Entrepreneurs who have the most success are often in love with their business idea. Remember, you’ll be selling it, marketing it, and likely talking about it to everyone you meet. You’ll spend most of your free time developing the business, which means you may spend more time with it than you do with your own family. If you don’t truly love it, you won’t have the fuel and endurance you’ll need to succeed.
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible of the non-phone options, and it's an easy field to break into without any experience at all! This is also an industry that can pay well, especially if you forgo content sites (such as the ones below) and work on finding private clients that will agree to the rates you set. The content sites don't pay that well, but they can still help you get valuable writing experience and earn a weekly paycheck.
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.
Says Abbey Finch, who used freelance writing to help fund her startup Scribe Space, “I also surprisingly got a lot of luck using Craigslist and Odesk to find new work. I did everything from writing for a local, free newspaper covering town council meetings to writing how-to guides for eBay. I’ve written for lawyers, doctors, home improvement specialists, a wedding band, and so much more.”
Drop shipping is an eCommerce model where you buy products from a supplier who then ships the items directly to your customer. This is ideal because it mitigates the age old problem of sinking $5,000 in your first batch of inventory that may end up collecting dust in your garage (while you eat the cost). Instead, you list your supplier’s inventory on your site and when an order rolls in they handle all of the shipping and logistics while you collect the profits.
Last year the online learning industry hit $107 billion dollars. That’s billion with a B. Tons of 9-5ers are realizing they have unique skills sets that other people want to learn. Getting started is simple too, all you need is a copy of Powerpoint, a pair of headphones with a mic and some screen recording software. Then you can either drop your course on Udemy or you can build your own site and save the royalty fees!
It is amazing how this book has covered everything....everything you might need to know about generating income, searching for what may fit you, managing the funds, protecting your income, avoiding legalities, incorporating legalities, marketing, finances, and types of side businesses. You simply cannot go wrong, as there is just too much information.

Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don't Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
Are you one of those people who start their day with a to-do list? Then you’ll enjoy helping others get their life back. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to entrepreneurs and business owners who have more on their hands than they can handle. The ultimate perk of this side business is that you can work from your home office or anywhere you want, as long as you have a wifi connection and access to a phone. Freelance marketplaces are the best places to pick up some freelance gigs until you have a solid stream of clients coming through your own website.
I am a somewhat longtime reader and subscriber, but you can say that I am one of the biggest failures here. I need money, I am unemployable, and I have no (ABSOLUTELY NO) marketable ideas. Any idea I might have falls in one of three categories: 1.) Too specialized in too esoteric a field, 2.) Workable if I could just get other people’s interest, which I can never do–I have tried, several times, and 3.) Stuck in a chicken and egg dilemma–I have no idea where to start. So, to restate, either the work would be useless, nobody wants it, or I have no clue what the work is. How can I even manage? Is it too late? Am I truly worthless? I hope not, because I can never get up the nerve necessary to end it all.
If you enjoy writing and have a talent for words, then this popular side business idea is right up your alley. Start by creating quality content and building up a subscriber base among your readers. Monetize your blog by featuring advertising, adding products to sell, and setting up affiliate marketing. Between these different revenue streams, you can earn a nice profit from something you already enjoy doing.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
People are getting more and more comfortable with buying online courses. Why is it so popular? The short answer is that people are looking for solutions to a problem that is keeping them from achieving something in their lives, and getting that help online is the simplest and easiest solution. Chances are, you are an expert at something. You don’t necessarily require an MBA or a special certification in a particular area to be an expert. Let’s say, for example, that you are an incredibly charming person and find online dating a fun and enjoyable experience. Thousands would disagree with you – they struggle with everything from setting up their online profile to maintaining a conversation. It’s a huge problem begging for a solution and could make a lot of money if approached in the right way. Find your best skills and package them into an online course to enjoy a long-term passive income as well as the satisfaction of helping people overcome professional and personal challenges. Derek Halpern is one of the biggest names in this niche, so check out his tips and resources for more information.
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.

