I've long been drawn to the passive income supplied by creating an ebook and publishing an accompanied print-on-demand paperback. By using platforms like KDP and CreateSpace, both by Amazon, you can create an easily create and sell an ebook that costs nothing to produce, and a paperback that earns you money only when it sells, removing much of the prior friction it took to get published.
There isn’t one way to bootstrap your business—and this can be both a positive and a negative. Bootstrapping can offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to be flexible, creative, and fund their business on their own terms. It often results in cobbling together a variety of revenue streams in order to establish a solid financial platform to get a business going. However, this can also be a risky, unstable endeavor, which is a potential downside to consider.

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.


Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade's most innovative companies.
Successfully starting a blogging business requires a lot of passion for a particular subject and a desire to share that passion with others. The passion is often more important than what the subject itself is, as there are blogs on all kinds of topics -- and readers interested in all kinds of subjects. Creating content for a blogging business requires a significant amount of time, but the tasks can easily be arranged around a full-time job or other obligations.

A friend’s son was a member of the Chess Club at his elementary school. He spent one day a week after school for an hour, learning how to play chess. His parents paid $40 for 8 weeks of this club. That money went to the leader who was teaching everyone how to play chess. He paid a small rental fee to the school, but everything after that cost was profit for him. This brilliant idea could be a side hustle for you on the weekends or evenings. This entrepreneur offered these services to four different schools, worked just an hour a day and was able to live on the money he made while going to college. This is definitely not limited to chess and could be offered at a local rec center, a church, or the library.  


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.
Counted amongst the most valuable tech giants, Amazon is also a massive global market where virtually anyone can cash in on the rising tide of eCommerce if you have the right business idea. But, like everything else that involves money, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. In this case, you need to do tons of research (looking for generic products such as clocks, key chains and mugs to attach your brand to) as well as developing a sensible inside sales strategy that'll help you generate profits from your private label side business idea. For an incredible deep dive on how  to launch this kind of business idea, check out how digital marketer Neil Patel recently did this as a public experiment right here on his blog.

I made this mistake in the beginning of blogging. I didn’t have a six-month goal, let alone an end-goal, so I made a lot of choices that led me down the “popularity” path (more of an influencer) instead of the “profitability” path (specifically for making money blogging). I could’ve saved over a year of time if I focused on the end goal of profitability from the beginning. It’s really easy to get distracted when you start a blog (something I talk about in my blogging course) – something I learned the hard way!
This job is ideal for someone who is good with both technology and people. It is necessary to be good with technology because you must know your way around the hardware and software necessary to print onto a variety of different surfaces. You must be good with people because your clientele is potentially very diverse—the professional who needs new business cards may be very different from the college student who wants to order an ironic t-shirt.

Like many of these side business ideas, selling sunglasses is a business you can start by hand-making your own product or outsourcing production to a company. You will need to decide on your niche- do you want to sell a certain kind of glasses, a certain brand, or just a style that speaks to you? Once you’ve settled on this, you will need to market hard.


Additionally, business owners who start this type of business are in good company. Not only do many people have successful children’s book businesses today, but one of the most successful children’s authors in modern history began by self-publishing her work. Beatrix Potter funded the first runs of both Peter Rabbit and The Tailor of Gloucester. The two stories are popular even to this day.

Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
The book did not disappoint (of course). I love the step-by-step layout of the book with a very specific 27-day roadmap for how to discover your side hustle mission all the way through to launch date and beyond. The advice is practical and down to earth with direction like "launch before you think you're ready and adjust as you go." You can't let perfectionism hold you back if you want a side hustle to be a success. And don't worry if things don't work out the first time, Chris gives you lots of tips on how to evaluate your launch and make changes for the next iteration.

After you have exhausted your skill set, consider what you may have to offer others. Think about what others want to have done in their life that you are willing to do. Consider all the things people pay for professionally, but would love to save money by paying you a bit less. These 5 examples are awesome in that they come from someone thinking outside the box.

This article is excerpted from U.S. News money senior editor Kimberly Palmer’s book, “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life,” which was released this month. Copyright © 2014 Kimberly Palmer. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved
If you don't find what you're looking for there, here's a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. Listen to my podcast interview with Laurence Bradford about her journey to become a freelance web developer, too. And over time, you'll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.
Hey Grant! This is a great post! It’s so refreshing to hear of side hustles other than the typical options like Uber, Lyft, etc. I’ve been selling concert tix for over a year and have made some good money….I’ve also lost my ass a couple of times. There’s a definite learning curve! I’ll check out writing white papers since I loved writing in college. Thx for the tips!

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.
Happy days are here again – or so you might assume from a recent wave of optimistic reports about the economic outlook and rising consumer confidence. But while unemployment is down, the latest labour market figures reveal a surge in part-time jobs as employers remain anxious about long-term recovery prospects, suggesting it may not be time to hang out the bunting just yet.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
There are two basic ways how to find the best affiliate partners. You can make a list of products or services that add value to your content and check the company websites to see if they have an affiliate or referral program, or you can join an affiliate network to browse offers from hundreds of advertisers and find the right match there. For example, you can become an “Amazon associate=” and promote any of their products on your site to earn up to 10% in advertising fees or join Hostinger’s Affiliate program to earn cash and special rewards.
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.

This is the BEST list that I have seen in a long while. I have so many tabs open from clicking on these links! I am a current high school senior but I’ve been side hustling practically my entire life, from lemonade stands and my childhood “art” to selling on Ebay, and pretty soon, on Etsy. This list gave me some great ideas and advice and I can’t wait to put them into practice!
×