Are you finding it tough to make your money stretch through the month? If so, slashing your expenditures will only get you so far. Eventually, you’ll have to seriously consider increasing your income if you want to improve your financial situation, and that doesn’t mean you need to get a new job.
In today’s global economy, supplementing your income with a side hustle is amazingly common, but what is a side hustle and why should you care?
What is a Side Hustle and Why You Should Start One
Put simply, a side hustle is a colloquial term for a second income stream. There are many reasons you might want to start ramping up your earnings. Perhaps you have student loan repayments eating up too much of your income for comfort? Maybe you want to save for a special vacation? If you need more cash, supplementing your income with a side hustle is a great way to hit financial goals.
Today, I’ll walk you through a full dozen ideas for getting started with a side hustle, even if you have no idea what you might conceivably do to earn some extra money.
A word of advice first, though—before you start looking through these ideas, take the time to think about two core factors:
- What marketable, in-demand skills do you have?
- What do you enjoy?
The first of those is essential. Without choosing a service people want and are willing to pay for, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Enjoying what you do is a bonus but not mandatory. Only you know if you’re prepared to pursue something you’re good at but dislike. So, combining these two elements of skill and enjoyment should be your goal.
1) Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is a rewarding way to earn an income online. If you’ve got writing chops there is no shortage of potential clients looking for qualified, skilled and reliable writers. We have a detailed post about getting started as a freelance writer here.
Getting clients is remarkably straightforward. An easy starting point is to use Fiverr or Upwork – more on those below. That said, these microsite platforms are becoming more and more crowded, so how else can you get clients?
Facebook groups are a rich vein to be mined. The Cult of Copy Job Board has a wide selection of writing jobs advertised daily. Join some of the better SEO (search engine optimization) groups, since those working on SEO are always on the hunt for content writers. Use your LinkedIn network. Contact local companies.
If you can sell yourself and use words to sell products for other people, freelance writing is a great side hustle.
2) Offer Gigs on Micro Job Sites
If you’re looking for side hustle ideas 2019, but you’re not convinced writing is the right route for you, how about using those micro job sites I just mentioned to offer other services?
Fiverr and Upwork are the two market leaders. While prices on Fiverr start at $5, you set the prices, and you can easily charge much more with upsells.
Think about what you’re good at and what you enjoy.
- Can you use Photoshop?
- How about video editing software?
- Do you know the basics of SEO?
- Can you teach a language online?
- Are you a PowerPoint whizz?
These are just a few starting ideas. Imagination is your only limitation. If you have a marketable service to sell, these sites make a great forum for selling that service. Signing up is free and easy. You’ll need a PayPal account, or you’ll need to link your bank account to the site to get paid. There are robust systems in place to protect you from rogue clients.
The commission is stiff at 20 percent, but would you sooner have 80 percent of something than nothing at all? With no barrier to entry, you can also cross-promote your services on your social media and within groups to get more traction to your listing.
3) Local Tourist Guide
Not all side business ideas need to be online-based. It’s the default option for many, but you can always get physical, so what about as a local tourist guide?
Demand will depend on where you live, but there are always people looking to get the inside track on a destination—and willing to pay for it. You could get started by creating a simple guide and marketing this both online and offline. Place ads for your service in places heavily visited by tourists. Many independent coffee shops frequented by travelers have notice boards for this type of thing.
4) Uber Driver
Use your car or rent one from Uber if you love driving and want a sustainable side business on your terms without needing to market yourself. The customer base is already in place, and you can set your availability to suit your needs. If you can sail through a background check and you don’t have a criminal record, what are you waiting for?
Sure, everyone has a smartphone with a camera in the age of the selfie, but there’s still a growing demand for professional photography. If you already have the equipment and a talent for snapping, why not niche down and offer a specific service?
Think about it, would you sooner hire a dedicated wedding photographer or a generalist? Who would you want taking photos for your local football team, an expert or someone who dabbles in many fields? Photography is a smart way to use your passion and ability to generate some extra money. You can build this out into a vibrant business if you’re good enough, too.
6) Sell a Product Your Create
My sister-in-law sells her own line of clothing entirely based from home. A cousin working at a call center does a roaring trade selling sweet treats and healthy snacks to a captive audience sick of the same cafeteria junk food. You can easily start selling anything you make if you’ve got the drive to get started. Why not give it a try? You’ve got nothing to lose.
In today’s digital age, the product you create doesn’t need to be physical either. If you have deep expertise in any given area, there’s a massive demand for information products. These can be extremely lucrative if you know how to market and sell them. Whether it’s an eBook, a guide, or a course, there’s a vast market of time-poor people more than willing to pay for well-curated information. Capitalize on it if you’ve got the skills!
