As a freelance writer, you are largely in control of the amount of work you do and the time you put into writing. Whether you use an online writer platform or another system for getting clients, you have a say in the number of pieces that you do, and, as long as you meet any deadlines set for you, you can work on these pieces whenever you have time. Therefore, it is easy to successfully manage a freelance writing business on the side of whatever else you spend time doing.


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!

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.
Have a good understanding of how search optimization works? Put those skills to use. SEO consulting is booming and many online businesses are prepared to pay handsomely for expert advice and actionable tips that can help increase traffic and revenue. Many businesses take to Google when looking for a SEO consultant, so your first challenge is to establish a solid online presence and get your own website ranked high in the search results. Have a look at Gareth Bull’s website to get a better idea of what services you could offer and become a certified Google partner to get free access to a host of free training resources and promotional offers.
We all know you can buy and sell stuff on Craigslist, but have you ever thought about offering a service you can provide. If providing a service isn’t your thing, you can scan Craigslist for great deals and then later resell items for a profit. This takes persistence and patience, but I have a friend who went from a $4k truck to a $24k in truck in 18 months by flipping cars from Craigslist.
Not to be confused with hoarding, this business idea takes a lot of time, patience, and passion. If you have an eye for good art, it’s easy to get in on the ground level by visiting the studio department at your local university—though don't expect to get rich overnight with this side business idea. Many art students are more than happy to sell their work for a bargain, and in as little as a few years, there's a chance that piece you bought for a couple hundred bucks may be worth well into the thousands. Beware though, this business idea will take a whole lot of patience (and storage space for all that art).

Companies of all kinds are looking for mystery shoppers. Mystery shoppers buy in secret, documenting their experiences with the retailer. This can be done at a physical store or an online store. If you do a simple search on becoming a mystery shopper, you can likely locate several services that will assist you. Or, you can simply contact companies directly to pitch your mystery shopping services to them.

Another option for earning a side income is to deliver for PostMates. Similar to working for Uber and Lyft, you can work whenever you want. While the pay might not be enormous, you do have the ability to earn tips. If you're in a highly-trafficked area such as Los Angeles or New York City, this is a great way to earn some cash and you don't even need a car.

The opportunity to cash in on this adventure is still valid but only if you play smart. Buying and selling domain names is a great side business idea for entrepreneurs with strong research skills. Understanding the audience you want to sell to and being able to recognise valuable domain names are the key drivers behind the success of this business and the knowledge comes only with careful research and testing. Check out Sedo, one of the most popular domain marketplaces, to get a better insight into pricing and trends.
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're operating your business as a sole proprietorship in the United States, you don't technically need an EIN for the business – you can file taxes for your business along with your personal taxes. However, you may want one if you want to open a bank account for your business, or if you don't want your Social Security number to appear on business documents.

This step is more for someone who does online writing/blogging as their side business. For bloggers, a content calendar is a godsend and is something you should be doing every month (in my opinion.) If you run a small business or online store, calendars can help you complete priority tasks, keep up with email marketing and social promotions. Even if you don't blog, you need to have some type of calendar for all of the marketing activity you're doing to, well, market your business.


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.

Affiliate marketing is one of those side hustle ideas that can either make you a lot of money or nothing. It’s not just about finding the right product to sell, but also finding the right brand to partner with. If you chose to be an affiliate marketer for ecommerce stores, your commission will likely be a lot lower than if you were just to dropship them yourself. However, there are tech companies who will pay a hefty price tag to affiliates who bring them new customers.

If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as $5 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as $7,000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it's been done as a side hustle for many people. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won't have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about (like reducing churn).
You don’t need to have a degree in journalism to be a reporter these days (and pursue this business idea). Plus, there are many news websites that can always use a bit of help on getting local coverage. Some of them, such as The Examiner or HuffPost, will compensate contributors based on ad revenue generated per article written—a great incentive to provide compelling content to news organizations as your side business idea.
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.
If you have a talent for helping people look their best, and know how to mesmerize with eyeliners and turn heads with lipsticks, consider using your beauty skills to pursue this easily profitable side business idea. For under $2000, you can start your own make-up artist business which can make for the foundation of a potentially lucrative side business idea that turns a profit largely by referrals and word-of-mouth from your happy customers.
However, it’s important to understand that working from home doesn’t mean relaxing in your pajamas all day. In fact, you will probably end up working more from home than in-office. And be careful when searching online for remote work, though. There are an estimated 60 to 70 scam jobs for every genuine one. Only use vetted sites such as FlexJobs to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.
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.
Being a wedding specialist works well for top-notch players, but being a generalist also has its benefits. Event and party planners leverage their network of service providers to cover not only weddings, but also seminars, corporate events, birthdays, baptisms, concerts, conferences, holiday parties, and other events, making it a relatively diverse business idea. Here are some tips if you want to run a part-time event planning business at home as a side business idea. And here’s a very honest look into the upside and downside of the trade.
If you love to travel and find yourself frequently searching for airfare sales or browsing sites like Lonely Planet, why not monetize your knowledge as a private travel consultant? Start with friends and family who know they can already count on you for cheap flights and amazing activity recommendations. Ask for referrals and sign up on a site that connects you with travelers, such as Plansify. As a Plansify Travel Advisor, you can start connecting with a larger audience of people seeking your advice. Most registered advisors charge $12 to $30 to answer up to three traveler questions, and $50 to $75 for a one-hour Skype session.
iSecretShop is real mystery shopping. They have a web site and app. Don’t get discouraged with the first few. It’s based on a points system. The more points you get, the better the shops. You have to take a few little ones and work your way up. Another one is Jancyn. I’ve shopped apartment communities, car dealerships, local yogurt/ice cream shops, restaurants, etc.
×