People often ask how I’m able to travel so much and make extra income, on top of my busy full-time job. In case you’re new around here, this is my secret – side hustles.
Your income is the best tool you have to accelerate your debt payoff plan, help you save money for a big purchase, grow your retirement fund, and build wealth. I have always had more than one source of income – even as a pre-teen. Most of the time, I was working at multiple part-time jobs. However, a few years ago, I discovered how to make money online. It was a game-changer for me.
But first, let’s talk about why it’s important to have a side hustle on top of your full-time job. It’s simply not enough to have only one stream of income. The fewer sources of income you have, the more risk you allow to creep into your life. What would happen if that income suddenly went away? How would that impact your financial goals? Hopefully, you have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund to help keep you afloat while you search for another job.
On the other hand, there are no downsides to having a side hustle. If your salary is cut, you have a few different income sources to ensure your bills will still get paid. Not only that, but you can use the extra cash to help achieve goals, such as saving for a vacation, buying a new laptop, or even replacing your income.
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23 Best Virtual Side Hustle Ideas
These days, it seems like there is no end to the number of side hustle ideas out there. The internet has made it super easy to earn extra cash in your free time after work. You can start earning money online using the skills you already have, or you can learn a new skill with an online course. No matter what you do for a living, here are the 23 best virtual side hustle ideas you can start today.
- Start a Blog
- Affiliate Marketing
- Network Marketing
- Freelance Writing
- Creative Writing
- Create an Online Course
- Become a Virtual Assistant
- Sell Handmade Items and Digital Products on Etsy
- Become a Freelance Proofreader
- Become a Transcriptionist
- Learn How to Flip Items for Profit
- Photography and Photo Editing
- Edit Audio for Podcasts, Ads, etc.
- Video Editing
- Become a Graphic Designer
- Data Entry
- Social Media Management
- Create Videos for YouTube
- Become a Resume Writer
- Complete Online Surveys & Test Products
- Teach English
- Test Websites
- Become a Bookkeeper
Start a Blog
In December 2017, I came across a news article about Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who had paid off $38,000 in student loans in 6 months and earned over $100,000 each month from her personal finance blog. Her story inspired me so much that a few weeks later, I launched First Hustle Then Brunch.
Anyone can start a blog, and there are blogs for just about any topic you can imagine. Blogs can be used for a range of different purposes; however, one of the most common is to write about a topic you are passionate about and then earn money from your posts. There are several ways to make money blogging, such as affiliate marketing, sponsorships, advertising, and selling digital products and courses.
For example, if you enjoy the great outdoors and camping, you could start a camping blog and write posts about your adventures and some of the pieces of equipment you use. When you are an affiliate for those products, the links you have in your blog posts and social media can earn you money whenever they are clicked. Many sites offer affiliate marketing, including Amazon.
A blog is a good way to earn money, but you need to make sure you build a popular, trusted blog that gets enough traffic. Once you get traffic, it takes a lot of work to turn your blog into a legitimate online business. Fortunately, there are tons of online courses that can show you how.
If you are passionate about a particular subject and enjoy helping others, consider starting a blog to share your insight. You can create your own blog using my simple, step-by-step tutorial. For less than the price of a coffee each month, you could start your own business – how awesome is that!?
As an affiliate marketer, you will share products and services that you recommend with your audience. When they make a purchase through your link or use your promo code, you will earn a commission. Although it helps, you do not need a blog to become an affiliate marketer. You can also promote affiliate links on your social media accounts.
I personally only recommend products that I use and love myself or have some experience with. I also try to stick to affiliate programs within my niche. Many people make the mistake of promoting any and everything that they come across. Not only does it confuse your audience, but it also makes you appear less genuine, leading to fewer conversions. Try to stick to products you are passionate about and would recommend to a friend.
Here’s a list of some high paying affiliate programs. I also recommend the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course if you want to make serious cash with this side hustle.
Also known as multi-level marketing, network marketing is a business model that involves selling products directly to consumers. The network marketing industry is currently worth $167 billion and is expected to be worth $650 billion by 2025. Why is this industry booming? Consumer behavior has changed, and people are shopping online more than ever before. Additionally, top direct sales companies recognize influencer marketing’s appeal and are adapting to the changing landscape.
