If you know how to leverage it properly, the internet can provide you with complete financial freedom and the flexibility to work as much or as little as you choose. You don’t need to be a tech genius, nor do you need a breakout idea. Chances are you have all the skills and know-how you need to make this a reality right now.
Once you know about the best side hustles you can do from home, you’ll be able to bring in a steady income to replace or supplement your current 9 to 5.
Sound good? Read on to learn more.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is essentially any business you operate “on the side,” in addition to your main job. The term can refer to any part-time gig or passive income that doesn’t demand a huge amount of time and effort. A stay-at-home Mum can run a side hustle for instance, as can a student on top of their studies. You could decide to combine a wide variety of side hustles, such that you can earn enough of a living to not need a “main job” at all! This may well be the future of work, and has many advantages over being wed to a single source of income.
While we might consider gardening, leasing a room, or cutting hair as examples of side projects, this page is going to list the top side hustles you can do from home online. These are side hustles for the digital entrepreneur, but don’t worry: most of them require absolutely no technical skill whatsoever and are incredibly quick to set up! Some will even let you earn money while you sleep.
Read on for the best side hustles you can do from home.
Best side hustles you can do from home
Writing and other services
This is one of the best side hustles you can do from home, and one I can personally vouch for! One of the primary ways I have made money for the last 10 years is by working as a writer online. Advertise on a webmaster forum like Digital Point or freelance sites like UpWork, People Per Hour, or even Fiverr, and you can very quickly find regular income; even if the rates are a little on the lower side to start with.
Likewise, you can sell a ton of other services ranging from web design, to programming, to video editing, to voiceover work. If you have a skill and a PayPal account, you can have money in your account by the end of the day.
Don’t know how to write? This Udemy course will help you get started. Likewise, you can learn other skills such as video editing, programming, information security, and more this way.
Alternatively, you could try to find better paid and steadier work by simply applying for staff writer jobs, in-house design, or agency web design work. As you build a portfolio, you can also use higher profile sites such as TopTal to find work.
Selling crafts and physical products
If you’re looking for a way to turn a hobby or passion into an income, a very simple and easy way is to sell something you’ve made. Sites like Etsy and eBay make this extremely easy. Create something unique and you should be able to make yourself seen among the crowds.
You can also sell to friends, through social media, or eventually through your own website. Make sure the product is something you can make easily in bulk and that it’s marketable. Likewise, pick something you enjoy doing, and would gladly do for free if you are less concerned about the financial rewards.
Not into crafts? Consider 3D Printing! You can use 3D printing to print everything from phone cases, to ornaments, to trinket boxes, and sell them from a storefront.
Selling digital products
A digital product is anything without have a physical form, like music, e-books, apps, or photography. All these things can be sold online and because there’s no overhead or delivery cost, they can generate a passive income.
The term passive income describes any money made even when you aren’t actively working. Instead of “exchanging time for money,” you are doing work in advance and reaping the benefits 24/7 thereafter.
This is often associated with the sale of e-books and online courses through a website. Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Workweek, recommends selling a digital product from a landing page, paying for some affordable advertising to send people there, and then just letting the cash role in.
Better yet, is to build a following through a blog or on social media. You can then sell a digital product that you created, or one you bought the rights to. Search for “PLR e-books.” This stands for “Private Label Rights,” and essentially means you buy not only the book, but also the rights to sell that book on to other people.
If you currently sell a service, then think about ways that you can “productize” it. For example, a personal trainer might opt not to sell one-on-one sessions, but rather a selection of ready-made workouts for clients based on their goals and stats. This reduces the time and money that needs to be invested, thereby increasing return on investment (ROI). It’s a great way to make yourself less essential to your current business model, thereby giving you more time to do the things you love, and greater potential to scale your enterprise.
Whatever you decide, selling digital products is one of the top side hustles you can do from home, as there is no storage, no shipping, and no cost of goods sold (COGS). As long as you have knowledge to impart and a strong “value proposition,” you’re set!
If you don’t have the time or inclination to build a website or a following, you can more easily find your audience through a ready-made distribution platform like Kindle.
Create a book by writing a PDF or Doc file, then upload it to the Kindle store and start selling – it’s that easy. Amazon takes a cut and the really difficult bit is getting people to notice your book, but if you title it well and look for gaps in the market, you can potentially make a lot of money.
You can likewise self-publish in print thanks to print on demand (POD) services that only print copies from digital files when someone places an order. This removes the need to order “bulk runs” of books that you are then burdened with attempting to sell. In turn, that minimizes any risk and any requirement for up-front investment. It also means there is no financial barrier to entry.
Amazon, Lulu, and many other sites offer this, and will let you sell nicely printed books for only a small commission and printing fee charged on a per-sale basis.
Self-publishing is easier than ever these days, but getting published by a “real” publishing company is still an option. This means approaching a publishing company (either on your own or through an agent) with a proposal and a table of contents, which they will then hopefully agree to print on your behalf. You’ll be giving away a large cut of the profits, but in exchange you’ll get a far more professional end-product and a huge marketing push that can help to drastically increase the number of sales you make.
