Even if Elon Musk is not a fan of finance as a career or “MBA-ization” of corporate America, he wisely gave this advice to all —
“If your salary is your only source of income, you are one step away from poverty. Be financially literate and make at least 3 income sources, that’s how the wealth game will change”.
Expectedly also, this advice came from the man with the world’s longest investment performance track record, Warren Buffett
“Never depend on a single source of income” Warren Buffet
Even if Musk and Buffet have highly different characters and choose different paths, they think alike when it comes to money safety. They both believe in having an additional income stream, apart from your core source of income, which is commonly referred to as Side income, or more recently “hustles”.
The purpose here is not to aim to become a millionaire or a billionaire. The real purpose is to find financial freedom, flexibility, and stability that will provide you with emotional tranquility and time to pursue other things you love doing or have a cushion when the main income gets affected for any reason.
So, what exactly is Passive Income or side hustle? And how is it different from Active income?
Active income or the traditional income is earning money in exchange for goods or services delivered. It’s a payment received for what you do in your regular job. For example, the salary, commission, or profits earned while working in a 9-to-5 or some business setup. This income demands time, continuous effort, and the earnings are in direct proportion to your efforts and time. Undeniably, the active job is the mainstay of our income, yet there is something extra that needs to be done to create a stable income on the side.
Passive income is a regular flow of income that requires upfront time, effort, and money, which gets reduced later but the inflow of cash keeps coming. Side hustle ideas mean that you don’t have to be consistently active but still receive the income.
It can be money earned regularly with little or no effort, or income ideas still require some work. With the era of the Internet and social media, many ideas rose driven by passion and leveraging innate talent and skills.
By now, we understand a bit what this “hustle” thing is. To help guide you to choose one, Fujn team researched a list of ideas and selected some good ones:
1. Drop-ship as a side activity
Drop-shipping makes it possible to launch an eCommerce store without having to invest a lot in inventory upfront. You don’t have to purchase a product unless you’ve already sold it and have been paid by the customer. While there is some amount of work required in the beginning, you can make your processes fully automated, by working through a platform like Shopify, Etsy, Wix, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, PinnacleCart, and Shift4Shop.
Pros — Less capital is required
Cons — Initial work is required like setting up the store and advertising campaigns.
2. Do Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another item that can be added to the side hustle ideas. It’s simply getting a commission by recommending other people’s products and services, through display ads such as banners, links, and content.
This way affiliates can earn commissions equivalent to $10 to $300, or anywhere between 4% and 50% per paid referral. According to PayScale, the average annual affiliate marketing passive income is $51,217. The bottom 10% of affiliate marketers earns $37,000, and the top 10% earn $71,000.
While this is a popular source of income among influencers, bloggers, YouTubers, anyone can participate in affiliate marketing. Some of the well-known affiliate programs you can sign up to include Amazon Associates, Rakuten, Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Clickbank.
This can be considered as a passive income source because you simply have to share your unique link once, perhaps in your social media profile, and you can continue to earn commission every time someone signs up.
Pros: Affiliate marketing is scalable. The traffic and conversations are dependent on the quantity and quality of the blogs you create, as well as on your marketing and SEO skills. If you are bang on this, you can earn a significant income. Moreover, it has low startup costs compared to most business models, with not so pricey domain names.
Cons: It takes a lot of initial time and effort in building a website that generates decent monthly income. You will need to write well-researched long-form articles that answer real-world questions to provide a fair value to your audience. This can take a couple of months or even years. In all, you need a terrific website, sizeable traffic, and a great selection of products and services to promote.
3. Create an eCourse
What about leveraging your knowledge, packaging it in a course, and sharing it with the market. Yes, I am talking about creating an e-course and selling it online in case you have certain domain expertise and passion for teaching. These virtual courses are in demand these days.
There are various course hosting platforms that make it easy for you to sell your courses. Few of these platforms include Thinkific, Teachable, Kajabi, Podia Learn Dash, Udemy, and LearnWorlds. What is required is to wisely choose a topic you master, which may catch the attention and create a buzz. This income is passive in the sense that you create a course one time, but students pay for years as they access the course.
Pros: It’s a one-time effort that can generate a continuous flow of income, while you are literally sleeping!
Cons: In case of poor response, all the time and effort in creating that course can go in vain. To mitigate this risk, it is important to diligently analyze the content, marketing, and pricing of your course.
4. Create an eBook as a side gig
If you can write blog posts which interest your readers, then why not create your own digital book, and monetize it. What you need is to decide on a topic, type out the chapters, fill in each chapter and finish off the book. Then decide on a good title and convert your document in a PDF doc.
