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Published: 22:00 BST, 21 April 2020 | Updated: 10:29 BST, 22 April 2020

Many households are desperately worried about what the coronavirus crisis means for their jobs, pensions and savings.

But if you get creative, there are ways you can make some extra cash without setting foot outside the door.

From filling in surveys to recording audiobooks, we found out how five successful homeworkers are earning a living in lockdown.

Earn from home: If you get creative, there are ways you can make some extra cash without setting foot outside the door

Johnny Mindlin records audiobooks and voiceovers from his study in Finchley, North London. 

He can earn between £100 and £150 recording just ten minutes of audio for online training guides, which takes about an hour. Recording audiobooks is more fun, he says, but takes longer and pays less well.

Johnny averages one voiceover job a week and is primarily a producer, hiring and working with other voiceover artists.

He says: ‘All you need is a laptop, a podcast microphone that plugs straight into your laptop, a microphone stand and a pop shield, to reduce the popping sound when you speak.

‘This will cost around £100. Most of the software needed to record and edit, such as Audacity, is free.’

He recommends recording a voiceover demo to showcast your vocal skills. You can find audition scripts on Google but choose one on the second or third page, and create a professional website.

Contact production companies by email with a minute’s MP3 recording. List your availability. 

If you want to record audiobooks, send a demo of you reading a book with one or two characters.

You can also register on hiring sites, and — but there may be fees.

Johnny, 55, warns that the market can be competitive: ‘There are 200 to 300 artists who make a good living. 

‘Others do it part-time. But there are thousands who do one or two jobs a month.’

What started as a hobby for Ruth Chipperfield while she was unwell eventually became a fully fledged jewellery business.

Ruth dropped out of university in 2011, a year after she was diagnosed with narcolepsy. 

Back at home, she began fixing her old, broken jewellery and repurposing bits she found at antique fairs. She sold each piece for between £10 and £30.

Ruth Chipperfield dropped out of university in 2011 and began fixing her old, broken jewellery and repurposing bits she found at antique fairs

A few years later, Ruth, 30, bought a £2 tatting shuttle — for making lace — at an antique fair. 

She began casting it in precious metal to incorporate it into her designs, and decided to take the business side of Ruth Mary Jewellery more seriously.

At first she had no idea how to use social media to sell — but now she can post a sketch on her Facebook page and receive enquiries before the jewellery is even made.

Bristol-based Amanda Holly became a ‘virtual assistant’ in 2016 after she tired of spending hours each day commuting to work.

With ten years of admin experience, she realised she could offer support to businesses from the comfort of her own home. 

The work resembles that of a PA, including data entry and writing newsletters and social media posts.

‘Firms are always asking for virtual assistants,’ says Amanda. ‘It makes sense for them not to worry about paying for my pension, holiday or national insurance. They can just hire me when they need me. All I need is a laptop.’

The standard rate is £25 an hour. Amanda, 42, puts aside 23 per cent of her monthly 31 Legit Passive Income Ideas to Make Money While You Sleep (You Need #1!) for tax and her pension. She pays £12 a month for indemnity insurance and an annual £40 data protection fee.

She says: ‘Not every virtual assistant does the same thing, so focus on what you are good at.’

Emma Jackson makes £200 to £250 a month by completing online surveys and questionnaires.

She says research website Prolific is a top payer, sometimes offering £20 for tasks, including online tests, that take only half an hour.

Emma, 26, also uses apps that pay out when you upload photos of receipts. Snapmyeats pays £5 for 15 receipts a month, while Zipzero offers 1 per cent of the total receipt value. 

Shopping apps such as Shopmium and Checkoutsmart offer money back on certain items, and Emma also uses Topcashback, which pays when you shop through the app. 

She also suggests checking flexible working websites such as Appen for any opportunities.

Former financial services industry worker Simon Alexander Ong runs face-to-face coaching sessions and speaks at events, he also offers virtual classes to provincial entrepreneurs

After a decade in the financial services industry, Simon Alexander Ong decided to branch out.

Besides running face-to-face coaching sessions and speaking at events, 50 easy crafts to make and sell for a whole week he also offers virtual classes to provincial entrepreneurs.

Last year he launched a paid-for Facebook group. Every week Simon, 35, engages with his users for an hour, answering questions, sharing insights and offering informal coaching. 

He also live streams interviews with inspirational figures, such as the author and mathematician Bobby Seagull. It costs users from £69 a month.

Simon, who lives in Greenwich, South-East London, spends about half an hour per day doing admin.

In the current climate, he reckons anyone could share their skills online. He says: ‘Look at where the demand is. 

‘For example, with schools closing, we know parents will be wanting online tutors. People may also want to upskill, so think about what you can offer.’

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