Whether you’re looking to grow a business while working your 9-5 or just trying to figure out how to make extra money as a dietitian, this list is for you. In this list, I go through 15 ideas that you can pursue right now to make an extra $1000 (at least!) per month.
Prefer to listen as a podcast? Check out the episode here:
If you are working a 9-5 and are interested in starting a business, I always recommend building up a dietitian side hustle before you go all-in on your entrepreneurship endeavour. A few reasons why this is something that I recommend, 1. It gives you the time and creative space to be able to try different things, in case your first idea doesn’t work out, and 2. It allows you to figure out if entrepreneurship is actually for you.
So, without further ado, here is my list of 15 dietitian side hustles to earn an extra $1000 per month:
1. Digital products
A digital product, or an “e-good” is an intangible resource you’ve created that is only available in digital form. So think of any time that you’ve downloaded a free or paid e-book, audiobook or resource from the internet - these are examples of digital products.
The reason why I love digital products so much is because they are easy to create and start selling. Aside from the upfront work of creating the product, there is very little effort required on your part to continue to deliver it. Simply put it up on your website, add a way for people to purchase it, market it on your social media and e-mail list and you're good to go! Digital products can be a great source of passive income (ie - income that doesn’t require active effort, and can be earned even when you’re sleeping!)
2. See clients
When most dietitians think of owning their own businesses, the first thing that comes to mind is private practice. If you want to work 9-5 and see clients occasionally, that is totally doable (and in fact, many dietitians do this!)
Check out my podcast episode on How to Start a Private Practice for some easy steps to get your private practice set up. Also, check out my free dietitian private practice business plan toolkit to create a strong foundation for your business.
3. Online webinars or masterclasses
One of the beautiful things that has come from covid-19 is people’s willingness to utilize online education platforms. There has never been a better time to start offering your services online, whether that be through 1:1 counselling or via a digital course.
If you have a social media following or email list (even just a small one), what about offering a 60-minute paid masterclass on a topic that you are an expert in? Some examples could be - feeding your infant, easy meal planning or grocery shopping tips for weight management. The opportunities are endless!
4. Digital courses
One thing that we are seeing a lot of dietitians do nowadays is turn their expertise into a digital course. One of the reasons why this is an amazing idea is because it is scalable. We only have so many hours in a day where we could potentially see clients 1:1, right? Having a digital course helps you reach more people with your content (and create more passive income).
5. Subscription services
If you have a specific niche in a certain topic, then a subscription service could be a great idea for you. A subscription service means that someone pays a monthly fee to have access to you or resources you develop.
A subscription service could be as simple as creating an exclusive private Facebook group where you do Live Q&A’s and provide valuable information and resources which someone has to pay monthly to join.
6. Build up your social media (long-term)
So, this is an important one for all dietitians who are looking to pursue entrepreneurship (or even just to build up their professional profiles!). However, building up a social media following takes time and effort. Once you get up to a certain number of followers, you will start to get approached by brands to create sponsored content for them, or get paid to represent their product in some way.
This can be a very lucrative avenue as the health and wellness product space is only growing and expanding as time goes on. There will continue to be opportunities for dietitians to do this work if they want to - so, no, the online nutrition space is not too saturated for you to start!
7. Freelance writing
This is actually how I started my business, and is something that I still do to this day. To get jobs, you can use platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr or People Per Hour. These are essentially marketplace where people will post freelance jobs and you can bid on them as a freelancer.
Although it takes some time to get started on these platforms and requires consistent effort to get jobs, it can be fruitful! I once landed a $2000 a month client off of Upwork, so the good jobs are definitely out there.
Now, I often get approached by marketing agencies via LinkedIn. So if you’re interested in writing, make sure to explicitly state that in your LinkedIn bio - this will allow you to be more searchable to people looking for this service.
8. Recipe development
I’ve gotten many recipe development jobs off of the freelancing platforms mentioned above. Many blogs, businesses, food companies, etc. are looking for experts who can create recipes for them.
