Need money? Build a side gig

Need money? Build a side gig

Doing something on the side is appealing to many. Here's how to make it work

By day, Robin O'Neal Smith is a chief information officer for a local school district.

After hours, she is a ghostwriter and editor for bloggers. Smith now earns about $1,000 in extra cash every month from the side gig she launched two years ago.

"I had started a business to do social-media management but there seemed to be a much higher demand for blog posts than Facebook and Twitter," said Smith, 56, who lives in Pennsylvania in the US.

"So I started with one client and quickly added more."

Her earning potential from blogging could be greater if she had more time.

"There are only so many hours in a day that I can write since I still have a full-time job," she said.

"I have hired some help, and once they are fully trained, I will take a few more clients."

In the new "gig" economy, taking on work on the side has never been easier. In the US, 12 per cent of employees with full-time jobs also freelance, according to the Staples Advantage Workplace Index.

In the UK, there are estimated to be about 1.88 million freelancers, and in the EU labour market, the number of freelancers grew by 45 per cent between 2004 and 2013.

Although not all side businesses would be considered freelance, and some freelancers work at it full time, the numbers are a good indication that more and more of us are striking out on their own.

If you're considering taking the leap yourself, here are some things to consider.

What it's going to take: You'll need to be self-motivated, a good multitasker and have some free time.

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