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.
Domain trading has been around for decades, and while the best ones have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 million in 2009), there’s plenty of others you can get your hands on for relatively cheap. Earlier this year, I registered thelaunchformula.com for $11.95 because it was a catchy title for an upcoming course I’m filming. Since then, I’ve already received two offers to purchase it for just under $1,000.
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.
A greeting card business sells greeting cards to customers. These greeting cards can be for a number of occasions, including birthdays, holidays, reunions and even funerals. Cards can either be sold directly to customers or to retail dealers. If they’re sold to a retail dealer, the dealer then sells the cards to customers. Some greeting card businesses operate online, selling cards to shoppers and shipping them.
With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome's marketplace, there's a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup's core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you're browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.
If you already have expertise in the technical and artistic sides of web development from your day job, then picking up extra clients on the side is a relatively easy way to start earning extra cash. Since everyone from large corporations to small-time freelancers need websites these days, web designer services are in hot demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28,500 web developer positions will need to be filled by 2022.
It’s not on this list but Brand Ambassador/Promo work is another very flexible, fun, and lucrative side hustle! Basically you promote your favorite brands at awesome events (e.g. handing out Red Bull or demoing new products at high foot traffic areas). I created an entire resource website on how to succeed in this industry called “Brand Ambassador World”. It has everything from resume designs, to super helpful tips and tricks, to where to find promo gigs, to a comprehensive list of agencies, etc.