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Okay, 2020 is proving to be one of the most challenging years for almost everyone. Not only are we fearing for our health and lives, but with the #stayathome orders, many have lost their jobs, have been laid off or have reduced income. I’m sure these 5 profitable side hustle ideas to make extra money online are definitely welcome, am I right?
Luckily, the internet has changed dramatically how we make money nowadays. What seemed to be sketchy or impossible a few years ago is now common-sense and exciting.
Today, there are hundreds of ways to make money online; whether you just want extra cash to supplement your income or you want to build a full-fledged online business.
The world wide web has broken the chains of traditional jobs and is finally giving us the freedom and flexibility to take charge of our own income and financial independent.
A few years back the problem was finding a legitimate way to make money online. Today, the problem is the overwhelming opportunities to create a profitable online business.
It can be intimidating to think about trying to make money online, especially if you’ve never done it before. The internet is vast and trying to sort through all the options can feel terrifying.
But don’t worry, I’m here to help you with that!
In this post, you’ll discover 5 highly profitable side hustles to make money online in 2020. Some of the money-making ideas I mention here will be more lucrative than others. Some will require more work than others. It’s important you’re aware of time commitments and work that goes into each of these ways to make money online, so you know which ones are a good match for you.
Related Post: How to Start Working from Home: Simple Guide
One thing I want to make clear before we start is that none of the side hustle ideas that I mention in this post are get-rich-quick schemes. These are real, sustainable ways to make money. All of them require actual effort and investment of time.
Getting Started with Making Money Online:
Today, I’m giving some great ideas to make money online and how to go about starting work-from-home and making extra money. But for some of these online income ideas, you’ll need to understand your own needs, wants and skills.
I wrote a simple yet powerful guide on how to start working from home and I suggest you check it out after you read this post, to get a solid start.
Do You Need to Have a Blog?
The short answer is No! Absolutely not!
There are several benefits to blogging as an online business, but understandably not everyone wants to be a blogger and that’s totally okay. You don’t need to have a blog to make money online.
The online income ideas I mention in this post do not necessarily require a blog, but for some it would be useful.
Ready to get inspired? Let’s go!
5 HIGHLY PROFITABLE ONLINE SIDE HUSTLES
The 5 side hustle ideas I’m sharing with you today are highly effective at bringing you a substantial source of income working online.
These side hustles are great for stay-at-home moms or dads and can be done part-time or full-time. Now that so many of us are home, these are great ideas to consider as they can be quite profitable, and who knows, you can continue earning extra income long after this pandemic is over.
Side Hustle Idea #1: Sell Products Online
Selling products online can be quite profitable if you do it right and it can easily become your main source of income, especially now.
While everyone is quite eager to go to malls and start shopping, the risks of getting sick are still at the forefront of everyone minds. There’s a reason why both big and small retail businesses switched to online shopping.
In the beginning, selling physical products online was particularly hard with all the shipping and boarder limitations, but as the world starts getting used to the new normal, shipping services are getting better.
In any case, there are a few different ways you can go about selling products online:
- Sell your products on your own e-commerce website – this would mean you have an online store selling specific products that are then shipped to the customer. Having an online shop can be highly profitable but it also requires quite a bit of both time and financial investment.
- Sell products via a drop-shipping website – drop-shipping has become quite popular in the past few years, as it makes e-commerce much easier to manage and you don’t need to accumulate inventory. The best and most popular method to run a drop-shipping online store is to set-up an online store with Shopify and link it to Oberlo for drop-shipping products.
- Sell products on online marketplaces – instead of setting up an online store and having to invest a considerable amount of money and time up-front, you can sell products on marketplaces. It’s as easy as putting up a listing with a good description and photos.
Most Popular Online Marketplaces to Sell Products:
There are few different marketplaces you can use to sell your products and which one to choose depends on the type of products you want to sell and the setup that works best for you:
- eBay – super popular platform to sell products online and has been so for quite a few years now. eBay is best for buying low and selling high kind of side hustle. This means you would have to purchase the products first, of course.
- Amazon – another great platform to buy low and sell high. With an Amazon Sellers account you can sell both used products like books, and new products that your purchased at a wholesale price, for example.
- Etsy – this marketplace is best for creative and crafty entrepreneurs. If you have a talent for making something like jewellery, paintings, or other home-made products, then Etsy is an awesome place to sell your products.
Out of all these options, the easiest way to start making money online is to sell products on sites like eBay and Etsy. You can scour thrift stores or even your own house to find items in good condition that you can sell online for a profit.
Side Hustle Idea #2: Affiliate Marketing
Essentially, affiliate marketing works like this: You promote an online product or service created by someone else and if someone purchases through your link, you get a commission for the sale.
Typically, you promote the online product through a unique link associated to you – called your affiliate link. An affiliate link is a unique URL address that tracks behaviour and actions. That way, the company knows that the sale came through your promotion.
