Next, let’s tackle one of the most popular online business ideas – affiliate marketing. So what is it, exactly? In a nutshell, you recommend products or services offered by a chosen company to your readers, followers or people you know. If they buy something as a result of your recommendation, you get a commission (either a percentage or a flat fee). Easy, right?


If you enjoy graphic design and love creating unique pieces of art, then this side business idea could be perfect for you. You will need to work with a range of color palettes and use different fonts to your advantage. Look into providing your services for weddings, business events, parties, and really anything that needs professional, eye-catching invitations.
Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ's, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who's doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you're ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.

Imagine this scenario: You’re at work and a customer from your side business calls your personal cell phone. He has a problem with a product you delivered the night before and needs you to fix it immediately. If you don’t, he’ll refuse to pay for it and you’ll have to eat the expense. But you also have a project that’s due in a few hours at work that can’t be late. What do you do?

Great list…a few are a bit humorous. Nevertheless, side money is still side money. An I am a firm believer that everyone should have something they do on the side. From my own personal experience, having something on the side helps takes the pressure of the main income source (both mentally and financially). If all you have is a single source of income, and if for whatever reason that source of income is threatened, the news is almost always devastating and life changing.
Consider whether you'll need to lease office or retail space, or whether you can operate your business from your home. If you're thinking of running your side business out of your home (whether long-term or just at first), you need to check the zoning regulations in your city or county and make sure home-based businesses are permitted. This may be a problem particularly if you plan to invite customers or clients into your home on a regular basis.

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.


No matter where you're from or what you do for a living, thanks to the conveniences afforded to us by the internet, making money is no longer a constant and never-ending struggle. With the proverbial world at our fingertips, as long as you know how to tap into the vast amount of opportunities found in the digital ether of cyberspace, you can earn some extra income, even if you're in a tight bind. 
All you have to do is create the product, upload it to your custom website, and let people know you are selling eBooks on your new online store! Marketing your online store and building up a consistent flow of traffic will create buzz as your customers pass the word along about how good your store looks, and how helpful your eBook content is. With a little elbow grease, you’ll increase traffic, downloads, and start making money on the side.

There's a misconception that keeps those with dreams of owning their own business from following their dreams. It's a misconception that's not only false but dangerous to the small business community. It's not true that every entrepreneur sits in a rundown apartment somewhere in Silicon Valley, eats boxes of cheap mac-and-cheese and stays up all night building the next big startup. Most entrepreneurs aren't living in poverty hoping to someday sign the papers for millions of dollars in funding only to see their dreams become the next worldwide craze.


Once you’ve established yourself in any number of freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can help significantly grow your client list, and revenue generating possibilities with this business idea.

Now for the completely strange and unexpected: Jon Colgan, founder and CEO of fintech startup CellBreaker, used his background in sustainability to help finance his business. “I also studied sustainability in school and became enamored of using worms to compost. As a third revenue source, I sell worms,” he says. “I discovered that happy worm populations double every 90 days. My worms are always happy. So, I started selling worms and vermicompost on Craigslist and by word-of-mouth.”


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.

The demand for dolls has fluctuated over time, but they do continue to withstand the test of time. A custom doll maker will handcraft dolls for clients based on either public demand or personalized requests. For example, they may create dolls that reflect current pop culture or political icons, or they may handcraft dolls that resemble the client who ordered it.

