Why You Should Start a Side Hustle

Festus Otasowie


The term “side hustle” originally started as a reference to any means of earning an income other than your primary business or job.

However, its popularity has only increased in recent years as more and more millennials seek flexible jobs. There are even those who have discovered ideas for passive income for college students to start earning while still attending classes. A 2017 study by Bankrate revealed that more than 44 million Americans and 28% of millennials have a side hustle.

This has, in part been necessitated by the increased cost of living and the stability that multiple sources of revenue bring about.
There are numerous reasons why you should start a side hustle as well. First and foremost is the fact that you will have multiple income streams which are empowering as you can use the extra money to pay bills, go for vacation, or save for retirement. Others include developing and practising new skills, growing wealth, and exploring your passions and creativity among others.

Side hustles are increasingly becoming popular amongst Americans

Passive income for college students: Which Side Hustle Should You Start?

Side hustles are not limited to grownups with jobs or those running businesses of their own.

If you have decided to start a side hustle, the next important question you would need to answer is “Which side hustle do I start?” The answer to that question is easy –find out what others are already doing!

In a recent survey, to find the most popular side hustle people engaged in, it was discovered that most common side hustles were blogging and related online businesses.

See of the different side hustle activities people were engaged in the graph below.

Which side hustle to start
Different types of Side Hustle by Survey respondents

You can start your own hustle on the sides while still studying in college. The idea is to have something that does not require too much of your time or money, at times but is still capable of generating an income.

The best strategy to implement is starting something that is capable of earning on its own without your constant interference.
Passive income ideas only require a substantial time or capital investment and then you wait for the money to trickle in gradually.

Here are some of such ideas that you can try out while still in college;

  • Blogging. Blogging is easy to start and super fun especially if you love writing. You can choose to blog about anything you love and know a lot about. Another fantastic thing about blogging is that there are numerous ways to monetize your blog once it is up and running. One of such methods is to build up massive traffic by writing enticing stories and registering your website with Google Ad Sense. That way, you can earn off your past stories and can concentrate on getting more traffic, refreshing the content, or writing new stories on the blog
  • Creating an online course. If you have a lovable skill or are incredibly knowledgeable in a particular subject, you can make money by teaching others. However, instead of setting up traditional physical classes, package your knowledge or experience into a course that others can access online. With numerous people having internet access all over the world, it is impossible to imagine the limits of the earning potential for such a course. Check out a platform like Udemy if you cannot be able to put up the course on your own website. This method also allows you to earn at any time without any effort as students only need to log in and use the materials you have uploaded in the flexible manner they are comfortable with
  • Affiliate marketing: With affiliate marketing, you promote a business’s services or products online or offline for a commission of the sales they generate through your links. As a student, you can practice creative affiliate marketing through YouTube videos or other forms of digital media where you can display links directing people to your partners’ businesses. You can also write creative stories in your blog and choose to monetize it through affiliate marketing where you invite businesses to sponsor the content

3 Types of Income Streams

One of the ways to get wealthy quickly is by having multiple streams of income. You can have a job, a business on the sides, or a part-time job amongst numerous other ways to generate cashflow. All such income-generating methods fall under 3 major types of income streams which are:

  1. Earned income: Refers to the cash you earn by doing some work for someone else. It can come easily but requires you to trade your time to get money and also attracts high tax rates. A majority of the active work you do for money either during your free time or after you are formally employed generates earned income. This includes things like accounting, nursing, surgeon, virtual assistant, freelancer and numerous other forms of taxable jobs
  2. Capital gains: This refers to the cash you get after selling an investment for an amount higher than what you paid when buying it. Although it has favourable tax rates and can generate cash without your active interference, it requires an initial investment and can take longer to mature up. This category features the majority of investments like stocks and bonds which can generate you handsome profits if you invest a huge sum of money and let it earn compounding interest for several years
  3. Passive income: It is income generated by your assets that require zero work on your part. This stream has favourable tax rates and requires zero input but has a huge initial time investment requirement. The majority of the online jobs that earn you repetitively without any action on your part generate passive income for college students. This can include royalties from books, music, and video sales, affiliate marketing, and blogging revenue

“Earned income refers to the cash you earn by doing some work for someone else”

Great Passive Income Books

If you are looking for ideas on passive income for college students there are plenty of things you could do.

However, you need to learn and know exactly what it is that you are getting yourself into. It takes immense effort, time, and sometimes capital to set up great passive income ideas.

You also have to read books that keep you steady on the journey. The following are some of the books that should feature in your reading list;

  •  The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
    by Timothy Ferriss, Dec 15, 2009
  • KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays Hardcover – Illustrated, June 21, 2010, by Joel Comm (Author)
  • The Six Figure Second Income: How to Start and Grow a Successful Online Business Without Quitting Your Day Job by David Lindahl, Jonathan Rozek, et al.
  • The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau | May 8, 2012

Online Course Ideas

If you are still figuring out your way around passive income for college students, an online course might offer more guidance than a book. Here are some of the courses you can find on Udemy to learn more about how to set yourself up for success in your side hustle:


Side hustling is lucrative and its popularity grows every day.

The reasons why you should start a side hustle are numerous and depend on your life goals. It could be to save for retirement, generate more income to pay off your bills or even go for a vacation.

To start a side hustle, explore your skills and options that align with the opportunity to earn passive income for college students. This refers to where you can generate income with zero input after making the initial time or capital investment. It is the easiest way to build wealth as compared with the other income streams, earned income and capital gains. For more information on how to grow your earning potential, read great passive income books or take an online course.

Make sure you check out our article on How to make it on your own and be your own boss.

You may also be interested in how to complement your business can benefit from cost-effective ecommerce solutions and manage your customer communications with email marketing

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