7 Lucrative Side Hustles

Author Article

7 Lucrative Side Hustles

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Whether you need a little extra cash to make rent or you simply want to explore your passions outside of work and get paid for it, a side hustle can be a lucrative way to bring in more income — without waiting for your boss to hand out a raise.

The side hustle economy is booming. In fact, according to a study from BankRate, nearly 37 percent of Americans have a side job, and they’re making an average of more than $8,000 every single year.

Your side hustle is exactly what it sounds like: A gig that you juggle alongside your day job. Balancing your side hustle against everything else isn’t easy, but it can be lucrative, not to mention fulfilling.

Related: The Best Employees Have Side Hustles — Here’s Why

If you’ve got a passion that pays, you probably already have a good side hustle going. But if you’re in the market for a little extra dough and you’re not sure where to start, this list of the seven best hustles should help.

Start up your sole proprietorship and see which of these options might work best for you:

1. Instagram influencer.

Influencers are so effective as marketers because they are seen as authentic and trusted — to their followers, they are friends, not advertisers. Therefore, you might find incredible traction within your field (and beyond) if you’re able to monetize your social media activity, particularly on Instagram.

Take, for example, the growing community of teachers as Instagram influencers. They inspire fellow education with their color-coding, organizing, decorations and curriculum planning, and some of them get paid more — much more — for their IG work than their “full-time” job. This is a long-term play, however. You need to be well-established in your niche before brands think about approaching you for paid work.

2. Real estate agent.

If you live in a competitive real estate market, you probably know someone in this business. The real estate business is enormous and can be lucrative, based on how much time and energy you have to devote to it. Real estate is a great venture to start part-time as you build a client base and learn the intricacies of the business.

To become an agent, you’ll need to take a course and pass a test to obtain your local real estate license. You may also want to work under a brokerage that offers you protection and leads on clients, so there is a bit of an upfront, as well as ongoing, cost.

Showing houses and apartments, however, typically happens during unusual or non-work hours, like nights and weekends — which means it could fit right into your schedule.

Related: The Top 10 Side Gigs for 2019

3. Accountant.

Helping small businesses or other sole proprietors with their taxes sounds like a tough side gig, especially with the rise of easy-to-use tax software. But about 70 percent of small businesses outsource their tax preparation duties, meaning there’s a market for being willing to roll up your sleeves and learn how to prepare taxes for others.

Doing remote monthly bookkeeping for small businesses on retainer, writing and producing a web seminar or e-book on how to file, or helping businesses craft a business plan they can use when applying for a loan are all small, but focused, ways to put some accounting knowledge to good use.

4. Photographer or videographer.

Taking photos or videos is an excellent example of a popular hobby that can become a lucrative side hustle if you’re willing to invest in the tools and in building up your client base.

Good freelance photographers and videographers are often hired by individuals, businesses and organizations to document events, take headshots and work at parties like weddings or engagements. You can set your own rates depending on the quality of your equipment, your time in business, your particular style and whatever other variables go into the difficulty of taking the pictures/videos and editing them on the side.

5. SEO/content writer.

A great way to break into freelance writing is to offer businesses your services as a content writer, with an emphasis on helping with search engine optimization. If you’ve always been a skilled creative writer and want to start making money from the craft, a few free courses or blog posts can teach you the basics of writing with an eye towards SEO-friendly content that businesses need to rank higher in search.

Small businesses are increasingly using blogs and social media content to attract new customers and drive traffic to their website. Create a website, craft an introductory email, and start pitching businesses on the idea of you writing content for them on topics related to their industry.

6. Coaching or consulting.

Have you become an expert in your chosen field and want to pass your knowledge and skills on to those trying to make a name for themselves? Are you the friend everyone turns to for advice, because you’re not just a good listener but preternaturally wise? If so, professional or life coaching could be a fun avenue to explore.

Good coaches are typically credentialed by an organization like the ICF in order to assure clients of their background, but there is no law that says you need one. You could start coaching on an informal basis before making the leap to more professional coaching. Coaches typically have a niche in leadership or executive coaching, life coaching, relationship coaching or career coaching.

