The Beginner’s Guide: How to Start an Online Side Hustle From Scratch

Living paycheck to paycheck sucks.

Don’t bank on it getting any better soon either. Even if you’re hard-working and driven in your 9 to 5, the stats don’t lie.

Millennials earn less than their counterparts 30 years ago.

A study on wage growth trends from 1979 to 2018 make for sad reading. Only the top 10% of American workers earn more, when adjusted for inflation. Wages for middle and low-income groups stagnated or fell during the same period.


If your salary doesn’t pay more than the rent, Friday night pizza, and leave a little for a rainy day – you’re not alone. A cost of living comparison shows the dollar’s buying power is now less than 20 years ago.

You simply don’t get the same bang for your buck anymore.

Student loan debt got you lying awake at night? Turns out your neighbour can’t sleep either. Millennials are the most educated generation. But somewhere it became pretty expensive to buy a job.

Student loan debt is now the second highest debt category in America – only behind mortgage debt.

The Fix

So, you decide to start a side hustle to ease your pain.

There are many reasons why 2020 is the perfect time to get in the game.

But your mind is probably racing with questions:

  • Where do I even begin?
  • What side hustle should I start?
  • How much can I earn and how fast?

Slow down sassy.

Let’s focus on the number one reason you’re starting a side hustle:

Earning potential.

Side Hustles vs Part-Time Jobs

Why not just get a part-time job? Why should I build a side hustle that takes time to grow and nurture on my own?

Because becoming a delivery driver for DoorDash might buy you a few extra beers on Friday night.

Besides, the last thing you need is a second job you dread. This will only lead to burnout.

A real side hustle shouldn’t involve trading time for money. You want to build an asset that provides the potential for passive income down the line.

So Why Online?


What would it be like to wake up with nothing but your laptop and internet connection and know you’re in business? Whether you’re chilling at home, your favourite lunch spot, or a different time zone?

Starting an online side hustle provides you with the flexibility to hustle from anywhere, anytime.


Reaching more customers, faster, means earning more, faster.

Combine the flexibility to hustle from your sofa with maximum reach and boom!

Huge earning potential.

Dream Big, Start Small

Look, if there’s anyone who believes in your ability to start a side hustle that turns into a big ball of passion and ends up being absurdly profitable, it’s me.

But it won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. So don’t quit your day job just yet. Instead, follow the beginner’s guide to freedom I’ve created below.

It has helped me grow from total beginner to running an online side hustle in 6 months – and you can do it too.

1. Where to Start?

Logically, choosing a side hustle is the first step.

Before you do that, try starting with why instead. Take the time to write it down. And don’t be afraid to dig deep.

Are you really struggling to make ends meet?

Perhaps you have a steady income, but your goals are just way bigger than your paycheck?

Digging deep will provide fuel for your fire, and keep it burning through the night – until the morning sun rises and you’ve won the fight.


Okay, enough with the poetry.

How do I know which online side hustle to start? The internet is flooded with information, and overwhelm is not what you need right now.

If you’re a newbie to the online space, following a proven system that works is a must.

Following Your Passion is Bad Advice

Just follow your passion –

the number one reason why more than half of new online side hustles fail within the first year.

Following your passion is great if you want a hobby, but it doesn’t guarantee an income. Instead, you’ll end up another statistic. Hopes dashed, courage dented.

Providing an in-demand service is what generates income. At least if you want to earn consistently. So what never goes out of fashion? Solving people’s problems.

Find a Profitable Niche

Why should you concentrate on finding a profitable niche instead of bouncing around and trying the next idea that pops into your head?


  • Like your ideas, trends come and go.
  • Niche audiences stick around forever, meaning you’re in business forever.
  • When you take the time to understand someone’s problem like the back of your hand, they’ll happily pay you to solve it.
  • Mastering an evergreen skill is priceless.

So, what problem will you be solving?

Narrow Down Your Niche

There’s a tornado of information and services available on the internet.

Want to stand out from the crowd? Narrow down your niche!  For instance, freelance writing is popular, but try to find an even narrower focus. A freelance science fiction writer, for example.

