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For many of us, earning some extra money on the side of a full-time job is a necessity. We may be on a low income, paying down debt, saving for a down payment on a house, or saving to travel the world. Or maybe we simply want an outlet to express our creative side! Here is a list of some side hustle ideas that I have personally tried and tested.
Related Content: How to Balance Your Side Hustle with Your 9–5
1—Selling crafts online
I’ve always loved looking at photographs, even from when I was a small child. I got my first camera for my 18th birthday, but I only started taking photography seriously when I decided to open an Etsy shop. It’s super easy to open an Etsy shop. Their interface is very intuitive, so you can have your shop set up in minutes. You don’t need any technical knowledge whatsoever to do it (suits me!). Photography isn’t the only option on Etsy. You could make jewelry, knit hats, sell patterns, paint, make ceramics, etc. Be aware that there is a fee to list items on Etsy. And they take a small percentage when you sell an item. If you’re curious, you can find me on Etsy as PforPoppy!
Another online option if you are into photography is Fine Art America. As well as photographs, you can also sell canvas prints, mugs, shower curtains, tote bags, etc. They look after the printing for you which is extremely handy. It’s free to list on Fine Art America, but they take a certain amount per item that you sell.
2—Selling crafts at markets
For the past few years, I’ve also sold my photography prints and greeting cards at Christmas markets and fairs. Selling at markets is a really fun way of boosting sales and getting to interact with your customers. There’s always such a festive atmosphere as well.
You don’t have to limit this to just Christmastime. There are craft markets and farmers’ markets that run all year long. You can sell pretty much anything at these markets including crafts, soaps, jams, home baking, knitted hats, MLM products, etc. Be aware that you may have to pay a fee to set up a table.
3—Teaching a class
If you have a skill that you would be able to teach to other people, you could try teaching a class. You can do it from your home or link up with the local shop where you buy your supplies. I haven’t tried this yet, but my friend Maeve runs sewing classes in conjunction with a local sewing shop. It’s a win-win for both of them. Maeve earns money from teaching the classes and the shop earns money from selling the supplies for the classes. This is in addition to the Etsy shop that she runs to sell her sewing patterns. This is a great example of using your existing skills to create multiple income streams.
4—Be a movie/TV extra
Did you know that many of the TV shows and films set in New York city are actually filmed in Toronto? When I moved to Toronto, I signed up with a background acting agency. I’m far too shy to be a real actor but hanging around in the background suits me down to the ground. It can be quite good money as well. The agency I work with pays you for a minimum of eight hours even if you only worked for four! Of course, there’s also a lot of waiting around, but you get to chat with people and see how the filming process works. I can think of worse ways to spend a day. You’re not allowed to talk to the stars though! That’s a big no-no!
Ok, this is my full-time job, so it’s not a side hustle for me. It would definitely work as a side hustle, though. You can proofread from anywhere if you have access to a laptop and the internet. It can be a very flexible way of earning money.
To be a successful proofreader you need to be properly trained though, so you’ll need to invest a little bit of money upfront before you see the rewards. You may think that because you’re good at spelling and grammar that you will be an excellent proofreader, but there’s more to it than that. You need to be familiar with style manuals such as The Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook. It’s possible you may also have picked up lots of bad habits and misinformation about grammar over the years, so you might not be quite as good as you think!
One course I recommend doing is General Proofreading: Theory and Practice with Proofread Anywhere. This is an online, self-paced course that you can fit in around your other work. There’s an exam so you can test your skills and make sure they’re up to scratch before you look for clients. The course also provides 40+ practice essays for you to work on and includes a marketing module to teach you how to find work. You also get access to a very active Facebook group for students. As is often the case, the Facebook group is almost as valuable as the course itself.
Once you’re ready to start marketing yourself, you can set up an account on some of the freelancer websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru.
If you’re interested in pursuing proofreading as a career or just as a side hustle, then read my ultimate guide to setting up a proofreading business where I show you the steps you need to take.
This is a new one for me and one that I want to focus on building up in 2018. Affiliate marketing is where you blog about or mention on social media a product that you are really enjoying, and you include your affiliate link to the product. If one of your readers/followers buys this product using your affiliate link, then the company will pay you a commission at no extra cost to the customer. Affiliate marketing works best if you’re promoting something that you genuinely like. I don’t want someone giving out to me because I convinced them to buy a crappy product!
If you’re interested in trying affiliate marketing, but you’re not sure how it all works, I recommend the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. The course is really detailed and tells you where to find affiliate marketing opportunities, how to promote products/services, what kind of disclaimers you need to be aware of, and so much more.
You don’t even need a blog to get involved with affiliate marketing. Some companies will allow you to promote their product just on social media. Pinterest is the perfect place to promote affiliate products and services. You need to create visually appealing graphics, link straight to the product, and let the company themselves sell it. I bought an ebook called How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours that explains the best ways to do this in more detail.
I’m including babysitting because this was an extremely lucrative side hustle for me when I was a teenager/in my early twenties. I lived in a seaside village that got lots of holidaymakers, so during the summer, I regularly earned €150 a week just from babysitting for a few hours a few nights a week. This was on top of my waitressing day job. I was so rich then! Those were the days!
If you’re interested in trying this, consider putting up some flyers in your local shops to advertise your availability, or if you’re in a bigger city, try signing up to care.com. People who are seeking someone to look after their children, their elderly parents, their pets, or even their home while they’re away will post an ad on care.com where you can then apply for the position.
Ok, so you’re not going to get rich from Swagbucks, but this is a handy way to earn a little bit of extra pocket money that will enable you to buy some guilt-free Starbucks or cinema tickets. You can earn points called SB through Swagbucks by answering surveys, watching videos, signing up to email newsletters, and earning cashback from products you buy online. If you’re sitting in front of the TV in the evening and you don’t mind multitasking, then give Swagbucks a try. I earned $50 worth of points which I turned into Amazon vouchers to buy some books for my proofreading business. It wasn’t much, but it was $50 I didn’t have before.
Bonus—One side hustle I want to try in 2018
Dog walking! I love dogs, and I would also like to be outside in the fresh air a bit more. I’ve gotten into a bit of a habit of not going outside for days at a time since I started working from home. This would be the perfect excuse to get outside and earn some extra money at the same time. I’ll report back once I’ve tried it!
SIDE HUSTLE PRO TIP: If you’re trying to save up for something, set up a separate bank account so that your earnings never reach the account you use on a day-to-day basis. Don’t carry the card for this account in your wallet. That way you won’t be tempted to spend any of the money. Although, you should pay for any expenses that arise as a result of running your side hustle from this account, to make things easier for you at tax time.
For more side hustle/work from home ideas, check out Sarah from I Heart Frugal’s comprehensive blog post: Side Hustles: My Ultimate List of 75 Ways to Earn Extra Money! And if that’s not enough for you, here are another 40 work from home ideas from Dream Big Blog Hard!
Ready to take your side hustle to the next level? Here are 6 steps to quitting your job and becoming a freelancer.
Do you have any experience with any of the side hustles I mentioned? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment down below. Also, do you have you any other side hustle ideas that I could try in 2018?
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