Something tells us that this year people will be much more eager to search for viable side business ideas than usual.

The world is changing rapidly these days, and many people find themselves in situations where keeping up with the current economy proves difficult. This is where side business ideas come into the picture.

When played right, a good side business idea can supplement your primary income, and maybe even replace it one day.

At the beginning, the goal with side business ideas isn’t to make you a millionaire. Rather, this is about starting small and making life less challenging by earning some extra money.

In this post, we list 30 of what we think are the best side business ideas you can get into in 2022. We give you additional context as to the difficulty of each idea, skills needed, and other aspects that will make it easier for you to decide whether a given idea is worth jumping into or not.

Ready? Let’s dig in.

1. Virtual Assistant (VA)

Virtual assistants are in high demand in today’s job market. The idea is simple; there are businesses that need certain tasks done but don’t have enough people to do them.

The kinds of tasks we’re talking about here can involve taking care of a blog, creating posts on social media, making graphics in Canva, bookkeeping, communicating with contractors on the phone, overseeing a calendar, handling some HR matters, and doing everything else that a modern company usually needs to be done.

So why not hire someone full-time instead of an outside VA?

In many cases, working with an outside VA who can issue invoices and is available for the exact amount of work that needs to be done is just more effective. Some businesses don’t have VA work available round the clock and only need assistance every couple of weeks. Hiring someone full-time just wouldn’t make sense for them.

  • Difficulty level: 2/5 (low to mid).
  • Skills required: Skills based on the specific VA services you want to offer (like maintaining a blog, creating posts on social media, etc.).
  • Build-up time needed: If you have the skills, you can start offering VA services even this week.
  • Investment needed: None.

2. Video Editing Services

Video is the main content type of this decade.

Did you know 500 hours of video get uploaded to YouTube every minute? Someone has to edit all those videos before they get viewed by people, right?


The difficulty of video, and something that all new video creators quickly find out, is that the editing phase tends to take 3x-10x time of the initial recording. So, for example, for every one hour of footage, it can take between three to ten hours to get it edited. It’s a real hassle.

This is where you can step in and offer video editing services. Yes, you do have to learn how to actually edit videos first, but once you do, you’ll have enough work to make this a viable side business idea.

  • Difficulty level: 4/5 (mid to high).
  • Skills required: You must learn how to edit videos at a good-enough level before you can start offering services.
  • Build-up time needed: Taking a video editing course on Skillshare will take two to three days; after that, you should spend at least a couple of weeks learning the ropes and get comfortable with simple edits.
  • Investment needed: The main cost is getting quality video editing training – Skillshare is $15/mo. As for video editing software, you can stick with free tools – for example, DaVinci Resolve is one of the best such solutions on the market.

3. Joining the Gig Economy Online

The idea of what we call the gig economy is quite simple: people need stuff done, so they post simple job ads on certain websites to find someone (freelancers) to take care of those jobs.

Or, we can reverse the process and instead have you – the service provider – post a gig ad and then let people reach out to you when they want to take you up on the offer. The most popular site for this kind of gigs is Fiverr.

Other popular alternatives are for example Upwork, Toptal, PeoplePerHour.

Each of these sites is easy to get started with. Just sign up, look at what sort of gigs people list, and offer something similar as your side hustle. This can be a great first step towards entrepreneurship.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: You must learn the exact thing that you want to offer. If you pick a laser-focused gig, then you probably already have the required skills.
  • Build-up time needed: None, assuming you already have the skills.
  • Investment needed: None.

4. Professional Blogger/Freelance Writing

Okay, this might sound like a tough thing to get started with, but it’s actually not that drastic.

First, check out this job board on ProBlogger. Each day, tens of new job ads get submitted there. All those listings are added by people who need someone to write blog articles or tutorials for their websites.

An important fact is that those job ads don’t stay on the site indefinitely. The lifespan is only 15 days. This means that every two weeks, you’re looking at a completely new list of business owners aching to pay someone to write content for them.

