Let’s face it, times are tough. The unemployment rate is high and the cost of gas and food prices are on the rise. Out of necessity, many people have started to look for ways to supplement their income. Some have succeeded with side business ideas while they continue to work a full-time job. But that’s a big step, and many don’t realize how much time, effort, and money it takes.
Do you search the Internet? Want to get paid for it? Swagbucks is a site that rewards you for doing various online tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and using their search engine. When using their search engine, you get reward points after several searches, usually in the amount of 10-15 points. You can start cashing out rewards at the 500 points mark.
An Airbnb is a great way to add some extra income, especially if you have unused rooms or lots of space in your house. You will have guests staying in your home, so you should be comfortable talking and interacting with guests. Some homeowners, who travel often, will also rent out their homes when they are out of town. This allows them to receive income and have someone watching their home when they’re not around.
Affiliate marketing is one of those side hustle ideas that can either make you a lot of money or nothing. It’s not just about finding the right product to sell, but also finding the right brand to partner with. If you chose to be an affiliate marketer for ecommerce stores, your commission will likely be a lot lower than if you were just to dropship them yourself. However, there are tech companies who will pay a hefty price tag to affiliates who bring them new customers.

I’ve had other acquaintances buy the rights to unpopular songs or jingles and collect on royalties, others who buy Youtube channels or Instagram accounts, and still others who buy Amazon businesses. The list of existing assets you can buy are practically endless, and if you have one or two ideas for improving an asset, you could have a winner on your hands.

I’ve always been interested in the idea of self-publishing, but I am not entirely sure how to do that. I’ve researched it and created an account on Amazon, but how do I know that I can trust the cite with my bank account. I’m also not sure how to know what price I should sale my book at. The tax information is confusing for me too. I am not a numbers person. Just getting through reading all the terms and conditions of publishing on Amazon took me a while. Any advice?
Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn't stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.

The photo booth business is perfect for any person who likes photography. Whether you’re a photographer, a framer, a painter or simply love taking pictures of others, you can establish a photo booth business to give customers the chance to take their own pictures. Operating a photo booth does take some familiarity with camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. The ideal photo booth business owner will also have a solid software foundation. It takes time to hook everything up, but it’s certainly worth the effort when customers are satisfied.
Have you cracked the code for landing higher paying jobs at the drop of a hat? If you have a knack for helping your friends or co-workers navigate the process of finding their dream job, nailing an interview, negotiating a better salary or getting a raise at their current day job, other people would be willing to pay for your help too—making this a great side business idea that doesn't take too much time. Get started by sharing your advice on a personal blog and becoming a career coach on platforms like The Muse and Coach Me where there's already an existing audience of people looking to make a move in their careers. From there, keep your focus on helping people get real results, building case studies to support this side business idea, and eventually charging for the results you're delivering clients.
Having an adequate amount of cash flow in a business can make the difference between success and failure. That’s why it’s important to have serious cash reserves when you launch full-time. But many people don’t have the months of operating expenses needed to do this. So they start small with a side business and use profits to beef up cash reserves for a future full-scale launch.
The good news about starting a side hustle online is there’s no age cut off, no employment reference check, no having to get dressed for a job interview, no having to ask for a raise, no having to work around people, no having to get dressed for work, and you can take as many breaks as you desire all while still getting paid. Only thing is, you have to put away your own money for retirement (if you do decide to later on), pay your own healthcare, and money for additional costs.
One of the surest ways you can make cash if you're in a bind is to sell items on Ebay or Craigslist. Any used items like furniture, household appliances, collectibles or anything else that you're just not using or is collecting dust, can be sold online to make some money. If you're serious about this, you can even do it professionally for others and collect a small commission for each sale. Take quality photos and write a good description and you'll be in great shape. 
As you can see, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to start a side business. The 11 ideas above only scratch the surface of the types of side business you can start to make extra money. Plus, who knows? You might even be able to turn your side hustle into a full-time career today. Start small with an equally small investment, and see where it takes you!

Consulting is another area in which you can make use of your existing skills. Diana Melencio spent eight years working on Wall Street, and later used her financial background to her advantage, working as an independent financial consultant. This side business enabled her to follow her passion and to start OkMyOutfit, an online styling and shopping platform.
An effective social media strategy that’s focused on attracting new prospects and nurturing leads can take a lot of time to develop and implement. Let alone all the automation, optimization and engagement tools and tactics that a good social media manager needs to master. So while the majority of business owners will strive to have a presence on social media channels, only a few will know how to get the best ROI and tie their social media efforts to the bottom line. Tapping into this need and helping businesses manage their social media accounts could turn out to be a very profitable side business idea.

Self-publishing is thriving, eBooks and online guides are slowly but steadily making a lot of online authors richer every day and, to the surprise of a number of cynics, people are still reading! So here’s another golden nugget for you – write a book or a long-form guide and sell it online. Whether you have a great personal story to tell, a valuable, educational piece cooking up in your head or have accumulated a wealth of resources or knowledge on a particular topic that could prove invaluable to others, you can start making money off it as soon as it gets online. If you publish your eBook through Amazon Kindle Publishing and continuously promote it on your blog or website, the sales will keep on trickling in.


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!

OK, so I am guessing Grant was a lot like me in that very early on his goal was financial independence. I pursued a different strategy but was also very motivated. I worked for a Fortune 100 company, earned my undergraduate and MBA at night and on the weekends. I maxed out my 401K and collected all the free money that I could. I had some great jobs and traveled the world. I retired at 56 and have been enjoying life and my freedom ever since. It will always require dedication and hard work but if you want it you can earn it. But not everyone is driven and if you are not you will never achieve your goals. I am writing this while I am in Sao Paulo, Brazil one of the great foodie cities in the world, and I bet you didn’t know that either. But I know because I travel a lot!
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.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it's not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
If you're toying with the idea to pad your income with a side job, this book is a decent start. It gives you some suggestions about what to do, links to further resources (often other Nolo books), and some good tips on topics as diverse as marketing or how to deal with various types of business people, including lawyers. I went through the book easily and found it well- written and understandable.
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When you’re on the path of frugality, you’ve basically got two options when it comes to padding your bank account: you can either trim expenses to save more money, or you can try to earn more money. Doing both will, of course, greatly increase the chance you’ll achieve your long-term financial goals, whether that’s to pay back your student loans or save up for your dream vacation.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you're offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.
Business consultants provide a necessary service to startup businesses and entrepreneurs. They help the business get off to a good start by providing the know-how and resources necessary for success. A business consultant usually retains a book of clients and may limit his or her business to just several hundred (or fewer) businesses or entrepreneurs.
Briefly, successful niche websites rely on tapping into underserved topics and niches and using various monetization techniques, such as display advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling digital products or even plugging in eCommerce elements to lay a foundation for a passive income strategy. For some inspiration, read the FoodTruckr story (a website for buying and selling food trucks) and how it found its success online purely by chance.

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.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results as your side business idea. Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching some of these small business marketing ideas by Brian Downard and you'll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
So, you have a great idea for a new business? The thing is, getting started isn’t as straightforward as some people make it sound. What if you need a little help getting it off the ground? In addition to creating a solid business plan, marketing your business, and a host of other details you’ll be considering, a lot of your time will probably be spent thinking about how to fund your new venture.
This business is right for an individual who has an affinity for the written word and language in general. If you are a voracious reader, enjoy expressing yourself, and have a way with words, you should give consideration to working as a freelance writer. This line of work is also ideal for those who enjoy autonomy. The typical freelance writer does not have to deal with an overbearing boss. However, freelance writers must meet tight deadlines, satisfy clients' nuanced demands, and create captivating content.

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:
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