Business development · 14 November 2017

Ten side hustle ideas you can launch using just your laptop

First step: Choose your niche

Before you begin building your first website, you’ll need to decide which niche you’re going to target with your marketing. 

(6) Video production

videoBrands are increasingly eager to use the services of video producers, and the costs involved in producing videos – both in terms of hardware and software – continue to fall.

If you have a good understanding of production and the appropriate basic equipment (with software like Microsoft’s Premier Pro installed, for example), a side hustle producing short videos can easily be launched with just a laptop.

First step: Invest in video editing software  

Examples of popular video editing software include Premier Pro, Movie Maker and iMovie.

(7) Translation

Even though many translation services are now handled by technology, human translation is still needed for good quality, accurate translations.

The majority of books, websites, manuals and guides all need to be translated in detail from one language to another. This can be where your side hustle come in.

English has become the universal language, however there are 6,500 other spoken and written languages around the world.

So, if you’re fluent in a foreign language, you can earn extra money translating into English. There are a growing number of online platforms where freelance translators can register and advertise their services.

First step: Select types of translation to specialise in

If you’re fully versed in the specialist jargon of a particular industry, you may find it easier acquiring translating work.

(8) Proofreading

ProofreadingThe process of checking the quality of written content, including checking for typos, grammatical error and general flow, is known as proofreading.

For anyone with an eye for detail and some editing experience, proofreading may offer a great side hustle business opportunity.

A proofreading venture can be launched and run entirely from a laptop, with side hustlers able to work wherever they want, as much or as little as possible.

Startup costs for a proofreading side hustle will be low, since all you’re likely to need is an internet connection. However, it may take some time to build up a regular base of clients, so you may not be able to make money overnight.

First step: Understand your customers’ expectations

Publishing houses might have different proofreading needs and expectations to self-publishers, for example.

(9) Social media management

Social media is an increasingly effective marketing tool for businesses. However, an effective social media strategy often involves an ongoing stream of original content, requiring the time and man-power small businesses don’t often have.

Social media managers offer a number of services to help with this problem. They can set up accounts on behalf of clients, develop marketing strategies based on a brand’s social goals, and operate multiple social media platforms all at once.

An understanding of the nuances of the social platforms you’re working on is important, as is being able to project your client’s desired message.

First step: Educate yourself

You’ll need a strong foundation of marketing knowledge to get good at social media management and create a side hustle.

(10) Selling on eBay

ebay The world’s biggest online marketplace may provide the perfect tool to launch your laptop-based side hustle business and begin earning.

To launch an eBay business, all you’ll need is an internet connection. There’s no cost for setting up an account, so you can begin selling on the platform straight away.

Gain experience buying and selling on eBay to understand how it works, then identify the consumer trends you want to tap into. Starting an eBay-based side hustle will be more interesting if you’re passionate about the items you’re selling.

First step: Set up your eBay account and buy something

Begin to understand how the platform works by buying something first, then move on to selling.

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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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