Checklist for starting an online side-hustle

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Are you contemplating an online side-hustle? In other words, a project to generate some income to supplement what you make from your day job. It’s a great way to earn a little more money and an opportunity to test the waters for new ideas that could one day turn into your primary income and your dream business.

The first thing you need to do is check out the competition. Search online for what you want to offer; see what other people are doing and how many of them there are. The more competition there is, the more unique you’ll need to be and the harder you’ll have to work.

Starting an online side-hustle today

To pick the right side-hustle, think about something you’re already proficient at, have a genuine passion for, or want to put the time and effort into learning. Since you’ll be doing this in your spare time, you ideally want to pick something you’ll find fun and rewarding. Genuine enthusiasm will help lift your chances of turning your side gig into a profitable venture.

Here are a few online side-hustles which, based on the assets, skills or knowledge you already have, can spell opportunity:

Handmade anything

Can you make something useful, cool or unique, be it craft beer, jewellery or fashions? Is there a way to add your own spin so your items are more exclusive and desirable than what is already out there? If so, test the waters at one of the many flea markets in South Africa and consider selling your wares online. Create a memorable or catchy name (and domain name to match).

Think of a fun visual way to display your items with creative photography that shows your distinctive style.

Selling second-hand goods

Buying and selling can be an interesting side gig if you have a nose for commerce, particularly if you have an interest in a specialist area like rare books, antiques, photography or art. There are many channels where you can sell. For example, local classifieds and auction sites like Bidorbuy, OLX and Gumtree, or international platforms like eBay if you want to go global.

Each marketplace is different, and some products do better than others. It is wise to invest in your own side-hustle website. In that case, you will not find yourself having to build your brand from scratch if anything changes on the marketplaces you use (i.e. if they update their rules or policies). Also, some platforms charge success or ad placement fees. Ideally, you’d like to pocket the money rather than paying it to someone else.

Online courses/tutoring

If you excel at a skill that many people would like to learn at home, tutoring or online classes can be a great way to earn additional revenue. There are plugins for that on platforms like WordPress.

Alternatively, put together a series of video lectures and other materials to be hosted on an e-learning site like Udemy. Again, some of these e-learning hubs charge a commission for sales on their platform, so you need weigh up that cost against the benefit of reaching a global audience.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way to monetise your website by recommending products and services. But you need a lot of topically related content that speaks to the same market as the affiliate marketing programmes being promoted. Integrating affiliate marketing into the above side-hustle websites can also help to create some residual income.

You’ll need to get a lot of traffic to make this side gig pay off, but it can be a nifty way to earn a little extra off a website you already run.


If you have a second property like a holiday home, you can turn it into a nice stream of passive income without needing to take on long-term rentals. You can list your property with a platform like Airbnb or to offer short-term accommodation to tourists or business travellers.

Professional services

If you have a skill such as graphic design, writing, coding or bookkeeping, you can turn it into an after-hours side-hustle. Make sure you don’t compete with your employer and have permission to moonlight if your side-hustle will be much the same as your day-to-day job.

Set up your side-hustle website checklist

To get going with your online side-hustle, you need to get your website in place. You can create this website on pretty much any platform, but the GoDaddy Website Builder makes it quick and easy to get going.

  • Choose a domain – One that matches what you are offering. Here are some tipsto get you started.
  • Plan your website – How many pages, categories, and topics will you cover? What hosting would be the best fit? Consider blogging to share your expertise and show you are the one to do business with.
  • Get active on social media – Get the word out about your online side-hustle. Do your best to have the same username/handle across all platforms to help build your brand. Then, make sure your header graphics and colour palette are consistent on all platforms.

Between your day job and your side-hustle you’ll probably be working harder than you ever have. But having something on the side to call your own can be richly rewarding and even open up new full-time career possibilities for you.

This article has been adapted from an original piece by Judith Kallos.

Image by: Flower photo created by whatwolf -

Selina Bieber
Based in Dubai, Selina heads up commercial strategy for international markets at GoDaddy and is currently an Advisor at, a business as a software company operating in the crypto-economy. Before joining GoDaddy, Selina headed up media relations across Europe for a large-scale energy project headquartered in the Netherlands and was on the agency-side leading marcomms activities for the likes of Facebook, Verisign Inc and Euler Hermes. Selina grew up in Australia, studying international studies and media at the University of Adelaide, before moving to Istanbul and completing a Master’s Degree in Political Science. She is now doing a Doctorate in Business Administration at ISM and also holds a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. With English as her mother tongue, Selina additionally speaks Turkish and German.