Best Side Hustles For Journalists | 7 Ideas To Earn More Income

best side hustles for journalists

We live in a digital world and increasingly people are feeling overloaded by information and news from different channels. T.V, newspapers, FB, emails, the internet – wherever we turn it seems we are bombarded by information.

If the average person feels like this, imagine how much worse it must be for journalists whose jobs require them to research and check out various sources for their reporting.

It’s a fact that it can be incredibly overwhelming for them and even lead to burnout.

A survey from the European Journalism Centre’s News Impact Network showed that “Journalists are overwhelmed by the information they process in their working day and want to explore solutions with third-party providers and management to make it more manageable”.

Consider also the findings of a national survey of journalists in the U.S. that shows that “as trauma coverage frequency and intensity increases, so does the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.”

The struggle is real and it’s a reason Journalists are looking at side hustle options.

There are awesome side hustle options available to journalists that can provide them with the opportunity to work as a journalist flexi-time thereby cutting down on stress and potential burnout.

So read on for some great ideas that can help you generate a viable income!

1. Affiliate Marketing

image of Affiliate Marketing

A great place to start is with affiliate marketing. Consider the following statistic:

15% of the total digital media advertising revenue is attributed to affiliate marketing”.

It should give you an indication of the incredible opportunity and potential to make money through affiliate marketing.

Let’s take a look at what affiliate marketing is, for those who are unfamiliar with it.

Affiliate marketing is when you market and promote a product online and receive a commission for doing so. You do this by signing up with them as an affiliate and when anyone you refer purchases from them, you receive a commission.

As a journalist, writing is your thing! You have hard-earned knowledge and experience in this so you can build a website and blog around this and share that knowledge with other would-be writers.

Within this context, you can promote a product like Freelance Writers Den as an affiliate product.

Freelance Writers Den is a community that is focused on helping freelance writers become successful writers who make money. It has a flourishing community made up of more than 1200 writers.

By joining up with them you will have access to freelance writing boot camps (which cover everything from setting your website up to writing appealing content and SEO guidelines).

In addition to the boot camps, as a member, you also have access to the forum where you can ask advice on any topic relating to freelance writing. You also get feedback and critiques on your writing as well.

It’s a wonderful resource for someone who is determined to build a career as a freelance writer. At just $25 per month with the option to cancel any time it’s a lucrative product to promote as an affiliate.

Let’s take a closer look now at the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing.


  1. Low start-up costs
  2. Passive income
  3. You set your working hours
  4. No expertise required
  5. Flexibility
  6. No customer aftercare


  1. Competition
  2. You need to have self-discipline
  3. No control over the affiliate programs commissions and terms
  4. Can’t establish your own customer base
  5. Income level not guaranteed
  6. Choosing products to promote may be daunting

Key Things To Consider

  • Be prepared to be patient – just as it takes time to establish a physical business, so too it takes time to build an online business. Be prepared to build your business over time and you will reap the rewards.
  • Affiliate marketing is a competitive field. To give yourself an edge write reviews on products you have used. This will help bring attention to the product you are promoting and can help generate sales.
  • Learn as much as you can about affiliate marketing. There’s so much info on the internet but it can be disjointed and overwhelming. Consider doing a course on affiliate marketing – highly recommended is the course at Hustlelife.

2.  Create A Course

image of Course Development

As a journalist, you have knowledge and expertise that you can sell to others in the form of an online course.

According to Statista, “Projections show the e-learning market worldwide is forecast to surpass 243 billion US dollars by 2022”.

Clearly, this is a very viable way in which to raise an additional source of income for yourself.

Udemy is the world’s largest online learning platform. It provides a wide range of courses for adults and students. They have more than 40 million students and 50, 000 instructors, teaching 130 000 courses in more than 60 languages. (Wikipedia)

You can design and write your own course and sell it on Udemy. Their payment structure works as follows:

Udemy Payment Structure

Udemy Organic Commission

(No marketing and promotion from Udemy)


50% of the sale
Udemy Deals50% of the sale


Udemy Affiliates


25% of the sale
Coupons97% of the sale

(Udemy payment structure)

Clearly, this is a viable way to make some additional income but you may be wondering what course you could offer?

If you have experience with self-publishing, for example, you can put that together into a course and offer it on Udemy. You’d be surprised how many people dream of self-publishing a book but just have no idea where to start.

