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17 Best Side Hustles To Make Money

Updated on September 19, 2019 Updated on September 19, 2019
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    By now, most people know what the term side hustle means. Side hustles are something people do in addition to their regular jobs to make a little extra money. But if you choose the right side hustle, you can make a lot more than a little extra money. These are the 17 best side hustles to make money.

    The idea of a side hustle is nothing new. In the past, a side hustle was called moonlighting or a part-time job. The term side hustle is newer but not as new as you might think. 

    The expression side hustle was first used in 1950, which makes the term much older than many realize. The term became popular during and after the last recession when traditional jobs disappeared and enterprising people had to make ends meet.

    The recession has been over for a while now, but with the crippling cost of student loan debt and the looming threat of a new recession, the idea of side hustles isn’t going away. Add to that the rise of the internet and the gig economy and there are more ways to side hustle than ever before. Whatever your skillset and whatever amount of free time you have available, there is a side hustle out there for you. And if you want to turn a side hustle into a full-time job, you can do that too!

    Best Side Hustles From Home

    Working from home is great for so many reasons, but the best part of working from home is the flexible schedule. If you’re looking for a little more flexibility in your life, these are the best side hustles.

  1. Selling Stuff
  2. This is a broad category, and it could slot into a lot of the other sections of this article. You can sell stuff in your spare time, make it a 20-hour a week part-time job, or grow it into a full-time side business. But for the most part, selling stuff can be done almost entirely from home. And to start, you don’t have to spend any money to make extra cash selling stuff from home.

    Gazelle lets you sell old electronic devices you already have at home, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. You can sell almost anything on eBay and Amazon. Poshmark is the place to sell your clothes. Craigslist and Nextdoor are good places to sell large items that would be expensive to ship like furniture, appliances, and musical instruments.

    Once you’ve gotten the hang of online selling and exhausted your own supply of things to sell, you can start buying items to resell. Ideally, choose things that you have some knowledge of so you don’t have to spend valuable time doing research. If you’re a crafty type person, you can sell your own creations on an e-commerce site like Etsy.

  3. Sell Your Photos
  4. Selling your photos has two benefits. It’s a great side hustle you can do from home and a form of passive income. You only have to take and edit a photo once but you can sell that image an infinite number of times.

    People need images for all manner of things, including blog posts, magazines, and websites. Upload your photos to Shutterstock, and every time that photo is downloaded by a customer, you make some extra income.

  5. Become a Social Media Manager
  6. Even small mom and pop businesses understand the power of social media, but not all small businesses know social media best practices. If you do, this is the side gig for you. You can find a side gig like this on freelancer sites like Upwork and Guru, but you might have more success and make more money if you look locally.

    Look for businesses in your area that don’t have much social media presence or who have a rather haphazard presence. Reach out online or in-person, offering your services as a social media manager. Come armed with some impressive statistics like these:

    71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

    Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.

    63% of customers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business.

    With social media posting automation tools like Hootsuite and Coschedule, you can create posts in bulk when you have free time making social media manager one of the most flexible side jobs.

  7. Virtual Assistant
  8. A virtual assistant does a lot of the same tasks that a real-world assistant does, including writing and responding to emails, bookkeeping, managing calendars, and scheduling appointments. And it can all be done from home. Your boss may not even live in the same country as you.

    work from home jobs virtual assitant

    Many people who run online businesses hire virtual assistants rather than traditional assistants. Lots of the aspects of running an online business can be streamlined compared to a brick and mortar business so while owners need help, they don’t need enough support to require a full-time assistant. And because many owners work from home, there is no office for an assistant to come to.

    You can find VA jobs on freelancing sites, but some sites specialize in VA jobs including Time Etc and Lifebushido. Some VA companies only require you to work three hours a week so if you don’t have a lot of free time but still want to earn some side income, being a VA is one of the best side hustles out there.

  9. FlexJobs
  10. FlexJobs is a job board that specializes in remote jobs across dozens of fields including advertising, event planning, graphic design, and business development. There are part-time and full-time jobs, employee and freelance jobs, and on-site jobs that offer flexible and alternative schedules.

    A lot of people would like to work from home but are reluctant to look for a job that allows it because there are so many work from home scams out there. You don’t have to worry about finding a scam job on FlexJobs. Each post is researched and vetted, and all of them have an element of flexibility, whether it’s the ability to work entirely from home or to create your own work schedule.

    Side Hustles To Do In Your Spare Time

    Not everyone has scheduled free time. If your regular job schedule changes week to week or you’re sometimes required to work overtime, it can be hard to take side jobs that have set hours or require you to work a certain number of hours. But there are jobs you can do entirely on your schedule.

