5 Top Side Hustles to Start While Working from Home

Guest

Last Updated: May 6th, 2021

Guest Post by Jo Barnes

If you're one of the many millions of people finding yourself throwing on a shirt over your PJs at three in the afternoon for a Zoom meeting with your boss, you're not alone! The work from home/remote working trend has only just started and will undoubtedly grow over the coming years as companies realize the economies of scale this "new normal" brings.

But don't despair!

While adapting to this new style of work may, at first, feel isolating, it also brings with it a host of opportunities, and not just for the big corporations anymore. If you've ever thought about starting a side hustle, now is the time. 

The current situation has given rise to dramatic increases in online shopping, socializing, working, and everything in between. As long as you have a computer and a decent internet connection, the online world is waiting for you!

You may be able to manage your workload easier from home, giving you extra time to focus on generating an additional income. 

If that's where you find yourself, here are five online side hustles you can start today from the comfort of your kitchen table: 

  1. Blogging
  2. Social media management 
  3. Freelancing
  4. eCommerce
  5. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

In time, you can reap the rewards of sufficient, consistent income to sustain a more flexible lifestyle conducive to your travel, family, and personal goals. 

A computer is on a table outside surrounded by plants

1. Blogging

In my experience, there is no better business model online today than the world of blogging. 

By purchasing your own little space on the web by way of a domain and creating a branded website, you can talk about, write about, make videos about, and publish pretty much anything you want to!

Your goal is to build an engaged audience around a specific interest or niche via your content. It’s your site; the choice is yours. 

Here's how I recommend you start your blog: 

  1. Choose your topic or niche. 
  2. Pick a name and register a domain. 
  3. Browse web hosting platforms and sign up with your favorite. 
  4. Install a website builder and design your site. 
  5. Start publishing amazing content. 
  6. Promote your content via search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. 

As your audience grows, you can monetize your blog via ads, affiliate offers, sponsorship, or even your own products.

2. Freelancing

Are you a whiz at graphic design? Perhaps you love building websites, have a talent for digital marketing, or are an organizational wizard? No matter your skill set, the gig economy is alive and well, and more businesses than ever are choosing contract workers over full-time staff.

Here are the steps to finding work as a freelancer:

  1. Create a portfolio of your work including examples, testimonials, and anything you feel might be relevant to any potential client.
  2. Sign up and create a profile on a freelance website.
  3. Search or bid for job requests which suit your skillset. 
  4. Focus on getting five-star reviews to increase your chances of getting gigs. 
  5. As your contracts grow, create a website showcasing your success stories and promoting your services.

3. Social media management 

Do you love scrolling Instagram, documenting your days, creating stories and TikTok videos, or chatting on Facebook? If so, social media management could be right up your alley. 

Imagine managing the Facebook and Pinterest accounts of a local business, spending your days coming up with creative images, posts, and videos to amuse and entertain. What fun!

Here are the steps to becoming a social media manager: 

  1. List out your top skills and platform knowledge. 
  2. Create a compelling profile on a few freelance websites. 
  3. Search for job posts from companies looking for social media specialists. 
  4. Stand out from the crowd by researching each company, creating a personalized response, and showcasing your skills pertinent to the job post. (Tip: The more personalized your response to a job request, the greater the chance of getting the gig.)
  5. Focus heavily on getting great reviews as soon as possible. 

4. eCommerce

Did you know you can upload a design to a website and sell t-shirts, caps, journals, pillows, towels, mugs, and much more with your design on it, without ever touching or paying for products upfront?

It’s called "print on demand" and is one of the fastest ways to start an eCommerce business, selling physical products online.

An alternative eCommerce business model is dropshipping, which involves sourcing products designed and manufactured by other companies and advertising those products on your website at a higher price.

When a customer makes a purchase, the product is sent directly from the manufacturer to the customer, and you keep the profits.

Like print on demand, dropshipping is a super-fast route to setting up an eCommerce store.

Follow these steps to start an eCommerce store:

  1. Choose your eCommerce business model: print on demand, dropshipping, selling your own products, etc. 
  2. Register for an account on an eCommerce platform of your choice. 
  3. Add images, logo, and store information. (Tip: Create a logo on Canva for free and use free images from a stock photo site for beautiful headers and graphics for your store.)
  4. Add your product descriptions and images.
  5. Promote your products on social media or using influencer marketing. 

5. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

If you have a bit of cash, you can have specific products manufactured and branded to sell on Amazon, who will do all the fulfillment side for you.

(If you're imagining boxes of products in your garage, don't worry: this is not that.)

Your products are sent directly to the Amazon warehouses and packed, picked, and distributed by the folks at Amazon. Your job is to let the world know your products exist and let Amazon handle the rest.

My partner and I built a seven-figure FBA business in twelve months. Here's how you can do it, too: 

  1. Choose your niche and product line: analyze Amazon itself to see what's selling well. 
  2. Choose your first product. Aim of something that is light, small, easy to ship, unbreakable, and can sell for $20–$40. 
  3. Source a supplier. Alibaba is the quickest and easiest place to start. 
  4. Order a small amount of stock (500–1000 units) to test the market. 
  5. Create an Amazon seller account and a product listing. Utilize eye-catching product images, a keyword-rich headline, and bullet points. 
  6. Ship products to Amazon. 
  7. Promote your products using Amazon PPC and influencer marketing. 

The sky's the limit 

These are just five ideas from the hundreds of options available online.

Open your mind, get creative, and start following people online who've done what you'd like to do.

In no time at all, your side hustle could be generating more than your day job! Now wouldn't that be grand?

Jo Barnes is the founder of Your Lifestyle Business, a blog dedicated to empowering solopreneurs to build a business they can run from anywhere in the world. As a globe-trotting lifestyle entrepreneur, Jo has explored more than 30 countries in the last 10 years while building six- and seven-figure online businesses. She is currently locked down in Thailand. 

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