Start a Side Hustle: Some Advice and How-Tos

side hustle
Image credits: Garrhet Sampson via Unsplash

There’s no question that COVID-19 has majorly disrupted our economy. A whopping 3.3 million people filed for unemployment in the last week of March, and since then more than 20 million others have followed suit. Even if you didn’t lose your job, going to work or working from home is still extremely stressful.

Many people have turned to meditation, exercise, or even new hobbies to keep stress, boredom, and frustration at bay. Some enterprising individuals have even been able to turn their new passions or old hobbies into a lucrative side hustle that can help pay their bills.

Building a Sustainable Side Hustle

While it might be tempting to scale up immediately and start advertising for business on social media before you’ve even begun, it pays to start slow. Here are our best tips for cultivating a sustainable side hustle.

Find Something You Love

The best side hustles involve something that you enjoy doing. Most people start on their side hustle while they’re still working 9-5, and it often grows out of a hobby or skill that you practice for fun. If you’re going to be putting in extra work after a full day at your regular job, it should be for something you love doing.

Plan Out the Process

If you want to start selling anything or even offering your services, you should be prepared from the moment you start spreading the word. If you’re an artist or a maker, build a stockpile of product so you’re not immediately slammed when orders start coming in. Automate as much of the process as you can while still retaining the personal touch.

Leverage Social Media

With the convenience of sales platforms like Amazon and even Instagram Shopping, it’s never been easier to reach a willing audience. When you’re ready to start inviting customers and clients into your side hustle, leverage social media to get the word out. Post it on your personal account, or consider making a dedicated account for your new business.

Build an Audience

Once you’ve built up your social media and have the tools in place to market your product or service effectively, start building an audience. Post frequently, and create content that makes it clear what you’re offering. Use the basic principles of social media marketing to pull in your audience and cultivate their interest by offering engaging, personalized content that grabs their attention.

Some Easy and Creative Side Hustles for Beginners

Sometimes, a side hustle grows organically from a hobby or an interest. Other times, it requires a bit more planning as you work to develop the skills you’ll need to succeed.

These ideas will help you get started.

  • Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant provides administrative, research, or even customer service support to businesses from a remote location. Typical tasks include scheduling travel, posting on social media, updating a central calendar, and making reservations. As long as you have an internet connection, you can work as a virtual assistant.

  • Writer

There are lots of online writing jobs available on sites like Upwork and Fiverr that are great for beginners. Eventually, you can build a portfolio and start pitching clients.

  • Artist and Creative

The possibilities are limitless. Draw, paint, or sketch art for commissions. Create clothing or modify clothing through sewing, knitting, tie-dye, or even embroidery. Flex your computer skills and take on basic graphic design work. The only limit is your imagination.

  • Tutor Over Skype

Many organizations hire tutors to work with pupils over Skype or Zoom. You can teach English, do ACT/SAT prep, or work with young children as a homework helper.

Whatever you do, make sure your side hustle isn’t more draining than your full-time job. This type of work should feel exciting, not exhausting.