Updated: Nov 12
In our fast-paced world, the idea of a side hustle has become incredibly popular. Whether you want to boost your income, tap into your entrepreneurial spirit, or simply pursue a passion project, side hustles offer a flexible and rewarding way to achieve these goals.
In this article, we explore 15 innovative and profitable business ideas, each carefully crafted to match a variety of skills, interests, and investment levels.
What better way to embark on this journey than with Nick Loper himself, the leader of Side Hustle Nation? Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or someone looking to add an extra income stream, this article is here to inspire and equip you with the knowledge and ideas you need to kickstart your very own successful side hustle. So, let's jump right in and uncover the exciting world of side hustles together!
Paving the Way in the Side Hustle Universe
Nick Loper is not just a leader in the world of side hustles. He's a prominent figure in the online business and entrepreneurship community. Nick is the leader of the Side Hustle Nation and hosts the popular podcast, The Side Hustle Show.
Nick and I first connected a few years back when he invited me to be a guest on The Side Hustle Show. During that episode, I shared insights about my digital marketing agency, and it was a fantastic experience. The episode gained a lot of attention, thanks to Nick's dedicated following. I even acquired new clients and connected with a lot of cool people who reached out after hearing me on the show.
What's interesting is that Justin also discovered me through that very episode on The Side Hustle Show. It's a testament to the power of networking and the value Nick brings to the entrepreneurial space.
Side Hustle #1: Online Content Business
Nick shares his #1 pick for a side gig: starting an online content business. He strongly disagrees with the belief that blogging is dead. Instead, he advocates for creating a blog filled with valuable, evergreen content that can be easily discovered on search engines. This strategy might appeal to people who want to start their own digital business because it makes money through partnerships and ads and has the potential to grow in value over time.
Here are some success stories that Nick shared:
Shelley Marmer’s “Travel Mexico Solo”: Despite starting during the pandemic, her niche travel website, focusing on keyword-specific content, now earns $50,000 per month.
Andrew Fiebert’s “GiftLab.co”: By targeting untapped gift-related keywords, this site secured high search engine rankings and capitalized on buyer intent.
"Beyond the monthly income they generate, content-based businesses hold another intriguing prospect: selling the website itself."
According to Nick, not only do these websites make money, but they're also valuable assets that can be sold for three to four times what they make each year. For example, if your site consistently makes an extra $5,000 a month, that's $60,000 a year, which could mean $180,000 in equity at the usual 30x rate.
Nick also shared some valuable tips for those considering an online content business:
Follow Your Curiosity: Even if you're not an expert at first, choosing a topic that you're interested in can lead to success.
Importance of Niche: Specializing in a particular area allows you to build a dedicated following, even if the audience is niche.
The Power of Long-Tail Keywords: Andrew's success shows how important it is to look into specific long-tail keywords that are less competitive.
Patience and Persistence: Nick emphasizes that the growth curve for content-based businesses is slow and warns people not to expect results right away.
Building Expertise Over Time: Developing authority in your chosen niche may take time but is crucial for long-term success.
Side Hustle #2: Online Marketing Business
Nick's next business suggestion is all about learning marketing skills. He's a big fan of this because it provides lots of opportunities for people who want to start their own businesses. Marketing is a versatile field, which means you can try out different things and that's why it's popular among Nick's audience.
“The cool thing about marketing...is there are so many different avenues that you can go to learn this technical skill or skills.”
One exciting thing you can do in marketing is find your own special area to focus on. Nick has some cool ideas he's seen recently, like:
Twitter Ghostwriter Specialist: Offering Twitter account management and viral thread creation services.
Video Editing for Advertising: Transforming long-form videos into short, engaging clips tailored for advertising campaigns.
Nick has some great advice for those looking to succeed in the marketing field. Here are his recommendations to help you do well as you develop your marketing skills:
Monthly Subscription Model: You can offer your marketing services for a fixed monthly fee, so clients know exactly what they'll receive.
