The following is a guest post from Martin of Studenomics, where he shares advice on everything from finding the best renter’s insurance to getting paid to drink coffee with Airbnb Experiences.
I’m all about side hustles because I know that we all want to make more money to have more options. There’s only so much wealth that you can build with extreme frugality. At some point, you have to increase your income.
More money means that you get to pay off your debt faster, save more money, and do more in life.
You just don’t want to waste your limited time and energy on something that won’t bring in any money since so many side hustles lead nowhere. This is why we’re going to take an inside look at popular side hustles and look at which side hustles are worth the effort these days.
Time is valuable. You don’t have much of it and you certainly can’t get it back. You don’t want to waste your time chasing business ideas that lead to nothing. I’ve seen this happen to many of my friends. They go after ideas that are supposed to make them rich, but nothing happens and they get fed up. They give up and never get to experience the feeling of building a profitable side hustle. I don’t want this to happen to you.
What makes a side hustle worth your time?
You can actually make money within a reasonable period of time without highly specialized skills. There are way too many online marketers promising that you can make money with zero skills. The reality is that you need to have some knowledge and/or training to make a side hustle venture work.
I’m also all about maximizing profits to get the most out of your time. I know that you don’t want to spend all of your free time working and trying to stay busy when you could be with your family.
Are these popular side hustles worth it any more?
Trying to become a blogger.
Have you thought about trying to start a blog? You see all kinds of ads everywhere about how you can make six figures with a blog. There are many blogs about blogging and so on. Blogging has been around for over a decade now and it’s a popular online business model.
Can you really make money with blogging?
I’ve been blogging for 12 years now. When I first sold a sidebar ad for $20 after one month of blogging, I thought that I was rich. I eventually end up going all-in with my blogging ventures and here I am still in the blogging game.
How can you make money with blogging?
- Use your blog as a platform for your other business ventures (coaching, speaking, and so on).
- Sell courses.
- Sell advertising space.
- Sell books.
- Affiliate marketing (promoting other products).
- Start a podcast.
As you can see, there are many ways to make money with blogging so that you don’t have to rely on one income stream.
Is this side hustle worth it?
Starting a blog and trying to turn a profit from this blog will take at least 6 months. The blogging world is also very competitive. You have to study SEO, create lots of content, and have some luck on your side in order to get noticed.
I consider this to be more of a hobby for most people these days. You have to put in a lot of effort and time into making any money from a blog. This definitely wouldn’t be considered a side hustle.
On the flip side, you can start a blog as a “home base” where you treat your page like an online portfolio where you share your best work. My blog has helped me land many freelance writing gigs over the years. You can host your best work on your blog so that you can lead clients for other business ventures.
Social media influencer.
You’ve likely heard of this term. What exactly is a social media influencer? According to Media Kix:
“Social media influencers develop a following by sharing quality content that inspires, entertains, informs, and connects them with their followers.”
They also went on to estimate that the grand total ad spend on influencer marketing will increase to $5-10 billion dollars in the next five years.
With this side gig, you essentially turn yourself into an expert on a topic. You then grow a social media following on the platform of your choosing (Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.).
Here are a few examples of how you can become an influencer:
- Become famous on Tik Tok.
- Start a popular podcast.
- Grow a massive YouTube channel.
- Build an Instagram follower.
Is there any money in becoming a social media influencer?
You can create your own products to sell or you can take sponsored deals. You can do a live stream and get paid by viewers who leave you donations. Many companies are turning to influencers to promote their products over traditional avenues.
Should you try to do this?
This is the easiest side hustle to start. You can also have the most fun with this since you get to become the face of a niche that you actually enjoy talking about.
For example, all you have to do is start a separate page for a hobby of yours. I started a separate page for my coffee tours last year and have enjoyed growing that Instagram page. I share pictures of coffee, I talk to other coffee lovers, and I get random deals. I’m obviously not expecting to get rich from this venture, but it’s a fun way to monetize a passion.
The main setback here is that these days many people try to be influencers so it may be a crowded marketplace if you try to be another motivational person. It’s important that you find a niche where you can stick out.
Driving for a rideshare company.
Have you thought about driving for a rideshare company? Many of these companies promote becoming a driver by claiming that you can become the boss. I personally drove for Uber one summer and got first-hand experience.
Is there any money in driving for a rideshare company?
Meh. There are ways to make money by driving during busy times, but your expenses are also high. For example, you have to factor in the wear-and-tear to your vehicle on top of the costs of fuel.
There are also many risks involved in driving strangers around. What if you get into an accident? What if you get a bad rating? What if someone pukes in your car? What if there’s nobody to pick up?
Should you try this?
There are better options that exist now when it comes to this type of work.
I had a few friends start delivering alcohol and groceries for money during the isolation lockdown. You may even have better luck with delivering food on your bike. You can get some exercise in and make some extra money.
Trying to flip stuff.
You’ve likely heard about flipping stuff. Gary Vee and other entrepreneurs have been promoting this idea for a few years now. This article goes into depth on how you can flip stuff.
Here’s a quick summary of flipping stuff:
“The internet has created so many ridiculous arbitrage opportunities. This is just one of them. Pick stuff up for free on Craigslist, list on a site like eBay, sell it, and make an extra few hundred bucks a week.”
Is there any money in flipping stuff?
Yes, you can definitely make money from flipping your stuff. My friends recently left Canada so they had to sell all of their possessions. They put up everything that they could find for sale on Facebook and Kijiji. They made $1,600 just from getting rid of household items (mattress, lamps, TV stand, and stuff like that).
Should you try flipping stuff?
This depends on how deep you want to get into flipping. I don’t think it’s worth your time to try to devote all of your energy to this because there may not be as much money as you think there is in it.
For example, I had a friend who tried going all in on flipping stuff. The problem was that he spent all of his free time hunting for deals online or going on scavenger hunts through yard sales. In the end, his home was filled with junk. He couldn’t get rid of most of the stuff since there isn’t a market for everything. He also spent far too much time on trying to craft ads for products that weren’t really in demand.
On the flip side (see what I did there?), you can have some fun by seeing how much money you can get for your junk. One weekend, I hosted a yard sale where I encouraged my family to put up everything that they wanted to get rid of. People came to our driveway to pick up our stuff. We made enough money for a family dinner.
Those are the most popular side hustles these days. I wanted to give you a realistic outlook so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Which popular side hustle have you tested out?
I person I only know from online left an MLM business(beachbody) and started doing Amazon Fulfillment. I know little about it but it seems like a lot of work with lots of “gotchas”. I like the idea of this post to hear about other options.
ROBYN A. WEINBAUM says
as a tax professional, i can state that for 98% of my clients, these side hustles do not work. when they want to increase their income i suggest that they find something that meshes with their day job/profession/hobby and monetize it. one of my hobbies is sewing. for many years, i designed and sewed costumes, outfits, home decor items. i charged cost plus an hourly rate. i made a decent amount and i enjoyed it. i had friends who did not do this analysis and ended up making maybe half the minimum wage. they ended up tired and frustrated.