Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister

12 Comments

If you have free time and you’re not pursuing any sort of side hustle, maybe it’s time to change things up.

A side hustle is essentially a small business you run on the side while either continuing to work a traditional job, or another main business.

Perhaps blogging is a side hustle for you right now. Nothing wrong with that – it’s a damn good one, and in fact, taking the two-pronged approach and building your business up to the point where it covers your expenses is a great way to quit your job to blog full time.

Sometimes though, you’ll want to pursue even more.

Why Side Hustles Can Be Useful

Side hustles, if taken seriously, can be a great way to quickly generate some extra cash to fund projects for your main business.

Think of it this way – if you’re new or your blog just isn’t making that much money yet, you’re not going to have much additional funds to invest into growing your business.

It’s sort of a catch-22 situation – investing money into growing your business makes you more money, but it requires money to do so.

Many people I fear are either too scared to invest in their business, or simply lack the funds to do so. And the reality is, somebody investing even as little as $100 a month into their business is going to grow drastically quicker than somebody investing nothing.

Side hustles make this a lot easier, so long as you are disciplined enough to actually put your profit to use instead of just pocketing it.

Another thing that’s worth thinking about is the fact that if you’re doing quite well with your blog already, but you’re not quite close enough to quit your job and go at it full time, adding an extra side hustle may tip you over the edge and make it possible. Imagine how much more time you’d be able to spend growing your blog if you didn’t have to work a regular job!

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin!

Before we begin, I want to make something very clear. A side hustle is called a side hustle for a reason – it’s supposed to be something you do on the side. It is not your main focus.

The issue with pursuing too many ventures at once is that none of them get the attention they need to really succeed. Spread yourself too thin, and you will fail on all fronts.

Continue to give your blog and your main business all the attention it can get. Spend extra time marketing. Expand some area of your main business. Only when it makes sense should you pursue an extra side hustle.

5 Side Hustles Bloggers Should Consider:

1. Quick Jobs

Starting out with perhaps the most obvious is doing quick little jobs that don’t require any long-term commitments.

Uber, babysitting, and teaching music lessons are all great examples of this. They aren’t particularly hard or time consuming, yet they can be a great way to make a bit of extra cash that WILL add up over long periods of times.

Plus, you can work whatever amount you feel comfortable. Need some quick cash? It’s available to you. Want some extra time to focus on building your blog? Scale it down a bit. It’s all within your control.

This choice is one of my personal favorites because it forces me to get out of the house and actually interact with people in real life. When you are running your entire business from your house, it’s easy to forget that there is an entire world outside of it.

Not to mention, jobs such as babysitting are easy to do alongside your blogging work at times – it’s almost as if you’re getting paid to work on your business!

2. Flipping

Flipping Side Hustle
Flipping is a side hustle I’ve had a lot of fun with!

Flipping is the act of buying products, and then reselling them for a profit.

While it certainly isn’t the easiest one of these to get started (requiring both upfront capital and product knowledge) the rewards are high and in fact, many people make flipping their full time job.

The good thing about flipping is that you have so many different options. While some people prefer to flip items locally using websites such as Craigslist or Facebook groups, others sell globally on websites such as Amazon or eBay.

While it can certainly be a lot of work sourcing, packaging, and selling, flipping can be an incredibly lucrative side hustle that is practically infinitely scalable if you wish to take it that far.

If you want to maximize your return on time invested, start by flipping items in a particular market. By doing this, you can develop true expertise and intuitively know the fair market price of an item – making it easier to recognize a deal when you see one.

3. Kindle Publishing

What started out as a side hustle for me has turned into an entire business of its own.

I originally started Kindle publishing several years ago to add some products to sell with this business – but once I realized how easy it was to create books on small niche topics and sell them completely passively, I knew this was something I had to focus more time on.

The great thing about Kindle is that it’s one of the most passive platforms out there – once you create your book and optimize the description and keywords, it really will sell on its own assuming there is demand for the topic. Outside marketing isn’t really necessary, as Amazon already has such a huge customer base regularly searching for Kindle books.

There is almost no other platform that is such a passive money making opportunity, so definitely consider Kindle. While it’s not something you’ll make a ton of money with right away, you can count on the steady stream of royalties coming in every month, and that feeling is incredibly satisfying.

If Kindle publishing is something that interests you, I highly recommend checking out my course on Kindle publishing. It’s designed in a way to help you find success without having to spend time marketing your books, so it’s perfect for a side hustler that wants to build up a profitable catalog quickly.