    If that describes your situation, these are the best side jobs for you.

  11. Answer Online Surveys
  12. Getting consumer opinions is nothing new. In the “old day,” i.e., pre-internet, market research companies used focus groups to ask people’s opinions about a company’s products or services. People would show up in a particular location, take part in the focus group, and be compensated for their time. Now, this can be done online, which is faster and cheaper than convening a focus group.

    This kind of market research is what sites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars do. Some websites pay users in the form of cash, usually via PayPal and some pay in gift cards. Some sites only offer surveys, and some let you earn money doing other tasks like watching videos, shopping via their portal, and reading emails.

    No one is going to earn a full-time income from these sites, but you can make a few hundred dollars a year if you use them consistently.

  13. Babysitter
  14. If you work full-time, you’re not going to be able to provide daycare for children, but parents need babysitters on evenings and weekends sometimes too. A reliable babysitter can make bank too.

    According to UrbanSitter and their 8th annual childcare study of more than 28,000 families across the U.S., the average hourly babysitting rate is $16.75 for one child and $19.26 for two children.

    And if you live in an expensive city like New York or San Francisco, you can make around $20 per hour babysitting! If you don’t know any families looking for a babysitter, you can find jobs through Sittercity or Care.com. These are sites that connect parents and sitters.

  15. Delivery Driver
  16. Not so long ago if you wanted to make extra money as a delivery driver, you delivered pizzas. But thanks to companies like Uber Eats, Doordash and Postmates, coupled with Americans’ growing laziness, you can make money delivering nearly anything.

    Uber Eats and Doordash drivers deliver take away food orders of course, but Postmates drivers deliver pretty much anything you can (legally) buy including groceries, alcohol, and personal care items.

  17. Ride-Share Driver
  18. Most of us are now familiar with ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.

    Rideshare companies are the OGs in the gig economy and one of the most popular ways to make money on the side for those looking for a good side hustle.

    Get our best money lessons:

    Best Part-Time Side Hustles

    To make good money with a part-time side hustle, you have to put in more time and more consistent time than you do with some of the other best side hustles on this list. But putting in that time can really pay off and even possibly set you on FIRE.

  19. Airbnb
  20. Turns out you don’t have to have a spare room or an extra house to make money, and hosts earn lots of it on Airbnb.

    85% of gig economy workers make less than $500 per month. But, Airbnb hosts, on average, make more than any other gig workers and are raking in an average $924 per month. Nearly half of hosts make more than $500 per month.

    We interviewed Zeona McIntyre about how she achieved FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) using Airbnb, and she explained Master Leasing.

    Master Leasing means renting and furnishing an apartment not to live in but to rent on Airbnb. No strangers staying in your own home!

    If you don’t have the money for Master Leasing, you can manage Airbnbs for owners.

    There are a lot of tools that automate many of aspects of running an Airbnb, including  Guesty and Orbirental. Zeona estimated that once you have these automation tools in place, you’ll only need to spend eight to ten hours a week managing an Airbnb.

  21. Bookkeeper
  22. Bookkeeping is an essential service for any business but technology has made the task so much faster and easier that small and medium-sized businesses can often get by with a part-time rather than full-time bookkeeper. That makes bookkeeping one of the best side hustles for those looking for part-time work.

    And while bookkeeping is a definite skill and pays well, most companies don’t require their bookkeepers to have a bachelor’s degree making it a great side job for those with a high school education.

  23. Blogger
  24. I know blogging is a great part-time side hustle because I did it for years before becoming a full-time freelance writer. When I worked a demanding job, I wrote in the evenings, and when I worked a more laid back job, I wrote at work when things were quiet.

    Anyone can start their own blog, and a blog can be really lucrative. The one that you’re reading makes more than $400,000 a year. But that did not happen overnight.

    Overnight success stories take years.

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    If you don’t have a few years to spend before you start making money blogging, do what I do. Blog for someone else. I have zero interest in creating my own blog because LMM lets me say whatever I want here and I get paid for it. Freelancing sites are good places to find writing gigs, and I’ve had several clients recommend me to friends or colleagues who were looking for a writer.

    If you don’t have any experience, reach out to the owner of blogs you like and offer to write for them for free. Everyone deserves to be paid for their time, but when you don’t have a portfolio, writing for free can help you build one. Another way to gain experience is to make low-ball offers on projects you find on freelancing sites. If you’re good and reliable, eventually you can start charging what you’re worth.

