How can I make money on the side? 7 Great Side Hustles

How can I make money on the side? 7 Great Side Hustles

How can I make money on the side? Is a question lots of people are asking these days. making money in your spare time along side a full time job is entirely possible and can be very welcome. There are lots of ways to do it. With a computer and an internet connection, you have a whole host of options to supplement your income. Whether you are trying to get yourself out of financial difficulty, saving for something special, just want to earn more cash or start your own business, there is something for you. In this post, I will answer the question of “How can I make money on the side?”.

Ways to Make Money On The Side

All of my income now comes from working on my computer. It is an excellent way of making a living, as I have full flexibility and control over my working life. I also have no boss, which is the best part! I am going to cover lots of things in this post, from making quick cash to building your own online business.

1. Data Entry

Data entry is the process of inputting information in to electronic formats. You do this via word processors, spreadsheets or data processing software. This is something you can do without any experience at all. This makes it accessible to pretty much anybody with a compute and an internet connection.

Skills Needed
  • IT skills – You need to have basic computer skills. By this I mean use it, install software (of which you will need to update) and keep your computer virus free.
  • Typing skills – You need to type quickly and efficiently without making mistakes. You will also need to check your work afterwards to ensure you have done everything properly. The faster you can type, the more efficient you are.
  • Organisation skills – Data entry consists of sorting out a big mess of data and organising it.
  • Communication skills – You will need to effectively communicate with the people giving you the jobs.
  • Be OK with repetition – You will be doing the same thing over and over again with minor variations. So, you need to be prepared for this and fight through it.
  • Software skills – Having a good knowledge of Microsoft Office software is pretty essential.
Other Things You Need
  • Computer connected to the internet – Obviously
  • A number pad – A keyboard with a number pad will make life a lit easier than using the number buttons at the top of your keyboard
  • Access to common software – Having Microsoft Office or equivalent on your computer is essential
Things You Need To Know

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that data entry doesn’t pay that well. The higher paying jobs are quite hard to get and have a long waiting list and the people that get those jobs stay with it for a long time. The competition is huge, especially for remote workers. This is because there are lots of people all over the world willing to work for pennies. This kind of work is OK to get some money in while you are looking for other ways to make more money.

Data entry is one of the most common ways to scam people. This is because the people that do it tend to be quite desperate for money and fall for nasty tricks easily. As with a few other ways to make money online (that you will see on this page), if you are required to pay money to get work or necessary software etc, it is likely to be a scam. Don’t pay to get work.

Where To Find Work

There are a few legitimate companies that provide data entry work that you should check out.

Aixon Data Entry Services – Although it can be difficult to get work quickly form these guys, it is worth signing up for when work becomes available. There are a few prerequisites you need to get work with them though.  You need 2 to 3 years data entry experience and be able to type 50 words per minute.

Clickworker – When you sign up to clickworker, you become part of a pool of workers to complete work for Clickworker clients. Data entry is just one of the services they offer. Others are proofreading, research and surveys. The amount of work you can get depends on your performance. If you work well your earnings will increase.

Sigtrack – This is an organisation that provides services to contractors that work with potion signers, voter registration and other forms. They don’t recruit all the time, as their work is based around petition season and elections. You get paid according to your according to your accuracy. You need to maintain 98% accuracy to maintain your contract and is only available in the USA.

Amazon MTurk – This is not just for data entry, but for a huge amount of micro task jobs. Once you have registered you can find HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks). Some of these tasks require you to complete a test before you are allowed to perform them. You will find some really interesting jobs and some that are just plain wrong! If you feel that the task is a bit dodgy, don’t do it. I have seen some nasty stories about this.

2. Freelance Writing

If you want to do something more creative and interesting with regards to making money on the side, why not look in to freelance writing. This is one of the more lucrative ways to make money on the side if you can find some good jobs. Copywriting and other freelance writing jobs are for those that can knock up a decent blog post in an hour. If you can’t this will come with practice. 

Skills Needed
  • Good grammar
  • Be able to communicate well with your writing
  • Efficient writing skills
  • Be comfortable with getting your name out in to the world
  • Networking and self marketing skills
  • The ability to have different writing styles for different jobs
  • Organisation skills
Earning Potential

As a beginner freelance writer, you can charge about $50 per post. That is $50 per hour! Once you have got yourself established as a reliable writer, many companies will give you repeat work. This means you shouldn’t have to find new customers for every job. You can also earn around $100 for content with about 800 words when you are more experienced.

Where To Find Work

Cold Calling – One way of finding work is to do a lot of cold calling in the early days. Many freelance writers approach companies and let them know how they can help to grow their business.

Responding to job adverts – Checking out job adverts is a consistent way of finding work.

Problogger – Has a huge list of available freelance writing jobs, for you to look at. Have a look to see some examples.

Social Media – Follow social media accounts that are related to online writing jobs. These can be a goldmine for finding work. For example, check out @Write_jobs on Twitter.

Build yourself a website – This will be your online CV and you can use SEO techniques to in order for companies looking for writers to find you. 

Check out for some more tips.

Free guest posts – I know this is all about earning money, but if you offer your services for free in the early days and do a good job, you will get repeat work. Search “write for us” in Google and you will find companies looking for get bloggers.

Use your own social media – By announcing on your own social media that you are available for work, it is possible to find some good writing jobs. This is especially the case once you have started to build up a good reputation.

3. Surveys

Marketing is really important to big companies. It allows them to focus their products and services on right customers. It reduces their advertising costs and increases their sales values. These companies will pay for your opinion on things and they do this by issuing surveys to you.

