Though illustrating can sometimes be a slow process, if you’re capable of making high-quality images in a short time, you can supplement your income with an illustration business. Cartooning, sketching, and such are in-demand and being able to provide these services can set you up with a steady stream of clients while you work a limited number of hours a week.
What are your skills, what is your knowledge base, and how can you channel your areas of expertise into revenue-generating side businesses? A great side business is one that allows you enough flexibility to pursue your dream startup, while still bringing in a sufficient revenue stream. Maybe, like Lori Cheek, you can sell unwanted items on eBay while also renting out a room via Airbnb, or follow Joseph Howard’s example and keep your corporate job while offering freelance services.
You can choose to do custom gift baskets, or have a few themed options for customers to pick from. Make sure your baskets are aesthetically pleasing, and build your store to include high-quality photos and clear descriptions of each product. Consider offering promotions for holidays, and giving discounts to repeat customers. Most importantly, get creative and have fun.
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ's, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who's doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you're ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
Transcription work from home jobs involve listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. While some types of transcription (such as medical) require training, it is possible to break into general transcription with little to no past experience. Before you start digging through the companies below, you may want to read this post about what general transcription involves and this post about the equipment transcribers use.
Dogs are amazing. But, owners aren’t always at home to take them for a walk. If you’re a canine fan like I hope you are, this great side business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. With pet-crazed, yet busy Americans having more pooches around, dog walking services have become a thriving industry in some U.S. cities. In fact, there’s already an app called Wag that links up dog walkers who want to exercise this business idea with the pet owners who need a helping hand.
This list offers some great ideas and inspiration for folks looking to increase their income. There’s really no reason that anyone with some ambition, a good work ethic, and “people skills” can’t earn some extra money (or a full-time income) pursuing some of these self-employment ideas. I’ve done a little research, myself, to compile a list of small business ideas, and stumbled upon a few possibilities which you didn’t cover:
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don't Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
People are getting more and more comfortable with buying online courses. Why is it so popular? The short answer is that people are looking for solutions to a problem that is keeping them from achieving something in their lives, and getting that help online is the simplest and easiest solution. Chances are, you are an expert at something. You don’t necessarily require an MBA or a special certification in a particular area to be an expert. Let’s say, for example, that you are an incredibly charming person and find online dating a fun and enjoyable experience. Thousands would disagree with you – they struggle with everything from setting up their online profile to maintaining a conversation. It’s a huge problem begging for a solution and could make a lot of money if approached in the right way. Find your best skills and package them into an online course to enjoy a long-term passive income as well as the satisfaction of helping people overcome professional and personal challenges. Derek Halpern is one of the biggest names in this niche, so check out his tips and resources for more information.
So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. I can't recommend it enough.
If you enjoy making pottery, or just jove using it for creative decor, you could turn this passion into a nice side business idea for yourself. First, narrow down what type of pottery you will sell. Do you want to sell functional outdoor flower pots, or decorative indoor items? Remember, you can always expand your niche later when you are more established.
It’s not exactly a way to make consistent great money, but housesitting—exactly what it sounds like—is a fantastically easy business idea that can fund your ability to live in exciting locales around the world (or your city) without paying a dime in rent. Did I mention it’s a way to travel and live rent free? Here’s a list of four great websites from the legendary Nomadic Matt, to start your housesitting side business idea search.
Outsourcing lead generation is becoming the new norm. Good sales people are hard to find and many businesses try to avoid the risks of employing someone full-time before they have a robust lead generation strategy in place. If you’re well versed in all things sales, then it’s time to seize the day. Lead generation encompasses a vast array of tactics, including content marketing, email marketing, cold calling, SEO, website optimization, webinars, and so on. Pick one or two techniques that you can really nail, set up your website, and get to work generating leads for your own little business.
Pet photography, like many other types of photography, can be done on one’s own schedule. You will have to be flexible in order to work with clients and find times that work for both parties, but you can pretty much set your own availability in a pet photography business. Best of all, there aren’t many ongoing expenses, so you could run a pet photography business from your home without very much upfront investment.
Similarly, if you have a particular financial goal in mind, working a side hustle can help you get there more quickly. Imagine you're aiming to buy a home and need $20,000 for a down payment. If your current salary and expenses only allow for $300 a month in savings, and you manage to earn another $300 a month from a side hustle, you'll reach your goal in half the time.
A photo editing business specializes in editing or retouching existing photos for clients. These services may range from simply cleaning up blemishes or lighting issues all the way to complex Photoshop work. Such a business is a major part of any community because of the constant need to have good-looking photos for publications, seasonal cards, social media profiles, and more.
In the strictest situation, you may have signed a non-compete agreement that forbids you from opening a side business that would compete with your employer. Understand that "competition" can be construed fairly broadly by your employer, and may include businesses you think bear no direct relation to your job or your employer's business. This could turn into a legal issue.

