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20 Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start While Keeping Your Day Job

20 Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start While Keeping Your Day Job

Need A Little Extra Cash – Start Making Your Free Time Work For You

It’s hard to ignore the dramatic spike in prices that we have all experienced recently.  Increases in the cost of food, gas, and other essentials have put the squeeze on people who are just trying to make ends meet.

The bottom line in all of this is that everyone could benefit from some extra cash right now. 

Self taught programmer

If you’re already working full time, starting a side hustle may be one of the best ways to increase your income right away.

What is a side hustle? It’s basically a freelance job or side business that you can do in your spare time.  With the emergence of the gig economy, there are some amazing and easy to use platforms for finding lucrative side hustles in almost any area of expertise or interest.

One of the hardest things about starting a side hustle is knowing how to start and working out what you are going to do. That’s what we’re going to cover in this article.

For some people, turning their side hustle into their full time job is their dream. Other people just need to take on a little extra work to make ends meet but love their current job. Regardless of your situation, you’ll find some great tips on how to find the right side hustle for you.

Side Hustles

Side Hustles

Side hustles are becoming more and more popular.

According to the School of Freelance, one in three Americans have a side hustle, and of those who do, one in six of them are making over $500 a month from it.

Those are some compelling numbers and it’s easy to see why side hustles are becoming more and more popular.

Now, I want to temper expectations here. 

Side hustles are not a “get rich quick” scheme. They usually require hard work, but if done right, they can deliver on the promise of much needed extra cash (or even a full blown business that can eventually replace your job and set you on the path to financial independence).  

In these next sections, we are going to look at what side hustles are and how to make them work. We are then going to look at 20 amazing side hustles that you could start this week.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at what side hustles are.

What Are Side Hustles?

The School of Freelancing defines a side hustle as:

“The way people define side hustle tends to vary, but to most, it involves some type of self-employment—like freelance gigs—or an entrepreneurial endeavor, as opposed to a traditional second job.”

Put simply, a side hustle is a way of making money that you take part in during your spare time. It often draws on the same skills and expertise you need to perform your day job, but not always. 

What I love about side hustles is their flexibility.  Unlike most second jobs, they are a form of self-employment. They allow you to put in as many hours as you want and in most cases, you can schedule when you work. 

Plus, you get to keep all of your profits – there is something really gratifying about working for yourself and knowing that every hour you spend devoted to the task is directly benefiting you and only you.

Now I admit  that a side hustle may not be as reliable as a second job in the beginning because there is no guarantee of a paycheck at the end of the month.

But as you get better at developing your skills and reputation in your field and marketing yourself more effectively, you will often find that the demand for your services outpaces your availability.

And the best part is that there is no limit to how big your business can grow.

How Do Side Hustles Work?

For a side hustle to be successful and to last you need to make sure that it fits into your schedule.

This is why they are typically part time – nobody wants to work for eight hours and then get home and work eight more.

As I mentioned earlier, side hustles should be flexible and allow you to have some time in your day to relax. A flexible side hustle can be put on the back burner when there is an emergency, you are unwell, or if your full time job needs more of your focus that evening.

How To Find The Right Side Hustle For You

Finding the right side hustle involves three things

First, you need to make sure that you have the right skills (or can develop them in short order) for your side hustle.  Now don’t worry, not every side hustle requires some incredibly complex set of skills.  There are plenty that require no previous experience or special expertise.

Second, you need to ensure that the side hustle aligns with your schedule and lifestyle.  For example, if you are a stay at home mom taking care of young kids, you will want to look for side hustles that allow you to work from home. 

Third, some side hustles require money to get started (like becoming a landlord), so you will need to take that into account as well. 

20 Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start While Keeping Your Day Job

20 Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start While Keeping Your Day Job

Here is a list of 20 well-paying side hustles that you could start this week:

Sell Items Online

Upfront investment – very small to medium

If you are an artist of any form then this is a great side hustle to start. You can make money by selling what you make.

If you draw you can sell your drawings. If you do pottery you can sell your bowls and vases. If you knit you can sell the sweaters you make.

There are also opportunities for many creators to work for commissions online.

Where can you sell your stuff? For crafts and homemade items, Etsy is a great online storefront that is easy to use and very popular.

Another really well-known platform is Shopify.

Top Tip: You will have a better time selling items online if you only have to design the item once to sell it multiple times – i.e. selling prints rather than original paintings is a lot less time-consuming.

You can take this a step further and create a print on demand store. Here’s my article showing you how to do it.

Rent Your Extra Space

Upfront investment – small

If you have some spare space in your home then you could rent it out for some extra money.  If your extra space is a livable area, like a spare bedroom or basement, Airbnb is a great platform to do this.

