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10 Best Online Side-Hustle Business Ideas For 2024

by Denis K. | | 13 min read
best-online-side-hustle-ideas-2024

In 2024, the online world is buzzing with opportunities for anyone eager to boost their income without stepping out of their comfort zone. Whether you’re looking to earn a little extra on the side or eventually turn it into a full-time gig, starting an online side hustle is an excellent way to make that happen. 

The digital marketplace is vast and growing each day, filled with potential customers who shop with a few clicks and swipes. Imagine turning your after-work hours into a productive time where you not only earn extra money but also build a business that could one day become your main source of income. Sounds exciting, right?

Here, we’ll explore ten online business ideas that are perfect for beginners. Each one is a proven model that aligns with current trends and consumer behaviors. This is the opportunity you’ve been looking for to start selling and earning almost immediately without any extra hassle!

Dropshipping – a lucrative model for online entrepreneurs

Dropshipping is a popular ecommerce model known for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive option for new entrepreneurs. In this model, the seller (in this case you) takes orders but does not keep goods sold in stock. Instead, when a sale is made, the product is purchased from a supplier – and shipped directly to the customer. This method significantly simplifies the logistics of running an ecommerce business because it eliminates the need for inventory management, a major hurdle for many startups.

The robust growth of the dropshipping industry is a testament to its potential. From a valuation of $102.2 billion in 2022, the market is projected to soar to $557.9 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 28.8%. This explosive growth reflects the model’s increasing popularity and viability, offering substantial profitability for those who navigate it well.

How dropshipping works

  • #1. Set Up an Online Store: You create an ecommerce website where customers can browse and order products.
  • #2. Select a Supplier: You partner with suppliers who have the products you want to sell. These can be local or international.
  • #3. List Products: You list the available products on your website. When a customer places an order, you forward the order details to the supplier.
  • #4. Order Fulfillment: The supplier ships the product directly to the customer. You never handle the product yourself.
  • #5. Customer Service: You handle the customer interaction, marketing, and sales process, while the supplier focuses on stock and shipping logistics.

Advantages of dropshipping

  • Minimal initial investment: Dropshipping eliminates the need for significant upfront financial commitments. Unlike traditional retail, you don’t have to deal with the costs of inventory or leasing physical space. You only pay for products after your customers have purchased them, significantly reducing your initial financial risk and burden.
  • Ease of setup: Setting up a dropshipping business is straightforward, as it removes the need to handle physical products. This means no managing inventory, no warehouse costs, no packing and shipping orders, and no dealing with returns and inbound shipments.
  • Low costs: The operational costs of a dropshipping business are generally low since there’s no need to purchase or manage inventory or operate a physical storefront. Many dropshippers run their businesses effectively with just a laptop and minimal recurring software expenses.
  • Location independence: Dropshipping offers significant flexibility, allowing you to run your business from anywhere with an internet connection. Whether it’s from a beach in Bali, a café in Paris, or your living room, this model integrates seamlessly into your desired lifestyle.
  • Reduced risk: You avoid the risk associated with unsold inventory since you don’t purchase products until they are sold. This model significantly minimizes potential losses.
  • Flexibility and scalability: Dropshipping allows for easy adjustments to your product offerings based on consumer demand without substantial logistical changes. It supports scalable growth, letting you expand your business at your own pace.
  • Wide reach: The ability to sell and ship globally without geographical constraints significantly expands your market potential, opening up numerous sales opportunities.

Common challenges of dropshipping

  • Complex store setup: Creating a visually appealing and user-friendly online store can be daunting for beginners who are not tech-savvy.
  • Finding winning products: Identifying products that will sell well and attract a loyal customer base requires extensive market research and trend analysis.
  • Unreliable suppliers: Partnering with suppliers who fail to deliver quality products on time can harm your reputation and customer satisfaction.
  • Logistics and shipping: With unreliable suppliers, you might experience challenges in shipping and delivering your orders. Managing shipping logistics, can be complex and may lead to delays and increased costs.
  • Lack of support: New entrepreneurs often struggle due to insufficient guidance and support in navigating the challenges of starting and growing an online business.

Dropshipping is an excellent choice for those looking to start their entrepreneurial journey with a model that offers both flexibility and scalability.

While there are some downsides, the benefits far outweigh these challenges, making it a compelling option for many aspiring online business owners.

Print on demand (POD) allows you to create custom designs for products like apparel, mugs, and posters. When a customer makes a purchase, the item is printed and shipped by a third-party supplier.

Ideal for creative individuals who enjoy design and want to sell unique products without handling physical inventory.

Benefits:

  • No Inventory Needed: Avoid the costs and logistics of holding stock.
  • Creative Control: Design products that reflect your artistic vision.
  • Flexible Product Range: Easily expand or modify your product line.
  • Direct to Customer: No need for physical stores or additional distribution.
  • Customization Appeal: Attracts customers looking for personalized items.

