Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How to Start a Side Hustle Today {Plus 30 Epic Side Hustles!}

best side hustle ideas

Do you just know that there has to be a way to make money on the side? Today I’m going to tell you all about how to start a side hustle!

It’s not as complicated as you think, and I should know because I started a side hustle when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby boy while still paying off student loan debt and searching for a way to stay home with my kids.

I started by working as a search engine evaluator and picked up a handful of other jobs along the way until I started this blog as my full time side hustle.

Now my side hustle has become my full time income while giving me the flexibility and freedom to be a stay at home mom! I’ve been able to pay off my student loans, work towards our financial goals, and pay for preschool.

Imagine what you could do with your side hustle money!

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! Read the full privacy policy here ~

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a way to make money outside of your normal day job. Typically a side hustle is freelance work or part time work that brings in an additional income. It can be a job you find working for a company or it can be starting your own business. Side hustles may be something that a person is passionate about or it may be something that the person does to reach financial goals. A side hustle has the potential to grow into full time income.

Why start a side hustle?

There are so many reasons to start a side hustle. You probably have a few reasons rolling around in your mind right now. Here are a few of the common reasons people start searching for a side gig.

  • You’re living month to month on your current income. There’s no wiggle room for emergencies, entertainment, or other things you want to do.
  • Financial goals. You want to pay off student loan debt (or other debt), start saving money for a house, create savings for retirement.
  • Start a business that you’re passionate about without quitting your day job.
  • You want something that you can call yours. As a stay at home mom (or dad) you have lost your identity and you’re looking for a way to find yourself again.
  • Create multiple streams of income.
  • Reaching your financial goals will happen faster if you can contribute to your family finances.

Side Hustles Change

You’re reason for starting a side hustle will change over time. I originally started my side hustle because I wanted to send my kids to Parent’s Day Out, pay for their soccer season, and cover a few little extras.

When I started my blog, I knew that I wanted to use my website to start a business. I didn’t want to go back to work as a teacher, but I still wanted to use my mind and skills outside of being a stay at home mom.

Then I was able to use my earnings to pay off my student loan debt, pay for PDO, and contribute to our financial goals!

I want to let you in on a little secret…the biggest reason that someone starts a side hustle is because they realize that something has to change in their life. You get to a point where you’re unhappy working in your little cubicle and you feel compelled to do something about it.

Starting a side hustle isn’t just about finding a way to make some extra cash. It’s about energy that builds up inside of you to start a new business, create a financial goal and find ways to achieve it, or take a chance on something you’re passionate about.

Most importantly, here’s what I want you to know…no matter your reason for starting a side hustle, YOU CAN!

If you want to dive deeper into figuring out the perfect side hustle for you, then check out this guide for Stay at Home Mom Jobs. I cover the TOP 3 things you need to consider before choosing a side hustle & include 30 side hustle ideas!

How to Start a Side Hustle the Right Way

Guess what…you can run down to your local pizza place and start delivering pizzas. That my friend is a side hustle! But is that what you really want to do?

I’m guessing the answer is a big fat NO!

So we are going to cover steps to starting a side hustle that you will actually love!

#1 Determine your WHY

This is where you will determine if you want a side gig or a side hustle.

What’s the difference? Here’s how I think of a side gig vs. a side hustle. A side gig is a job that you do just to make some extra money. For example, delivering pizza or delivering groceries or driving with Uber. Sure you can make some extra money that way, but you’re not willing to hustle for those jobs.

So, WHY do you want to start a side hustle?

Knowing your WHY will make it easier on hard days when you don’t feel like putting in the effort to work your side hustle.

#2 Brainstorm things you could do as a side hustle

There are hundreds of ways you can start a side hustle. So start with these questions to narrow down your choices.

  1. What skills do you already have that you could use to make extra money?
  2. Think about things that people ask for your help. What is something that you are really good at?
  3. Is there something in your life that you worked really hard to solve?
  4. What is something you’ve always wanted to do?

Skills Your Already Have

Starting with skills that you already have is a great place to start. If you really love using those skills, then you’re probably going to have an easier time starting a side hustle. Think about the skills that you have developed in your career.

Things You are Really Good At

In each person’s little community, they usually become known as the person who can do *this thing.* For example, between me and my friends I was the person who could research and find anything. My family and friends always come to me if they need to do some research on a topic.

I turned that into a blog where I help other people find answers their searching for through my blog!

