Starting a side hustle business is not as easy as a lot of entrepreneurs make it out to be. Anyone can do it with the right tools and approach. However, the process isn’t as simple as setting up a website and hoping for the best. If you’re looking for an internet side hustle that will make you money without needing to lift a finger, you’ll need to rethink your strategy.
The fact is, there are a lot amazing side hustles to make money that can be a wild success. The catch is you’ll need to understand how to approach them and invest time and effort into them. Combined that with the right tools and you’ll be able to make money online on the side.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the top side hustles you can embark on online. We’ll also help you figure out what’s the best option for you. Let’s get to it!
1. Start a Blog
The idea of starting a blog might sound cliche, but there’s a reason why this side hustle business has existed for decades and it still works. In the past, you could start a blog, not know much about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and still get decent traffic and money. Those glory days are gone, but the business is still very much alive.
Nowadays, if you want to start a blog and make money from it, you’ll need three things. Those are:
- Finding the right niche. Not every niche is the same. The more popular the topic, the more competition you’ll face. This means you need to be able to find a niche that you can work with and that is not as competitive as something like health or finances.
- Understanding SEO. Almost every niche you can imagine involves some level of competition. This means there’ll be other blogs and websites at the top of the result pages for most related queries. If you want to beat them, you’ll need to understand SEO (or at least the basics) and put it into action.
- Giving the site enough time to grow. It takes time for a blog to start getting traction even if you’re an SEO and content genius. This can range from a few months to years depending on how consistent you are.
Once your blog starts getting enough traffic you’ll start seeing money if you monetize it. There are a lot of ways to monetize a blog, from using ads to selling memberships, running affiliate ads, and more.
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It’s usually smart not to rely on a single monetization method. In any case, you want to be as upfront as possible so as not to alienate your audience and make them think you only want to get money from them.
2. Sell Online Courses
The online course market is incredibly competitive. However, you can build a successful side hustle business selling courses if you have unique insights or knowledge about any particular field (as long as there’s interest in it).
If you’re not convinced, take a look online. There are thousands of people selling courses on online marketplaces for everything from crocheting to learning origami. If you’re good at teaching something, someone will be willing to pay for it:
The downside of selling courses in online marketplaces is that you don’t control the experience and you have to share the earnings with the platform. Creating an online website to sell courses requires more work on your end, but it also gives you more monetization opportunities.
With a membership website, you can offer users subscription tiers that give them access to different course levels. This can be useful to sell beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses, for example. You can also use tiers to give students access to different materials and extras.
Keep in mind that to create a successful online academy, you’ll also need to engage in marketing. That means using content, social media, email, and maybe even ads to help students find the website and your courses.
3. Build a Directory Website
Running a directory website is a side hustle business that can basically run on autopilot (if you have the right tools). The hard part of the process is actually setting up the directory, which you can do using Profile Builder Pro.
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The plugin enables you to create user listing pages where you can display the members of the directory. This can be a smart way to set up a professional directory where visitors can look for the right professionals for specific jobs:
Directory websites can also be useful for professionals looking to network and for companies looking to hire. Attracting professionals can take time but usually, once people start signing up you’ll get a steady stream of users.
If you want to play it smart, we recommend focusing the directory on a specific type of professionals or career. This way, you have the chance to create a niche directory that acts as a reference in the field instead of a website with no unique value proposition.
While you’re at it, adding forums or even creating a Discord channel for the website can help attract professionals. People within the same career paths will always want to network and ask questions from each other, so this can be a great way to attract top talent to the directory.
4. Start a Subscription Service Website
It’s important to note that running a subscription service business can take up a lot of your time. However, you can still make it a side hustle business if you’re good at managing your time and depending on the service.
A subscription service website involves users paying a monthly or yearly fee in exchange for access to different tiers of service. One example of this is a hosting provider where you pay a fee in exchange for a server where you can host a website.
You can offer any service online on a subscription basis as long as it makes sense. If you’re good with social media, you can offer to create X number of posts for clients within a specific time period for a recurring fee. The same goes for tasks such as content creation, website maintenance, personalized coaching, and more.
Over time, a subscription service website can go from being a side hustle business to your primary source of income. However, this can take a long time depending on how you market it, what services you’re offering, and how much you charge for them.
Setting up a website to offer your subscriptions is also pretty easy if you use the right tools. For example, if your website is built with WordPress, installing a plugin like Paid Member Subscriptions makes the whole process a breeze, helping you set up subscription tiers, recurring payments, and registration pages in just a few clicks.
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5. Set Up an Online Store
Running an online store can be a fantastic side hustle business if you use the right tools to automate part of the day-to-day tasks. With WordPress and WooCommerce, you can have an online store that updates inventory, processes payments automatically, submits receipts and notifications, and more.
That means your part of the job is sourcing products, uploading and shipping them, answering customer queries, and keeping the store running smoothly. That’s still a lot of work, but it’s definitely something that’s doable in your spare time.
It’s important to note there’s also a lot of competition in e-commerce. If you want to succeed, you’ll need to excel in either pricing, marketing, or a combination of both. Selling products in a not-so-competitive niche will help you find customers faster, but it can also cap your store’s growth.
Just as with blogging, growing a store takes time and effort. The monetary returns can be much higher, but so is the initial investment of time and money into creating or sourcing products.
There’s no side hustle business that will make you millions with minimal effort on your end. That being said, there are a lot of amazing internet side hustles that can earn you a tidy sum in exchange for a little work when you have the time. Every single one of them requires work to set up and grow to that point, though.
If you’re OK with that tradeoff and are willing to put in the time, you’ll likely succeed. With that in mind, here are the best side hustles we recommend if you’re looking for something that’s online-only:
- Start a blog.
- Sell online courses.
- Build a directory website.
- Start a subscription service website.
- Set up an online store.
Do you have any questions about how to start a side hustle business online? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!