Money-Making with Side Hustles

Money-Making with Side Hustles

Affiliate marketing is just a single form of making money online. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or an aspiring beginner, diversifying your sources of income is a good way to improve your financial stability.

This article will review some of the most common online money-making methods. Some of them, like copywriting or web designing, synergize with affiliate marketing, improving your main way of generating income. On the contrary, starting a blog and becoming an influencer serves as an alternative vocation, requiring long-term commitment and dedication.

We’ll start with what it takes to make money online. Since side hustles are many, we’ll give you a few tools to help you understand what you feel like doing. A long list of possible side jobs will follow: we’ll explore how well each activity synergizes with digital marketing. Finally, we’ll wrap everything said with a summary.

The Greatest Secret to Money-Making

Would you go to a restaurant, whose main selling point is: “Our food won’t make you sick”? Would you undergo surgery by a doctor, whose main achievements in life are being compassionate and not mistreating others? Would you stick to a person, who claims to be a “nice guy” without bringing anything else to the table?

Well… guess what, a restaurant just around the corner also serves non-repulsing meals and provides live music on top. A doctor next door is also very caring but additionally has a surgery success rate of 100%. 98% of the population consider themselves the better half of humanity, but the question remains — what do they bring to the table?

The world cares only about what it gets from you, which is best summarized by the following scene from the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”:

How to Obtain a New Competence

Get good at your activity and get it done. That’s the secret behind success, whether it’s a job or a hobby. People seek solutions to their problems, and as an affiliate marketer, you’ve been solving them all along: brand recognition for product owners, desirable products for users, income for the partners, and so on.

It takes 10 years to perfect a skill, but only 20 hours to get good enough. Becoming a rockstar, Großmeister, or football pro player requires 10,000 hours of practice, which might appear as far-fetched.

That’s why you should break down the 10,000 milestone into smaller parts and start dedicating 40 minutes to a new hobby every day. Decide on what you’re interested in and invest 20 hours at least per hobby before giving up. People feel initially reluctant to learn anything new, and the 20-hour threshold serves as a stimulus to break through laziness.

20 hours of practice in total is enough to understand whether you feel like continuing or switching to something else. This approach goes beyond hobbies and includes money-making online.

Via: Freepik

Affiliate marketing is a straightforward way of money-making online. After all, you’re reading the blog of HilltopAds, an ad network with 10+ years of history. Affiliate marketing is a vast field, involving multiple roles. That’s why you can put more effort into such a role as a way to earn extra cash in a familiar field.

Affiliate Marketer

Via: Freepik

The affiliate marketer, or media buyer, specializes in promoting products. Besides knowing how to get the best media placements (a.k.a. ad spots or airtime) for a limited budget, this specialist must be competent in multiple fields:

  • Media planning, including marketing research, data analytics, and ad scheduling
  • Data science, because understanding ROI, eEPC, CTR, and CR is essential for strategic development
  • Coding, if you want to smoke the competition with extra bells and whistles on your landers
  • Research analytics, which is useful to stay up to the latest trends online
  • Copywriting, since any ad is bound to have some text in it
  • Translation and localization, or at least being able to find a good translator capable of abridging an original text to the target language, so that it sounds native to the recipient
  • Designing, as almost every ad has a creative
  • Web designing, because designing a creative is one thing, but planning out a webpage layout is a different art
  • Video editing, which is essential for those into video ads
  • Culturology, because every GEO is unique and people there require a unique approach
  • Psychology, which includes understanding the consumers and business partners alike to negotiate the best deals

And the list goes on — the more skills, the better. A skillful affiliate can make up to $100,000 monthly or even more. A single affiliate cannot excel in every field, which is why media buying teams exist, where every member is a designated specialist.

A relatively easy way to start a side hustle is to try out a different subfield of affiliate routine. For instance, if you’ve been specializing in Pay-Per-Click (PPC), consider exploring Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Even if your ads won’t top Google search ranking, you’ll get more knowledge about direct and organic traffic, which can be implemented in your paid campaigns for extra user engagement.


Via: Freepik

Affiliate marketer is just a single part of the equation, the second one being publishers. Webmasters monetize their websites by granting access to their audiences. It might seem like a free ride at first, but publishers are preoccupied with retaining their users and prolonging their stay.

Webmasters care for money and user experience (UX) at the same time. They have to double-check which ads are run on their websites but are rewarded with relatively stable cash inflow. If you want to minimize your risks, we recommend partnering with HilltopAds, because we monitor the quality of our ads to ensure compliance and user retention rate.

Creating a website that is to be frequented by the users is a business plan. That’s why we recommend using business planning tools like SWOT Analysis and Business Model Canvas. A website might not be related to affiliate marketing at all, but HilltopAds will find a way to monetize it. However, it’s a good idea to take your time and purchase a well-sounding domain that is easy to remember.


Via: Freepik

An influencer shares almost the same characteristics with the publisher. The only difference is that an influencer usually doesn’t have a domain and sticks to social media platforms, e.g., YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, LinkedIn, X, and some local alternatives.

