Business development · 14 November 2017

Ten side hustle ideas you can launch using just your laptop

Young woman at home
Some side hustles only require a laptop to get going

From affiliate marketing to video production, here are ten side hustle business ideas that don’t require a big startup investment.

Two terrifying aspects of starting a business can be the amount of time often involved with launching an idea, and the money needed to do so.

These considerations frequently put people off entrepreneurship altogether. Luckily, there are certain types of venture that can be a success without needing all the time and money in the world.

For those readers looking for that little extra bit of income, Business Advice has put together a list of ten top side hustle business ideas that can be launched using just a laptop.

(1) Mobile app development

App StoreIf you have a creative flair and know how to use your laptop for coding and computer programming, there’s never been a better time to launch a side hustle business developing apps.

In 2016, the International Telecommunication Union reported that there were more than two billion smartphones in the world, all with dozens of apps being used every day.

There is every reason to believe that the amount of money to be made from mobile apps will continue to increase.

Between 2015 and 2016, worldwide revenues from mobile app production grew from $69.7bn to $88.3bn. Data platform Statista has estimated that by 2020, global app revenues will reach $188.9bn.

First step: Choose your platform

The main platforms are Android, Apple and Windows. You can learn to code for all of them, but you’ll probably need to focus on creating apps for just one when starting out.

(2) Graphic design

Graphic designers create images and visual concepts, marketing the ideas and products of brands and businesses to consumers.

Traditionally, graphic designers have worked on paper but, more recently, graphic design has become associated with computer-based design software.

Well-known tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are just two examples of thousands of computer programmes out there that are available to graphic designers.

Armed with an understanding of how some of this software works, and some design experience, a side hustle can be launched from a laptop with relative ease.

First step: Develop your style

A successful graphic designer is one with enough knowledge to be able to create their own style, which can only be achieved through practice.

(3) Blogging

Woman with MacBook and iPad Pro with social service TwitterOnce it has enough traction, your blog can begin to make money by offering visual advertising opportunities alongside posts, including banner adverts and pop-ups.

Launching a successful side hustle blog requires preparation. Think about what your main objective will be and come up with a timetable for posting regularly, before you begin writing.

Consider the “voice” of your blog. How are you going to grab and hold readers’ attention?

First step: Domain and hosting

Before you launch your side hustle blog, you’ll need to choose a hosting site and register your blog’s domain name.

(4) Copywriting

Like blogging, copywriting involves writing good quality online content. However, unlike blogger, which can make money by offering online advertising space to brands, copywriters work on behalf of brands, writing content according to a predetermined brief.

For those with a laptop and a strong understanding of the English language, copywriting may offer one of the best side hustle business opportunities.

But, because of the low costs and relatively little hassle needed to launch a copywriting business, it’s a very competitive market.

Writing a business plan for your copywriting venture would be a good way to focus on what you’re trying to achieve.

First step: Create an online portfolio

Start by creating an attractive online portfolio of your work that’s easy for prospective clients to navigate.

(5) Affiliate marketing  

Affiliate MarketingAnother way to make a reasonable side hustle using just your laptop is affiliate marketing. It involves having your own website, and sending traffic to someone else’s site to purchase products or services.

For every sale made by someone following a link from their site, affiliate marketers will earn a percentage of the sales commission.

With affiliate marketing, you can earn an income relatively quickly and cheaply. All you’ll need to pay for is a domain name and online hosting (at a cost of around £10 a month) before your business can be launched.

And, once affiliate marketers begin earning money, their overhead costs can remain low. Owners won’t need to hire more staff or rent expensive premises to make an income.

Continue reading to find out how to take your first step in affiliate marketing, and our final top five side hustle ideas you can launch using your laptop

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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