There are some things you should know about this side hustle, though – direct sales companies are not created equal. Here are a few things you should watch out for: no legitimate products, extreme health claims, monthly/quarterly sales quotas, monthly/quarterly fees, a requirement to purchase products in order to be paid, limited resources and training, or inventory requirements. If you see any of these things, you should run.
After a couple of bad experiences with network marketing, I swore I would never do it again. However, in 2018, I discovered an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. Within five months, I hit a huge leadership rank in the company. A few months later, I earned an all-inclusive international trip, and I’m currently only one promotion away from joining our car program! The best part is I’m not the only one seeing success. If you’re at all curious about what I do, I’m happy to answer any questions you have. Fill out the form here, and I’ll be in touch.
If you enjoy writing but don’t want to start your own website or be tied to one company, consider freelance writing to make extra money on the side! A freelance writer writes content for many different clients, which can include blogs and magazines.
Writing copy for businesses is a popular and feasible side hustle that you could easily turn into a full-time job and small business if you would like. If you can write persuasive and compelling copy for a company, they are willing to pay you for it. You can often find freelance work in this field, but you do need to have certain qualities. Not only will you need to be capable of writing well, but you need to have a fast turnaround time.
It is important to note that there is a difference between freelance copywriting writing and creative writing. While you can often be creative with copywriting and content writing, the goal is to sell products or educate readers most of the time.
Most freelance writers start out making under $.10 per word or less than $50 per post. However, as you get more experience and learn to market your services to a wider audience, you can end up charging hundreds of dollars per article! Not sure how to get started as a freelance writer? Take a freelance writing course. I recommend the Freelance Writer Academy.
Those who want to have more creative freedom in their writing may want to choose creative writing. You can write short stories, novels, nonfiction, poetry, and so forth. You can try to sell what you write to a publisher, or you could opt to self-publish, which technology has made easy.
Today, it has become easier than ever to take a book from idea through to completion all on your own. You can get it up and ready to sell on Amazon in no time. Once you have books available for sale online, they will continue to earn money for you now and into the future. Hello, passive income! Just keep in mind that it takes a lot of work and dedication to succeed.
Creative writing can take you in other directions, as well. You could write screenplays, stage plays, comic book scripts, etc. These can be difficult to sell, just like a traditional novel, but it can be a fun way to make some extra income.
Create an Online Course
If you are an expert (or very skilled) in something – just about anything – you might want to consider creating an online course. Once you have a course created, you can sell it to people 24/7 on various platforms. You could create small courses, masterclasses, corporate training, and more.
Maybe you have a hobby you are passionate about, and you enjoy teaching people how to do what you do. Creating an online course and having an accompanying e-book that you could sell or give away to those who purchase the course can be a great enticement and a way to make more money.
The course could be about anything that interests you and that you feel you can provide good, expert advice about. For example, you could teach people how to rebuild a small engine or invest in real estate. Perhaps you want to teach people how to monetize their Instagram. Regardless of what it might be, from losing weight to making knitted penguins, you could create and sell an online course.
I truly believe we all have a skill that we can teach someone else. Why not leverage that knowledge to make extra money? Online courses have increased in popularity, and many sites make this possible. My favorite courses have been offered on Teachable, but I’ve also seen great courses on Udemy.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Another option for making some extra money with a side hustle is to become a virtual assistant (VA). Virtual assistants can help people with many different parts of their daily lives, and it is a relatively simple work from home option. You can handle booking meetings for people, answering their emails, and so forth. Different clients may have different needs and requests, so you will need to determine the amount of money to charge for the various services you provide.
The best part is you’ll get paid to learn how to do all of these things better. You could potentially take that knowledge with you to run your own business! VAs earn $15-50 per hour, depending on experience and duties. With time, you could also begin charging a flat rate per day/week. Here’s a VA course that will teach you everything you need to know about starting your new business!
Sell Handmade Items and Digital Products on Etsy
If you are an artistic person, why not try your hand at selling on Etsy? Photography prints, traditional artwork, sculptures, jewelry, wreaths, printables, and more sell well through the site. This is a wonderful avenue for creatives of all types.
