With rising inflation, global unrest, and a persistent pandemic, there are a lot of reasons to be worried about the future these days. You never know when the economy might collapse and you might struggle to survive.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to get your finances in order. You should have plenty of savings tucked away in case disaster strikes. And one of the easiest ways to do this is by starting a side hustle.
Side hustles allow you to make extra cash without quitting your day job. And many of them allow you to capitalize on your natural skills and interests.
So here are five side hustle ideas for 2022 that you can start today:
1. Become a real estate agent
Did you know that 22% of real estate agents work part-time? That’s because realtors work on a commission basis, so they can work as many or as few hours as they want.
Typically, real estate agents get 6% on every home sale. That’s 3% for the buyer agent and 3% for the seller agent. So on a $500,000 home purchase, you’ll make $15,000!
To get started, you’ll first need to take a real estate agent course, which you can do online through companies like RealEstateU for as little as $99. You’ll have to meet an hour requirement (usually 120 hours) set by the state, but if you work fast, you can be done in a few weeks.
Once you’ve completed the course, all you have to do is take the real estate agent exam and pay the exam and licensing fees, which range anywhere from $350 to $400. Then you’re a bona fide real estate agent ready to close your first deal!
2. Work as a virtual assistant (VA)
With so many businesses going online these days, there’s been a rise in demand for virtual assistants (VAs). These are freelancers that do remote administrative work.
Businesses like to outsource time-consuming tasks to VAs so they can focus their time on their core competencies. Common VA assignments include data entry, scheduling appointments, managing email, and other routine tasks.
Though you can find plenty of helpful information and courses on how to be a VA online, no formal training is required. Just start by offering your help with a simple task, earn positive recommendations, and gather more clients.
As a VA, you can discover new skills, set your own rates, work from home and at your own schedule, and grow your business as you go.
3. Sell digital products
If you want an easy way to start making some passive income, try selling digital products. These are non-physical assets that customers can download for a price. Some examples include graphic designs, fonts, ebooks, digital courses, workbooks, printables, templates, and even NFTs.
You could also create templates for things like resumes, Notion files, social media posts, or personal budgets. All you need is Excel or Google Sheets.
Some other software tools you could use include Canva for graphics and Teachable for digital courses.
Whatever digital product you make, you can then list it for sale on an online marketplace like Etsy or sell it on your own website with the help of a software integration like Gumroad.
A huge benefit of selling these types of digital products is that they never run out once you’ve made them. You’ll continue to generate income from the time you list them, so long as there is consumer interest.
4. Become a freelance writer
Have a knack for writing? Then you might consider giving freelance writing a shot. There are tons of different types of writing you could do. You could write blog articles, sales letters, ebooks, landing pages, marketing emails—and the list goes on.
The fact is that brands need to publish a lot of content to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced consumer society. So they’re always looking for top-notch writers to help them out.
Start by looking at online job boards like problogger.com or ndash.com. That will get your foot in the door. Then try to build your online reputation by creating a business website and getting on LinkedIn and pitching to brands. Eventually as you develop your writing business, you’ll want to find a niche in a particular industry, writing type, or client.
You might start off small by charging only $0.05 per word or $50 per project. But as you develop your skills and hone your craft, you can start charging more and more. The sky’s the limit.
And remember that the more your writing helps lead to more sales, the more businesses will be willing to pay you. That’s why copywriters like Stefan Georgi who write super effective sales letters are the highest paid in the industry.
5. Start a YouTube channel
YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users and over 120 million daily users. That’s a massive audience that anyone has the potential to get in front of for free.
Start a YouTube channel and make videos of product reviews, interviews, comedy skits, gaming streams, or any kind of tutorial—whether it’s on how to do your makeup or how to cook ethnic recipes.
Once you have 1,000 channel subscribers, you can join the YouTube Partner program, which lets you make money through ad revenue. Then you could be making $3-5 for every 1,000 video views. But that’s not the only way to monetize your YouTube channel.
You can also generate income through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, collaborations, and more. On YouTube, reach is currency. So the more you grow your audience, the higher your earning potential.
6. Rent out extra space in your house
Finally, if you have any extra space in your house (and you probably do), why not rent it out? You could list a spare bedroom on Airbnb and have guests stay with you for a night or two at a time. It’s a great way to meet new people from all over while making some extra cash on the side.
But if you’d rather not deal with people, you can also list any extra storage space you might have on an online P2P self-storage platform like Neighbor. They’ll let you list your basement, garage, or even a parking space for people to store their boxes, vehicles, and other stuff they don’t have room for.
Either way, you get to set your own rates and stop leasing whenever you want. So it’s an easy way to capitalize on some untapped value in your home.
Nobody is going to make you start a side hustle. You’ll need to find some inner motivation to get going. But the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
And with time, you’ll be able to pad your bank account with a sizable amount of cash to prepare for the worst and live your best life. There’s no better time to start than now.