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Our question of the month comes in from Wes from Virginia:
I’ve been married for 5 years and have a 2 ½-year-old daughter.
My wife and I have paid off $40,000 in debt but we still have $100,000 in student loans to go.
I want to find a side hustle to help us accelerate our debt pay off, but with my responsibilities at home, I’m looking for a work-at-home opportunity that pays $30 or more per hour to be worth my time to spend away from my family.
I’m willing to put in a little work upfront to learn some new skills and even open up a new business if needed.
I wanted to know your opinion on where I should focus my efforts. Thank you for your time and keep up the good work!
-Wes from Virginia
Hey Wes, thanks for reaching out and listening to the show!
I was in a very similar spot as you a few years ago. I wanted to find a fun and challenging side hustle that helped me meet my financial goals and one that I was able to do at home.
I’m going to share 14 side hustle ideas for you to consider. Not all of them are going to be a fit for you, but hopefully, they will spark an idea or start leading you down a path that helps.
1. Freelance Writing
One of my favorite and most lucrative side hustles is freelance writing. It’s amazing how much money you can make with a few extra hours of time and a passion for a topic.
Companies often pay by the article or word count (ie. $0.10 per word for a 1,500-word article). You’ll want to start a blog so prospective clients can read your writing before working with you.
Over time, freelance can be an excellent way to make money at home. I have a few friends (who are also parents) that make well over $100,000 writing from home. Here are my interviews with them:
- Eric Rosenberg: How to Make $10,000 Per Month Working from Home as a Writer
- Sarah Li Cain: How This Mom Makes Over $100,000 Working Part-Time From Home
- Cat Alford: How This Young Mother of Twins Makes Six-Figures Working From Home
2. Virtual Assistant
The internet has allowed people to make a comfortable living from home through helping others with their small businesses.
If you’re good with …
- Making pins on Pinterest
- Managing Facebook Groups
- Editing and proofreading articles
- Scheduling meetings
- Replying to emails
… the role of Virtual Assistant (VA) may be right for you.
Depending on your skills, you can easily charge $30 per hour or more for VA work.
After Kayla Sloan learned how to make $10,000 per month as a Virtual Assistant, she developed a helpful course so others could learn to become a $10k VA.
There are a lot of businesses that hire out proofreading work for important documents, articles and proposals. Someone with an eagle eye for details and a love for the English language can make some decent side money with proofreading.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Starting a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. Establishing a presence online and sharing my thoughts and opinions has opened up so many doors for me.
My favorite way that I’ve made money through my blog is with Affiliate Marketing.
This is when you recommend products or services that you use, like or trust. If someone decides to purchase that product or service, you get a commission.
For example, I learned a lot from Michelle Schroeder Gardener’s course on how to Make Sense of Affiliate Marketing. If you decide to buy that course, I’ll receive a commission. I liked the product, used it, it helped me and I think it’ll help others.
This year, I’ve made around $3,000 from affiliate marketing. Not bad for a side hustle.
Like blogging and podcasting, making money on YouTube takes a lot of time, patience and dedication. In the beginning, you probably won’t make much money at all, but over time you can start earning $1,000 or more per month in advertising revenue.
I’m really enjoying Joseph Hogue’s new book called “Crushing YouTube”. He’s making over $5,000 per month now and sharing advice on how he’s done it.
There are new companies popping up online that make becoming a transcriptionist easier than ever. One of my favorites is Rev.
I personally use Rev to transcribe my podcast interviews. It makes me feel good knowing that they are hiring people to do the transcriptions who need some extra cash.
Like ride-sharing services, Transcriptionists can work when you want to, but can earn extra cash from home.
7. Pet Sitting
Well, you can get your slice of the $70 billion pet industry and hang with loveable animals through pet sitting.
With services like Rover, you can even pet sit from the comfort of your own home.
8. Scooter Charging
You know those Bird and Lime scooters you see all over major cities in the US lately? Well, they need someone to charge them and they are paying people to do it.
Evidently, you pick up the scooters around town, charge them at home overnight and return them to the main city center. By doing this, you’ll earn anywhere between $3-5 per scooter. If you have a large enough vehicle and get creative enough, this can be a $1,000 per month side hustle!
9. Sell on Etsy
If you know how to develop artwork, crafts, jewelry, clothes, woodwork or a multitude of other products, try selling your wares on Etsy.
Selling your own products is one of the best ways to make more money. And if you love creating, then this could be a fun side hustle to do from home.
10. Podcast Editing
There are over 750,000 podcasts out there now and a lot of them are made by first-time podcasters. If you have audio editing skills, you could make good money helping these folks out.
And if you choose to edit podcasts in a genre that you love, you can learn, be entertained and paid all at the same time!
11. Produce a Podcast
After three years of podcasting, I’m starting to make some decent money.
This year, I’ll make around $10,000 from podcast advertising.
But in year 1, I made $0 in podcast advertising. So if you’re looking for money tomorrow, I wouldn’t recommend this route.
If you have some patience and a passion toward a topic (even if you don’t make a dime for a while), podcasting could be good for you.
Here are some compelling reasons to start a podcast.
12. Graphic Design
Are you a skilled graphic designer?
Entrepreneurs are paying good money for people to help them design their logos, graphics and websites. Get your payday by helping others with your design skills from the comfort of your own home.
13. Sell Baked Goods
Take your passion for cooking and baking and make some money. One couple I know is cranking away on their debt by baking cookies and selling them locally.
Just remember not to eat all of your profits!
14. Retail Arbitrage
Retail arbitrage can be extremely profitable. This is when you buy items from one location (like Walmart) and then sell them for a higher price elsewhere.
Some people are making millions doing this while others are losing money. Be careful, do your research and ensure you are using this tactic in a smart way.
Wes, I hope this list helps you come up with some ideas on how to accelerate your debt pay down!
Remember before starting any of these, I’d recommend starting with your current job and seeing if a raise or overtime is possible. Since you’re already on the payroll there and you have a special skill set, that could be your easiest route to more money.
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