As inflation starts to rise faster than the average income; the prices of household necessities will begin to outstrip the rise in wages. That is when everyone will start to feel the pinch. Inevitably, we are left with two choices – cut down on our spending or increase our income. As we are a blog completely focussed on improving and diversifying income, the latter would be our recommendation and personal choice.
Even if you do currently have a high-paying job, if it is currently your only source of income, you are unfortunately just one step away from being unemployed. In an ideal situation, it would be good to have more than one source of income. This means that there will always be something to fall back on. Bonus if your additional income streams are forms of passive income, as it then would not take too much away from your day to day activities. However, if you’re new to all this, then the idea of a side hustle might be something that you need to consider.
Side hustles explained
Side hustles allow you have a secondary source of income with minimal effort. They usually offer flexibility and the ability to work on the side in addition to your current job. Side hustles are sometimes not only a great way of increasing and diversifying your income stream but many of them are also great ways to make your passions pay. They may very well be your chance to one day quit your day job and live the life of your dreams.
A side hustle is literally that, something that you work on ‘on the side’. You want to make sure that it will not interfere nor contradict with your day job – for example if you are by day a social media manager, your side hustle really ought to be something in a different industry altogether.
How many hours you choose to spend on your side hustle is entirely up to you. Some people are able to commit evenings and weekends, some prefer just a couple of hours a few times a week. At the end of the day, it is entirely up to you, how much you can and want to devote to building alternative income sources, which brings us to what the difference is between active and passive incomes.
Understanding Active and Passive Sources of Income
Active sources of income are where you actively exchange time for earn money. This could be your day job or anything where you are actively employed and draw a salary. Active sources of income need your regular involvement and presence. Regardless of whether you draw of high or mediocre salary, if you’re clocking in at 9-to-5 or even more, then you are involved in building income from an active source.
Passive income, on the other hand, is when you do not need to be actively present all the time to earn money. These are gigs that generate an income for you even when you are asleep. We previously wrote about what a passive income is in an earlier post.
Prime examples of these include advertisement revenues from a blog or website you own or YouTube content that you need to create once and then let the viewers do their job. More conventional examples are dividend income from investments in shares, mutual funds or bonds. This however requires you to make sizeable investments upfront and may take a bit of time before you get to see returns. In passive sources of income, you invest your money, time or effort for a fixed period and then let the respective markets do their job.
Your side hustle could be either an active or a passive source of income. Although time is limited for everyone each day, it is possible to have two or even three active sources of income but over time it will really take a toll on your body and mind. However, with passive income sources. Since you don’t need to get involved all the time, you can let your investment (in the form of content or money) do its job while you keep working on your day job.
The more lucrative side hustles.
Not all side hustles are created equal. Some are far more well paying that others. However with a side hustle, it is advisable that you choose something that you love. The reason is that you already spend at least a third of the day on something that is both physically and mentally draining – your day job. Doing something that you like, or that you are passionate about after a long day at work, will make it far easier for your to want to do it.
And if your side hustle revolves around your passion, you are more likely to feel inspired and would more actively pursue it without the drudgery associate with doing something you don’t like. You are also less likely to become bored and fed up and give up halfway. When we work on something thoroughly enjoy, that in itself becomes something of value. Money becomes the byproduct, and not the primary objective. After all, we would all want to just keep doing what we like, isn’t it?
Now that we have got you thinking, it’s time to look at what you might be able do for that extra cash. Hopefully there’s something for everyone on our list today.
1. Point and Shoot. Then Sell the Snaps
Everyone has a camera phone but not everyone can capture photos like a pro even with just a smartphone. If you enjoy taking pictures, are good at handling cameras and understand the dynamics of capturing photos that have the perfect blend of lighting, angles and details contributing to stock photo libraries could well be your next gig.
Let’s not waste any more time and head on to Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Alamy or any other reputed websites that pay you handsomely for your photos. Top contributors have made more than $500 million on Shutterstock.
