I remember those days. I remember searching endlessly for a way to bring in extra money to help cover bills. I have tried a lot of different things, researched a lot, and honestly didn’t know what to believe. That’s when I just started trying everything. In this post I’m hoping to save you a bit of time so you can find the right side hustle for you.
When I was first looking for my own side hustle I was pregnant, just lost my job, and absolutely terrified. I needed to find a way to bring in money because no one was hiring a woman in her second trimester knowing she’d be leaving for 6 weeks maternity leave and they’d have to find a way to cover.
While that was the beginning of my side hustle to survive it wasn’t the end and in fact one of those side hustles to survive is now my business. A business that affords me the opportunity to stay at home and raise my son who’s now turning 5.
This side hustle turned business is also the reason why I’m living in the city I love, able to take vacations, able to homeschool, and can actually live my life. A side hustle can be so much more than just a way to pay the bills. However, it requires a lot of work upfront to get it to that point.
Lucky for you, I’ve already tried out and researched a bunch of side hustles. Through my own experiences, I can give you the must need tips to make a side hustle succeed.
I’m not talking about surveys, secret shopping, or little tasks that make you an extra $20-$50 a month. I’m talking actual legitimate ways to make extra money.
Why You Need A Side Hustle
You need a side hustle because you control the side hustle. Controlling how far you want to go with it, controlling how much you want to make, and controlling how much work goes into it.
Most people don’t think about starting a side hustle until it’s an emergency and they need fast cash. If you want to make fast cash try selling some of your personal belongings on Craigslist. This post is for people who want ways to make extra money to prepare for the just in case of an emergency. If you need money now this post is not going to help you, you might want to bookmark or pin this for later. Otherwise continue reading.
This post is specifically geared towards people who want to prevent a financial crisis. Starting a side hustle before you have a financial crisis or when money is at least ok allows you to put a good chunk of money away as a safety net.
Yes, you can absolutely turn any of these side hustles into legitimate businesses and make a good bit of money from it. It’ll take a bit of time and a plan to do so though.
Picking a Side Hustle
Imagine for a minute that you are working your full time job and after work or on off days you are hustling away at a side business. What do you imagine yourself doing. Do you want it to be the same as your regular job or something that ignites your creative side?
Do not pick a side hustle based on earning potential. The last thing you want to do is end up doing something you hate. The best ways to make extra money in a side hustle is making sure it’s doing something you enjoy.
Let’s take a good look at some side hustles with real earning potential that you can start now and a month, three months, or a year from now actually be earning either extra money or getting close to replacing your current income.
Check out my post How To Start A Side Business When You Work Full Time.
Ways To Make Extra Money
Time to Make Money: 6 months to 4 years
Earning Potential: $20 to $70,000+ a month
To be successful at blogging you need to love to write. If writing is not something you even remotely like doing, move on because about 50% of this hustle is creating content. Sometimes it’s more than that too.
The other 50% is marketing, education, updating, and research. There is a lot that actually goes into a blog even as a side hustle. For anyone who tells you it’s easy, it really isn’t. Not if you are taking it seriously for a business venture.
When starting a blog make sure you pick a niche you are truly passionate about but still drives traffic. I’ve seen blogging success in everything from succulents to financial help. The trick is making sure you know where your audience spends most of their time and getting your content in front of them.
Check out my post The Low Down Dirty Truths About Starting A Blog.
Work At Home With Flex Jobs
Time To Make Money: As soon as you are hired
Earning Potential: Depends on experience
Flex Jobs is the best resource for finding legitimate work at home jobs. Stay at home parents rave about how they find work at home jobs while still being able to raise and take care of their kids.
Looking for a work at home job normally means weeding out the scams and ads. Flex Jobs does that for you so you can apply for a job with confidence that it’s a real paying job.
There is a small subscription fee to use the service though. It’s worth it knowing that you will get the peace of mind of finding legitimate work at home jobs. It’s worth it for career coaching and skills tests that help you to find the best work at home job for you. It’s worth it if you just want to provide for your family while still getting to enjoy time with them.
Graphic Design on Products
Time to Make Money: 1 Month – 3 Months
Earning Potential: $20 to $1500+ a month
Graphic design on products is creating unique designs and using a platform like Redbubble, TeePublic, or Zazzle to sell their products with your designs on them. This is actually a pretty fun side hustle for artistic people.
Additionally, after a plenty of designs and lots of marketing this type of side hustle gets to a point where it just runs itself. It takes a lot of upfront work to get there.
I put time into this side hustle about 3 years ago and haven’t touched it since. Last month I made an extra $500 in extra spending cash from it. No marketing, no new designs, just old designs still up and driving sales.
If you are creative, willing to learn how to create graphics or already know how too, this is a fantastic side hustle choice. Keep in mind that while our best month was about $1000 if you continue to put up designs and continue marketing them you stand to make so much more than that.
Also spread out among the different platforms. You still own the designs just because they are being sold on products does not mean you can’t also put that design on another platform too.
If you really want it to work, consider marketing your designs personally on social media by pinning to Pinterest, sharing on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook too.
Time to Make Money: 6 months – 1 year
Earning Potential: $100 to $3000
If you already have a creative hobby, selling handmade might be right for you. It’s not just knitting and crocheting. You can sell handmade shelves, graphics, art, and so much more. There are even people who sell recipes and other printables and make a decent amount of money.
