Being a stay at home mom isn’t easy. You’ve got to deal with bumps, bruises, and more bodily fluids than your counterparts without kids will ever truly understand. If you’re a stay at home mom, you’ve undoubtedly felt at one point or another, like you weren’t contributing financially to your household. Let me, as a dad, be clear here – being a mom is enough work as it is – but, if you feel this way and would like to make some cash, then here’s a list of items which can earn you a healthy amount of money.
It’s worth noting that one of the challenges of being a mom side hustler, and looking for ways to make money on the side, is scheduling it around your mom duties. These hustles all take this into account, but some are certainly more flexible than others.
1. Sell on Etsy
Got a creative side to you? If so, you can make money on Etsy. Don’t limit yourself to just making things like Brooch Boyfriends, or Stainless Forks made into earrings – consider sourcing unique items from flea markets, thrift stores, and your basement – to sell in your Etsy store!
The beauty of Etsy is a very low barrier to entry: it won’t cost you anything to start selling. It’s worth noting, however, that photos are everything on Etsy – if you don’t have good photos of your product, you won’t sell to your full potential. Don’t stress, though, these days camera technology is fantastic, and even an entry-level camera like the Nikon Coolpix will take amazingly good photos. If you can’t spring for the Nikon or better, don’t stress- even the built-in camera on most modern smartphones are quite good.
2. Sell on Teespring
If you can come up with a few clever designs for T-shirts, you can make money. The concept is simple with Teespring (and others like it): you design shirts, kick off a campaign with a price that you set, and if it reaches a minimum sell (3-5 shirts), then they’ll be printed and sent to the customers and you’ll get paid. There’s been some incredible stories of people earning $10,000+ in a short campaign, and just like Etsy, the upfront investment is extremely minimum.
It’s worth noting that with Teespring, it’s all about the promotion. Spreading the word is key if you want to have a successful (and profitable) campaign. What most of the heavy hitters do, is utilize Facebook Ads. The idea is simple: you spend $10 on an Ad campaign which targets people who might be interested in your shirt, and if you get a few sales, you keep ramping it up. Good campaigns will come out on top and very profitable. The great thing about the “start small” mentality with Facebook ads, is if it’s a dud, you’ll be out a few bucks only. If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Ads, I strongly recommend Facebook’s Ad Resource Center, which has a bunch of free training.
3. Start Blogging
Blogging is extremely popular with stay at home moms. It’s a great way to express yourself, connect with others, and make some money. You can make money in a few ways – through ads placed on your site, through affiliate programs, or by writing sponsored posts (some high end bloggers are paid $2,000+ PER post!). The point is: there’s money to be had!
The investment is low from a financial perspective – you just need a host, and a domain name, but the time investment is high. The good news is, you can start slow and build your audience up over time. The key part about blogging is consistency, and keeping in mind that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Many top blogs didn’t see success until the two year mark.
4. Amazon Mechanical Turk
If finding time for your hustle is a challenge, Amazon Mechanical Turk might be the solution for you. In a nutshell, AMT is a program run my Amazon, which allows people to accept HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks. These tasks can be things such as calling a doctor’s office and verifying their specialty and location, transcribing audio from a video to text, or categorizing news articles. The payment? Each HIT can range from as low as $.01, all the way up to $98.77 (the current highest paying HIT on Mechanical Turk). The beauty is that you can pick and choose which ones you want to complete, and work at them on your own schedule.
And by the way – don’t balk at earning pennies, nickels, or dimes for a task – if you can knock out several per day, it will add up. With AMT, you have to start with the lower paying HITs, but you will work up once you’ve reached a higher completed HIT count (typically 100).
5. Drive for Uber/Lyft
If you’ve got a car, and a smartphone, you can drive people around for money. Obviously, the hope here is that you won’t be bringing your children with you – so you’ll have to figure that out. If you can swing this hustle, though, there are people who use Uber or Lyft as their primary means of income. I recently had a driver that drove 15+ hours a day and earned thousands per month on Uber. While a mom can’t drive 15 hours a day – you can definitely earn enough to be profitable with your side hustle.
6. Sell Your Photos
If you enjoy taking photos as a hobby, why not sell them to stock photography sites? Every time someone needs a stock photo and searches a site like Shutterstock, or Dreamstime – they’ll find a photo and pay for it. Why not have them pay you? All you need for this hustle is a camera, a good eye, and some image editing software.
It’s a numbers game with selling photos: the more you sell, the more you earn. A colleague I spoke to who used this hustle on the side, had around 2,000 photos on stock photo sites, and was making about $1,500/mo. Not bad, for a hobby – and hey – you were going to take the photos anyway!