4. Udemy

Another business that’s kind of similar to Kindle publishing is publishing courses on Udemy – the world’s largest course marketplace.

The great thing about this is that it can double as both a side hustle, and an additional branch of your business. The majority of courses I have published cover topics that would appeal to visitors of James McAllister Online (such as blogging, email marketing, and achieving financial independence.)

Although most of my courses are no longer on Udemy, the process was very smooth and straightforward while I was publishing there.

Perhaps you have other topics that you’re interested in though, but don’t have the time to build a huge business around. This was actually my reason for creating a course on lucid dreaming – I loved the topic, I knew a lot about it, but I did not want to create a business around it. Instead, I built what I believe to be the world’s best lucid dreaming course, and have partnered with other blogs and websites who are promoting the course for me as affiliates. It’s a win-win situation!

While Udemy courses do tend to make a bit more than Kindle books, they are also less passive. You as the instructor are expected to respond to student questions promptly and keep content up to date. This doesn’t take a whole lot of time, but it certainly is not ‘set it and forget it’ as Kindle is.

That being said, the same information can be delivered in course format for a higher price than you’d be able to charge for a book. This may make the trade-off worth it for you.

5. Freelance Writing

Last but not least, freelance writing is a fantastic and popular choice for bloggers looking to pursue a side hustle.

After all, if you’re blogging, chances are you’re probably a better writer than most people. Taking up some freelance writing gigs is a great way to make a bit of extra money while building up your writing skills and gaining valuable experience at the same time.

Many people use their blogs as a portfolio of sorts, and if you are able to prove that you are great at what you do, you can charge fantastic rates and earn a ton of money in a relatively short period of time when opportunities arise – especially if you specialize.

Of course, it’s not that easy, but as with anything, your skill level and the amount of money you’ll make will go up over time as you continue to improve and make connections with clients.

If you really don’t want to add any more writing into your life, check out this list of profitable freelance skills to consider!

What’s Your Side Hustle?

These are only a few of many potential side hustle ideas.

If you have pursued a side hustle before, I’d love it if you’d share a bit about it.

And if you haven’t, why not? Which one of these would be the most interesting to you? What’s stopping you from trying one (or all) of them?

These are all things I have done myself at one point or another, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to hearing from you!

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. Hi James,

    Running my online business alongside two offline businesses doesn’t give me a lot of spare time, but nevertheless I can’t resist a little side hustle.

    It’s ages since I put up a little book on Kindle, but funnily enough a few dollars drop into my bank account most months, and that always gives me a big smile. I’ve actually got other ready done books I could put up, so that’s something to add to the ever growing to-do list. Thanks for the reminder.

    Joy

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    1. Hi Joy!

      Isn’t Kindle income so satisfying? It’s one of my favorite income sources because I haven’t touched it in such a long time and I can still count on it coming in each month.

      I would definitely recommend getting those up ASAP, this tends to be the most profitable time of the year for Kindle books (generally) and if you’re gonna do it later anyway, it may as well be now.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Joy, always nice to see you here!

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      James McAllister recently posted…10 Characteristics Of Highly Successful BloggersMy Profile

  2. Hi James,

    When I first came online, I had a thriving consulting business. Blogging was something I stepped into slowly because David was doing it and I wanted to get in on this new thing. That was about 5 years go. But in the meantime, I also had two other “hustles” which were real estate (keeping some and flipping others) and also flipping antiques. I was a busy gal….so blogging was something I grew into.

    To make a long story short, blogging and internet marketing overtook most of my time during the past two years and I did have to let go of the other things I was into. Since I created my own products and services….I devote 99.9% of my time to that.

    My only side hustle now is some real estate I still have, but I did hire a manager for that so it doesn’t eat up my time.

    There is always a good hustle to have when blogging if it isn’t paying all your bills. I suggest to chose the one that takes less time.

    Awesome post and will share!

    -Donna

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    Donna Merrill recently posted…5 Blogging MistakesMy Profile

    1. Hi Donna!

      Hey, I was wondering if you were into real estate. I thought I heard you mention it somewhere a while back but I wasn’t sure. Funny thing is I’m getting into it too – I’ve partnered with someone that not only has fantastic credit, but over 25 years of property management experience. We’ve yet to buy our first property but I have still been incredibly busy raising funding, analyzing deals, and all that good stuff.

