15 Creative Business Ideas To Earn Money on the Side

Are you looking for creative business ideas? Check out these 15 options for building a nice side income.

Many types of business models exist that creatives can use to generate a side income from a passion or hobby. If you are a creative individual, you can make money designing, writing and crafting. And that’s only the start of it! These creative business ideas will help you find the right business to fit your passions and earn more on the side.

Choosing the Right Creative Business Ideas

Creative business ideas to earn money on the side

Before looking at small business ideas that work for creative people, you must ask yourself some questions. First, are you ready for the demands of owning your own business? Does entrepreneurship appeal to you?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are ready to explore your own business ideas further. Consider questions like:

  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • Do you have a creative know how you can put to work?
  • What product or service could you produce?
  • Is there a market for your creative idea?
  • What are your interests and passions, and are they marketable?
  • Could you write something people would want to buy, like an ebook or online course?

After answering these questions, you are ready to start looking more closely at creative business ideas that work well for new business owners.

15 Proven Creative Business Ideas

If you are ready to launch your startup, you need the right creative business idea before investing your time or money. Here are some great business ideas to consider exploring.

1. Freelance Writing

If you are a creative person who does well with words, you can create an entire business out of freelance writing. In today’s online business world, businesses need written content to appeal to search engines and boost their SEO. Freelancers who are skilled at copywriting can write that content for companies and help keep them relevant in the searches.

2. Blogging

Start a blog
Professional bloggers can start their own blogs and monetize them.

Professional blogging can bring in income in two ways. First, you have the option to blog for other companies. Blogs help companies with their search results and branding, and your writing skills can help them succeed.

Second, professional bloggers can start their own blogs and monetize them. You can promote products and earn through affiliate marketing, or you can add ads to your site to bring in income.

If you are interested in blogging professionally, take some time to get to know WordPress, as this is the most commonly used blogging platform. Medium is also beneficial to new bloggers.

Read our guide to blogging for writers.

3. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a business opportunity for the writing professional who has branding knowledge. Use your writing skill and branding knowledge to manage the social media posts and pages for companies, and you can build a lucrative side business.

It’s often a good side-hustle for copywriters as many executives and small business owners struggle to find time to write social media posts about their products and services.

Learn more about how to become a copywriter.

4. Graphic Design

If you have an eye for design, colors and images, consider a business in graphic design. Graphic designers help companies build websites, logos and even t-shirt designs to help with their branding goals. If you understand technology well and have artistic ability, combine those skills to launch a business in this niche.

5. Open a Dance Studio

If your creative outlet is dance, and you think you can teach others, then open a dance studio. There is a huge market for high-quality dance instruction you can tap.

Your dance studio can be a simple studio that teaches children basic dance steps, or a more involved studio that has competitive dance teams. Look at the market in your area to see what people want, and cater to those needs.

6. Sell Creations Online

Sell on Etsy
You can launch your own website with an online store and start working as an eCommerce professional.

If you create something that people want to buy, go online to sell it. Etsy is the most commonly used platform for hand-made creations, but you may also find a market through Amazon or eBay. If you get successful enough, you can even launch your own website with an online store and start working as an eCommerce professional.

7. Interior Design

Working as an interior designer is another popular outlet for creative-minded people. You can open a side business in interior design at a relatively low cost, or work full-time in this market to help homeowners and business owners design beautiful spaces.

8. Web Design

Creative individuals often have a good eye for design, and web design can be a lucrative business that puts that eye to work. Every new business needs a good website, so put your creative skill set to work to build them for others. Learning the basics of web design will also help you hone a personal brand.

Listen to our interview with Pamela Wilson about personal branding.

9. Teach Online Courses

Online education is trending right now, and you can capitalize on this by teaching online courses or filming tutorials to place on a monetized site like YouTube. Teachable is another platform you can use to sell your online courses to interested learners, and Udemy has a similar online video tutorial platform. To teach in real-time, look to a platform like Outschool. 

Read our Teachable review.

10. Open a Food Truck

Is your creativity in the food space instead of the online marketplace? Food trucks are increasingly popular, and they have a lower startup cost than other types of food businesses. Consider buying a truck and selling your food creations.

11. Create a Podcast

Start a podcast and monetize it through sponsorships and ads.

If there is a topic you are passionate about, chances are others are too. Start a podcast, monetize it through sponsorships and ads, and start earning money talking about what you love.

Check out our guide to the best writing podcasts.

12. Open an Online Store

Even if you don’t have a craft item to sell, you can start an online store and make a successful business out of it. You simply have to find a product you can buy at a low cost and sell it at a high cost. Sometimes you can structure this so that you don’t even have to have inventory, but rather work your business as a dropship service.

13. Design Applications

Applications for smartphones, tablets and even smartwatches are in high demand. If you have design skills, use them to help companies design applications, and build a business out of this demand.

14. Landscaping

If your design skills and passion are for outdoor areas, help homeowners and business owners by starting a landscaping business. You can sell your skills and spend time outdoors with this business model. However, be sure to plan for the higher startup costs for the tools you will need.

15. Write and Self-Publish Stories

Creative writing is a fun business idea if you like fiction and you’re prepared to publish your work. Write a story or a book, invest in editing and a good book cover. Hire a proofreader too. Then self-publish it.

Alternatively, if you’re short on funds or don’t want to invest months in writing a novel, try writing short stories. They’re quick and easy to write. You can submit them to writing contests of your choice.

Finding The Best Creative Business Ideas

In reality, just about any skills you have can give you a business opportunity, if you can find a way to market it. Whether you put your writing skills to use, start designing websites and graphics for people or make and sell crafts, you can put your creative talents to use to build a successful and lucrative business.

Want more? Check out our guide to the best side-hustle ideas for creatives.

FAQs About Creative Business Ideas

How can I know if my business idea is going to work?

Most businesses that do well start with a solid business plan. If you have a strong business plan and a marketable product or service, you have a high chance of success. Make sure the business plan includes plans for marketing.

Where can I find great business ideas?

Great business ideas often come from a person’s passions and skills. If you are passionate about something, and it is something people are willing to pay money for, then you can build a successful business.


  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.