How to start a side hustle successfully

6 min read
Toshani B

We know money can’t buy everything, but an extra income flow certainly gives us more security. In a world of uncertainty, where pay cuts and layoffs are a norm, relying only on your nine-to-five job can feel somewhat risky. One way to lessen your risk is to start a side hustle, or a legitimate source of alternative income, while you still have the security of your day job.

Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. – John Wooden

However, turning your side income ideas into a profitable business is not easy. You need to invest a good amount of time and energy to the venture just the way you do your full-time job.

But impossible is nothing, if you have the will to do it. In fact, some of the biggest global organizations such as Apple, Groupon, Hubspot and others started off as side hustles.

Side businesses are often the result of a longtime hobby or interest that eventually turns into a full-time profession. Therefore, for many, a side hustle is also a means to creative and financial freedom.

Editor’s note: Get more work by putting your new side hustle online in less than 5 minutes with Online Starter Bundle.

Advice on making side hustles work

Because you’re working on top of a full-time job, making the side hustle work takes some skills. Here are some tips:

  1. Turn to your passion.
  2. Get a helping hand.
  3. Learn time management tricks.
  4. Effective use of technology.
  5. Create your own niche.

Don’t miss the seven side hustle ideas we list at the bottom of the post.

The secret sauce of side hustle

Studies show that most new businesses have a pretty low chance of achieving success. However, that shouldn't dissuade you from executing your side income ideas. By keeping your day job for steady income flow and financial stability, you can still grow your side hustle and turn it into a successful venture.

Here are some secrets in becoming successful in your side business.

1. Turn to your passion

Side Hustle Computer Repair
It doesn’t matter if you repair computers or tutor on the side, as long as you enjoy it.

Studies have shown that turning your hobby into a business increases your chance of becoming successful.

There’s no greater pleasure than getting paid for what you like to do.

Say, if you love teaching, you can start your own coaching in academics, yoga, baking, fine arts or crafts. If you are keen on cooking, you can start a small catering business or open a small café and run it part-time.

2. Get a helping hand

Many people make the mistake of trying to do all the work by themselves. In the end, they fold under the pressure and quit their side businesses.

One way to avoid this is to outsource a part of your work. So if you take up a part-time freelancing project, you can delegate a part of it to a friend or colleague and pay them their dues. A better way to manage a side hustle is to find a working partner or hire a consultant who can be available when you need them.

3. Learn time management tricks

Finding enough time is a challenge in side hustles as you also have to manage a full-time job. This is one key reason people give up their side businesses.

To start with, you need to know where your time is going. Other tips include:

  • Planning activities well ahead of time
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Asking for help when you need it

Effective time management also entails that you delegate tasks and set deadlines for every task that you do. A task without a deadline has a tendency to go unfinished.

4. Effective use of technology

Adopting the right technology for your side hustle is no longer an option but a necessity. It can be as simple as:

You also need to harness the power of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms to promote your side job. Using the power of digital marketing is a key part of your side business success.

5. Create your own niche

Competition is an inevitable part of doing any business. Unless you’ve created a novel product or service or an innovative marketing strategy, your side income ideas could fall flat.

Try to stand out in the crowd through tactics such as:

  • Customization not offered by others in your field
  • Unmatched customer service
  • Best-in-class features

Your competitive advantage is what makes your customers opt for you, and also come back to you in the future.

7 side hustles you can explore

While there are hundreds of side income options one can explore, we have handpicked a few for you to choose from.

Freelance your skills

Many businesses require freelance services for various kinds of work, such as:

  • Web/graphic design
  • Website development
  • Writing/editing
  • Interior designing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Virtual support services, among others

If you have any of these skills, you can work as much as you want based on your time and make money on the side.

Blog or create YouTube videos

Side Hustle Person Recording Video

If you have the ability to write about any idea you’re passionate about, you can create your own blog on a topic of your interest. Once you’ve attracted a following, you can make money from a blog using Google AdSense, affiliate marketing and selling ad space.

Likewise, you can create videos on YouTube and find ways to monetize them with advertising. Once you start getting more views and subscriptions, the money will start flowing in.


With sufficient knowledge in a subject as well as a college degree, you can take up tutoring jobs for school students in the evenings or/and weekends.

Online tutorials

Opportunities are unlimited in the internet world. You may also consider offering online courses. You can deliver these courses through email, or create video tutorials and webinars to deliver these courses.

Event/party planner

If you are someone who loves to plan events and parties, this side business idea may be just apt for you. Good communication and networking skills are essential.

Rent your extra space

A good side hustle is to rent your extra space at home, including a spare room or a garage — something you are not using.

Income tax planner

If you have the know-how of tax laws, then you can help individuals and business owners who need assistance with preparing their taxes.

In order to have good results, you must back your side income ideas with relevant skills, experience or industry knowledge.

Use these side income ideas to make money

Side Hustle Man at Computer

Be careful not to do side hustle work during company hours or use company resources for your own pursuits. This is not only unethical, but also a violation of the employment agreements.

Of course, what you do on your own time is entirely up to you. Therefore, if you already have some side income ideas, the time to start is NOW!

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