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3 original side hustle ideas

by Julie about a month ago in list

Online business ideas + resources without $$ upfront

3 original side hustle ideas
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Ah, 2020. The year we were all forced to stay stuck inside our homes, working away from our couches, beds, or impromptu desks. It was not as fun as it sounds, and many of us have realized that… Our regular 9-to-5 gig just isn’t enough to fulfill us.

If you are looking for ideas to start an online business without any significant investment upfront, here are some slightly more original ideas, in case you don’t feel like competing with thousands of other freelancers on popular platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.

Selling digital products on Etsy

Digital prints have its own category on Etsy
  • Upfront: $0.20 per posting
  • Commitment: Medium

Are you a Photoshop wizard? Me neither. Nowadays, with easy and free tools like Canva, creating digital products became very accessible and even fun to do.

Etsy is a global marketplace that brings together an awesome community of creators. A lot of customers are looking for printable digital products such as wall art, birthday cards, planners, and many other products that can be downloaded and printed in high quality at home or at their local shop.

While you don’t need to be an expert at Photoshop, you’ll need a good eye for visuals, some creative thinking and some research on the following:

  • High quality printing requirements (for instance, you’ll want to convert your files to 300 dpi).
  • Inspiration: You can look for inspiration on Pinterest and within Etsy itself, by typing some keywords into the search bar (e.g. ‘nature downloadable wall art’ > see what other suggestions might show up while typing it; play around with themes and words).
  • Use Google Trends to gain some insight on search volumes and potential trends; some SEO knowledge and social media promotion are a plus!
  • Canva do’s and don'ts: Make sure to read the site's guidelines for details. You can sell what you create on Canva, as long as it is original work. So steer clear from the templates!
  • There are many available tutorials on YouTube on how to create these types of products on Canva.

Low-content book publishing on Kindle Publishing Direct (KPD)

  • Upfront: $0
  • Commitment: Medium

If you are a fellow Vocal creator, you might also dream of the day when you’ll be able to publish your very own book. Well, with KPD, you can publish your own e-book or sell low-content books, which are printed and shipped by Amazon itself.

Selling stock photos

  • Upfront: $0*
  • Commitment: High

*You’ll need a good quality camera, which is very common in cell phones nowadays, hence the zero upfront.

If you are passionate about photography, put your hobby into action and start selling stock photos!

There are many websites out there and I’d highly recommend watching this video for an easy overview of some options: iStock, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Stocksy.

To sell your photos on stock websites, you’ll need to invest more significant time and effort into fine-tuning your photography skills and differentiating your photos from what’s already out there.

By alex bracken on Unsplash

While there are commission fees involved in the ideas above, the key here is that you don’t need to invest upfront in your online business. Once you get started and generate some passive income, you can refine your business from there.

If you are not sure what to do for your side business, you can just give one of these ideas a try. Even if you don’t get a ton of traction at the beginning, it is a step in the right direction. Each digital product can work for you as a passive income stream, with limitless copies and no additional overhead!

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