Have you ever looked at your bank account and wondered what you could do to bring in extra money each month? Do you sometimes wish that you had a productive hobby that also helps you achieve greater financial freedom? Are you feeling the itch of an entrepreneurial spirit that your professional role simple doesn’t let you scratch? I know that I have answered “Yes” to each of these questions. What answer did I find? There is no greater tool to give you flexible financial freedom than picking up side-hustles!
In this article, we will explore why digital side-hustles are the ultimate gig in today’s world, and what digital side-hustles you can start from your laptop today. Here we go!
But wait! If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out our article below to learn how to start taking control of your personal finances by budgeting:
Why Should You Choose Digital Side-Hustles?
When I was in my first year of college, I took a role that summer to work at a series of local concerts in town. By the time the tents were assembled and the stage was put together, I was tired and sweating. There is nothing wrong with good honest work, of course. It pays the bills and it builds character! Yet now I know that digital side-hustles are a much better way to make money on the side.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- They are flexible – With a laptop or smart phone, you can work from anywhere at any time!
- There are plenty of options – As we will explore in this article, digital side-hustles exist for all levels of experience and effort
- There can be little to no up-front investment required – Many digital side-hustles can be made successful on a budget of $0
Before we go through our list to help you pick the perfect side-hustle, let’s review one of the most common questions we all have when we look at any potential business venture: Just how much can I make?
How Much Money Can Digital Side-Hustles Produce?
If you’re reading this article, you have already pretty much decided that you want to add another revenue stream to your life. The only questions remaining are the ones that will help you decide just which side-hustle is right for you. It’s only natural to consider your potential income as a deciding factor! Let’s get straight to it: There is no limit to the amount of money you can make with digital side-hustles.
Now, before you think that this answer is a cop-out, I will do my best to explain why there is no limit, and instead show that the money you will make will depend on several specific variables. If you have taken any business courses or learned for yourself, many of these principles will not be a surprise.
Here are the key factors to earning money with your side-hustle:
- Need/Traffic – The good news? There is a niche for just about every topic! That being said, you will find it hard to make any money in your side-hustle without enough customers in need of your products or services
- Quality – Even in a niche market you will have competitors, so don’t discount the importance of producing quality results
- Time – I’m sure it’s no surprise that there is no such thing as a true “get rich quick” hustle, and the amount of time you choose to dedicate to it will certainly impact your earnings
- Expertise – You may not need to be an expert to be successful in every gig, but you wouldn’t create a finance blog without some background in finance would you? Consider your level of expertise in your chosen niche before diving in!
- Investment – While you don’t necessarily need to put up an investment in every side-hustle, we’ve all heard the saying about spending money to make money
Now that we’ve had an opportunity to review why digital side-hustles are so amazing and what factors will help determine how much money your own gig makes you, it’s time to get to the most interesting part of our article: The 6 digital side-hustles you can start from your laptop!
Side-Hustle 1: Start Investing
The first digital side-hustle that we will explore is learning to invest! Chances are you are already regularly contributing to a future retirement account (such as a 401(k) or Roth IRA), but there are ways to earn extra money by investing. Let’s look at how two digital platforms, Robinhood and Coinbase, are perfect for young professionals looking to get into investing.
What are Robinhood and Coinbase?
Robinhood is a commission-free investing platform, giving you access to buy and sell nearly all stocks and ETFs, as well as the ability to trade options. With no commission fees, you are able to make transactions without worrying about additional cost.
Coinbase, like Robinhood, is a digital platform for trading. However, Coinbase is strictly focused on buying and selling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin. If you are interested in this new and growing technology and investing opportunity, this is an extremely streamlined platform to begin!
Both Robinhood and Coinbase are excellent tools for those who are interested in learning about investing before graduating to a platform designed for more experienced traders (such as TD Ameritrade) that incur greater fees.
How can I make money on Robinhood and Coinbase?
Without getting into too much detail on the principles of investing, you have the opportunity to make money on Robinhood and Coinbase by seeing a return on your principal investments.
You should do your own research and consider a strategy to determine what plan is best suited for you. Maybe you buy shares in a company that you are passionate about with the expectation that the value of the shares will increase. Maybe you trade stock options for a company during the earnings season. Or, maybe you spend $25 each paycheck to buy more Bitcoin as you watch the price continually trend upwards.