You could put together a clear guide that can show them the ins and outs of how to do this in simple, layman language. An invaluable tool for anyone trying to navigate the world of self-publishing blindly.

What then are the advantages and disadvantages of creating your own online course?


  1. You can make a good income
  2. Recurring income (You are paid every time your course is purchased).
  3. You can express your creativity
  4. You own the course
  5. The satisfaction of helping others achieve their goals


  1. It’s time-consuming initially making your own course
  2. No guarantee people will buy your course
  3. You will need to invest in some technology to launch your course

Key Things To Consider

  • It can feel overwhelming to design and build your own course – a good tip to keep in mind is that it doesn’t have to be a huge course. You could offer it by module by module with each one building on the other.
  • Make sure you provide clearly defined learning outcomes that explain clearly what the learner will be able to accomplish by the end of your course. Anyone looking to purchase your course will want to know what it will do for them.
  • Be sure to add visual and interactive content to keep your students engaged and excited about learning.

3. Amazon FBA

image of amazon FBA

When you consider that Amazon is the largest online retailer, then it’s clear that this is one platform not to be overlooked when choosing a side hustle.

According to recent industry figures, Amazon is the leading e-retailer in the U.S. with close to 232 billion U.S dollars in 2018 net sales”.

That’s substantial and an excellent reason to look into Amazon FBA.

So what exactly is Amazon FBA? Amazon offers a platform where anyone can sell their products and they also offer the option of FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon).

It works in the following way: You send your products to be stored at an Amazon warehouse. When you make a sale Amazon will see to the entire process of packaging, shipping the product and providing 24/7 customer care.

While you pay a fee to Amazon for this service, it takes all the headache out of having to ship products to your customers and provide aftercare and deal with refunds as necessary.

It’s a great way to run your business more effectively and have the Amazon brand backing you and building trust with your clients.

A look at the Amazon bestseller lists shows that at the top of the list is a book called “The Scribe Method: The Best Way to Write and Publish Your Non-Fiction Book”.

You could source books in a similar vein that helps people learn how to write and get published. And these you sell via Amazon FBA.

Let’s take a look now at the advantages and disadvantages of Amazon FBA.


  1. Less time-consuming for the seller
  2. Free shipping for the buyers
  3. Quick delivery
  4. Storage is provided by Amazon
  5. Your buyers get Amazon Prime
  6. 24-hour customer care support


  1. FBA fees apply
  2. Easy for goods to be returned
  3. Product preparation may be difficult (Amazon has strict guidelines on how to prepare and ship your items to them).
  4. Can be challenging keeping track of your inventory
  5. The seller has less control over packaging

Key Things To Consider

  • When choosing what products to promote on Amazon FBA research as always is key. Consider using a tool like Jungle Scout – it’s a fantastic researching product tool that can give you an insight through their sales information into choosing the right products.
  • Treat your customers like royalty and always be on the lookout for how you can improve things for them. Keep scouting new product opportunities and ways in which to grow and expand and improve your business.
  • Be sure to follow Amazon’s strict guidelines on how to package your products when you send them to their warehouses. Failure to do so could result in them refusing to stock your product.

4. Become A Private Tutor

image of private tutor

Here is another fantastic avenue through which to pursue a side hustle – become a private tutor.

According to Technavio “The private tutoring market in the US will grow by USD 5.80 billion during 2018 – 2022”.

You may be wondering what avenues you can pursue with this but consider for a second how much value parents and kids alike place on going to College and gaining entrance to College.

So a possible example of what you can do as a private tutor is tutor high school kids in essay writing skills so they can pass the SAT.

Another avenue you can pursue is to provide tutoring to help students prepare to write their entrance essay for their college application.

With the value that parents place on a college education, they will be more than willing to invest in tutoring to help their kids achieve this!

You can find clients by working closely with local High Schools or even through an avenue like Craigslist. You set your fee and can charge between $50 – $200 per session.

Let’s look a little closer look now at the advantages and disadvantages of offering private tutoring.


  1. Can earn good money (Pd per hour)
  2. There will always be a demand for tutors
  3. Work for yourself
  4. Flexibility
  5. No start-up costs


  1. You need lots of patience
  2. Can take time to become known and established

Key Things To Consider

  • Consider the age of your students when deciding on your teaching methods – educational games and activities are great for younger students while using technology, PowerPoint presentations, social media etc in your lessons will work well with older students.
  • Establish good communication with your students and their parents so you can get regular feedback and adjust your lessons accordingly.
  • Consider joining up with a tutoring association and becoming a certified tutor.