7) Small Business Digital Marketing Consultant
Are your digital marketing chops a little more advanced? If so, many people launching online businesses do not have those skills, and they’re more than willing to pay for them. SEO and paid advertising can help others with websites to get the traffic they need to make the sales necessary for their business to thrive. Help them do that.
Target local service business and show them how they can improve their bottom line by complementing their bricks-and-mortar outlet with a website. Take care of their service pages and Google My Business.
Launching an online digital agency is as simple as marketing your services, then delivering. You won’t need anything by way of seed money, and you can get started right away if you’re tech-savvy enough. Then keep on learning and broadening your skill-set, or niche down and specialize in one area.
8) Virtual Assistant
If you’re looking to supplement a day job with a side income, there are millions of people all over the world working as virtual assistants to achieve that. Pay is not great starting out at as little as $3 an hour. This route works best if you’re living somewhere with lower living costs.
The services you offer can be as basic as providing simple admin support or as advanced as conducting outreach campaigns for websites, performing basic SEO, or administering social media channels.
Becoming a VA is absolutely not a get-rich-quick scheme. It is, though, a very do-able way to generate a side income right from day one. If you live somewhere cheap enough – parts of SE Asia or South America, for instance – you could feasibly turn that side hustle into a standalone income.
9) Online Tutor
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is not exactly a side hustle if you need to relocate and move halfway around the world. Tutoring online, however, lets you take advantage of your native language to help others around the world without leaving home.
Whether you market your services as an independent tutor, join one of the many platforms like Cambly that allow you to set your own rates and hours, or apply for a permanent online position, teaching English online is a superb way to get some extra cash incoming.
You can apply the same principle to pretty much anything else. Teach photography, SEO, graphic design or offer a homework tutoring service online. The world’s your oyster except you don’t need to leave the house!
With those service-based ideas out the way, how to find a side hustle with a bit more long-term potential? I’ll round out with a trio of semi-passive/longer-term side hustle ideas.
Don’t get too hasty when you see the word passive there. You’ll need to put in a fair amount of work to get to the stage where you can sit back and watch the money roll in while you relax. So, don’t kick off here, but if you want to know how to start a side hustle that could develop into a legitimate business, ask yourself if these ideas appeal.
10) Affiliate Websites
Setting up an affiliate website, whether with Amazon or another company offering affiliate programs, can be surprisingly lucrative.
To get started, you’ll need an idea for a niche first. Whether that’s home and garden, coffee makers, supplements, tech products, whatever, think about what you’ll base your site on. Depending on how much of the work you plan to do yourself, it’s a good idea to have at least a passing interest in the topic, or you’ll likely lose interest.
Once you’ve set up your affiliate account with the company of your choice, get yourself a website and some hosting. Your money pages will usually be product reviews so make these count. Avoid hiring cheap $5 writers since you’re unlikely to get the persuasive sales copy you need. Add plenty of informational content to keep Google happy and entertain your readers.
Make sure the site design is easy on the eye. Contract an SEO company so you can get traffic to your site and make sure people find it when they’re searching for “power tool reviews” or whatever your given niche is.
The great thing about this side hustle is that, once you have the techniques down, you can rinse and repeat across many niches. Also, as you progress, you’ll be able to spend less time on the site, and it becomes a more passive source of income. You can always outsource almost every element of the process although this will require a fair amount more capital than doing what you can alone.
11) Authority Websites
Taking the same principle as an affiliate website but drilling down in much more detail, as the name suggests, the aim of your site is to become a true authority in that niche. To achieve this, you’ll need to prove your expertise in the form of multimedia content that delivers to a high standard.
With authority sites, you can earn in many ways beyond simple affiliate links to products. Don’t undertake one of these sites unless you’re prepared to put in plenty of hard work from the onset and to keep on working hard to stay on top of the pile.
12) Start a Blog
Blogging is not a quick route to earnings but done well you can generate a substantial income from affiliate links, selling courses, and information products and much, much more. If you’re interested in blogging about anything – whether becoming a digital nomad or sewing machines or anything else at all – just get started. Rather than succumbing to analysis paralysis, just dive straight in and give it a try.
You’ll need to commit to producing consistently good content regularly if you want to grow your readership. It also pays to market your blog on social media or using paid advertising, or you risk floundering in a sea of millions of blogs that earn nothing and go nowhere.
Blogging is not a quick route to a side income, but it’s still a path well worth pursuing in 2019 if you’ve got the talent and commitment.
Well, I trust you’ve found some inspiration for ideas in this brief exploration of just some of the hundreds of ways you can start a worthwhile and profitable side hustle.
I also hope you’ve got the confidence to grasp that this is not a pipe dream, but a realistic way to start generating extra income. Millions of people the world over are working side hustles both online and offline.
Why not take action and join them?
Drop me a line if you’d like any more specific advice or to let me know how you’re getting on with your side hustling!