Does using Robinhood and Coinbase require upfront investment?
Yes, using investing as a side-hustle will absolutely require upfront investment. However, you do not need to invest more than you feel comfortable with to get started, and you should never invest more money than you are prepared to lose!
Sure, maybe you are not ready to buy 10 shares of Amazon in your first month, but there are absolutely ways to begin investing with a budget of $25 per month.
I’m ready to get started investing, now what?
Great! If investing is one of our side-hustles that you are ready to explore, you can get started by signing up today. Set up your account, deposit money, and start doing your research!
If you are truly serious about getting started on Robinhood and Coinbase, you can use the two promo links below to jump-start your investing:
Side-Hustle 2: Write Resumes and Cover Letters
The second of our digital side-hustles is perfect for young professionals who have just finished up polishing their writing skills in order to land their own jobs. Offer paid services to design and write clients’ resumes and cover letters!
What is a resume and cover letter writing service?
At its core, a resume and cover letter writing service is one of the many forms of freelance writing (spoiler alert: we will explore this side-hustle next). With this gig, you will seek to locate clients who are seeking professional support in updating an old portfolio or designing a new one. If you are attracted to the idea of performing freelance writing and satisfying the career needs of clients, this may be a great opportunity for you!
How can I make money with resume and cover letter writing services?
As a resume and cover letter writer, your income from this side-hustle will come from finding (and landing) clients who are interested in buying your services. While you may need to scope out the competition on your platform(s) and assess your own prices, most professional resume writing services can range from $20-$50, and can rise even higher depending on your experience and professional certifications.
Does a resume and cover letter writing side-hustle require upfront investment?
No! While you may need to take time to identify and reach out to potential clients, there is no financial investment required to get your resume and cover letter writing service off the ground.
I’m ready to get started writing resumes and cover letters, now what?
If you are ready to begin perusing this side-hustle, let’s look at the first steps you can take in order to start making money!
- Decide on your services – Will you edit clients’ existing resumes? Do you have custom templates to offer? How will you scale your pricing?
- Identify potential clients – You do not necessarily need to commit to a specific platform when you are starting out! Consider reaching out to peers, colleagues, or even a student-run Facebook page for your university
- Join a professional platform – As we will discuss later, websites like Fiverr are a great way to formalize your services and reach potential clients
Side-Hustle 3: Begin Freelance Writing
If our last side-hustle was not a perfect match for you, fear not. There is more than one way to make money by writing for clients. The third of our six side-hustles is beginning your freelance writing career!
What is freelance writing?
In its most basic form, freelance writing encompasses any form of paid writing service performed on behalf of a client. This could range from writing articles and blog posts to helping students complete essays and term papers. A good freelance writer is prepared to provide clients with the product they need!
How can I make money by freelance writing?
Very similar to resume and cover letter writing services, your income from freelance writing will come from completing work for clients. The rates you are able to charge will depend on what clients are willing to pay, along with your own experiences and credentials. That being said, I have seen rates on most freelance writing sites average between $10-15 per page.
Does freelance writing require upfront investment?
No it does not! You can start your freelance writing career with a laptop and some determination today.
I’m ready to start freelance writing, now what?
Fantastic! One of the biggest challenges of launching your freelancing career can be finding clients. Below, you will find two excellent platforms through which you can create a profile and identify clients:
Side-Hustle 4: Sell Digital Services on Fiverr
In the Digital Age, prospective clients are in the market for more than simple freelance writing services. Sure, resumes and cover letters and blog content are still in demand. However, there are so many more technical competencies that are sought after: Website design, SEO optimization and web traffic, and much more. If you are so technically inclined, you can market these services (along with many others) on Fiverr!
What is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a digital platform in which entrepreneurs and freelancers can design and post “gigs” of many different categories. Clients browsing Fiverr for prospective service providers can view your prices, delivery details, and more. Per the terms and conditions, all communications are designed to take place through the Fiverr messaging service. This makes it easy to respond to inquiries by potential clients.
How can I make money on Fiverr?
