Starting a business while keeping your day job can be just the strategy you need to turn your dream into reality. You can propel yourself into the world of Web Development or Web Design easily, for example, with such high demand in the marketplace for both. You can do the work at your own pace with all of these opportunities and build a new career while maintaining your present job. 
I’ve never worked as a freelance writer for any websites because I was never able to find lucrative enough gigs. I didn’t want to write posts for $200-$300 each. I wanted to get paid to write $5,000 – $10,000 reports! So I haven’t written as a freelancer for any websites, but what I have done quite a bit of is write white papers for companies. Here’s basically how it works. Consulting companies, engineering firms, law firms, and tons of other professional service firms like to put out “thought leadership” reports which basically are blog/research reports on steroids. Sometimes they are pretty big.
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.
If you love to create art of any kind, you could be making a little side-income with your talent. Custom, one-of-a-kind paintings are popular decorations, and many people are willing to pay for unique works. This side business idea is great, because it takes something you love (and would probably be doing anyway) and turns it into a source of income.
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.
As an online marketer and a software engineer, I am obsessed with sales funnels. However, many people struggle with creating the proper funnel that converts. It takes a high degree of technical and marketing knowledge. However, ClickFunnels, a SaaS business with over 40,000 customers, which was started by Russell Brunson, takes all the guesswork out of that. Build a sales funnel and automate your selling with a platform like this.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it'll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
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!
The items you are selling should have some type of certification or grade so customers know that they are the real deal. You will want to have a professional storefront, which you can easily put together using the Selz store builder. Reviews are also very important in this line of business, so don’t hesitate to ask previous customers to drop you a line with their thoughts.

There’s a reason plenty of entrepreneurs don’t quit their day jobs—innumerable startups have come into existence as a result of the daily nine to five grind. Joseph Howard maintains his full time job, in addition to freelance work and channeling his energy into his two startup ventures. The combination of freelance work and his full time employment gives Joseph the financial freedom to work on multiple projects at once.


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.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more home data entry jobs. With that site, you can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. Every job lead is guaranteed scam-free, and it's the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and they are plentiful. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you're ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.

Remember my earlier post about breakfast burritos? Making meals in advance is a great way to save money for yourself – but you can often prepare these for others as well and sell them for a markup. Prepare eight casseroles, for example, then sell six of them to cover your costs, and you’ve got two free dinners for your family (and maybe a bit more). You can grow this by taking orders from others and finding out what they like.


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.
Are there people at your full time job who come in with an expensive coffee each day? If you have a machine at home that could recreate that same beverage each day, offer your services at a reduced rate. I knew a woman who provided coffee for four of her coworkers every day. She bought travel mugs inexpensively and made coffees to her coworkers specifications. They were available every morning, hot and perfect for just $1 a day. This saved her coworkers $3-4 each day and made her money on the side. Plus, she was already making her own coffee, it didn’t ake much extra time in the morning to make a few more.
People who love social media and marketing will thrive in this business. However, this love must extend beyond just checking Twitter and Facebook every 15 minutes. If you want to start your own social media marketing business, you should know how people interact with different platforms, where your target demographic is most likely to live, and what type of content will spark the most interest. You should also know how (and why) different platforms evolve over time.

That's why I'm a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you'll have no trouble succeeding once you're fully self-employed.


If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit may be the right side business idea for you. Earn a little side money doing odd jobs like walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. Running errands not your style? Tell that to the top taskers on the portal who reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time business idea for some.
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.
People who love social media and marketing will thrive in this business. However, this love must extend beyond just checking Twitter and Facebook every 15 minutes. If you want to start your own social media marketing business, you should know how people interact with different platforms, where your target demographic is most likely to live, and what type of content will spark the most interest. You should also know how (and why) different platforms evolve over time.
If you’re good with words, you might be able to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started.
In this economy, it’s more conceivable to develop multiple streams of income than it is to earn more money from a single job. Given the number of people losing their jobs, this may be a safer tactic as well and a side business can be a good way to do this. Whether you want to keep it simple as just a source of extra income, or develop it into a full-time business, the choice yours.
Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a business on the side, the next step is to know what to expect. Some people think a side business will be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side business right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side business has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time business has. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
Great list! I just started my financial website (still not live yet), and one of my side hustles is working for a company that hires teachers to teach English via Skype. 10-15 hours per week, making $10 a lesson. It’s great, since my mortgage was so cheap, that side hustle alone pays it off each month! Other side hustles include: adjunct professor for community colleges and a freelance writer.
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:

Another flexible non-phone option in the educational field is test scoring. There are a few reputable companies that do hire home-based workers to score everything from standardized tests to essays. Before you apply, you should know that ETS and Pearson (listed below) do require that you have certain qualifications and/or past teaching experience before they'll let you become a scorer. WriteScore on the other hand requires just a two-year college degree.
If you plan on launching an eCommerce startup, eBay is also a great way to test the waters with your business idea. Before launching his vintage T-shirt business Defunkd, James Applegath sold his vintage tees on eBay, as a way to determine if there was a market for the business. “EBay and other marketplace platforms are an excellent way to test how your business will perform prior to launching a startup,” he says, and adds that the funds you generate through this avenue will also help you in starting your business.
Great list! I just started my financial website (still not live yet), and one of my side hustles is working for a company that hires teachers to teach English via Skype. 10-15 hours per week, making $10 a lesson. It’s great, since my mortgage was so cheap, that side hustle alone pays it off each month! Other side hustles include: adjunct professor for community colleges and a freelance writer.

Thanks Steven. I’m all about fresh air! I run all of my side hustles through an LLC, so I can also take some deductions come tax time. It’s a win-win. I also do my best to pay quarterly taxes on the income, but sometimes really misjudge based on cash flow. I’ve gotten stuck with a few pretty big tax bills, but now I’ve gotten a better handle on it. LLCs are pretty amazing.

An Amazon drop shipping business is essentially a middleman between customers who want to purchase products and businesses that sell them. A drop shipper will receive orders from customers, purchase those products from a separate retailer, and then ship those products directly to customers. This helps eliminate some of the costs and time associated with traditional distribution channels.


This business is right for those who enjoy learning about technology and the challenge of restoring damaged items to like-new condition. Professionals in this business help conserve natural resources while helping customers preserve treasured photos and online communications as well as valuable software and digital content such as games, books, and music.

One thing I tell people about the online side hustle is that it’s going to take a good while until they start seeing good money by working from home or anywhere on their laptop with their side hustle business. This is why a bridge job is good for some people to have while they’re working on side hustle entrepreneurship. I’m so happy to hear that some side hustlers that started out with next to nothing online with very little to their life savings ended up becoming Internet millionaires. Some Internet millionaires world on food stamps, unemployment, living at home with their parents, unemployable, and the list goes on.
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