Virtual Ventures: 9 Online Side Gigs for the Tech-Savvy

Picking up an online side gig can be a great way to supplement your income from the comfort of home — or anywhere else with a stable internet connection. And if you have some technical skills, whether that’s in computer programming, coding or technical writing, you could earn some decent cash on the side.

Here are some of the top online side gigs for the tech-savvy — and what you’ll need to get started.

Website Developer

According to Forbes, 71% of businesses have a website, with more cropping up all the time. If you’re tech-savvy, you could freelance as a website developer to help those businesses gain online traffic — while filling your pockets.

“If you have technical skills and are looking for a side job, there are many options for different areas of expertise, from web development to tech support,” said Ataur Rahman, CEO and founder of Wpmet, a leading developer company within the WordPress and SaaS industry.

You’ll need to be familiar with various programming languages, like HTML and JavaScript. But you can also learn or improve these skills on platforms like Codecademy.

Rahman suggested getting started on a site like Upwork, where you can earn around $75 an hour as a web developer.

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Graphic Designer

Do you have technical skills but also an eye for aesthetics? If so, you could start a side hustle as a graphic designer.

“Graphic design is a cornerstone of digital marketing and branding,” said Caroline Petersen, founder of Gallery Design Studio.

Businesses are always on the lookout for skilled graphic designers to help them stand out online.

You’ll need to be creative, of course, with a sharp eye for visual trends and an understanding of what makes for the best user experience. You’ll also need to create a strong online portfolio of your work, something you can do as you go along.

And don’t forget the tech skills.

“Proficiency in Figma and Adobe Creative Suite enables you to tackle a wide range of projects, from branding materials to user interfaces, making you a versatile asset in the digital marketing space,” said Petersen.

Freelance graphic designers can earn anywhere from $20 to $60 an hour, depending on project complexity, experience and the client’s budget. Some people can make much more than that.

Ethical Hacker

Another side gig for the tech-savvy is to become an ethical hacker.

“I strongly recommend Bug Bounties if you have a cybersecurity background and want to expand your skills,” said Nathan Brunner, the CEO at Salarship. “Banks and software companies like Google reward ethical hackers when they find and report vulnerabilities.”

According to Brunner, most ethical hackers earn around a few hundred dollars per completed report. However, this is also one of those side gigs that could become a full-time career, if you choose to go that route.

SEO Consultant

“SEO consulting is also a technical job that requires knowledge of search engine optimization to help your website rank higher in search results,” said Rahman.

To do it, you’ll need to be current on SEO best practices and proficient in various SEO tools. It also helps to have solid communication and other interpersonal skills, as well as some coding and research skills.

On Upwork, you could earn around $66 an hour as a consultant, depending on your expertise.

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Social Media Manager

“Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of skilled professionals who can manage their social media presence, engage with their audience and run targeted ad campaigns,” said Petersen.

As a social media manager, you can become their go-to person for all of their social media needs. You’ll need to have a solid understanding of today’s social media platforms, trends and analytics tools. It also helps to have some expertise in creative content creation, strategic planning and data analysis.

“Social media managers can earn from $20 to $50 per hour, with potential for more based on experience and the scope of the project,” said Petersen.

Video Editor

Video content has become highly popular online, so if you’re savvy with modern video editing software, you could wind up with a potentially lucrative side gig. It also helps to have a creative flair and a knack for storytelling.

“Video editing takes advantage of the ever-increasing demand for video content across various platforms,” said Rahman. You can earn around $30 an hour or more doing this.

Marketing Operations Specialist

“Marketing operations specialists streamline processes, manage marketing technology stacks and analyze performance data to optimize marketing strategies,” said Petersen.

You’ll need to be proficient in marketing automation tools, data analytics and customer relationship management (CRM).

As a marketing operations specialist, you could earn anywhere from $30 to $100 an hour, according to Petersen. As with most of these side gigs, pay largely depends on the project’s scale, your client’s budget and your expertise.

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Technical Writer

Technical writing involves creating instruction files, user manuals, annual reports, business proposals, press releases, case studies and other complex documents for businesses. You’ll need advanced technical knowledge in whatever area you’re writing about, as well as writing, communication, research and interpersonal skills.

Software Developer

Many companies need software developers. This includes businesses in the finance, healthcare, automotive and insurance niches.

As a freelance software developer, you’ll need skills in data science, algorithms, coding languages like Python and C++, SQL, project management and more. You can earn around $54 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter.


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