Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
1. Write eBooks.
Writing eBooks can generate tons of passive income for you. Put in the hard work now to reap the rewards for a lifetime! Once you write an eBook, you can continue to collect royalties from sales on that book for life. Find a topic you’re passionate about and get writing! Once you’ve got the book ready, decide on publishing options. Will you self-publish? And if so, what platform will you use? Smashwords? Amazon Kindle Publisher?
2. Sell on Etsy.
Selling on Etsy has never been easier. If you like doing crafts, consider turning it into a part-time Etsy business on the side. People sell everything from soaps to hand-carved gifts to handmade earrings.
If you’ve got a knack for document design, you could make a nice side income creating documents on Etsy as well. Currently, I have a few things for sale on Etsy, Freelance Writer’s & Editor’s Business Kit, a few resumes, and a Business Plan Template. You just have to throw some stuff out there and see what works. So far, I’ve sold 12 of the Business Plan template. My sister has sold more than 20 of her business kits.
3. Sell on eBay.
Resell yard sale or estate sale junk. Using sites like Everything But the House, you can easily bid on and collect estate sale items to sell for profit. Choose the type of items you’d like to focus on and then set up your own online store on eBay or similar sites. You can choose to focus on electronics, jewelry, rare collectibles, art, clothing and accessories, and more. The choice is yours.
4. Invest in dividend stocks.
While this is not exactly a “side hustle”, it is a great way to earn a nice passive income with very little effort. If you’ve got a couple thousand dollars to spare, consider investing in dividend-earning stocks. Dividend stocks earn interest in addition to the money you make from the stock price increasing. That interest is returned to you in the form of a dividend check. You can also opt to reinvest any dividends you earn back into your stocks. Some savvy investors strategically choose dividend stocks that earn them a check every day of the month.
5. Start a YouTube channel.
Starting a YouTube channel isn’t for everyone and it may not garner much excess funds unless you’re really pulling in the views. Even then, you may be looking at an extra few hundred dollars a month, which isn’t bad considering your views keep climbing no matter what. YouTube’s pay isn’t what it should be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a good passive income stream with just a little effort and hard work in the beginning. Take steps to grow your channel and your viewership to increase the likelihood of your videos gaining recognition.
6. Become an Affiliate Marketer.
Affiliate marketing used to sound like such as scam until I truly understood it. Now, I believe it’s really possible to make money using affiliate marketing. While there are quite a few steps involved, and it may take some time to get everything up and running, it’s definitely doable. Affiliate marketing involves choosing a topic, finding related products to promote, creating a website around that topic, and writing relevant content that “sells” those products in a non-sales-y sounding way. The content usually reads like a normal article or blog post, but it’s actually leading the reader to click on a link and buy a product or service. Do some research on the most lucrative topics and decide what topics interest you.
7. Create a Membership Site or Community of People with Like-Minded Interests.
Membership sites can rake in some serious cash. Just look at sites like eHarmony, Match.com, and OkCupid. In 2009, eHarmony brought in around $250 million, according to its CEO Greg Waldorf in a CNBC interview. Imagine that money lining your pockets in four or five years! Here are just a few platforms that allow you to create a membership site with ease: MemberPress, Wild Apricot, DigitalAccessPass, SubHub, and WishList Member. Create a community and consider charging a small fee to access the community of like-minded individuals.
8. Create a Niche Website.
Or several! Niche sites have been steadily gaining popularity as a way to make some extra cash. Do you have a topic you’d love to write about? Create a site around it. Write quality, relevant blog posts about your topic and monetize it with advertisements. Every click you get creates a flow of income. While it might start with a trickle, many niche sites have brought in thousands of dollars per month. When implemented correctly, the well-thought-out niche site engages users, informs them, and entertains them all simultaneously. So, seriously think about your content, delivery, and track your marketing activities to see what’s working and what isn’t.
9. Start and Monetize a Blog.
Everyone’s got a blog these days, right? Wrong. You don’t! And you should. Here’s why: blogs are one of the single fastest ways to earn a side income each month. Of course, it takes a lot of work in the initial stages. For instance, you’ll need to research and write compelling blog posts, set up your website, pick the right images, write the content for other pages on your site, etc. It may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right resources, you’ll get into the swing of things in no time. Check out Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blogging Academy, or her Genius Blogger’s Toolkit for a roadmap to successful blogging.
10. Sell Photos to Stock Photo Sites.
People want to buy photos for all different types of things, including for websites, blogs, and other shareable content. Content is king, in case you haven’t heard, and images are in high demand. So, if you’ve got killer photography skills, think about selling your photos to sites like iStock Photo, Shutterstock, or Big Stock Photo. People usually want photos of people, animals, nature, cities, offices, things (like books, signs, and computers), and close-up photos.
11. Learn Copywriting and Go Freelance.
Copywriting is a skill just about anyone can learn. If you can have a basic conversation in English, you can become a copywriter. There are courses on Udemy to help you learn the art of copywriting. You could also take a course at your local community college or train yourself by picking up a few books on copywriting. I’d recommend Robert Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook. This book is a great primer on the art of copywriting for various mediums, especially if you’re new to the field. Copywriters demand some of the highest salaries over pretty much any other type of writer because their writing is in such high demand by advertising agencies and large corporations.
12. Start a Book Review Site.
Start out writing reviews for other sites to build up both your reputation and your portfolio. Get a feel what for what it really means to write a great review. Study other book reviews. Here are some sites to get you started: Any Subject Books, Astronomy Magazine, Kirkus, Na’amat USA, and Online Book Club.