The most important thing to know when getting started with this side hustle is to keep your ideal customer in mind. Focus on creating products that will help solve their problems. Otherwise, you may begin comparing yourself to what everyone else is creating and become overwhelmed.
I recently added my own printable budget binder to my Etsy shop. I love selling digital products because you only have to create them once, and then they can be sold for years to come. To learn how to create and sell printables on Etsy, check out this course. Or, if you’re looking for commercial use Canva templates, you can find those here.
Become a Freelance Proofreader
Do you cringe when you see a misspelled word or a misplaced comma? If you are very detail-oriented and a self-proclaimed grammar nut, you should consider making extra money as a freelance proofreader. You’ll review content that other people have written for websites, courses, books, etc. and proofread it to make sure they publish high-quality content!
Some proofreaders make up to $40,000 per year! This is quite a lucrative line and work and very much in demand these days. Want to learn exactly how to become a freelance proofreader? Check out this free workshop from ProofreadAnywhere.com!
Become a Transcriptionist
Are you a fast (and accurate) typist and a good listener? If so, check out transcriptionist opportunities! A transcriptionist essentially turns audio and video files into text documents. You may have heard of this job concerning medical records or legal records. However, there are many different scenarios where transcription services may be requested.
Most transcriptionists start out making $15 per hour, but that amount can increase significantly with experience. To learn how to make money at home by becoming a transcriptionist, enroll in this free mini-course.
Learn How to Flip Items for Profit
Rob and Melissa from Flea Market Flipper make a six-figure income by buying used items at flea markets and thrift stores and reselling them at a higher price. You’ve probably heard of the concept of flipping houses – flipping smaller items typically require less work.
Depending on the effort you put in, you could make a few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars each month flipping items! If you are interested in learning how to make this your new side hustle, check out their free course.
Photography and Photo Editing
You might want to use your skills as a photographer to make money. There are plenty of ways to do this, and digital photography has made it so much easier. Consider taking photos at weddings, selling your photos to magazines and online publications, creating prints to sell, or selling your photos on a stock photo site.
If you enjoy using Photoshop and other photo editing software, you have a skill that many people could use. Why not offer photo editing services? You can take photos from customers, which will be sent to you digitally, and then alter them as needed. Perhaps they need something cropped out of the photo, or maybe they need something added. From removing red-eye to improving the color and contrast of photos, you can improve other peoples’ photos, and they will pay you for it.
Edit Audio for Podcasts, Ads, etc.
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, you probably already know how many different options are available. You may have also found that some podcasts don’t sound as good as others do. Those who have experience working with audio will find that this can be frustrating. However, you can help fix this problem by offering your services as a freelance audio technician.
Create a website for your business, offering to help with audio for podcasts, audio ads, videos, etc. You can also spread the word about your business on social media. One of the great things about this side hustle is that you will often have recurring clients. For example, if you work with a podcast that puts out a show each week, you will have steady weekly projects to work on.
Perhaps you like putting together videos and have experience with video editing software such as Adobe Premiere and After Effects. You can help edit peoples’ videos, whether they are YouTubers, small filmmakers, or even large film companies. You can often work remotely – they can send you the footage you need, and then you can edit it anywhere in the world.
Just keep in mind that if this is a route you want to go, it’s a good idea to have experience. You will also want to have a computer and an internet connection capable of handling the workload.
Become a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is sought after by many companies, large and small. They need to have quality logos and designs that stand out from the crowd. However, they often don’t know how to go about creating them on their own. Working as a freelance graphic designer from home as a side hustle is a good way to make extra cash. Create a site that features a portfolio of your work, and then start advertising your services and contacting companies.
Fiverr is a platform where you can sell your freelance services. A “gig” is sold every 5 seconds, and over 25 million projects have been completed. In fact, I hired a designer on Fiverr to create my logo. Sign up as a seller on Fiverr here.
Many companies are struggling to have all of their data entry needs met and are looking for remote workers who can help. Data entry tends to be relatively simple, although it might not be the most exciting task in the world. If you are looking for opportunities to earn extra money and don’t care about the excitement of the job, data entry could be a good solution to consider.
