Earning

3 side hustles for early birds: Some pay over $100 per hour

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Key Points
  • A 2020 survey found that 13% of people identify as early birds.
  • If you're one of them and are looking for another income stream, consider virtual assisting, ridesharing, or transcribing.

People feel most alert at different times throughout the day. Some have late afternoon spurts of energy, others prefer to work throughout the night, and still more get their peak energy first thing in the morning. In fact, 13% of people identify as early birds, according to a 2020 survey published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

If you find yourself the most awake and filled with energy in the morning, and you're looking for a way to add another income stream, those early moments could be your opportunity.

Here are three side hustles for early birds.

Virtual assisting

Virtual assisting gigs are pretty versatile. They can entail administrative work such as data entry, or they can mean higher level marketing like social media management. Either way, "you can do those at any hour of the day," says Kathy Kristof, founder and editor of Sidehusl.com. As long as you get the scope of work from your employer, "you schedule it," she says.

Find virtual assistant jobs on sites like BELAY, Robert Half, or FlexJobs, or list your services on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. Some experts also recommend perusing virtual assisting groups on Facebook to see what employers might be posting.

The more niche your specialty, the more you could be paid. Depending on the kind of virtual assisting that you offer, hourly rates run $13 and up, based on listings on the sites. Some VAs can pull in more than $100 per hour, according to Angelique Rewers, founder of BoldHaus, a consulting firm that helps small businesses land corporate clients.

Ridesharing

If you love an early-morning drive, consider signing up for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. A reliable spot to find customers: A nearby airport, says side hustle expert Kevin Ha. Some people need "a 5 a.m. airport ride."

To be eligible to drive through Uber, you'll need to meet the minimum age requirement to drive where you live, have a valid U.S. driver's license, and have at least one year of licensed driving in the U.S. To be able to drive for Lyft, you'll need to meet your city and state requirements. And in either case, naturally, you'll need access to a car.

A job listing for Lyft drivers in New Jersey says drivers can earn up to $27 per hour.

Transcribing

Businesses need people to transcribe interviews, meetings, or dictation. Like virtual assisting, transcribing is a job that can often be done at any time, as long as you've gotten the assignment from an employer.

Sign up to offer your transcribing services on sites like Transcription Outsourcing, Rev, SpeakWrite, GMR Transcription, or CastingWords.

Transcription Outsourcing "pays some of the highest rates in the industry, between 85 cents to $5 per audio minute," says Kristof. She warns that this isn't always the most lucrative gig "because audio minutes take as much as 10 minutes to transcribe per minute."

"It's $20 to $30 an hour, usually," she says.

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