5 Online Side Hustles You Can Start From Home
Working from the comfort of your own home or from anywhere in the world can be a rewarding achievement.
Since 2004, I’ve been able to work when, where and how I wanted, thanks to my online business.
However, I didn’t get it right at the start. I tried and failed at many things. Some did well while others flopped.
From selling physical products to blogging, there are so many ways you can make money online so where do you start?
Here are 5 side hustles you can start from home:
Side Hustle #1: Physical Product Reselling
When I was in my early twenties, I would buy things in bulk and sell them on eBay. For example, the first product I bought was hair straighteners. I bought 10 in bulk for $120 and resold them for $29.95 each. Not a bad profit. It was one of my most memorable arbitrary businesses I started because it taught me many lessons about business.
Amazon FBA is hot right now. It's a platform that does the picking, packing and sending for you. You send the products to Amazon to stock up and they'll do the rest.
Here’s the process as explained by Amazon:
Dropshipping is another popular method if you don't want to hold any inventory. You can have a third-party ship the items for you after your customers purchase through your eCommerce website. Shopify's a great platform for starting an eCommerce website.
The way I was running this little side hustle was buying, storing, selling then shipping. That would mean going to the post office each time I had to ship orders. Nowadays, you don't need to do that.
Side Hustle #2: Ebooks
An ebook business is an ideal business where you have no inventory or stock to warehouse which makes digital selling very appealing.
I predominately make money from selling eBooks on my website, though you can sell ebooks on Kindle, too.
Making six figures per month from this business is not unusual.
A quick case study: I know of a Kindle author who makes $140,000 per month selling ebooks in the gardening niche. He lives a modest life. What's funny is that he doesn't even know how he does it.
You might be thinking: "I can't bare the thought of writing". If you don’t enjoy writing, the easiest way is to hire a writer. You can use a service like Upwork to find freelance writers. A 10,000-word ebook (approximately 30–40 pages), typically would cost around $500 USD. For a non-fiction ebook, that is enough. You don't need a 300-page ebook on "how to improve your golf swing".
Side Hustle #3: Create an Online Course
This is also a digital type of business but with this, you’re sharing your expertise, skills or knowledge in a format that is readily available online to those who want to learn about the subject.
With so many course platforms out there, it’s easy to get your course up and running.
To name a few popular ones:
Udemy - An established online learning platform where you can share courses on almost anything you can imagine.
SkillShare - A very professional online learning platform, mainly topics around entrepreneurship, business, design and tech.
Teachable - This is more like a platform to host your course rather than a marketplace like the two above. It is used by many top personal brands. From course structuring to accepting orders, this is an all-in-one course platform.
Side Hustle #4: Affiliate marketing
No product? No worries. You can sell other people’s products for a commission.
You can build a website reviewing products around a niche that you love. For example, I’m a coffee enthusiast and love making coffee on my espresso machine, so I could potentially start a blog and YouTube channel reviewing coffee machines. I would then become an Amazon Associate or affiliate, search for the coffee machine I’m reviewing and grab my affiliate/referral link. Any sales I make, I get a commission from Amazon.
Writing and or recording videos to post on YouTube reviewing a product gets great search traffic too, because you’re targeting specific keywords like the brand and model number, for example “Breville Barista Express BES870”. That’s what you call highly targeted.
Best of all, you’re targeting an audience who are ready to buy.
Side Hustle #5: Freelancing
An ideal online business would be one where you don’t need to be present all the time and exchange your time for money, but if you're the type that likes to work on a per job/per hour basis, then look no further, freelancing may be your thing, especially if you’re just starting out.
When I started, I did small website design jobs on the side for clients while I was working in my day job. I got work from engaging in relevant forums.
Sites like Upwork allow you to browse jobs which you can send your "proposal" and project bid. From writing to bookkeeping and designing to coding, there are jobs in almost any category that can be done virtually.
Are you great at writing? Start writing.
Are you a talented designer? Start designing.
Are you great with numbers? Work on some analytical jobs.
What about programming? Start developing.
Or perhaps you love giving advice? Start consulting.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad who wants to make a little extra cash from home or if you’re someone who wants to build a serious business online, the business models above are all possible.
Pick one method. Not two. Not three. Just one. Doing too many at one time will only spread your focus thin, and you'll end up getting discouraged not seeing any results.