13. Teach English to Foreign Students Online.
Got a background in education? Teach online part-time. Companies like VIP KID, Dadaabc, Preply, QKIDS, Berlitz, Cambly, English Hunt, iTalki, Open English, Tutor ABC (Tutor Group), GoFLUENT, Isus, and SameSpeak, hire part-time tutors to teach ESL students English.
14. Become an SAT or ACT Tutor.
If you’ve taken the SAT or ACT and aced either, you can post an ad on Craigslist to tutor other students who’ll be taking it soon. You can even offer to become a tutor through one of your local high schools. You can even tutor online through companies like Chegg, Wyzant, TutorMe.com, and Pearson. I’m currently a Chegg tutor, but I haven’t had much luck finding students. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck.
15. Start a Virtual Assistant Business.
Virtual assistants are big business, especially for busy executives who need a little extra help mapping out their days or handling some of their day-to-day tasks. Typically, the pay for a virtual assistant is between $10-$12 per hour, but you could make more if you went into business for yourself and cut out the middlemen.
16. Start a Concierge Business.
Do you love helping people? If so, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. Much like an assistant, a concierge gets anything the client needs. Need your dry cleaning picked up? A table reserved at your favorite restaurant? Or your car washed before your big meeting? A concierge can do all of that. And so can you. Starting a concierge business isn’t complicated and you can start by offering it to the business people in your own community. Pass out flyers, or put an ad on social media to start getting clients.
Uber and Lyft have been expanding like crazy these past few years and thanks to that expansion, these services are now available in some smaller towns across the United States, meaning more opportunities for more people to earn some extra cash. Check out the requirements to drive before applying.
18. Start a Podcast.
Starting a podcast requires serious dedication and hard work, but once you’re up and running, there are several ways you can profit from your podcast. Some of those ways include affiliate marketing and podcast sponsorships. If you’ve already got a business, you can use your podcast to drive sales of your current products or services. Your podcast can be used as a marketing tool no matter what sector of business you’re in. For instance, you could use it to promote a new book you have coming out soon or to promote your coaching services if you’re an expert at something.
19. Do Data Entry Work.
We’ve all heard the “data entry from home” scam before, but the fact is, there are legitimate opportunities for data entry work from home. Check out legitimate job boards, such as Indeed.com, Real Ways to Earn, The Work at Home Wife, and The Spruce.com. Some ways to spot a data entry scam? If they send you money to send to someone else…it’s a scam. If you didn’t contact them, and they contacted you…it could be a scam. If the pay seems too good to be true–like $70/hour–it’s a scam. No one pays that much for data entry work. Somewhere in the $9-$12 range would be more acceptable. If the grammar is way off (and in some cases, it’s just plain unbearable)…it’s probably a scam.
20. Flip Websites (Buy and Sell Domain Names).
Ever heard of Flippa? Flippa is the number one marketplace for buying and selling websites. If you’ve got a little bit of cash to spare, you can start buying and selling on Flippa, adding to the $140 million in sales since its launch in 2009. Before you consider this, you’ll want to decide on a niche and preferably one that’s highly targeted.
21. Write Articles for Magazines or Content Mills.
If you’ve got experience doing something that may be of value to others, you might consider writing about it–and getting paid to do it! Hundreds of magazines will pay you upwards of $1,000 to write about your experiences. Consider writing for content mills to tide you over till your next magazine check arrives. Magazines typically pay a few weeks to a few months after submission, so you’ll want some cash to tide you over until the next one arrives. Of course, the more you write for magazines, the more frequently you’ll get paid (considering your articles are accepted). And that means less time spent writing for pennies at content mills.
22. Become a social media evaluator.
Social media evaluators help to ensure that a social network has relevant, accurate content on its newsfeed. Working with a company called Appen, you’ll be responsible for evaluating search queries, images, advertisements, and more. With Appen, you’ll have to pass a qualification test for each project you work on. Each project will run for a different amount of time. For example, one project might require four hours per day, five days a week, while another might only require two hours per day, and one day a week. For this position, you’ll obviously need to be familiar with social media platforms, and you also have to be able to follow directions and work independently without supervision. If this sounds like you, give it a whirl.
23. Become a social media manager.
Social media managers are responsible for planning social media marketing and advertising activities. This means you’ll be responsible for things like SEO (search engine optimization), leads and sales, content management, brand awareness, and goal setting. Because social media has become such a huge influence on the way many companies do business, social media managers can charge a nice fee for their services. You can either choose to work for a company or start your own social media management firm. A social media manager working full-time can earn anywhere from $45,000 to $61,000, according to top salary sites like Indeed, Glass Door, and PayScale. Therefore, part-time work should net a pretty decent side income.
24. Become a financial advisor.
If you’ve got a background in finance, you can start a business advising clients on a part-time basis. Clients from all walks of life need financial advice. So, figure out your strengths and draw from that to decide what services you’ll offer. You don’t need a degree to be a financial advisor, just some training. As a financial advisor, you can be a generalist, or choose a specialty, such as risk management, retirement, estate planning, or taxes.
25. Start a dropshipping business.
Dropshipping is simply finding low-cost products and selling them at a higher price. You simply buy your products wholesale from a supplier, place your items for sale on your site, and when someone places an order, the supplier ships it directly to the client. No packing or shipping required. Starting a drop-shipping business these days is pretty simple. Anyone can start a shop for as little as $20. Not having to worry about inventory is a big plus for drop shipping businesses and there’s no limit to the number of products you can sell. The opportunity to make a nice part-time, or even full-time income, is ripe for the taking.
For more money-making ideas, check out my eBook 101 Side Hustles and Gigs for a Decent Part-Time Income available at Barnes & Noble.