      I suppose it could be considered a side hustle but I quickly forsee this becoming a full-time job. If I were smart, I’d focus all of my energy on that side because I know that’s probably what’ll make the most money, but I just have too much fun working on this sort of stuff.

      You make a great point about choosing the one that takes less time. When you’re doing something on the side, better to have it take not enough time than too much and have it hurt your main business. Flipping is something I’ve been doing that could’ve easily been a full time job if I hadn’t brought on help from other people.

      Anyway Donna it’s always nice to hear more of your story, I learn something new every time!

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  3. Hey James

    Love this and especially like your phrase ‘side hustle’!

    As you say people need to be careful, they don’t lose focus but there are times when some of us need to do a little side hustle gig to get us over a short-term hump. If I had my back to the wall and I had to choose one of your five, it would be freelance writing. Most business owners hate to write but if they want an online presence writing (or content creation) is the name of the game.

    Other than that I’d find a good affiliate program and promote the hell out of it. In fact little more than two years ago I DID have a need to make some quick bucks, so I joined a program that looked good to me. Over the next six months, I made $100k, so it solved my problem, for sure.

    But I reckon the best thing people can do is to leverage simply existing skill. What I mean by that is they should turn a skill into an income stream. It could be writing, or it could be something else. For instance, I’m pretty good on the phone. So I could offer a service to train sales and customer service people on how to leverage the phone into more income for their business.

    Another example is my youngest son. He is an awesome tennis player and was a pro until injury sidelined him from the pro circuit. But he still had the ball hitting skills, plus he was great with people. So he leveraged both skills into a new career as a tennis and fitness coach. And last week he landed a top job in Hong Kong coaching rich people!

    Final example. My oldest son is pretty good at using re-targetting strategies to get more leads for me. Now he is offering the same service to other business owners.

    Bottom line: when the chips are down, ya just gotta hustle!

    Thanks James

    Kim

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    1. Hey Kim!

      You are right, people do need to be very careful and that’s why it’s always best if it’s something you can tie into your main business somehow so the two projects work for each other.

      Freelance writing is a great choice, especially for other bloggers as it allows us to get paid to gain experience while also making connections at the same time. Probably one of the best examples here as it ties into so much other stuff we’re doing.

      You make a good point about leveraging existing skill, I actually look at this first when I’m working with people who want to start some sort of online business. Some people are better working with different business models than others. I helped an analytical friend of mine start an affiliate marketing business solely promoting CPA offers through PPC advertising. Another was best suited for Kindle publishing. You never know – I think any skill can be learned but you have an immediate head start if you leverage your strengths and build a business around that. Great point, Kim.

      Your sons sound like great entrepreneurs, you should be proud.

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  4. A-men on Kindle publishing James! After publishing 10 eBooks there you inspired me to bump it up. 123 bite-sized eBooks later I am thinking of adding a few. Still gotta promote these ones more freely though. I love the ease of creating them, packing them with value and selling them freely to my audience, because my readers dig my writing style, super conducive to Kindle.

    I’d add that it’s a piece of cake to turn each of these Kindles into an audio book on acx.com. Right now I only have like 20 or so converted to audio but each of these audio books is for sale on iTunes, Amazon and Audible Dot Com, which is a sweet little side hustle too. Just get a producer to handle the audio book for you, split up those profits and get a nice cross promotional channel. Before I freaking promoted ONE audio book I had already sold over 100 of them; they are even way more passive than Kindle, for me. Awesome list James.

    Ryan

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    1. Haha Ryan you have taken Kindle publishing to the extreme and have tied it really well to your brand. I can’t think of any other blogger that has utilized the platform so largely and effectively.

      Really surprised to hear about the audio books, that’s something I haven’t even considered trying. Didn’t think people would buy audiobooks when my catalog is mostly 40-80 pages – perhaps I should stop making assumptions and actually try it. If I go through with it for part of my catalog and it works out for me, I owe you big time – especially since I’ve slowed down on the eBook side a lot in the last month.

      I don’t think I’ve announced it anywhere yet (no real need to I suppose) but I’ve stopped adding new books to the catalog myself for a few reasons. But, I am sitting on them now and revenue has remained constant, and that is the beauty of Kindle. I have been thinking about selling the business in its entirety but I am waiting for the opportune moment. Not that I think that there’s anything wrong with Kindle, I just think I can put the money to better use, you know?

      I may have to reconsider if the audiobook thing works out though… wow. Really, I can not thank you enough for sharing your experience with me because it has really got me thinking now.

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