best side hustle ideas to get paid money

9 Best Side Hustles to Make Extra Money

The last few years have been insane for everyone. From COVID lockdowns to job loss to inflation and a poor economy.

More and more people have turned to finding a side hustle to make extra money.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is just a second source of income beyond what your normal job brings in. Typically it references a side business or working on your own instead of a second job though.

Side hustles are often just used for supplemental income to aid a primary job but they can grow to overtake your primary income.

At this point, some people will end up turning their side hustle into their full time job or business.

side hustles to make money

Why should I start a side hustle

Let's just state, that a side hustle isn't for everyone. There are a few people out there that just won't be successful or happy doing it.

But a lot of people, probably most, could completely change their life with a good side hustle.

One of the best things about a side hustle is it can be whatever you want it to be.

Do you just want something for nights and weekends that makes you some extra cash and gives your family an extra income?

Do you want something with growth potential that could earn you millions of dollars, a life of luxuries and early retirement?

We can't answer the why for you but we can give you the information to figure out what serves you best.

While we talk about some of the best side hustle ideas, you are not limited to these. There are hundreds of ideas out there for you to build.

What is passive income that I always hear about?

Passive income is a term that refers to money you make without being actively involved.

If you work a normal 9-5 style job, where you have to go in, perform work, and then get paid, this is not passive income.

If you buy certain real estate or invest in a business and you get a monthly check without actively working on it, that is passive.

It is important to note, that while people talk about passive income they often make it sound like it requires zero work, this is usually not the case.

Even things like real estate require some level of work, you have to put in some time every so often to maintain it.

But typically, passive income sources require very little work so you can get a bunch of them and work less on them while still making more money.

How much money can you make with side jobs?

It depends how much money you want to make but the earning potential is unlimited.

If you're just looking for a little extra money, maybe $500 to $1,000, it can be that. If you want to make $5,000, $10,000, or even more, you can also do that.

When it comes to earning potential of a side hustle, the biggest factor is how much money you want and how much time you want to put in.

If you put in enough time, that is how you will make a lot of extra money.

How do I make time for a side hustle?

What's great about side hustles is they are created in your free time. Blocking time to do other things in your spare time every week is an effective way to increase your income.

Many people are busy at least 5 days a week, 8-10 hours, doing their main job so their side hustle will be done on nights and weekends.

It's important to set goals and expectations early. Many people don't want to come home from work and put 6 hours into something else, especially if they have a family.

With most side hustles, you could safely spend a few hours during the week and maybe a few more hours on the weekend. 5 to 10 hours per week could be enough to make you an extra $500-$1,000 per month.

What kind of side hustles are there?

This may have to be a 2 part post because this list is LONG. In recent years and especially because of the internet, there are so many different ways to make money on the side.

From digital marketing to affiliate marketing, being an influencer, building an e-commerce store, starting a local service business, and so much more.

We're going to be looking at a few of our favorite side hustles in a minute but you're not limited to these, there are hundreds of different side hustles for you to choose from to make money.

1. Social media influencer

Social media has blown up in the past 10 years, it's changing the landscape of business forever.

Influencers have become high demand marketers making this one of the best side hustles. If you don't know what an influencer is, it's basically a person who builds an audience on social media and then shares products they like (or don't), with their audiences to promote them.

Brands have turned to social media influencers as one of the most powerful forms of marketing in today's world.

How do you do it? Start building an audience on social media. You can pick Tiktok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or any of the other networks. The important aspect is to build an audience that engages with you and your content.

If you can build an audience around a specific niche, it may be harder to find products to promote but you'll earn more money. Your audience will be more aligned with your offer so it's more valuable.

How much money can you make from this side hustle?

The pay for being a social media influencer can vary from less than $100 to hundreds of thousands for celebrities, most influencers with a decent following earn between $500 and $1,000 for a sponsored post. Keep in mind, that some of these celebrities are specifically celebrities from being on social media.

2. Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are assistant workers working at distant locations rather than in a business office. This can be used for administration, social media management, bookkeeping, etc.

Increasing demand has come by companies looking for virtual assistants for various projects. All you really need to become a virtual assistant is a computer and internet connection.

Virtual assistant technology has helped numerous businesses grow and sustain their brands worldwide.

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

The pay can vary. Some virtual assistants make less than $10 per hour but some charge more than $50 but the average in the US is around $20 per hour. The biggest factor will be what skills you bring as a virtual assistant.

becoming a virtual assistant side hustles

3. Sell information products

Selling an information product can be a great side hustle because its a relatively cheap business to get into.

