Top 10 Platforms to Start a Side Hustle
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Are you looking to start a side hustle online and make a bit of money in addition to your regular job?
Let’s be real for a minute and recognize the fact that we could do with more money in our pockets, and if you’re only making enough to spend on your family’s necessities, then you might feel that life is hardly worth living.
Fortunately, there are a myriad of ways to make some extra income online if you know where to look.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best platforms online for people who want to start a side hustle and supplement their regular income. If that sounds a lot like you, then we encourage you to read on as we go over the following:
Table of Contents:
- Why Start a Side Hustle Online?
- Popular options for generating extra income over the Internet
- Affiliate Marketing
- Amazon Associate
- Flipping Things on eBay
- Etsy (Arts and Crafts)
- Starting a Blog on WordPress
- Become an Influencer
- Stock Photography
- Deciding on the best side hustle for you
Why Start a Side Hustle Online?
Truth be told, your options for starting a side hustle aren’t limited to the Internet. You can, for example, get a part-time job or try your hand at babysitting. That said, it’d be a waste to not take advantage of the opportunities and modern conveniences that the Internet has to offer.
The truth is that creating an extra source of income has never been easier, and it’s all thanks to the power of the world wide web. Money-making opportunities abound that are literally within one’s fingertips. One just has to know where to look and turn said opportunities into a side hustle to make some extra cash. Maybe even enough to replace or surpass your regular income.
Popular options for generating extra income over the Internet
So what are some of your best options for creating a side hustle on the Internet? A simple Google search on the matter will likely yield hundreds of search results. Simply deciding on a path to pursue can be confusing. That said, the following platforms/methods ought to help point you in the right direction.
If you’re looking to start a side hustle online that has minimal financial risks, then dropshipping might be the perfect platform for you. After all, you’d be practically selling products from other businesses through your online store without stocking any inventory.
In a dropshipping business, you pay the supplier the cost of the goods that you’re selling, and dropshipping services handle packaging and shipping of the product directly to customers. All you need to be concerned about is the marketing side and handling customer service related tasks.
Now you might be thinking — dropshipping sounds simple, so why aren’t more people doing it? Well, the dropshipping business isn’t for everyone, and it is not as easy as you might think. For one thing, doing it successfully requires a good grasp of digital marketing and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Online marketing is the lifeline of any dropshipping business, and anyone looking to get into it as a side hustle should expect to spend a significant amount of time and money educating themselves on the matter. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of blogs, videos, and courses online that will teach you everything that you need to know about running a profitable dropshipping business. This includes lead and traffic generation, social media advertising, automation, conversion optimization, and many more.
One thing that you would want to look out for should you decide to delve into dropshipping is to avoid underpricing your products too much. It can be tempting to do so if only to remain competitive and the premise of getting more buyers. After all, you might feel that you’ve got plenty of wriggle space with access to wholesale prices. That said, you would want to be careful not to hurt your profit margin and consider your marketing expenses — web hosting cost, ad expenses, outsourcing fees, and the like.
As a rule of thumb, it’s generally better to look at the fair market value used by other sellers that offer the same product online. This means looking through the online stores of several competitors to get a sense of the average prices in the market. Dropshippers can them compare them to their overhead expenses and whether they’re pricing their products competitively without undermining healthy profit margins.
Perhaps the most popular way of creating a side hustle online is to become a Youtuber. You’ve probably already heard success stories from people behind your favorite Youtube channels and wonder whether you can be as successful as they are.
As the quintessential social video platform, Youtube caters to the needs of over one billion active users per month. No matter what niche you’re into, there is bound to be an engaged audience just waiting for you to make an appearance. The proof is in the pudding, and Youtube already has more than one million creators making decent money through the platform.
How much money do Youtubers make you ask? Well, for every thousand views, you can make around $2 to $4, which may not seem much. However, if you were to make 50 videos with that many views over time, then that would get you $100 to $200 worth of extra income.
