From personal experience as a freelance content marketer, I can vouch for the profitability in this industry. I grew my side hustle into a $160,000/yr business before quitting my day job to pursue this business idea full-time; all you need is the right skills and experience to back it up. With startups, established brands, and even notable influencers needing to build credibility and grow their brands, professionals who can serve up compelling content enjoy a huge demand for their services. And, since brands will always need high quality content to bring in new customers, your skills will always remain an asset to invest in—especially since the nature of creating a content marketing strategy is an ever-evolving one. Start by tapping into your existing network with this business idea and begin tracking down local small business owners who could benefit from your marketing tactics, do a bang up job, ask for referrals and grow from there to the point where you're doing blogger outreach and spreading out to a wider market.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side  business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you'll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.
In the book, Chris draws upon his deep well of experience starting different side hustles, then blends that knowledge with the experiences and case-studies of people from many walks of life to distill a step-by-step methodology based on what actually works in the real world. He offers a roadmap that takes you from idea to tested and implemented side hustle in a remarkably short period of time.

Have a knack for staying organized? If you're a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you'll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you're hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.

There’s a huge online demand for English teachers who have the patience and willingness to regularly coach people over Skype. What’s more, is that you can easily make upwards of $25 an hour from people in places like Hong Kong or the United Arab Emirates, and it can even open doors to travel the world. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, you can qualify as long as you’re a native speaker. Sites like Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co often post remote English teaching jobs, but stay abreast of the latest postings because available opportunities and fees vary.
If you’d rather trade time for money you might choose to get a part-time job. Side jobs to make money include: dog walking, babysitter, restaurant server, receptionist, administrative assistant, or barista. You can also find part-time jobs within your industry. Maybe you’re a full-time marketer who takes on a part-time social media gig. The only downside to a part time job is that you need to invest your time for money. And time is your most valuable luxury. Part time jobs don’t scale as well as an online business would. Meaning, your total earnings get capped.
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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.
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.
Dropshipping is one of the best side job ideas. It allows you to sell a product directly to the customer without having to buy any inventory. Why’s that great? You don’t invest any money to buy products, keeping your risk low. The manufacturer not only carries the inventory but he also ships it directly to the customer for you. Your main focus: marketing and customer service – the lifeline of the business. If you’ve got a strong marketing background and want a side hustle that plays to your strength, this is it. It’s one of the rare side jobs that allows you to scratch a true entrepreneurial itch. You get to be the owner of your very own business.
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.
Outsourcing lead generation is becoming the new norm. Good sales people are hard to find and many businesses try to avoid the risks of employing someone full-time before they have a robust lead generation strategy in place. If you’re well versed in all things sales, then it’s time to seize the day. Lead generation encompasses a vast array of tactics, including content marketing, email marketing, cold calling, SEO, website optimization, webinars, and so on. Pick one or two techniques that you can really nail, set up your website, and get to work generating leads for your own little business.
Right now my side hustles are selling on Ebay, a bit on Amazon and Mercari and doing phone work as an independent contractor (customer service). I have a daughter with autism in high school that I have to be available for and I have some illnesses that prevent me from working full time or doing anything physically strenuous. One of my problems is that I have a partially paralyzed vocal fold. I just had a cold and am still trying to get my voice back! So I need another hustle to add to the list for when I cannot work my $10. per hour phone job. Ebay slows down in spring and summer also. I am interested in the Notary service, how do I get started and what is involved? Also, I am interested in Prosper. What else am I missing? I tried blogging but when I’m not well I am not good at putting words together! I wish i knew how to build websites, seems like a good income there.. where can I learn without going back to school? Thanks for this blog.. very helpful and cool!
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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