If you’ve been looking for a way to maximize your income while still working a full-time job or focusing on other ventures, this blog post will help you set on the right path. Side income opportunities or hustles are simply profitable opportunities that you can take advantage of without necessarily devoting a lot of time to. They’re one of the best ways to quickly pay off debt, save for retirement, or simply minimize financial stress so you can live your best life. The best side hustles are flexible and can continue to be profitable without having to commit to spending a lot of time working them.
And while many people start off making money with side hustles as a way of simply adding some extra money to their monthly income, it’s not uncommon for side hustles to start making so much money that they quickly become a primary source of income and replace your nine-to-five (9-5). In other words, a MAIN hustle.
Begin by exploring the different side hustles featured in this blog post. Write down notes and ideas as you read through the content and then once you’re finished, create a plan of action!
While most of the side hustles featured here can easily be expanded into a much larger business, they are designed so that you can work as little or as much as you wish when just starting out. So without further delay, let’s begin!
#1 Create Video Tutorials
People are always looking for how-to videos that show them how to achieve a goal, complete a task, or simply learn something new. This makes video tutorials extremely profitable and with platforms like Vimeo and YouTube, it’s easy to quickly build a channel and generate quality traffic quickly (and at little to no cost).
To begin, consider the type of content you would like to create, particularly what skills or knowledge you possess that could be turned into video tutorial content. Then, spend some time reviewing existing video tutorials in that niche on YouTube in order to get familiar with the style, tone, and voice that established creators are offering to their audiences.
This is when you’ll also want to decide on your overall video tutorial format, such as whether you’ll create an explainer video, presentation-style video, or perhaps a screencast video. The more you research your market, the easier it will be to come up with creative ideas that will attract viewers, so dedicate a bit of time exploring popular channels.
You will also want to create a storyboard or script that guides you through the video. This will minimize errors and help your video flow so that people stay engaged.
Next, you’ll want to purchase a bit of equipment in order to create high-quality videos, but you don’t have to go all out. You can get started with just a high-quality microphone and a screen-capture software program such as Snagit or Camtasia. These are the most popular tools used by both beginners and professionals alike.
If you’d like to explore this side hustle further, here’s a great step-by-step guide to getting you started (it’s free!): https://www.techsmith.com/blog/instructional-videos/
#2 Offer Online Training
Similar to creating video tutorials based on your knowledge and skills, you can take things a step further by creating online courses and training programs.
Students will pay for access to your training which can be delivered a number of ways including through one of the popular course platforms like https://www.Teachable.com.
When it comes to creating your training material, you can choose to develop video-based lessons, text lessons, or a combination of both.
The preferred format should be based on your market and what they are looking for so you’ll want to spend some time researching your niche, including existing courses based on your chosen topic.
Courses are big business! People are earning millions of dollars a year just by offering simple courses that help people learn a new skill.
Your course doesn’t have to be all that extensive either. In fact, oftentimes, less is more because students only want to spend their time learning the most necessary steps or components in order to achieve their goals.
And if you think you aren’t qualified to create a course, think again!
People are purchasing courses on almost any topic imaginable. So, begin by analyzing your personal skills and interests and come up with a handful of ideas that you can later qualify.
For example, perhaps you’re good at bookkeeping, or you know how to design websites or create videos.
All of these things are valuable skills that others would pay good money to learn.
Tip: This is one of the most profitable side hustles featured in this blog post but you can make even more money with it just by adding the opportunity for select students to receive personal help or coaching from you for an additional fee. This is a tried-and-tested method of maximizing your income and allows you to customize the upgrade in a number of ways, including by offering multiple levels. For example, you could offer coaching for 30 days, 60 days or allow students to purchase blocks for more time. Or, you could add a membership option to your course that provides students with paid access to additional tools and resources.
#3 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most common side hustles as well as one of the most profitable.
It’s no surprise that so many people begin with this opportunity because it’s easy to get started in and can be automated for truly passive income, once you’ve set up your system.