But even if your space is not habitable, like a closet, an unfinished attic, or even extra parking space, you can rent those areas out using platforms like Neighbor

Now it is worth noting that in some areas, there are restrictions on renting out bedrooms and the like via Airbnb.  Many local jurisdictions frown upon it or have strict rules around it, so you want to make sure you are complying with all of the legal requirements before jumping in.

You should also be aware that in some countries you will need to own a property to rent out parts of it. Some countries consider sub-letting (renting out part of a property you are renting yourself) to be illegal.

That being said, this side hustle is a terrific, low hassle way to make relatively passive income in your spare time.

Manage Business Social Media Accounts

Upfront Investment – none to very small

Do you know how to make an engaging Instagram reel? Have you gone viral on Tiktok?
Do your Twitter followers hang on your every word?

Well, you could turn these skills into a money making opportunity for yourself.

Social media is something that most people know how to use, but that only very few people can use well. If you can put together a portfolio showcasing achievements online (often referred to as social proof) there will be many businesses – particularly smaller businesses – who will be interested in taking you on.

Lots of small business owners don’t have the time or expertise to run social media accounts, but the right online presence could make a huge difference to their sales. This is where you come in.

You may be able to bring on multiple small businesses at once as part of your side hustle and eventually start to charge more as you gain more experience.

Tutor Online

Tutor Online

Upfront Investment – none to very small 

Do you speak another language? Do you have a degree in a subject taught at school? Do you like to help other people achieve their goals, better grades, and to reach their potential? Then becoming an online tutor may be the perfect side hustle for you.

Tutoring is a really rewarding experience that many people fall in love with. It also comes with the added benefit of being flexible and lucrative.

There are many ways to tutor online, but the most popular method tends to be over Zoom. Tutoring sessions can last anywhere between 45 minutes to 3 hours. The sessions tend to get longer, the closer exam season gets.

If you want to have more consistent employment, then you will want to start advertising your services at the start of the academic year. This is when you will find it easiest to fill your schedule. If you leave it too late, everyone will have already found someone to work with.

As a tutor, you will need to decide what age range and academic level you want to work with. Being a tutor for third graders is a very different experience from tutoring college students. They also require different levels of qualifications.

Consider Starting A Blog

Upfront investments – small to medium

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make money from a blog in 2022. According to Shopify, blog earning has a near limitless opportunity in the 2020s.

When you are starting a blog, you will need to select a topic to write about (often referred to as a niche) and unlock the mystery of having your posts rank well on Google search. 

One way to do this is to find low competition keywords (which are just short questions or phrases that deal with a particular topic).  For example, a keyword may be “best chocolate chip cookie recipe” or “how to start a blog.”  Now both of these will be highly competitive and tough to rank for because the top ranking articles are written by high authority websites.

What you will want to do is try to find keywords that are less competitive – you can often do this by adding additional descriptors, such as “best homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies.” 

But the more specific you are, the less search volume you will have (i.e., fewer people are searching for that term).  So the trick is to find low competition keywords that also have decent search volume.

Once you have figured this out and are getting good traffic to your website, you can make money with a blog through advertisements on your page, affiliate marketing, or through a combination of both.

To get display ads on your blog, check out Ezoic.  I use them for many of my smaller websites and they are a perfect platform for blogs that are starting out (or even relatively mature blogs).

To make money from affiliate marketing you will need to sign up for a series of affiliate programs or an affiliate network. The companies you work with will provide you links to their products that will earn you a commission if your readers buy through your website.

For a full tutorial on how to get started, check out my article on how to start a blog from scratch.

Write An EBook

Upfront Investment – very small

Writing a book can be an amazing experience.

It can be so fulfilling to share your knowledge or life story with others.  Plus, there is the added bonus of being able to make money from doing something you love.

It is worth noting that while the monetary investment of writing an eBook is very small, the investment of time and effort can be huge. You may also end up spending money on advertising if you do not already have an audience.

As well as spending time writing, you will also have to spend some time making covers and formatting the books so that they work online but can also be read on a Kindle if that’s what your audience wants.

But don’t worry, you can do this for free using platforms like canva.com.

Once you’ve written and formatted your book, all you need to do is put it up for sale on places like Amazon KDP.  It’s a free service (although Amazon will take a piece of your sales), but I think it’s a small price to pay for getting potential access to their worldwide customer base.

Dog Walking

Upfront investment – very small to small

Lots of the side hustles on this list are about making money online from the comfort of your home. If you like to be out of the house then becoming a dog walker could be just what you are looking for.

What is better than getting paid to exercise?