Social Media Management
Everyone, from celebrities to small businesses, knows that they need to be on social media today. It is where everyone is located, so they should have a presence on at least some of the largest social media sites. The platforms chosen will vary based on the person or the business, but popular sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You are likely familiar with these sites and use them yourself.
If you know and understand social media platforms, you may want to consider offering your services as a virtual social media manager. You can handle the company’s posts, and you could also be one of the first lines of customer service for the company. You will want to make sure that the company explains its policy and culture to understand how they communicate online.
Start by offering services to local businesses in your area and consider choosing a specific niche. In addition to offering social media management, you can also run Facebook ads for them. There are several courses online; however, Facebook also has resources to help you get started. Once you understand the basics, Google resources that are more specific to your niche, such as “best Facebook ads for chiropractors” or “best Facebook ads targeting brides,” to find custom ideas.
Create Videos for YouTube
You could also create a YouTube channel as a new side hustle. You will not be earning ad revenue directly from YouTube in the beginning, of course. To get your channel monetized, you will need to reach a certain number of views and subscribers. Their requirements can change over time, so we haven’t included them here. However, you can still make money from your channel before getting monetized by using affiliate advertising in your video descriptions, for example.
There are Youtube channels about nearly anything you could imagine, from video games to camping, try-on hauls, makeup, investing, toy reviews, horror movies, and much more. Always check the latest terms and restrictions for creating content on YouTube to ensure it will work well for your types of videos. Check out this free guide to get started on YouTube!
Become a Resume Writer
Do your friends constantly ask you to review their resumes? Do you have a knack for showcasing the skills that will help them land their dream job? If so, you should consider turning your resume-writing skill into a side hustle.
Create a website, use word-of-mouth, or distribute fliers on college campuses to acquire customers. I had a resume-writing side hustle in graduate school and made as much as $250 reviewing and editing one resume (it only took ~5 hours of my time)! Sign up to be a resume or cover letter writer on Fivver.
Complete Online Surveys & Test Products
Get paid to share your opinion in your free time! Companies will pay you to take surveys or test products. You’ll earn points or cash for each survey you complete. Many survey companies are free to join, including American Consumer Opinion, Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Pinecone Research. You can also search for “market research companies near me” and sign up for their panels.
With Swagbucks, you are rewarded “SB” points for completing certain tasks through their website. When you have accumulated enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more! You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up through my link!
Here’s an awesome opportunity to teach English to kids in China from the comfort of your own home! VIPKID was ranked number one on Forbes’ list of top remote jobs in 2018. You don’t even need a teaching degree (however, you will need some 4-year degree).
VIPKID allows you to set your own schedule, which means you can work as many or as few hours as you want. You’ll earn $14-22 per hour, and many teachers earn up to $2,000 per month! VIPKID provides all lesson plans and course materials and communicates with parents. All you’ll need is a computer and the passion and skills for teaching. Click here to submit your application!
This is another great opportunity to get paid to share your opinion! UserTesting.com is a website that pays you to test websites. Don’t worry; you don’t need a technical background. They want to see how real users may use their site. For example, your feedback could help a business discover that their website is hard to navigate. Tests typically take 10-20 minutes to complete, and I personally think it is a fun, easy way to make some extra cash.
Become a Bookkeeper
While many business owners are great at running their business’s day-to-day operations, they often could use some help managing the business’s financial aspects. Enter bookkeeping! A bookkeeper tracks clients’ finances across many industries (though it’s best to “specialize” in one industry). Bookkeepers can earn as much as $80 per hour! Learn how to start a bookkeeping business with this free course.
Start Making Money Online
A lot of people are looking for productive ways to spend their free time. Have you thought about getting a side hustle to start earning money? Perhaps your main job doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet right now. Maybe it does, and you simply want to have some additional money you can set aside in case of an emergency. Of course, you may just want to earn a bit more to buy something nice that you’ve been eyeing for a while.
Regardless of the reason, you are now thinking about the prospect of getting a side hustle to make some extra cash. These are just some of the many different business ideas and ways to make money online. Because they’re all virtual, you will often find that many of these ideas can be combined or done simultaneously.
For more ideas, check out 17 Best Ways to Diversify Your Income Streams and 11 New and Unique Business Ideas.