There are many different affiliate networks that you can sign up with in order to gain access to in-demand products and services that you can earn a commission from but the best ones for you will depend on the market you’re interested in as well as whether you intend to promote digital or physical products.
In order to make money in affiliate marketing you’ll also want to invest in a blog or website as well as a newsletter service through websites like https://www.ConstantContact.com/ or https://www.MailerLite.com/
Creating a quick blog (even if it only features review-style pages that are rarely updated) will make it easier for you to generate quality traffic that can convert into sales.
And with a newsletter service, you’ll be able to start building a mailing list of active subscribers that are interested in the products and services you promote. This will not only cut down (or eliminate) any marketing costs but it’ll help you quickly launch your affiliate-based campaigns to a targeted audience.
Note: Affiliate marketing can be exceptionally profitable but it’s very competitive. This is why we recommend going niche. Focus on one main area of a popular market and then build content pages on a blog that provide information such as detailed reviews that will help consumers in their decision to purchase.
Here are a few affiliate networks to help you get started but we recommend manually searching for affiliate programs based on your niche in order to find the best ones that may not be featured on a larger network.
#4 Become a Freelancer
Freelancing is a great way to make money on the side without having to commit a lot of time to the process. You can simply decide on a service menu, set your pricing, and then take on only as many jobs as you have time for each week. Freelancing comes in many forms, so depending on your skills you’ll be able to build a client base quickly just by creating a profile on sites like Upwork.com. From writing, programming, design to virtual assistants and specialized areas such as legal, translation, or mobile development.
Tip: Make sure you only accept jobs that you know you can complete. User feedback is important on freelance sites like Upwork because it helps future clients determine whether you’re reliable. This means that you always want to meet deadlines and if you foresee any issues, you contact your client as quickly as possible. Regular communication is vital in encouraging positive feedback once the project is complete.
Further, make sure you research your market so you are able to set reasonable price points for the various work you offer. You never want to devalue your work or undercut yourself, so spend some time reviewing what other freelancers in your market are charging for similar services.
Here are a few other freelance marketplaces worth considering:
Dropshipping allows you to sell a product without having to purchase or store inventory. You can have the manufacturer ship it directly to your customer, eliminating your workload and freeing up your time. In other words, dropshipping offers true automation!
It’s also a low-risk opportunity because products are only shipped out once they are purchased which eliminates the costly (and high-risk) requirement of purchasing inventory upfront, which is often necessary for other businesses.
You can get started by simply deciding on a niche to sell to, choose a supplier, and then reach new buyers through sales channels like Amazon or eBay.
Finding your niche is extremely important because it will help you narrow down your focus so you can begin evaluating different available products.
And while many people earn money through dropshipping by paying attention to current trends and then jumping on them, we recommend focusing most of your attention on evergreen products that will sell year-round which will provide you with a steady income.
Tip: Hot trends are great for quick, short-term wins, but it’s usually best not to base your entire business on these temporary markets. Instead, you should choose evergreen markets that come with consistent demand and repeat customers.
Resource: If you’re interested in keeping a pulse on current trends, this website is useful: Trendhunter
And if you’re looking to get started in popular, evergreen niches, you’ll find the Oberlo app very helpful.
And finally, you can find suppliers online like Oberlo and then quickly build a shop that integrates their inventory.
#6 Sell T-Shirts & Other Merchandise
Did you know that you can make money selling t-shirts without ever having to ship inventory or even process a payment yourself?
With websites like RedBubble and Printify, you can create and upload designs and they’ll take care of the rest. You’ll earn a percentage for each item sold and can also choose from a variety of product types to feature your graphic on. This means that you can sell for more than just t-shirts, but also coffee mugs, mousepads, and even handbags.
This is a great side hustle because it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to launch and you can simply work on new designs in your spare time. You’ll want to spend some time researching a variety of markets in order to come up with different ideas that are bound to sell. This is often the most time-consuming step but it’s definitely worth it. You can browse websites like Amazon and Etsy to find popular products. Be sure to take notes on commonly used phrases, lingo, and even color schemes that are selling as this information will help you when planning your own designs.