Disadvantages:

  • Supplier Dependence: Limited control over printing and shipping quality.
  • Competition: High number of entrants in popular niches.
  • Lower Margins: Third-party printing costs can reduce profit margins.
  • Marketing Necessity: Requires strong promotional strategies to stand out.
  • Design Investment: Time and possibly money invested in creating designs.

Digital products and courses

This model involves creating and selling digital goods like eBooks, courses, or software. These products are sold online and can be delivered digitally to customers.

Suited for experts or skilled professionals in specific fields who can create informative and valuable content.

Benefits:

  • Scalability: Sell the same product repeatedly without additional costs.
  • High Profit Margins: No physical production or shipping costs.
  • Global Reach: Customers from anywhere can purchase your products.
  • Passive Income Potential: Earn money long after the initial product creation.
  • Flexible Working Hours: Work on your products at your own pace.

Disadvantages:

  • Content Creation Time: Significant upfront time investment required.
  • Market Saturation: Many markets have intense competition.
  • Technical Requirements: Need for a platform to host and sell products.
  • Customer Support: Providing support and updates for digital products.
  • Piracy Risks: Digital content can be susceptible to unauthorized sharing.

Affiliate Marketing

In affiliate marketing, you promote other companies’ products and earn a commission on sales made through your referral links.

Best for those with a strong online presence, such as bloggers, social media influencers, or website owners.

Benefits:

  • Low Start-Up Costs: Very little investment needed to get started.
  • No Inventory or Shipping: No need to handle products directly.
  • Work from Anywhere: Completely digital operation.
  • Wide Range of Products: Promote items that align with your audience.
  • Potential for Passive Income: Earn money as your content generates sales.

Disadvantages:

  • Dependence on External Platforms: Your success relies on affiliate networks and their terms.
  • Variable Income: Earnings can fluctuate based on traffic and conversion rates.
  • SEO and Content Marketing: Requires continual content creation and SEO to drive traffic.
  • Market Saturation: Highly competitive, especially in popular niches.
  • Brand Association Risks: Your reputation is tied to the products you promote.

Handmade Goods

This involves creating and selling unique, handmade products online through platforms like Etsy or your own website.

Crafty individuals who are skilled in areas such as jewelry making, pottery, knitting, or other crafts.

Benefits:

  • Personal Branding: Build a brand around unique creations.
  • Niche Market Appeal: Attract customers seeking handmade, bespoke items.
  • Creative Satisfaction: Fulfillment from making and selling your own creations.
  • Community Support: Often backed by a community valuing craftsmanship.
  • Direct Customer Interaction: Build relationships with your clientele.

Disadvantages:

  • Time-Intensive: Production and fulfillment can be time-consuming.
  • Limited Scaling: Each piece requires individual attention.
  • Material Costs: Upfront costs for materials can be high.
  • Market Fluctuations: Demand can vary widely with trends.
  • Customer Expectations: High expectations for quality and customization.

Live streaming

Live streaming involves broadcasting real-time video content to an audience over the internet. Streamers can share activities like gaming, cooking, or even workshops on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube Live, or Facebook Live.

Ideal for charismatic individuals who enjoy interacting with an audience and sharing their passion, whether it’s for entertainment, education, or lifestyle.

Benefits:

  • Engagement: Direct interaction with viewers enhances engagement and loyalty.
  • Monetization Options: Earn through ads, subscriptions, donations, and sponsorships.
  • Flexibility: Choose your streaming schedule and content type.
  • Wide Audience Reach: Potential to connect with viewers globally.
  • Community Building: Develop a community around shared interests and activities.

Disadvantages:

  • Inconsistent Income: Earnings can be unpredictable and vary month-to-month.
  • High Competition: Many people are vying for attention in popular streaming niches.
  • Technical Requirements: Need for good quality streaming equipment and stable internet.
  • Privacy Concerns: Live streaming can expose you to privacy risks.
  • Performance Pressure: Constant need to entertain and engage can be stressful.

Graphic design

As a freelance graphic designer, you create visual content for clients, ranging from logos and branding to advertisements and website graphics.

Suitable for those with a background in graphic design and a strong creative flair who can work across various digital platforms.

Benefits:

  • Creative Freedom: Work on a variety of projects and express your artistic vision.
  • High Demand: Consistent need for graphic design in digital marketing.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Work from home or as a digital nomad.
  • Diverse Clientele: Work with clients from different industries.
  • Skill Enhancement: Continuous opportunity to improve and expand your skills.

Disadvantages:

  • Client Dependence: Income and workflow can depend heavily on client demand.
  • Revisions and Feedback: Often extensive back-and-forth with clients on designs.
  • Competitive Field: High number of freelancers in the market.
  • Irregular Work Hours: Project deadlines may require working odd hours.
  • Software Costs: Professional design software can be expensive.

Blogging

Blogging involves writing regular articles or posts on a dedicated website about various topics of interest, aimed at attracting readers and generating revenue through ads and affiliate links.

Best for those who love writing and have a particular interest or expertise that can attract an audience.

