If you’re anything like the thousands of others who Google “side hustles” every year, your 9-5 just isn’t cutting it financially—or maybe it’s just not as fulfilling or compelling as it used to be.
Whether you’re looking to integrate some creativity into your work life or simply supplement your income, we’ve got some promising opportunities for you and tips on how to get started!
Best side hustles and 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 could be a good choice for you! Fiverr and Upwork – a hub for freelancers offering various skills – are good sites to join if you want to market your virtual assistant services.
Have you mastered a skill, hobby or honed a unique interest? Start a blog and offer advice and insight to your expertise! Whatever your particular niche may be, there is a market for it in the blogging world. Note that you may have a harder time breaking into the more saturated fields, but you can make money blogging about anything from cooking, fashion, fitness or travel, to finance, technology, parenting or interior design.
Building a website takes a long time, and you want to make sure it’s done right from the start – in terms of SEO and website structure. If you have the budget for it, I recommend hiring someone to help you build your website. After 12 years in this industry, I have 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 write good content.
Read more: How to start a travel blog and make money
3. Selling on Etsy
Maybe you’re crafty with woodworking and can make custom tables or have great handwriting and can make calligraphic thank you cards; whatever your custom craft, it’s super simple to sell on Etsy and a widely known shopping site that reaches the masses.
4. Printouts as needed
There’s a hot market for print on demand right now, from wall art, digital prints, apparel and custom items to events like weddings and bachelorette parties. If you have the funds to print and ship, you have the funds to make a great side hustle out of it! Invest a few bucks in a die-cut machine like the Cricut and you’ll find it pays for itself in no time.
5. Graphic design
Freelance graphic design has been on the rise – why not get in on the action? Take an Adobe software course and quickly become a pro creating logos, book covers, custom illustrations (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 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, like blogging, you can fully customize the material to suit your particular expertise or interests. Think of it as your own personal masterclass, tailored to just your audience!
7. Language teaching/ESL
Teaching languages or teaching English as a second language online can be more lucrative than you might imagine. It is recommended that you get a TEFL (“Teaching English as a Foreign Language”) certification before offering this service, but once you do, you can start teaching/teaching online for $20+/hour from your home !
While working for a ride-hailing company or food delivery service technically means being an employee (vs. running your own business), the flexible hours and built-in client base make it a great opportunity to earn instant cash in your downtime. The advantage of this job is that you don’t need to master a skill either – basically just driving!
9. Flip Furniture
You might be shocked to find 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 an old armchair or sofa is all you need for, a good upholstery cleaning. transformed from old fashioned 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 finishing work well spent!
10. Dropship on Amazon
Did you know that it is possible to sell products through Amazon and let Amazon do all the work for you? All you have to do is create a seller account and for a small fee, Amazon will allow you to sell a product while you do the dirty work of storing and shipping it – creating a great passive income opportunity.
It’s not completely hands-free since you’re responsible for handling returns and customer service, but with fulfillment services handled entirely by Amazon, it offers a great return for minimal time and/or money investment!
Tips for starting a side hustle
1. Create a website
Not only do you have to build and create a website, but you also have to take into account the various aspects that go into it. Graphic design and sticking to a consistent aesthetic throughout should be a high priority, as should making the website Google/search friendly to keep it high in search results.
This may not be intuitive for everyone, so don’t hesitate to hire a consultant/marketing agency if you need to. After 12 years in this industry, I have helped dozens of people build their brands. To learn more, visit my digital marketing website.
2. Social media
It is absolutely essential to create social media channels across all platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, etc. Once the social accounts are created, don’t forget to keep them all ACTIVE. New content should be published regularly and you should really strategize to find your niche and unify all platforms.
Does it sound complicated? Delegate this work if it is outside your knowledge base.
No matter what product or service you sell, one of the easiest ways to market yourself is to partner with more well-known brands or influencers.
Did you know that each year Oscar nominees receive gift bags worth over $100,000 worth of products, services, vacations, etc.? This is not out of the brands “kindness in their hearts”; they donate these things because association with – and therefore endorsement of – these A-list celebs is essentially free marketing to a very broad audience.
Do you sell jewelry on Etsy? Send some to your favorite social media influencers with similar tastes and please ask for a shoutout on their platform.
Working on getting your graphic design skills out there? Recreate some of the most recognizable logos out there in your own style, post them (take the right tags), and watch your work capture a public following! If you can offer a discount code to new customers or clients, even better.
4. Create a customer loyalty program
Speaking of discount codes, be sure to offer discounts to new customers after their purchase too – at least while you’re still starting and growing your business. Discounting future purchases will help retain existing customers, which is MUCH cheaper and easier than getting new ones.
5. Highlight your client’s return on investment
There’s a reason people pay top dollar for expensive luxuries like gold and diamonds: it’s because they’re metaphorically “priceless” and last forever (or so we’re told!). The same should be said about your product or service – it has to be long-lasting and something your customer can’t easily do or make themselves, making it worth the money.
Offering a service like virtual assistance is invaluable to the person who will then save invaluable time by delegating their work to you; creating and selling an online course on quality dating advice is invaluable to the person who values a partner highly but has struggled in the dating pool.
At the end of the day, what you’re selling should be worth it—and to your potential customers, it probably is. Remind them of that!