And of course, if you’re not a designer you can still get in on the action by simply hiring graphic designers on sites like Fiverr but thankfully with sites like Canva it’s very easy to create graphics for t-shirts, even with zero experience!
Tip: Make sure you design your graphics in 300 dpi and save in .PNG files with dimensions of 4500×5400.
Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Platform makes it easy for anyone to get published without the need to send query letters to publishers in the hope of being picked up. In fact, with a free Amazon KDP account, you can instantly publish a book in countless markets, including fiction & nonfiction.
To start, consider the different topics that you are personally interested in and have experience with. Are you a fan of nonfiction such as historical, romance, or fantasy? Consider writing a short story and then once you’ve cut your teeth on publishing, you could extend it into a full-length novel or series.
Are you experienced with popular nonfiction topics such as self-help, business, finance, or personal development? These are some of the bestselling genres on Amazon.
And if you aren’t skilled at writing, don’t let this stop you from taking advantage of this profitable side hustle. You can easily create a quick outline of your story and outsource the writing to ghostwriters on marketplaces like UpWork or Reedsy.
When creating an outline for a ghostwriter, you’ll want to make sure you define your project goals. Be as specific and clear as possible so that your ghostwriter fully understands what your vision is. Then, assess the ghostwriter’s skills prior to creating contracts or sending payments or milestones. It’s important to hire a ghostwriter that matches the voice and style that you feel is best for your story. You can gain better insight as to whether a ghostwriter is a good match by reviewing their profile, particularly previous works in your genre.
Self-publishing is exceptionally profitable and if you set up a ghostwriting and editing team, you can automate a large part of the process which means you can create a passive income stream quickly.
Hot Tips: Don’t just stop with Amazon. You can also make money publishing short articles on sites like Medium as well as short “episodes” on popular platforms like Radishfiction where some new authors are earning up 6-figures a year for short stories!
And keep in mind that self-publishing doesn’t just involve fiction and nonfiction books! You can make money publishing what is called “low content” books on Amazon. These are products such as planners, calendars, notebooks, and more. Not only do these sell all year, but they take very little time to create once you get the hang of it. And you can save even more time by purchasing premade planner templates and low content books that come with full commercial-use rights on websites like Nicheraiders.
#8 Monetize Your Skills
One of the best ways to uncover additional side hustles is to survey your experiences and skills. Many successful businesses are launched based on someone’s personal hobby or knowledge – and these aren’t always so obvious. This is why we suggest writing down all the things you are passionate about, interested in, or have skill or experience with.
Whether it’s gaming – that could be turned into a profitable livestream on gaming platforms like Twitch, or you are an avid reader and could offer proofreading or editing services to new writers, the possibilities are endless. Once you have a list of possible opportunities, you’ll want to qualify those by spending some time researching each idea in order to create a game plan.
Consider things like:
- Market demand: is there an active demand for products and services in that niche?
- Availability & Pricing: consider the different formats that are currently available online as well as price points. Think about how you could position your offer so that it’s competitive.
- Time Required: you’ll also want to assess how much time is required to create a product or service in this niche and ensure that you can commit that time to seeing it through.
- Difficulty Level: evaluate whether the product or service you’re considering creating is something you can do yourself or whether you should outsource it to qualified freelancers on websites like Upwork.com
Once you’ve analyzed your market and have a solid outline that will give you a sense of direction, set a start and end date and get started!
Tip: Search and join Facebook groups or Reddit threads geared towards the niche you are interested in. It’s a great way to not only research your market but will put you in line for possible networking opportunities.
We’ve covered many different side hustles in this blog post, all of which are based entirely online. This means that all you need to get started is a computer and an internet connection!
There are many other types of side hustles, including those that take place offline, so continue exploring the different options in order to find the ones that work best for you and your lifestyle. Start off by choosing one main side hustle and then focus on building your income until you’re ready to move onto the next hustle or turn it into your main income stream.
Every side hustle, whether online or off, will require time, patience, and determination in order to gain traction, but if you invest yourself into learning as much as possible and applying those strategies to your business, you will be successful.
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