Gig Economy Tip: Platforms like Fiverr are dependent on reviews. If you’re just starting out, pay a friend to buy your gig and review it after you complete the project. This will allow you to have a high star rating which will allow you to get your next few customers. Without a rating, it can be hard for a client to trust you enough to give you your first opportunity.
Comon’ man… this article is about getting YOUR side hustle ON. Re-read the gianormous list Nick gave, then read ALL the comments – many of which offer additional ideas – and then rethink how little you have to offer or can do. I mean, it’s just not possible for you to feel that lost if you really consider the list provided and the vast world of opportunity we currently live in. Unfortunately ALL the ideas require you to actually DO something – no room for the wallowing “woe is me” attitude – sorry, just dropping some TRUTH on you but sounds like you need it. Only YOU can make it happen for you. Remember the sobering and sage words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” So which is it going to be for you?

Companies these days are expanding their office boundaries to incorporate the idea of working from home. These companies offer employees flexible working hours, better pay and freedom from office walls. Even though the internet is flooded with many online jobs, there are some that offer better pay. Here is a list of companies that pay $16 per hour or more to work from home.

Blogging Tip: If you’re passionate about blogging, create an online store that you can monetize and add a blog onto it. This allows you to start monetizing your asset before you’ve built your audience. Plus, the combination of content and commerce is a powerful one. As your blog grows, you can use retargeting ads to monetize your blog traffic to land even more sales. If you pump out regular, quality content you’ll quite possibly have a few home run posts that bring you a ton of traffic that’ll be easier to monetize than if you were hoping for a few affiliate sales.
Having a YouTube business is a great way to make some extra money without having to dedicate too much time. There’s a number of celebrities who owe their fame to YouTube and an even larger number of people who have made money with less recognition. A large number of subscribers and interesting content can help you monetize your content. This business only really requires as much time as it takes you to create and upload your videos.
There’s a reason plenty of entrepreneurs don’t quit their day jobs—innumerable startups have come into existence as a result of the daily nine to five grind. Joseph Howard maintains his full time job, in addition to freelance work and channeling his energy into his two startup ventures. The combination of freelance work and his full time employment gives Joseph the financial freedom to work on multiple projects at once.
People drawn to this business have a keen aesthetic eye for the details that make a framed item attractive. They also like to interface with the public and encourage their customers’ personal style and expression in how a customer wants something framed. A custom framing shop is all about serving others to help them make their decorative ideas come true.

Almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest these days, but did you know that many companies will pay people to help them manage their social media accounts — sometimes even part-time from home? To find social media jobs, you can start by contacting businesses with a social media presence and scanning sites like Upwork.com for opportunities.

If you’re stuck here, research your competition again and talk to people already doing what you want to do to see how their first six months went. People love to talk about themselves and share their stories, so don’t be afraid to reach out to someone and ask to talk with her only to hear about her story (don’t ask for anything in return, though, just ask to hear her story).
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.

So you love to cook? You could start a restaurant that will take a full-time commitment and a lot of money – or you could start a weekend catering business or a mobile food truck. A business where you provide small services on your own schedule can grow as much or as little as your time allows. Look for those opportunities while you're starting out.