5. Kindle Publishing

image of kindle publishing

Now, this side hustle option should be right up your alley as a journalist. After all, writing is your thing! So why not consider writing a book and publishing it on Amazon Kindle.

Based on data collected by, Amazon is the biggest player in the U.S. field. Including Indie books, Amazon accounts for 83% of U.S. ebook purchases”.

This is not an opportunity to overlook so don’t miss out on making your books available through this platform!

So how does Kindle publishing work? Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing provides you with a platform through which you can market ebooks you have written.

And the best part of all? It’s free! And you as the author will receive royalties between 35% to 70% of the sale price.

Perhaps consider using your knowledge of writing to write a book that can teach kids the writing skills they will need to write their college entrance exams.

Whatever you ultimately decide on as a subject for your book just know that you can generate a good side income through publishing ebooks on Amazon Kindle Publishing.

Let’s take a closer look now at some of the advantages and disadvantages of Kindle publishing.


  1. You can access the marketplace faster
  2. You are able to earn more money
  3. You have control of the process of marketing and setting the price
  4. You can provide quality content in a shorter format
  5. Have the option of publishing in both digital and print format
  6. The Kindle app can be used on just about all devices
  7. Mistakes can be easily rectified
  8. It’s a great way to test the market


  1. Some people prefer books in a paper format
  2. Competition
  3. You are restricted to the Amazon platform
  4. It takes time to build up sales

Key Things To Consider

  • Even as an established writer it’s always a good idea to have your work edited by an Editor. The number one reason self-published books fail on Amazon is due to lack of editing. Invest in the services of an Editor!
  • First impressions matter and will be the make or break of whether someone takes a closer look at your book. So invest into having your cover professionally designed.
  • Amazon offers promotion programs to help you promote your book. Take advantage of these as it will only help you at the end of the day.

6. Become A Writing/Publishing Consultant

image of writing consultant

All the knowledge and expertise and writing skills you have accumulated through hard-won experience can be used to help others in a consulting capacity.

In 2018, the consulting market in the U.S. amounted to around 68.5 billion U.S. dollars”. Taking this into account, this is without a doubt an idea to weigh-up as a side hustle option.

So what does it involve being a writing/publishing consultant? As a consultant, you can share all your writing skills and publishing knowledge and experience with others for a fee.

By setting up a website for yourself you can assist others in a variety of ways by providing critiques of their writing, answering specific questions and giving guidance as a consultant and coaching them on how to publish their works.

And all this can be offered for an hourly consulting fee! You can advertise through avenues like LinkedIn.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of working as a consultant.


  1. Flexibility
  2. Good income
  3. Meeting and networking with other writers
  4. Get to work on different projects


  1. It’s a lot of responsibility for the consultant
  2. You need to be self-disciplined
  3. Can be stressful

Key Things To Consider

  • Don’t be tempted to take on too many projects at a time. While you may not want to turn away work, you need to consider your time constraints and how much work you can realistically commit to. Doing this will ensure you offer value to your clients in terms of your service and time you make available to them.
  • Keep a good balance between your consulting commitments and your family time. It’s too easy to allow consulting work to overtake your personal life. Setting a strict work schedule with set working hours will help you keep the right balance.

7. Become A Copywriter

image of copywriter

The perfect fit for a journalist already accustomed to writing daily!

Based on data collected by ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate paid to writing freelancers in the U.S. is $48. That’s significant and a great incentive to investigate the option of becoming a copywriter as a side hustle.

Examples of places you can find online work are FlexJobs and Behance Jobs to name just two but there are plenty more options so spend a little time researching your options.

Let’s take a look now at the advantages and disadvantages of working as a copywriter.


  1. Flexibility
  2. You can earn well
  3. You set your working hours


  1. You need to be organized
  2. Need to be self-disciplined
  3. You need to meet deadlines

Key Things To Consider

  • Build a digital portfolio showcasing samples of various types of writing you have done. Be sure to include referrals from clients you have worked with previously.
  • Clearly define the goals you are hoping to achieve with your copywriting. Clearly establish how much you are looking for, how much time you can commit to it and what you are hoping to earn.

So there you have it! Some fantastic ideas to consider as a side hustle. Whatever your reason for needing a side hustle, don’t delay! Start today and begin to build additional streams of income for yourself and a better future too!

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