AI Integration: Use AI tools to make your marketing work more efficient and organized.
Diverse Skill Set: Learn different aspects of marketing like Facebook ads, Google ads, SEO, web design, and social media management to meet various client needs.
Scalability: Start by helping small local businesses and gradually expand your client base as you become more skilled.
Work Smarter: Use AI tools to simplify tasks and improve your service quality.
Flexibility: Marketing allows you to offer a variety of services to different clients, giving you the freedom to grow at your own pace.
These practical tips and ideas can be a solid foundation for your marketing business, helping you create a successful and sustainable business.
Side Hustle #3: Unique Web Design Service
Nick's favorite side hustle idea is all about web design, but with a fascinating twist. He tells us the story of Ryan Golgosky and his business, 180sites.com.
Ryan's specialty was creating websites for power washing companies, and what made his approach stand out was his pricing. Instead of asking for a big upfront payment, he offered a package for just $180. This covered building the website and handling hosting and maintenance for two years.
It might sound like a small fee, but it attracted startups and small businesses who found traditional web design costs too high. Thanks to the recurring income from hosting and maintenance fees, Ryan was about to hit an impressive $100,000 in monthly revenue.
Now, let's dive into some tips and advice from Nick:
Inventive Pricing: Think about creative ways to price your services that can make them more affordable for a wider range of customers.
Target Niches: Consider focusing on specific industries or niches that may have distinct web design needs.
Streamline Processes: Optimize your work methods and utilize templates to minimize costs and maximize efficiency in web design projects.
Affordable Appeal: Understand that affordability can be a powerful selling point, especially for startups and small businesses.
Recurring Income: Embrace recurring revenue streams to ensure financial stability and long-term success in your web design business.
This example shows how thinking outside the box and adopting a unique pricing strategy can lead to remarkable achievements in the web design field. It's a testament to the endless possibilities in the world of side hustles.
Side Hustle #4: Selling on Facebook Marketplace
Our fourth side hustle idea is all about using online marketplaces, especially Facebook Marketplace, to buy and sell items. Nick introduces us to ShareTown, a unique company that specializes in helping furniture and mattress brands handle returned items. ShareTown takes these items and resells them on Facebook Marketplace, turning it into a reliable and low-risk business. This approach lets you tap into the busy online marketplace world, which is where lots of people are buying and selling things.
“If you just want to go out and test your luck, it's making a couple of bucks, find some things in your home that you don't use or haven't used or won't use that are in decent condition and just go flip them.”
Now, let's get some practical advice to do well on Facebook Marketplace:
Try Different Prices: Experiment with different pricing strategies to make your listings more attractive to buyers.
Focus on Specific Types of Items: Consider specializing in certain categories or types of products to become an expert.
Make Your Listings Shine: Take good pictures, write clear and interesting descriptions, and provide lots of details to make your listings stand out.
Use Your Marketing Skills: If you know about marketing, use that knowledge to write compelling ads and get more people to see your listings.
Make Things Look Good: Spend time cleaning and arranging your items so they look their best.
Side Hustle #5: Amazon Influencer Program
Our fifth business idea introduces the Amazon Influencer Program, a straightforward way to earn money by creating short product review videos on Amazon. When people buy products after watching your videos, you get a commission, and you don't need to do extra marketing.
Nick tried it, and he made his first commission in just a few days. While Amazon doesn't tell you exactly what they're looking for in influencers, they do want to know about your online presence. Nick has around 25-30 videos, and he's making $50 to $100 each month without putting in much effort.
Just remember, Amazon's rules might change in the future, so it's a good idea to get started while it's still working.
Here are some tips for succeeding as an Amazon Influencer:
Don't be afraid to start creating review videos, even if you're not sure how it'll go. It's a low-risk venture.
You don't need fancy video skills. Focus on making many videos instead of trying to make them perfect.
