There’s never been a better time to boost your income with a side hustle.
In this post I’ll explore some great ideas and tell you how to get started tonight. BTW – This isn’t just another “listicle”. I’ve personally run several of these hustles to get KickoffLabs off the ground and earn extra money for my kids college tuition.
These ideas work.
What is a side hustle and why do it?
A side hustle is work done on the “side” of your day job.
A side hustle can be used to launch your dreams, fund a new venture, or gain valuable experience that levels you up to better opportunities.
Launching Dreams With a Side Hustle
Apple, Instagram, Etsy, Under Armour, and the Kahn Academy were all started as someones side hustle. All of these founders had other jobs when they started these amazing companies. Here are some easy ideas to test the water and live your dream.
Some of these approaches are like mini versions of what your actual dream would be. A great way to dip your toes in and see if your dream is really right for you.
Test a Mobile App Idea
We all have one, two, or three ideas for a mobile app we’d like to see. Before KickoffLabs I tested the idea of a personal health and fitness app way back in 2010. I made the mistake wasting hours building the app first only to discover I didn’t have a clue how to build an audience around this market.
GoodDay Personal Goals – App by Josh from 2010
Don’t waste time or money building it until you know you can market to an audience you’ve built on KickoffLabs. If I had it to do again I would have started with a KickoffLabs landing page, collected at least a few hundred emails of people interested in the idea, and used them to refine the idea, help build the product, and become influencers that helped me market the idea.
Some dreams will become Instagram style success stories and others will lead you to something bigger.
Launch an E-commerce Business
Got something you want to sell? Build a line out your virtual doors with a landing page and single product shot this weekend.
This is something that’s incredibly popular on KickoffLabs. Post a couple of product hero images, pitch your shop, collect email addresses, and get them to grow your audience for you by offering them free shipping, products, or discounts in exchange for sending you new potential customers.
Launch an Online Course on Something You’re Interested In
You don’t even need to be an expert yet. I made $5k selling a course that recorded myself learning how to build a mobile app over a weekend!
I assumed that when I opened up sales I’d be rolling in dough. I didn’t plan a good launch. I didn’t build an audience by starting with a landing page. I had to do all that after the fact. Don’t make this mistake. Don’t settle for $5,000 like me. Go for $50,000!
Setup the landing pages this weekend with a simple sales pitch and offer a discount for people that sign up early. Start recording sessions and sell an online course first to people that signed up on your landing pages If someone refers 3 friends give them part of the course for free.
Pre-launch your Kickstarter
Got an idea that needs a little funding? You need to pre-launch that idea with a simple landing page. Why “pre-launch”? You need to get on the “trending projects” list to get more exposure… you do that by getting an audience first.
Launch a Podcast to Build an Audience
Create a 5 minute demo audio clip and give it away on a landing page in exchange for email addresses. You’ve tested the water and subscribed your first listeners! See if podcasting could actually build audience for you.
Funding Your Dreams
Your side hustle doesn’t always have to be your dream directly. It could just be a way to earn cash to fund your real dreams. When we launched KickoffLabs I had a 6 month runway of savings and I knew I was going to need more time to get good revenue numbers. Here are a few ways you can extend your personal runway:
AirBnb Your Place
Last year I started renting out my basement on AirBnb. All the profit goes straight into my kids college funds. They make it super easy. You have approval over who you trust to stay in your place and when you feel comfortable renting out the space. I know people that pay their mortgage for a month just renting their place when they are traveling.
You don’t need an entire basement. I’ve happily stayed in individual host rooms myself as a traveler. It’s been a great way to earn extra income so I can keep re-investing in KickoffLabs.
Write a Guide and Sell It
I’m not talking war and peace here. My whole video course idea probably should have started here. I’m taking about a valuable 10-25 page guide to something. Give away part one free on your landing page. Sell the rest.
These work best as something topical. A new or updated technology that’s become available. A new online trend for X that’s now possible. How to make $5,000 a month flipping craigslist junk… etc.
Want to write a guide about using KickoffLabs? I’ll send a couple thousand people your way. :)
Teach Your Skill 1:1 Online (Tutoring)
Everyone’s an expert at something. How can you make money teaching others? Setup a landing page, give away some quick tips, and start looking for customers that want to learn 1:1 from you at a premium price. This can earn you cash much quicker while you build out a full online course.
Straight Up Consulting
The list of bootstrappers who have funded their projects through consulting is large. I personally did this as well in order to extend my runway until KickoffLabs paid the bill.
You probably have knowledge about some market or product and you can sell your services for top dollar to companies who don’t want to hire full time for that skillset or don’t have a full time need. You can search message and job boards around popular products and you’ll find people posting ads looking for exactly the type of consulting you can offer.
Just remember to charge more than you think you are worth… because you deserve it.
This is where you turn your consulting into a product that’s straightforward for people to buy. Take SEO consulting for example. You could over a package of “SEO Auditing” where you charge escalating flat rates for a clear set of deliverables like a video review, recommended actions, and scorecard against your proprietary checklist.
Ideally you have the process down well enough you can train others to do it so you just check their final products before sending them to clients.
Flip Craigslist to Ebay
There’s always people giving away stuff they don’t want that you can flip to an audience willing to pay more. Flipping on Ebay paid for my college bar bills and it’s still a great idea. Create a landing page for your “Flip Store”. :)
Up-Cycle on Etsy
I’m not artistic at all, but last year I melted some plastic cups I colored with permanent market, stuck them free pallet wood, and sold the “art” for $1,000.
Record an AudioBook
Scared to write? Just hit record and start talking. Give away the first 10 minutes via your awesome landing page and sell the rest.
Be a Tour Guide
Everyone loves truly local tours. Setup a microsite and start giving tours of your city before the summer is up. Last year I paid a stranger to just take us on a tour of their favorite local restaurants. #noregrets
Earn money watching kids, pets, or houses. My babysitters often get paid to study (or work) while the kids are sleeping! So side hustle while you side hustle!
Sell your photos (to us)
Everyone has some amazing pictures and stock photos are terrible. Give customers a free pack of photos from a landing page and sell more on a SmugMug site. Got great photos? Heck – we could use them in KickoffLabs. Give me a price for a license. :) Just email email@example.com
Build Landing Pages for People (On KickoffLabs)
Do you know KickoffLabs really well? We get asked all the time by customers that want to pay someone to build out their campaigns. They pay good money. Show me what you got and I’ll start sending them your way.
Got more ideas? Things you’ve done? Products that help people earn money? We’d love to hear how you side hustle. Just email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.