Taking the Internet by storm, dropshipping is an eCommerce model that allows online entrepreneurs to open online shops without any upfront investment. The basic idea behind this concept is that you find a profitable product idea, set up an online store and partner with a supplier who handles the inventory, packing, shipping, and returns for you. You don’t need to buy the products in advance – once you receive an order online, you pass the request to your supplier and take a cut on the margin. It’s a passive income technique that has a lot of potential and has already made many online entrepreneurs richer than they ever expected to be.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant Tip: When starting this side hustle, you can find clients on popular websites like Upwork. However, you could start to see better results when you branch out on your own as an independent contractor. Starting up might be a bit harder as you need to find clients but you could earn more money this way. You can join popular Facebook groups for businesses or online retailers to offer your services.
My husband and I tutored as side hustles while we were dating and still in college. We both used to help kids with math on the weekends and evenings. Sometimes, we’d get paid as much as $40 per hour especially if we traveled to another town to help kids. This was a nice amount of income for college students, and it allowed us money to go on dates and even save up for a few trips. If you like teaching and helping others, this is a great, low-cost business to start.
Let’s say that your friend has a product. They want to sell a million units on their website but there’s one little problem…They have ZERO idea how to market online. Being the digital marketing guru that you are, you offer to help drive traffic to your friend’s product on the condition that he pays you 2% of each sale that you influence. That is affiliate marketing.

Having a YouTube business is a great way to make some extra money without having to dedicate too much time. There’s a number of celebrities who owe their fame to YouTube and an even larger number of people who have made money with less recognition. A large number of subscribers and interesting content can help you monetize your content. This business only really requires as much time as it takes you to create and upload your videos.
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.
While I recommend you start with one side hustle at first so you don’t spread yourself too thin, because you are your own boss, you can test out a lot of different side hustles to find one you really love and/or that makes you the most money. That’s the beauty of side hustling – you aren’t stuck with any idea. Use every opportunity to learn, build new skills, and make new connections. You can’t even begin to imagine the doors that will open as you explore new ways to make money.

Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, 4th of July, Mother’s Day. There are a ton of traditional holidays that count as solid reasons to explore the side business idea of crafting and selling seasonal decorations. After all, people and businesses pay good money for them. In fact, total sales of Christmas trees in the U.S. alone amounted to a whopping $1.04 billion in 2014. And you still have holiday lights, nativity scenes, crafted hangings, baskets, wreaths, and other decorations to cover, making this a potentially year-round seasonal side business idea.
Before we go here, just wanted to share with you a great mindset to get into to help motivate your side hustlin’ even more. I call it the “Gigs For Goals” mindset and the idea behind it is that you attach all gigs of yours to a specific bill or a future want/need. If you can match them up to break even, you’re golden! If you fall short, you need to re-arrange your wants and/or start bringing in higher income streams to match ’em. It looks like this:
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.
Once you have a regular audience (ideally in the thousands), you'll start to develop a lot of value to potential advertisers. Let's say your podcast frequently talks about life as an outdoor photographer. A natural fit would be to reach out to relevant magazines, gear companies, and camera brands to see if they'd be interested in advertising on your podcast of targeted listeners. The more niche your podcast topic, the better for future sponsorship opportunities.
As a result of urban growth, and more people moving to the city where their yards are small (frequently only a balcony), the bonsai tree business has boomed.  There is a great appeal in owning tiny bonsai trees, which might be only 18" high instead of 60' high. Business owners can be very successful since both local sales and Internet sales are becoming extremely popular.
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.
Stop driving for Uber and wasting your time. I’ve talked with too many people who tell me that they want to be career Uber drivers, despite that fact that Uber is clearly trying to replace all drivers with robots. Also, I see too many people trying to side hustle on Fiverr and websites where the only way they can compete is on price – essentially offering a commodity product. It is very hard to get ahead in life if you offer a commodity product at a low price.
Affiliate marketing is the ideal way for any side hustle or to prosper. All they have to do is start a blog or website, preferably a self hosted WordPress blog, and start discussing a niche topic they’re passionate about. One thing I tell people about starting up a business online is a side hustle is that you have to be passionate about what you’re doing and not look at it as a second job. If a person loves doing what they’re doing as a hobby, it’ll transform into a full-time business and not only be more successful than hoped for, but will most likely end up becoming a millionaire and inspiring others to follow their lead. Becoming a millionaire is one thing. Appreciating the process and being thankful for the learning experiences is another.
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