Tom-Chris Emewulu
Chargeflow's Digital Evangelist
Table of contents

There’s never been a better time to start a business than today. Online commerce has democratized entrepreneurial opportunities. Nowadays, anyone with relevant skills and networks can start a side hustle that makes tons of money.

As the world globalizes and consumer demands evolve, folks who quickly identify and fill the gaps created by these forces always make a fortune. But how do you spot these opportunities before they become common knowledge? That’s why I’m sharing 7 of the hottest side hustle business ideas you can take advantage of right now! Look, I’ve done the research. I’ve examined the numbers. And I can guarantee that any of these business opportunities will give you a significant financial boost in the next 12 months if you invest in them strategically.

Before we unveil the explosive online money-making ideas, it’s crucial to highlight some checklists you must cover before setting up your side hustle as a first-time founder.

Entrepreneurship Readiness Checklist for First-Time Founders

Venturing out with a side hustle could make you filthy rich in 2024. But that does not mean everyone will have an equal outcome. While you don’t necessarily need a degree in entrepreneurship to start making money online from your side hustle, you must have the requisite soft and hard skills before taking the plunge. Hence, I’d like to help you zero in on the fundamental skills you need to succeed in your preferred venture.

Understanding Your Soft Skills

To determine personal traits that help you interact effectively and harmoniously with others, please complete the following assignment:

  1. Write down 5 to 10 traits that you believe describe you best. Example: I am a good listener, leader, critical thinker, collaborative on a team, and calm under pressure.
  2. Think of a time you felt truly in your element. What were you doing?
  3. Which of your self-identified soft skills helped you achieve your goals in the scenario above?
  4. Write down at least 5 soft skills you believe people have observed as your strong attributes.
  5. Compare your list above with question 3 and identify 5 of your most outstanding soft skills.

Pairing Your Hard Skills With Your Soft Skills

Entrepreneurial success depends on having complementary hard skills and soft skills. To understand the specific, easily measured skills you require to succeed in your side hustle, please complete the following assignment:

  1. Determine your hard skills. Example: excellent writing ability, writing codes in HTML/CSS, building complex financial models in Excel, graphic design with Adobe, etc.
  2. How many years of experience do you have in the hard skill(s) listed?
  3. Highlight the soft skills you believe help you do well at the tasks in question one.
  4. What do you love to do? Example: Helping your colleagues navigate difficult situations at work or in their personal lives; Dissecting hard-learned life and career lessons on Social Media; Conquering mountains every weekend; pumping up at the gym.
  5. Do you use any of the hard skills you’ve self-identified when you’re doing the things you love? For example, if you love writing and sharing life and career experiences with your network, you’ll realize that you frequently leverage your core hard skill – persuasive writing – to excel at what you love. Since you actively engage this hard skill in doing something you practice regularly, it enhances.
  6. Write down all your self-identified hard and soft skills you use when doing the things you love.

If you did the exercise carefully, you'd have identified the hard and soft skills that help you excel at work. You might also see a significant gap between your competence and the deliverables your side hustle might need. That will guide you to learn those skills, outsource your weaknesses, or choose a different business idea.

How to Make Money Online: 7 Low-Cost Business Ideas

#1: Online Coaching

The advice-giving business is the second fastest-growing vertical in the world, according to PwC. The online coaching market has been exploding since the pandemic. Estimates suggest the global online coaching market could reach $11.7 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 14% from 2022. North America is said to hold the largest market share in the industry at an 11.92% growth rate during the forecast period. Regarding the earning potential of individual coaches, ZipRecruiter says top online coaches earn up to $80,500 annually, while the average online coach takes home ~$65,000 yearly.

So, you can effectively productize your subject matter expertise and outside insights by offering online coaching to next-gen entrepreneurs and career professionals. The barriers to entry as an online coach are equally low. Clean up your Social Media profile or set up an account on dedicated coaching platforms. Voila, you’re in business as an online coach!

#2: Subscription Box Business

The subscription box business model has been around for a while. But what makes it a profitable business opportunity right now is the market is growing at unprecedented rates. Analysts at The Business Research Company say the subscription box market will rise from $31.4 billion in 2023 to $36.8 billion in 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2%. The product sampling and recurring billing model make subscription box businesses a money-printing machine. As long as you can repetitively ship exciting new stuff to subscribers, you’re guaranteed recurring revenues at proportionally low costs.