  • Difficulty level: 4/5 (mid to high).
  • Skills required: Three essential skills are obligatory if you want to be a freelance writer: (1) you have to know English on a decent level, (2) you have to know how to put ideas on paper effectively, (3) you have to have knowledge about the things you’re going to write about.
  • Build-up time needed: None, you can get started right away.
  • Investment needed: None.

5. Podcast Editing Services

Podcasts are the new craze of the online. It seems that everyone has a podcast these days. As of April 2021, there are more than 48 million podcast episodes overall. And that number is growing quite rapidly.

While podcasts are definitely simpler to produce than, say, YouTube videos, there are still some skills that one needs to master if they want their podcast to sound professional.

As it turns out, audio production is not as straightforward as it may seem. This is where you can step in and offer some professional podcast editing services.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: You need to master at least one audio production tool and learn the general principles of podcast production; courses on platforms like Skillshare can help with that.
  • Build-up time needed: Just like with video, taking a course on Skillshare will take two to three days. After that, give it another couple of weeks to practice re-mixing existing podcast episodes you’ve downloaded from the web. The goal is to get comfortable with this before you start offering your services to clients.
  • Investment needed: Skillshare subscription is $15/mo; as for the audio production/editing software, you can use Audacity, which is free.

6. Content Translator

We’re living in a global economy where more and more businesses look for ways to expand in different directions outside of their borders. One of the first steps they take is translating their website content to a handful of popular languages.

This is a great way for the business to test the waters and see if there’s any interest from audiences abroad before jumping head in and developing completely new products.

If you know Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Arabic, or Mandarin Chinese, finding companies that need help with their translations shouldn’t be too difficult.

Upwork is a good place to look for this type of work.

upwork - freelance jobs

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: Complete mastery of both English and the language you’re translating the text to is required. Being a native speaker of the other language is also usually necessary for this type of work.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: None.

7. Proofreader (Freelancing)

Written content is all around us. Not only that, but the content is also very often the main marketing and business tool for many companies. However, for content to work as a marketing tool effectively, it needs to be error-free.

This is where proofreading services come into play.

The idea is simple in principle. You take a piece of content from a client and make sure that the spelling and grammar are all correct – making corrections as needed. Your job is to get rid of all the typos, weird-sounding sentences, unclear statements, etc.

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: You must have an excellent understanding of the language that you want to proofread. If you don’t, the client will know right away, and you’ll lose the gig.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: None.

8. Social Media Manager

The thing with social media is that basically all businesses these days want to be on it. But the problem is that very few of them actually know how to do it or have the time.

Plus, there’s also the difficulty of picking which platform is even worth being on in the first place. According to a survey, among the top three challenges that marketers said they had faced, number one was identifying and reaching their target audience effectively.

Here’s the thing, if apart from understanding social media, knowing what works, what doesn’t, and what the best practices are, you also have a feel for how to resonate with audiences, then you’ll have businesses lining up to work with you.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: There are no specific skills that we could put a finger on. However, things like general knowledge of online trends and popular social media platforms are required.
  • Build-up time needed: You have to put in the hours to learn how each of the popular platforms works, what performs well on them, who the influencers are, and how to manage a specific client’s presence for it to have a good effect.
  • Investment needed: None.

9. Designing Simple Graphics

This isn’t about big projects like websites, marketing posters, and the like, which would require significant know-how (graphic designer) and access to professional tools.

This is about the graphic design of the simpler kind. Think things like featured images for blogs (head images for blog posts), custom images for Instagram or Facebook posts, infographics for Twitter, and other things like that.

Most of the time, you can create those using tools like Canva. The interface is easy to use, everything works with drag-and-drop, and no design skills are required to get started.

canva - building simple graphics as a side business idea

  • Difficulty level: 2/5 (low to mid).
  • Skills required: Good understanding of Canva.
  • Build-up time needed: You need to learn the tool itself. You’ll find Canva courses on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.
  • Investment needed: Investing in Canva Pro is recommended (~$10/mo).