Here are a couple of the recipe development projects I’ve done to give you an idea of what’s out there:
A vegan recipe e-book for a company looking to promote plant-based eating
Contributed to a cookbook related to women’s hormone health
Created a recipe for a business looking to come up with a “better for you” granola
Incorporated a brand's products (ex. Chia seeds, amaranth) into recipes that they could post on their blog
9. Medical review
Have you ever noticed that on websites like Healthline, their articles will often be written or “medically reviewed” by a healthcare provider? This essentially means that a credible source will review the article to ensure that it is factual and accurate before the company posts it on their website.
Many supplement companies are looking for medical reviewers to look over their content (and these companies tend to have a bigger budget to pay you!) Again, these jobs are usually obtained via freelancing platforms.
10. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing basically means that you act as a sort of “salesperson” for someone else’s product. You will get a personal link that you can use to post about a product and then when someone buys it, you will be given a % of that sale.
Many companies offer affiliate links for their products, so if there is a brand or a resource that you use often, then this might be something you want to check out. Resources like PracticeBetter or even Wix (which is what I recommend when it comes to a website platform) have affiliate programs.
One very important thing about being a part of affiliate programs is that you have to disclose this to your audience. So if you are using an affiliate link in a blog post, or on your social media, you must tell your audience that you are receiving a financial incentive for doing so. Often, brands will have their own requirements for how you disclose this information, so make sure and look into this before just posting the link.
You may want to check with your regulatory body before engaging in affiliate marketing to ensure that it is allowed within your dietetic jurisdiction.
11. Sell physical goods
I’ve seen some really awesome dietitian-led product-based businesses. As someone who has had a product-based business, this can be a really fun way to make extra income. I’ve seen dietitians create body positive t-shirts, fun utensils with foodie memes, reusable snack bags and more!
Selling on Etsy is a great place to get started. It’s very easy to set up an Etsy site - just make sure that you have high quality photos of your items and figure out how you’re going to ship them in advance!
I had mentioned freelance writing above, but a more long-term strategy can be writing or blogging on your website. If you build up enough traffic to your website, you can start putting ads on it to make extra passive income. With ads, you get paid based on the number of people that view that ad. So, more traffic = more money!
You can also post your articles on Medium. Medium is a platform where anyone can publish written work. If you publish high-quality work consistently, then you can get paid for the number of people who view your content. I think there’s tons of opportunity for dietitians to write high quality nutrition information on Medium. If you already have a blog, why not post those articles on Medium as well to increase your traffic and hopefully start to make money off of them?
13. Speaking engagements
Although these jobs may require some active effort to get, speaking engagements can be very lucrative. Many companies are looking for dietitians to deliver lunch-and-learns or seminars to their employees.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and pitch yourself. Come up with a short paragraph on what you do and what you speak about and start reaching out to local companies on LinkedIn.
14. Social media manager
If you’re a creative soul (like me) and enjoy coming up with beautiful Canva images to post on social media, there are TONS of social media management jobs out there. Social media management usually involves creating and posting content on someone's social media streams, plus engaging with other accounts.
I’ve worked for a few different health or nutrition-focused brands to come up with social media content for their audiences.
Private practice dietitians are always looking for someone to help with their social media, so don’t be afraid to reach out and see if they need some assistance.
15. Virtual assistant
Being a virtual assistant (whether for a dietitian business or not) could be an excellent opportunity for a student who is looking to earn some side income. Many small businesses are looking for virtual assistants to help them with some of their daily or weekly tasks, whether that be managing their email list, making updates to their websites or posting on social media.
Again, many of these positions are available on freelancing platforms, or even conventional job boards like Indeed.
*Bonus* Build up your online presence!
So my final side hustle (which isn’t really a side hustle, but more of a tip) is to just start building up your online presence. By that, I mean, start an Instagram account, start posting on your LinkedIn, create a website for your personal brand, etc.. You never know what opportunities might come to you but if you’re not visible online, then you’re never going to find them!
Whether or not you have a 9-5 job, or you’re a student who is trying to make some money in between school and the job hunt, there are tons of ways for dietitians to make money through unconventional routes. It’s up to us to seek out the endless opportunities available!
Interested in working together? Book a free 15-minute discovery call with me to learn more about how I can help you turn your business idea from vision to reality.
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