17 Creative Side Business Ideas To Supplement Your Income

If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra income or leave your 9 to 5, starting a side business is a great option for you.

But sometimes we need someone to bounce ideas off of. So I did some research to find some awesome side business ideas that are easy to start and have the potential to grow into a full time income (if you want them to)!

Starting a business is no easy feat. It’s a journey that begins with research and a lot of trial an error until you get it right. The dream for a lot of us with an entrepreneurial spirit—is to one day be working for ourselves. We want to leave our job behind, and be the boss of our own time. Some people take an incredible leap of faith, quit their jobs with no reassurance and never look back.

Those people are my heroes.

For the vast majority of us, however, that is simply not an option. The security of a job with a consistent paycheck is not a luxury we can afford to let go of. I understand because that is my life. I started my videography company while I was working a full-time job.

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Side Business Ideas

The crazy thing is that we are not alone. In fact, more and more people are choosing to start their businesses while they are working a full-time job. Millennials are the fastest growing population delving into the side hustle nation.

But the downside to starting a side business while working is that we just don’t have a lot of time. Wherever we choose to put our efforts needs to give us results as quickly as possible. I don’t want to mislead you though, this post is not about quick fixes or get rich quick schemes. These side business ideas will require some work. But if you like them and stay consistent, they can grow into a nice side income or potentially replace your 9 to 5!

So let’s get right into it, here are 17 side business ideas!

1 – Sell Your Photography Online

If you have an eye for photography or are willing to learn, selling your work online can be a great side business. You can sell your photos as stock so that people can use it on their websites/ in online materials. Or you can open an online shop and sell them as prints. If you don’t want to deal with shipping or framing your work, some companies like redbubble will handle all of that for you. All you have to do is take the photos and list!

2 – Freelance Writing + Copy Writing

You don’t have to be an award-winning author to make freelance writing or copywriting your side hustle. You’ll just need a simple website or blog to show some of your previous writing work, and you can begin to pitch to prospective clients. There are many content mills that give freelance writers work like Fiverr and Upwork, but they don’t usually pay very well in the end. There are better job boards out there like problogger and I’ve even had some decent luck with craigslist (you’ve just got it vet them more carefully).  Linkedin and facebook groups are another good place to find prospective clients. The website Make A Living Writing has some great tips on how to get started in freelance writing. I especially like this post on how to get started now!

3 – Consulting

If you have a knowledge of something that companies need help with, you can go into consulting. This is where you help companies in any given area to achieve their goals. Whether that is to gain more social media followers, streamline their marketing efforts, or create a more seamless brand, companies and soloprenuers need specialists to help them in specific areas of their businesses. The easiest way to get started in consulting is to create a simple, clean website (if you don’t already have one) and start establishing yourself as an expert in the space that you hope to consult in.

For example, if you want to consult companies on their social media marketing strategy, start establishing yourself in that space by being active on social media, interacting with others in that field and creating content that shows social proof. Like blog posts or youtube videos (more on that later).

4 – Create Online Informational Products

You can put all of that beautiful knowledge in your brain into some sort of informational product to help others out! Even if you think you don’t know anything “informative” I bet you do! If you took a moment and thought about things that you like and things that you are good at, ideas will start to come to view. Informational products don’t always have to be e-books, they can be audio books,  short one page documents, or infographics.

5 – Create Online Courses

This is a money maker for a lot of business owners.  Creating an online course that delivers on its promises isn’t the easiest thing to do. But if you can figure out how to thoroughly explain something and put it into an online course it can become an extremely lucrative side business. There are a lot of places you can house your online course as well, from etsy to udemy to coursera.

6 – Create Printables

Printables have been smashing onto the scene lately and have become extremely popular. If you know how to make graphics, you can design some pretty cool printables and put them into your online shop.

7 – Design Logos / Website Templates

If you are more advanced at making graphics or are willing to learn, you can take your talents to the next level by designing logos and website templates. People will definitely pay for a well-executed logo, a lot of people do not have this talent themselves. Website templates may be a bit more challenging, but if you are willing to learn there is a vast market for them. You can make your own online shop or sell them through another service like creative market.

