It’s hard for a side hustle platform to earn a decent rating on without offering a reasonable amount of pay compared to the time, expense and risks shouldered by the freelancer. But every rule has exceptions. And two of six companies in this new crop of side hustles are just that. They’re companies that provide a non-monetary reward that we felt was significant enough to make them a good deal for the right consumer.

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our affiliate policy here.)

New crop of side hustles

If you’re a renter who needs to build credit, for instance, Pinata is worth a look. The app promises rewards for a variety of activities, ranging from paying your rent on time to taking surveys. But if you sign up solely to get the rewards, you’re going to be disappointed. Most of the rewards are insignificant — often simply discounts on products that you can buy through the platform.

However, Pinata reports your rent payments to the three major credit bureaus. That’s a valuable service for the nation’s 44 million renters. Why? Where mortgage payments are always reported to credit bureaus and are a key component of a homeowner’s credit score, rent payments are not. That can cause renters to have lower credit scores than homeowners, even when they’re equally consistent about making payments.

Lower credit scores are a hurdle for renters who want to someday own real estate or borrow to buy a car. Credit scores determine how much you pay for loans and whether you can qualify to borrow at all.


Similarly, the photography app called ClickASnap promises to pay photographers when people “view” their photos. But the payments are worth less than a penny a piece. Moreover, many types of views don’t count. That has photographers complaining mightily about the lack of income from views.

That said, people look at photos for free all the time. And having a place to show off your photography is the first step in building a following that may actually buy your art. And, here, you can post up to 100 high-quality photographs for free. That can save you the often substantial expense of creating your own website.

However, if you want to sell your photos for publication, as artistic prints, or as art to emblazon everything from coffee mugs and aprons to iPhone cases, there are better sites. For stock photos, consider Alamy, Adobe Stock, iStock and Getty Images. To earn royalties selling your art on products, try FineArtAmerica, Society6 and RedBubble.

(Click here to try Alamy)

Amazon Handmade

Thanks to product shortages everywhere, the market for handmade gifts is likely to soar this holiday season. That makes this a great time for artists to find the right online sales portal for your custom-made goods. As a division of the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon Handmade is an understandably tempting choice.

However, our reviewers found that this site is more expensive and less versatile than its chief competitor, Etsy. Indeed, Amazon demands that you open a professional selling account to sell on Handmade. That account costs $40 a month, though Amazon promises to waive that fee after the first month “for approved sellers.” (It’s unclear what you have to do to get approved.) And, either way, the site’s 15% commission on each sale is far more than you pay with Etsy.


CafeTemps aims to connect restaurant staff with food service jobs. However, unlike many other companies operating in this space, CafeTemps wants workers to direct the terms. Workers set up profiles on the site, stating their experience, how far they’re willing to travel, and how much they expect to be paid. Companies that hire from the site must pay the worker’s rate, plus a 12% site fee for the connection.

Generally, workers also must pay CafeTemps a 5% commission from their wages. However, the site promises to waive that 5% fee for those who sign up early. That currently applies to anyone signing up outside of New York City, where CafeTemps is best-established.

The catch? The site is new and doesn’t look like it’s filling a lot of positions. If you’re looking for work in food service, you’ll need to sign up with other sites in addition to this one. We’d suggest Qwick and Jitjatjo.


MarketerHire screens marketing experts and connects them with appropriate clients. Marketers set their own rates and are paid 100% of the rate they set. MarketerHire charges clients — not freelancers — for the matchmaking and bill collection service.

Freelancers are paid by MarketerHire every two weeks by direct deposit. However, getting accepted to the platform is tough. The site screens heavily and expects you to be highly-experienced and specific about your skills. Those who use the platform rave about it, though. So it may be worth a shot, if you have the requisite skills. Other sites for marketing experts to find work include FlexProfessionals, SkipTheDrive, and FreeUp.

(Click here to try FlexProfessionals)


Publicist recently launched on the U.S. scene, sending messages to many seasoned journalists and communicators to sign up. The pitch: If you’re accepted into the network, you can set your own rates for copywriting, marketing and creative services. (Creative services include being a creative director, art director or videographer.)

The site takes no fees from freelancer pay. Instead, Publicist tacks a 20% surcharge onto client bills. However, like CafeTemps, the site is young and doesn’t appear to have enough clients to employ a lot of creatives.

On the bright side, there are dozens of better-established sites that can help editors, copywriters and marketers find work. These include WorkingNotWorking, Creatively, Reedsy, and Robert Half.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link