The Technologically-Improved Side-Hustle

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Would you write a message in the Caribbean sand, record a birthday video message from a clown, or juggle knives and a chainsaw, for the price of $5? These are some of the wackier and more creative ideas on Fiverr, a website that connects people who provide and purchase small services, each priced at $5. Fiverr is one example of a growing selection of websites that provide a new and technologically improved version of the side-hustle.

Amanda Carter, a Seattle resident, started using Fiverr when she was looking for more freelance work, after her income from writing started to drop. Her more popular tasks include Whiteboard video animation where she makes commercials, tutorials and funny shorts. She uses Fiverr as a source of part-time income. "When I first started out," she said, "I didn’t expect much to come of it, although after more than a year on Fiverr and other micro-niche sites, it quickly became a part-time income. Still, ‘why’ I do it has less to do with income than it does with doing things I love to do for other people.”

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The side-hustle is no longer just about mowing your neighbor’s lawn, delivering pizzas, moonlighting at your local bar or shoveling driveways. In the new economy, technology makes it easier than ever to connect people with small projects, whether it is assembling Ikea furniture, vacation planning, or my personal Fiverr favorite, making a personal recording with a green monster puppet. Sites like Fiverr, Task Rabbit, Zaarly, and Gigwalk provide would-be micro-entrepreneurs with more options for earning supplemental income to pay off student loans, take a vacation, save for a home down payment or just stay afloat in a difficult economy.