It’s true. You have to keep the lights on and food on the table. And, sometimes this means going through the motions of the 9-5 job that provides decent pay, good benefits, and a short commute.

But, what about your ideal job? What about the passion project you dream about when life slows down? What about your hopes of building residual income so you can break free from the daily grind?

The good news is, with the growth of eCommerce as a viable way to make money and the ability to advertise your services online (even locally), you can turn your dreams into a reality. 

You’re not alone in your desire to create a side business. 57 million Americans already own a side business and you can too.

To give you a better idea of what a side hustle is and how to get started, let’s look at what a side hustle is, why you need a website, and some examples of successful side hustles to help motivate you.

start your business with gator website builder from hostgator

What Is a Side Hustle and Do I Need a Website?

Let’s keep this short and simple. A side hustle is a business you create in addition to your primary source of income. The goal of your side hustle can include making money, establishing credibility, building a community or making a career jump.

Your side hustle can operate entirely online. Online businesses include things like blogging, affiliate marketing, running an online store, providing tutoring services online, completing consumer surveys, etc.

Another option is to start a small service-based company like pet sitting, house cleaning, babysitting, renting your parking space, renting your car, selling your art, dog walking, and more. 

Regardless of whether or not you start an online business or a service-based business, it’s essential to build a website for your new side hustle. 

Why? Here are two main reasons.

1. Edge out the competition and get noticed

Did you know that 6 out of every 10 small businesses in 2018 don’t have a website for their business? Not to mention, 35% of small business owners feel their business is too small for a website.

Here’s the problem with this short-sighted mentality. There are over 4 trillion internet users and it’s a popular practice to look for businesses online—even small businesses and local businesses. 

Don’t believe it? 55% of people search for online reviews before making a purchase, 47% will visit the company website, 26% check out of the store, and 23% will tell their friends and family.

online channels consumers use to find purchase products

Businesses that invest in a website have the competitive edge over those businesses without a website. Building a website is the only way business owners can land online and mobile device customers. And, that’s basically everyone.

2. Establish credibility

A website is an important tool to build trust. In fact, did you know that 97% of people turn to the internet to look for more information about local companies?

When you have a website, potential customers can see who you are, what services you offer, your certifications, how you work, and read a little about you before entrusting you with their home, dog, or car, for example.

Without a website, it’s difficult to show customers you aren’t just anyone trying to make a buck or a scam artist.

Now that you know what a side hustle is and why you need a website, let’s look at a few examples of successful side businesses.

1. Melyssa Griffin

If you don’t already know who Melyssa Griffin is, it’s time to meet her as she has built one of the most successful side hustles into a thriving business.

In 2013, Melyssa Griffin was working in Japan as an English teacher. She was lonely, sad, and isolated. So, she started a blog. The Nectar Collective started out as a creative outlet with hopes of building an online community.

Fast forward to years later, and she is now one of the most popular online blogging instructors with a huge following. Not to mention, running her blog is her full-time gig, she loves it, and she makes a ton of cash.

melyssa griffin side hustle

Been dreaming of starting an online business? Get started with these resources for hopeful side hustlers.

2. Artisans List

Cindy Bogart, a former Better Homes & Gardens editor, came up with the idea for Artisans List after running into a frustrating situation.

Bogart was looking for local restoration sources to help with home renovation, and she was fighting tooth and nail to get information. No matter how hard she searched, she could only find information from neighbors, newspapers, and by stopping by actual sites where similar jobs were being done.

The process was grueling, so she started her own side hustle to solve the problem. She created an online niche directory and community that connected these small businesses with people, like her, who were looking for them.

Now, she runs the successful Artisans List, a website directory where small businesses and people can connect, and learn how to use methods and materials from the past in refreshing ways.

artisans list side hustle website

3. Pat Flynn

Are you interested in building residual income, but don’t actually have a product to sell? Then, you’ll love learning about Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn got laid off from his job in 2008 and quickly started some affiliate marketing websites. In other words, he makes money by selling other products on his websites in return for a small commission.

By building his own websites, and learning how to grow traffic and get sales, Flynn has built a multi-million dollar business. He even teaches others how to be successful with affiliate marketing as part of his business.

pat flynn affiliate marketing side hustle

It doesn’t matter what your side hustle dream is. What matters is that you get started.

Getting Started with Your Side Hustle Website

Are you ready to take the plunge and get your side hustle up and running? Step one is building your website. Even if you’ve never set up a website before, don’t worry. 

The Gator Website Builder is as intuitive as it gets. All you have to do is sign up, start using the easy drag and drop tool, and you’ll be one step closer to fulfilling your side hustle dreams.

Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.