You are currently viewing 5 profitable side businesses that can literally change your life

5 profitable side businesses that can literally change your life

A side business online can help you weather a financial storm or even change your life.

This year has been difficult, to put it mildly. If Covid has taught me anything about finances, it’s that a three- to six-month emergency fund, no matter how large, doesn’t always cut the mustard. Financial autonomy requires that we have multiple skills and income streams. And that brings me to the importance of side hustles.

Thirteen years ago, I started a personal finance blog. The goal was not to make money; it was more of a hobby. Over time, however, it turned into a side hustle and then a full-time business. What started as a simple blog allowed me to retire from practicing law in my 40s. This is one of the reasons why I think everyone should start a side hustle.

With that in mind, here are the 5 best side businesses for 2021. These are all online side businesses because they require very little investment and are lifestyle-friendly.

1. Start a YouTube channel

Forbes recently released the highest paid YouTubers of 2020. While the odds of making millions from YouTube are slim, countless people are making extra money making videos about everything from cats to painting. My channel, which talks about financial freedom, made about $250 last month. It’s not life changing per se, but I’m on my way.

You can start your own channel with nothing more than an iPhone. In my case, I invested money in a camera and lighting. Here is a list of the equipment I use:

  • Sony Alpha a6400 mirrorless camera
  • Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN lens
  • Elgato Keys
  • HEiL sound PR-40 dynamic studio microphone
  • Heil Sound PL-2T Aerial Broadcast Boom
  • Screen flow software

Buying it all at once would cost around $1,500. Again, however, none of this is necessary. If you have an iPhone, you can start a YouTube channel. A good example is Idaho Painter, which renamed its channel Paint Life TV. It started in 2011 with a very basic paint sprayer video. Today, his channel is a full-time business with over 300,000 subscribers.

Once you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, you can monetize your channel with Google Adsense. You can also earn money from relevant affiliate links that you place in your video descriptions.

2. Create a product website

The second step is to create a product website. Virtually all products sold today will pay bloggers a commission when the blogger’s website generates a sale. For example, a blogger can create an affiliate link to just about any product on Amazon. Send a visitor to Amazon through an affiliate link and you will earn a commission when they purchase the product.

Starting a website today is extremely easy. Most blogs and even many business websites run on WordPress. It’s free and very easy to set up.

A great example of a product website is Digital Photography School. The site reviews and ranks cameras and related photographic equipment. Although I call it a product website, it is much more than that. For example, they have created their own courses and e-books. There is also a ton of content on the site that explains how to use the equipment they review and how to become a better photographer.

With a product website, you can choose something you are passionate about. Everything from golf to mountaineering could be the subject of a profitable blog that educates and markets the relevant gear.

3. Publish an informative website

An informational website is similar to a product-focused site. The difference is that the purpose of an informational website is not to sell physical products. A good example of an informative website is the site I created in 2007, Dough Roller. (I sold the site in 2018.)

The site focuses on information to help people get the most out of their money. Content ranges from how to invest or improve your credit score, to online banks that pay the best rates. Similar to a product website, one can start an informational site on just about any topic. Some of the most lucrative topics, besides finances, include health, fitness, and productivity.

4. Book Review Website

The fifth online side business is what I will call a book review website. I’m really listing this one as a way to give you an idea of ​​all the different ways to make money online in a side hustle. A good example of this type of site is one called Brain Pickings.

Founded in 2006 by Maria Popova, she started what I’m sure is a full-time book reading business and sharing her ideas about those books on her blog. It is frankly unfair to call his site a “book review” website. The insights she draws about life and life are much deeper than just criticism. That said, she generates income from, among other things, donations and Amazon affiliate links to the books she talks about.

Brain Pickings is a great example of someone making a living doing what they love.

5. Sell your own product

The last step is to create and sell your own product. Many bloggers have made a fortune selling online courses and e-books that help people learn a new skill. A good friend of mine who runs the blog My Wife Quit Her Job is an example.

Several years ago, Steve and his wife started an online business selling linens. You can see it here. Following the success of this venture, Steve started his blog to teach others how they can start their own online product business. This second venture has been incredibly successful and it has helped countless people start their own stampede.

Final Thoughts

Whatever idea you pursue, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work. All of the ideas above can be successful, but you’ll need to learn a lot along the way. These are not get-rich-quick schemes. They are more like working harder than you can imagine, creating a steady stream of income, and achieving financial freedom over time.

The best time to start a secondary hustle was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. Be prepared to work hard with very little results at first. Keep it up, though, and over time, it could change your life.

Watch my video on side hustles where I discuss two additional strategies.

Leave a Reply