Once you've reviewed your own stuff, think about reviewing things your friends or family own.
“Get while the getting's good."
This business idea is simple and has good earning potential, making it an interesting choice for folks who want to try product reviews on Amazon. Also, while it's a cool business idea, it's smart to have other income sources too, just in case Amazon changes its policies.
Side Hustle #6: Driving for Ride-Sharing and Delivery Apps
The sixth business idea is a classic one that many people immediately think of: driving for ride-sharing or food delivery services such as Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, or DoorDash. These platforms offer a simple and fast way to earn some extra money without needing a significant upfront investment.
As Nick highlighted, it's an ideal choice for quick cash or as a temporary side gig. However, it's worth noting that it may not be the most time-efficient option if your goal is long-term growth in your business ventures.
Here are some practical tips and advice for those considering driving for these services:
Think About Your Time: Before diving in, consider if there are other side hustles that better align with your long-term goals and how you can make the most of your time.
Keep Track of Expenses: To get a clear picture of your earnings, monitor expenses like fuel, vehicle maintenance, and insurance.
Boost Your Earnings: Discover the peak hours and busy areas in your city to maximize your potential income.
Customer Service Counts: Providing top-notch customer service can lead to better ratings and more tips from passengers or customers.
Prioritize Safety: Safety is crucial when driving for these platforms, so take measures to ensure your well-being and that of your passengers or delivery recipients.
Side Hustle #7: Local Home Services
Number seven on our list dives into the world of local home services. These include tasks like power washing, window washing, gutter cleaning, lawn care, and mobile car detailing, among others.
Nick highlights that the modern homeowner is accustomed to convenience, with Amazon-like shopping experiences. But here's the thing: lots of old-school companies in this field are still doing things the old-fashioned way, which means there's a great chance for new folks to step in and provide services that are easier to get and more effective.
Here are some valuable tips for succeeding in local home services:
Find a service that matches your interests or skills
Prioritize excellent service to build a strong reputation
Create a simple website or Google Business profile
Research local competitors for competitive pricing
Consider recurring services for a steady income
“If you put your attention and time and effort into it…you can charge a tiny bit more, right? But you also get that word of mouth that this guy does it right, this gal does it right, they get the job done, it's beautiful work, and people are gonna tell their friends and family about you.”
Nick stresses that the need for these services is growing because more homeowners are delegating tasks they used to do themselves. If you can adapt to what modern customers want, it's a good side job that can help you make money and has a lot of room for growth and new ideas.
Side Hustle #8: Virtual Assistance
Our eighth business idea takes a closer look at the world of virtual assistance. Nick discussed the opportunities for those interested in becoming virtual assistants and whether it's easy to start in this field.
Virtual assistance has become increasingly popular, especially with the rise of remote work. VA tasks can range from basic administrative work like managing schedules and creating reports to more specialized tasks like handling advertising campaigns or content creation. The demand for virtual assistants is widespread, with many businesses seeking their help, making it an appealing choice for those looking to earn extra income.
If you want to be successful in the field of virtual assistance, here are some tips:
Identify Your Strengths: Determine your skills and strengths to provide specialized VA services that suit a particular niche.
Build an Online Presence: Create a professional online presence, such as a website or LinkedIn profile, to attract potential clients.
Start with a Niche: Consider offering VA services in a specific area where you have expertise or a strong interest.
Part-Time or Full-Time: Decide whether you want to work as a part-time or full-time VA, depending on your availability and goals.
Side Hustle #9: Unconventional Rentals
Number nine on our list is unconventional rentals. Nick shares a cool example of a person who rents out mobility scooters to tourists in Southern California. Unconventional rentals are an excellent way to make money because you buy something neat, share it with others, and watch the cash roll in.
“I'm just loving this idea of, you know, something I can buy once and then make money from it over and over and over again.”
