Next, let’s tackle one of the most popular online business ideas – affiliate marketing. So what is it, exactly? In a nutshell, you recommend products or services offered by a chosen company to your readers, followers or people you know. If they buy something as a result of your recommendation, you get a commission (either a percentage or a flat fee). Easy, right?

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.


For example, you can promote yourself as someone who is available when others usually aren’t – after regular business hours and on weekends. Get your clients used to your schedule by listing your hours on your business cards, stationary, website, and voice mail. If they know in advance not to expect a return call until after five, they won’t be irritated when it happens.
You can have your own store up in only a few minutes at eBay. To start, you must have a seller account, must be verified through PayPal. You are even able to give a detailed description of your store with a catchy design to attract customers. I have a friend who will buy all of the unused bras at a last chance type of store and resell them for a profit at her eBay store. Last I heard, she was doing $1,000/month in her first couple of months.
People with disabilities often face many challenges in their regular every day lives. The things we all take for granted the disabled struggle with everyday. One of the biggest obstacles the disabled job seeker faces is locating work from home jobs. Actually it's an obstacle we all have but the disabled are way more disadvantaged in this respect. So are there work at home options available to people with disabilities? We explored this very question and came up with some interesting findings.
I know of a guy who started out as a handyman. He then took that idea as a handyman and started his own blog to teach people how to fix things themselves through blogging and video tutorial. At the end of every post or video, he would tell you what tool he used to get the job done and would provide a link directly to Amazon for you to purchase that product.
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but taking online surveys through companies like Survey Junkie do pay  out (a little), believe it or not. Even if the payouts come in the form of Amazon gift cards, sites like Swagbucks can pay well. Just don't expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.

I also buy and sell moped – little 49 cc Italian and Austrian mopeds made in the mid 1970’s to the 1980’s. These are super cool and command premium prices in cities since they are easy to ride and get 100+ mpgs!  I have Craiglist alerts set up in Chicago for mopeds and pounce quickly on the deals. I actually have a storage facility just for my mopeds and still love buying and selling them. These two hobbies of mine are actually great side hustles that I don’t ever imagine stopping.
Keep in mind that competition is fierce right now; many people turned to freelancing when the recession hit to earn some extra money on the side. So you’re going to have to fight your way into this market. The good news, however, is that quality writing never goes out of style, and there’s far more bad writers out there than great ones. So if you’re good and you’re persistent, you’re going to find work.
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.
It’s funny that you put baking of all things on this list. I’d often considered the idea of baking cookies and things and selling them on Facebook garage sale sites and things like that – until I made Christmas cookies last week and found out how difficult it is. Let’s just say it gave me a healthy appreciate for the people who make all the tasty desserts I regularly enjoy!
Consider your business plan to develop a picture of goals and timelines. For instance, if you want to turn a side business into a full-time venture later on, come up with a rough idea of when you’d like to begin this transition. Create a schedule by mapping out yearly, monthly, and weekly goals, and keep track of them along the way. Making and meeting goals will help you stay on your timeline, which will help ensure your business’ success. On the other hand, if you don’t intend to leave your full-time job, determine how much time you’re willing to put into it on a daily and weekly basis, and then create a plan to help you stick with it.
Any good idea will work online for a blog or website topic. And here’s why. As long as you’re creating lots and lots of content, engaging with people meaningfully, bringing people together online, and offering a quality product or service will help your blog or website grow beyond imagination. You just have to stay on track with creating quality content and showing up on social networks. This way, people will feel compelled to share your content on their social profiles which will in turn give you free advertising and increased revenue potential from the energy of others.
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.
Affiliate marketing is the ideal way for any side hustle or to prosper. All they have to do is start a blog or website, preferably a self hosted WordPress blog, and start discussing a niche topic they’re passionate about. One thing I tell people about starting up a business online is a side hustle is that you have to be passionate about what you’re doing and not look at it as a second job. If a person loves doing what they’re doing as a hobby, it’ll transform into a full-time business and not only be more successful than hoped for, but will most likely end up becoming a millionaire and inspiring others to follow their lead. Becoming a millionaire is one thing. Appreciating the process and being thankful for the learning experiences is another.

There’s a big difference between drinking beer and learning how to brew it. But, with patience and a bit of persistence, brewing it yourself could result in something special over time as you perfect your craft. Pick up a starter kit, like one from Mr. Beer and get creative about finding a winning flavor combination. Start small by setting up a booth at a local street fair and networking with local restaurant owners. Be sure to brush up on local regulations and proper licensing before you start selling.

