How to Start a Side Hustle from Home

Katherine Boyarsky

Katherine Boyarsky | August 30, 2019

If you feel like many of your friends post online about their "remote side gig" or "online side hustle" and it's filling up your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, you aren't crazy. As of 2017, 36% of the U.S. workforce worked remotely doing freelance work and freelance work is growing 3x faster than traditional roles. Additionally, in 2017, "remote work/work from home" was the fourth most searched job-related query.

Remote work is a flexible option for those with busy lifestyles, working parents, those who travel frequently, and anyone looking to earn extra money on their own time. People who work remotely find that they are happier, more productive, and more satisfied in their jobs. We'll explore how to prepare to begin looking for online side hustles, what it means to start a business from home, how to start freelancing remotely, what passive income is, and where to find work.

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You can find remote gigs that offer positions for any number of hours per week. If you want to make the jump to monopolizing your free time on nights/weekends or whenever you're available for some extra work, here's what you'll need to do. Remote work is a great way to help with mortgage payments, student loans, buying a car, and more.


How to Start a Side Hustle

1. Evaluate your skills.

Are you a great illustrator? Super organized? Do you love personal shopping for others? There is a remote (online) side job for everyone. Start by writing down all the skills you have, even if they may not seem lucrative to you. If you're hesitant to start with a big project or are having trouble identifying your skills, try exploring a site like Fiverr to see what types of things people are looking for.


2. Decide what type of online side hustle you're looking for.

Remote freelance work ranges from projects like temporary assignments working for major companies, consulting work, solo creative endeavors like an Etsy shop, passive income opportunities like investing, to working for an agency that will procure assignments from you and take a cut of the profit. Consider the following when making this decision:


  • How much time do you have to find new work? Do you already have a full-time job and this would be on the side? Or are you looking for something to serve as an entrance to more permanent work in the future?
  • Do you have certifications or degrees in the field you're interested in, or would this be more of an exploration in trying to make money from a hobby?
  • Are you interested in a passive income side job or active income?
  • Are you starting a side hustle that's a business or freelancing with no set hours or obligations?
    • Freelancing offers more flexibility but has tighter timelines and less creative freedom. Starting your own business offers more autonomy and flexibility, but requires more work up front.

A big mistake that new "side hustlers" make is taking on more than they can handle. New projects (and extra cash) sound great when you agree to them, but when the deadline is approaching, you may realize you bit off more than you could chew. Make sure you have the time for whatever remote side hustle you choose and if things go well, it could become a full-time remote gig.


3. Choose a passive income side hustle or active income side hustle.

Passive income is a way to earn money from home without actively working (besides setting up your passive income source, that is.) This includes any way to make money from home that doesn't require significant time and effort. There are passive income opportunities for those with a large amount of savings and for those looking to earn a little extra money on the side.

Passive income includes things like:


  • Investing in the stock market or real estate
  • Starting a business or online shop
  • Renting a room or your home
  • Joining an affiliate or referral marketing program
  • Online surveys
  • Instagram influencer/content creator

Here's a list of passive income ideas to get you started. Think outside the box! Many YouTubers and bloggers write and create content for fun but are able to partner with advertisers or affiliate marketing programs to earn some cash on top of something they're already doing. Do you have any hobbies or interests that may lend themselves to an audience?


How to Start a Small Business at Home

Starting a business at home isn't as intimidating as it seems. Businesses can range from services you offer like personal styling, consulting, or custom artwork, to creating an ecommerce store. To start a business from home, you'll need a few important things outlined in this handy guide to starting a business.

What you'll need to start a business:


Make sure you have a business name and register your business with your state before you begin doing business. You'll need a tax ID and you may need a license depending on the type of business. Depending on the size and complexity of your business, it may be worth a consulting call with an accountant to confirm that you have everything set up properly to make money from home. Don't forget about the tax write offs when you work remotely!


Explore some of the options for freelancers looking to find work.

You can also use popular career websites like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn and include "remote" and "freelance" as search terms.


Make a portfolio or personal website for potential employers to quickly evaluate your skills.

In the freelance economy, there are a lot of people who have the same skills you may have. In order to make yourself stand out and quickly showcase your skills, create a simple, high-quality portfolio to show potential clients why they should choose you.

A portfolio typically consists of a resume or skills list, examples of your work, and how they can contact you. It can be formatted as a PDF hosted online, be a website, or an interactive site page. For the less creatively inclined, Wix (among other website hosting platforms) offers free online portfolio templates. For those with coding experience, here are some Bootstrap portfolio templates. Keep your portfolio up to date with new work and make sure to get clients' permission before sharing the projects you've done for them with others.

Get online and start working with new clients today! With the right resources, hustle, and motivation, anyone can make money online while working from home and make side income for a home renovation, vacation, student loans, or whatever you may be saving for.

Looking for more? Check out these remote jobs you can do from anywhere next.

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