The idea here is to promote products and services that you use, trust and like. This is the only way that you can communicate the benefits of the products/services you’re promoting and truly help people as you do it.
How do you Become an Affiliate?
You become an affiliate when you sign up for and affiliate program. Some brands and websites have their own independent affiliate programs usually identified in the footer menu. Other times, brands use affiliate networks such as Awin.
I have a whole post dedicated to affiliate marketing, so you may want to bookmark it to read later.
Popular Affiliate Programs and Networks
One of the most popular affiliate programs on the web is Amazon Affiliates. As you know, Amazon is a massive marketplace for all kinds of products in all kinds of niches, so it’s a great program for almost any online marketer and entrepreneur to capitalize on.
Another great place to start out as an affiliate marketer is the Share-a-Sale affiliate network. Share-a-Sale connects you with hundreds of brands in various niches and facilitates the partnership by providing you with all the assets you need, your affiliate links, as well as managing payments.
There are hundreds of affiliate programs spanning numerous niches. If affiliate marketing sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to start out small by just promoting products you already use and love. Then, as you get the hang of it, explore all the niches, services and products you can promote.
How to Promote Affiliate Products?
There are numerous ways to promote affiliate products. Being creative coming up with ways to promote affiliate products is crucial to making affiliate marketing work for you.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Post affiliate links on social media
- Write reviews of products on your blog and include your affiliate links
- Have banner ads on your website promoting the products
- Promote products to your email list
- Create open-box videos on YouTube
Really, if you have any sort of audience, whether it’s on social media or a website, you have the opportunity to make money through affiliate marketing.
This last point is quite important to stress – you need an audience! Without a following, it will be hard to generate income through affiliate marketing.
The only exception to that rule is Pinterest!
Pinterest is an amazing marketing resource because having a following is not necessary for your pins to be seen worldwide. So, if you’re a complete newbie at this and do not have an audience yet, I suggest setting up a Pinterest business account and pinning high-quality product images from your favourite brands.
To learn how to use Pinterest and affiliate marketing together to make money online, check out House of Brazen’s Paid by Pinterest eBook. It’s a great eBook specifically about affiliate pinning, which is great source of online income for Pinterest fanatics.
Related Post: Making Money on Pinterest without Blogging
Learn More About Affiliate Marketing
If affiliate marketing seems exciting to you and you’d like to learn more about the ins and outs of this highly effective and profitable online side hustle, you can check out my guide on how to make money online with affiliate marketing.
That’s a great starter and will show the basics of the trade for free.
Now, if you want something more in-depth and filled with strategies to truly make affiliate marketing your next profitable online side hustle, here are some great books and courses on the topic…
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – an online course especially for bloggers who want to monetize their blogs with affiliate marketing and learn pro strategies to do it.
- Affiliate Marketing Strategy Book – an eBook that explores strategies to both start and improve your affiliate marketing game.
- How to Make Money with Amazon Affiliates – a super affordable online course teaching you how to set up your Amazon affiliates account and start making money by promoting Amazon products.
Side Hustle Idea #3: Become an Online Freelancer
Are you a service-based professional or have specific skills/experience that can be sold as services? Then you’re in good luck!
Anyone skilled in specific things such as graphic design or even writing can make a really good living freelancing online.
The skills that can be put to use online are almost endless, but here is a short list of skills that you can use and turn a profit as an online freelancer:
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Audio Engineering
- Medical Billing
- Business Analytics
- Customer Support
When you consider the world wide web (or interwebs as I sometimes like to call it), there are literally thousands of businesses needing people like you and there are no boarders for online freelance work.
Essentially, there are a few different ways you go about making money online as a freelancer. You can:
- Find freelancing jobs through job boards – some of the most popular job boards are Indeed, ProBlogger, among others.
- Sign up with Freelancing Platforms – Upwork and Freelancer are probably the most popular out there. These platforms are specifically setup for freelancers and freelancing gigs. They connect you with clients looking for both long-term and one-time freelancers.
- Create your own freelancing website – you can set up your own website showcasing your skills and services. It doesn’t have to be a complicated feat, just needs to include your portfolio, contact information and pricing. You can accept payments via PayPal to make it simple.
Freelancing is not new and has been a way of life for a long time, but the internet has changed almost everything about it – from getting clients to the work itself.
That said, freelancing is not the easiest way to make money online of offline. There’s quite a bit of leg work to do to get your first few clients, but once you have a few clients and your work is good, referrals become your best marketing strategy.
Side Hustle Idea #4: Start a Blog
Blogging has become super popular and more and more we see new bloggers become the next pro-blogger on the block and making a very comfortable living from their blogs.