Great post, MM! Incredibly inspiring, I really only grasped the side hustle concept since starting my blog about 6 months ago, after reading sites like yours. Already, apart from my blog, I’ve put my personal recording studio into use and started a music production side hustle, and a friend and I have launched a boutique logo design start up, called BroGoLogo, as an quality alternative to commodity products/services that you mention in this post.
Photography Tip: If you plan on selling your photography on a stock photo site, it’s a numbers game. The more pictures you take and upload, the better chance you are to be found. You’ll need to make sure you use the right tags so that people can easily find your photos. The more pictures you take, the faster you’ll develop your photography skills over time. So it’s an all around win.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he's running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.

Stylish new plates and silverware can really elevate a dinner party to the next level, but most people don’t want to spend a fortune on them. You store can carry quality dinner supplies at a great price, and can also include napkins and other decor that fit the theme. Photos and excellent descriptions are vital here. You want to make sure that your items are superb, and that guests compliment the host on their taste. When this happens, you will not only bring your initial customer back to your store, you will acquire more customers in the process.
I struggled with creating spreadsheets to track my progress because it’s the least sexiest thing about blogging (for me, anyways!). But since I started doing it the right way, and checking in to update my progress every Sunday night, I can evaluate what’s working and what’s not. The results have been amazing. I wouldn’t be able to get this type of insight without tracking my numbers.

What Employees Say: “VIPKID pays between $14-22 an hour, plus more in incentives some months. Most kids are fun and well behaved. You create your own schedule and work as little or much as you want. The materials are already provided, you just have to review them beforehand and plan out how you want to teach the materials and which props you want to use.” —Current ESL Teacher
A sports photography business owner should find excitement in watching all types of sporting events. An owner should get a thrill from capturing awesome action shots that freeze important moments in sporting history. If you share these passions and would like to share your excitement with all those who see your photos, then starting a sports photography business is perfect for you.
If you love to travel and find yourself frequently searching for airfare sales or browsing sites like Lonely Planet, why not monetize your knowledge as a private travel consultant? Start with friends and family who know they can already count on you for cheap flights and amazing activity recommendations. Ask for referrals and sign up on a site that connects you with travelers, such as Plansify. As a Plansify Travel Advisor, you can start connecting with a larger audience of people seeking your advice. Most registered advisors charge $12 to $30 to answer up to three traveler questions, and $50 to $75 for a one-hour Skype session.

According to a report published by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in Canada, the jam and preserve industry in the United States brings in over $1 billion annually. Most impressively, it’s grown steadily -- even through the Great Recession. The market for jams, jellies, and preserves is strong, growing, and has many opportunities for new start-ups.
This business is ideal for current and former teachers, which is why many teachers begin their home tutoring business as a part-time job. You must be a people person, as most of the business regards direct, one-on-one interaction with others. It helps to be good with children of all ages, as they comprise the vast majority of your customers. Finally, it helps to be organized and self-motivated: conducting home tutoring as a full-scale business means managing many contacts, reaching out to local schools, and making sure you have enough time during each session for your various clients.
This business is great for artists, giving them a venue to create their own designs and sell them via t-shirts. It is also great for those with strong community ties, as it lets them build long-lasting relationships providing t-shirts for various high school clubs, small businesses, local churches, and other organizations. Finally, it's a good business for savvy social media users as they can leverage these skills to reach diverse audiences of customers online.
Are you passionate about making some extra money online? Do you have a talent that you would like to share with others? If so, then we can help you get rolling on some side business ideas that you can start today. Sometimes the things we love the most, our hobbies or favorite past-times, can become a source of income. Who doesn’t want to make money from something they love to do?

This business consists of an individual, or a team, who are hired to take quality pictures of properties for sale. The purpose is to attract potential buyers who view the property online. Due to the competitive nature of the real estate industry, the demand for quality property photos is elevated and perpetual. Proper lighting and point of view helps a property stand out above the competition, driving potential buyers to view the property.


One bonus is that I got to learn about so many different industries, including for example hydroponics, which I would have probably never learned about had I not had to build WordPress site for the second largest (at the time) online hydroponics store. Another cool thing about building WordPress websites is that my clients then wanted to buy on-going website maintenance services from me. These services included things like keeping the website secure and uploading content. This is where the real gold was, especially from larger law firms. I was able to get some maintenance contracts at $1,000/month – which is a tiny expense for a big firm. Building WordPress websites really added up.
There’s a big difference between drinking beer and learning how to brew it. But, with patience and a bit of persistence, brewing it yourself could result in something special over time as you perfect your craft. Pick up a starter kit, like one from Mr. Beer and get creative about finding a winning flavor combination. Start small by setting up a booth at a local street fair and networking with local restaurant owners. Be sure to brush up on local regulations and proper licensing before you start selling.

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.
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? :-)
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