Getting published this way can do wonders for your CV, helping to make you an authority in your niche. It will also provide a steady stream of income that will continue for years on end, along with a healthy advance.
If you don’t have a digital product to sell, you could always sell someone else’s!
Affiliate marketing means getting a commission of sales of another product, essentially making you into an online salesperson. However, instead of going door to door, the web lets you reach a gigantic audience without getting out of your chair.
When it comes to digital products, some creators are happy to give away as much as 70 or even 90 percent of their overall profits for each sale. Why? Because they make money from their own sales either way. Any sales you make on their behalf just means more cash for them, and this is great news if they have a legion of marketers selling their e-books. From your perspective, selling someone else’s e-book for 90 percent of $30 isn’t all that different from selling your own e-book for $27!
JVZoo and Clickbank are examples of affiliate networks where you can find these kinds of deals. That said, you can also find a range of other affiliate programs through a huge number of well-known brands. These allow you to sell services, products, and more. It’s one of the main ways we monetize this site in fact!
Some creator are happy to give away as much as 70 or even 90 percent of their overall profits
One of the best known affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. Here you earn a much smaller commission of between six and 20 percent, but the range of things you are able to sell is far larger. If you have a blog or even a social media account, recommending products and using an affiliate link can be an easy way to earn passive income.
Sell stock photography
If you take good photos and videos, why not upload them to a stock footage site? You’ll be paid royalties every time someone uses them. If you have a decent quality camera and an eye for framing and composition, this is a very simple money maker, especially if you focus on the type of footage and images people need to accompany their articles (bundles of cash for instance, attractive people laughing, dumbbells).
The best part is many people will already have a bunch of photographs on their hard drives. Why leave them sitting there when you could be earning money from them through a site like Shutterstock or Envato Elements? This is one of the top side hustles you can do from home, simply because it’s so easy.
If you have knowledge on a given subject, why not sell that by creating a course and uploading it to a site like Teachable or Udemy. These sites vary in the way they work: you will either get paid for each person who signs up to your course minus a small fee to the host site, or you will get paid a percentage of the company’s overall profits depending on how much of your content was watched.
This is another source of passive income anyone can set up in just a little bit of time. You don’t even need to go on camera, as long as you have a microphone and a power point presentation!
Reselling is a way to make money online for those who don’t have a sellable craft or skill. It requires a modest upfront investment.
Simply find a product you can buy in bulk at a wholesale price from the manufacturers directly (blank CDs, denim jeans, pens), and then sell individual units at a slightly higher price through eBay, Amazon, or even your own website.
By reinvesting your profits into larger orders and more diverse products, you can quickly scale this business with no real limits on your growth (other than storage and logistics). The key to success is to find the right product that will be easy to market and to sell.
You can quickly scale this business with no real limits on your growth
Another option is dropshipping, where you sell a product from another company that will then dispatch the product for you and not make itself known to the recipient. The company takes a cut, but it means you don’t need to worry about things like logistics and storage.
Speaking of reselling, did you know that you can also “resell” services?
An extremely simple and potentially profitable business model anyone can emulate is to advertise a writing, programming, or design service in a high-paying market. You then receive details of the work, pay someone to do it for less than you are receiving, and then keep the profit at the end!
I tried this business model for a while and unfortunately found it too fiddly for my liking. You essentially work as a go between, which means sending lots of emails and feeling stressed when a writer drops out last minute. However, if you want to get paid for doing very little work, it’s a perfect solution.
Selling weird gigs on Fiverr
We’ve discussed selling products and services online, but Fiverr lets you sell pretty much anything you can think of. I once sold personal training programs on Fiverr, which landed me coverage in a national newspaper! The journalist I spoke to — who was doing a piece on Fiverr gigs — explained that she’d interviewed people who earned full time salaries writing brand names on their bodies! Anything goes here; so if you can speak like Optimus Prime, beatbox, or draw things with chalk, you might be able to make money from it.
Becoming an influencer
If you like the sounds of any of these business models, you should consider building your own platform, whether that’s a blog or a social media account. As you gain loyal followers and readers, you’ll be able to monetize them in countless ways. You might place ads on your website through Google AdSense, or sell affiliate products or digital products of your own.
If you get really big, you might even be able to land high-profile sponsorship deals. The going rate for sponsored posts on Instagram is $1,000 for every 100,000 followers. If you manage to get over a million subs (it’s hard, but not impossible), you’ll be in a situation where you can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single post! Yes, it’s possible to make a living from wearing nice clothes and going on holidays.
It’s possible to make a living from wearing nice clothes and going on holidays
This isn’t a guaranteed method of making money though. Building a huge following takes luck, dedication, and business savvy. That’s why my advice is to pick one of these other business models as a way to start earning money now, and to bootstrap your grander brand aspirations. Either that, or blog and Instagram because you love it, rather than as a means to an end.
Maybe you just want to sell some old photos off your computer or some crafts so you can afford that next holiday. Either way, these are some of the top side hustles you can do from home. Let us know any others in the comments below, and check back regularly because we’ll be adding to this list over time!