However, before you start selling, make sure you check the pricing and rights handling policy of the respective websites. Alamy for example pays the contributors 50 per cent of each sale. Shutterstock always credits the contributors that in turn help them market their brand and protect their ownership.
2. Fast Fingers. Start Typing
If you have fast fingers on the keyboard and can type as you hear with minimal to no errors or typos, you could excel at Transcribing audio. Typing live audio such as lectures or speeches can get you rewarded handsomely. Head over to websites like TranscibeMe, and Speakwrite to sign up as a contributor. You can make at least $25 per hour transcribing audio. Top earners are making $3000 per month.
You can even combine your transcription and linguistic skills if you are well versed in languages like Spanish, German and other widely spoken languages. You can offer to translate and transcribe at the same time increasing your pay rate manifold. Live translations pay much more than offline or text translations. Unlike the snap selling hustle, this one is an active side job that needs your regular presence and effort but the pay is good.
3. Spread the Love. Start Blogging
If you have a penchant for helping people by writing instructions and manuals, it could well be time to put your skills to blogging. You can woo an audience with almost anything ranging from cooking guides to informational articles on gardening, you can allow Google to place advertisements on your blog and there is practically limitless income that can be generated. This passive source of income can potentially generate between $500-$2000 for starters and a lot more for seasoned writers.
You can create your websites and blogs and start working on them or you can contribute to other’s websites as a ghostwriter. However, as a ghostwriter, you won’t have ownership of the blog and would only be paid a fixed amount for your write-ups. You can also combine affiliate marketing skills along with blogging to improve your earning capacity from commissions.
4. One Extra Bedroom. Rent it Out
If you have a home with an additional room, you can list it on Airbnb and have guests come over to stay and pay you for your space. You don’t need to rent the whole apartment as even just an extra bedroom with a bed and shared facilities (bathroom and kitchen) will also do. You will need to specify details on the Airbnb listing and charge as per the quality of the room. Do not be tempted to over exaggerate on the space you have or the amenities you are able to offer. Accommodation sharing sites like AirBnb rely on word of mouth recommendations, ie reviews, left by people who have stayed there.
Small conveniences such as having tea and coffee available, or even leaving some fresh fruit out makes a lot of difference to someone who is travelling and missing the comforts of home. You can be as cordial as possible, but remember not everyone enjoys company. Be led by your guest. Many have turned this into full sale businesses, renting-in apartments and then renting out each of the rooms in those apartments for Airbnb.
Income depends on the location of your space and the facilities you provide in your listed space. Listings in the vicinity of airports or rail stations or in strategic locations that help travellers connect faster to their eventual destinations attract more customers and you can even charge a bit of premium for those listings. Same for rooms with air-conditioning, washing machine and internet connectivity. This is somewhat of a passive hustle if you can have the basics sorted and you could even get a caretaker to manage the daily demands of cleaning and change overs.
5. Enjoy being creative and love attention? Try YouTube, TikTok or Instagram
Needless to say, YouTube is one of the best social media platform for videos right now and there are millions of content creators creating content on almost every topic possible. If you are brimming with creative ideas, grab a camera, shoot your video and upload them on the video platform. Now comes the ‘views’ factor that generates the revenue for the creator. YouTube has a particular rate of payment depending on the number of views and amount of time a particular content is watched. YouTube shares ad revenue that it earns from the different advertisements that companies offer to place on popular videos.
The popularity is decided by the views the videos get. At times creators might be contacted by companies directly to promote their products and services. The potential for passive earning is unparalleled with YouTube but you do need to have a large following that you can only get by consistently posting videos initially on your channel on topics that people would love to watch. Your catchment area would be higher depending on the language you adopt to create videos on and choosing a content topic that more people would be able to relate to.
Similar content can be posted on other social media platforms such as Instagram which is primarily for sharing images and TikTok where short videos can be made. These platforms depend heavily on promotions and the creators call themselves influencers. Brands offer them money to promote their products and share revenue with the platforms. Content uploading is the best passive source of income right now that you can work on.