7. Multilevel Marketing/Network Marketing
BeachBody, Pampered Chef, Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware- I’m sure you’ve heard of most of these, if not all. They’re all Multi-level marketing (or Network Marketing) companies. They work by you signing up to sell their products, after which you get a commission. Ideally, you then go recruit other people to add to your team.
In 2011, the top BeachBody ‘Coach’ made $1.6M. Mary Kay hands out pink cadillacs (technically on a co-lease) if you build a team and sell above a minimum standard – and many other, lesser known programs, offer very high earning potentials with sweet perks.
The catch? It’s a lot of work. Sales is no joke. I should know – I do it full-time (well, mixed with plenty of engineering, to be fair). It’s ALL about your contacts, and ability to get out there and network, and be proactive. If you can do those things and treat it like a real business, then you can earn with these types of programs. It’s worth noting that many have a startup fee, although it is typically not too high ($100 or so) for most programs.
8. Rent your Clothes
Places like Style Lend will let you send your luxury clothes to them, where they store them – and let others rent them out. They’ll clean the clothes after they’re used, and re-store them, giving you a cut of the profits. This can be a great way to monetize that huge closet you have (and not to mention – save some space!).
9. Write ebooks
Writing ebooks can be highly lucrative, but takes some skill, finesse, hard work, and maybe a little luck. The big places to sell ebooks are Smashwords and Amazon KDP, with Amazon being the clear frontrunner. Before you dismiss the idea that you can write a book, think about this: the shortest ebooks typically have 5,000 words (short stories). If you were to only write 1,000 words a week, you could write 9 short stories that are published in a year (assuming you only do it for 70% of the year!). Slow and steady wins the race with writing.
Also, don’t forget that you can use sites like Fiverr.com, Elance, and Upwork to hire editors, and even writers – to bring your next great book idea to fruition. As for income potential? I could tell you about the highest earning ebook authors (they’re millionaires, and often in the Fiction genre)- but let me just put this another way:
Indie ebook authors represent 24-34% of all sales in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In other words, they represent roughly $201M in income globally, and they sell significantly more books in the United States than the big publishers do.
Protip: Don’t let yourself become tethered to Amazon only, if you can avoid it. Amazon is not the most generous platform for authors. Although there’s more hoops to jump through, iTunes offers some pretty nice terms for authors just starting out. Ideally, though, your book will live on multiple platforms at once.
10. Freelance Graphic Design
If you’re not tech savvy, or even into digital design – don’t overlook this hustle. If you’re a mom, let me tell you one major advantage you have: you’re a woman. I am firmly convinced that women are more creative in almost all realms, and as a result, make better graphic artists (sorry, guys). That being said, starting this hustle is awesome for one simple reason: on-the-job training. You can get a monthly subscription to Adobe Photoshop, which is the standard tool for the majority of graphic designers (among other tools in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite) – and with that subscription, you can begin making images today. There’s a plethora of free tutorials, videos, and courses online to teach you photoshop. If you can learn it, you can do anything from design websites, logos, social media banner images – you name it. Some logo designers charge over $1,000- so the money is definitely there.
To learn Photoshop: Check out Photoshop Cafe for some free tutorials.
11. Teach Group Exercise Classes
If you currently attend group fitness or training classes, teaching classes is the next logical step. Other than being physically fit, the only real requirement is typically a simple ‘Train the Trainer’ course, and the ability to get in front of a room. The typical salary for a Les Mills instructor is $25-40/hour, depending on locale, class size, and experience. Most places that host trainings, such as gyms, and your local YMCA – will employ you as a contractor.
Thinking on a bigger scale, if you can become a group fitness instructor, you’ll make many good friends, which further expands your professional network – and that is never a bad thing. Plus – it’s a lot of fun.
12. Repurpose Furniture
If you take one look at Craigslist, you’ll see tons of postings advertising ‘Shabby Chic’ furniture, among other styles. Much of it has simply been repurposed – sanded, painted, with new hardware installed. If you’re handy with this kind of stuff, give it a shot. Take a look at what kind of pieces are selling, and try to duplicate the style of one of them, and sell for a profit. I’ve been involved in a coupe of these projects and it’s shocking how simple they can be, yet many people don’t have the interest in the work – they just want a nice piece of furniture.
This is my list, but I want to hear from you mom’s – what have you found success in as a Side Hustle? Even if you’re starting out, drop me a line via any means of social media, or leave a comment below!