If you’re anything like the thousands of others who Google “side hustles” every year, your 9-5 may just not be cutting it financially — or maybe it just isn’t as fulfilling or compelling as it used to be.
Whether you’re looking to integrate some creativity into your working life or simply supplement your income, we’ve got some promising options for you and tips on how to start!
Best Side Hustles & How to Make Money
1. Virtual Assistant
If you have basic administrative skills like data entry, creating schedules or booking reservations and services, then being a virtual assistant might be a great fit for you! Fiverr and Upwork — a hub of freelancers offering various skills — are great websites to join if you’re wanting to market your virtual assistant services.
Have you mastered a skill, hobby or honed in on a unique interest? Start a blog and offer up advice and insight to your expertise! No matter what your particular niche might be, there’s a market for it in the blogging world. Note that you may have a tougher time breaking into the more saturated fields, but you can make a profit blogging about everything from cooking, fashion, fitness or travel, to finance, technology, parenting or interior design.
Building a site take a considerable amount of time and you want to make sure it’s done right from the start — as far as SEO and site structure goes. If you have the budget for it, I recommend hiring someone to help you build your website. After 12 years in this business, I’ve helped dozens of people build their brands. To learn more, visit my digital marketing website.
I also recommend taking a course to build your strategy and learn the ins and outs of SEO and writing good content.
Read more: How To Start A Travel Blog And Make Money
3. Selling On Etsy
Maybe you’re crafty with wood-working and can make custom tables, or have great handwriting and can create calligraphy thank-you cards; regardless of your custom craft, selling on Etsy is super simple and a widely-known shopping website that reaches the masses.
4. Prints On Demand
There is a hot market for prints on demand right now, ranging from wall art, digital prints, clothing and customized items for events like weddings and bachelorette parties. If you have the means to print and ship, you have the means to make a great side hustle out of it! Invest a few dollars in a die-cut machine like Cricut and you’ll find it’ll pay itself off in no time.
5. Graphic Design
Freelance graphic design has been on the rise — why not get in on the action? Take a class on Adobe software, and quickly become a pro creating logos, book covers, custom artwork (pet portraits anyone?!) and more. Market yourself on Fiverr and Upwork, and you’ve got your own business up and running!
6. Create Online Courses
If you’d prefer teaching to learning, why not try creating and selling online courses? Dating, self-help, technology and money management are popular online courses that appeal to the masses — and similar to blogging, you can fully customize the material to fit your particular expertise or interests. Think of it as your own personal masterclass, tailored to your particular audience!
7. Language Tutoring/ESL
Language tutoring, or teaching English as a second language, online can more lucrative than you might imagine. It’s recommended you get a TEFL (“Teaching English as a Foreign Language”) certification before offering this service, but once you do, you can start tutoring/teaching online for $20+/hour from the comfort of your home!
While working for a ride share company or food delivery service means technically being an employee (vs. running your own business), the flexible hours and built-in customer base makes it a great option to earn instant money on your downtime. The upside to this work is that you also don’t need to have a skill mastered — essentially, just driving!
9. Flip Furniture
You might be shocked to discover that a free dresser or nightstand on Facebook Marketplace can be turned into a $200+ profit with just a few hours and some supplies — in fact, sometimes all an old armchair or sofa needs is a good upholstery cleaning to be transformed from ratty vintage to chic retro!
Flipping furniture from yard sales, the “free” section of Craigslist and even pieces found on the side of the road can be a few hours of refinishing work well spent!
10. Dropship On Amazon
Did you know it’s possible to sell items through Amazon and let Amazon do all the work for you? All you need to do is create a seller account, and for a small fee Amazon will allow you to sell a product while doing the dirty work of stocking and shipping it — creating an awesome opportunity for passive income.
It’s not entirely hands-off, as you are responsible for processing returns and customer service, but with fulfillment services handled entirely by Amazon it produces a great return for minimal time and/or money investment!
Tips for Starting a Side Hustle
1. Create A Website
Not only do you need to build and create a website, but you need to also take into consideration the various aspects that go into it. Graphic design and sticking to a consistent aesthetic throughout should be a big priority, as should making the website Google/search friendly to keep it high in search results.
This may not be intuitive to everyone, so don’t hesitate to hire a consultant/marketing agency if you need. After 12 years in this business, I’ve helped dozens of people build their brands. To learn more, visit my digital marketing website.
2. Social Media
It is absolutely critical to create social media channels across all platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, etc. Once the social accounts are made, don’t forget that you need to keep them all ACTIVE. New content should be posted regularly, and you really should create a strategy to find your niche and unify all of the platforms.
Sound complicated? Delegate this work if it’s outside of your knowledge-base.
Whatever product or service you’re selling, one of the easiest ways to market yourself is to partner with more well-known brands or influencers.
Did you know that every year Oscar-nominees are given gift bags worth over $100,000 of products, services, vacations, etc.? This isn’t out of the brands’ “kindness of their heart”; they donate these things because association to — and therefore, endorsement by — these A-list celebs is essentially free marketing to a very wide audience.
Selling jewelry on Etsy? Send some to your favorite influencers on social media with similar taste and kindly ask for a shoutout on their platform.
Working on getting your graphic design skills out there? Re-do some of the most recognizable logos out there in your own style, post them (tagging the real brands), and watch your work catch a public following! If you can offer a discount code for new clients or customers, even better.
4. Create A Customer Loyalty Program
Speaking of discount codes, be sure to offer discounts to new clients after their purchase as well — at least while you’re still starting out and growing your business. Discounts for future purchases will help retain existing customers, which is MUCH cheaper and easier than gaining new ones.
5. Emphasize Your Customer’s Return On Investment
There’s a reason people pay top-dollar for pricey luxuries like gold and diamonds: it’s because they’re metaphorical “priceless,” and last forever (or so we’re told!). The same should be said about your product or service — it should be long-lasting and something your customer can’t easily do or make themselves, making it worth their money.
Offering a service like virtual assistance is priceless to the person who will then save invaluable time by delegating their work to you; creating and selling an online course about quality dating advice is priceless to the person who highly values a partner but has struggled in the dating pool.
Ultimately, what you’re selling should be worth it — and to your potential customers, it likely is. Remind them of that!