  25. Vlogger
  26. Thanks to Youtube, anyone with a camera and an internet connection can put themselves on the internet, and some vloggers make hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’ve been with LMM for a few years, you know Thomas Frank. He was our co-host for a few years and has his own empire over at College Info Geek. 

    Part of that empire includes a podcast and a Youtube channel with 1.5 million subscribers. I don’t know how much Thomas makes on Youtube, but there is a vlogger I watch who makes an estimated $10-$17,000 a month. And she doesn’t put any effort at all into recording or the content. She’s just a trainwreck that people (myself included) can’t stop watching.

    I wouldn’t tell you who she is under Gitmo-level torture because it’s so embarrassing, like ten billion times worse than the dumbest reality show (none of which I watch) but it’s weirdly compelling for reasons I don’t understand.

    My point is, you don’t have to have talent, good looks, a functioning brain, or anything to offer the world. You just have to have zero shame about putting all of your unsightly business on the internet!

    That said, the woman I’m talking about is probably an anomaly. It’s better to use Thomas as an example of how to turn Youtube into a successful side hustle. Have something compelling to say and make videos that are beneficial and engaging to your audience.

    Best Full-Time Side Hustles

    If you’re looking to quit your regular job and side hustle full-time, you can do it! It may not happen immediately. It can take time to build up a client base, but there are side hustles you can do full-time from the jump.

  27. Dog Walking/Petsitting
  28. A friend of mine started a pet business, and it grew so fast that she had to hire employees to cover all of her clients. Pet-related services is another one of those side hustles that can snowball if you have good word of mouth.

    If you don’t know many people with pets, go hang out at the local dog park and offer your services, or at least post a flyer offering them if there is a place to do so. Social media sites that have local pages like Facebook and Nextdoor are good ways to find clients too. If you have no luck with those options, Rover is a marketplace where people can hire dog walkers and pet sitters.

  29. Freelancer
  30. When people think of freelance jobs, they often think of freelance writing or graphic design, but there are hundreds of jobs that can be done on a freelance basis. We’ve mentioned FlexJobs, Upwork, and Guru as great resources to find freelance gigs and Fiverr is another.

    Seriously, before you decide that your skills aren’t conducive to freelancing, take a look at any of those sites. You’ll find nearly every job that has already been mentioned on this list and dozens more.

  31. Tutor
  32. I have a close friend whose sister lost her job about a year ago. She’s a single mom and didn’t want to find another traditional day job because it meant so much time away from her young daughter. She started looking into work from home jobs and found tons of articles about becoming an ESL tutor online.

    Several legitimate companies offer this kind of work, including VIPKID, QKids, and Education First. She chose VIPKID, went through the rigorous hiring process, and was hired. She teaches English to young Chinese students and has been doing so on a full-time basis for several months.

  33. Customer Service
  34. Maintaining offices for thousands of customer service representatives is expensive and more and more companies are moving to a work from home workforce to fill these jobs. Employees do things like handle reservations for Hilton Worldwide, reserve trucks and answer questions for U-Haul customers, and do phone or online chat customer support for Alorica. 

    Some of these jobs even offer work from home employees the same benefits provided to those who work onsite, including paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, and 401k plans.

    Get Side Hustling

    Some people start out as side hustlers because they’re in a bad position financially. Perhaps they’ve lost their job and are having trouble finding another or they have thousands of dollars of credit card debt they’re trying to pay off.

    But once the crisis has passed, they find that they enjoyed the side hustle and certainly enjoyed the extra money that was coming in, so they keep hustling. Sometimes that side hustle turns into their own business, allowing them to quit their day job and work for themselves.

    Maybe you aren’t in a desperate position so you don’t need the extra money from a side hustle. But who doesn’t need extra cash? I’m pretty sure you aren’t Bill Gates or Ray Dalio reading this. If you are, then you’re right. You don’t need extra money. Carry on.

    Anyone outside of the 1% really should choose at least one side hustle from this list and start earning. You never know what could happen to your current job or the economy with a series of madmen running a few major countries at the moment. If the worst happens, you lose your job and the economy tanks, having even a little something coming in is better than a lot of nothing coming in.

    And the reasons to cultivate a side hustle aren’t only financial. Maybe the side hustle you choose will help people like this one (LMM) does. Perhaps you’ll really enjoy what you’re doing. And even a side hustle that doesn’t make a lot of money is a better use of your time than sitting around watching TV or being a shameful trainwreck on Youtube!

Candice Elliott - Editor-in-Chief Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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