Here are some pointers and recommendations for getting ahead in unconventional rentals:
Find Special Stuff: Look for things people want but can't easily find where you live, like unique equipment or experiences.
Pick a Target: Think about who might want your rentals, like tourists or parents traveling with kids, and offer things they'd like.
Get Online: Make a website and use internet tricks to make sure people can find you when they're looking for rentals.
Start Small: Begin with just a few items to test if it's a good idea and to make sure you'll make money.
Know the Rules: Learn about the laws for renting things in your area, like what permits you need and how to keep things safe.
Side Hustle #10: Small-Scale Real Estate
For number ten, we discussed the world of real estate, specifically micro real estate investments. There are smaller ways for people who want to get involved in real estate but don't have the funds to buy a property to do so. Nick talks about these opportunities.
Fundrise: This platform lets you own a piece of bigger properties like shopping centers without needing lots of money. You can start with just a small amount and get paid regularly.
Arrived: Here, you can own a part of a single-family home that's already rented out. It's a hands-off way to invest, and you don't need tons of cash to start.
Tips and advice for micro real estate investment include the following:
Diversify Your Investments: Think about putting some of your money into micro real estate to protect yourself from sudden changes in the money world.
Do Some Research: Before you start, learn about the platforms, the properties, and the costs so you can make smart choices.
Know the Limits: Micro real estate might not have all the benefits of owning a whole property, like borrowing money or special tax stuff.
Side Hustle #11: Software with a Service (SwaS)
In number eleven, Nick talks about SwaS, which stands for "software with a service." It's all about taking existing software that's already out there and then adding your own consulting or help to make it even more valuable. People have done this with different types of software like SEO tools, bookkeeping software, and CRM systems.
Nick used Paul Minors as an example. He used SwaS with Asana, a tool for managing tasks and projects. Paul made YouTube videos showing folks how to use Asana and solving specific problems. This led to him getting hired as a consultant and making good money.
Here are some tips that Nick shared if you are considering starting a SwaS business:
Pick a Software: Choose a software you know well and think others might need help with.
Create Helpful Content: Make useful stuff like tutorials or how-to videos to show you know your stuff.
Build Your Consulting Reputation: Act like a pro consultant for that software, offering remote training and solutions.
Stay in the Loop: Keep an eye out for new software tools in your field and be ready to offer your services when new chances come up.
Side Hustle #12: Bookkeeping and Accounting
Number twelve on the list of business ideas discusses the world of bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation. In this field, there's a high demand for experts because many small business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with managing their finances. This has created a shortage of qualified bookkeepers and CPAs, making it a promising area for side hustles.
"If you're someone who is more numbers-oriented, you know, organization, numbers, math, all that fun stuff, then bookkeeping is a fantastic opportunity because there's so much opportunity just in the small business where I know a ton of small business owners who just need help with bookkeeping, and they can't find a good person to do it."
Here some suggestions when it comes to opportunities in bookkeeping and accounting:
Focus on a specific industry or business type to attract clients
Master accounting software crucial for business finances
Embrace remote work to broaden your client base
Build trust through reliable and accurate financial services for long-term success
Side Hustle #13: Selling Spreadsheets
Next, we explored a unique opportunity: selling spreadsheet templates. This business involves creating and selling customizable spreadsheets for various purposes. We learned from Emily McDermott, a successful spreadsheet seller on platforms like Etsy, who offers budget templates, planners, and more.
Emily's story highlights the potential of this low-cost business model, where you create once and sell multiple times. Selling spreadsheets may seem unconventional, but it's a clever way to provide convenient and professionally designed tools to a niche audience.
“I'm always constantly blown away by the creative stuff that people come up with.”
If you want to sell spreadsheets, here are some things you should think about:
Spot Trends: Keep an eye on what's popular, like fitness challenges, and create related spreadsheet templates to ride the trend.
Repurpose Existing Spreadsheets: If you're already using spreadsheets, consider cleaning them up and selling them.