10. Wix/Squarespace Website Building Services

Wix and Squarespace are two of the most popular website building platforms online that are not named WordPress, that is.

While both Wix and Squarespace are marketed as do-it-yourself types of platforms, actually using them to craft a good-looking website can prove challenging. That’s especially true for people who have never built a website before.

If you do understand Wix or Squarespace and know your way around all their interfaces, you can be of help to many small businesses.

Granted, you won’t be able to charge high prices that are common for the from-the-ground-up website building, but it can still be a nice source of side income.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: Mastery of Wix or Squarespace.
  • Build-up time needed: Time needed to learn Wix or Squarespace. There are courses online to help you.
  • Investment needed: The premium versions of Wix and Squarespace cost $14 and $12/mo, respectively. You should invest in one of them to learn the ropes on a live site.

11. Shopify eCommerce Store Building Services

This is similar to building websites with website builders, but this time we’re talking eCommerce.

Shopify is one of the most popular DIY online store platforms. It’s used by small and large businesses alike, and everyone in between.

The difficulties with Shopify are similar to that one might come across with other website builders – the platform can be intimidating for first-time users.

Again, this is where you can come into play and offer a service to build a client’s store from the ground up in Shopify.

Alternatively, you can help people to set up their Etsy or eBay stores.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: Mastery of Shopify.
  • Build-up time needed: Time needed to learn Shopify. Again, there are courses online to help you.
  • Investment needed: A subscription to Basic Shopify will be required to learn the platform and get access to all the areas your clients will want to use. It’s $29/mo, but you’ll likely only use it for a couple of months.

12. Participating in User Testing

Every day, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of new products being released to the world. No matter if the product in question is physical or digital, the person who has created it usually wants to know what people think about it before releasing it to a larger market.

This is what user testing is all about. In this side business idea, you get access to a given product, test it, and then give your feedback about what you liked/didn’t like.

The platform that makes all this possible is aptly called UserTesting. Their going rate is $10 for every 20-minute test, and more for interviews.

usertesting - earn money by testing products

  • Difficulty level: 1/5 (low).
  • Skills required: None, though you will most likely participate in the tests that you’re the target market for.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: None.

13. Starting an eCommerce Store

Starting an eCommerce store is one of the best side business ideas of them all.  Why? A couple of reasons for that:

  • It’s easier to do than you might think – from a technical point of view.
  • The scale of the project is up to you entirely – you can start as small or as big as you want.
  • You can grow it to one day replace your full-time job.
  • You don’t need a lot of merchandise to get started.

As for specific ideas on what to sell and how to begin, read this in-depth guide of ours.

  • Difficulty level: 2/5 (low).
  • Skills required: Apart from knowing the market you’re going to be operating in, you also have to master your eCommerce tools of choice – such as Tool.
  • Build-up time needed: Setting up the platform and getting your offer ready can take up to a month.
  • Investment needed: Getting an eCommerce site built the DIY-way will cost around $100; the cost of developing the products is up to you.

14. Handyman

You probably didn’t see this one coming, but you’d be surprised how big of a void there is for services of this kind.

Society is moving ever so further toward online-based professions each year, which also means that there are fewer and fewer people that can actually do the manual work (such as fixing the sink). If you can do things like that, you can make it a healthy stream of extra cash.

Depending on where you live, you can advertise your services via Facebook, word of mouth, or use a site like TaskRabbit.

taskrabbit - help people who need simple side jobs done

  • Difficulty level: 2/5 (low).
  • Skills required: Actual in-the-field experience regarding the specific services you’re going to be offering is required.
  • Build-up time needed: None. You can do this in your spare time.
  • Investment needed: You’ll need tools; the prices of those vary from job type to job type.

15. Home Staging

Home staging is kind of a new thing, but it’s been picking up steam lately. Home staging is basically interior design, but a bit more temporary in nature.

A home stager gets a place to look as impressive as possible for a specific purpose.

