iCard takes good care for the money of Europeans in over 30 countries and this time we wanted to share something a bit different – how to create your own revenue streams on the side.
Why would you want to start a side hustle? Do you want to more quickly pay off a debt? Are you aiming for more vacations? Are you tired of your old job and want to move on in a make-sense way? Did you lose your income due to Covid-19?
It always seems to be about improving our lifestyles and taking financial burdens off of our shoulders.
Financial independence takes lifelong learning, hard work and a good amount of luck.
Creating for the web or working online is just awesome. You have endless potential to create an impact and you can do that just from your laptop – wherever you are.
There is one major disadvantage to being independent, but I will get to it at the end.
Which are the top 6 online side hustles that are worth exploring and also have great future career potential?
FREELANCING can take you through the learning experience while making good money and while aiming either at a career or at starting your own business.
4 out of the 6 suggested online side hustles are actually working for freelance clients.
They are great if you are just starting college and you want to do more than just study. They are a good idea if you just finished college and you need experience and income. They are also perfect for people who have a job but are not happy with it.
1. Writing and proofreading
Writing is a must whatever you do online – marketing for a big company or copywriting as a side hustle. Quality written content is highly sought after everywhere.
Maybe you have a skill – your unique way of telling stories in writing? Storytelling is a very valuable online skill. It is simply the easiest way for ideas to be transmitted and to be remembered.
Storytelling can sell your services or your future employer’s products just as good as spoken stories were the way to form traditions and communities in pre-historic times.
Writing takes years to master. Fortunately, there are tools like Grammarly, “Spell checker” in Word and Google documents do a very good job too, assisting you in the writing process. This can help you focus on what you write, now so much on how to write, while taking all the hints and adapting them to your style.
Writing for the web is awesome because you can easily get feedback from your readers. For example, articles published in Medium can get read, you can get reactions, you can even share your written content to Facebook groups.
Writing for the web is not like writing a book – it takes you just hours, not weeks or years, to get your result out there, get feedback and improve.
Same goes for writing emails. It’s a valuable skill because it helps you focus your thoughts and you usually get a reply within hours or days.
Developing your writing skills can help you make money while letting you easily transition into the next online side hustles.
Simply start writing up and perfecting your CV, start writing to people in LinkedIn and send it to them, start writing your stories for Facebook groups, start writing as a freelancer.
You might be surprised by the number of open jobs in platforms such as Freelancer, PeoplePerHour or Guru. I would personally recommend Upwork, and I will not be the only one.
Once you get good at what you do, you can even start proofreading other people’s work, which is a better-paid online side hustle.
2. Virtual assistant
Upwork and Freelancer can get you the so-called “Virtual assistant” job.
These gigs are usually not full-time but can be quite diverse in terms of what you are expected and taught to do.
This is another great opportunity to learn more about how a business runs – both online and offline.
Your tasks might include:
✔️ Writing emails
✔️ Sending email (manually or via a mailing system such as MailChimp)
✔️ Writing content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
✔️ Creating and manage social media posting calendars
✔️ Chatting with people on social networks, on behalf of your client
✔️ Managing events and logistics
✔️ Handling the calendar for appointments and travel
✔️ Preparing reports
As a matter of fact, you can get surprised once you land your Virtual assistant side hustle because the list above is non-exhaustive.
You may end up really lucky for having to engage with hardcore business practices, doing the job your client (your online boss) does which can, in fact, teach you how to make really good money in the future.
3. Building websites in WordPress
If you know how to write and have a beyond-basic idea of how things happen online, you might jump straight into blogging.
If you have never created a website – no worries – WordPress is ready to do the heavy lifting for you, no coding needed.
The open-source CMS (Content Management System) actually powers a third of the web. It is so flexible – you can create all sorts of websites.
By 2020, WordPress has been developed so well that you simply buy a cheap hosting plan, have support install it for you and log in to your dashboard.
Then you can go ahead and easily install one of the thousand free or paid pre-made themes and plugins.
They give you all the flexibility you need – backend settings for virtually everything, even front-end drag-drop builders, full of element settings.
No coding required and you can pull off pretty fancy looking websites in no time.
But first, start with your own blog, look for learning materials, watch video tutorials and don’t worry that you will break something. You can simply backup your website or blog before each major step you plan to make.
Remember – there are plugins to achieve virtually anything – popups, share buttons, email subscribers forms, embed mp3 files, slider, headers, menus, MEGA MENUS, payments, you name it.
Then you can try doing this as a side online hustle for freelance clients and there are many, MANY potential clients of yours in Upwork and Freelancer.You have other options beyond WordPress, like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Site123, to just name a few.
4. Managing Facebook and Google ads
This is not so straight-forward and beginner-friendly, but if you have your own blog and you try to sell your newly acquired skills, maybe it’s a good idea to start reaching potential clients by advertising your services both on Facebook and Google.
You have many learning resources online, as you would expect, plus you can volunteer to work with small budgets for local clients or clients you find in Upwork and other platforms.
