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.
If you’re not familiar, podcasts are essentially self-published talk shows. The audiences tend to be extremely engaged and it’s one of the best outlets for networking that I’ve ever seen. The engagement also makes it one of the best marketing channels out there right now. Many podcasters are reaping the benefits, with some like John Lee Dumas bringing in $2,000,000+.
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.
31 Online trading Sites such as eBay and Amazon make it easy for people to dabble in e-commerce. "Start with a clearout of your attic," suggests Dan Wilson, author of Make Serious Money on eBay. "If you start to sell other goods, focus on things you can get hold of easily, or are passionate about. And have an eye on the Christmas market: think about what will be selling well in a few months' time."
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.
There’s a good chance you’ll underestimate how much time your activities will take and overlook additional tasks. Be organized and document your time, so that at the end of the day you’ll know exactly what you got accomplished and how long it took. If you find that the goals you set yourself are too aggressive, be flexible and adjust them to be more practical. For more tips, see these small business time management tips to increase productivity.
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.

A person has a better opportunity at building a stable career off of affiliate marketing, blogging, and side hustling alone with the goal of becoming a future “side hustle millionaire.” Side hustles online are by far the best form of job security because you’re using your kinetic energy to build yourself up to ultimate wealth and not an unthankful employer.
14 Dinner preparation "I recently met a woman who earned quite a bit of money as a very part-time chef," says Hamm. "Once a week, she would go to someone's house and prepare a homemade meal for their family, then do all the dishes and cleaning up. This gives the family plenty of together time, while earning her some cash in hand." If you love to cook, this can be a great extra earnings opportunity, but be prepared to put some effort into finding your customers.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this  side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the "Brand Ambassadors of Seattle" group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you've been approved to the group, you'll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Now that I've been blogging for almost seven (!!!!) years, built the blog into my full-time job, worked for myself for two years, then went back to work, I can look back on the whole process and pinpoint what I did right and where I went wrong. This makes me the perfect person to tell you the biggest things you need to know when considering this kind of transition.
We’ve all dreamed about having a massive social media following and it’s actually much easier to achieve that you think. There are plenty of automated tools to help you grow, all you need to do is post consistently (that’s how I built my Instagram account to >10,000 users in 3 months!). Once your following is large enough you can begin to charge for shout outs, product promotions, etc. and drive traffic to a blog or email list.
The good news is, remote work can actually be high paying, and allow you to live the lifestyle you crave. Maybe you want to travel the world and be able to take your work with you, or maybe you find you work better from your home. Whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee at a company that allows for remote work, you have the option to shift your lifestyle to fit your needs and desires.
The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won't be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based consultant.
In addition to being a meticulous writer from a mechanical standpoint, you must be the kind of person who pays close attention to detail. Keep in mind, a proofreader is not the same as an editor. You’re not reviewing what your clients are trying to communicate, but rather how they write it in terms of spelling, punctuation, typographical errors, and word usage.
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.
I created an “Every Day I’m Hustling” shirt and sold enough for the campaign to ship, but didn’t earn much on the experiment because of some not-very-effective Facebook advertising. Still, some opportunity here and a friend of mine is doing REALLY well with this. If you can create awesome designs and reach the right people with good Facebook targeting, Teespring can be very profitable.
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