6. Plots Humming in Your Head? Write a Story
E-books are on trend right now and anyone can cash in on it. You can write books and sell them on various portals. Users would rate your story and based on the ratings you can even become a best seller. This is also a passive source of income where you can upload the books and go to sleep and then wake up to rejoice that 100 copies were sold last night.
While you might need to organise a book cover, edit your book, learn to format and upload your files at the end of the day, ebook sales are a form of passive income. All you need to do is pay some commission to the platform where you are selling and then the rest of the money is yours. The most popular self-publishing platform right now is of course Amazon’s KDP, however if you intend to distribute your e-book ‘wide’ – via Draft to Digital, Kobo, even Google Books or Apple Books, then be aware that KDP has strict policies about that.
7. Know it…Teach it
If you have experience or knowledge in a specific area, whether academic, hands-on, even just life experience that’s unique to you, it is something that you can capitalise on and create courses and content to teach and help others learn. Platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare provide tools, advice, even step-by-step support on how to create and launch your first online course.
Whether you’re an expert in finance or love drawing on Procreate, there’s no limit to what you can teach online now.
8. Enjoy making with your hands…Crafters rule!
If you’re a crafter at heart and your hands just need to keep busy, beyond creating and teaching a course to share you skill, you could also sell your hand made creations directly to a market that will love and value hand-made creations. While Etsy has for a long time been the go-to market place for independent makers, there’s now also Folksy, Amazon Handmade, even just listing on your FB page and profile.
While this is definitely not a passive form of income, if crafting and tinkering in your spare time is something you thoroughly enjoy, definitely look in to selling your creations. There is a growing recognition of the value of handmade, in hand crafted objects and artistry, Remember to not undersell yourself though. Charge what your work is really worth.
9. Love Drawing and Designing, Add your Designs to Products and earn
If you love to spend your time doodling and drawing and are particularly gifted in creating solid, attractive designs, look in to placing your designs on objects. These can range from greeting cards to throw pillows, even mugs and t-shirts. While the returns may be fairly small to begin with, with more objects and designs in your catalog and a definitive style, you can start to build a devoted following and audience.
In essence, you upload a design. Decide on the details of the product (colour, shape, size, paper quality etc) and then determine a selling price that will include a commission for your design. The main market players in the print-on-demand sphere are Zazzle, Redbubble, Cafe Press and Teespring.
10. Shares, Bonds, Traded and Mutual Funds. Trust the Market
If you do already have a nest egg built up, outside of your emergency fund. you can use it to build on your passive income by investing. To do that, you can buy shares in top companies or you can pay financial advisors to advise and invest your money for you in a range of different funds.
If you’re interested in actively trading whether it’s in the stock market, currency or fund trading, do make sure that you build up your knowledge base and understand the risk factors and your own risk profile too. If you’re more inclined towards a ‘set and forget’ type of investment and growth, then certainly look in to buying shares in high-value blue chip companies or spreading your risks via exchange traded or mutual funds. Find out about the different platforms and their different charges. All you need is due diligence and investments in companies that have a proven track record of growth or are showing extremely good signs of growth.
If the guru of investing, Warren Buffet himself is to be believed, and he hasn’t been wrong so far. You will never go wrong by investing your money long term. Over time the world and its economies are only going to increase in value. For regular income, you need to invest in companies that pay dividends but expect your capital growth to be less in comparison to companies that don’t pay dividends.
When the prices of goods start to inflate and income does not yet follow suit, you can either tighten your belts or increase your purse. While it would make sense to cut out the excessive spend – your daily morning Starbucks or the fancy bagel at lunch, the ultimate best way to overcome the pinch is to diversity and increase your income.
Side hustles may not bring returns immediately but over time and with consistent effort any one of the suggestions above will start to bring in some money. After all, what better use of your time is there – Instead of just veg-ing out in front of Netflix – get going on your side hustle. hustle until I read this. Saving in shares and mutual funds generates income and grow the invested money at the same time.