Unfortunately, it’s rare to find a day job that is both fulfilling and pays well. However, that is no reason to despair. In today's day and age, it’s easier than ever to start a side hustle, that is, a venture outside of the nine to five where you pursue what’s important to you and hopefully make some additional income in the process.
Not only is it a way to supplement primary income, but also an opportunity to test the waters for new ideas as well.
The first step would be to check out the competition. Search what you want to offer on search engines and see what other businesses are doing and how many of them there are.
The higher the number, the more unique you’ll have to be and the harder you’ll have to work. Do not make the mistake of basing your online side hustle success on free search engine rankings!
If the venture is planned and launched correctly, you could stand to earn a sizable amount of money, whilst doing what you love.
Starting an online side hustle
Any online side hustle should be based on something you are already proficient at, have a genuine passion for or want to put the time and effort into becoming great at. The more enthusiastic you are, the better your chances for generating income. Nothing less than this approach will make a success out of something you do in addition to your full time job.
Here are a few online side hustles which, based on the skills or knowledge you already have and/or your desire to learn, can create an opportunity:
Affiliate marketing is a way to monetize your website or app by recommending products and services. But you need a lot of topically related content that speaks to the same market as the affiliate marketing programs being promoted. Integrating affiliate marketing into the the above side hustle websites and apps can also help to create some residual income.
There are laws that regulate how you can promote your affiliate partnerships, so be careful.
Offering comprehensive helpful eBooks is also a great way to generate income. There are tons of great tools out there to help you with your writing skills, such as the Hemingway App.
Create a well thought out publication in PDF format and you can use your website or app to facilitate those downloads.
Can you craft something useful, great or unique? Is there a way to add your own hook so that your items are more exclusive and desirable than what is already out there?
Create a memorable or catchy name. Think of a fun visual way to display your items with creative photography that shows your distinctive style.
If you excel at a skill that many folks need, tutoring or online classes could be a great way to earn additional revenue.
If you have the gift of chatter and are comfortable speaking on the go, podcasting might be the side hustle for you! Download Audicity and get a quality microphone to get started.
Sell on your app, website, Amazon, eBay or Etsy
Each marketplace is different and some products do better directly on your app/website rather than on eBay, Amazon or Etsy and visa versa. You can sell on them all, but you should have always have your own app or website in place to make your primary selling channel.
Marketplaces take a percentage of your sales, above and beyond all the other fees. It is wise to invest in your own side hustle app or website in case you choose to not use a marketplace.
Planning your side hustle
Choose side hustle ideas and test their validity
Whatever you’re planning, choosing and testing side hustle ideas carefully before you start will help save you a number of headaches in the future especially financial ones.
Having solid side hustle ideas that you’re excited about will keep you focused as you develop them.
Try and refine your side hustle choice list until you’ve decided on the most practical, exciting and profitable one to pursue.
Launch and market your side hustle
After carefully developing your side hustle ideas, you should be ready to begin launching your idea.
The key here is to develop your idea just enough that you can analyze its performance without spending an unreasonable amount of money.
Expand your side hustle idea
Expanding and developing your idea is the most important step.
In the case of an app, you’ll need to finalise your app idea. Next you'll have to start thinking about what you’ll need to achieve each milestone. It’s always a smart idea to conduct continuing research throughout the process to help ensure you are making good decisions.
Finally, you’ll need to consider your finances. Many fledgling hustles have little or zero capital, and you’ll need to figure out whether yours needs it, ideally at the early stages.
You should consider the resources, time commitment and the overall expenses required to get it up and running.
Analyze and refine your side hustle
Once your side hustle is up and running, the work isn’t done. You’ll need to make sure it’s performing optimally and react to any metrics that could impact your income.
In simple terms, you’ll want to take some time after launch to consider whether you want to continue on with the side hustle or start again with a fresh idea.
For example, maybe you’ll find that your app didn’t take off as well as you’d hoped, or the target users were only interested in the free version. In contrast, the feedback you’ve received so far could spark your creativity, prompting you to add new features you didn't think of previously.
Of course, if the income doesn't look good and you’re losing enthusiasm on your side hustle, it might be time to reevaluate. However, if you’re still excited regardless of how it looks on paper, analyzing your side hustle’s performance will be a primary concern at this point. This way, you can perform a correction moving forward.
Even with your online side hustle up and running, there's no guarantee for quick returns and as with everything in life it will require time and perseverance. Time might not be your friend when starting a side hustle, as you'll have to juggle your day job as well and you might even end up working harder than you ever have on your side hustle, the only difference is you'll be working for yourself!