To start a subscription box business, choose items to box (e.g., health and wellness products, cleaning supplies, food condiments, etc). Then, curate a list of potential customers. Assemble your prototype box according to their preferences and publicize your offering for pre-sale orders. Once you get orders, use the revenue to finance the initial operation (learn how to use dropshipping for order fulfillment).

#3: SEO Business

Contrary to pundits’ speculations, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still the bedrock of the eCommerce business today. As industries continue to fragment with technological advancements and government regulations – shooting CPM costs through the roof – companies rely on SEO to reach their target audience, build brand awareness and trust, and get more eyeballs to their platforms. That’s not just my opinion. Industry data clearly show the global SEO market size will grow to $170 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 17.6%.

There are three dimensions of SEO business you can consider. a) Technical SEO – Everything regarding the technical side of a website’s performance, like enhancing page speed with better UX/UI design; b) On-page SEO – Content creation to improve website rankings with relevant keywords; c) Off-page SEO – Improving a website’s ranking with external backlinks.

#4: Influencer Marketing

Have you ever wondered why 57% of Gen Zers would like to become an influencer if they could? It’s because there’s money in shaping public opinion. Influencer marketing is a viable business opportunity. 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, according to the Digital Marketing Institute. Estimates from Statista suggest the influencer marketing global market size could reach $22.2 billion by 2025, more than double the amount recorded in 2020 ($9.7 billion).

If you see yourself as the proverbial social butterfly or skilled in creating content people love, then influencer marketing might be your thing. And there are several aspects of influencer marketing you can consider. You could launch a podcast, create Social Media handles that tap into your YouTube channel, or a newsletter that feeds your Social Media. By the way, some newsletters make millions of dollars annually. Mr Beast, one of the highest-paid YouTubers, makes $700 million yearly, according to Fortune.

#5: Antique Appraisal

While it’s super niched, you can make serious money as an antique appraiser if you have an eye for determining the difference between a “real-find” family heirloom and a fake one. Before you roll your eyes, hear me out: the US Online Antiques and Collectibles Sales industry has grown ~8.5% per year on average since 2018. ZipRecruiter says the average annual pay for an Antique Appraiser in the United States is $73,043 annually. Imagine adding that much to your regular salary.

You can also break into the adjacent vertical by adding commercial real estate appraisal to your portfolio. CNBC reported about a 35-year-old who makes $280,000 as a real estate appraiser.

#6: AI-assisted Financial Services

Consumer demand for nuanced financial advisory services has never been higher than it is today. Your earning potential is endless if you can manipulate massive datasets with AI and excavate actionable insights faster than conventional advisors. You can provide tailored fundraising strategies to startups, risk assessment, market insight, and portfolio management to organizations and individuals, and help folks manage their money with fewer complications.

The financial advisory service industry is begging for innovation. Offering users AI-assisted financial services might be your key to a world of boundless wealth. If we’re talking numbers, Gitnux says the global financial services market could reach $37,343.95 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 9.6-10.8%.

#7: eCommerce Website Development

The astronomical growth of the eCommerce market presents limitless possibilities. Estimates from different sources put the eCommerce market size at $8.80 trillion in 2024 and $18.81 trillion by 2029, a CAGR of 15.80%. Starting an eCommerce website development agency is a viable side hustle that can make you tons of money this year. Sources say some developers charge $25,000 to $40,000 to build an eCommerce site, $20,000 to $30,000 for corporate web apps, $1,500 to $2,500 for landing pages, and $25,000 to $45,000 for SaaS web apps. All things being equal, you can be sure of an extra $100k–$1M annually building eCommerce stores for merchants.

Summing Up

The dialectical thinking on our subject of consideration is that while making money online is one of the easiest things today, it requires expertise, foresight, and patience. The burgeoning eCommerce industry creates numerous opportunities for folks who can quickly transform their skills into marketable goods and services.

The list I’ve shared in this piece is by no means exhaustive. But I am confident that anyone with the skills to explore these opportunities – online coaching, subscription box business, SEO business, influencer marketing, antique/real estate appraisal, AI-assisted financial service advisory, and eCommerce web development agency – will make shiploads of money this year and beyond.

The most important thing is to start from where you are. Or perhaps, begin learning what you need to succeed. And when you’ve decided to dive in, don’t forget to protect your earnings with chargeback automation.


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