Consulting in your field is also a strong possibility if you’re experienced enough to justify the role. Selecting a niche and setting up a website or platform to begin marketing yourself is the first step. Networking to find and develop clients is the next.cra

7. Crafting.

This one is worth mentioning because of its popularity. It’s one of the biggest side hustles out there that is arguably available to everyone — unlike a slightly more specialized hustle like construction/repair work. If crafting is your hobby and you feel confident that you can sell your wares to people outside of your friend group, it’s easier than ever to set up an Etsy or Shopify page to promote and sell whatever it is you make to the masses.

Be careful not to turn a hobby you love into an ecommerce job you hate: Stay true to what drew you to the craft in the first place and don’t overextend yourself.

A side hustle isn’t just about the money. According to The Hustle, a larger percentage of survey respondents say they “love” their side gig more than their actual job –and since side hustlers make an average of just $686 a month, it likely has to be a labor of love. If you can find a hustle that helps you save for a vacation or afford a nicer apartment, however, you’ll love it even more.

House Hunting in … Italy

Author Article

Andrea Wyner for The New York Times

By Alison Gregor

This three-bedroom home is just outside San Vito dei Normanni, a rural town in the southeastern Italian region of Apulia, about 15 miles west of the coastal city of Brindisi and the shores of the Adriatic Sea.

Completed in 2017, the 2,691-square-foot home includes a contemporary one-story villa with two bedrooms and a cluster of traditional structures with conical roofs known as trullimade from Apulian dry stone.

Set on nearly four acres, the property has landscaped gardens, fruit trees, an olive grove and a swimming pool.

The five attached trulli have been refurbished and include a single bedroom, dressing room, living room with open kitchen, and bathroom. The trulli complex is linked by a glass hallway to the contemporary portion of the stone-and-concrete home, also painted white, which has barrel-vaulted ceilings made from a volcanic stone called tuff. The living area has an open kitchen with a four-burner induction cooker and professional oven, among other appliances. The two bedrooms in the contemporary structure each have an en suite bath.

All of the main rooms in the home open to a patio area with a barbecue, anchored by a 50-by-16-foot rectangular pool. The contemporary wing is topped by a roughly 1,000-square-foot roof deck.

The property functions as a single-family home, but could also be rented to tourists, as many renovated trulli complexes in the Apulia region are.

A large kitchen in the home’s contemporary wing has a dining table and barrel-vaulted ceilings made from a volcanic stone called tuff.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

 

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A large kitchen in the home’s contemporary wing has a dining table and barrel-vaulted ceilings made from a volcanic stone called tuff.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

“This project was born from a completely renovated period village of trulli, to create a luxury residential and tourist facility equipped with every comfort,” said Francesco Cavallo, a founding partner of PROF.IM. Real Estate Agency, which has the listing.

Specific to Apulia and dating back several centuries, trulli are built from stone, without mortar. They were originally used as temporary field shelters or dwellings for agricultural laborers that could be disassembled easily. This home’s trulliwhich date to the early 19th century, were rebuilt with an eye to retaining their historic authenticity, Mr. Cavallo said. One of the structures had partly collapsed and had to be rebuilt by local artisans, known as trullistos,who specialize in the regional architectural style, he said.

The furniture, which is included in the asking price, was handmade by a local cabinetmaker in keeping with the home’s design.

The pool terrace has an outdoor shower, a large barbecue and a wood-fired pizza oven. Several dozen lemon, orange and other fruit trees have been added to the property’s centuries-old olive grove. There is also a large English-style garden, an irrigation system, parking for four cars, a security system and an automatic vehicle gate at the entrance.

The town of San Vito dei Normanni, with a population of about 20,000, dates to the Middle Ages and is notable for its religious architecture. San Michele Salentino, a small community with shops, is about a mile from the property, Mr. Cavallo said, and Ostuni, known by tourists as the White City because of its whitewashed old town, is 10 miles north. The beaches of Alto Salento and the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve are about 20 minutes away. Brindisi’s international airport is about 25 minutes by car, while Bari, a city of more than 300,000 with an international airport and a cruise port terminal, is just over an hour up the coast.

