What Is a Side Hustle?
The fact that you are on this website indicates you are looking for ways to get paid. If you have been looking for some time, you probably have heard of the term 'side hustle'. But, what is a side hustle?
You can figure out that it is somehow has to do with part-time work. It's a way for you to get paid. However, unlike a part-time job, many side hustles don't require you to physically appear at the job location. Some may, but people often look for ones that don't.
A part-time job could be consider a type side hustle. But, a side-hustle tends to more flexible than a traditional part-time job.
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Reasons for Side Hustles
You can imagine there are several reasons for side hustles. The biggest reason is obviously to make extra money. But for many, it goes much further than that. Here are some reasons that people may choose to go this route:
You could probably come up with a completely different list, but you get the idea. There are many reasons why people choose to get a side hustle going.
What Are Your Reasons?
Maybe you would like to earn extra money. But, if you are like many, maybe you want to build up an empire online, one that has the potential to replace (and exceed) your current job.
Is your career panning out the way you had hoped? Are you simply tired of all the BS that goes on in your company, or any company for that matter? If you've had enough of that nonsense, you could be a great candidate for getting a side gig going.
You could find a part-time job or two. But, then you have to physically be there to get paid with these. Besides, those jobs will have just as much BS as your regular job. So, you'll have two or three times the BS.
I don't know the last time you checked, but the pay for part-time gigs is rather on the low side. You'll bust your butt all for a few measly extra dollars. It could even knock you into a higher tax bracket, which means you'll pay most of the extra money in taxes. YIKES!
A Better Alternative
Side hustles truly are a better alternative to part-time work. As you'll read below, you can do most of them online and you get to control how much (or little) time you put in. Usually, you're the boss, too. You may have clients to deal with, but you can always drop the ones that give you too much trouble.
After reading this, are you ready to get your slice of the side hustle pie?
How to Get Started
It's exciting to start a new venture. The internet makes it easy to create something online, too. But, you should learn the ropes before you take action. Otherwise, you'll take the wrong steps, get frustrated, and quit too early in the process.
The following should help you get started with this:
Ideas for Side Hustles to Get You Started
If you aren't sure of what to start, let this idea guide give you a head start. Sometimes, one idea can branch out to multiple ideas. Note: this list is by no means exhaustive.
Side Hustles You May Want to Avoid
The following side hustles are probably best for you to avoid. Some are illegal while others may be legit, but won't make you money for one reason or another. Each describes why it's not a good choice to pursue as a side hustle.
If you don't know, the business model for a Ponzi scheme is to recruit other members who pay the recruiter a fee (usually monthly). Each of the people referred will also try to recruit others under them which covers their fee plus any extra. The biggest problem with this scheme is it's illegal and most get shut down and police often make arrests.
Multilevel Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
This is often confused with a Ponzi scheme. What separates this business model from being a Ponzi scheme is that MLM businesses sell products or services along with recruitment. This makes MLM a legal business. However, just because it's legal doesn't mean it's a good business model to base a side hustle on. You need to be good at recruiting and the people you recruit need to be good at recruiting. The dropout rate is believed to be over 90%. There are other problems with the business model that you can read about here.
Pay-to-Read (PTR), Pay-to-Watch (PTW), Pay to Play (PTP)
There is nothing technically wrong with these types of sites. You can get paid to read emails or to watch videos. You can get paid to play games or to search. Sounds great, right? The trouble is you only get pennies for each action. In several cases, the actions are timed so you'll have to wait until the timer finishes before moving onto the next task. Imagine getting two cents to read an email and then waiting 30 seconds (or more) before being allowed to view the next email. Some tasks, like viewing videos, you need to watch the entire video (several minutes) to get paid. You'll make more than a few pennies for the videos but not much.
It's possible to recruit others into these types of websites. You will receive a portion of their earnings. Theoretically, that has the potential to boost your earnings significantly. However, what you will find is after a few days, you'll get tired of these actions for pennies. And, if you get tired of these actions, you can bet the people you recruit will get tired as well. You can do much better than these website.
I have nothing against saving money. Sites like Rebates.com can be a great way to save money and get cash back. However, in either case, you aren't making any money. While that may be a plus with respect to the IRS not taxing you on your rebates (at least, not yet!) it does nothing in the way of earning money from a side hustle.
How long do you think it will take to become broke when you buy $1,000 worth of goods to "earn" $20? Can you see how you are not getting paid under this scheme? You should think of it as getting a $20 discount on the $1,000 purchase. Nothing more!
I know people who do well with sweepstakes. They enter them constantly, mostly for free. They win often. Sometimes, the amount they win is significant. One person I know won an all expense paid trip to New York City. He also told he's won thousands of dollars using sweepstakes over the years. So, why shouldn't you take advantage of this way to make money?
