9 Side Hustle Ideas for Creatives Who Want to Earn Thousands per Month

Side Hustle Ideas For Creatives - Main

Are you looking for profitable side hustle ideas? It’s not a good idea to depend on one income source. If you’re working a fulltime job, you could lose it and find yourself scrambling to pay the bills. 

That happened to me back in 2008 when I was a freelance journalist dependent on one client. It happened again in 2012 when a charity I was working for let me go.

Even if you don’t depend on your employer, profitable creatives avoid trading all their time for money. They create assets that help them focus on what they love making without worrying about paying the bills.

You can too.

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What Side Hustle Skills Should You Learn?

Several side hustle skills are important, including: 

  • Building and maintaining a website: Learn WordPress…
  • Outsourcing and collaboration: …or hire someone who knows WordPress.
  • Marketing: Combine marketing with writing, and you’ll be one step ahead of many creatives.
  • Copywriting: Write words that sell your services or products.
  • Validating business ideas: Avoid spending time or money creating products people don’t want.
  • Personal productivity: The responsibility to get stuff done lies with you.
  • Metrics and analytics: What gets measured gets managed.

You’ll need to become more comfortable asking hard, qualitative questions about your business or side hustle too, like: 

  • What should I do more or less of?
  • What’s working right now?
  • What’s not working?

You can start a side hustle relatively quickly, but scaling into a highly profitable business takes time. Don’t worry if you lack these skills today. Acquire them by doing. 

In this guide, I’ll cover nine types of easy side hustle ideas for introverts and creatives.

1. Writing On Medium

If you write nonfiction, Medium is the ideal place to start a side gig. Between 85 and 100 million members or readers interested in topics like entrepreneurship, writing, creativity, artificial intelligence, and personal development read Medium articles. 

Writing on Medium is a way of finding, refining and testing your writing in front of an audience without the technical parts of running a website. To get paid, join the Medium Partner Program.

Medium Partner Program members typically earn over a hundred dollars a month, minimum. Top Medium writers earn five figures a month. 

Pros:

  • No technical skills required
  • Many publications across many niches are looking for writers … like you
  • Easy to earn a few hundred dollars
  • A great way of building a writing portfolio for other side hustle ventures
  • Offers exposure

Cons:

  • Hard to earn more than a few hundred dollars
  • Pay is performance-based, i.e. trade time for money
  • Takes time to build a sizable following who will clap or engage with your work

Services to try:

If you want to sound like a top-level writer on Medium … you don’t need to try anything! Simply read a few great books about writing. 

If you still need help, invest in a premium grammar checker like Grammarly

It will help you find and fix errors in your writing and check for matters of style in a way that the traditional spelling or grammar checkers can’t.

Resources and further reading

Great Books to Read

Audible: Is It Worth It?

Earning potential

Three to five figures a month

Difficulty rating

1/5

2. Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a good side hustle idea because you can work on freelance articles and projects in the morning, evening or at the weekend. 

I’ve worked on and off as a freelance writer over the years writing for magazines, websites and more, recently Forbes.

I’d encourage picking one or two areas to specialise in. I usually write about creativity, leadership, and productivity. Business to business freelance copywriters are always in demand. They earn six figures a year easily, with the caveat that the subject matter is often bland.

This focus will help you build authority in a particular area and find more clients for your side gig. 

Pros:

  • Lots of freelance opportunities are available, as the internet thrives on content
  • Ideal for side-hustlers who prefer writing around work or at the weekend

Cons:

  • Assets don’t belong to you
  • Requires trading time for money

Services to try

If you want to become a freelance writer, consider trying FlexJobs, SolidGigs or Bonsai. All of these feature freelance writing jobs. Alternatively, sell freelance writing services on UpWork.

Resources and further reading

Flexjobs Review: Is It Worth It?

Earning potential

A freelance writer can easily earn an extra $500 each month without a lot of effort. A good writer could earn $3,000 – $5,000 per month.

Difficulty rating

2/5

3. Self-Publishing

I’ve always gotten a kick out of self-publishing. I love that authors today don’t have to ask for permission to press publish. It’s a great side-hustle-from-home idea. Within a few months, you can write, edit and sell a professional book that builds your name and authority as a writer.

Selling nonfiction books on Amazon is harder than genre fiction, but still, you can earn over a thousand dollars each month with some work. 

Pros

  • Represents an asset you own
  • Opens the door to other opportunities
  • Can become other assets e.g., a course, audiobook, workbook, etc.

