Aside from an attractive glossy cover, and being extremely critical for today's economy, Running a Side Business is excellent tool for anybody yearning for a second income. Again, NOLO series has teamed up with USA Today for another information-filled book for the public. NOLO is a legal companion for more than 35 years, while USA is the nation's largest circulation newspaper.
As a soapmaker, you'll formulate soaps and perhaps other personal cleansing and beauty products according to your own recipes. You will market your offerings along sales channels that might include ecommerce, farmers markets, arts festivals, wholesale placement in spas and boutiques, and even door-to-door sales. You'll explore a range of options to see where you can find a loyal customer base.

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.
These could include candles, tablecloths, center pieces, napkins, balloons- really anything you can come up with to make the perfect wedding day. Think of it as all of the last minute supplies that the happy couple dreads having to get after all their planning. That’s where you come in as a one-stop-shop. You can combine shipping or offer specials on certain products at various times of the year.
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."
Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.

A portrait photography business provides high-quality, professional photos of individuals and families. Many businesses offer specialized services for things such as school photos, holiday cards, and family portraits. Because of the ability to offer these useful services year-round, portrait photography businesses play a vital role in the communities that they are located in.

It’s always great to get new sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and comforters, but going to the store and picking through options can be tough, especially for consumers with limited time. This is where your online store can come in, providing customers with quality products and the convenience of purchasing online. This is a win-win situation for the customer, and for you.


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).
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.
That’s where Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle steps in. The term “side hustle” has become all the rage these days, but for Guillebeau, it’s the way he’s lived his life and earned his income for more than a decade. As a friend and colleague, I’ve watched from the sidelines as he’s repeated the process many times, getting better and faster with each iteration (and often looked on in awe). And, I was excited to receive a copy to dive into and learn from.
Starting a podcast and building authority within your specific niche is an exciting way to grow a personal audience of listeners who regularly engage with your content. Since Apple's podcast store has a built-in audience and ranking system, you may be able to launch your podcast with a high volume of listeners. If that's the case, you'll rise to the top of the rankings and gain a huge amount of exposure.

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 editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as "You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech," seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Do you love to write? Are you an expert in a certain field? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about? People love the ability to carry knowledge around with them on their phones, tablets, laptops, and Kindles! Making eBooks is an excellent way to get your work out into the world and make a buck on the side. In fact, self-published eBooks account for 22% of all eBooks purchases in the United States (source). In time, writing eBooks could even replace your 9-5, but you’ll need to find a place to market and sell your work where it will get maximum exposure.
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.
Make extra money providing a simple service that’s like going for a walk! For over 30 years I’ve been cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties. I simply walk the property and clean up litter with inexpensive hand tools. Great side hustle as the work needs to be done before the businesses open for the day. I’ve written a book, Cleanlots, that details how to get started.
Get a tax ID number. If you're starting your side business in the US, you need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business from the IRS, even if you don't plan on having any employees. You typically need a separate tax ID for your business in most countries if you want to keep your side business legal and above-board.[13]

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.
The firm wants to look smart on a topic and then use the white paper as part of their sales strategy. The funny thing about these reports is that very few companies actually write them – they hire freelancers to do it. If you were good at writing college papers then you will be awesome at writing white papers. I’ve written papers on all kinds of things and even hired my own researcher in India to do most of the fact finding for me. Always be hustling! A great place to look for these gigs is on Craigslist or through networking at local corporate events. If you go in expressing interest in white paper writing you can find likely find some gigs.
Working a side hustle is a great way to generate extra income, regardless of why you need it. If you're behind on savings (whether of the emergency or retirement variety), and your living expenses currently eat up your entire paycheck, then taking on a second gig could be the least painful means of catching up to where you need to be. (Your other choice, for the record, is to seriously cut back on your existing expenses, which could result in some serious lifestyle upheaval.)
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.
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you'll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
I have worked as an SEO and digital marketing consultant for over 10 years and booked side gigs ranging from $500 to over $100,000. This has been by far my most successful side hustle. And even though SEO has become more of a commodity service – it feels like everyone and their mother does SEO these days, I have built a referral network that continues to generate new clients.
Blogging is a great side hustle because you can do it at your own pace anywhere you want. It's not a quick and easy way to make money, but there are a lot of ways to make money side hustling while blogging. You can sell advertising, become an affiliate for other people's products, sell your own online product, and more. It does take time to build up an audience to be able to make a decent amount of money, but once you have a large following, you could earn over $15,000 per month or more (we do).

The first person to develop an Uber type business plan was brilliant. And now, if you have a car (usually newer models), you could be making a side hustle income as a driver with Uber or Lyft. You can work on your own time. Pick up someone on your way home, during our commute to work, or on the weekends as you are running errands. Uber drivers can make $9-11 an hour – for more information on how to drive for a living, check out TheRideShareGuy.com
An acting classes business provides group or one-on-one classes in acting for adults or children. As the owner of an acting classes business, you’ll provide training, coaching and support to those who are considering getting into the acting business or those already in the business who would like to improve their chances of landing a role. Most business owners in this field will want to find a niche. For instance, you might work with children, or with a career-oriented adult audience interested in stage acting, film, commercials, voice-over work or other areas of specialization.
Ideally, individuals with photography experience and an eye for architectural detail will be the best fits. Contacts in the real estate industry are an added bonus. It is also beneficial for the person to enjoy working outside or away from an office setting. Being in the field requires reliable transportation and an ability to transport gear, sometimes on foot for extended amounts of time, as well.
Most companies that hire for search engine evaluation have multiple projects available to work on, so the exact work you do might vary. However, search engine evaluation in the traditional sense involves analyzing queries that regular people like you and me might type into Google or Bing search and then determining the best possible results to match up to that query so that users have the best experience possible using a search engine.
Once you know what you will be selling, you can start to create. Make sure to get good quality images and write detailed descriptions of your products. To add a fun visual touch to your website, consider photographing your creative process from beginning to end. This side business idea is great to promote on your social media accounts. You can also get friends, family, and followers to spread the word about your new business.