Of course, making a decent amount of money off Youtube isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one thing, there’s the initial stumbling block of amassing 10,000 total views before creators can start monetizing their channel. Doing so is no easy feat, and most people give up before reaching that threshold. That said, Youtube implemented the rule as a necessary step for weeding out bad players in the community.
Fortunately, there are other ways to create a side hustle through Youtube, even without monetization, which include the following:
- Put up videos to generate traffic to your blog
- Promote products or services on Youtube
- Create video reviews of products and embed your affiliate link
- Create video tutorials on subjects that you’re passionate about and share them with people
- Build a brand
- Sponsorship deals
- And many more
A tip for becoming a successful Youtuber, you ask? Well, as counter-intuitive as might sound, one advice is to care less about making money. If you were to look at all the thriving creators on Youtube, you would find that they all have one thing in common — they enjoy what their venture and strive to come up with new and creative ways to create videos on topics that they genuinely care about.
As a side hustle, no other platform shows more promise than affiliate marketing. All you need is a high converting offer and a reliable affiliate network to work with. But how does it work?
Well, an affiliate’s job is to promote or market a product or service that his or her affiliate network caters to. In return, they are paid a commission (percentage of the selling price) for every sale that they bring into the business.
A few of the more popular affiliate networks include:
- ShareASale Affiliates
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partners
- Shopify Affiliate Program
What does it take to create a successful side hustle as an affiliate marketer, you ask? Well, for one thing, you’ll need access to a wide range of marketing tools and learn how to use them effectively. Such tools include:
- An email marketing software for building a list of prospects, distributing newsletters and creating a relationship with people who are interested in your product or service
- Social media monitoring tools to keep track of people’s sentiments about the product or service that you’re promoting.
- PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising tools like Bing and Google Ads. These platforms have integrated tools for tracking and analyzing the results of your affiliate marketing strategies. Such information can then be used to optimize campaigns and get better ROI (Return on Investment).
According to Alexa (a competitive analysis marketing software company), Amazon is the 12th most popular website on the Internet (as of 2019). This translates to more than 310 million active users and the purchase of more than 12 million products from around the world. It is no wonder then that Amazon is one of the most popular options for generating an additional source of income online. There are many ways for people to start a side hustle through the Amazon website — retail and online arbitrage, reselling books, and private label products, just to mention a few.
Perhaps the best way to generate a steady income stream via Amazon is to join their affiliate marketing program called “Amazon Associates”. How it works is that you feature a product on your blog or website along with a link to buy on Amazon. You get paid a commission (4 to 15%) when people buy through your link.
Do you fancy yourself an expert on a particular subject matter? What if there was a way to share your knowledge with other people and make a decent amount of money in the process? Well, that’s just what Udemy has to offer — an online learning platform for students and professionals.
How it works is that users sign up as an instructor (free) and upload their courses on the Udemy website. Interested students can then pay to gain access to the course and an exclusive community where students and the instructor can communicate with one another.
Udemy courses must, of course, meet specific requirements and subject to approval by Udemy. For one thing, a course must consist of at least five modules and 30 minutes of video before it can be monetized.
Flipping Things on eBay
Are you looking to make some extra cash and have much stuff lying around in the house that you no longer use? If so, then you might want to start a side hustle flipping things on eBay. You can begin by taking an inventory of stuff in your home that you don’t want anymore and are merely gathering dust. You’ve probably done it in the past but didn’t think of it as a side hustle.
Once you’ve disposed of all the extra items you have at home, then you can get more stuff to sell by visiting thrift stores in your area. The idea is to buy potentially valuable items at a bargain and sell it on eBay for profit. If you’re strapped for cash, you can even check out Craigslist for things that people are looking to get rid of and giving them away for free. If you’re lucky, then you might find something that’s worth a decent amount of money.
With over 182 million active users worldwide, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a buyer for whatever it is that you’re selling. The important thing is to have a good sense of how much your items are worth.
While you don’t want to be overpricing your listings, you’d also want to be careful not to undercut your profit margin. A good strategy is to search for similar (if not identical) items that have already been sold on eBay. You can then adopt the same price range in your listings.