You may consider getting a Virtual assistant job and speak to your client if they are advertising. Take the initiative, tell them you’ve been studying and optimising small budgets, get an expert mentor by offering to volunteer.
You could definitely aim at starting off by managing the Facebook business page of local businesses near you. Just go ahead and volunteer, apply some nice ideas for them and an opportunity to advertise will pop up for you in no time. This is especially true if you propose a strategy that makes sense to the business owner.
The non-technical side of advertising is the creative side. Use your writing skills to grab people’s attention and make this ads budget convert. The visuals are easy – you have plenty of free resources like Canva and Pexels.
Don’t forget to check freelance groups on Facebook, there are plenty of opportunities there. Be the online hustler you want to be – opportunity is all around. You might consider developing your LinkedIn profile if you haven’t done so already. The business social network is full of job ads and you can easily engage people in comments, to show your expertise. Don’t forget to get acquainted with Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr.
Beyond freelancing, into sharing and applying your experience for more people than just your clients
Once you’ve gone through the learning experience, while making some good money and if you are not satisfied with what you have achieved by now, then you should consider the other 2 online side hustles.
They can eventually turn into your own business or give you enough experience to enter the corporate world and hit the ground running.
5. Teach or tutor people what you know!
This article was actually inspired by the Masterclass in Community Marketing that I’m currently leading here at iCard.
I wanted to give my students (and you) some of the marketing knowledge and experience I have acquired throughout the years of hustling online, freelancing for clients and working in the Fintech space.
If you feel you are an expert at something (maths, history, design, etc.), you might go ahead and share that knowledge.
You have many ways you go about it:
✔️ Teach people through your blog by sharing your knowledge and experience
✔️ Create a video course either via a study platform like Udemy, Thinkific, Podia or go ahead and create your course on your website with the help of services like Teachable and LearnWorlds
✔️ Talk to local academies and see if they need someone like you. They will likely have a study plan already developed, so it will be easier if you don’t have your structure.
✔️ Find ways to tutor people and business owners. You are the online hustler with experience, so they would like to pay you for personalised 1-on-1 attention. You can be found via Facebook groups, search, your ads … friend recommendations. There are many platforms and websites that connect people and experts for 1-on-1 tutoring. Some of them need to approve of you after you apply to be a tutor. Here are a few examples: Chegg Tutor, PopExpert and Wyzant.
✔️ You may even get a job face-to-face in the real world or online.
Education is the key to a progressive and stable society. The opportunities are out there, just hustle your way into what you love to do.
6. Become an affiliate marketer or a drop-shipper
Going beyond freelancing and tutoring, all your knowledge, experience and skills you learned above can work in your advantage – for your own automated revenue stream.
Becoming an affiliate for brands, products and services can make you very good money without moving your finger, even while you sleep. Well, you have to set everything up – your web presence in advance and connect with partners who would pay for referring their products.
Affiliate marketing can earn you commission (%) for promoting other people and companies products and services. It usually works by placing special tracking affiliate links on your website or blog.
In fact, over 80% of companies leverage affiliate marketing, maybe you’ve noticed that many websites actively recruit affiliates via links in their footer sections.
You might get paid per click, per new lead or per sale.
Here is a list of some of the top-paying affiliate offers.
Go ahead, explore Google and you will find tons of other opportunities.
My advice to you is to promote products and companies you love and know – this way everything you say will be genuine and attractive to your website visitors.
It’s similar to affiliate marketing because it works via your own website. Yet it’s different because you don’t advertise other businesses’ links, but you, in fact, represent yourself as a business and develop your online web store brand.
The lovely advantages of drop-shipping are:
- It’s cost-effective to start up a dropshipping business – you don’t have to buy stock in advance, warehouse it and ship it, someone else does it for you.
- You build your own online store brand that is all yours.
It might seem like easy money but it’s not. Drop-shipping has its drawbacks – you need to do lots of day-to-day management of your website, the dropshipping space is highly competitive, you have no control over shipping and return policies, which may negatively affect your brand and you have low-profit margins.
Keep in mind that you will be much better off if you do a lot of research before you start.
Do your best and one day you might be a success case-study 😊
What are the benefits and some disadvantages of all those side hustles?
Of course, it is about earning extra cash, but you can get much more than that in the long run.
You are building a professional network, you expand your skills and knowledge, you become an expert in what you do.
But keep in mind that freelancing might not necessarily be as cool as you might imagine.
Yes, you do have the freedom to work with your laptop on the beach, yet you might still have to fit within a schedule.
Another drawback is that you might have to constantly balance your time between executing for your clients and looking for new clients to keep up with your lifestyle.
Last, but not least, I’m much happier now because every day I meet many people at our corporate headquarter – we bounce ideas, discuss issues and come up with solutions.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this to discourage you, but to share my experience and hopefully motivate you to start already.
You are who you are, so go ahead, get that online side hustle rolling – you will learn a lot and it will open up a lot of new opportunities on the way to your financial independence.
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