Blogging can be an extremely profitable side hustle and a great way to make money online. There are a lot of people who have been able to quit their jobs and completely change their lives through their blogs:
- Michele Gardener-Schroeder, is the creator and author of the well-known Making Sense of Cents blog and she’s making over $100,000 a month as a blogger;
- Suzi Whitford from Start a Mom Blog is another blogger I follow and adore. She was able to retire her husband from his 9-5 job with her blogging income and now he’s also following her footsteps with his own blog;
How to Start a Blog:
Specific steps to starting a blog may differ depending on the platform you choose, but the general basics are all the same.
To start a blog, you’ll need:
- A Domain name: you’ll need to register a domain name so that you have a unique URL address for your little spot on the web. For instance, the domain name for this website is www.erichesclub.com. You can register your domain with Namecheap or GoDaddy. They’re both successful and trustworthy registrars.
- Get a hosting service: This is the next step in setting up a blog. You’ll need a service to host your website and all its content and technical aspects. My host is SiteGround and it’s a very reliable hosting service that is also affordable.
- Get a CMS: it stands for content management service and this is the platform that will allow you to actually build up your blog, make it look the way you want and add content to it. WordPress is the most used CMS for bloggers and other online entrepreneurs and it’s the one I use too. WordPress comes a free 1-click install with SiteGround.
- Add a Theme: Once you have your domain, a hosting service and have installed WordPress, your next step is to choose a theme. Themes are the visual and technical framework of your blog, so you should make sure to pick a high-quality theme that is up-to-date and mobile-friendly.
- Add Plugins: plugins are little tools you can add to your blog, to add functionality, security or a specific look to your website. WordPress is known for the ability to add lots of plugins that expand your blog and allow almost endless customization.
Check out my post on how to start a blog and make money online with a blog for a more in-depth overview of how to get it all started.
How to Make Money with a Blog:
There are a lot of different ways you can monetize a blog. The post I mentioned above goes more in-depth into the 8 different ways you can monetize a blog.
You check it out here or pin the image below to read later.
For this post, I’ll leave you with 3 highly profitable ways to make money for beginner bloggers:
- Display Ads: You can use platforms such as Google AdSense or Media.net to display ads on your website/blog. This way, you can capitalize on the traffic coming into your blog, even when you’re not actively working on it.
- Affiliate marketing. By regularly promoting affiliate products on your blog, as well as writing reviews of affiliate products, you can make a significant number of commissions.
- Promote your services: write a few promotional blog posts about your service and show why your audience needs those services and why they should pick you.
Bloggers aren’t successful without an audience, so obviously, you’ll need to build up following as a blogger.
Building an audience may sound intimidating or even impossible to you, but don’t let that stop you from starting a blog and creating your next way of life!
The number one way to build an audience as a blogger is to provide good, helpful value. The second way is to promote your blog and content.
To promote your content on social media, you’ll have to create a business profile/page for most platforms, except for Twitter (you can use your regular account).
Here’s a list of some of the tools you’ll need to start a blog, run it and promote your content:
- Domain Registrar: Namecheap or GoDaddy
- Hosting Service: SiteGround
- Theme: UpThemes, StudioPress or Elegant Themes
- Plugins: UpDraftPlus, WordFence, Elementor,
- Email Marketing Platform: Convertkit, MailerLite, MailChimp
- Social Media Scheduler: SmarterQueue, Buffer, Hootsuite
- Pinterest & Instagram Marketing Tool: Tailwind
Side Hustle Idea #5: Create & Sell Online Courses
Online courses are a fantastic way to monetize your knowledge. Much like coaching, you re-package your expertise but in this case, you sell it as an online course rather than a service.
You don’t necessarily have to be a coach to create and sell an online course, although many coaches also capitalize on online courses. Selling online courses is extremely popular among bloggers, but again, you don’t necessarily have to be a blogger either. Really, you just need to have some sort of expertise and professional insight into a particular topic or industry.
A major benefit of creating online courses versus offering coaching services is its potential to become a source of passive income. You really only need to do the bulk of the work once. Once it’s done, just automate your marketing and you’ll be earning income for years to me.
On the other hand, a service-based side hustle would require regular meetings, calls and follow-ups with clients. With online courses, you do the work once and you can reach hundreds if not thousands of people at a time and for years after.
You can create a course around almost any subject and find people to purchase it. To do this, you’ll need to figure out what type of course you want to create and which tools you will need to make it happen.
Once again, the internet provides. There are several platforms to create and sell online courses:
Some of these course platforms require a higher learning curve than others. I find Teachable to be the easiest to learn, but some of the other platforms offer additional features.
Resource: Here’s a great subscription to learn how to use a plethora of software, tools and online platforms like the ones mentioned throughout this post.
There you have it!
Five highly profitable side hustle ideas to make money online. The best part is that you can start today and jumpstart your new lifestyle.
Resources Mentioned in this Post:
- How to Start Working from Home: Simple Guide
- Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing
- Making Money on Pinterest without Blogging
Have you tried any of the online side hustle ideas I mentioned in this post? What’s your experience?
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