Your product here is yourself, so prove that you are passionate about what you do, and detail the ways you can help them. Displaying testimonials is a huge selling point for this business. Give potential customers an inside look at one of the programs you offer so they know precisely what they will receive. Clearly state the prices for each service. Make sure to include contact information and encourage any questions they may have.
Create a formal business structure. Even if you're just starting a side business that you don't think will ever grow large enough for you to quit your main job, you still need to treat it as a serious business and follow the necessary formalities to keep it separate from your personal income and assets. In the United States and many other countries, you have the option of organizing your side business as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a sole proprietorship.[11]
The remote workforce is increasing, and if it’s something you’re interested in, you have more than enough options for whatever suits you and your career path. These are just the top-paying remote jobs — Check out job search sites to find the remote job that works for you. After all, who wouldn’t want to be more productive and cost effective, less stressed, and more engaged overall? The average American will spend one-third of their lives at work. It’s time to make your job work for you!
Did it work for me? Yep. I'm already earning some extra money on the side. As soon as I got the book I grabbed a blank notebook and carried it with me wherever the Side Hustle book went so I could craft my own side hustle plan (I even took it to the beach a couple times for some educational reading). I've written pages and pages of notes and generated lots of ideas for future projects. Since starting the 27-day plan (it's taken me more than 27 days because... life) I've started earning affiliate income from my existing personal blog that never used to earn anything. Now that the low hanging fruit is started, it's time to grow it and see where it takes me next.
Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 - $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
Ahh the wonderful world of freelancing. Freelancing is a bit different than many of the other options on here, but it is equally as lucrative and there are many different ways to go about it. If you have a specific skill that you excel at, you can make money freelancing. And I’m not just taking about coding here. You can earn money formatting Kindle books, as a photographer, as a copy writer, as a virtual assistant or even playing Pokemon Go!.
Freelance web developers are some of the most sought-after experts online. No business imagines its future without a well-functioning website and let’s not forget about growing market for apps based on artificial intelligence. If you have the right skills and experience in place, then this is your golden ticket to kicking off a successful online side business. Use freelance marketplaces like PeoplePerHour or Upwork to generate leads and pick up freelance projects, but be sure to have your own website with a balanced portfolio that you can show when pitching to new clients. If you’re only thinking about acquiring web development skills, there’s a ton of free resources that you should explore.

Create a formal business structure. Even if you're just starting a side business that you don't think will ever grow large enough for you to quit your main job, you still need to treat it as a serious business and follow the necessary formalities to keep it separate from your personal income and assets. In the United States and many other countries, you have the option of organizing your side business as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a sole proprietorship.[11]

People are getting more and more comfortable with buying online courses. Why is it so popular? The short answer is that people are looking for solutions to a problem that is keeping them from achieving something in their lives, and getting that help online is the simplest and easiest solution. Chances are, you are an expert at something. You don’t necessarily require an MBA or a special certification in a particular area to be an expert. Let’s say, for example, that you are an incredibly charming person and find online dating a fun and enjoyable experience. Thousands would disagree with you – they struggle with everything from setting up their online profile to maintaining a conversation. It’s a huge problem begging for a solution and could make a lot of money if approached in the right way. Find your best skills and package them into an online course to enjoy a long-term passive income as well as the satisfaction of helping people overcome professional and personal challenges. Derek Halpern is one of the biggest names in this niche, so check out his tips and resources for more information.
However, it is when I tried to get some hard info out of it that I ran into trouble. For example, the one website that was recommended for doing little IT jobs on the side turned out to be a depressing place where people desperately bid for jobs for extremely little money ("$12 if you configure my email software"). Also, the tax chapter didn't seem to really belong: I had to read it multiple times and still couldn't figure out whether I'd have to pay self- employment tax as a day trader or be subject to schedule C, etc...

