Many people think of side-hustles as a way to generate extra income, but even a part-time side hustles can add up to a full-time income eventually.
In this post, I’m going to talk about TEN different side hustles I have either done in the past, or am doing right now!
I have made thousands of dollars from these side hustles combined – but some have made me way more than others.
In fact, one of them I have just started and have only made about $10 :D… But hey, it’s a start! (update: it’s now one of my biggest earners!!).
In my opinion, everyone should have a side hustle … Don’t you think?
They’re inspiring, frustrating, exciting and fulfilling all at once!
If you’re grinding away at a 9 to 5, having something else to focus on that’s just yours – can give you hope.
It can also give you focus and direction and all you need to do, is just keep at it. Keep growing, learning and don’t give up.
What side hustles have you been involved with? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments!
1/ Niche Websites:
Creating several niche sites was the first way I made my first dollar with a website.
You may be wondering what the difference is between a niche website and a niche blog – well, there are subtle differences I explain here.
My first niche site was in the toy niche and another site was in the home decor space.
Originally it was only about wall decals… but then I figured that the commission rate I’d get on decals was ridiculously low!! So, I branched out from that!
In any case, niche sites can be easier to rank in Google than blogs, because they’re often full of either product reviews, or very specific information related to a narrow topic.
Google loves to know what your site is about, (whether it’s a blog or website) and so, the broader the information your site is, the harder it will be to rank your content high in the search engines.
Especially when you have a new blog, with barely any visitors!
Let’s say you have a lifestyle blog about all kinds of stuff and you write a crockpot pulled pork recipe…
Do you think Google will rank your post above a food-related blog?
No, far more likely that the top spots are filled with recipe websites, foodie blogs and niche crockpot blogs.
In this way, having a specific niche blog or website, can be search engine friendly and get you more organic traffic faster.
This is why many bloggers have to result to other methods of driving traffic to their sites, such as via Pinterest.
If you’ve only ever had a blog and you’re interested to know how niche websites work, I think they’re a great side hustle.
Learning how to build one, can also lead to you learning many valuable skills.
Such as how to use WordPress, develop SEO and keyword research skills & much more.
I’m only going to briefly mention this – because it’s pretty much a given isn’t it, seeing as you’re on my blog!
Rags To Niches actually started out as more of a niche site, but has grown over time into…… a niche blog? I guess that’s how you could describe it.
Although it’s a lot broader now, as I talk about a lot of things in the make-money niche…
From ways to make money, work from home, side hustles, survey panels and apps, extra income opportunities and more.
But because I learnt how to create a niche website BEFORE learning about blogging, I did everything a little back to front.
I learnt about SEO first and put absolutely ALL my effort into that, 110% relying on Google for my traffic.
Big mistake. 🙁
For a while it worked extremely well and I was getting around 2000 unique visitors per day….
But after several issues, changes and a major error that occurred, I lost over half of my traffic. overnight.
Dun dun dunnnnnnn….
As you can imagine, the income I’d started to generate took a giant nose dive too.
One thing I learnt was, to NOT entirely rely on Google for traffic.
I certainly learnt my lesson the hard way.
So, by all means start a blog – but try and diversify your traffic with a couple of different methods.
Don’t try and conquer all forms of social media though. Choose a platform that fits your niche and focus on that.
If you go crazy trying to be everywhere and do everything, you’ll most probably get burnt out.
While you do that…. learn the basics of SEO, to help you rank in google!
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t be shy to share your content with others who can help you.
3/ Designing And Selling T-Shirts Online:
This is a side hustle I started in 2017 and at first it was really exciting, as some people were making huge amounts of money on Merch By Amazon.
This is where you can create designs and upload them to Amazon.
Amazon can print them on a variety of different clothing items now, (it was just regular tshirts when I started) such as tank tops and hoodies.
They even put designs on Pop Sockets.
Amazon also deal with the customer service, shipping and returns. Once their costs are taken, you’re left with a small commission.
You’re in control of pricing your items – so, how much you sell depends on how many items you sell and what they’re priced as.
You don’t need to be a designer to do well, but many people do hire others to create designs, or learn to create basic designs themselves.
All sounds good – but over time, there have been growing issues to contend with.
- It’s now hugely competitive. You have little chance selling t-shirts in a competitive niche, unless you’re driving sales with advertising or other means.
- It’s a lot harder to “tier up.” Amazon only allows you to upload shirts in increments. 10 shirts until you’ve made 10 sales, 20 shirts until you’ve made 20 and so on.
- Amazon lowered their commission rate a while back, so you can’t make as much as you used to.
Is it still worth it? It’s going to be more worth it for some people than others!
For example; if you fancy seeking out trends and jumping on that band wagon, you can get sales.
Also, it’s opening up to more countries gradually, opening up more opportunities.
Many of the people on Merch aren’t even designers – so, if you’re a talented designer you can stand out and also make additional cash designing for others.
I wrote a post here going into more depth about whether Merch is still worth it.
I’m still doing it, because I enjoy it and it still makes me a little money every month.
I’m on the 500 tier and due to tier up very soon, (which will give me 1000 spots for products!).
4/ KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing – Selling Low-Content-Books!
This is one of my newest side hustles I’m doing and very early days for me, but this is probably the quickest way I’ve ever made money online to date.
Low-content books means things like……. notebooks, journals, diaries, planners, activity books and so on.
I saw something on YouTube telling people on Merch to put their designs on to notebooks and sell them on KDP.
I had hundreds of designs, so it seemed to make sense to me.
I think I created 6 notebooks in total and stuck them up, I didn’t expect to sell anything.
About 7 days later, I made a sale. I stuck some more books up and made a few more.