If you don't know what selling information products is, you basically sell products that provide information, tips, and advice on something specific.

Often you hear about people who sell courses, books and ebooks, or guides as informational products. Ultimately, you want to find a niche that has low competition and high demand.

Then you need to do a lot of research and figure out the best way to create the product and deliver the information.

Ways to sell informational products

  • Course

  • eBook or book

  • Videos

  • PDF guides

  • One on one calls or meetings

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

Like some of the other side hustles, this one had the potential to scale very high. Some marketers make hundreds of thousands to millions selling informational products.

That also means you can more easily make a smaller side income with less work.

4. Start Freelancing

This is one of the most popular forms of side hustles. From freelance writing to marketing, you can get freelance work to make extra money.

If you don't know what freelancing is, it's basically just offering your services on the side instead of working for a company.

You'll often hear of people doing freelance work on the side in addition to their regular job.

Here are some examples of freelance services you can do.

  • Graphic design

  • Freelance writing

  • Programming and web design

  • Consulting

  • Video products and services

  • Marketing

Those are just a few, if you have a service you can offer, you can be a freelancer.

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

This is one of the easier side hustles to start but the earning potential is typically lower but you can still earn a great living with it.

It's pretty easy to pick up $500 or more by freelancing. Some people are even able to earn six figures as a freelancer.

5. Start an e-commerce store

Want a more lucrative side hustle? Ecommerce stores have blown up in popularity over the last few years, especially with the COVID epidemic closing brick and mortar stores.

With an ecommerce store, you typically start the store with something like Shopify or BigCommerce and then you start selling your product.

You're usually just an online version of a brick and mortar store. You set up everything, you handle the marketing, fulfilment, customer service, and everything that comes with any normal store.

Within the e-commerce world, there are actually a couple subcategories that typically make it a little easier to get started.

Start a dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a version that takes out one of the major steps with a normal online store.

Fulfilment.

It's a business model that enables you to sell an item directly to customers without having to physically have the inventory on you or ship to the customer.

You partner with a company that ships the item for you. So you will sell the item to the customer, when the order comes in, you send the information to the partner company, then they will package and ship the order to the customer.

You don't even need a large amount of money to start this, it's relatively cheap actually. You just need to set up your store and find the products.

You can even start your store on sites like eBay or Amazon. By selling on platforms like this, you have a lower starting cost and it's easier to get started.

Dropshipping is a great way to try selling different products to see which ones will be successful. After finding, "winning products", you can make adjustments to your methods to increase profit.

Launch a Print on Demand Store

Another type of ecom store is called "Print on demand" or "POD". This method is similar to dropshipping as you typically partner with a print company to fulfil orders.

You create your store, list your products, market them, and when you get sales, the orders go to the print company for fulfilment.

The print company will print the order based on what the customer purchased, then ship it directly to the customer and like dropshipping, you never have to touch the product.

Types of products to sell with print on demand

  • Cups and mugs

  • Clothes

  • Wall art

  • Home goods

  • Dog accessories

  • Stationary

How much money can I make with an e-commerce side hustle?

As we mentioned, this is probably one of the more lucrative side hustles that you can do. The earning potential is essentially unlimited.

Some people make millions by running an online store, some people make a decent amount of money on the side.

high earning potential side hustle

6. Sell your photography

If a photographer has basic photography and Photoshop skills then photography can be their side hustle.

If you want to take photos of your city, sell your photographs to your local newspaper or blog. The website makes it easy to sell your photos and get money for every photo you make.

You can use your photographs on products like canvases, T-shirts, or cell phones for more income. This would be combining your photography with print on demand.

As an alternative, you may even find clients for wedding photography, pet photography, or product photography.

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

Realistically, this is going to be a lower potential side hustle. While you may hear about some photographers making a lot of money, most will make a few hundred or thousand per month.

7. Start a blog

Starting a blog can be a great side hustle if you give it time. This is not something you should expect success with overnight but it can provide you with some extra cash in the long run.

First, find a niche. Find something that has demand and people will pay something for.

Post lots of content. Blogging becomes a numbers game, the more content you have, the higher the chance people discover you.

Bonus tip: focus on SEO to increase your chance of getting discovered

If the content is good, when they do discover you, they will stick around to enjoy more of your content.

Focus on building traffic up before monetizing. Once you have stable traffic, you can make money with ads or affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is just offering someone else's product and getting a commission for any sales you generate them.

