7 Tips for a Successful Side Hustle

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Hey everyone! Today I’ve got an awesome guest post for you from Marc at Vital Dollar. In today’s economy, side hustling is more important than ever. Marc has been a full time internet marketer for a decade and knows a thing or two about how to hustle. Enjoy!

Side hustles can be a great way to increase your income… or they can be a distractionside hustle tips and a bad use of your time.

The difference really comes down to finding the side hustle opportunity that’s a good fit for your own personal (and family) situation. The right one can get you to your financial goals quicker, while the wrong one can take time away from your family, your full-time job, and not produce much money for your efforts.

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different side hustles. Some have been good, some have been duds. For the past 10 years I’ve been self-employed working from home in a business that started as a side hustle (blogging and internet marketing). I’ve also been able to turn a photography hobby into some money.

I’ve also had some side hustles that have turned out to be a waste of time. As I look back at the successes and failures I see some commonalities and trends. In this article I want to put that experience to work and share some tips that can help you to have success with your own side hustle.

1. Pick a Side Hustle That Interests You

If we’re talking about side hustles that implies that you have something else occupying most of your time. You could have a full-time job, or maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent with the responsibility of caring for your kids. Regardless, after taking care of your main responsibilities you’re probably tired.

I’ve found from personal experience that a side hustle needs to be at least somewhat enjoyable or I simply don’t have the willpower to consistently put in the time and effort. The time that you have available for a side hustle will be whatever is left in your schedule, and it’s hard to give up that free time for something that you don’t enjoy.

If you choose a side hustle that you enjoy, or at least something that you want to learn or improve on, the work can be a lot less draining. If you’re having fun you’ll want to do more of it, and you’ll be more likely to have success.

Want some ideas? Check out Mike’s post 51+ Fun Hobbies That Can Make You Money Today.

2. Be Realistic About How Much Time You Can Devote to a Side Hustle

Some side hustles require more time and effort than others. There are plenty of different side hustle possibilities, so be sure to choose one that is a good fit for your schedule.

Think about your day-to-day schedule and be realistic about how much time you will be able to dedicate to a side hustle, and how consistently.

If you start something and you’re not able to devote the time that is needed, you’d be better off doing something else instead.

3. Know Your Goals

Not everyone has the same goals with a side hustle. Maybe you just need to make an extra $200 per month to help out with the budget. Maybe you’re looking to make $1,000 a month that you can use to pay down debt or invest. Or maybe you’re interested in finding something that has the potential to turn into a full-time income so you could leave your job.

It’s important to think about your specific goals before you jump into anything, otherwise you could wind up pursuing something that really isn’t a good fit for your situation.

For example, if you only need to make $200 per month you might want to consider something simple like taking online surveys or performing tasks at Mechanical Turk.

If you’re looking for something with potential for bigger income you may want to consider a different side hustle that involves starting a business of some kind.

4. Focus Your Efforts

With so many different side hustles to choose from, it can be tempting to try several different things or to bounce from one thing to another.

My advice is to focus your effort on one thing until you’ve had some success with it. After you’ve had some success, if you want to add another side hustle you may be able to manage it better.

Focusing your efforts will almost always produce better results. Rather than trying to make a small amount of money with three different methods, focus on doing the best job you can with just one of them.

5. Consider How Soon You Need to Start Making Money

Some side hustles will allow you to start making money right away, and others may take some time before you see any real results. Think about your own situation and decide if you need to prioritize quick money, or if you are able and willing to wait for results.

Blogging is one of the most popular side hustles. It’s my favorite for several reasons, but to be honest, it’s not for everyone. Most bloggers need to put in several months of work before seeing any results. If you need to make money quickly there are other options that would be better for you (including freelance writing).

Side hustles like flipping items, transcription and other services allow you to start making money quickly.

6. Use Your Existing Skills

Think about the talents and experience that you already have. Is there any way for you to put that to good use? Most likely there is.

Skills like photography, writing, crafts, and baking can be great for helping you to make money on the side.

Have people ever told you that you have some talent or ability that you should do for a living? My wife has a friend that recently started buying old furniture, re-finishing it, and then selling it for a nice profit. She re-finished a few pieces for her home and other people really liked them, so she started selling them. So far she’s making over $30 per hour.

Also think about the things you do at your job (or past jobs). Are there ways you could use that experience to make money on the side. For example, if you have a background in human resources maybe you could start a business helping people with resume writing.

There are all kinds of possibilities here. And if you’re focusing on things that you already do well you may be able to make good money.

7. Consider Assets That You Could Put to Work

Do you have any assets that could help you with a side hustle? One of the obvious options is to rent out your stuff. Maybe you have a spare bedroom you could rent. My sister and brother-in-law have a farm and rent out a big garage to someone who needs a place to park an RV.

You could rent your car (Getaround), a truck (Fluid Market), a boat (GetMyBoat), or tools (Fat Lama).

Renting things isn’t the only possibility either. Maybe you have a truck that you could use for deliveries. If you have a pressure washer you could offer services for cleaning decks, sidewalks, and houses. If you have a snow blower you could clear driveways or sidewalks when it snows.

You get the idea.


A side hustle is a great way to make some extra money to help ends meet or to save and invest. There are a lot of possibilities, but you’ll need to put some thought into it and choose something that is a good fit for you. With the right side hustle you’ll be able to reach your goals and even a small amount of extra money can make a significant difference in the big picture.

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