According to Netflix’s Girlboss, it was a vintage motorcycle jacket – bought for a measly $9 and sold for a whopping $615 – that set Sophia Amoruso down the path to stardom. Fast-forward a few years and Amoruso had turned her side hustle (aka Nasty Gal) into a multimillion-dollar business. Such is the potential of the side hustle that more of us are turning to secondary incomes than ever before.
But where to start? Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you. Once you’ve considered the talents and skills you already have in your toolbelt, read through these ideas to find your perfect side hustle match. With hard work and finesse, plus a little luck on your side, who knows what might await you?
1. Share your space.
A spare room. A car. A storage cage. A parking space. An entire apartment. If you have space you’re not using 24/7, you may be able to score big bucks by renting it out to those in need. And you wouldn’t be the first to do it. Millions of people are turning to the so-called “sharing economy” to boost their earnings.
According to a Finder survey, one of the more lucrative side hustle ideas in this category is as an Uber driver. No surprises there. But if being a rideshare driver is not quite the right fit for you, don’t despair. You could add your car to a car rental marketplace and rent it out by the hour. If you have a spare room or an investment property, you can use sites such as Airbnb to rent it out. Any spare space you can think of – from a parking spot to a storage cage – might hold value to someone out there.
2. Become a fitness coach.
If working out is your jam, maybe it’s time to make it your bread and butter too. (See what we did there?) There are plenty of pros, after all. Not only will you get paid, but you’ll also be more likely to stick with your own fitness routine if you’re accountable to others. Interested? Start by taking some professional training and earning a basic qualification in your chosen field, if you haven’t already. From there, the world is your oyster. You can do anything from holding local workout groups to launching digital classes.
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3. Start freelancing.
If you work in certain fields – say, copywriting, graphic design or web development – there’s a good chance you’ll be able to put your skills to use as a freelancer. Getting paid by the hour for work you’re already talented at? Win! Sites such as Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr can help you get started, but you could also consider reaching out to your contacts. The only downside? Check the contract you have in place with your current employer and make sure you’re allowed to freelance on the side.
4. Open an e-commerce store.
If you’re game to channel your inner Sophia Amoruso, getting into e-commerce could prove lucrative. And the good news is there are many ways to go about it.
If you don’t want to stock product yourself, start by looking into drop shipping. With drop shipping, you set up an online store and market the products yourself, but a third party actually stocks and ships the products for you. Typically, you’ll be selling ready-made products. However, you can also apply your own designs to products such as t-shirts and mugs with sites such as CafePress. You’ll create the design, but CafePress will print up the finished product and ship it to your customers for you.
If you’ve got a great eye, you can hit up thrift stores and flea markets and sell your finds on sites such as eBay and Etsy. This is, of course, how Amoruso got her start; she sold vintage clothing on eBay before launching Nasty Gal as a standalone online store. If you’re considering this route, look into software such as Shopify and WooCommerce, which offer easy ways to start an e-commerce venture.
If you’re a maker or artist of any sort, you should think about selling your goods on Etsy.
And by the way, you don’t need to sell physical products to get into e-commerce. You can sell digital products – think templates, web themes, downloadable prints, etc. – on sites such as Envato and Etsy.
5. Teach, coach or tutor.
If you love sharing your knowledge and skills, it’s time to make some coin. One way is through e-learning platforms such as Udemy. You could create a digital course (or two) on your topic of expertise, and you’ll get paid every time someone takes your course.
Another possibility is coaching. If you think you have the skills, you could become a dating coach, a financial coach, or even a life coach. Everything is on the table. All you’ll need is a Wi-Fi connection and video chat software and you’re ready to find your first client.
Then, of course, there’s tutoring, which can be done IRL or online.
#GIRLBOSS ($16) by Sophia Amoruso
6. Become a tasker.
Calling all handy side hustlers. If you’ve got some free time, why not sign up to sites such as TaskRabbit and Airtasker. Every day, hundreds of people post tasks on these sites – and nothing is off limits. From ironing to moving furniture to window-washing, everything is on the table. As a tasker, it’s your job to find the activities you’d be good at and apply to help. With both of these sites, you can set your own rates, but with Airtasker you’ll be competing via a bidding process, so you’ll need to be reasonable. The good news? If you’re a particularly handy person, you may be able to make a sizeable side income from tasking.
7. Become a sitter.
Baby-sitting. Pet-sitting. House-sitting. If you’re a nurturer by nature, sitting jobs are a great way to make a little money on the side. To start, we’d recommend asking around among friends and family. If they know someone who’s looking for a sitter, it’s a quick way into the scene. Once you have a few good references under your belt, you can sign up for a sitting website (in your category) and watch the jobs roll in.
8. Sell your photos.
If you’ve got a great eye and a great camera, it’s time to get into the stock photo game. You can sell your snaps to websites such as Stocksy and Shutterstock and make a quick buck along the way. What better way to turn a passion into a side hustle?
9. Become a virtual assistant.
If you’re organised, industrious and meticulous, you could get paid to help people with their admin tasks – from the comfort of your own home. A virtual assistant is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll work as an assistant, but all you’ll need is a computer, a Wi-Fi connection, and potentially video chat software for virtual meetings. Check out sites such as FlexJobs and Freelancer for openings.
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10. Start a blog.
Starting a blog isn’t a side hustle for the faint of heart. You see, it’s no easy feat. You’ll have to be passionate if you want to find something to write about on the regular. And it will take work to build a loyal audience. But if you can find a way, many income opportunities await.
One such opportunity is affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you recommend a product to your blog readers and every time someone clicks on an affiliate link and purchases a product, you’ll earn a small percentage of the product price for yourself. Amazon Affiliates is a popular program.
Another opportunity is to sell ad space on your blog and/or social media channels. You’ll need a reasonable audience for private ad sales, but while you’re still growing you can experiment with Google AdSense.
11. Write an e-book.
If you love writing, put pen to paper – or rather, put fingers to keyboard – and write an e-book. When complete, you can sell your e-book on your own website, on Amazon and on iTunes Books. This is another great side hustle for someone with a passion, but it’s not necessarily going to be a huge money-maker. It is hard to write a book, for starters. And the profit margins can be quite low. We recommend first reading about women who’ve done it and considering if this side hustle idea is the right fit for you.
12. Review resumes and cover letters.
Resumes and cover letters might be easy for you, but they’re tricky AF for others. Enter: you! There are plenty of people who would gladly pay for your keen eye to browse over their resume. You’ll need strong written communication and grammar skills and the ability to write persuasively. If you’ve got these skills in the bag, head over to sites such as Freelancer to find your first client.
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