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

Scaling a blog is harder than most of the side hustles we've talked about.

Here, you're more likely to make a few hundred or thousand dollars. There are some people making 6 and 7 figures a year with a blog, but it's a much lower percentage than the other side hustles.

8. Start a YouTube Channel

If you're looking for a way to make money online, this is a great way to do it. It doesn't take much to get started and all you really need is a computer and internet connection.

The competition has become high in recent years but there is still room for new content creators.

Find a niche and start creating content. When you're finding your niche, you need to think about long term content absorption. What do people want to sit and watch, or need to?

How to or how things work are very popular videos that can garner a ton of views. Or entertainment. In the last few years, even video game videos have exploded.

Once you start getting content and views, you'll be able to monetize your channel. The most popular way to do this is through ads and Youtube offers there own partner program you can join.

You can also earn money with affiliate marketing or sponsorship deals.

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

While it's hard to get off the ground, once you start making money, it tends to grow and grow. You could quickly start making several thousand dollars per month with Youtube.

Top earning Youtubers make tens of millions of dollars. While it's rare and difficult to get to this position, the number of people making this level of money is growing every year.

9. Promote other brands instead through affiliate marketing

This is a side hustle that has been around since basically the beginning of the internet and one of the most popular online side hustles.

Basically, you find a way to get traffic to your side, build an email list, and sell other people's products and services.

Seems pretty easy, and in theory it is, but many people fail at first.

Like just about all other side hustles, you need to find a strong niche. When you have a strong niche and not general traffic, it's easier to convert.

There is a saying, "the money is in your list" and what this means, is you make money from your email list. This is where you can promote the products.

The idea is you build what is called a funnel. First step is to get people to your website. Then, through some sort of signup, you get their email. Now, you can easily engage with them.

You warm up your email list and build rapport before you start offering them stuff.

How much money can I make with this side hustle?

There is a large gap between those who make money and those who don't. Once you figure how a system and how to convert traffic and leads, the sky is the limit.

While it's possible to earn millions doing this, many affiliate marketers tens of thousands per month once they get established.

best side hustles in your spare time

Bonus side hustle ideas

  • Coaching or consulting

  • House sitting

  • Pet sitting

  • Personal training

  • Dog walking service

  • Online tutoring

  • Retail arbitrage

  • Real estate

  • Furniture flipping

  • Affiliate marketing

  • Pressure washing

  • Digital marketing

How fast can I start to earn extra money?

Depending on what type you choose, starting a side hustle usually doesn't take a long time. You can be up and running over the weekend. Making money nearly instantly in some cases.

The problem is people delay starting by saying they have XYZ that has to be done first to get started, and they make it seem bigger than it is.

Starting an ecom store? Well, sign up for a Shopify account, list the product or products, and send it to everyone you know. Make a social media account and start promoting.

You're going to be a freelance writer? Ok, signup for freelance sites like Upwork or Fiverr and start looking for work. Make your profile and resume as good as you can and apply for as many jobs as you can.

Doing a local service like pressure washing? Print out some flyers with a decent sales pitch (more than just listing your services, make the person want your service), and find doors to knock on.

People think that when you start a small business or side gig it takes weeks or months to earn extra money but that's not true, it's a mindset thing.

In 98% of situations, it comes down to your effort. There is no reason you can't be making money on day 1.

You could start selling online, on places like eBay and Amazon, and have products listed in 10 minutes and sold that same day.

People hold themselves back by thinking it's harder than it is to get started. A lot of work? Yes. Hard. Only if you make it.

extra income in your spare time side hustles

What are some tips to be more successful?

Starting a side hustle is easy, probably the easiest part. Growing it is where it gets difficult.

The good news is that in most cases, there is a high chance of success if you put in the effort. People often fail because they don't put in the work, they aren't consistent, and they give up too soon.

Here are a few tips that can help you have a successful side hustle.

Start small, grow slow

You might have big goals and ambitions which is great, but it's good to start small and grow slow.

When you start small, you see every aspect of the business. You work every corner. You know your business 100%.

This drastically helps when you scale and growth and problems arise, you'll have a better understanding of how to deal with them.

While you're growing, it's better to go slow instead of too fast. It's often a fine balance but many people often get ahead of themselves and grow too fast.

It's exciting when your business grows and makes more money but it can be dangerous. If you overspend, hire people, pay a lot for ads or other expenses, and things slow down, you'll quickly find yourself falling behind.

