As the popularity of side hustles grows, the most common hurdle new hustlers face is finding time to do theirs. Nearly 3 in 10, 29.6%, cite finding time as a problem, according to a recent DollarSprout survey of 500 U.S. adults.
If you're interested in diving into the wide world of side gigs but are nervous about having time to devote each week, consider picking up a passive income hustle. These take some time and effort up front, but require far less commitment down the line.
"There's just so many passive income opportunities in the gig economy," says Kathy Kristof, editor and CEO of Sidehusl.com. They "allow you to use your existing assets and resources and cause them to create regular income for you."
Here are four fun or relatively easy passive income side hustles to consider as you wind down 2021 and ramp up your moneymaking activities in 2022.
If you like building organizing tools or artistic designs, consider creating printables and selling them on sites like Etsy. Printables "could be anything from a calendar to a coloring book," says Kristof. "You create the template, you upload it, and after that, it just sells without you." The person buying that template prints it on their own, so there's no hassle of buying materials or shipping.
"Make them look nice," advises Nick Loper, founder of site Side Hustle Nation. "I think people are paying for the nice branding and an easy-to-fill-in type of thing." You can use the free version of design site Canva or even Excel or Microsoft Word to create printables.
A printable planner set is currently selling for $19.99 on the site, and a printable Christmas card is selling for $3.40. Keep in mind the various fees included with selling. Etsy charges 20 cents for every listing, for example, plus a transaction fee of 5% on every item you sell.
Similarly, if you're an artist like a photographer or painter, you can upload and sell your work on print-on-demand sites like Redbubble or Fine Art America, where customers can buy it on items like puzzles, pillows, mugs, or simply as prints for their wall.
Each site has its own model for payment. "In some cases, you actually set your royalty rate and that determines the price of your goods," says Kristof, "and other cases they set the royalty rate for you and they'll have a set price for the goods."
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
On Redbubble, for example, items have a set price and sellers decide the markup, which is their portion of the sale. If the base price of a large framed art print shipping to the U.S. is $125, and you set a 20% markup for that item, the print would sell for $150 and you'd get $25.
These sites "are going to fulfill" the order, says Kristof, "so they print it, they mail it, they handle the customer service." All you have to do is make your work and upload it. Plus, "90% of the sites are not exclusive," she says, so "you can upload the same art to all the different sites."
"The most lucrative way" to make passive income is "by renting out assets that you already own," says Kristof. Here are a few sites to rent out your space or items:
- Peerspace lets you rent out your space for events like baby showers, meetings, and video shoots. A loft in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is currently listed for $250 per hour, and a studio in Nashville, Tennessee, is listed for $60 per hour. Peerspace takes a 15% fee from every rental.
- Turo is a site for renting out your car for days or hours at a time. A BMW in Los Angeles is currently listed for $161 per day. A Tesla in Kansas City, Missouri, is listed for $117 per day. The site takes a 10% to 35% fee off every rental, according to Sidehusl.com.
- CurbFlip lets you rent out your parking space. A garage spot in Chicago is currently listed for $40 per day, and parking spaces in Seattle, Washington, are listed for $25 per day. The site charges a 5% fee plus PayPal fees.
There are rental sites for many smaller personal and household items, too, from surfboard and bikes to musical instruments and tools.
"Before you do any of these rental options," says Kristof, "you really need to check on your insurance." See if your homeowners or auto insurance covers the risks you take in renting out your space or items, and check the insurance policies on these sites to see what they cover.
Another source of passive income to consider is creating YouTube videos. "I am far from being a YouTuber ― I'm making, like, between $500 and $600 in YouTube ad money" every month, says Loper. But, he adds, "it is still, like, the most exciting $500 that I make."
"The opportunity that I see in YouTube is, I call it 'Question and Answer YouTube' or 'Tutorial YouTube,'" he says. "If you have a problem that you have solved or overcome in your own life, just give people that answer." This could be anything from figuring out the most efficient way to organize your Gmail account to showing people how to fix their toilet when it doesn't flush.
Video by Courtney Stith
You can use your phone to record the videos, or an external webcam that could go for about $60. "Sound quality is probably more important than video quality," says Loper, so you'll want to invest in a microphone, which could also go for about $60. Loper edits with the free version of Screencast-O-Matic.
Keep in mind before you can monetize your YouTube videos, you'll need to have more than 1,000 subscribers and you'll need people to have watched your videos for 4,000 hours in the last 12 months, among other stipulations.
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