In 2018, I started trying things on the side to pay off $40,000 of my debt on credit cards and student loans.
Today, I have achieved that goal – along with others. In 2021, I made enough money to quit my $98,500 a year engineering job and work on my business full time.
At the age of 28, I was my own boss and I worked less than four hours a day. Last year, I made over $189,000 from seven streams.
My big stream comes from teaching people how to start profitable side hustles: I post educational content on YouTube, guide people on Patreon, and sell business consulting services on Fiverr.
Here are three parts you can start today for $50 or less:
1. Freelance your skills on Fiverr.
Cost to get started: $0
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance work. Common tasks include graphic design, writing and translation, and digital marketing.
I created my first business checklist in 2021. I had a lot of success selling products on Amazon and wanted to share my knowledge on e-commerce.
I charge between $60 and $350 to do product reviews. Someone will tell me what they are interested in selling, and I will find different products and brands that are high in demand and low in competition.
Then I’ll put together a research report that includes a product description, where it will be manufactured, and a cost estimate and value analysis. Sometimes I go to clients on how to list products on Amazon. I made a profit of $29,000 in my first year.
Fiverr is free to join, and you only get paid when you complete an order. The platform collects 20% of your revenue in fees.
Some other free platforms to consider: UpWork, 99designs and Guru.
2. Use Patreon to benefit from the audience.
Cost to get started: $50
Patreon allows you to build and sell a group by sharing your unique work. I signed up in 2020 to teach people how to create an Amazon store.
Each month, subscribers pay to chat directly with me and learn about top-selling products in a variety of categories. Last year, I made $33,114 from Patreon.
Signing up to create content on Patreon is free. You only pay to use the service once subscribers pay to join your group. Patreon pays between 5% and 12% of your monthly income, depending on how many features and tools you want.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide on a product or service group. You can list anything that you have skills and experience in. Search on Patreon for creators working in your area of interest to see what’s selling and where you have the most opportunity.
- Conduct competitive market research. Once you’ve decided on a niche, research similar creator pages to determine the monthly price to pay subscribers and the features you’ll offer.
- Create a welcome video. Post it on your page to advertise your service to potential subscribers. You do not need to invest in video editing software – iMovie or DaVinci is free and easy to use.
- Set this Google Ads. This will help you target people who are looking for your product or service. I only made $50 on my ad campaign.
- Keep in touch with your subscribers. Listen to their feedback to determine which features to add to your page. Word of mouth is important to growing your Patreon business.
3. Buy your car at Turo.
Cost to get started: Varies
Do you have a car? Turo, a peer-to-peer car sharing platform that allows you to rent out your car, is a great way to earn extra money.
In 2019, I used a $2,000 rebate to buy a $22,000 Polaris Slingshot. I see people in my market renting their Slingshots for $150 a day, since my salary is about $400 (including insurance), I only rent my car for at least a day three a month to destroy.
In 2020, I earned $5,717 in gross profit.
Signing up for Turo is free, but startup fees will vary depending on your vehicle’s location. Here are three tips to help you maximize your profits:
- Design your listings with attractive photos. To help my list stand out, I took a photo of my Slingshot in front of graffiti art at a local tourist spot.
- Install a lockbox to save your time and provide more flexibility. I put one around my house so the cashiers can pick up the keys if I’m not around. I always ask for a photo of the customer’s ID to make sure it matches the details on their Turo account. Then I will send the login instructions.
- Renting a car offers the highest return. Turo has data on average annual revenue for different car brands and markets. For example, you can get more money leasing a Toyota Prius than a Land Rover Range Rover.
Josh Ellwood is the founder Fees For Dollars. Follow him Instagram and YouTube.