8 1/2 years ago, my first child was born. We were in a new city, in a new state, and didn’t know anyone. We were broker than broke and only had one car, which my husband took to work for 12+ hours a day plus evening classes at the local community college. I didn’t have any friends, and it was winter, so walking everywhere was out of the question. Basically, I was locked in my tiny townhouse with a colicky baby and pretty much never saw daylight because it was dark before my husband got home with the car. I was depressed. I was lost. It was a really dark time in my life (in more ways than one).
One day, I broke down while visiting my aunt one day, and she said, “Angie! You need something that is yours and yours alone. Your husband has a career and is working on a new degree. He has something for him. He has goals he’s working towards. What are you working towards? Find something. Find a project that is all yours.”
I didn’t realize then just how much those words would move me, but they really did.
I started an Etsy shop selling baby hats, and while it was a fledgling little handmade business, it breathed new life into me.
Over the years, I’ve continued to work “side hustles” while raising my babies at home. Some have been crazy successful. Some have left me burned out and ready to quit. But, I’ve always had a project just for me, ever since that day.
For a few years now, one of the biggest topics that friends (and even aquaintences) seem to discuss with me is how to earn money from home. And why not, right? They see me doing it, and doing it successfully! The idea is fascinating these days, especially to moms with young kids at home. Working from home allows me the freedom that a lot of moms dream about! So, today, I thought I would share my favorite side hustle ideas for moms.
Why You Need a Side Hustle
A side hustle is a great way to boost your income outside of your normal 9-5 job. For us moms, that “job” may simply be raising our babies to be tomorrow’s adults, or it could be a job outside of the home. Either way, a side hustle is the perfect solution when you don’t have a lot of time, but want to make more money.
A side hustle is essentially “bonus money.” It’s money you can use to reach so many of your financial goals, like:
- paying down debt.
- buying a house.
- saving for a big purchase (vacation, car, etc).
Does that look like you at all? Because I think most Americans can always use more money. This is a great way to earn a little extra money on the side!
My Favorite Side Hustles
There are literally thousands of ideas for ways to make money on the side. Seriously. Just look on Pinterest and you’ll see hundreds of posts about this very same topic. (Some of which boast to be a list of 100+ ideas!) It can be overwhelming to weed through it all and find the legitimate and trustworthy ideas, so I thought I’d compile a list of side-hustles I know to be worth it. These are all things I’ve either done, or know someone personally that has!
1. Start a blog.
Of course this is my very first suggestion, because if you didn’t realize it already, I love my blog. Blogging can be a great way to earn some side income, but I want to offer a word of warning: It’s not fast money, and it’s certainly not easy. I’ve had to learn a lot to get to this point. I don’t think I would have made it this far if I didn’t have a true passion for writing and teaching others.
If you think a blog is right for you, you can check out my post on how to start a WordPress website. It’s written so it can be used to build a website or a blog, so that anyone can benefit from it! I also highly recommend the course Building a Framework by Abby Lawson. Her and her husband, Donnie, run an amazing blog over at Just a Girl and Her Blog, and they show you exactly how to build and grow a profitable blog. If I could only ever recommend one product to new bloggers, this course would be it!
2. Start a handmade business.
Another side hustle I’ve had great success with was building my handmade business. If you’re crafty or artistic, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to make money! I started my handmade business by listing some of my crocheted hats on Etsy and over the years, it blossomed into a thriving business. This is, again, not success that usually happens overnight, but you can see success from it. Some recommended reading if you’re interested in building a business includes:
I know. This isn’t even actually work, so it sounds ridiculous, right? But I really have earned money on Ebates! If you’re not familiar, this is a website that gives you cash back on purchases you make through their website. You can also earn money from referring friends (that’s my referral link, so if you use it, thank you for your support!). It’s easy money for anyone that does a lot of online shopping, so I couldn’t just leave it off.
4. Open an eBay store.
I haven’t personally opened a store on eBay, but my husband, Willie, has! And judging by how many times a night his phone dings, and the number of packages that go out every week, I’d say he’s seen some massive success. His store is centered around collectibles and has a total high end thrift store feel. You can check it out here!
