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5 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle

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07 Dec. 2023


These days a single income never seems to be enough. There’s always another bill, an emergency fund that is too low, or a vacation fund that needs a refill. Most people have a talent or a passion that has the potential to earn them some serious money if properly executed. That’s where the side hustle comes in.

People talk a lot about having a reliable side hustle, but few sources contribute meaningful or actionable ways to start a serious hustle that can lead to serious income. These are pretty uncertain and even unstable times, so having some extra income can make it much easier to catch your breath and get through life with a little less financial trauma.

We’re going to take a look at 5 ways to build a side hustle and potential business empire, depending on your motivation and drive. If you have some relatively common skills and hobbies, you could end up making some serious bank. If you don’t see an immediate place your skills fit in, improvise, and make a place at the table for your unique skills and perspective.


1. Freelancing

This is probably the field that most people think of when they think of a side hustle, they think of going into business for yourself and being your own boss. That’s a great plan, you can definitely be your own boss, but that doesn’t get you out of needing customers or clients. There are a ton of things you can do as a freelancer, but we’re leaving out things like Ubering or running DoorDash orders and focusing on ways to make real money.

Writing

Probably the most common freelancing field is writing. There is an enormous need for digital content and copy to be produced on a daily basis, and nearly all of that work is hired out at a pay scale that is often structured as a “pay-per-word” model, while others will pay a set price for a finished deliverable.

While finding steady work might initially present a challenge, once you have steady work you can be more discerning and taking higher-priced jobs.

Web Development

Web development sounds complicated at first, but when you look at the type of results that can be obtained from software suites which are essentially point-and-click, drag-and-drop interfaces, you can take a few weekends of studying and turn it into a year’s worth of income. Popular development languages include Python, which can be learned in a few hours via any number of free online courses. You can create apps or programs for full-time work, or for extra cash or bitcoin.

Graphic Design

People that have a reasonable level of skill with design programs like Photoshop can make an absolute killing making logos and banner graphics for blogs, forums, social media influencers, and more.

Even without any previous experience with the programs, ambitious hustlers can take a graphic design micro-degree course from somewhere like Udemy. Courses like these are often free or extremely cheap and can be found for leading free design software.

The marketplace for graphic designers seems like it stretches on forever. You can find quick gigs on apps like Fiverr, or you can surf for big projects or large clients on sites like UpWork. Once you have your process refined, you can pull in $100/hr or more.

Audio Transcription

Transcription work is not generally something that people think of when thinking of online side hustles, though for someone with a sharp ear and good typing skills, audio transcription can be lucrative work for a modicum of effort. One of the leading sites is Rev.

Once you pass a quick evaluation and style guide test, you’ll be ready to start transcribing. You will have the opportunity to pick from a plethora of subject matter. Medical transcriptions can be a doctor reading a form, or a narrated surgical video. Media transcription jobs often feature interesting interviews, sometimes even with celebrities or for TV show pilots. There are even transcription categories for sports, legal, and more.

Jobs in transcription are frequently paid by the recorded minute. This means that if you can type as fast as the people speak, and maintain accuracy, you can make some incredible 1099 income while listening to some interesting media.



2. Join The Print-On-Demand Industry

If you have ever had a really cool idea for a t-shirt (or sticker, or coffee mug…), getting into the print on demand industry could be the perfect side hustle for you. Most artists have wondered how they can turn their art into something profitable, so this is a great way to do that. Once you have a few designs ready, you can set up your shop on one of the many print on demand websites and start selling your creations.

One of the biggest draws to this industry is the fact that you are truly your own boss. With websites like Printify and Redbubble, you’re just a few minutes away from getting your designs from your screen and into the hands of your customers. Printify is great because you sign up, pay a fee, upload your designs, and let Printify do the rest. Redbubble, on the other hand, is totally free to join, you just have to handle the setup and advertising yourself.

Another major perk to POD work is that you likely won’t have to invest much money into it. If you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer, there are several apps and programs available for free that you can use to create your designs. Realistically, your print on demand sales probably won’t cover your rent, but many artists report making between $200 and $1,000 per month.Become An Affiliate Marketer

For those who may be at home navigating a dozen different social channels, posting threads, retweeting, commenting, and stirring the pot, becoming an affiliate marketer for a central shopping hub like Amazon can bring in big bucks.

