While many people are now working from home to practice social distancing, that option isn’t available for every industry. Every day it’s something new, and we’re all feeling the pressure. I know how stressful it can be when you’re out of work, projects are postponed, and you can’t do the things you usually do. 

Use this time to invest in yourself and your business. Create a plan and ask your network for support. 

In this post, you’ll find: 

  • 5 ways you can start making money from home if you’re out of work
  • Ways to support small businesses, and 
  • Ideas on what to do with your free time. 


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1. Teach English Online 

If you love working with kids, have reliable internet, and can find a quiet space where you can work, you can teach English online to students through VIPKid and ItutorGroup. Many companies prefer if you have a Bachelor’s Degree and a teaching certificate like TEFL or TESOL. Check Groupon to sign up for the International Open Academy course for under $20. 

Pros: You can set your schedule, teach when and where you want, and you don’t have to create lesson plans. 

Cons: Teaching for several hours at a time can be exhausting, and some programs have strict cancellation policies with fees for canceling. In some programs, the parents choose the teacher, and it can be challenging to fill your schedule when you’re first getting started. 

VIPKid – Teachers in the USA (except California) and Canada can apply. 

iTutorGroup – Teachers worldwide accepted. 

getting paid to write

2. Freelance writing

If you’re ready to dive into the world of freelance writing, here is a list of editors who are looking for pitches. (I have not worked with these outlets, but you can reach out to the editors to ask any questions.) 

New to freelance writing? Read this:

Fodor’s Travel 

Email: pitches@fodors.com 

When you send Fodor’s a pitch, they will automatically email you their pitching guidelines. Here are a few tips: 

  • Include a proposed title. 
  • Try expert recommendations and intriguing angles. 
  • Be Specific. 
  • Include one pitch per email. 
  • Don’t follow up before six weeks. 

While I was on Twitter, I found this thread for freelance writing opportunities. 

HuffPost Personal

Emily McCombs @msemilymccombs Email: emily.mccombs@huffpost.com

I’m an editor at HuffPost Personal, assigning first-person essays in all topic areas.

HuffPost editor

Laura Paddison @laurapaddison Email: laura.paddison@huffpost.com

Hi, HuffPost editor here looking for stories on the environment, climate change, biodiversity, inequality, environmental justice — examining big systemic problems and where solutions are emerging/may lie. Stories for a mostly US audience but can be global.


Georgia Murray @GeorgiaGMurray Email: georgia.murray@efinery29.uk

I’m fashion editor at @Refinery29UK, and I’m always looking for stories from underrepresented voices on sustainability, personal style, nostalgia, style on screen, industry trends and shopping.


Maura Friedman @MauraFriedman Email: maura.friedman@natgeo.com

Photo ed here wanting existing bodies of photography on the history, environment, and/or culture of a place (travel but not ‘go here now’) Send a pitch (what’s the greater relevance? What’s timely and newsworthy?) and link to a folder of images to maura.friedman@natgeo.com

The Guardian

Alastair Gee @alastairgee Email: alastair.gee@theguardian.com

Looking for US stories on public lands/environment, biodiversity/extinction, voting rights, plastic, envir ‘l justice, factory farming, feminist economics.  


Mark Yarm – @markyarm Email: mark.yarm@team.inputmag.com

I’m looking for features, essays, and opinion pieces at the intersection of tech and culture. We also cover streetwear. We pay between .50 and $1/word, depending on the level of reporting, etc.


Anna Cafolla @AnnaCafolla Email: anna.cafolla@dazedmedia.com

Editor at @Dazed digital – always looking for stories with a youth culture slant on lifestyle, tech, sex, the internet, politics, protest 

Rachael Ray Mag

Christina Izzo @christinalizzo Email: christina.izzo@meredith.com

Looking for a Chicago-based travel writer for a city spotlight roundup in @RachaelRayMag

3. Sell Clothes Online

If you suddenly have extra time on your hands, purge your closet. Now is a great time to Marie Kondo your closet and start listing items to sell on Poshmark, Depop, and Facebook Marketplace. Selling secondhand clothing extends the life cycle of an item, and it’s a great way to make a little extra cash. If you’re worried that nobody will buy your clothes, don’t be. As long as it’s in good condition and has no stains or tears, someone will love what you’re selling just as much as you once did. 


4. Make something you love 

Use your creative skills to make something, launch a website, or sell your designs on Etsy. There are more than 60 Million items for sale on Etsy and 42.7 Million active buyers. Get creative, create a profile or start your own website, and start selling your ideas to make extra money doing something you love. 

Want to start a blog? I use Siteground for hosting because they offer 24/7 support. Use my link to get web hosting starting at $4.95/mo.

5. Affiliate Marketing 

If you love a product and love telling your friends about it, contact the brand or company and ask if they have a referral program. That way, you can make money by telling your friends and online community about something that you already love.

For example, I’m a huge fan of dk active, a sustainable activewear brand made in Australia. I ordered some tights and a crop online and absolutely loved the fit, style, and fabric. I was so happy I purchased more items, and I loved everything so much that I reached out to the company to let them know how happy I was! The company invited me to join their affiliate program, and I love telling people about dk active because I use the product and know the brand.

If you purchase through my link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you don’t have a website, you can use social media to share your links. 

How to support other small businesses 

  1. Offer support. If you know anyone who is currently out of work, reach out to check in and see how you can help. 
  2. Donate. Give what you can to friends, family, and non-profit organizations. If you’re planning on donating items instead of money, reach out to see what they might need before dropping off supplies.
  3. Show love. While you might not be able to visit certain places and shop at your favorite boutiques, feature them on your blog and social media channels. Let them know how much you miss them and that you can’t wait to visit when they reopen. 
  4. Order takeaway meals. Many restaurants and businesses are experiencing a drop in business. Support your favorite restaurants by ordering meals to eat at home. 
  5. Shop online. Businesses are doing what they can to stay afloat. Continue to shop online and support your favorite brands. 

Not sure what to do in your free time? Here are a few ideas. 

Social distancing is new for a lot of us. Now is a good time to slow down and unplug if you need to. 

  1. Invest in yourself. Spend time learning something new online, listen to a podcast, read a book, or take a free online course. 
  2. Connect. Call your grandparents, facetime with your mom, or catch up with friends who might need support. Right now, some of our friends can’t go to work, while others are struggling to find childcare since many schools are now closed for a few weeks. Checking in to say hi goes a long way. 
  3. Get Creative. Paint, draw, embrace your creativity. 
  4. Start a project. If you have a blog, update old blog posts, work on new content, and make new Pinterest graphics. 
  5. Purge your closet. Give items you are no longer wearing to a friend who might get more use out of it, donate anything that’s not getting any love, or sell it on Poshmark or Depop for some extra cash. 
  6. No gym? No problem! My boyfriend and I love the down dog app for yoga sessions at home. 

If you have any other ideas for things to do when you’re out of work, send us a message, and we’ll add it to the list. Thinking of you! 

out of work

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