Who needs services like that? Usually, people who have a piece of real estate to sell and want to raise its value with some quick interior design magic.

Need proof? Okay; 67% of surveyed agents said that home staging helped a seller fetch more money for their house at resale.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: You must have a feel for interior design and know the market overall. You’ll be the person responsible for finding the right furniture, knowing how to showcase it and how to impress the client.
  • Build-up time needed: If you have the skills, you can start right away.
  • Investment needed: At first, you can stage a place using the furnishings that are already there, but building up your own inventory will be a must eventually, which can get expensive.

16. Voiceover Artist

Granted, this is not a side business idea for all people. But if you are the right kind of person, you can even turn it into a full-blown career.

The idea is simple: a voiceover artist takes a script, reads it out loud, and records it. The most popular types of gigs like this involve ad reads, podcasts or video intros/outros, or even entire audiobooks once you find your footing in the market.

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: This side business idea requires a highly particular set of skills (to quote Liam Neeson). It’s, therefore, a bit difficult to get into it for most people. In short, if you have the voice and can read the text in an engaging way, you’re going to be okay – if not, don’t start.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: You’ll need a good mic to record your voice – usually $100-$500.

17. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a relatively new business concept in online commerce, but it’s quite simple at its core. Here’s what it’s about:

In the traditional eCommerce model, you, being the merchant, first have to get the product from the manufacturer and warehouse it. It’s only at this stage that you can list the product in your eCommerce store and sell it to a customer. You also have to take care of the shipping.

In the dropshipping model, the only thing that’s your responsibility is generating the sale itself. The shipping and warehousing are all taken care of by the manufacturer. As in, the product goes straight from the manufacturer to the customer. It never touches your office.

As for the specifics, dropshipping can be done through Amazon FBA, Shopify, or by going to third-party marketplaces that offer dropshipping options, like Banggood.

What can you sell? Anything from t-shirts to fishing lines.

Amazon FBA - among the best side business ideas

  • Difficulty level: 4/5 (mid to high).
  • Skills required: General knowledge of eCommerce tools is required to pull it off from a technical point of view.
  • Build-up time needed: You should only get into niches that you understand and have experience in. Building this experience can take time. Researching the exact products to sell will take time as well. This is basically a startup-level side business idea.
  • Investment needed: Setting up your eCommerce store and getting the required tools in place might cost you between $100-$1,000.

18.Creating an Online Course

Although online courses are nothing new, they’re kind of having their moment right now.

The public has been getting used to learning things over the internet for quite a while.

This makes it a ripe time for you to enter the online learning craze and offer a course of your own.

What the course should be about? Well, that’s up to you. Where to host the course? There are a couple of possibilities. You can either build your own site and host the course there, or you can sign up to a platform like Skillshare and offer your course through there.

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: First, you do have to be very knowledgeable about the topic you’re going to create the course about. Then, you must also learn how to record and produce videos for your project.
  • Build-up time needed: If you’ve already mastered the topic of the course, you’ll spend the majority of your time figuring out the tools to create it. This can take you up to a month.
  • Investment needed: This depends on how professional you want your course to look. You can get started with just simple screencast videos with a webcam view of your face in the corner. The tools to record this type of videos are free. You will have to buy a quality mic though ($100-$500).

19. Helping People Move

It’s reported that the average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. On the one hand, that’s not a huge number, but it is big enough for you to be able to find some local gigs every once in a while.

This is one of those simple side business ideas that don’t require much preparation.

  • Difficulty level: 1/5 (low).
  • Skills required: None.
  • Build-up time needed: None. You can look for gigs on Facebook or Craigslist.
  • Investment needed: You have to own a car big enough to fit people’s stuff or be ready to rent it for the job.

20. Online Language Tutoring

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you speak more than one language. If you have the right work ethic and experience teaching people anything, you might want to take a stab at language tutoring online.