To be a good dog walker, you need to make sure that you are free at times when people want their dogs walked. Most people want this done in the morning. You also need to be good with dogs and understand how to keep them well-behaved.

You can find dog walking gigs on platforms like Rover.com or even regular job websites like simplyhired.com and indeed.com.

Now if you want to become a dog walker, we recommend that you get insured – the last thing you want is to get sued if one of the dogs causes injury to a person or another pet.

Pet Sitting

Upfront investment – small to medium

There are many different types of pet sitting.

Some people hire pet sitters when they go away and others hire them to keep their pets company during the day. You may be asked to look after the pet in your home or you may have to house sit at the same time as pet sitting.

If you need to have pets at your home then you may have to spend some money on pet-proofing your home. This may include making sure there is no way for them to escape from your garden, installing a cat-flap, or buying toys for the animals.

There is a little overlap between dog walking and pet sitting. If you pet sit a dog, it is very likely that you will have to walk them too. We recommend that you get insurance as a pet sitter, especially if you end up walking dogs as part of your job.

Rover and the job websites I mentioned above have gigs for pet sitting too, but can also check out specialty websites like sittercity.com.

Delivery Driver

Delivery Driver

Upfront investment – very small to small

The pandemic has changed the way that we all shop and even our eating habits. More people than ever are shopping online and ordering takeaways to their homes.

This rise in demand means companies are looking to hire more delivery drivers. They can be pretty flexible when it comes to the hours you work – especially if you are delivering food. There are often a lot of shifts in the evening, which makes it a perfect option for people looking to start a side hustle.

All you need to become a delivery driver is a bike, a car, or a motorbike. You also need to love driving around your city.

Some of the most popular food delivery options you can check out  include Doordash, Uber Eats, and Grub Hub.

Babysitting

Upfront investment – very small to small

If you have experience working with children then you could turn babysitting into your new side hustle.

The first thing you need to think about when you start babysitting is what age group you want to babysit and how many children you want to babysit at once.

The only thing you will typically have to spend money on as a babysitter is transportation to the little one’s home. Otherwise, the parents will typically supply most of the equipment you need – especially if the child is under three.

If you are regularly working with the same families, they may ask to drop the kids off at your home. If they do this then you will want to make sure that your home is appropriate for their visits.

Note, that childminding and babysitting are different jobs. You typically need qualifications (and maybe even licenses) to do childminding professionally. If you want to work with a babysitting firm then you will need qualifications – the qualifications required will depend on the company.

Clean Houses

Upfront investment – small to medium

If you are happy to take on an active side hustle, then cleaning houses is a great option. It will definitely keep you fit and on your toes.

50 years ago, only one person in a couple was working and the other was looking after the home. This is not the case anymore, in around 46.8% of households both partners work. This goes up every year.

Because people are working a lot more, they have less time to clean and the demand for cleaners is going up and up. This is great news for anyone looking to make a profit out of the business.

You will need to put together a cleaning kit before your first job and have some kind of transport so you can move from home to home.

Check out general job websites like simplyhired and indeed as well as sites like care.com and housekeeper.com to learn more.

Become A Proofreader

Upfront investment – very small

Are you a native English speaker? Do you have a good grasp of the English language and all its intricacies? In that case, becoming a proofreader could be a great side hustle for you.

To be successful in this field you need to love the work. You need to be a problem solver and enjoy fixing other people’s work. You need to be a quick reader and someone who can concentrate on any topic.

If the above sounds like you then you should advertise yourself as a freelance proofreader or signup for a proofreading agency.

To be a proofreader, you do not need any special equipment. Some proofreaders like to work in Google Docs while others prefer Microsoft Word. You may find that your clients want to work in specific software. If this is the case, you may have to purchase that software. Otherwise, there is very little you will need to purchase to be a proofreader.

Note, proofreading and editing are very different roles. A proofreader will only be required to fix spelling and grammar mistakes. An editor will be asked to focus more on comprehension, mood, and style.

You can find proofreading gigs on places like Fiverr and Upwork.

Sell A Digital Product

Sell A Digital Product

Upfront investment – very small to small

Did you like the sound of selling physical products online but don’t have the space to store physical products or the time to make them? Then you should try selling digital products.

One of the major benefits of selling digital products is that you will never have to rent out storage space for the products, even if you are selling thousands of units.

Digital products also typically only have to be made once – for example, you can write one workbook and digitally sell it thousands of times, but if you were selling printed workbooks you would have to print and bind each one. As well as finding somewhere to store it.

If you are an expert in one subject, you could also sell an online course along with your other digital products.

A good place to sell your digital products is Sellfy, but you can use platforms like Etsy as well.