8 – Become a Virtual Assistant

A lot of business owners need a helping hand. As a virtual assistant, you will handle tasks like answering emails, phone calls, and other administrative work. More involved virtual assistants may help with social media posts, and even writing copy. People will pay consistently for this type of help because it gives them more time. They can focus on the things that matter most to them, and they will pay a pretty penny for this luxury!

9 – Sell Other Products (T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, Phone Cases, Other Materials)

If you are crafty or have an eye for design, you can sell other physical products. Of course, this will be a little more involved if you decide to store inventory, but if you build a brand with good products it can grow into a lucrative business. If you don’t want to house inventory, you can go through another service like redbubble that allows you to upload your designs and they handle the rest. That will be an easier way to get your work out there.

10 – Affiliate Marketing

If you have a blog, website or social media following you can start affiliate marketing.  You will recommend products to people. If they buy it through your link you get a percentage of that sale at no additional cost to the consumer! Most people do affiliate marketing through their blog, but if you don’t want to blog you can still be a part of affiliate marketing.

The only caveat is that some affiliate marketing programs require that you have a website, so if you set up a simple one, you can start! Then it’s just a matter of sharing your affiliate links through social media or entering them into your content as you are talking about it to make some sales. Don’t forget to disclose that it is an affiliate link!

11 – Social Media Influencer

If you are all about the digital space then there is some money to be made being a social media influencer. If you are able to build up a decent following, brands will eventually approach you to talk about their products/services. You can also pitch companies that may want to work with you. You can be paid based on your posts, or if you’re really a big shot they may ask you to star in their commercial or attend an event for them.

12 – Social Media Manager

A lot of companies will be happy to turn over their social media to someone else who can generate the desired results. Social media requires time, and time is just not something that business owners have a lot of! If you are good with social media, you can help other by managing theirs for them.

13 – Public Speaking

If you’re not shy (or even if you are), you can start public speaking on any subject you are passionate about. The best way to get started in this is to establish yourself as an expert in a field. Let it be known through your website and social media channels that you are available for speaking engagements.

14 – Online Coaching

You don’t have to be tied down to one geographical region. If you like working closely with other people to help them achieve their goals, you can become a coach! This can be broken down into a lifestyle coach or business coach, some people do both! You can do online coaching by skyping with people from around the globe as well as working with local people.

15 – Blogging

Blogging is still going strong in 2018, and it is an amazing way to make money if you are willing to put in the work. You’ll need to make sure your site is responsive and pleasing to the eye and you are ready to begin! You’ll need to make valuable content, and start driving traffic. You can get the word out by participating in facebook groups, twitter chats, guest posting and freelance writing.

Once you are able to build up a decent body of work, there are a ton of ways you can monetize. Whether that’s from ads, affiliate marketing, online courses, collaborations, sponsored posts, speaking engagements it is really limitless. Blogging can make all of that happen for you.

16 – Design or Write Greeting Cards

If you like to design and write, you can create greeting cards! You can design them, write them or both. American Greetings is a huge company, and they accept submissions for both. The website It takes two accepts artwork and there are many more. Or, if you want to forge the path on your own you can make them yourself and put them on your online store.

17 – Make Jewelry

If you are particularly crafty or are willing to learn and have a love for fashion you can make handmade jewelry. These can be sold on your online shop as well as small creative fairs in your city. You can get the word out by offering your own affiliate marketing system to give people who love your product incentive to talk about it! You can also offer referrals. People love fashion accessories and if you make something people like, this can be a great side hustle.

What Side Business Will You Start?

I hope these side business ideas get the wheels in your head turning! If you are committed, you can start making some extra income and potentially grow it into a full-time awesome business in no time!

Do you have a side hustle? What challenges if any have you faced with that? Let me know in the comments below!

Olivia J

Olivia J is a video producer, writer, and director specializing in corporate video, events, documentaries and film. To see some of her work visit oliviaj.me