This particular side hustle will need some market research. Find out if there are similar products on the market. What do they sell for? Are they quality products? Could you compete.
Check out my post 9 Things To Sell On Etsy To Be Successful.
Depending on what you decide to sell actually determines the amount of money you can make. I personally sold printable graphics and prints. My best month I sold over $600 in prints with hardly any focus on marketing and in a flooded market.
The one thing you need to do is make sure you price accordingly. This is handmade quality products. You are not buying what you are producing on the shelves of a department store. Price accordingly.
Check out my post The Low Down Dirty Truths About Starting An Etsy Shop.
Time Make Money: 3 months – 6 months (Affiliates take longer to pay out.)
Earning Potential $50 to $10,000 a month
While I use affiliate sales in my blog you can use affiliate sales with your social media platforms and make some money off of it. If you have a large following on social media and becoming an influencer doesn’t freak you out, affiliate sales is a great side hustle.
Basically, you become an affiliate for companies, you sell their product via posts on social media like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter and you earn commissions on products sold. The reason why Facebook is not mentioned as an option is because they are changing up the rules and how they allow affiliates to appear in streams.
You must always disclose that you are an affiliate if this is the route you take. You must place #ad or #affiliate before any links. It’s literally the law and not following it could mean hefty signs, losing your affiliate status, and losing all money you made doing it.
Check out my post The One Thing You Need To Do When Promoting Online.
Sell An E-book
Time to Make Money: 6 months to 1 year
Earning Potential $0-Unlimited
What you write about determines how much you will make. If you enjoy writing and sharing knowledge e-books might be the right avenue. If you enjoy writing stories, self published e-books through Amazon might be right for you.
There are plenty of people out there that write and sell e-books for a living. They all make full time incomes from it. If you love writing in general and have knowledge or a story to share. Writing and selling e-books are probably the right avenue of side hustle for you.
You will need to do some marketing in order to make money doing this, so keep that in mind.
Sell Stock Photos
Time to Make Money: 1 Month – 1 Year
Money To Be Made: It’s all up to you
This is not your average sell stock photos idea. You aren’t taking pictures to sell on stock photo websites. No, no, no. I love this idea and it’s an idea I hope to explore one day.
Take stock photos for specific niches. Think business, mockups, website development. Hell, take stock photos to sell to bloggers in all their niches. You have bloggers that blog about blogging, mommy bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers, fashion bloggers, fitness bloggers. What is the one thing bloggers need more of? Great stock photos.
If you like taking photographs and editing them try selling stock photos to bloggers. They all hang out on social media so it’d be easy to market to them. You can sell your own photos to the people that need it the most.
Become A Virtual Assistant
Time to Make Money: 1 year – 2 years
Money to Be Made: Very Little – $50,000 a year
This particular side hustle will take a massive amount of time, a lot of swallowing your pride, and serious networking capabilities. When you first start out you will be doing a lot of grunt work for small amounts of money. Additionally, you will be working on sites that are known to be high competition.
However, if you love doing assistant type work and you are great at it. You could easily turn this into your own business. It just means you have to stay up to date on the latest and greatest systems.
This side hustle also requires that you be a people person. Not just a go out and make friends people person. You have to learn to work for someone else. It may be your own business, your clients are actually your boss though. It’s not about your vision for their business, it’s about their vision for their business.
Create and Sell A Course
Time to Make Money: 6 months – 1 year
Money to be Made: Unlimited
For the people who love to teach I bring you Skillshare and Udemy. These are platforms where you can sell courses you’ve created. These can be anything you have extensive knowledge in.
If you enjoy teaching people knew things, but don’t like writing. Try selling courses. It’s still a lot of work, but if you create enough great courses on topics people are interested in you can have a lot of residual income coming in regularly.
Make sure your courses are packed with loads of valuable information and easy to understand and you will sell more and more of them. Additionally, this could lead into other services like the next two ways to make extra money.
Be A Tutor
Time to Make Money: A couple of weeks – 2 months
Money to be Made: $20-50 an hour
If you are an expert in a subject and live in a populated area with a local college this could be the side hustle that brings in loads of extra money. Additionally, if you have a pretty normal and set schedule you can easily work in time to do this side hustle.
If you enjoy teaching, like helping people, and have a college education you can easily be a tutor. Depending on how much tutoring you do you could easily make enough money through the school season to have a nice savings set up for emergencies.
Start a Local Business
This one varies depending on what you do. You could be a bookkeeper, website designer and developer, a nanny, a dog walker, a housekeeper, or any other number of jobs. You charge the going rate and you pick your own hours.
You can easily work out of your home and even expand it and have employees. There are any number of jobs you can do.
The one thing you need to be aware of when starting your own local based business is you may need to shell out money for limited liability insurance. Additionally, make sure you know your local ordinances and laws.
There you have it, 11 real ways you can make extra money with a side hustle. Every one of these can turn into a business or career. How far you take them depends solely on you.
In order to make a side hustle work for you and turn into a business, you must be a self starter. It’s important that you do your research and figure out which one is best for you. Like I said in the beginning of this post, you must enjoy your side hustle.
Have you started a side hustle and earned decent money from it? Let me know what you did in the comments below. Share this out and make sure you pin this to your side hustle and business boards.
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- How To Start A Side Business While Working Full Time