Keep in mind that merely knowing the language might not be enough to be able to teach it effectively. For best results, you really should be a master of your language and understand all the grammar and spelling nuances, common mistakes, and have the right methodology to teach the language.

To get started, you can check out platforms like Verbling or italki.

verbling - do online tutoring

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: Complete mastery of the language that you want to teach is required.
  • Build-up time needed: None – assuming you already have the needed skills and knowledge.
  • Investment needed: None.

21. Managing People’s Property

In this day and age, real estate is considered one of the safest investments out there. A property in the right location will only increase in value over time.

However, there is a catch. Every property requires a certain (small) amount of maintenance. For homeowners who have a couple of properties that they don’t reside in, this can be challenging.

Looking over people’s real estate can be a nice stream of extra income. Your tasks might involve dealing with the renters, handling small fixes, organizing a cleaning service, etc.

  • Difficulty level: 1/5 (low).
  • Skills required: None.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: None.

22. Airbnb Manager

This is similar to the previous side business idea, but it’s specifically focused on Airbnb properties. There’s usually a lot of work with an Airbnb property that gets rented out to different people every couple of days.

Things like cleaning the place, changing the sheets, checking for damages, serving the people renting the property, and so on have to be done regularly.

Many property owners will be happy to hire someone to handle all that for them for a small portion of the profits.

  • Difficulty level: 1/5 (low).
  • Skills required: None.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: No money investment needed, but you will have to invest more time to do these tasks vs when managing people’s non-Airbnb properties.

23. Resume Writer

In the US, people change jobs roughly 12.9 times between the ages of 18 and 52. What this means is that the same person will also need to update their resume about the same number of times.

Writing a quality resume isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Positioning one’s skills the right way and making the document attractive enough for the employer to reach out is not that easy. This is why many people are happy to hire professional help.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: You have to learn what makes a quality resume first and build up some experience helping friends and family before you can offer this kind of service to people.
  •  Build-up time needed: Varies.
  • Investment needed: None.

24. Starting Your Own Blog/Affiliate Marketing

A blog can be a great side business idea for at least a couple of reasons. First, only you decide how much time you want to spend on it every day/week, which lets you keep your day job. There are also multiple ways to monetize a blog and turn it into a passive income stream.

One of the more viable ideas to do that is via affiliate marketing – where you promote other people’s products in exchange for a commission. You can set up multiple revenue streams like that.

Lastly, starting a blog is easier than most people think. The technology has evolved quite a bit, and the blogging tools of today are much easier to use than even a couple of years ago.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: Content writing is the main skill set you’ll have to pick up on.
  • Build-up time needed: Launching a blog won’t take you more than a week.
  • Investment needed: The only unavoidable costs when launching a blog are domain name and web hosting – which should add up to about $60 for the first year.

25. Google Ads Manager

These days, advertising online has taken over every other form of advertising – at least when it comes to generating worthwhile results.

However, that’s where the challenges start for most businesses. Google Ads is not an obvious platform, and while getting started and spending money on it is more than simple, generating a positive return on investment is a whole different challenge. That is why most people struggle to do ads for their own business.

If you’re willing to invest in getting the knowledge required and go through Google’s certification program, you should have no difficulty finding clients. Starting by helping businesses in your local area is always a good idea.

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: Learning the platform and getting certified will take some effort.
  • Build-up time needed: The time it takes to get certified. Depending on your skill level walking in, this can take either no time at all or even up to a couple of months.
  • Investment needed: Getting certified is free.

26. Facebook Certified Professional

This one is similar to the previous side business idea but centered on Facebook and its marketing/advertising platform.

Facebook has a whole certification program for professionals who want to turn to manage other people’s Facebook profiles into a career. There are different stages and types of certification depending on what sort of services you want to offer later on.

Just to name a few, you can become a:

  • Facebook Certified Creative Strategy Professional
  • Facebook Certified Media Planning Professional
  • Facebook Certified Advertising API Developer
  • Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional

These are just some of more than a dozen of different certifications available.

