One of my main missions on this site in the coming year is to help people figure out how to create successful side hustles that will help them get ahead financially. After starting my own side hustle (this site) that turned into my full-time job, I want to help other people do the same!
For a lot of people, the beginning of the year is a great time to start new things. Whether you’re trying to pay off debt or pad your savings account, a side hustle could be a great vehicle to hit your financial goals.
Before I get to the list, I want to make sure one thing is VERY clear. Side hustles don’t equate to easy. Anyone who tells you that making money on the side is simple is either lying or shadily trying to sell you something. Any business (regardless of size) takes organization and hard work.
10 side hustles you can start in 2017:
1. Start your own blog
I’m a little partial to blogging, but it really can be an avenue to open up a lot of doors in your life. You’d probably be surprised to learn that you won’t make money from your actual blog at first, but more from the services that you can provide as a result of learning how to run a website!
Many of the things on the list will require you to have a website with a blog on it, so even if you don’t want to become a pure blogger, you will want to learn how to create your own website. Having multiple skills will only help you down the road.
Take a look at my free blog starter guide to get your site set up in less than 15 minutes. If you use my exclusive link, you can avoid using GoDaddy and get a domain name for free.
2. Take online surveys
Every month, I have readers that take surveys during their free time. Many of them are easy enough to try while you are watching Netflix on the couch after a long day of work! If you are looking for an easy way to make some extra money that doesn’t require you to start a business, take a look at my online survey guide to find legitimate surveys you can try.
Just FYI – you are NOT going to get rich doing surveys, but it can be an effective way to make some extra spending money.
3. Become a virtual assistant
There are a couple of routes you can go with this type of side-hustle, but the most successful one I’ve seen is helping bloggers and small businesses complete online tasks. One of the best ways to market this service is to create your own blog, and then offer your virtual assistant services on your site!
There are also services that you can apply to work for like Fancy Hands, which allows you to make your own schedule and get paid $2.50 – $7.00 per online per task that you complete.
4. Start a pet-sitting business
I’m a pet lover, so I bring this one up pretty often (BTW – my wife and I just decided that we are going to get a Great Dane in about six months! Cool, right?)
If you legitimately care about animals and enjoy taking care of them, you can start a pet sitting business. Take some time to start volunteering at local pet shelters to build a reputation. You’d be shocked how much business you can get through referrals from volunteers and veterinarians!
*Pro tip*: Create business cards and ask if you can leave them at your vet’s office.
5. Learn how to code
There is a real need for people that have coding knowledge out there! As someone who has had to search high and low for website developers for various projects, I’ve learned that there are a lot of creative ways to make money if you have coding skills.
If you have zero coding knowledge, take a look at Codecademy. I’ve gone through several of the courses (they are free), and it’s a fun and systematic way to learn how to code. It’s not a total solution, but it’s definitely a great place to get started.
6. Handle social media/marketing for small businesses
If you have a large social media following or build a decently sized blog (10,000-30,000 views per month), you can freelance as a social media manager or provide marketing services for small businesses.
This is one of the many ways that I started making money online, and there is a ton of opportunity. The problem for small businesses is that marketing firms are often way too expensive for the average mom and pop store. All it takes many times is an email to a local business asking if they want help! This is another service that you could market on your own website.
7. Freelance writing (or any service)
This is another side-hustle that can be supercharged if you have your own website. It’s very common in the blogging world to see someone with a “hire me” link in their menu bar. All of the bloggers I’ve asked about this tell me it’s very effective. Depending on your experience, you can charge anywhere from $150 – $500 for freelance articles.
8. Make money by flipping items
I recently sat down with a picker/flipper that makes over $40,000 per year buying items from flea markets and selling for a profit! This is a side hustle that can be completely free to start. If you are willing to put the time in to learning about various items and love talking to people, this is a great side hustle for you.
You can take a look at my interview with Rob Stephenson from Flea Market Flipper and get access to his Flipping Academy with my exclusive link.
9. Start an SEO (search engine optimization) business
SEO is a service that revolves around getting content and websites to rank higher in Google. It can be a tricky business to dive into, but I have made thousands of dollars by helping companies create SEO friendly content and websites!
My friend Claudia recently created a course that will show you all the steps needed to create your own SEO side hustle, and almost no technical expertise is involved! SEO services can bring in $75 per hour, and is a great and flexible way to make extra money on the side.
10. Create an Etsy shop and sell items online
I’ve seen everything from art to scarves sold on Etsy. If you are creative and think you have the skills to make and sell products online, this is a great opportunity for a side hustle.
There are fees associated with listing items on Etsy, and they have add-ons for services like shipping label printing. Take a look at their FAQ page to learn more about the costs of selling on their platform.
Observe your surroundings and find a need
That’s really the key to ANY business. I started M$M because I felt like young people needed a place to come learn more about personal finance, student loans, and now entrepreneurship. If you have a skill that you think could fill a need for someone else, you can start a side-hustle. It’s honestly that simple sometimes.
Be aware of the market when considering side hustles
When you start your side hustle, you need to understand this above all else: The market doesn’t give a damn about what you want. The market only cares if you can produce. Period.
If you can’t put in the time to produce a great product or service, you’ll probably want to avoid starting your own small business! I don’t say that to be mean, but to be realistic and filter out the people who aren’t really willing to put in the time to make extra money on the side.
But, if you can put in the extra time after work you can definitely make a successful side hustle!
Question for you:
How are you going to make extra money this year? Please share below – I want to know!