Fast forward to the age of the millennial and the uncertain economic situation. Now, side hustles mean a lot of people are leveraging their skills as part of the gig economy.
These hobbies often start as a labor of love, something you’re passionate or enthusiastic about. But they often lead to friends or family paying you for your time and effort. This starts a domino effect. Eventually you’ve got their friends and their family members then asking for your services! At this point, your hobby has escalated into a profitable, fulfulling side hustle.
Bringing in some extra pocket money is all well and good, but what if you could turn your hobby into a genuine, full-time source of income? What if you could work from home, manage your own hours, and be your own boss?
Here are five side hustles you can easily turn into a career…
1. Graphic Designer
If you fancy yourself as a budding artist and know your way around software such as PhotoShop, Illustrator, and InDesign then you can start offering your services as a professional design guru. Starting small with friends and family requests works great, especially if anyone in your immediate circle owns their own business. After that, you can start looking at places such as Fiverr and PeoplePerHour to get some more freelance work under your belt.
The next step on your road to becoming a full-time designer is to start scaling up your operation. Print out some flyers with your social media details, email address, and phone number on and go around all of the local businesses near you and hand the flyer in face to face to the shop owner or manager. Takeaways always need flyers, logos, and menus designed. That hip organic vegan shop will need web design, product design, and social media artwork for promotions. There’s a wealth of opportunities around, just look at what’s near you locally first and build up a portfolio before tackling national/international clients.
2. Videographer / Photographer
Let’s face it, we all love a good video or photo from a big occasion, but sometimes the ones we take on our smartphones don’t quite match up to what we had in mind. If you’re handy with a DSLR or video camera, then you could be making some money using those skills as a side-hustle.
To scale up your side-hustle, consider offering evening or weekend sessions where you can photograph families or offer portraits/headshots for actors, writers, business leaders and anyone else who needs high-quality, professional looking headshots. Create a website with a portfolio of your work, where your photos have been featured, and have a clear way to be contacted (email address or an online form usually works best) and you’re good to go!
Big occasions in people’s lives also result in a desire for videos. Wedding videographers are becoming more commonplace and believe it or not some people actually request that their loved one’s funerals are captured on film. Conversely, you might find opportunities as an editor working on footage that others have filmed. Find your niche and start from there.
Software development is arguably the most technically involved on this list but also the most lucrative in the long-term. Some side-hustles require you to have the equipment already at your disposal, all software development needs is your time. If you have experience in programming languages already you can jump straight to working on some open source projects on places such as GitHub to get some experience.
For those with less or zero experience, you’re in luck! Because of a well-documented digital skills gap, governments and private businesses are desperate to train up as many skilled tech workers as possible and there are now myriad places to learn for free or for a very low cost online. Codeacademy is a great starting point to understand the basics and create a handful of portfolio pieces, while places such as Udemy go into a little bit more detail and can get you up to working proficiency with a language or technology.
Once you have a portfolio and some open source credentials under your belt? You can start offering your services out in your spare time to clients on crowdsourcing websites such as Fiverr. Once you’re more confident in your own abilities, there are sites out there that will help you find jobs in some of the most popular languages. And after three or four years as a junior developer you could see your salary double.
4. Ebay Seller
As far as digital side-hustles go, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The basics involve using tools like Google Trends to monitor what people are searching for at which times and buying items in bulk from overseas from sites such as Alibaba.
Reports of how successful sellers are vary depending on who is talking (and who they’re talking to). But two to three hours a week could give you a return of $500 per month. This does require some initial investment to start off. After all, you have to purchase and ship the products to your location in the first place. But if you have the capital and want to invest, Ebay is a winner. The best part? This is one of the many available side hustles that can scale as much as you want.
5. Writer and Blogger
Have a way with words? Or have a particularly unique point of view? You can always forge a career as a freelance writer.
The popularity of blogging and the rise of online influencers means there is a market for contributors for reviews and previews. These side hustles can also include opinion pieces, and writing on behalf of clients.
Now, being a professional writer is a very proactive profession. The onus is on you to reach out to websites, newspapers, media outlets – anywhere that accepts freelance work. Pitch them your great ideas. Then prepare for rejection, especially at the start. But if you persevere, you can succeed.
If you want to look for freelance writing gigs, there are a few websites such as Freelancer, UpWork, and Pro Blogger and places like Craigslist and Gumtree can also be good places to look when you’re just starting out.
It can be scary when you’re starting out on your own. But know that everyone who has trodden this path has been where you are now. Don’t underestimate your own abilities. And don’t undervalue your work.
Go out there and turn one of these side hustles, or any one of a hundred more available to you, into a full-time career!
For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.