From graphic designers selling on Amazon and bankers writing ebooks to writers running podcasts, the word "side hustle" is being thrown around a lot in 2018. Last year, it was reported that one out of two Millennials now have a side hustle--and that number is only expected to grow.
By day, I run a marketing and design agency, but by night, I too join the ranks of side-hustlers. Every evening from 7 p.m., I work on my e-commerce store to sell snarky yoga mats, mugs, and doormats.
This year, I've been bombarded with messages from friends and internet strangers asking me how they can start something, too. Whether you're looking to make extra money or just find a new hobby, keep reading to discover six easy to start side hustles:
1. Design and sell your own products.
In 2016, I decided to take my love of design and puns online and began selling mugs, doormats, and beach towels that I designed.
You might be surprised that creating physical products is listed as an "easy" side hustle. To run my e-commerce store, I use print-on-demand services. That means that I upload a design and choose the product to print it on. When an order comes in, say for a mug reading "Livin' La Vida Mocha" the print-on-demand service makes the product to order and ships it to my customer on my behalf.
There's no inventory to manage, no postage and handling to figure out, and minimal stress when something doesn't sell.
2. Write your way to a bigger bank account.
Writing can be a lucrative business, whether you write blogs, e-books, content, or newspaper columns.
Amy Chan is a travel and relationship writer for The Huffington Post, The Vancouver Sun, and her blog JustMyType. "Writing is easy to start," Chan says, "because you can find a topic you're passionate about."
To aspiring writers, Chan suggests to take a stance on your topic and simply begin creating content around it. Then you can pitch publications that feature your topic to see if you can write paid guest post to generate additional income.
3. Monetize your art online.
With print-on-demand services and other online marketplaces for digital products, it's become easier than ever to sell your art to the world.
Chan isn't just a writer--she also moonlights as a doodler. She says her doodling began as a side-effect of her shyness: She would draw the things she wished she could say to cute guys she had a crush on.
It's now become a thriving side-hustle. She was commissioned to draw a mural and is planning to make a book of her doodles.
4. Start talking and cash in on a podcast.
Mandy Stadtmiller, author of Unwifeable, suggests creating a podcast to promote your other projects and generate side-income.
Her husband Pat Dixon hosts the New York City Crime Report podcast. He's been able to monetize the show through Patreon, where he gives fans access to bonus material for donating or paying a subscription to support his content.
"Podcasts are easy to start because all it takes is an iPhone and a computer and you can be up and running in a matter of hours," Stadtmiller explains.
5. Sell products you love.
Not interested in designing and printing mugs and t-shirts? That's OK--you can re-purpose things you love and sell them on Amazon.
When she's not trying to make New Yorkers laugh at her comedy performances, Jessica Delfino sells handmade products in her Etsy shop. Her latest creation is a series of custom, wire-wrapped crystals that she excavates herself.
This is an easy business to start, explains Delfino, because crystals are easy to buy in bulk or dig from your own backyard. You can find YouTube tutorials about wrapping them in wires or adding other creative flourishes.
By adding your creative touch to a favorite item, you can create an all-new product that people will love to buy.
6. Sell your knowledge.
If you've gained special knowledge from your career, overcome a challenge in your life, or have perfected a system that allows you to do something better than most, you have knowledge that other people would be willing to pay for.
Anything you do well or have knowledge about is a valid choice for consulting. And getting started is as simple as setting up a one-page website and getting the word out.
Whether it's your art, your words, or your knowledge, you have something valuable to share with the world. If you're looking to start a side hustle, what are you waiting for? There's no better time than today.