If you have something you're skilled at and very passionate about, you can turn that winning combination into offering your services with one-on-one online coaching as a solid side business idea. Just be sure to implement your own opportunity management system so you don't get caught up working with clients that you can't measurably help. Elmira Strange will give you a step-by-step plan for putting your skills and experience to work by developing an online coaching business—even as a side business idea in the time around your full-time job—so be sure to check out her course on Udemy for a jump start on this side business idea.
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Much like a live streaming business, a podcasting business takes a hobby and turns it into a profitable business. You might really enjoy talking about a certain TV show, a sport or hobby, or any number of things. As long as you can dedicate enough time to write and record your podcast, this business can serve as a great way to make extra money while doing something you really enjoy.
A side hustle is more than just another stream of income, it’s also the new job security. When you receive paychecks from different sources, it allows you to take more chances in your “regular” career. More income means more options. More options equals freedom. You don’t need entrepreneurial experience to launch a profitable side hustle. You don’t have to have an MBA, or know how to code, or be an expert marketer. You don’t need employees or investors. With Chris as a guide, anyone can make more money, pursue a passion, and enjoy greater security – without quitting their day job.
As I already mentioned, I started a blog while working full time, babysitting, and freelance writing. Eventually, I wanted to build a scalable business, so I quit babysitting and freelance writing, but I initially used money from those jobs to help grow my blog. I needed that income for the side jobs (babysitting and freelance writing) to help me grow my side hustle (my blog). So, you can find ways to grow your side hustle by adding in a side job to the mix while you need it. I highly recommend it!
Time to get scrappy! Start building it all out yourself with Wordpress or any other free software out there until you can get going and hire/partner with someone. Then you’ll not only have something to SHOW these guys, but it’ll also show *them* that you’re doing what it takes to make this vision of yours a reality and that you’re super passionate about it. Everyone has a million ideas out there and it would be awesome to have partners right fromt he start who believe in it and willing to jump in to build it for free/peanuts, but sadly it doesn’t usually work out that way. Gotta just get out there and start DOING IT and hack it together as you go… If it’s a good idea (and you’re truly passionate about it), you’ll find a way to make it work :)
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’s likely you’ve developed valuable skills and expertise within your industry that would be of great interest and help to aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. Becoming a business coach or consultant is easier than it sounds – once you’re able to demonstrate your achievements, whether in the form of case studies, client testimonials, free sessions, value-filled content or other avenues, you’re bound to receive business opportunities that you can explore in your spare time. Every skill from inbound marketing, to cold calling, to bookkeeping can be monetized if you target the right audience and learn to promote yourself. Don’t be afraid to get out there and offer your help free of charge at first to get the ball rolling.

Do you have good writing skills and the ability to build a reputation for yourself within a specific industry? Then launching a blog could be an ideal side business for you. Once you have a regular audience of readers, you'll have countless options about how to monetize your site with ad support, your own e-books, online courses, sponsored content, and personalized consulting services.


Coffee beans are actually the pit of coffee cherries. They’re green, hard and un-brewable in their raw state. A coffee roasting business roasts green coffee beans to light (city), medium (full city) and dark (full city+) roast levels so that they can be brewed. Roasters may sell their roasted coffee directly to individuals, or through coffee shops, grocers and other retailers.
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.

If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.

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.


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.
The real estate market is very competitive. Homeowners who want to sell their property for the highest price need to present it in the best possible way to potential buyers. That is where a home staging business can help. A home staging business helps homes appeal to ideal buyers by creating interior design which highlights the home's strengths and minimizes its flaws.
Piano tuners are generally mobile service technicians that complete simple repairs and routine tuning for a wide variety of pianos at the piano owner's home, business, or school. They are knowledgeable in the construction of pianos, and they can repair felt, keys, minor wood damage, and replace wire as needed to maintain action and sound.  Pianos used in a commercial or academic setting can be tuned after being moved or on a regular four month, six month, or yearly basis. It is a service that relies on the tuning technician’s expertise and experience.
I have repeated this many times over the years and it’s actually pretty easy to do when you are already planning on buying tickets for an event. A piece of advice, there are a ton of people who try to do this so it’s hard to make a full-time business out of it, but I do know one guy who makes over $200,000 every year simple buying and reselling concert tickets to the big name shows. Something about ticket reselling has always felt a bit skeezy to me, but good tickets get bought up immediately anyway. Might as well make a few bucks doing it.
A proofreader reviews the written word in its various forms for clients and corrects for spelling, punctuation, and typos. To start a proofreading business, you must have a strong command of language usage, spelling, and punctuation. Depending on your clientele, you might be reviewing and correcting the language used in books, magazine articles, web content, ads, packaging, student assignments, or virtually any other vehicle of written communication.
People are getting more and more comfortable with buying online courses. Why is it so popular? The short answer is that people are looking for solutions to a problem that is keeping them from achieving something in their lives, and getting that help online is the simplest and easiest solution. Chances are, you are an expert at something. You don’t necessarily require an MBA or a special certification in a particular area to be an expert. Let’s say, for example, that you are an incredibly charming person and find online dating a fun and enjoyable experience. Thousands would disagree with you – they struggle with everything from setting up their online profile to maintaining a conversation. It’s a huge problem begging for a solution and could make a lot of money if approached in the right way. Find your best skills and package them into an online course to enjoy a long-term passive income as well as the satisfaction of helping people overcome professional and personal challenges. Derek Halpern is one of the biggest names in this niche, so check out his tips and resources for more information.
Coffee beans are actually the pit of coffee cherries. They’re green, hard and un-brewable in their raw state. A coffee roasting business roasts green coffee beans to light (city), medium (full city) and dark (full city+) roast levels so that they can be brewed. Roasters may sell their roasted coffee directly to individuals, or through coffee shops, grocers and other retailers.
Whoa! This list is massive. There are so many awesome side hustle ideas out there. Thank you, Nick, for bringing so many to light! You have done a lot of research here and it shows! This is a topic I love to talk about myself. I even have a list of side hustles for millennials to start this weekend here: https://missmillmag.com/career-alternatives/7-easy-side-hustles-weekend/ I would love for you to check it out.
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