Choose Where to Sell: Etsy is great, but think about other ways to market your templates, such as your website or email lists.
Quality Counts: Make sure your spreadsheet templates are easy to use, look good, and genuinely help your customers.
Side Hustle #14: Etsy Art and Design
In number fourteen, we explored the exciting world of Etsy for business ideas. Etsy is like a big online marketplace where you can sell all sorts of things you make or design, whether it's art, woodwork, drawings, or even cool spreadsheets. It's a great place to start because it costs way less than making your own website.
“You just have to constantly be coming up with new designs to keep that passive engine flowing.”
Nick believes that to do well on Etsy, you need to be creative and keep making products. The more you put into it, the more you can get out. To be successful in Etsy, you should:
Find Your Niche: Look for groups of people who would love what you make and focus on making things they'd really like.
Keep Making Stuff: Make new things regularly to keep your shop interesting and attract more customers.
Quality Matters: Make sure your stuff is really good, even if you don't have a ton of products.
Be Friendly: Talk to your customers, answer their questions, and be nice. Happy customers can become repeat customers.
Side Hustle #15: Paid Market Research
In this final business idea, Nick suggests a fun and rewarding way to make some extra cash: participating in paid market research. This means you get paid for sharing your opinions and experiences about different products and services.
Here are some examples of paid market research opportunities:
Beer Tasting: Nick earned $75 by tasting a new beer, and you can do it too.
Food Testing: Sign up to try new food products and get paid for your feedback.
Online Studies: Test software, video editing tools, or investment platforms online and earn from $50 to $150 per hour.
Nick highlights that these opportunities are accessible to everyone. Even if you're not an expert, you can still make between $50 and $100 per hour, which is a nice bit of extra money.
Check out these pointers for success in paid market research:
Stay Informed: Look out for research opportunities, whether local or online, on various websites and platforms.
Join Panels: Sign up for research panels and websites that can match you with studies that are a good fit. They'll let you know when new ones come up.
Give Honest Feedback: During studies, offer genuine and thorough feedback.
Multiply Earnings: While individual studies may not make you rich, they can accumulate into a substantial income when you participate in several over time.
Nick's Top Tips for Side Hustle Success
As we conclude the episode, Nick had some fantastic tips to share, based on his years of experience in the world of side hustles and entrepreneurship. Whether you're thinking about starting your own side gig or want to improve an existing one, Nick's advice is here to guide you.
“Do I enjoy doing this? You know, that's an important question to ask too… to position it in your mind as an experiment is hugely valuable and super important.”
Be an Explorer: Treat your side hustle like an experiment. Understand that not everything will go perfectly, and that's okay. Learn from your mistakes and keep trying new things.
Test, Learn, and Adapt: Just like when you're running ads, keep testing different ideas and approaches in your business. Figure out what works and what doesn't, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Start Now, Perfect Later: Don't wait for everything to be flawless before you begin. It's better to start with something basic and improve it over time. Taking the first step is often more important than waiting for perfection.
Check Out Side Hustle Nation: Visit sidehustlenation.com for helpful resources and explore the Side Hustle Show podcast for inspiring stories and practical tips about side hustles and small businesses.
...So, There You Have It!
You've just unlocked a treasure trove of business ideas and expert advice from Nick. Whether you're eager to dive into the world of spreadsheet selling or adopt the experimenter's mindset, you now have the tools to turbocharge your side hustle. Remember, the journey may have its ups and downs, but every step you take gets you closer to your business goals. Now, it's time to put these ideas into action and watch your side hustle thrive.
Ready to Dive into Side Hustles?
Kickstart your side hustle journey with our FREE BUSINESS COURSE! Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to transform your dreams into reality. And for an extra dose of podcasting goodness, tune in to Episode 32: How To Make Money Playing and Teaching Video Games! - Using The Outschool Platform to Make Money Teaching and Connecting Kids - With Devyn Ricks.