Pain Points

Sometimes, in life we come across a pain point or problem that we struggle to solve. You may trying to solve something in your life right now or you already have solved a problem. Certainly, you are not the only person who has had that problem. There are other people out in the world who have the same problem. You can be the person that guides them to solving that problem.

For instance, my problem was finding a way to work from home. I researched and tried different ways to work from home and make extra money. It took trial and error over the course of a couple of years, but I gained skills and knowledge! Now I use that information to share with other people who are looking for ways to work from home.

Turning a Hobby into a Passion

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Do you have a hobby that you love doing, but wish you could turn it into a way to make money?

As a busy parent, wouldn’t it be great to turn your hobby into a side hustle? You could make money doing something you love!

You may be interested in checking out these 50 Hobbies that Make Money!

#3 Research Different Side Jobs

Now that you know the direction you want to go in with your side hustle, it’s time to research what kinds of opportunities exist. There may be companies that hire for the type of work you want to do or you may want to start your own business. Take this time to see what is out there.

Ask your friends what kind of side jobs they do.

I am always writing new articles about things you can do to work from home. Browse these articles for more ideas!

#4 Narrow Your Choices

Once you’ve made a list of 3 – 5 side hustle ideas, it’s time to evaluate your list.

Use these factors to rate each side job on your list.

  • flexibility
  • time investment
  • income potential
  • learning curve (Do you need to gain new skills to get started?)
  • passion

Working with women the past 2 years, I have found that one of the biggest roadblocks to finding a work from home job is choosing something that isn’t aligned to your purpose.

If you need to make money right now, then starting an Etsy shop isn’t a good idea. You’ll quit before you give yourself a real chance at being successful, because starting a business takes time.

However, if you take a job as a side hustle when really you wanted to pursue creativity and passion, then you’re probably not going to last very long.

#5 Choose a Job

One of the easiest places to get stuck in your side hustle journey is spending so much time thinking, agonizing over, and making a decision about what to do for your side job.

If you’re feeling stuck and not sure which job to start, I always suggest going with your gut. You may not have everything perfectly aligned when you get started, but one thing I know for sure is that you will grow from this experience. You’re ready!

Set up a daily work schedule, whether it’s 30 minutes or  1+ hours a day. Then show up and do the work!

#6 Master Your Mindset

Mindset is how you view the world and yourself.

Your mindset is everything when you start a side hustle. Whether you are choosing to work for a company or starting your own business, you need a mindset that helps you grow. Any time you start something new it creates challenges in your life.

There may be small challenges like fitting your side hustle into your schedule or bigger challenges like learning new skills that take time.

Here are some ways you can master your mindset.

  • View challenges as opportunities
  • Try different learning tactics
  • Value the process over the end result
  • Cultivate a sense of purpose
  • Value effort over talent

#7 Commit to Your New Side Job

Starting a side job and reaching your goals requires commitment.

In fact, I’ve found that commitment and perseverance are 2 of the main ingredients for people who are successful. This means putting your side hustle in your top 3 daily priorities.

You may have to exchange your nightly Netflix binge for time spent on your side hustle.

When the kids go down for a nap, spend your time working on your side hustle.

It might be hard to imagine right now, but a side hustle means that you’re already busy doing something else. Maybe it’s a full time job or raising kids as a stay at home mom. You’re likely going to be putting in the work during the nooks and crannies of your day.

When I started my side hustle, my husband let me get away to a lake house for 2 nights. Instead of having a girls weekend with my friends, I chose to work on my website. I’ve spent hours working past bedtime to build my business. But I can honestly say that building my site has been worth the hard work!

It’s important to note that there are ebbs and flows to your work. Weeks or months where you will work hard and then time when you will come up for air. The key here is making a commitment to work hard on your side hustle.

#8 Analyze Your Competitors

Starting a business…

Look around to find businesses in your niche doing what you want to do. Analyze how they make money. See if they offer courses or books about how they got their start. The About page on their website is a great place to start when researching your competitors.

Finding a job…

Search on LinkedIn to find people who are doing what you want to do. Connect with those people and ask their advice for how to get started with a job.

#9 Create a Small Business Plan

You don’t have to create an elaborate 5 year business plan, but you do need to set a clear goal with a timeframe attached to it.

When I started my blog, I decided that I needed to be earning $1000 by the end of the first year. It took me about 13 months to start earning a $1000 a month, but it happened! Without a goal, I may have never reached that first $1000 month.

