Got a yard or a garage? Know a second language? Check out these new ways to make money

A dog stands in a yard by a house as people watch
Renting out your yard to dog owners without a place for their pets to run is one of the least work-intensive side hustles around.
(Lara Solt / For The Times)

This week’s crop of newly reviewed side hustles underscores the wide variety in the so-called gig economy. Whether you’re a translator, a musician, a landscaper, or just a person with a yard or storage space, there’s a side hustle platform just for you. Here are six new moneymakers, what they pay and how.

Sniffspot: Rent your yard

Got a yard? Sniffspot connects people with yards with dog owners who are looking for an off-leash playground for their pets. Only one dog owner can book each Sniffspot at a time. And dogs are not allowed to be left unattended.

Owners set the schedule, rules and rates. Typically, they charge between $5 and $30 per hour, per dog. (There are sometimes multiple-dog discounts for clients who have a pack.) Because popular yards can be rented out back to back, it’s possible to earn thousands per month. It’s one of the easiest moneymakers in that all you need to do is list your yard, put out water, and, if you want to offer “amenities,” provide a tennis ball.

Yardzen: Landscaping opportunities

Yardzen is a rapidly growing landscape design firm that has recently opted to fuel its growth with remote designers. Freelance designers work under three-month, renewable contracts. The site expects applicants to have previous design experience and be adept at designing with 3-D software. Yardzen does not indicate how much designers are paid. However, Glassdoor estimates pay at around $75,000 annually.

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Because this is a fairly new initiative at an established company, most reviews are not written by contractors. Some employees say the site is going through serious growing pains. But it still may be worth checking out.


Musika: Teach music

Musika connects music teachers with potential customers. However, the connection comes at a high cost — 50% of the student’s payment. And, although the site maintains that teachers set their own rates, schedule and curriculum, teachers say it determines your rates for online lessons, which are the bulk of what you teach. And the rates for online lessons are often far lower than what teachers command elsewhere.

Moreover, the site has a “risk-free trial lesson,” which students pay for only if they’re satisfied. If the student is not satisfied, the teacher is apparently not paid for his or her time, and the site will set up another trial lesson with another teacher.

PeerStorage: Get paid for storage space

PeerStorage is a peer-to-peer marketplace where people who have unused space can list it for rent and people who need to store things can search the site for space.

Hosts set the rates and terms, such as the specifics of the available space, what’s not allowed in it, and the times that people can get access to their stuff. However, the site gives suggested rental ranges that are meant to price your space at a significant discount to commercial storage rates. To give an idea, suggested rates to rent out a garage are $201 a month; a shed, $104 per month; RV parking, $507 a month.

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The site works much like Neighbor and Stache, which are also peer-to-peer storage options. They all are easy-money options for people with unused space. And there’s no downside to signing up with all three.

ProZ: Translation jobs

ProZ connects clients and freelance translators, but takes no role in the relationship between the two. That means you negotiate your own rates and collect from your clients. If you have a dispute with a client you met on this network, you are on your own.

On the bright side, both clients and freelancers are rated. So you can decline jobs from clients that get poor scores. You also don’t pay commissions to the platform, so your rates are your rates.


Smartcat: Translation jobs and resources

Translators on Smartcat are able to sign up for free and use some helpful tools, such as a glossary prompt and your past translation records. However, if you want to access the site’s automatic translation software to make jobs easier, you’ll pay a small fee depending on how many pages you want to translate that way.

Freelancers set their own rates — usually between 3 and 10 cents per word. And, they note on their profiles whether they have expertise in any particular topic, such as biology or accounting. Freelancers say it’s easy to find work here.

Kristof is the editor of, an independent website that reviews moneymaking opportunities in the gig economy.