In 2018, I began experimenting with extra hustling to pay off $40,000 in credit card and student loan debt.
Today I have achieved this goal and more. In 2021, I built enough income to quit my $98,500/year job and work on my business full-time.
At 28, I am my own boss and work less than four hours a day. Last year I made over $189,000 from seven income streams.
My biggest streams involve teaching people how to start profitable businesses: I post educational content on YouTube, mentor people on Patreon, and sell business consulting services on Fiverr.
Here are three side hustles you can start today for $50 or less.
1. Freelance Skills on Fiverr.
Initial costs: $0
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services. Common jobs include graphic design, writing and translation, as well as digital marketing.
I created my first business consulting list in 2021. I had a lot of success selling products on Amazon and wanted to share my knowledge of e-commerce.
I charge between $60 and $350 to do product research. Someone would tell me what they were interested in selling, and I would find specific products in that category that were in high demand and with little competition.
I then compiled a research report that included information about the product, where it was manufactured, a cost estimate, and a profit analysis. I sometimes consult with clients on how to list a product on Amazon. The first year I made $29,000 in profit.
Fiverr is free to join and you will only be charged when you complete an order. The platform pays 20% of your earnings.
Some other free freelance platforms to consider: UpWork, 99designs, and Guru.
2. Use Patreon to benefit your audience.
Initial costs: $50
Patreon allows you to create and sell memberships, giving you exclusive access to your work. I signed up in 2020 to teach people how to set up an Amazon store.
Every month subscribers pay a fee to contact me directly and learn about the best selling products in different categories. Last year I made $33,114 through Patreon.
Signing up to create content on Patreon is free. You only pay to use the service when subscribers pay to join your group. Patreon charges between 5% and 12% of your monthly revenue, depending on how many features and tools you need.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide on a membership product or service. You can list all the skills and experience you have. Look for Patreon creators working in your area of interest to see what’s selling and where you have the most opportunities.
- Conduct competitive market research. Once you’ve decided on a niche, review the pages of similar content creators to determine a fair monthly fee to charge subscribers and what features you’ll be offering.
- Create a welcome video. Place it on your page to provide information about your services to potential subscribers. You don’t need to invest in video editing software—iMovie or DaVinci are free and easy to use.
- Install a Google Ads campaign. This will help you target people who are looking for your product or service. I only spent $50 on my ad campaign.
- Interact with your subscribers regularly. Listen to their feedback to find out what features to add to your page. Word of mouth is essential to Patreon’s business development.
3. Rent your car at Turo.
Initial costs: Different
Own car? Turo, a peer-to-peer car sharing platform that lets you rent out your vehicle, is a great way to earn extra income.
In 2019 I purchased a $22,000 Polaris Slingshot with a $2,000 down payment. I saw people in my market renting out their Slingshots for $150 a day, and since my monthly payment was about $400 (including insurance), I had to rent my car at least three days a month to break even.
In 2020, I earned $5,717 in gross profit.
Signing up to Turo is free, but startup costs will vary depending on your vehicle situation. Here are three tips to help you maximize your profits:
- Make your listing stand out with eye-catching photos. To help my post stand out, I took photos of my Slingshot in front of graffiti artwork and local tourist attractions.
- Install a lock to save time and offer more flexibility. I put one on the side of my house so the tenants can get the keys when I’m not around. I always ask for a photo of the customer’s ID to make sure it matches the information in their Turo account. I will then send instructions on how to register.
- Rent vehicles that provide the highest return. Turo has data on average annual income for different types of cars and markets. For example, you can make more money leasing a Toyota Prius than a Land Rover Range Rover.
Josh Ellwood is the founder Debt to dollars. Follow him further Instagram and YouTube.