For example. You’re a member of who knows how many groups and pages, right? Every day in those groups people post and share “cool” or “gotta have” products, and invariably there are 2k comments talking about how awesome it is, and tagging friends. But, there are also another thousand people that are posting “omg where do i get 1” or “link pls”, as if Google didn’t even exist in their world.

But since you are an amazon affiliate, you drop an affiliate link in there & get some reactions, making sure to reply to a bunch of top-rated comments asking where to get it, and maybe a hundred people buy this thing, and you get a little cut of each sale. You spend a portion of the day providing links for people who are ready to buy something, and it can provide a significant source of revenue for you.


3. Sell On Amazon

You might think that Amazon is only for big companies or those guys from YouTube ads who all claim how to be able to show you how to make a million dollars a month dropshipping through amazon, but not only do normal, everyday people hustle on Amazon, they can make serious money at it. You can run your online business any way you like, selling things you own or reselling goods, at just about any scale.

Third-Party

With 60% of Amazon’s sales being third-party sellers, it’s safe to say that this could be a lucrative option for those looking to make some extra money in their free time. As the most-used online shopping website, Amazon may be the best way for you to hit your personal sales goals.

As a third-party seller, you’ll be handling name-brand products and selling them at competitive prices. This is one of the reasons that so many people go to Amazon as their top choice for buying many things because they can often get the same products they can at the store but at a lower price.

The drawback to being a third-party seller is that other vendors are selling the same product at a similar price, so you need to find a way to stand out from the competition. Putting the time and effort into writing your listings will be the difference between being in the first handful of search results and falling on page 45 or lower.

FBA

FBA sellers are sellers that list their products on Amazon, but they also have them shipped to an Amazon fulfillment center so that Amazon manages the fulfillment and shipping once the order is complete.

This is a service that Amazon offers, and it comes with additional fees, but it can be incredibly helpful for people that are unable or unwilling to store the products that they were listing for sale. Especially those in urban environments where storage space is at a premium.

The fees will include a base fee calculated with the weight and final sale price, on top of the original referrer fee that Amazon charges. The trade-off for this additional expense is leveraging Amazon’s warehousing, shipping, and logistics framework, which is formidable.

FBM

FBM means fulfilled by merchant, and simply means that when the customer completes their order on the Amazon site, their order and shipping information is forwarded to the merchant who will then pack and ship their order. This comes with the advantage of saving on FBA fees but omits the ability to rely on the generally hassle-free Amazon return process if it is needed.

Vendor

If you are able to build a successful Amazon side hustle, you may be invited to join the vendor program. Vendors provide their products directly to Amazon at reestablished price points, just like with traditional wholesaling from vendors. One of the many upsides to this is that Amazon then assumes the responsibility for not only marketing them but also selling them.


4. Retail Arbitrage

This is a relatively uncommon but potent method of making serious money, quickly. While there are a number of resources available on the internet for retail arbitrage enthusiasts, the basic principle is that you will be buying a bulk amount of items from normal retail establishments at prices that are low enough that reselling the items becomes a viable way to generate profit.

This is an uncommon hustle, but again it is potent. Just like extreme couponers, retail arbitrage practitioners will have a number of YouTube channels, FB groups and pages, forums, chat groups, email alerts, and more set up to help them be successful. Not everyone can do this, but those who commit and learn the craft can make thousands in what amounts to a few hours’ work.


5. Jump Into The Gig Economy

If there’s one thing that’s plentiful, it’s side gigs. If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money in a short amount of time, this is the time to do it. There are dozens of apps, with some of the big ones for large gig niches mentioned above. There are a ton of ways to make money online if you have a marketable skill, talent, or other attributes.

UpWork and Fiverr are great ways to get both short-term and repeat work, especially in the digital space for things like content creation, digital marketing, and data entry. Survey Junkie is another that has been around for quite some time, and while it doesn’t pay astronomical sums, it’s an easy way to make money doing very little work. In recent years OnlyFans has exploded with people making “retire early” money teaching various skills or providing NSFW content.


Bertrand Allard

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