I have around 20 books out there and have made 5 sales in a fairly short space of time…. (update: I now have over 300 books!).
Unlike Merch By Amazon, there is no upload limit, which is a huge advantage.
I did find had a little bit of a learning curve, there are some basic things you need to figure out, but it doesn’t take too long.
The other thing is, the profit per book isn’t much! For me, a little under $2 most of the time.
Another added bonus, is you can upload to multiple Countries around the World, which gives your book an extra chance.
So far I’ve made sales in US, UK, and Germany, (update: now have made sales in Spain, France and Japan too!).
When I first looked into it, I really had wasn’t sure how it all worked. I took this free course, which helped me understand the basics.
So, time will tell on this one how it goes and how quickly it will become super competitive.
I know it’s already meant to have risen dramatically competition wise, so I was surprised to make those initial sales at all… Let alone the amount I did.
Update Feb 2021: I have made over $3000 in the first 17 days of February…. I also made over $5000 in January, which was a big surprise. I will definitely be writing more about self-publishing in 2021.
Update Nov 2021: I’ve now made close to $85,000 in royalties on KDP since I started in self-publishing. I recently created a mini course sharing how I got started & the tools I used, which you can download below.
5/ Freelance Writing
This is something I dabbled in the past with, but nothing recently.
However, it is one of the quickest ways to start generating an income online and also a way that many bloggers give their income a boost.
With so many bloggers and website owners out there, many are desperate to find good quality content writers and creators.
If you already have a blog or website, you have a huge amount of work that you can show a potential employer.
You’ll also very likely already have knowledge writing in a particular niche and that expertise can be where you start out.
6/ Testing Website – Usability Testing:
This isn’t going to lead to a full time gig, but it is something you can do in your spare time to boost your income.
This is where you give feedback on clients websites and apps, while your screen is recorded as your perform certain tasks.
All the tasks are simple and everything is explained in detail, step-by-step.
How much you earn can vary, at one of the main sites I use, I get $10 for around a 20 minute test.
I’ve tried out a bunch of Usability sites and many I haven’t made a good use of yet.
The main one I’ve gone to has been User Testing, as it was one of the first I’d seen and just seemed to be one where the most tests were available.
7/ Affiliate Marketing – With And Without A Blog!
Affiliate marketing is usually thought of as a way you make money with a blog or website.
You use specific affiliate tracking links on your blog when you recommend products or services and then earn a commission if a sale is made.
Affiliate marketing is the way I’ve made the most money so far, from any side hustle I’ve tried – and that’s been via my main blog or other websites.
But recently, I discovered that you can also make money affiliate marketing on Pinterest – without a blog.
I looked into this via using magiclinks and using a Pinterest account I’d pretty much abandoned.
I wrote a detailed post sharing how you can make money affiliate marketing on Pinterest here.
If you’re more interested in doing affiliate marketing WITH a blog, it was this course that helped me make my first sale!
8/ Entering Sweepstakes/Competitions Online!
This might seem like a weird one to you, but it’s actually how I made money online – BEFORE I ever had a website or blog.
It’s not just something I toyed with though. I would enter hundreds every day and THOUSANDS a month.
It was a real roller coaster and some months could be amazing, other months I could win next to nothing.
But over all, I did win tonnes of gadgets, breaks away, vouchers and even cash.
I still do the odd thing here and there, but it’s hard to make time for it now with everything else and for me personally, I’d rather spend my time building an income that can grow in the future.
The problem with this method is that obviously, once you stop entering – you stop winning.
So, it can very much feel like you’re on a hamster wheel that you can’t get off.
It’s also totally unreliable and unpredictable so, not something you can rely on long-term.
Nevertheless, it was exciting at times!
I wrote a post here – about how to enter competitions, as I’m based in the UK, it’s going to be different depending on where you are in the World.
9/ Reward Sites:
Well, I said I’d need to include every side hustle I’ve ever done – so, I had to include this too!
While I haven’t made LOADS from these, I have now saved hundreds of dollars with Swagbucks, as well as withdrawing many Amazon vouchers with them.
They’re generally my go-to one these days, although I also really rate Prolific, if you want to get paid well for research.
Another thing I discovered the other day, was respondent.
This is much more than a survey panel though – with the average earner making over $100 an hour.
10/ Money Making Apps:
I review tonnes of Apps that claim to be able to make you money, but many of them pay really badly!
So, I haven’t made much from these, because I tend not to stick with them long term – they just don’t seem worthwhile for the effort.
The type of Apps I’ve stuck with longer, are ones that you can actually win money.
I enjoy the Trivia Apps that you can find — you might like Swagbucks LIVE, or HQ Trivia.
Other Apps I’ve enjoyed the most are ones where you get paid to do certain tasks or save money via cashback.
Pin Me For Later 🙂
So, there are 10 legit side hustles that have made me money over the last decade.
I often think back to when I first dabbled in trying to start a blog, before WordPress or anything like that.
I had no idea that people were already making money with blogging and had no idea what affiliate marketing was…. I just was doing it for myself!
I got bored after a couple of posts though and then left it for many years before I joined this online platform and learnt about niche sites and affiliate marketing.
Sometimes I really wish I hadn’t waited so long…. But there is no point looking back now.
At least I started when I did. I often think this about other side hustles… like Merch by Amazon. Much of the time, it really does help to be the first in line.
But all you can do is keep pushing, trying and seeking! I’m always on the look out for new opportunities.
Personally, I love learning new things! Particularly, learning new skills that can eventually make me money.
The only thing you need to be wary of, is doing TOO Many things at once. I am guilty of doing this and it can certainly become overwhelming.
At the least, stick to one thing until you have some success with it.
What do you like to learn? let me know in the comments!