For a list of the most profitable online niches, click here.

2. You Don’t Have To Do It Alone

It’s exciting to start a side hustle, but going all in like a raging bull will leave you lying on the arena floor. You know how the story ends.

Instead of wasting your money and energy, why not spend some time to figure out what works.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Modelling success is the fastest way to reach the top. Unless you want to learn the hard way, slowing down at the start is the best way to speed up.

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Has someone achieved this before you?
  • What skills did they use?
  • What mistakes did they make?
  • What resources do you need?

Learning from other people’s mistakes is not only a smart thing to do, but necessary for success. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to share their mistakes, for free!

Your ability to leverage other people’s experience will determine the time it takes to reach the top.

3. Take Daily Action – Build

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your side hustle.

The most enjoyable part of starting any side hustle is the idea of building something valuable from the ground up. This takes time. Be okay with that.

It’s important to realise that taking consistent action is what will turn your dream side hustle into a reality. Many people start out with the idea of creating a side hustle that will set them free. Few succeed.

Why? Because freedom comes at a price.

You pay for it in the early hours of the morning and late into the night. After a while, the reality of starting an online side hustle becomes a little less glamorous than what the poster suggests. Unless of course, you love working hard and building your empire.

Don’t expect to quit your day job from day one. A double shift will quickly become the new norm. Unfortunately, you don’t get paid by the hour. Whatever your expectations of starting a new side hustle are, be prepared to dig in.

4. Set Goals – Fail Forward

No side hustle is perfect from the start. It doesn’t have to be either.

Setting achievable goals and taking imperfect action is the best way to move forward.

Goals Trigger Behaviour

Setting clear, concise goals will align your actions to achieve what you have set out to do. They guide your focus and will enable you to direct your attention on the next step.

If your goal is to attract 10 customers within your first month, your actions will be aligned to building a portfolio of evidence and marketing your services. Want to double your earnings for the month? Focus on income-producing activity and less on building your brand.

Goals Build Momentum

Progress is addicting. Like a snowball growing in size as it rolls down a hill, momentum works the same way.

The hardest dollar you will ever earn is your first. As you build up a head of steam, you become more driven, focused and confident in your approach.  Be sure to set goals that allow you to snowball your earning potential.

Goals Build Character

Actually, achieving goals build character. Marching relentlessly towards your goals, even in the face of hardship, will turn you into a warrior for your dreams.

Character allows you to carry on when times are tough. You can be assured those days will come.

5. Be Persistent

Building a successful side hustle is a bit like climbing a mountain: it’s an uphill battle most of the way, but the view from the top is pretty spectacular.

Persistence is required to reach the summit. It’s a vital characteristic of any successful entrepreneur. Knowing your why will provide fuel to your fire. It will allow you to show up – day in, day out – and will be the single most important thing to set you on a path to achieving your dreams.

Using naysayers to motivate you can be another way to stay the course.

6. Be Patient

It takes ten years to become an overnight success. Okay, maybe not that long.

But don’t underestimate what could be done in one, two or five years. Perhaps you’ve heard about the ten thousand hour rule?

You gotta be in it for the long haul. Anything great is worth the wait. Remember that your results will lag behind your actions. Being patient is part of the journey, like waiting for your hard work to blossom into the asset you want it to be.

The Bottom Line

Starting a new side hustle online can be a daunting task.

If you’re genuinely looking to build something that can set you free, don’t worry about earning fat stacks from day one.

Instead, find your why. Write it down.

Then find a profitable niche – it’s your best shot at reaching the stars. Remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Many people have tried and failed before you. Learn from their mistakes.

Take consistent action to build your empire.

Set achievable goals to drive you forward.

Be persistent – even in the face of hardship – to lead you up your mountain.

With a little bit of patience, you will reach the top.

So, what stops you from creating the side hustle that could set you free?

Want Someone To Show You the Way?

I help people start, grow and scale an income online.

Take my find your side hustle superpower quiz to find out how you can earn an income online today, even if you can’t afford to quit your day job… yet.

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