I asked him what advice he would give to anyone hoping to open an eBay store, so that I could share at least one tip with you. His number one piece of advice to anyone just starting out was to take your time picking out items for resale. Not everything you find is gold, and if you buy everything without researching its value, you’ll waste a lot of money learning.
5. Join an MLM company.
I know, MLM’s get a bad name, and sometimes for a good reason! I was incredibly turned off by the idea of MLMs until recently. There are just some business practices I don’t agree with, and in general some really spammy people out there on social media.
The only thing I can say about that is, it doesn’t matter what your UpLine (the person directly above you) tells you to do. This is your business, and you can run it in any way you see fit. Yes, they have more experience, and probably some advice worth listening to. But, if something they’re telling you to do just doesn’t sit right with you, take it with a grain of salt and do your own thing. Play to your own strengths, and amazing things will happen!
So, how do you choose an MLM? I personally thing that if you’re going to be selling anything and recommending it to others, it should be a product you love and stand behind 100%. Nothing ruins trust faster than when people find out you’re recommending a product you don’t even use regularly. Once you’ve chosen a product, take a look at your company’s compensation plan and see how the people above you are doing. If you can’t find any actual income disclosure statements, I would personally look elsewhere.
6. Write a book.
This is a great way to build passive income. It’s a lot of work upfront, but once it’s published, you can continue making money over and over with very little work involved. I haven’t written a book (yet!) but this one I feel doesn’t need a real-life example. Every author in the world is proof that writing a book is a legitimate way to earn money. How much you earn will, of course, depend on the popularity of the book and the promotion that goes into it, so do your research on this one!
7. Become a vendor at markets and craft fairs.
This is another great option for anyone that works with their hands. If you’ve ever thought “I could make that,” when you’re at a craft fair, this is a good indication it’d be a good fit! Craft fairs, farmer’s markets, and vendor events are all a great way to earn a little extra money for makers. I know I personally can’t resist walking past a table of handmade soaps, pottery, or pretty plants. I used to love doing craft fairs on the weekends. That face-to-face feedback was so valuable, and I almost always left feeling pumped up.
If you’re looking for a weekend or evening option that still allows you to interact with people in person, you should definitely give it a shot! Check your local churches, farmer’s markets, and community groups to find out about local events in your area.
8. Create a digital product.
Like the idea of writing a book, digital products can add a lot of passive income. What’s even better is that the possibilities are almost limitless! Some of the options in this category are:
- writing an ebook
- creating a digital course
- writing patterns for a craft you’ve perfected (like mine right here!)
- selling tutorials
- creating printables
- selling stock photos for bloggers and business owners
This list isn’t even all-inclusive. It’s honestly just the ideas that came to me as I was writing! Think about what you are good at, put it together in a marketable form, find a platform to sell it, and start promoting!
Find more inspirational small business quotes here.
9. Become a Virtual Assistant.
With so many bloggers and online business owners now, the need for virtual assistants is steadily increasing. Virtual assistants are needed for things like social media marketing, group administration, email responses, and so much more. I haven’t personally hired a VA, or ever attempted to be one, so I don’t honestly know the details. I do, however, know that they’re everywhere and some of them are making really good money.
10. Freelance in your field.
Freelancing is another great side hustle for moms! Are you a writer? An expert at SEO? Maybe you used to work for an accountant and can help others with their taxes? There are so many opportunities for those looking for freelance work. This was my main side hustle a few years ago and I made really good money! A great place to start is on job boards such as Upwork, but you can also build up your own website and start advertising in appropriate facebook groups.
A word to beginners: Please make sure you know your worth when you start freelancing. So many big companies are out to take advantage of new workers and pay them pennies. That’s not only the best way to get burned out, it’s also unfair to other’s in your field. When you accept less than you’re worth, you drive down the market value of your work. That might not seem like a big deal when it’s your first job, but I promise you you’ll regret it later when you’re working 15 hours a day and barely getting by.
These are by far the best options I’ve found for making money at home.
Until I wrote this post, I didn’t even realize how many side hustles I’ve had in the past! Clearly, I love earning money from home, and I love exploring different ways to do so. If you’re looking for a side hustle to bring in some money for your family, these are all great options that really do work!
Which one is your favorite? Do you have any other ideas to add to this list?