#10 Start Working Your Side Hustle

It’s time to go all in.

If you’re starting a business, take time to set up your business online. I spent 3 months organizing, writing content, and building up my website before it went live. Think of your online business as a brick and mortar store. There are things that have to be done before the grand opening.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the grand opening of your online business.

  • Create a side hustle work schedule

  • Work on your side hustle daily

  • Establish a social media presence

This is the quickest and easiest way for people to find you online. Choose one social media platform and go all in. Don’t           spread yourself too thin by trying to grow all the platforms at the same time, but go ahead and snag your business name on each platform.

  • Start a website

Even if you are working for a company! Purchase your name as the domain so that you can showcase your work. You can start a simple website quickly by following my website tutorial!

  • Track your expenses and income

This can be as simple as recording everything in Excel or Google Sheets

  • Don’t go into debt for your side hustle

You may need a side hustle for your side hustle. Find out how I started my website without going into debt in this post How to Start a Blog without going into Debt.

  • Price your products & services

First do your research to find out how your competitors are pricing their products and services. Research has shown that pricing too low will cause your products to not sell the same as pricing them too high.

  • Track your conversions

Find out what products, services, affiliate links are bringing in money. Look for trends like holidays, special events, seasons, that could be increasing traffic.

  • Adjust your schedule

Be prepared to have to adjust your schedule daily, weekly, or monthly. Things don’t always go as planned. Just know ahead of time that this is part of the journey!

  • Focus on providing high quality

Whether you are providing products, services, or content. Make sure you are always giving your very best. Then you can build trust and grow.

#11 Grand Opening

Launching your new business is like hosting a grand opening. You can use social media, YouTube, and Pinterest to promote your new business.

Create a campaign to engage people with your business from the very beginning. You may want to do a special giveaway through social media. You could set up a landing page on your website to give away a free offer that your audience needs/wants in exchange for their email.

The whole point is to let the world know that your business exists and it’s time to spread the word!

#12 Stay in Your Lane

After launching my website 3 years ago, I met people who were just like me. They were stay at home moms who were trying to start a business on the side. Some of them were working way more hours than I had to invest in my business. Some had people to help them grow their businesses.

I would see their income reports (something that is popular in the make money from home niche) and feel so disappointed in my efforts.

Time Suck

Sometimes, I would spend hours looking through reports to see what exactly I was missing on my site. When really my time would have been much better spent focusing on my plan and doing the next step.

Your business may take off quickly and start making money fast, or you may take months of long nights and tears before you see income. It’s important to realize that you can’t compare your journey to other people. You don’t know what kind of support they have at home, what their previous work experience happens to be, or if this is their 3rd business they’ve started.

Do Unicorn businesses exist?

Starting a side hustle business is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes long hours, hard work, and patience. There may be a few unicorn businesses that are overnight successes, but for the most part every success story smells like sweat!

So stay in your lane. Stay focused on your plan and be diligent with your work.

#13 Invest in Yourself

One thing I love about starting a business is that I’m always learning something new. I started blogging knowing nothing about how to write a blog post, how to make money with a blog, or how to grow a business.

My skills as an elementary teacher involved helping kids learn the alphabet and phonics rules. I had no marketing or copywriting skills.

When I decided to go all in on my blog business, I saved up to buy my first course.  Early on I realized that I needed to learn new skills in order to grow a business that would actually make money.

Financial Skin in the Game

One of my favorite reads from earlier this year talked about how making a financial commitment to your side hustle increases your engagement. Naturally, increased engagement creates an increase in your goals towards your side hustle!

That means you could make a financial investment in your side hustle by buying a book to read, taking an online course, finding a coach, or going to a conference. When you make a choice to spend money on your side hustle whether it’s a $20 book or a $400 course, you are committing to your goals.

Skills + Effort = Financial Opportunity

One things for sure, when you want to take your business to the next level you need to do something different. That may mean provide new services, create new income streams, or change what you are currently doing to achieve your next goal.

There are so many online courses available that it can be hard to pick a really good course. I recommend looking at these things when deciding on whether a course is right for you.