Etsy (Arts and Crafts)
If you enjoy crafting stuff, then you would be glad to know that you can start a side hustle by selling some of your work online. Etsy is the ideal platform to do so as they specifically cater to hand-made items, including home decorations, clothes, bags, jewelry, furniture, toys, works of art, and many more. The site also caters to vintage items (at least 20 years old), which can be worth a significant amount of money.
As of 2018, there are more than 39.4 million buyers on Etsy, as opposed to 2.1 million active sellers. Hence, Etsy isn’t as saturated as other e-commerce platforms, and there’s plenty of opportunities for creators to make a name for themselves.
Starting a Blog on WordPress
Another immensely popular way for people to generate extra income online is through blogging. This platform has been around for many years and remains a viable side hustle today, especially for people who travel a lot or looking to work from home. All you need to get started is a domain name and a good web hosting service.
Of course, making a decent income as a blogger isn’t easy and has its’ share of challenges. For one thing, you will need to decide on a niche and build a good following from people who share the same interests as you do. Hence, it would be easier if you choose a niche that you genuinely care about and write posts on topics that are relevant to your niche.
Some of the more popular niches for blogging include:
- Health and wellness
- Fashion and Beauty
- Latest News
- Video games
- And many more!
The truth is that you can carve up a blogging niche on just about any topic that you’re passionate about. The challenge lies in narrowing down and distinguishing your blog from the millions (500+) of others on the Internet.
Still, the question remains — how do bloggers actually make their money? Well, there are several ways to monetize a blog. One is to add affiliate links to relevant posts or joining an ad network like Adsense, Popads, and Chitika. If your blog becomes popular enough, then you can consider other options such as guest posts or selling advertising space.
Become an Influencer
Nowadays, it has become all too easy for people to start their brand, and that can be your ticket to starting a successful side hustle online. You just need to come up with content that your audience will find valuable.
Maybe you have a knack for doing hair and makeup? Perhaps you have a passion for pastries and eager to share your recipe with the world? In any case, there is no shortage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, that people can use to make their mark as influencers.
Influencers make money in several ways, one of which is to sell products (their own or as an affiliate). Influencers can also do sponsored posts and videos or collaborate with brands by organizing events and appealing to their audience.
Of course, obtaining the status of influencer isn’t easy, and you can’t expect to become one overnight. If you choose to go this route, then be prepared to put in a significant amount of time and effort with no compensation. You won’t be making money for a while, not until you manage to build a good following online.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Do you have much time to kill at home and wish that you can spend it on something that’ll help you put more money on the side? If so, then consider taking a job as a virtual assistant (VAs) and work remotely from home. These assistants can take on several roles from accountants and market researchers to webmasters and social media managers.
The demand for VAs has risen significantly over the years, thanks to the influx of new businesses around the world. As a business grows, owners find that they just can no longer do everything themselves. This is where VAs come in along with an excellent opportunity for people to generate an additional source of income online.
Do you have an interest in photography and got a knack for taking good pictures of different subjects? Can you tweak photographs in Photoshop to give your work a professional finish? If so, then a side hustle selling pictures online might just be the ideal option for you.
There exist several stock photography websites that you can use to display and sell your pictures on the Internet. Such websites include Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, and Getty Images, just to mention a few. You can upload the images you’ve taken on these sites with relevant tags. Photographers get a portion of the revenue whenever someone purchases their pictures for publications or as promotional material.
Deciding on the Best Side Hustle for You
Indeed, people have a tonne of options for creating a side hustle over the Internet. Choosing the best one can be difficult, especially when you have no idea what to look out for. That said, it all boils down to one question — what are you passionate about? To succeed in any side hustle, you’ve got to love whatever it is you’re doing. Otherwise, it would be difficult to make any real progress.
So there you have it — 10 ideas for starting a side hustle online! There are many more ways to generate an additional source of income online. If you’re strapped for ideas, then you can’t go wrong with any of the platforms mentioned above. The important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing and revel in the opportunity to learn new skills and build new connections. Over time, you might just be able to turn a little side hustle into a full-time income capable of paying off your mortgage and beyond.