The biggest problem is the amount of information they require to enter these. With all the problems with identity theft and other crazy scams, do you want to increases exponentially hackers getting your information? It's up to you. Remember, it could cost you thousands of dollars getting your identity back. That wipes out all the gains using this business model.
Another downside - you often don't win!
There are some legitimate mystery shopping sites. There are also plenty of scam services. But, even with the legit ones, you'll get low rates for the jobs they ask you to do. They can request you to travel an hour away, make a purchase, and write about your experience. The mystery shopping company will give you an allowance or purchasing the product. But, you can do all this for $5 to $10. Some may give you a gas allowance but many don't. You travel an hour and purchase a product (something you probably don't need) and make $5 to $10. The time doesn't included the write up that you need to submit to the company. This write up can be long which means more time spent for the same $5 to $10.
Admittedly, I have not researched these companies lately, so it's possible things have changed a bit for the better. Just make sure you know what you'll be doing and for how much!
How'd you like to spend the next 45 minutes answering excruciatingly personal questions and receive $2 or $3 for your efforts? Then, for the next 20 years, you'll get bombarded with offer after offer after offer from a bunch of vendors? If this seems like something you'd like, then knock yourself out with paid surveys. All this, only if you are lucky to find the survey companies that pay money. Many will give you the "privilege" of being entered into a sweepstakes and maybe you'll win. If you don't win, you get nothing. Nice!
This is less about direct pay and more about getting traffic to your websites. Hopefully, when you get traffic to your website, your visitors will buy whatever you're selling. After all, don't you simply need traffic and they'll whip out their credit cards and all your financial worries are over?
The way traffic exchanges work is you view other members' websites for a number of seconds (usually 30 to 60). At the end of the timer, they ask you to solve a puzzle or answer a question to prove that you were watching. If you pass the test, you get a few credits that can be used for other members to view your website. After an hour of viewing other websites, you'll have enough credits for about 10 members to view your website. Some services more, some less.
If you upgrade to a premium (monthly fee) service, you'll get several credits for each month you maintain your premium membership. Also, you usually get a multiplier on the credits for the websites you view. Either that, or the timer is cut in half, etc. By being a premium member, you'll be able to show your website to many more members.
Here's the problem. What would be your motivation for joining these traffic exchanges? Do you go there to buy other members' products? Or, do you go there to get traffic so that other members can see your website and buy from you? Most (if not all) members will state they are there only to get credits and not to buy. If nobody is buying, how effective do you think these traffic exchanges will be? Everyone is there to have others buy, which no one wants to do. Everyone is selling to each other.
Drop Shipping Business
I like the drop shipping concept in theory. If you aren't familiar with this business model, you make an arrangement with manufacturers to ship single products to customers. You don't have to worry about warehousing pallets of products. You sell a product to your customer for one price and you pay the manufacturer a lower price keeping the difference. Then, you tell the manufacturer where to ship the product on your customer's behalf.
On the surface, this sounds like a cool arrangement. Most people who try this, however, realize soon enough that you need high margin products. They don't factor in items like advertising and other marketing costs. They also learn that most manufacturers charge a fee for drop shipping. This fee eats into the margins. Shipping is a consideration, too. The website owner participating in drop shipping will need to charge shipping costs to the customer. This adds to the cost that could sway the customer towards looking for a better deal.
Another problem with the drop shipping business model is it's difficult to bundle purchases. When people buy online, they often buy products related to the main product they are buying. If these related products are from different vendors, the website owner will need to deal with each vendor and pay separate drop shipping fees and separate shipping. It can be a logistics nightmare. And if a customer is unsatisfied with the purchase and wants to return products, they will likely want to return all of them. This adds to the headaches with this model.
My Favorite Side Hustle
Hands down, my favorite online business model is the affiliate business model. It gives you the ability to earn within the niches that you select. For example, suppose you love fashion and would love to make money in this field.
The traditional method would require you to set up a brick-and-mortar store, find merchandise, hire employees, spend on advertising, set up payment processing, deal with sales tax, and so on.
A more modern approach is to create an online eCommerce store. While this is usually easier than a brick-and-mortar store, you still need merchandise, payment processors, sales tax, and the like. In both cases, you'll need to deal with returns from customers and problems that customers have with your products and services.
With an affiliate business, you don't have any of those hassles. You simply send traffic to the vendor, the vendor recognizes the traffic came from you through a special affiliate link, and if the traffic buys products, you get paid a commission. You don't deal with merchandise, returns, taxes, payment processors, or any of those annoyances. The vendor takes care of all of that for you.
The concept of the affiliate business is easy. However, it's essential to learn how to do it right from the start to avoid making rookie mistakes. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from others who have been through it before?
There are groundwork items that you will need to learn about to become successful with an affiliate business. Here are the most common items:
None of these items are difficult to learn, but learning them wrong will take you longer and cost you more money. When you take the proper steps to learn them correctly, you'll be well on your way to building a solid affiliate business.