  • Do you like the instructor’s teaching style?
  • Have you tried the freebies? Most online courses offer free courses, worksheets, or ebooks.
  • What are you looking to achieve when you finish the course?
  • Did you email the instructor with questions? I think this is really important! Ask the instructor if he/she thinks the course will meet your goals.
  • Ask in Facebook groups for reviews on the course.
  • Are you willing to do the work? It’s hard to pass up courses especially if you see a good deal! But do you have the time to put into taking a course right now? Or will this course end up in the online course graveyard folder on your computer?!

#14 Choosing Online Courses that Help You Start a Side Hustle

Starting your own business is a great way to make money on the side and it’s a great opportunity to scale your income in the future. I just mean you have the potential to earn more money than sticking with a side hustle that pays you for your time.

This is my list of the best online courses, and it continues to grow as I meet knew instructors and find courses that are worth taking!

#15 Track Your Progress

For the longest time, I was asking successful bloggers what I needed to do to increase my income. It came down to this simple answer…track your progress.

Find out how much money you’re earning and where it’s coming from.

When you know what’s working you can look for trends and find ways to create a system to replicate the income. For example, I can use popular blog posts and use the same layout to make new blog posts that will also make money.

Just as important is knowing what’s not working in your business. You can see things that don’t work and then quit doing those things! This will save you time and money!

Pick one day a week to look over your income, expenses, traffic, social media, etc.

Create a simple template on Google Spreadsheets and record your progress.

#16 Persistence is Key

When I first started blogging, my blogging mentor told me that the most important thing to success is not giving up. When you feel stuck, when you are discouraged, when there is a roadblock, that is the time to push through.

Those are signs you are close to making big changes in your side hustle business.

This really goes back to your mindset and choosing to find a way to solve problems that arise. Whether you learn how to solve the problem yourself or hire someone to help you, there is always a reward for breaking through the wall.

Things changed for me when I stopped working as a freelance writer, search engine evaluator, and online ESL teacher to focus on blogging. I used those side jobs to help me invest in my blogging business, and then took the leap to work solely on blogging.

There have been hurdles along the way, and with each turn I have learned something new that has helped me grow in my business.

What happens when you start a side hustle?

When I started my blogging side hustle, I found an outlet for my creative energy. It was the first time in a couple of years that I was excited about the challenges in front of me.

Making money with a side hustle has helped my husband to see that there are multiple ways to make money, and now we are dreaming together of our next entrepreneur adventure!

Starting a side hustle gives you a chance to dream.

It gives you a challenge that you can get excited about.

There is big potential to create financial freedom for yourself and your family.

You can choose to build your business so that you can walk away from your job or you can keep it as a side hustle.

The opportunities for your side hustling future are endless!

30 Side Hustle Ideas

I’ve put together 30 side hustle ideas that you can do to make money at home. I’m including side jobs that you can do to work as an employee and side hustle businesses you can start.

Not everyone has time to start a business and wait for it to grow. The truth is sometimes you need money NOW!

I never suggest you go into debt to start a side hustle business. You should always find a way to save up for a side hustle business you want to invest in. Finding a flexible business you can work for from home can be a great way to start saving money for your business!

Here is the list of 30 side hustle ideas that you can start today!

  1. Proofreader
  2. Sell Flea Market Items
  3. Design Shirts with Merch by Amazon
  4. Sell Crafts on Etsy
  5. Sell Printables Online
  6. Freelance Writer
  7. Virtual Assistant
  8. Pinterest Virtual Assistant
  9. Social Media Manager
  10. Google Ads Manager
  11. Proofreader
  12. Wash Laundry at Home
  13. Deliver groceries
  14. Search Engine Evaluator
  15. Teach a Course
  16. Bake Cakes, Cookies, Treats
  17. Meal Prep Healthy Meals
  18. Teach English Online
  19. Make Money as a Click Funnels Affiliate
  20. Test Websites for Money
  21. Transcription with Rev
  22. Voiceover Acting
  23. Graphic Desgin
  24. Make Money Ride Sharing with Lyft
  25. Deliver food with DoorDash
  26. Become a Stylist with StitchFix
  27. Work from home as a Customer Service Representative
  28. Rent a Room on Air BnB
  29. Photography – sell images online or hire out your services
  30. Start a Blog

Good Luck on Your Side Hustle!

Now you have a plan and the steps to get started on turning your side hustle dream into a reality!

For more encouragement in chasing your dreams and a completely laid out side hustle plan check out these 2 resources.

Let me know in the comments what side hustle you pick and when you get started!

best side hustle ideas you'll love

SmartCents Mom