When I was a struggling single mom, I felt like I was constantly racking my brain, trying to come up with best side business ideas to start for something that I could start that would be my own.
Society says that a “great job” with decent pay and 401K is the dream. But finding the right side business ideas and eventually becoming fully self-employed is even better than a job with great pay and good benefits.
Being an entrepreneur, and working on your side business ideas are without any doubt, much riskier than holding down a full-time job. It requires way more discipline and sacrifice. Once you’re reaping the benefits of being your own boss and making your way to significantly more money with your business idea than you ever could at your thankless day job, the hard work will have all been worth it.
That said, let’s talk side business ideas.
By now you’ve probably guessed that I’m going to tell you (again) that one of the best business ideas you can start, is launching a blog of your own. And you can start that right now! For that reason, I put together a free guide that breaks down how to start a blog and I share the exact strategies I’ve used to turn my blogs from a hobby, into money-making ventures.
The question I’m asked the most when I meet and speak with fellow bloggers/entrepreneurs is, “How do I know which business idea is going to work for me?” This one is always quickly followed by, “How do I get started on this side business idea while I’m still working my full-time job?”
Believe me when I tell you, figuring out what to do as a side business used to give me hard-core anxiety.
Given how many business ideas you’ll come up with, it can be difficult to work out which is the right side business idea for you. Especially if you’re looking for the kind of side business ideas that’ll let you have the lifestyle flexibility you crave.
Most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to quit our day jobs to start a business idea, without stressing about how we’re going to pay the bills moving forward.
I think that you should start your side business idea while you’re in a full-time job. It’s absolutely the best way to start because you have a built-in backup! If your side business doesn’t work out, you’re not at risk of losing the house for lack of funds!
Before I started blogging, I think I did any and everything I could think of to make extra money. I could only hope that one of these things would turn into my “full-time hustle”.
As it turns out, blogging is the one that I spent the least amount of money on, but makes me the most money!
Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income?
Blogging stats show that thousands of bloggers are creating popular and profitable content on topics as varied as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. We’re growing those blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams.
Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things under control (my free course on how to start a blog will show you how), and then you need to understand what your audience wants and learn how to attract those readers to your blog.
I learned with this blog, that in large part, my readers want to learn how to start a profitable blog, so I created a free 5-day course on the subject. Because I found that this topic is what my readers actually wanted, I started another blog that only deals with this subject.
If you want to speed up the process of launching your blog, I recommend setting up quick, and affordable website hosting with a company like this one, choosing a simple WordPress theme, and working on your first post. Learn to prioritize your time for creating content, and connect with (and build) your audience.
You’ll also need to get the right marketing tools to help grow your new blog.
Anyway…let’s get to it!
14 Best Side Business Ideas to Start While You Still Have a J-O-B
I’m going right for what I think is THE best side business option. Especially when you’re looking for something that you can start with practically VERY LITTLE FINANCIAL OUTLAY.
You can start a blog for as little as $2.88 a month (like I did) for your domain and hosting for one year! After that, all you need to focus on is creating content, and marketing/distributing that content to grow an audience.
This is a great guide to what you should be aware of before starting your own successful blog.
Creating products for your e-commerce store is a great idea. It’s a little more labor-intensive than blogging is, but if your heart feels like you have something that you want to create and share with the world, go nuts with it!
There are several ways to sell your craft projects. I once started selling re-usable shopping bags with cute/smartass sayings on them. I made my first sale while I was actually building my store! (Hand to God. I almost cried.)
Some platforms that you can sell your wares on are Etsy, Zibbet, eBay, etc. Google the pros and cons of each, and get to work!
3. Writing E-Books
Another of the 14 Best Side Business Ideas to Start While You Still Have a J-O-B, is writing e-books.
With super simple self-publishing with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, it’s easier than ever to write a book, and get it to a major publisher! Again, you’ll be responsible for all of the marketing for this venture. But if you’re good at any kind of real marketing, you’re golden!
4. Become an Influencer
If you have a great way of relating to others, or you’re a fashion genius of some sort, becoming an influencer should be right up your alley.
Do you know what I mean by “Influencer”? I’m talking about those people who grow their social media accounts into the hundreds of thousands of followers, thereby attracting sponsorship dollars of any number of companies.
If you’re already addicted to social media, why not make money from the fact that you’re on it? All you really need to get started is a blog and a smartphone.
5. Become a Virtual Assistant
Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea.
You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people and build up your professional network. You also have the added perk of being able to start this as a home-based business idea.
Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money.
6. Social Media Manager
If you’re one of those people who’re on the phone more often than not, Social Media Manager might be the right side business idea for you. If you’re spending that much time on social media, why not get paid for the time that you’re on it?
Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel have intense social media presence and are always in need of smart, creative people to help build their brands online.
Most employers on job websites like Indeed or Flexjobs are used to working with people who operate these types of services as their side business ideas.
7. Sell Photographs
If you own a camera, starting a freelance photography business could be a very easy way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable side business idea.
Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up an online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process. Then you’ll be able to get paid for photographing professional headshots and family celebration moments as your side business idea.
Plus, once you have all the gear for your photography business, you can earn a little extra side income by renting it out when you’re not using it through online marketplaces like Fat Lama.
8. Create Downloadable Artwork
If you have a knack for graphics, you can create and sell downloadable artwork! It’s super easy to do! All you need is some creativity, and a graphics program (like Photoshop), and you’re golden.
Sites like Etsy are capable of hosting your artwork, and on them, you have the ability to sell to customers who will simply download your work once it’s paid for!
How much simpler does it get?
You don’t need to use a platform like Etsy to sell your work, you can build a WordPress site, and use a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads to sell your work.
9. Start a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel could be a great way to show off your personality AND make some great money! Many of those who start YouTube channels, do so as a hobby to start out. But as you’ve probably noticed, this side business idea can be extremely profitable!
Work on creating entertaining content and growing your subscriber base. The more subscribers you get, the more views your videos will have. Once you’ve grown your subscriber base to higher numbers, making side business money will follow.
10. Get Paid to Proofread
If you have a great grasp of the English language, proofreading just might be the side business you’re looking for! There are even great courses like this one, that can teach you everything you need to start your own proofreading business.
Podcasting is another great side business that you could start, and it doesn’t require that you spend a ton of money to get started!
One of my blogs has a podcast, and I can’t tell you how easy it was to start it! Thanks to the SmartPhone and corresponding apps, you can be up and running with a podcast in minutes (literally).
You already have all the equipment you’ll need! I started my first podcast using my iPhone and the earbuds that come with it! Voila!
If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, you can get sponsors to fund your side business idea. I use this podcasting tool to create my podcasts. They have a corresponding app that lets me record, edit and upload to the platform, AND to Apple Podcasts right from my phone! You can even add music and sound effects! Podcasting has never been easier!
12. Online Publisher
I mentioned earlier that you could write and publish books as your side business. But you could also just publish books for other writers online by creating your own online publishing company!
There are lots of writers who would like to publish their work, but have no idea how to go about doing that. You could help those writers fulfill their dream of getting their work published!
13. Create an Online Course
Online learning has really exploded in the last couple of years. There’s no shortage of people who create courses and find that doing so was the way to making it out of their horrible jobs.
Figure out what you can do, that others want to learn, and teach it to them online. There are any number of platforms to make the creation process easier. Believe me, it really does simplify the process of creating a course online.
14. Write Erotic Fiction
Now before you balk at this, you should know that this genre of publishing is insanely profitable if you’re inclined to go this route. The reader base for erotic fiction novels and “novellas” (short form novels) is into the tens of millions!
This is a side business that’s really easy to start, and can be extremely profitable!
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