So it's best to take it easy and grow at a sustainable pace. In the long run, it'll help you build a stronger business.

Don't give up

It takes a lot of work to build a successful side hustle. Many people with great ideas or side hustles give up way too early.

Maybe they had some early success and got lazy thinking the money was just going to flow in, or they weren't making any money and just gave up.

There is a chance that your business is bad, but this is most likely not the case. A man once sold millions of dollars of rocks calling them pets, so anything is possible.

You probably just haven't found the right path. You need to keep testing new things. Get lots of feedback from customers or potential customers, make adjustments, and keep trying.

Listen to your customers

Your customers are the ones giving you money, their opinions matter the most.

You may think you know what will work or what they want, but you could be wrong. If you have one opinion but 10 customers tell you the opposite, their opinion is what matters.

It's important to always get their feedback. Look at the reviews they leave. Send them follow-up emails to get their opinion. Call them, and have a little one-on-one meeting to get their opinion.

If you take all of this feedback and apply it to your product or service, you will build a very successful side hustle.

Find something you like or enjoy that other people want

You will get conflicting opinions here. Some people will tell you "do what you love" and others will say "that doesn't matter if no one will pay for it".

They are both correct.

You have to think about it a bit and find a middle ground. If you're making a ton of money but are not happy, what's the point? Some people are fine with this but even those people, they will eventually get tired of it.

On the other hand, some people do what they love for a side hustle but never make money because its not what people, or customers, want.

So you need to find something that people find value in, something they will pay for, and that you enjoy doing.

Having the balance will 10x your chance of success. You'll be less likely to get burnt out or tired of the business and you'll also have the passion and love to really focus on it.

Build a brand

From the beginning, you need to have a brand in mind. Even if it's just you making handcrafted trinkets in a spare room in your house, build a brand.

Create a name for your business, embrace it and let people know all about it. Get them familiar with it. Post on social media, and share with friends.

To showcase how powerful branding can be, think of Jacuzzi. Many people just think a hot tub is called a Jacuzzi but it's actually a brand name. The Jacuzzi brand is so powerful, that's what people think the product is called.

Another example is when people think of sports drinks, most would think of Gatorade first. That's good branding, years of building it up.

Even when you are small, this is what you want to focus on. Even if you never get the size of Gatorade or Jacuzzi, you want to have a similar effect in your niche.

Whether it's your local community or throughout the niche community, you want people to think of your brand when they are looking to buy.

Bonus branding tip

You are your biggest brand asset. Your name. Your face. You as a person.

Yes, you need to brand yourself. In today's world, it's so easy to build a brand for yourself. Social media platforms like Tiktok and Twitter give you a place to shine.

If people see who you are, and the brand (business), that you run, they'll feel more comfortable shopping with you.

They'll know you're the person to go to for XYZ product or service. They won't even look at competitors.

That is a marketing tool you can't beat or put a price on.

Create a plan

If you don't create a plan, you're just increasing your chances of failure.

There are a few steps to planning that can drastically increase your chance of having a successful side hustle.

  1. Figure out your goals

What do you want in 10 years? or 5 years? Pick something longer term.

Now break that down into a shorter term goal. What do you have to do in the next year to get closer to the big goal? Once that is figured out, break it down again. The next 3 months? 1 month, etc.

  1. Create a plan that you can follow

You've broken the goals down into daily tasks. Now every day you work on your business, you have goals to work on.

You want to focus on 3 goals or tasks per day, these should not be small tasks either. Think about the length of day you're putting in, and make 3 decent sized goals based on that.

Slow and steady wins the race and consistency is key. You don't need to try and do everything in one night, it's not going to work.

Make sure you're putting in the effort every day and slowly working towards your big goals.

  1. Review your progress and adjust your plan

Periodically you need to review your plan. Make sure you're making the progress you need to.

How often you do this will depend, maybe weekly, monthly, or every 3 months. The more often you do it, the less likely you are to fall behind.

That's ultimately the idea behind your personal reviews, you want to make sure you're where you need to be and if not, make changes to your plan.

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Best side hustle ideas to make money final thoughts

If you're looking for a side hustle to make extra money, you have a ton of options.

Figure out what your goals are, and what you want to get out of having a side hustle, build a plan, and work on it every chance you get.

Whether you just want to create some extra cash on the side or have an earning potential of millions of dollars, the first step is to start a side hustle.

You might be surprised and completely change your life into something you never imagined.

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