Become A Site Tester

Upfront investment – very small to small

This is the kind of side hustle that sounds too good to be true.

We are going to talk about website building later, but if you don’t want to build websites for people, you can always test them. It’s not as well paid, but there is a lot less effort involved.

It is very important to companies that their websites function well when they launch a new product or want to drive extra traffic to their site. A link that doesn’t work could cause companies to lose money.

This is why many of them employ website testers to make sure that never happens.

To be a site tester, you just have to be computer literate and understand a few of the basics of website building. The more you know about how to build a website, the easier it becomes to spot mistakes on them.

Check out sites like Userlytics.com and UserTestingl.com for these types of side gigs.

Content Editor

Upfront investment – small to medium

Being able to make entertaining content and being able to streamline it in the editing process are two very different skill sets.

If you have a gift for picking out the most important moments from multiple hours of footage then there are people out there who need your help.

You will also find that some people produce so much content that they need someone else to edit it for them.

If you want to become an editor then you will need a computer with a lot of processing power and you will need some video editing software. These can be costly, but the pay in this industry can be very good.

Fiverr and Upwork are great options if you are looking to score these types of jobs.

Transcriptionist

Upfront investment – small

There are many different reasons why people need to hire transcriptionists.

Video makers often bring them on to create accurate subtitles and closed captions. Transcriptions of meetings are often needed for binding legal agreements. And medical research companies often hire transcriptionists to keep notes during interviews. 

Many companies who are looking for freelance transcriptionists will want you to use one of the three major transcribing software. It is worth downloading these and learning how to use them before taking on any big jobs.

There is little else you will need to do this job properly.

Some of the better known platforms for these types of jobs  are Rev.com and transcribeme.com

Become An Online Consultant

Upfront Investment – very small to small

Do you find yourself working a job where you don’t get to share all the expertise you have accumulated over your career? Then you should consider offering your services as an online consultant.

You may be pleasantly surprised by how valuable others find your skills – especially if you have been working for over a decade.

If you have experience as an accountant, you will find a huge amount of consulting work online. However, the same goes for many other types of experience, including human resources, IT, team building, visual merchandising, and graphic design.

Being a consultant is a great way to make money from skills you already have. It is also an alternative to tutoring that some people will find much more appealing.

Offer Web Design Services

Offer Web Design Services

Upfront Investment – very small to small

You cannot be a successful business in 2022 without a website and customers expect high quality websites.

For many companies, their websites allow customers to gain a better understanding of the brand and what they stand for. An ugly or broken website shows customers that the business doesn’t care.

This is where amazing website designers like you come in. You will be surprised by how many people still don’t know how to build a website. It is a skill that most people can learn in a few weeks and make into a profitable side hustle.

Once you have the right skills, it’s all about advertising yourself in the right place.

To make sure you are turning jobs over quickly, you should make sure that you are clearly communicating with your customers and that you understand what kind of websites they are looking for.

What makes website building even better is that you don’t have to invest much in it to get your side hustle started. There are many free tutorials on Youtube that will teach you everything you need to know.

You can go to Fiverr and Upwork to offer these types of services.

Provide Voiceovers

Upfront Investment – small to medium

Can you do a range of voices? Have you thought about moving into the world of voiceovers? Voiceover jobs tend to be short and easy to fit around a full-time job.

If you are interested in providing voiceover services then you will most likely need your own mini recording studio to work from. You don’t have to convert a whole room into a studio, but you should prepare a space that will allow you to produce professional quality sound.

It is recommended that you create a soundproof space and invest in a high quality microphone. You may also need a good set of headphones so you can check how much sound your microphone is picking up.

Some voiceover artists are required to edit their own clip, if this is the case for work you pick up then you will also need to invest in some audio editing software.

Check out Voices.com, voice123.com and backstage.com for these types of gigs.

Start A Stream

Start A Stream

Upfront Investment – very small to small

The recent Twitch wage leaks have shown us all how much money it is possible to make from streaming alone. Before taking into account sponsorships, merch sales, and bonuses from Amazon, the channel Critical Role made $9 million from Twitch streams.

We’re not saying that you can jump straight to a seven figure paycheck by streaming – but it does offer a unique way to make money online.

If people want to watch you play video games online, listen to you talk about politics, or even watch you draw live on stream then you could be earning yourself a good amount of money, All for doing something you enjoy.

While streaming on most sites is free, you may find you have more success if you invest in a good webcam and a high quality microphone. 

Summary

Video editor side job

So there you have it – 20 great side hustles that allow you to start making some serious extra income.  Find what resonates with you and keep at it – you never know what your side hustle can turn into.  Plenty of people started a side gig only to have it grow into a lucrative business that gave them huge financial success!