A full-time college student makes $6,000 a month detailing cars. Two marketers with full-time jobs review products in their spare time and make $20,000 per month. A nurse makes thousands of dollars a month buying stuff at yard sales and selling it online.
These are three examples of actual side hustles and the successes people are having with them.
“Side hustle” has become a popular term to describe people making money outside of their regular job. Many people start a side hustle to make extra cash to save for vacations or pay down debt. Others may hope that the side hustle eventually replaces their full-time job, allowing them to hand a resignation letter to their boss.
More and more people are starting side hustles thanks to the ease of starting a business (many side hustles are online) and because they don’t want to rely on their main job for all of their income.
Let’s look at different kinds of side hustles and how you can get started today.
Three types of side hustles
Nick Loper has interviewed hundreds of side hustlers for his popular Side Hustle Show podcast and Side Hustle Nation. Nick breaks side hustles down into three categories.
1. Product Hustles – selling physical or digital products
One of the easiest ways to do this is to buy physical products at yard sales, thrift shops, and other local places and resell them on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. The idea is to arbitrage the difference in price between the local venue and the marketplace.
That’s what Stacy Gallego, the nurse making thousands of dollars on the side, does. She has even scaled back her nursing to just one day a week, thanks to her side hustle.
While buying and selling physical products is an easy way to get started, there are downsides to physical product side hustles: inventory and logistics. You have to store the products somewhere and ultimately, you will have to make many trips to office.
Shortly after college, I started a business where I bought boxes of unopened sports cards and sold them through a website. I had thousands of dollars of product filling up my small clothing closet, leaving little room for anything else. I was also on a first-name basis with the workers at office.
You can avoid this hassle by selling digital products such as eBooks or online courses. Another example of a digital product is domain names: many people buy and sell domain names as a side hustle.
2. Service Hustles – solving a problem for someone else
Service hustles usually involve taking a skill you have and offering it as a service to someone else: freelance writing, house painting, bookkeeping services, mobile car detailing, etc.
One example is someone who went door-to-door in his neighborhood offering to provide lawn aeration. As soon as five neighbors signed up, he went to Home Depot to rent a lawn aerator.
Service hustles are appealing because they have extremely low startup costs. The downside is you are trading your time for money. There are only so many hours of free time you have a week.
There are ways around this. Once the service business gets off the ground, you can hire people to do the actual work. But it might take a while to get to that point. You can also provide certain services, like coaching, to groups rather than individuals.
3. Audience Hustles – growing an audience and monetizing it
People who engage in audience hustles often sell advertising or generate revenue from affiliate links. Some audience businesses make money from subscriptions.
A typical example is starting a blog or podcast and selling ads on it. Another example is growing a YouTube or Tiktok channel.
The downside to audience hustles is that it can take time to establish your audience.
The upside is they are simple to start. And once you build the audience, this can provide a long-term revenue source.
The first step to starting a side hustle is to think about which type of hustle you want to do. Do you want to sell a product? Provide a service? Build an audience or community?
There are lists of side hustle ideas online to help get your creative juices flowing.
Think about what your objective is. Do you just want to make some spare cash, or would you like to also share your passion for something? What expertise do you have that you can turn into a product or service?
The sweet spot is a side hustle that makes money and you enjoy doing.
Moving your hustle online
Most side hustles involve an online component — some more than others.
Online audience side hustles are particularly appealing. They don’t involve trading time for money. It’s something you can do after work or on the weekends. In an ideal world, your side hustle becomes “mailbox money,” meaning that money rolls in even when you’re not working.
For example, people visit a blog or content site even when the owner isn’t in front of their laptop. You can earn revenue from advertising 24 hours a day whenever someone visits the website.
The other cool thing about online side hustles is that they aren’t limited by geography. You can reach an audience around the globe with your website.
It’s very simple and affordable to set up an online side hustle. You can register a domain and create a website on WordPress within minutes for under $10 a month.
Take the next step toward your side hustle. Set a goal, sit down with friends or family to brainstorm an idea, and get moving.
You’ll have your first side hustle dollar in no time.
Start a Side Hustle — There’s No Time Like Today .