Why You Should Start a Side Hustle (And 9 Side Hustle Ideas)
Starting a side hustle is one of my top tips for reaching your financial goals more quickly.
When I was working at my government job, I realized it could take my entire lifetime to pay off my debt, buy a home, and save money for travel and other financial goals. Oh, and I somehow needed to save for retirement while doing all of that.
It just didn’t seem possible. At least, not until I started looking for other ways to make money.
I started by making a bit of extra money here and there from my blog. But I was able to use that to launch my freelance writing business, which ended up earning me far more money (and eventually became my full-time job).
Are you wondering whether a side hustle is right for you? In this article, I’m sharing a few reasons why you might want to start a side hustle, as well as a few side hustle ideas.
Why you should start a side hustle
YOU CAN DIVERSIFY YOUR INCOME
When I first started blogging, I gave no thought to the idea that I might be able to monetize my blog. In fact, I didn’t even know you could make money blogging.
But it didn’t take me long to realize that there are a lot of people online making a great income from their blog or online business. While it didn’t replace my full-time job, it was enough to diversify my income, so I had a bit more money coming in and from a couple of sources.
I was able to diversify my income even more when I was able to use my blog to launch my freelance writing business.
Regardless of whether you want to turn your side hustle into a full-time job, having an extra source of income is great. Whether you’re paying off debt, saving for a trip, or just trying to build up your savings account, the extra income always helps.
YOU’LL HAVE A CREATIVE OUTLET
When I first started blogging, this is exactly why I did it. I have always loved writing, and while I was doing a lot of writing in my full-time job, it didn’t leave a lot of room for creativity.
The content I share on my site has changed significantly from the beginning, but I still love that it’s my own space where I can write about whatever I want.
I will say that blogging is no longer quite as much of a stress relief as it was when I first started. In the beginning, it was just a hobby and was great for stress relief and just a way to focus on something fun.
Since I’ve started making an income from my blog, there are obviously additional stressors put on it. Nevertheless, I still get a lot of joy from it and love having it as a creative outlet. For example, unlike with my freelance writing clients, I have 100% creative control over what I publish on my own website.
YOU CAN MAKE A CAREER CHANGE
If you’re interested in switching career fields but don’t necessarily have the resume to get a job in the new field, starting a side hustle is a great way to do that.
I had only worked in one field since graduating college, and by starting a blog, I was able to gain experience in areas I would never have otherwise. I was able to use that experience to launch my freelance writing business, which is now my career.
I’ve seen plenty of other people who are either able to turn their side hustle into a full-time business or who are able to find a full-time job in the field of their side hustle, thanks to the experience they had gained.
YOU’LL LEARN NEW SKILLS
Even if you aren’t out to jump into a new career, you can still learn some awesome new skills from a side hustle! Before I started my blog, I had no idea of the skills and hard work that went into running a successful blog and online business.
When I started blogging, I decided I wanted to learn as much as I could about blogging, social media, SEO, etc., and really dove into educating myself. I’ve learned so many skills over the last few years that I would never have had the chance to learn otherwise.
Even if you aren’t planning on taking your side hustle full-time or switching to a new career field, these skills can be super useful in growing your side hustle and in other areas of your life and career as well. I definitely found some of the skills I’ve learned to be super useful in my former full-time state government job, even though it was a completely different industry.
YOU’LL MEET NEW PEOPLE
This one has come as a huge surprise to me, but definitely a pleasant one. When I first started my blog, it didn’t occur to me that I might be able to meet new people. I simply started it to have a creative outlet. However, I quickly learned that there are a ton of people online doing the same thing I am, and there are so many ways to connect with them.
One of my favorite ways to connect with other bloggers and side hustlers has been through Facebook groups. There are tons of Facebook groups specifically for people to ask questions (lots of technical questions about setting up and running a blog, as well as questions about growing your audience).
There are also groups solely for connecting with other online business owners. I have met some awesome people in these groups, and blogging definitely wouldn’t be the same without that online community of people who are going through all of the same struggles I am.
Another way to meet new people in your industry is to connect with them on social media. Often this just looks like sending an Instagram DM to someone doing something similar. Over time, you can grow those DMs into a real friendship.
Finally, there are probably in-person events in your industry where you can meet other people with a similar side hustle or interest. Not only are these conferences a great way to learn more to help grow your business, but you can also make friends in person.
YOU’LL BE PUSHED OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I’ve always been a fairly shy person, and to be completely honest, my comfort zone has always been pretty small. I definitely feel like that has caused me to miss out on some experiences over the years.
Since starting a blog, I’ve put myself out there in a way that I would never have otherwise and have had the opportunity to interact with people who I wouldn’t have otherwise.
If you’re someone who has a small comfort zone as I did for most of my life, a side hustle might be an awesome opportunity for you to challenge yourself and come out of your shell a bit.
Side Hustle Ideas
- Start a Blog – This is definitely #1 for me! I started my blog in 2014 and have loved it ever since. It’s a great way to make some extra money while also doing something super fun (if writing happens to be super fun for you). The best part is there are so many different ways to make money from a blog!
- Open an Online Shop – Are you really crafty at something? Start selling your goods online! You can set up a shop on a site like Etsy, or set up your own site altogether.
- Become a Freelancer – Whatever your skill is, freelance it! There are tons of sites these days that connect freelancers with work opportunities.
- Sell Digital Products – It’s super easy to create and sell digital products these days. There are tons of options from online courses to eBooks to printables.
- Teach a Skill – If you have an awesome skill, chances are someone else is willing to pay you to teach it to them. Whether you play a musical instrument or are an awesome chef, I guarantee there’s a way to make money teaching someone else your skill.
- Become a Dog Walker/Sitter – If you love animals, this can be a fun way to make a bit of extra money while also doing something super fun!
- Drive for Uber/Lyft – I know quite a few people who have become an Uber driver in addition to their full-time job.
- Take Online Surveys – Online surveys won’t make you a ton of money, but a little extra here and there!
- Get a Part-Time Job – If you want to make a bit of extra money but aren’t interested in doing anything entrepreneurial, look for a part-time job at a nearby business.
These are definitely some great reasons to start a side hustle, and the side hustle ideas I shared above are a great start if you’re looking to start one! I would LOVE for you to leave me a comment and let me know if you have a side hustle, and leave a link so we can check it out!