7. Start an affiliate program. With your own affiliate program, you can recruit an army of people (your affiliates) who will recommend your product on their web site for a percentage of any sale they refer. You have the power to exponentially increase your income as more and more affiliates sign up and you continue to teach your existing affiliates how to increase their commission checks (and your income).
Thanks for the list and the podcast. I am currently a notary in my state and completed a course and passed the test to get my certification as a loan signing agent. Do you have any suggestions for websites where I can register to start getting my name out there? Are signing agents employed by companies or are they contract workers (needing to withhold their own taxes, etc.)?
Research. You need to know what others are selling before you decide what wares you will offer. Lots of people sell handmade items, but those who work hard to make their items unique in some way are the ones who truly stand out. After you’ve decided on a product, check out the other sellers on Etsy and find what they’re offering, and then figure out how you can do it differently.
This list offers some great ideas and inspiration for folks looking to increase their income. There’s really no reason that anyone with some ambition, a good work ethic, and “people skills” can’t earn some extra money (or a full-time income) pursuing some of these self-employment ideas. I’ve done a little research, myself, to compile a list of small business ideas, and stumbled upon a few possibilities which you didn’t cover:
82. Junk Hauling Service. This is an especially feasible side hustle business if you already have access to a large truck or van. Bonus points if you can re-sell some of the junk! I had the chance to sit down with Brian Scudamore, the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, to learn how he took the business from a summer gig to doing around $1 million a day in revenue.
I am a somewhat longtime reader and subscriber, but you can say that I am one of the biggest failures here. I need money, I am unemployable, and I have no (ABSOLUTELY NO) marketable ideas. Any idea I might have falls in one of three categories: 1.) Too specialized in too esoteric a field, 2.) Workable if I could just get other people’s interest, which I can never do–I have tried, several times, and 3.) Stuck in a chicken and egg dilemma–I have no idea where to start. So, to restate, either the work would be useless, nobody wants it, or I have no clue what the work is. How can I even manage? Is it too late? Am I truly worthless? I hope not, because I can never get up the nerve necessary to end it all.
Socialize. Especially when you’re getting started, you need to establish contacts who are already immersed in the business. They can act as mentors, keep you up to date on industry changes, and even help you land your first or subsequent job. Look for the local chapter of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) in your area and join.
Before you really roll up your sleeves and monetize your personal or professional skills, why not right-size your life? Selling your unwanted stuff is a great way to downsize and declutter your life while earning some income on the side. If you’re transitioning to full-time work-at-home status, that income could provide a critical boost to your plans for a proper home office, or allow you to maintain your lifestyle during lean times without resorting to voluntary simplicity.
Photographs. Because your customers won’t be able to touch or hold your items, you need to give them as much of a visual feel for the products as you can. You’ll do it with photographs – but not just any photos. They have to be pleasing to the eye and make the item look fantastic. You’ll have to learn the art of photography, and if you can’t get the hang of it, you’ll have to hire someone to do it for you. Yes, it’s that important.
Advertising. You’ll need to get the word out about your sewing business, and one of the best places to start is with your friends and neighbors. Make sure they are all aware of your services and are willing to pass around your business cards. In addition, you should put up fliers in local fabric stores and get to know the employees so that if someone asks, they’ll be able to refer you. Any business needs a website, and yours will be no exception; you can put up a simple one that outlines what you do, and tells the reader what kinds of prices to expect. Finally, by joining organizations like the American Sewing Guild, you’ll be able to stay in touch with others who are doing the same thing as you.
It’s funny that you put baking of all things on this list. I’d often considered the idea of baking cookies and things and selling them on Facebook garage sale sites and things like that – until I made Christmas cookies last week and found out how difficult it is. Let’s just say it gave me a healthy appreciate for the people who make all the tasty desserts I regularly enjoy!
If you have a day job or have connections that could lead to a conflict of interest with your side hustle then it is not a good idea to continue with it. Sometimes the best advice is to try something else or to shelf your idea for another time so that you don’t end up doing something you regret. Starting a side hustle with a conflict of interest could lead to costing lessons learned.
Freelance Writing Tip: The best freelance writing opportunities are on ProBlogger. It’s the platform I used to find freelance work here at Oberlo. I also landed a few other top clients from the side job website. On average, the best paying freelance jobs are on there. However, if you’re just starting out, you might want to focus on building your portfolio and skillset on Fiverr, Craigslist or Upwork first as it’s easier to land your first few clients on those websites.
And you SHALL go to the ball my darling, because I don’t just have years of experience running an online business, I’ve got over a decade of experience mentoring others as they started and grew their online empires too. I’ve mentored more than I can count to 6-figures and a few to million dollar enterprises. Which means I already know every pitfall, sticking point or other obstacle that you might face on your journey to Online Profits, and I have a plan to help you navigate through them in style (you can even wear glass slippers if you want to!)
There are many people who start working online and after some time manage to quit their jobs. Some even manage to make six or seven figures annually. But let's keep our feet on the ground. What if you could generate an extra $1,000 monthly with your website? Many newbies reach that income level within six months of starting their websites, so it's a reasonable expectation. Wouldn't the extra $1,000 monthly improve your life a lot? Wouldn't it allow you to have more flexibility, to buy the things you want?