Now, you are ready to sell your eBook on your own website, social media pages, or on multiple platforms. The most essential part here is the active promotion and a growing reach to keep making sales. Some of the renowned publishers for eBooks include Amazon Kindle, PlayHip.com, Blurb, Lulu, Feiyr, Book Baby, E-junkie, Seiz, Google Play, Fiverr, etc.
Pros: If you have knowledge of a certain subject, ebook writing can be an enjoyable source of passive income. Plus, there is no hassle of printing an ebook.
Cons: It requires an initial effort and time in writing and proofreading. Moreover, you might need to invest in an affiliate program to promote your eBook. The standard commission for digital products is between 25% and 50%.
5. Sell digital products
Printables are popular and you can easily sell them from your website, social media pages, or other platforms. They are one-page printables that help the customers in a certain area of their life such as managing the closet, time management with kids, fitness training, diet plans, and so on.
They can be created on word, excel, PowerPoint, Canva, Adobe illustrator, PicMonkey. These are produced in the form of journal pages, cheat sheets, checklists. Once done, you can sell them on Etsy, Amazon, Pinterest, Instagram, and other platforms.
Pros: These printables are quick to produce, and the profit margin can be high.
Cons: If you fail to identify what is trending and can be easily sold, your efforts can go in vain.
6. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending
P2P lending is one of the most stable sources of earning passive income as a side hustle. All you need to do is to find a reliable P2P platform and loan your money to borrowers. LendingClub, Prosper, Upstart, Peerform are a few of the most popular lending platforms.
Pros: P2P lending returns can be significantly higher than CDs and bonds’ returns. They often provide returns anywhere between 5–12%
Cons: Since this personal loan is unsecured, there is a risk of money getting lost. This can be overcome by finding borrowers with top-tier credit ratings and diversifying the number of investments.
7. Invest in cryptocurrencies as a side hustle
One of the emerging and popular side hustle ideas is the investment in cryptocurrencies. Some people view cryptos as the latest fad and some view it as an extension of traditional investments.
It works like stocks. You buy a cryptocurrency and when its price appreciates, that’s passive income. Additionally, you may earn income by mining coins or staking cryptos, which means “locking” your coins on an exchange or wallet temporarily and earning income as a result.
Pros: You can diversify your investment into multiple cryptos. It is accessible and a few dollars can make you an investor. The return may be high for some coins. Volatility makes it lucrative for knowledgeable traders.
Cons: Since cryptos are very volatile, you might lose a big chunk of your investment. For mining, there is an upfront investment required to acquire the right mining hardware.
8. Dividend stocks as a side hustle idea
Dividends are a way to earn a consistent income stream on a regular basis. There is a possibility that certain stocks do not grow in price. However, they pay out a regular dividend. Older investors or retired people, often, prefer dividend stocks that are generally from well-established companies and the dividends complement their retirement income.
Pros: Earning dividends requires no active participation on the part of the shareholder; Ideal for retired investors or people with fluctuating income.
Cons: Taxes, for only qualified dividends as listed in box 1b on IRS, qualify for capital gains tax. Ordinary dividends are taxed at a regular income tax rate, which is higher than the capital gains tax. Stock prices might not increase much.
9. Invest in CDs
Another element to add to your side hustle ideas is the investment in Certificate of deposits, CDs. They are low-risk investment options and can make you earn higher interest compared to a traditional savings account. People having low-risk tolerance are the ideal candidates for this.
Pros: Offers the lowest risk to your capital so they are for risk-averse people
Cons: There is a penalty for early withdrawal, and it can wash your interest earnings. Moreover, there is a lock-in period, which makes you stick with a lower return in case the interest rate rises before your term ends.
10. Rent a Property as a side income idea
Out of the list of great side hustle ideas, this one is highly ancient and popular. As a beginner, it is generally recommended to opt for residential property rent out. Single-family homes or multi-units are relatively convenient to handle compared to commercial properties.
You can buy it with all cash or secure it through mortgage loans if your credit profile is good enough. Before you engage in a mortgage do a cost-benefit analysis between earning the rent and paying the mortgage with interest and find out whether it is worth it.
Pros: convenient and hassle-free option to consider in case you have a spare property available or idle cash seeking secure placement. Real estate almost always increases in price over time in addition to any rental income produced.
Cons: You need to choose the authentic builder, the right location, the optimal financial backing, and caring tenants. If any of them turns out bad, then it can put you through a hard time as well as potential loss of money. Further, there’s always the financial risk of not renting out the space while the mortgage gets due every month.
These are just a few accessible side hustle ideas but the list goes going from royalties/licensing income to stock photography, to starting a YouTube channel, to Airbnb hosting …etc. Our digital world offers tons of possibilities that might take off or fail but in the end, you win. When it does not work, look at these failures as learning lessons to push you further to achieve your economic independence. In short:
“the more you fail, the more you learn, and the more you increase your chances to achieve economic independence.” Fujn team