The opinion leader creates content to engage the audience, which is typically video-based. However, it can also be a blog post, Instagram photo, special promos & giveaways, User-Generated Content (UGC), etc.

As a social media personality, the influencer cares even more about pleasing the audience compared to the publisher. Your face and charisma are your main assets, and no influencer wants a stain on their reputation. That’s why the quality of ads is even more of a concern, but with HilltopAds there is nothing to worry about — we ensure ad compliance and follow all the requests of our publishers to the letter.


Via: Freepik

You’ve been writing all along as an affiliate marketer, so why not focus on this niche for extra income? Copywriter is an expert in writing texts, including blogs, newsletters, social networks, forum replies, case studies, scripts, and books.

Copywriting is a vast field, which goes beyond affiliate marketing. To become good at copywriting, your texts must solve a problem for the reader. Moreover, they are to be brief, up to the point, and overall useful. If you don’t like your texts, neither will your reader.

Even if you switch from affiliate marketing to novel writing, your books are to serve a purpose by easing life, providing guidance, warning against, cheering up, informing, or entertaining. Additionally, try to be brief, so that users get engaged faster.


Via: Freepik

Unless you’ve been specializing in PopAds, you are bound to have made a creative. However, designing goes beyond making tiny and short-living pictures for advertising. You might find yourself enjoying designing landers and websites for other people, not only affiliates.

Much like copywriting, designing is a vast field, which can be split into graphical and web designing. Graphical designing requires basic drawing skills: knowledge about complementing colors, light & shadow, essential proportions, etc. Web designing requires more programming expertise, which might please order-oriented individuals more.

Designing goes beyond the purely digital world. For example, you can become an artist, drawing on a canvas. Alternatively, you can start designing interiors or serve print-on-demand requests when the final product is tangible. Finally, designing can complement other spheres of activity. For instance, you can apply your technical and copywriting knowledge to engage in transitional calligraphy, when website layout, engaging headlines, and eye-pleasing presentation are all intertwined.

Translation & Interpretation

Via: Unsplash

There are 7,139 languages in 195 countries, i.e., 36 languages per state. Communication is at the foundation of strong networking, and the world needs language specialists like never before.

Translation might be easier to start with, since you have all the time needed to plan out what you are going to write down. However, the cost of a mistake is also higher, as well as quality requirements

Interpretation is a more dynamic field, where the main requirement is to keep on talking no matter what. Whatever your pick, consider using translation agencies or platforms to find your first contract, e.g., Pro-Z.

Venturing for New Vocations

Affiliate marketing just might be not for everybody. The following list contains the activities, which are distant to affiliate marketing. Still, your affiliate marketing expertise might continue to serve you there too.

Selling Old Stuff

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Trade-in of electronics, selling to thrift shops, and car boot sales enable to cut the losses. Instead of throwing away the old items for zero bucks, you can sell them at a big discount. If a thing stops serving your purpose, it doesn’t mean that it’s lost its value. Give other people a chance to look at it — they might find your item to be of great value.

Dropshipping & eCommerce

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Dropshipping is when you run an eCommerce store without owning the inventory. It’s like affiliate marketing, but you have an established supplier or a few of them. You serve as an intermediary, bridging the gap between a manufacturer and its prospects.

Traditional eCommerce is also an option if you manufacture something. Besides producing tangible outputs via aerogprahy, leather working, or carpentry, you can go for digital wares, like soundtracks, art, texts — anything, as long as it solves a problem.

Online Courses

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Sell your expertise if you’re good at something. Start teaching affiliate marketing, translation, design, music, art, accounting, dancing — anything. Duolingo was not built in a single day, helping 56+ million active users worldwide to master new languages. You can do the same, but with an added touch of personalization, which, as you know, is the key to a higher conversion rate.

Photography Selling

Via: Unsplash

Photo stocks like Adobe, Freepik, and Unsplash hunt for new materials day and night. Help them out if you’re into photographing landscapes or your portraits. You can start with royalty-free images to get a portfolio and gradually expand into a proprietary territory.


Via: Unsplash

Coding is the foundation of the online economy. Whether it’s a new website for an eCommerce store or another AAA game, professional coders are in demand. This is tedious work, which requires attention to detail, but the payouts are worth it — $91,116.


The world of online income generation offers a multitude of opportunities beyond affiliate marketing. Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just starting, diversifying your income sources is key to financial stability. From affiliate marketing synergies to alternative vocations like, there's a path for everyone.

We've explored the importance of skill acquisition and the six key roles within affiliate-related jobs, each demanding a unique skill set. Additionally, we've touched on various other avenues such as selling old items, dropshipping, eCommerce, online courses, photography, and programming. But the list goes on, it’s just we don’t have enough space to cover them all.

Whether you're refining your existing skills or venturing into new territories, remember: diversification is the key to unlocking success in the digital economy. But no matter what you do, keep on partnering with HilltopAds, as our job is to bring you closer to success. Contact us if you need any assistance and stay safe.