Cons

  • Writing a book is hard and time-consuming
  • Selling books on Amazon requires learning how to run profitable ad campaigns

Services to try

It’s hard to self-publish a professional book without help. Try 99designs or Logomaker for a book cover. Use Reedsy to find an editor and proofreader.

Resources and further reading

How to Make an Audiobook and Self Publish on Audible Today

The Real Cost of Self-Publishing a Book: What New Writers Need to Know

How to Write a Book

The Art of Writing a Non-Fiction Book

Earning potential

Writing a book isn’t the fastest route to earning more money. My first book earned less than $100 per month. After I published four books, I broke $1,000 per month.

Difficulty rating

4/5

4. Creating an Online Course

If you’ve written a nonfiction book or have an email list of readers, consider creating an online course. It’s relatively easy to transform individual book chapters into lessons that solve problems for paying students. 

Although many popular online courses include videos and presentations, I’ve taken courses delivered over email or through audio.

Some writers feel like transforming their work into a course is derivative, but people like learning in different ways. Top creatives and authors currently teaching courses include James Patterson, David Mamet, Malcolm Gladwell, and Margaret Atwood.

Pros:

  • Profitable
  • Low barrier to entry
  • Faster than writing a book
  • An asset you can sell repeatedly, at scale

Cons:

  • Requires learning new skills like video creation and copywriting
  • Requires an audience
  • Often needs updates

Services to try

I create, host and sell my online courses using Teachable. That service is affordable. Teachable takes care of everything from managing the tax to some customer support.

Resources and further reading

Teachable Review: Is It Worth It?

Earning potential

Three-to-four figures per course or launch.

Difficulty rating

3/5

5. Starting a Newsletter

A newsletter is a great way to build a relationship directly with readers. I recently subscribed to several newsletters via Substack. Hamish McKenzie, Christopher Best, and Jairaj Sethi set up Substack in 2017. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company raised $15.3 million in funding this past July. 

You can create a free or paid newsletter about almost any topic.

I recently subscribed to the newsletter Flowstate for $39.99 annually. Each day they email music, tracks, and playlists that help cultivate a state of flow. Other Substack newsletters range between $5 and $15 a month. 

Attract several hundred paying subscribers, and your newsletter will become a profitable side hustle. Substack cites the example of a newsletter writer with 800 paying subscribers. If subscribers paid just $7 each month, the newsletter writer could earn $4,400 per month.

McKenzie told me, “If you can get 10,000 people to pay you money for a subscription newsletter, then you can not only support yourself, but you can get pretty wealthy.”

Substack isn’t a requirement for starting a newsletter. A good email service provider like ConvertKit can work too.

Pros:

  • Profitable
  • Perfect for writers
  • You own it

Cons:

  • Takes time to build a list of newsletter subscribers
  • Takes even more time to build a list of premium subscribers

Services to try

Substack or ConvertKit

Resources and further reading

How Newsletters Make Money for Writers with Hamish McKenzie of Substack

Is Starting a Newsletter Your Passport to Riches?

The Blank Page – my newsletter

Earning potential

Two-to-three figures per month, although those maths scale upwards if your newsletter takes off.

Difficulty rating

2/5

6. Producing and Selling an Audiobook

As good side hustle ideas go, selling audiobooks will help supplement your income. In 2019, audiobook sales increased by 43% in the United Kingdom alone.

I’ve produced and published several audiobooks over the past few years. I recorded one at home, and I hired narrators for others. 

It’s easier to narrate nonfiction than fiction, as no voices or accents are required. You’ll need a good microphone, a quiet room, and patience. Hire a producer who can prepare the audio files for services like ACX. 

If that sounds like too much work, outsource the creation of an audiobook via ACX; however, you’ll still need to review the audio and identify errors. 

Pros:

  • An asset you can sell over time
  • Can build your readership
  • Sells without ads

Cons:

  • Takes several months to turn a book into an audiobook
  • Requires a basic understanding of audio production
  • Return on Investment (ROI) is slow

Resources and further reading

How to Make and Record an Audiobook

Earning potential

Three figures per month. Again, more books equal more opportunities to find paying readers. 

Difficulty rating

3/5

7. Becoming an Affiliate Marketer

What products do you use, love or trust? Consider turning your answers into articles, guides, podcasts or videos. If you have a website or readers, you could write about these products and services and how you use them.

Many top influencers got their start through affiliate marketing. For example, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income earned five figures per month as an affiliate for web hosting company Bluehost and other services. 

On Become a Writer Today, I offer discounts for writing services I trust, like Grammarly, and I earn a commission if a reader signs up.