40 Selling ad space on a personal blog This is not a big money-earner to start with but could be if you work at it, reckons Birtles. "Set up your own blog (do it for free with blogger.com) and fill it with great writing, photos, videos and anything else you're passionate about," she advises. "Get ads automatically through Google Adsense and make a few pence every time someone clicks on an ad."
According to a Gallup poll, more than 43 percent of employed Americans spend some time working remotely. This share is likely to increase over time in part because of the ways in which it can save workers and employers money. Remote job site FlexJobs estimates that working from home can save workers as much as $4,668, while Quartz calculates that telecommuters can save $2,524 a year.
Treat your business finances like your personal finances. You should be creating and sticking to a budget for both, allowing you to make your money work best for you. It's also important during this time to sock away as much extra money in savings as you can, to prepare for the transition from your full-time corporate job, to working for yourself. This is probably the biggest mistake I made, as I quit work in a huffy with only $3k in savings. 
As a result of urban growth, and more people moving to the city where their yards are small (frequently only a balcony), the bonsai tree business has boomed.  There is a great appeal in owning tiny bonsai trees, which might be only 18" high instead of 60' high. Business owners can be very successful since both local sales and Internet sales are becoming extremely popular.
Great list…a few are a bit humorous. Nevertheless, side money is still side money. An I am a firm believer that everyone should have something they do on the side. From my own personal experience, having something on the side helps takes the pressure of the main income source (both mentally and financially). If all you have is a single source of income, and if for whatever reason that source of income is threatened, the news is almost always devastating and life changing.
I was babysitting and freelance writing to make extra money while I built up my blog. I did all three at once while working full time. I had a lot going on, and I’m so glad I stopped babysitting and freelance writing, because I was barely making any money blogging at the time. It took stopping these other side gigs to be able to focus on my one side hustle, blogging.
Job description: "Join a technology-first team dedicated to building the greatest recruiting software available. You'll enjoy working on the latest web technologies in our ever-evolving stack and have significant input into product direction, technology decisions and development priorities. You'll be adding features to our ATS product and growing our services, as well as helping to maintain our application, write automated tests, work with other developers remotely and deploy code to production regularly."
Whichever route you choose, you’ll want to make an appealing, professional Selz store. Images and descriptions really need to paint a picture for the customer, as they will not be able to touch the handbag or try it out. Remember to include the measurements in your description so the customer knows exactly what they are receiving and if it works for their specific needs.
Because watch repair is very specific, general repairmen may not be fit for the watch repair business. Those who’re experienced with repairing small mechanical items, however, may find watch repair to be incredibly fun. Those who enjoy collecting watches and clocks, too, may enjoy the art of watch repair. As a business owner, a watch repair shop owner will need to have a good handle on management, accounting, and marketing.
Entrepreneurs experienced in the restaurant and bar industry who are looking to venture out on their own are best suited for this business endeavor. Mobile bartenders often work nights and weekends. This offers a more flexible work schedule, allowing you more time to focus on building your business during the week, and also spend time with family and friends.
Many people choose to start a side business while still maintaining a full-time job. Maybe you want to generate a little extra income, or you believe you have a good idea for a product or service that's going to take awhile to get up and running. Whatever your reason, starting a side business can be difficult, but you can do it if you test your idea and keep everything well separated from your day job. Spend time researching your idea so you know the need is there to make it worth your time and effort. Once you know your business idea is solid, get your licenses and permits in order and check over your employer's policies to make sure you can start your side business and still keep your day job.[1]
Anyone can start a blog, but monetizing it is a different story. However, if you are experienced and passionate about a certain subject, or have an existing blog that you can turn into a money-making endeavor, consider focusing your energy there. Blogging can be a great way to turn your passion into a side business, and blogging is—you guessed it—incredibly flexible. With no time constraints, the ability to work for as long or as little as you wish, and the freedom to work from virtually anywhere, blogging is an excellent side business option.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You'll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won't be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding your next big business idea. Want to learn more about Fiverr's history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform? Listen to my interview with Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.
Do you love being outside, planting flowers and pulling weeds? Many people find this a chore but others (myself included) love doingyardwork and planting. If this is you, then you could think about starting a landscaping and yardwork business on the side. You could offer to design beds, plant flowers and shrubs, cut grass, pull weeds, and rake leaves.
As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.
I just had to double back one more time and really take time to read your post here on side hustle business ideas. I really love the fact that your blogging about the side hustle which is my line of work just like yours. I’m one of those people that don’t believe working for a company for 20 to 40 years and retiring on a can of beans. Where so much more than that, right? Entrepreneurs a full of creativity. Thought leaders. Leaders for change. Leaders that are positive in your thinking process and inspire people to unleash their full positive potential by getting into side hustle entrepreneurship. And with all of this said, anyone can put their creative ideas they’ve had on the back burner into action at full strength and start a side hustle business just like us and become more successful than hoped for. Isn’t that right, Nick? :-)
×