In the last few years, I’ve created online courses, launched a self-published book (under a fake name—not proud of this one), done marketing consulting, launched an email course, Airbnb-ed my apartment, traded stocks, bought cryptocurrency (my best investment to date), bought a condo and put it on Airbnb, wrote a book (a better one), bought a business, put affiliate links on my site, given paid talks, written book summaries, and built an affiliate site for a basketball dribbling course I never took (also not proud of this one).
No matter where you're from or what you do for a living, thanks to the conveniences afforded to us by the internet, making money is no longer a constant and never-ending struggle. With the proverbial world at our fingertips, as long as you know how to tap into the vast amount of opportunities found in the digital ether of cyberspace, you can earn some extra income, even if you're in a tight bind.
From personal experience as a freelance content marketer, I can vouch for the profitability in this industry. I grew my side hustle into a $160,000/yr business before quitting my day job to pursue this business idea full-time; all you need is the right skills and experience to back it up. With startups, established brands, and even notable influencers needing to build credibility and grow their brands, professionals who can serve up compelling content enjoy a huge demand for their services. And, since brands will always need high quality content to bring in new customers, your skills will always remain an asset to invest in—especially since the nature of creating a content marketing strategy is an ever-evolving one. Start by tapping into your existing network with this business idea and begin tracking down local small business owners who could benefit from your marketing tactics, do a bang up job, ask for referrals and grow from there to the point where you're doing blogger outreach and spreading out to a wider market.
Network marketing (sometimes referred to as multi-level-marketing) can sometimes have a bad connotation if you have ever been scammed in the past. However, there are very reputable companies out there that you can start working for today with very little buy-in or overhead. A member of our family started off her network marketing business as a side hustle and has turned it into a part-time gig with full-time income. Warning: if you are told it doesn’t require any actual work – run away!
Remember my earlier post about breakfast burritos? Making meals in advance is a great way to save money for yourself – but you can often prepare these for others as well and sell them for a markup. Prepare eight casseroles, for example, then sell six of them to cover your costs, and you’ve got two free dinners for your family (and maybe a bit more). You can grow this by taking orders from others and finding out what they like.
Earning money on GigWalk is similar to working on Task Rabbit—not a bad side business idea if you've got the free time. You get to choose from an amusingly diverse range of jobs from taking snapshots of restaurant menus to counting the items arrayed on supermarket racks. It won’t make you rich though, with payouts tending to congregate in the lower half of their $3-to-$100 range. But, if you're looking for a steady little side business idea, it can't hurt doing a strange but fun errand and getting a tip at the end. When you’re bored or a little short on cash, you can access GigWalk anytime, anywhere via their mobile app. Meanwhile, all the jobs specifically vetted for you will be within reach (ideally, just a brisk walk away).
In fact, many business owners start their businesses as side ventures. They don't quit their day jobs, but instead use the skills they've learned to start that side business. They aren't expecting these businesses to pay the bills, but they don't limit themselves on growth either. Starting small keeps the startup costs low. If it does fail, they have lost very little. How do you start a side business? Here are a few tips.
I’m not saying that walking dogs for a few hundred extra bucks a month so you can invest isn’t worth doing. It definitely is and you don’t have to side hustle to scale – any additional money you make and invest will help you walk away sooner. I’m just saying that before you start side hustling or pick your next side hustle, just understand that you really can make a ton of money doing it with the right mindset and strategy.
If you love to create art of any kind, you could be making a little side-income with your talent. Custom, one-of-a-kind paintings are popular decorations, and many people are willing to pay for unique works. This side business idea is great, because it takes something you love (and would probably be doing anyway) and turns it into a source of income.
If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, this is a great way to get sponsors and fund this side business idea. My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is actually my current side business idea, and because I had an existing audience here on my blog at the time I launched the show, I was able to broker a $5,000 sponsorship from Freshbooks to place ads on the first ten episodes before I even got started.
Furniture flipping is actually a really fun business. I’ve dabbled in this myself a time or two, and it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks if you don’t mind putting in the time. What you do is scour garage sales, Craigslist, or even the side of the road on trash day looking for furniture that’s in need of a little TLC. Then, take the time to fix, refinish, or paint the furniture, and resell it for a profit.
While this suggestion could not be further from the standard small business loan, it cannot be denied that the strategy paid off. The company has now earned around $1.65 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, Spark Capital and Chicago Ventures, and has been named one of the Top 5 Silicon Beach Startups to Watch by Entrepreneur.
A drone photography business is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to make good money by combining their love of photography or videography along with their passion for flying. There is a high technical barrier to the business, so it is critical that potential business owners are dedicated to achieving a high degree of technical fluency. A drone photography business usually requires a lot of traveling to clients, so you will need to be comfortable with possible overnight travel.
Becoming a Virtual Assistant Tip: When starting this side hustle, you can find clients on popular websites like Upwork. However, you could start to see better results when you branch out on your own as an independent contractor. Starting up might be a bit harder as you need to find clients but you could earn more money this way. You can join popular Facebook groups for businesses or online retailers to offer your services.
The concept is simple: make a list of what content (or marketing activities) you'll need and when it needs to be finished. As much as deadlines remind me of college, sometimes you just need to light a fire under your ass. The good thing about calendars is that they allow you to work forward instead of coming up with posts off the cuff or having to read through dozens of emails and orders to find what should be the priority. If you know what you need to accomplish you can get right to work.
If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you're looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, check out my guide—how to get a remote job (this weekend).
One of the most widely-available ways for making money is to drive for Uber or Lyft. The sharing economy has quite literally exploding, and both Uber and Lyft are at the forefront. The best part? You can turn on and off your availability through these networks with the simple click of a button, effectively allowing you to make money no matter what time of day or night it is.
Any adult who looks after another person's child for more than two hours on any one day in a location other than the child's home (so excluding most babysitters and nannies) needs to register with Ofsted – it's not a particularly complicated process but does include medical, criminal and domestic safety checks. Nannies can look after the children of up to two sets of parents, in one of their home environments, without being Ofsted-registered.
On a more casual level, there are a variety of service businesses that make great side businesses. Sites like Craigslist can be a great way to put your skills to use and piece together revenue. Do you know what interviewers look for? Consider offering resume building help. Know multiple languages? Put your skills to good use and offer tutoring or language conversation lessons. Do you love animals? Advertise yourself as a dog walker for your neighborhood.
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I can’t say enough about dog walking and pet sitting. I’ve been doing this for over two years, and my business has grown to the point where I was only home 4 days last May. The place I’m at now has a pool, and the next place has a pool table. I love dogs but can’t have one of my own, so I also get all the puppy snuggles I could want. And the startup cost is very low.