Pros:

  • Highly profitable
  • No customer support or service required
  • Product creation isn’t necessary
  • Proven business model

Cons:

  • Requires an audience
  • Time necessary to scale
  • Some sleazy affiliate programs
  • Competitive

Services to try

If you’re looking for products to promote, consider joining Amazon Associates, ShareASale, Rakuten Marketing, Impact Radius or Clickbank.

Affiliate marketers should also invest in email marketing software like ConvertKit. This type of software will help you follow up on informational articles with discounts and deals for your audience.

Resources and further reading

ConvertKit Review

How to Start a Blog

Earning potential

Four-to-five figures a month. Top affiliate marketers earn over seven figures a year.

Difficulty rating

4/5

8. Building an Authority or Niche Website

An authority website covers a broad topic like writing. For example, Become a Writer Today is an authority website that helps readers build authority and earn more money. 

I started a technology blog back in 2008 and gave up. I started another productivity blog back in 2013 and gave up on that one as well. 

I started Become a Writer Today in 2014, but it took another year before I earned an income from it and even longer to find an ideal audience.

A niche website covers a specific topic in detail. For example, Own The Yard reviews outdoor games, equipment, and tools. Niche site owners understand SEO deeply. 

They often sell these sites on Australian site Flippa or Empire Builders for four, or even five, figures. It’s a nice side-job-from-home idea, as niche sites don’t require a lot of work once they’ve attracted website traffic.

You can supplement earnings on an authority site via additional services like coaching, teaching, selling books and so on. A niche website typically monetises through ads and Amazon associates. It’s possible to combine elements of both sites.

Pros:

  • An asset you own and control
  • Niche sites can be sold for about 30 times their monthly earnings

Cons:

  • Takes time to build and scale
  • Requires large amounts of content 

Services to try

  • Siteground web-hosting
  • ConvertKit
  • Astra web themes
  • Ahrefs, which can help you grow traffic through SEO

Resources and further reading

How to Start a Blog

Earning potential

Four-to-five figures a month. If you attract more qualified web traffic, earnings from ads or Amazon associates will increase.

Difficulty rating

4/5 for a niche site

5/5 for an authority site

9. Building Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is more important than ever. It reflects what you say and how you say it. 

Mike Dillard, Ramit Sethi, and Marie Forleo are three examples of online influencers who get personal branding right. 

Mike Dillard’s homepage explains, 

“I help entrepreneurs start and grow the businesses of their dreams.” He even asks readers a series of questions like, “Do you struggle to make sales and get new customers?” and “Could you use a guide to show you the ropes?” These questions help readers establish if Dillard –– and his paid materials –– is for them.

On his site, Sethi promises to teach his followers to lead a rich life through entrepreneurship, finding a great job or changing their mindset. A while ago, I interviewed Sethi, and he told me:

“When it comes to starting an online business, there are so many things you could focus on –– a fancy-looking website, building Instagram followers, brainstorming the products you can sell, or the ultimate copy that can increase your conversion rate by 0.049% –– but all those don’t matter if no one is willing to pay you for your skills!”

Finally, Marie Forleo helps her followers become “the person you most want to be.” She targets mostly female entrepreneurs with videos on MarieTV.

You can monetise a personal brand by offering coaching, books, courses and more.

Pros:

  • Opens the door to opportunities like speaking, media interviews, sought-after jobs, etc.
  • Becomes a sustainable asset you can build over time

Cons:

  • Time-consuming
  • Hard to get right
  • Not profitable at first
  • Difficult to sell a personal brand

Resources and further reading

What Most Writers Get Wrong About Personal Branding

Services to try

Picking the Best Side Hustle for Creatives

You’re probably wondering what type of side hustle you should start to make money.

The simple fact is many lucrative side hustle ideas are available for introverts and creatives. 

Pick one that resonates with your area of expertise or interests. Set aside 5 or 10 hours a week to build, test and refine your side hustle idea.

Learning how to make money on the side isn’t something you can do alone. Take courses from others who’ve already achieved your goals. Study what works. Discard the rest.

Keep metrics to your side hustle in place so you can figure out what to spend more time on. When you start to earn a little money from it, invest that income back into the business so you can scale.

For example, you could improve your branding or hire a contractor who takes care of technical headaches. 

Ultimately, your side hustle could become a full-time gig or something you sell for profits. 

The choice is yours.

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2 thoughts on “9 Side Hustle Ideas for Creatives Who Want to Earn Thousands per Month”

  1. Although building an authority site takes time and money, it’s the one I would choose. In the long run, it would make the most money in my opinion.

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