As with our freelance writing services, your payments will be made by clients through the official Fiverr service once your gig is successfully delivered. You should note that Fiverr does take 20% of your listing price as a fee, but the remainder is able to be paid out to you through wire transfer or PayPal.
Does selling on Fiverr require upfront investment?
There is no upfront investment required! You can create your account and begin posting your gigs immediately.
I am ready to start selling on Fiverr, now what?
Fortunately, setting up your gigs on Fiverr is a very streamlined and guided process! The first step will be to head over to their official website using the following link and completing the account creation process:
Side-Hustle 5: Sell Creative Products on Etsy
Maybe the first set of side-hustles were a bit too dry or technical for your linking. That’s okay! Our fifth idea to bring in extra money falls entirely on the creative side. You can make real money by selling creative products on Etsy.
What is Esty?
In case you aren’t already familiar, Etsy is a digital platform where sellers can list an almost limitless range of creative products. These products can be both digital and physical, and can range from custom calendar and template files to physical signs and decor for the home. As long as you have an imagination, you can use it to create creative products for an active market!
How can I make money selling on Etsy?
Once you’ve created your listings, you will receive money for each sale made to a client. You should note that Etsy takes a 20% commission from each sale, so anticipate this fee when setting your prices.
Does selling on Etsy require upfront investment?
Unlike many other digital marketplace platforms, Etsy does charge $0.20 for each listing made. While this fee may be relatively insignificant, it will become more relevant if you plan to make a significant number of listings in the early days of your Etsy selling.
I’m ready to start selling on Etsy, now what?
If you are ready to take the plunge and begin developing and offering your products on Etsy, there is no better way to start than following the link below to create your account. Once created, you will follow a guided process to creating your first listing:
Side-Hustle 6: Create a Tutoring Service
Time for a personal story: This may be the final side-hustle we are exploring, but tutoring was the first side-hustle that I ever undertook. In my junior year of high school I worked as a group tutor at an after-school program, and soon found myself with two 1:1 clients who I met with at the local library once a week. Sure, it was only $15/hour for 10 hours a week at most, but it was my first real gig. Nowadays, you can start your own digital tutoring service!
What is a digital tutoring service?
A digital tutoring service is any service you provide to clients in which you are sharing your own knowledge on a specific subject in order to help your client learn. This could easily range from math, to history, to English, to foreign languages. So long as there is a demand for certain subjects, you are bound to find clients willing to pay for ad-hoc or regular sessions.
How can I make money tutoring?
Making money as a tutor is simple! You will charge a stated hourly rate and be paid for your services. Of course, you will need to locate your own clients and charge a rate deemed fair by the market, but this is the case for nearly every service.
Personally, I have never seen a tutoring rate offered lower than $15/hour, and I personally know professional tutors who charge up to $75/hour in high-demand subjects that they are well versed in. Your earnings potentials here are significant.
Does tutoring require upfront investment?
Tutoring is one of the many side-hustles that requires no financial investment in order to get started! This makes it an excellent choice if you are looking to begin a gig at zero cost.
I’m ready to start offering tutoring services, now what?
Okay, I am only going slightly against the purpose of this article here but I cannot ignore a key target market. Your potential tutoring clients can come from several online sources, but your key customers may be living in your own town or city. Here are a few sources of clients to begin persuing:
- Reach out to former teachers or guidance counselors – You never know what positions or gigs may be available for a high school alum and college graduate (and this his how I got my start during high school)
- Post on local Facebook groups – Plenty of parents are willing to pay for regular tutoring sessions for their children, and advertising your services on local Facebook services makes great use of a public forum
- Sign-up for an online tutoring service – If locating local clients proves too difficult, there are plenty of online platforms that you an apply to in order to become a tutor. Check out this service below:
There was a lot of information to digest in this article, but hopefully by now you are feeling inspired and empowered to seize on one of the many opportunities to begin a digital side-hustle and start realizing your financial goals today!
Remember that there is no such thing as a “get rich quick scheme”, and that turning any side-hustle idea into a money-making reality requires careful research and continuous hard work. Yet with these factors and a bit of luck you can find success!
Do you have side-hustle ideas of your own that you’d like to share? Have you heard success stories from other young entrepreneurs that have influenced you? Please discuss in the comments below!