When it comes to making money, it's all about marketing and branding. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, a sole proprietor working out of your home or starting a part-time side-hustle.
Even with a side-hustle you have to have a way to stand out from all the noise. You will need to be perceived as someone to trust with your potential customer's hard earned dollars.
Choose something you'll enjoy that you can honestly commit your free time to, and you might be surprised at the additional income you can generate!
Although the precise definition of this term is still in a bit of flux, it appears to be centering on “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.”
The Origins of Side-Hustle, Merriam Webster
7 Online Side-Hustles You Can Start Today
Any side-hustle should be based on something you enjoy doing, are already proficient or want to put the time and effort into becoming great at. You have to have this approach in order to make a success out of something you will be doing in addition to your full-time gig. There are no easy set-and-forget revenue streams -- you are going to have to "hustle"! So you want to make sure at the very least it is something you do not mind dedicating your free time to.
There are so many potential online side-hustles I can't mention them in one article. Instead, today I'm going to note a few that based on the skills you already have and/or your desire to learn will provide the opportunity to turn into extra income.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is a way to monetize your website by recommending product and services. This works best on a site that has a lot of topically related content that talks to the same market that the affiliate marketing programs you are promoting. Integrating affiliate marketing into the following side-hustle websites can help to create some residual income. But it takes time and affiliate products that fit your niche so they can turn to clicks. A word of caution: Just like anything that involves making money, there are tons of "programs" out there that claim affiliate marketing it the path to riches. Easier said than done. Read: When and Why You Need an Affiliate Statement
- Authority or Niche Blogging: Do you have a skill set, knowledge or a passion about a topic that you can share and help others with? Or how abut something you just enjoy doing and you can write about those experiences (traveling, hiking, camping, crafts, cooking)? The more focused and niche the better! Niche will help you work towards getting found in the search engines over time. Building a site that shows your personality combined with a wealth of knowledge and sought after information is key. Read: Top 10 Blogging Mistakes
- Create eBooks: Offering comprehensive helpful eBooks is another way to generate income. If you are not a writer, you are going to have to work on your skills. There are tons of great tools out there to help you such as Grammarly and the Hemingway App (I use the Desktop version). All you need to do is create a well thought out publication in PDF format and a plugin to facilitate those downloads. I use Easy Digital Downloads.
- Handmade Anything: Can you handcraft something neat, cool, unique? Do not get discouraged if you see what you can make already being made by many others. Instead think about how you can put your own spin or customization to be different. Invent a memorable or catchy name (and domain name to match). Think of a fun visual way to display your items with creative photography that shows your distinctive style. Continue this creativity via your product packaging (wrappings, containers, business cards, promo items).
- Podcasting: If you have the gift of gab and are comfortable speaking on the fly, podcasting is for you! Download Audicity and purchase a quality microphone to start. The company I recommend for podcast hosting is Blubrry -- lots of great resources on their site too. There are a bunch of WordPress podcasting plugins to choose from, including one from Blubrry. Here's a great rundown on Medium: Podcasting Resources
- Sell on Amazon/eBay/Etsy: Each marketplace is different and some products do better on eBay, than Amazon or Etsy and visa-versa. Here again finding a niche product folks are looking for (or don't know that they need -- yet) is the best approach. I've sold on them all but I always have my own website in place that I make my primary selling channel. Putting your all your eggs in marketplace baskets dictates how and what you can sell. Marketplaces also take a percentage of your sales -- above and beyond any other fees. That's fine. It is smply wise to invest in your own side-hustle website so that if you choose to not use a marketplace (they change their rules or policies), that you are not starting from scratch in building your brand.
- Online Courses / Tutoring: If you excel at a skill that many folks need to hone, tutoring or online classes can be a great way to earn additional revenue. I've used and recommend WPCourseware.
WordPress Side-Hustle Website
Now we need to get your side-hustle website in place!
- Choose a domain that matches what you are offering. Here's some tips on choosing the right domain.
- Get your web hosting setup. I use WPEngine for this site.
- Plan out your website. You'll want to think about structure of your site before choosing a theme. How many pages, categories, topics you will including. By contemplating how much and what type of content you will have in advance, you can better envision how it will display when looking at theme demos. You will definitely want to plan on having a Blog to share your expertise and show you are the one to do business with. Brochureware sites are no longer effective or convincing to those who may consider buying what you are selling.
- Now choose your theme. With all the premium WordPress themes available it is easy to find one to fit your personality and fit the layout for the information you want to provide. WordPress makes it easy for you to showcase your products/services while looking credible and legitimate. Adding eCommerce is simple with the WooCommerce plugin and the numerous add-on plugins to enhance features to meet your needs.
- Sign-up for a payment gateway. If you are going to accept payments through your site you'll need a payment gateway. I use Paypal, however Stripe or Square are alternatives you can investigate.
- Plan on being super active on social media to get the word out about your side-hustle. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Instagram are the primaries to look at. Do your best to have the same username/handle across all platforms to help build your brand. Then, make sure your header and visuals are also consistent across the board. You want customers to recognize you regardless of what platform they see you on.
Of course this post is not the end all be all, but I hope it helped you start thinking how you can set the groundwork for your online side-hustle. You never know... It could turn out to be your main hustle!
If you give people tools, and they use their natural abilities and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected.
~ Bill Gates
At your service,
P.S. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." Read my full Affiliate Disclosure Statement here.