These could include candles, tablecloths, center pieces, napkins, balloons- really anything you can come up with to make the perfect wedding day. Think of it as all of the last minute supplies that the happy couple dreads having to get after all their planning. That’s where you come in as a one-stop-shop. You can combine shipping or offer specials on certain products at various times of the year.
It’s not the sort of side business idea that’s covered in glory, but someone needs to make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone with the domain expertise to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. Majo Jacinto in his Udemy course provides an in-depth foundational understanding of how to prepare tax returns (and stay current with ever-changing laws) that'll certify you with tax prep skills in as little as a few hours of training and practice.  Then once tax season rolls around you'll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, according to CNBC.
Can you draw, paint, or create another form of art that others would be willing to purchase? Create a Facebook or Etsy store to create works of art commissioned in your preferred medium. I know someone who draws Valentine’s cards, Christmas cards, and even birthday invitations for extra money for her family. With that money, she helped fund an international adoption. Another friend draws beautiful portraits of babies and children from pictures that are sent to her.
So where does the money come in? As your audience starts to grow and you begin attracting more and more traffic, a whole array of different blog monetization options will open up to you. It’s best to choose the most organic ways that won’t detract from your blog’s reputation. For example, if you’re blogging about walking as a hobby, start selling custom walking trail plans or promoting walking boots. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to have multiple sources of income, as any one of them can shrink unexpectedly. The five main categories of income streams that bloggers tend to adopt are:
Although you can still build a niche website around your personal passion, it is typically a more calculated affair. You gear all your efforts towards establishing multiple income sources and earning money rather than getting the satisfaction of following your hobbies and interests. You might be a huge fan of Queen’s music, but if there’s no money to be made off this, you won’t pursue the idea as a side gig.
Photography is essentially an art form which captures the moments in life we cherish. If you are thinking about sharing the beauty of your work with others while generating some cash flow, a photography business might be right for you. There’s a need for professional photographers in every market, but the majority of photographers make money either by serving individual clients or by working as a freelancer for magazines, websites, and other venues. Here is an overview of each type of photographer:
Being a wedding specialist works well for top-notch players, but being a generalist also has its benefits. Event and party planners leverage their network of service providers to cover not only weddings, but also seminars, corporate events, birthdays, baptisms, concerts, conferences, holiday parties, and other events, making it a relatively diverse business idea. Here are some tips if you want to run a part-time event planning business at home as a side business idea. And here’s a very honest look into the upside and downside of the trade.

Freelance Writing Tip: The best freelance writing opportunities are on ProBlogger. It’s the platform I used to find freelance work here at Oberlo. I also landed a few other top clients from the side job website. On average, the best paying freelance jobs are on there. However, if you’re just starting out, you might want to focus on building your portfolio and skillset on Fiverr, Craigslist or Upwork first as it’s easier to land your first few clients on those websites.
If you’re offering a service, do you need to be licensed and registered for it? Research the product or service you’re going to offer to determine exactly what you’ll need to do according to state law. If you’re going to help people with their taxes, for example, you’ll not only need to be licensed, registered, and bonded in some states, but you’ll also need to carry errors and omissions insurance.
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.
Do you live in a destination where others frequently visit? If you know your city well and enjoy meeting new people, get the best of both worlds by starting your own local tour business. Make it unique like Erik Hormann’s Vantigo, a company that takes you around San Francisco in a stylish VW van, and you’ll be able to command anywhere from $55 to $600 depending on the tour.
Obviously, everyone has different things going on in life, so if you’re in a season where you can’t focus on your side hustle, it may not be a good time to start one. You could wait to start one until a better time for you (although I recommend putting a date on the calendar for this if there’s ever going to be a chance you follow through). If you’re just “busy” in life but it’s a normal season, they just go for it and give yourself a set schedule of when you’ll work on it every day.
#24 – Magoosh – If you are good at GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, and ACT, and tests, Magoosh is looking to hire online test prep experts to help students prepare for these papers. As a requirement, you must be an experienced BA or BS holder with high scores in GRE, SAT, GMAT. The standard pay for weekdays is $20 an hour and shoots up to $25 an hour over the weekends.
I didn't even know if I were capable of "creating a second income," but I feel confident, after reading this book, that yes, indeed, I can do just that. The book is divided by chapters, then sections of chapters, such as "Starting the Right Side Business," and then goes on to list and provide information about common side businesses that one might consider when choosing the right one for oneself.
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.
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.
Guerin, an editor/author specializing in employment law, is author or co-author of several Nolo books, including The Manager's Legal Handbook, Dealing with Problem Employees, Nolo's Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, Workplace Investigations, Create Your Own Employee Handbook, and Nolo's Guide to California Law. Guerin has practiced employment law in government, public interest, and private practice where she represented clients at all levels of state and federal courts and in agency proceedings. She is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.
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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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