Facebook certifications for freelance marketers

  • Difficulty level: 5/5 (high).
  • Skills required: You’ll need to spend significant time learning the business features of Facebook and then get certified.
  • Build-up time needed: The time it takes to get certified. Just like with Google, this can take either no time at all or a couple of months or more.
  • Investment needed: Getting certified is free.

27. Creating a Local Online Directory

This is a very niche side business idea in its nature, but it can work if you have the right idea and your local area is resourceful for this kind of thing.

The idea is to identify a market where there’s a lot of people/businesses providing similar services, yet there’s no go-to way for customers to find those services.

For example, in many places, people looking for home cleaning services have only Google to turn to. A city-wide online directory listing cleaning services in the area could be a good idea.

The thing here is that you can start with only a handful of listings and build it up over time. The more popular the directory gets, the more businesses will want to add their listings.

How do you make money off this? You charge people for listing their services in the directory.

  • Difficulty level: 2/5 (low to mid).
  • Skills required: Building the directory site itself can be challenging.
  • Build-up time needed: It will take time before the directory gains traction and starts making money.
  • Investment needed: You’ll need to spend a lot of time doing market research and then convincing the first businesses to add their listings.

28. Drone Pilot

Can you imagine a side business idea that’s more 2022 than this? Okay, maybe you can, but a drone pilot is as modern of a job description as it gets.

The idea is simple: people and businesses need professional aerial photography and/or videography. Flying drones is neither easy nor cheap, so for the professional-grade stuff, most people will want to hire a pro.

Surprisingly, there are drone flight schools in every major city now, so getting the knowledge is very approachable. Then, all you have to do is buy a pro-level drone and start offering your services.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: You’ll need to learn how to fly the drone and also get an official license (if your local area requires you to have one).
  • Build-up time needed: The time needed to learn to fly the drone and get the license.
  • Investment needed: A quality pro-grade drone will cost you $1,000+; the cost of training varies from city to city – usually in the range of $500-$1,000.

29. WordPress Website Building Services

WordPress has become the go-to website engine of the web.

While WordPress is much easier to use than similar platforms that came before, it’s not entirely without a learning curve. Most people will still prefer to hire a pro to handle the heavy lifting for them.

Now, this type of WordPress website building service isn’t a full-blown web design and development project. This one is about taking the WordPress software, installing it on a web server, adding a handful of plugins, so that the client gets all the features they need, and then putting a nice-looking theme on top of it.

The important detail here is to set the expectations right and make sure that the client knows what they’re getting.

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (mid).
  • Skills required: Mastery of the WordPress platform, plugins, and themes.
  • Build-up time needed: Truly mastering WordPress to the point where you can comfortably build client websites will take some time.
  • Investment needed: Having your own hosting space where you can build test sites and experiment with the platform can be helpful; this can cost you around $60 a year.

30. Transcription Services

Transcription is a service that’s easy to explain. You take an audio recording or a video and write down everything that’s been said in it.

Podcast producers, YouTube channels, interview shows, businesses that use audio or video for their marketing – those are all your potential clients. Plus, they will rarely need your service just once. If you do a good job, there’s a high chance they will keep coming back.

Also, transcription is one of these jobs that are truly location independent and can be done in any place, at any time, and with no preparation. Great for part-time careers.

To get early work, you can check out sites like GoTranscript or Rev.

Rev - offer transcription services

  • Difficulty level: 3/5 (low to mid).
  • Skills required: A good ear and mastery of the language you’re transcribing is required.
  • Build-up time needed: None.
  • Investment needed: Minimal – a pair of headphones.

What’s Next?

Do you have your favorite among these side business ideas? Or maybe you got some other ideas while reading this? Either way, if you’re not quite sure which is going to be the perfect side business idea for you, here’s a bird’s eye view of all of them:

From our experience, having your own website where you can list your services – being the headquarters of your side business – can be a great asset to give you a head start. This website can be the main place where you get to welcome prospective clients or customers.

Contact us and get started on your online journey.

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