According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, fully 29 percent of Americans have side gigs, and 44 percent of Millennials do. Clearly, this is a trend with a strong future ahead of it.
Why are side hustles so popular? Everyone likes making a little extra money, of course, but in an uncertain economy, a second (or third, or fourth) income stream is excellent insurance against any single financial catastrophe. Plus, side projects are a great way to build skills, expand your network, and test out the entrepreneurial waters.
But if you're convinced you should join the growing subset of Americans who are making some money on the side, how do you do it? Happily, there's now a truly great list to turn to for ideas, instruction, and further inspiration.
It's a truly massive Medium post by freelanship.com founder Lauren Holliday, which offers a goldmine of suggestions and links to additional resources. Not every idea will be right for every would-be freelancer (some require tech chops or a pre-existing fan following, for instance), but with so many ideas on offer, it's bound to get everyone's creative juices flowing. Definitely check out the complete post if you're considering starting a side gig online, but here are her basic ideas:
- Create a course. "A course can be a big upfront investment that has a big monthly (recurring) payoff," writes Holliday.
- Create an ebook.
- Create a Slack community. "If you create a course, a Slack community can be an easy upsell," explains Holliday.
- Create a private, paid social network. Examples include WeWork, IVY, and Young Entrepreneur Council.
- Curate premium content. "If you like creating or curating good content that people value, why not charge for it?" asks Holliday. You can offer a weekly email or a regularly updated membership site.
- Repurpose templates. "If you do a specific process consistently, it's likely you have a template or two up your sleeve. Valuable templates can be anything from resume templates (very popular) to blog post templates. It doesn't have to be a web design template, although those are popular too."
- Create bundles. Make more money by "sweetening the template deal by creating a bundle of templates or premium content to accompany your templates."
- Sell your photos. Holliday offers a huge list of sites to help you do this.
- Sell your notes. "Take notes for books you're reading, courses (online or offline) you're taking, long articles you're reading and long videos you're watching. Basically, you can take notes and sell them for anything that teaches people how to do something," she explains.
- Buy and sell domain names.
- Create a Mac app. Or partner with a programmer to launch one
- Create a Web app.
- Create a WordPress Plugin.
- Program scripts.
- Create an ecommerce store.
- Dropship. "Dropshipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer."
- Create a job board. "Job boards are relatively easy to make, and if you drive traffic to your site, you can charge at least $249 per post, as sites like Inbound.org and Designer News do."
- Create an agency. "Lots of highly qualified people are out of work right now. Find them jobs or freelance gigs and take a cut for your 'finder's fee.'"
- Become an influencer. "Have a large following on Instagram, Twitter, Medium, Facebook, Reddit, Product Hunt, Youtube or Snapchat? Get paid to feature offerings you like."
- Create affiliate accounts. Have an audience? Get a cut when you sell them things.
- Write native ads.
- Secure sponsorships for your blog podcast or newsletter.
- Make websites.
- Provide support.
- Write for blogs. Come on in, the water's fine!