting in new operating systems, replacing screens and more. If you check them out when you have some free time you may find yourself heading to some same-day Chipotle to Phone Bill dollars.
Happy earning, folks.