Skills Needed

You don’t need any skills to fill in surveys. As long as you have access to the internet, you can fill them in from anywhere.

Earning Potential

Filling in surveys isn’t a big money spinner, however if you are dedicated, you can make about $200 per year in cash and vouchers. Some people have made up to $800 in a year.

Where To Find Work

All you need to do is sign up to some online survey websites. The surveys will be emailed to you and once you have filled one in you will get some cash. For lots of information on survey sites, including do’s and don’t’s check out this website.

4. Proofreading

Proofreading is something you can easily do in your spare time and from anywhere.

Skills Needed
  • Strong grammar skills – This is the whole point of it
  • Good spelling skills – Again, this is what proofreading is all about
  • Attention to detail – You need to be able to spot mistakes easily
Earning Potential

Some proof-readers make thousands per year. Catlin Pyle started out and made $43,000 in her first year while studying abroad. Now she has made over $3,000,000 teaching others how to proofread.

Where To Find Work

Flexjobs – This is a work from home portal that has a big list of proofreading jobs.

Fiverr – Not just for proofreading, Fiverr is a great platform for all sorts of online jobs ideal for making money on the side.

5. E-Commerce

By starting your own online shop, you can make money on the side. This is quite an involved way of having an online business, depending on what your products are. You have a choice of selling other peoples products with a mark up, or you can make your own products.

  • The product itself, could you actually make it or need to have it manufactured?
  • Packaging
  • Branding
  • Distribution/shipping
  • Payment processing
  • Inventory
  • Supplies
  • Finding the right vendors/suppliers
  • Website building
  • Marketing
  • Promoting
  • and much more


Skills Needed
  • Marketing – You will need to gain new customers all the time by learning and using marketing skills.
  • Ability to write well – You will need to create great product descriptions to make them sound appealing to your customers.
  • Sales Skills – This goes hand in hand with writing skills. This is because you need to be able to persuade a customer to buy a product if it is right for them.
  • Customer Service – Fulfilling a customer’s expectations is very important, so you need to be able to deliver. You also need to be on hand to answer questions, deal with complaints, give refunds etc.
  • Accounting skills – As your business grows, you need to be able to master your budget, invest and forecast. You will also need to be able to pay taxes and know what you can write off.
  • Adaptability – Being able to adapt is a skill that will keep you going in hard times. You also need to be able to deal with changes in technology and possibly change your business model to adapt to the environment.
  • Time Management – This is pretty much a given for anything, but managing your time means you can be productive and not fall behind in necessary tasks.
Other Things You Need
  • Computer connected to the internet – Obviously
  • Knowledge of E-Commerce – This can be learned with online courses such as these.
  • A Great Website – Your website is your shop window, so it needs to appeal to your customers and be easy to use.
Earning Potential

The sky is the limit, but what you earn will depend on how hard you work, the market and your products.

6. Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is where you have an online shop, but actually handle the products yourself. They are produced and shipped by someone else. This is great fo people working remotely or for those that don’t want to buy, store and ship stock.

Skills Needed

To have a drop shipping business, you need pretty much the same skills require for an E-Commerce shop. But you also need some good SEO skills so people will find your website.

  • Computer connected to the internet – Obviously
  • A great website – Your website is where you make your money as a drop shipper. So this has to be excellent.
Earning Potential

There is a huge earning potential with drop shipping. However, it does depend on your location, the chosen niche, suppliers, products and many more factors. For full details on drop shipping earnings click here.

Where To Find Work

To see how to start a drop shipping business, click here. I nearly started a drop shipping business myself, but I found out that affiliate marketing suited me more.

7. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is my choice of online business. You can of course do it as a side business, which is what I did when I started out. Now, it is my full time business that allows me to have the lifestyle I want. It is great, as I can work where I want as long as I can connect to the internet. My working schedule is completely flexible, which means I can live my life how I want to and choose my working hours.

Affiliate marketing is where you promote other people’s products and services. In return, you get rewarded a percentage of the sales price. It has been a steep learning curve, as I started from scratch with no experience at all. But now, I have developed the skills to attract people to my website without having to spend any money on advertising. So essentially, I can attract thousands of people who spend money for free. All this is comes from creating content based around what people search for on the internet. 

Skills Needed
  • Search Engine Optimisation skills – This is not complicated, but there are a few techniques that you need to know.
  • Dedication – It takes a lot of time and effort to make any money at all, but worth it the it starts to work.
  • Willing to learn – There are a few steps to ensure that your affiliate marketing business is successful. Therefore, you need to be willing to learn new skills and techniques.
  • Communication skills – You don’t need to be a hot shot writer, but you do need to be able to communicate effectively with your audience. The best way to do this is write as though you are talking to a friend.
Earning Potential

There is a huge amount of money to be earned in affiliate marketing. There are many affiliate marketers earning six figures. The other advantage of this, is that once you have created you content, it has the potential to keep earning you money constantly, even when you are asleep.

Where To Find Out More

I learned (and still am learning) about affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate. This is a platform with training, tools, support and everything you need to start your affiliate marketing business. There is even a FREE membership that allows you try everything out and help you decide whether affiliate marketing is for you or not (this is what I started with).

How can I make money on the side? - Answered!

Do you need to make money on the side? If so, now you have a good list of ways to do it. Which one takes your fancy? I urge you to look in to affiliate marketing. This is purely because it is what I chose to do and know how it changed my life. You can easily do it along side your current job for extra cash, but you may even get to a point where you can concentrate on it full time and ditch your job all together. Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

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