Benefits:

  • Expression of Passion: Share knowledge and insights on subjects you care about.
  • Potential for Passive Income: Earn through ads and affiliate marketing.
  • Flexible Schedule: Write and publish on your own time.
  • Low Startup Costs: Basic costs may include hosting and domain registration.
  • SEO Opportunities: Grow organic search traffic over time.

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Growth: Building a readership can take time.
  • Content Demand: Constant need for new, engaging content.
  • SEO Competition: High competition for visibility in search engines.
  • Monetization Challenges: May take time to generate significant revenue.
  • Technical Maintenance: Managing a website requires some technical knowledge.

App development

App development involves creating software applications for mobile devices or web platforms. This can range from utility apps and games to complex business tools.

Suitable for individuals with programming and software development skills looking to create functional or entertaining apps for a wide audience.

Benefits:

  • High Demand: Continuous need for new and innovative apps.
  • Potential for Passive Income: Earn revenue through app sales, in-app purchases, or advertisements.
  • Creative and Technical Skill Use: Allows for both creative design and technical skills to come into play.
  • Global Market Access: Apps can reach a global audience.
  • Scalability: Successful apps can be scaled up with new features and markets.

Disadvantages:

  • Technical Complexity: Requires strong coding skills and understanding of platforms.
  • Upfront Time Investment: Significant amount of time needed for development.
  • Market Saturation: High competition in popular app categories.
  • Maintenance and Updates: Continuous need to update and improve the app.
  • User Acquisition Costs: Can be expensive to market and gain users.

YouTube channel

Starting a YouTube channel allows you to create video content on topics ranging from tutorials and reviews to entertainment and personal vlogs.

Best for those who are comfortable in front of a camera and have a unique perspective or expertise they wish to share.

Benefits:

  • Creative Expression: Showcase your talents or share knowledge.
  • Monetization Through Multiple Streams: Earn through ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and merchandise.
  • Wide Audience Reach: YouTube has a vast global audience.
  • Community Engagement: Build and interact with a community of followers.
  • Video Skills Development: Improve videography and editing skills over time.

Disadvantages:

  • High Content Creation Demand: Requires consistent production of high-quality content.
  • Slow Growth: Building a subscriber base can be slow and requires persistence.
  • Algorithm Dependency: Reliant on YouTube’s algorithms for video reach.
  • Equipment Investment: Initial investment in good recording and editing equipment.
  • Privacy Issues: Sharing personal life can lead to privacy concerns.

Start your dropshipping business effortlessly with Sellvia

Begin your journey as an ecommerce entrepreneur with Sellvia and experience the simplicity of starting your own business without any of the usual hassles. Sellvia offers a comprehensive solution that handles the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

How it works:

  1. Subscribe to Sellvia: Begin by clicking the “Get my store for free” button. Complete your order, which includes a subscription to Sellvia, starting with a free trial, so there’s no initial investment required.
  2. Customize Your Preferences: Fill out a brief survey to let us know your preferences. This information enables our experts to tailor a store that perfectly matches your vision.
  3. Receive Your Ready-Made Store: Our team will set up a high-quality, turnkey online store for you in just minutes, designed based on your specified preferences.
  4. Activate and Launch: Book a complimentary training session with our team to get your new website up and running. You’ll learn how to import products and start selling efficiently.

What you get:

  • Professionally-Made Online Store: Receive a store crafted by ecommerce experts, designed to operate almost on autopilot and optimized for profits. It’s user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners.
  • Reliable Supplier: With Sellvia, you don’t need to worry about product sourcing or fulfillment. Our efficient fulfillment centers ensure that orders are processed swiftly, typically between 1-3 business days.
  • Comprehensive Support: Encounter an issue? Our 24/7 support team is ready to assist. Plus, benefit from unlimited strategy sessions with our top-tier consulting team to ensure your store’s success.
  • Top-Quality Products: Sellvia’s catalog includes thousands of high-quality products, ensuring that your customers remain satisfied and loyal.

Try It Risk-Free: Sellvia offers a 14-day trial period, giving you the chance to explore and understand the workings of your online store filled with trending products. If for any reason you’re not satisfied, you can cancel at any time — but we believe you’ll want to stay once you see the benefits.

Additional benefits:

  • Launch Quickly: Choose from various professional, mobile-friendly store templates that include all necessary ecommerce features such as product galleries, checkout systems, and shopping carts.
  • Accept Payments Easily: Securely accept payments via all major methods and PayPal, ensuring a smooth checkout experience for your customers.
  • Easy Management: Effortlessly manage your store with tools that allow you to import products, set pricing, and handle re-orders from Sellvia at the most competitive prices.
  • Build Your Brand: Jumpstart your market presence with a custom logo, a niche-related domain, and all the essential branding tools provided by Sellvia.

Ready to take the plunge and start your ecommerce venture with zero startup costs and full support? Join Sellvia today and step into the world of online business with your own turnkey ecommerce store, ready to generate sales from day one.

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by Denis K.
Denis is a copywriter at Sellvia. Having graduated from the Faculty of International Business as a specialist in advertising, he explores the rapidly changing and evolving digital marketing industry and feels committed to sharing his findings with a wider reader’ audience.
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