In the past decade, Apulia, a scenic region encompassing Italy’s “boot heel” and bordering the Adriatic and Ionian seas, has become a destination for those seeking second or vacation homes, said Huw Beaugié, the founder of the Thinking Traveler, a company specializing in Mediterranean villa rentals.

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The conical structures, or trulli, have a dining area adjacent to a small kitchen.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

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A lounge area is set beneath a small window and arched stone ceilings.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

“It’s part of a general increase in desirability of a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle,” he said. “Apulia appeals to a desire to return to basics.”

A 2018 report by Gate-away.com, an Italian property portal for overseas buyers, ranked Apulia second among Italian regions (after Tuscany) for the volume of inquiries from potential investors, said Simone Rossi, the company’s managing director.

The area’s traditional properties, which typically sit on the Adriatic coast or in inland fields shaded by olive groves, are “very much in demand among investors who renovate them and bring them to their ancient splendor,” Mr. Rossi said. “In many cases, they turn them into B&Bs.”

Properties that attract vacation-home buyers have increased in price over the past decade, although it is difficult to say exactly how much, Mr. Beaugié said. “It’s still possible to pick up pieces of land with a few tumbledown stones for a few tens of thousand euros,” he said, while a large feudal farmstead, or masseria, “will cost a few million to buy and restore to a good standard.”

Apulia has become a destination for celebrities in recent years, with lavish weddings and parties, said Marta Calligaro, a property researcher with the brokerage Homes and Villas Abroad. “The global recession just over a decade ago saw prices fall,” Ms. Calligaro said. “But the past two to three years have seen renewed growth, with the market for second homes being its driving force.”

A bedroom in the contemporary structure overlooks the patio area and a 50-by-16-foot swimming pool.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

 

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A bedroom in the contemporary structure overlooks the patio area and a 50-by-16-foot swimming pool.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

The average price of a home in Apulia is about 1,300 euros a square meter ($136 a square foot), with the city of Bari being the most expensive area and Taranto the most affordable, although prices can vary widely, Mr. Rossi said.

A country house or seaside villa might cost about 150,000 to 300,000 euros ($170,000 to $340,000), and a masseria could run from 400,000 euros ($450,000) into the millions of euros, Ms. Calligaro said.

Many buyers plan to rent out their properties when they are not in residence, Mr. Cavallo said. Rental prices range from about 1,500 to 2,000 euros a week ($1,700 to $2,260) to 4,000 or 5,000 euros a week ($4,500 or $5,700), he said.

A decade ago, Northern Italians were the first to seek deals on vacation homes in Apulia, back when a trullo in need of work could be had for as little as 20,000 euros ($22,600), Mr. Beaugié said. But now more buyers are foreign, from Britain, the United States and Australia, as well as Germany, France and other European countries, brokers said.

The ongoing Brexit turmoil and the most recent American presidential election may be responsible for driving the “huge growth in the interest of both Brits and Americans,” Mr. Rossi said.

There are no restrictions on American or Canadian buyers in Italy, although citizens of some countries face obstacles, making it easier to buy through a company, Ms. Calligaro said.

Buyers may hire a real estate agency to assist them, typically for a fee of 3 percent of the sale price, Mr. Rossi said.

The closing of home sales is handled by a notary, for a fee of 2,000 to 3,000 euros ($2,260 to $3,400) paid by the buyer, Ms. Calligaro said.

The home is in the Apulian countryside, near the town of San Vito dei Normanni, which has about 20,000 residents.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

 

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The home is in the Apulian countryside, near the town of San Vito dei Normanni, which has about 20,000 residents.CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

A personal lawyer can provide legal advice throughout the process, for a fee of about 1 to 2 percent of the sale price, she said.

In all, buyers should budget 10 to 20 percent of the sale price for closing costs, Mr. Rossi said, including a 9 percent tax on the assessed value of the home if it is being used as a part-time or vacation home. Those buying a home as a primary residence pay only 2 percent, he said.

Italian; euro (1 euro = $1.13)

The annual property tax on this home is about 1,450 euros ($1,640).

Francesco Cavallo, PROF.IM. Real Estate Agency, 011-39-08-3199-1613; immobiliareprofim.com

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Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated Apulia’s classification in Italy. It is a region, not a province.