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How to Start a Side Hustle: 4 Great Ideas

The lure of entrepreneurship proved especially strong in recent years as people spent more time at home as they worked remotely. 2021 saw approximately 5.4 million new businesses start.

Of course, not everyone has the time, finances, or the mental bandwidth for starting a business that will become a full-time job. For many people, the goal isn't necessarily becoming an entrepreneur. The goal is additional income.

For those people, a side hustle is an ideal solution. It's part-time by nature and there are several business models. The question most people face is how to start a side hustle.

Since no general advice will really prepare you for launching every kind of side hustle, we'll cover four side hustle ideas and how to get started in those.

1. Blogging

If you're looking for a low bar to entry, blogging is one of the best side hustles out there. You can launch a blog with a very minimal financial investment. Plus, you avoid many of the ongoing costs of other side hustles, such as payroll, inventory, and equipment costs.

What You Need to Start

All you really need to start is a website with blogging software installed on it. The WordPress content management system is a popular choice. You want your own website and hosting so that you can monetize the blog.

How to Start?

The how mostly boils down to finding a topic that you're passionate about, whether that's home gardening or custom cars. It takes time to build a following, so you need a topic that you won't get bored with after a few months.

Even so, you must target your website around a few keyword phrases. Do some keyword research around your topic and look for one with decent traffic. Then, integrate that term on your site and in your content.

Once you build up a following, you can monetize through sponsorships, affiliate marketing,

and advertising.

2. Freelancing

Getting started in freelancing isn't quite as easy as blogging, but it's still on the easier side. In most cases, you're leveraging a skill you already possess, so the learning curve isn't as steep.

What You Need to Start

You'll need a few things to launch your freelance business. The main things are:

  • A website

  • A way to accept payment

  • Bookkeeping/Accounting software

For the website, you need hosting and URL from a domain registrar. Some hosting services offer both. You need some kind of payment gateway, such as PayPal, Venmo, Payoneer, or Cash App, and preferably one that takes credit cards.

You also want the bookkeeping or accounting software so you'll know how much to pay when estimated quarterly taxes roll around.

How to Start?

For freelancers, your website becomes much more important. You need it to detail the services you offer and, in many cases, your rates for the work. Many freelancers also include a portfolio of their work, which can range from an online gallery to a zipped file that contains writing samples.

Beyond that, it's all marketing. You must convince clients to hire you, which can take cold emailing, online advertising, and serious networking to identify leads.

3. Information Products

If you possess a lot of knowledge on a subject or specific skills, information products can prove a viable business model for you. In essence, you convert your knowledge or skills into content that helps educate others.

What You Need to Start

Again, you'll want a website that serves as the focal point for promoting your information products. Beyond that, needs will vary. At various points, you may need word processing software, a microphone, a video camera, and video screen capture software.

How to Start?

Information products must fill a need in the market. For example, coding is often a skill that people struggle to master early on. Sticking with it is often as much a mental challenge as a hard skills challenge.

Yet, many information products about coding focus on the hard skills of programming. You could write or create information products about mentally surviving the first 90 days as a new coder. Some options include:

  • An ebook

  • An online course

  • Webinars

  • A podcast

  • A subscription website

The idea with information products is that you want to encourage repeat customers. Offering multiple kinds of products around the same topic and subscription options, in particular, can generate substantial revenue.

4. Print-on-Demand

For the more artistically inclined, a print-on-demand side hustle is often a superior choice to information products, freelancing, and blogging. It lets you embrace your creativity and potentially turn a profit from it as well.

What You Need to Start

You'll need a few things to start. You'll likely want a website to help promote your products. You'll also need an account with a print-on-demand service that will do the actual printing when someone orders a product.

You'll also need some kind of software to create your designs. Don't forget about logistics. Many print-on-demand creators work with print-on-demand services that offer shopping carts, payment processing, and shipping.

How to Start?

Much like blogging, you need some kind of focus for your designs. Maybe you design funny cat pictures or snarky sayings. You want something that unifies all your products so you become the go-to source for that kind of product.

Once you decide on your focus, you'll want that reflected on your website. Many people also create social media profiles for their print-on-demand brand or projects.

You will need some marketing hustle to get your designs out in front of customers.

How to Start a Side Hustle? Plan First

The real answer to the question of how to start a side hustle is that you should plan first. Investigate your options. See which ones align best with your interests, budget, and available time.

Once you make your choice, line up essentials like hosting and a domain name. Get whatever secondary software you may need, such as design software or bookkeeping software.

If your side hustle doesn't have a payment option baked in, set up a payment gateway.

What side hustle will you start? Let me know in the comments below.

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