We’re living in the age of the side hustle – according to a 2018 Bank Rate survey, 37% of Americans have a side hustle and 50% of millennials do, with average earnings of $686 per month. The gig economy is a legitimate way to make some extra cash and there are a lot of gigs available if you’re willing to put yourself out there.
Below is a list of 25 side hustle ideas to get you started and up and running in no time.
1. Start your own blog
I’m listing blogging first because of its incredible income potential. You don’t need to have a writing background or be a marketing guru in order to start – all you need is to pay for hosting (just $2.95 a month through my Bluehost link!), register a domain name, and have a willingness to jump in the deep end feet first. I’ll be the first to admit that the learning curve can be steep, but I absolutely love the freedom blogging provides and the ability to make money from home.
2. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Depending on your location, either Uber or Lyft or both may be a side hustle option. Although there is good earnings potential for rideshare drivers, you’ll want to carefully consider the costs to drive as well, including wear and tear to your vehicle, increased maintenance and cleanings, etc.
It’s fairly easy to get started with either company. In addition to completing an online form that verifies your location and that you meet some basic requirements, you’ll also need to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance, have a background check run, and verify that your vehicle is eligible.
3. At home transcription
There are numerous companies that offer remote transcription work. These jobs require access to a computer with high speed internet and often not much else in terms of background or experience. Fair warning, however – pay tends to be low and is based on audio hour rather than transcription hour. If you’re a slow typist or have trouble understanding the audio files, your hourly pay may be significantly lower than the advertised hourly rate.
- CrowdSurf‘s mission is to “solve media challenges for the deaf, hard of hearing and second language viewers.” They offer short files for transcription, making it a good option for those just getting started and those without a lot of spare time.
- Tigerfish has been in business since 1989 and does require a skills test in order to sign up with them. They don’t publish their rates of pay online but assuming you pass the online assessment it may be worth your while to try them out.
- Rev pays $0.36-$0.65 per audio or video minute and you can sign up and get started in as little as 48 hours.
- After passing their exam, TranscribeMe offers work on a first come, first serve basis and has generally positive reviews (though they do require the use of Google Chrome, fyi).
4. Pet sit
You can sign up through Rover to offer pet sitting in your area or advertise elsewhere online. My son has made hundreds of dollars pet sitting in our neighborhood alone just by posting periodically on Facebook that he’s available. Pet sitters are especially needed during the summer time and over holidays – build up a client base and you can easily turn this into a regular part-time gig.
5. Be a dog walker
Again, Rover.com is a great place to start offering your services, although you will likely find plenty of competitors. The great news is that you can set your own schedule and rates and once you build one client’s trust, additional clients are easier to come by.
6. Scoop poop
There’s nothing glamorous about picking up after pets but that’s exactly why it’s profitable. If you’re willing to do the dirty work, you will be rewarded. This can be a great add-on service to another related service you already provide – pet sitting or lawn care, for example. Upsell for the win.
7. Dog grooming
You’ll need some experience for this, the right tools for the job, and a love for animals, but this can be a great weekend or evening hustle that can be done from your home or your client’s. Many groomers charge a flat rate based on weight and then charge additional fees for any additional services offered such as nail trimming. The amount you can make will vary based on a number of factors, including your experience level, but there is a lot of profit potential – especially for mobile groomers willing to travel.
8. Mow yards, trim bushes and pull weeds
This requires very little skill but can be fairly lucrative because labor tends to turn people off. Although it’s generally seasonal work, there tends to be a lot of it. That said, if you live in a climate with 4 seasons, you can advertise multiple types of yard work and stay busy year round – in addition to lawn care you can offer to spring clean flowerbeds, rake leaves in the fall and shovel snow in the winter.
Another classic side hustle. Watching kids for cash is how I made alllll my money as a teen and the reason I was able to buy my own car at only 15 years old. True story. The more references you have the better, and a background check for you (and anyone over 18 living in your home if you provide care in your home) will significantly boost your trust factor.
10. Tutor kids (or adults)
Great at math? Fluent in a foreign language? Then you could be making $15 an hour or more as a tutor. The more specialized the subject, the higher the rate you can typically charge. SAT and ACT tutors do especially well and tend to be in high demand year round.
11. Give lessons or teach classes
Depending on your level of expertise and particular skill, providing lessons can be a lucrative way to earn some extra cash, or even a full-time income. Here are a few ideas:
- Piano, guitar, or voice lessons
- Knitting, crochet, or sewing lessons
- Baking, cooking, or cake decorating classes
- Painting, drawing, or writing classes
12. Make and sell crafts
Thanks to Etsy and online market opportunities, the handmade market is booming. The possibilities are endless when it comes to handmade items – from knitted mittens to screen printed tees, soaps to lotions and more. Don’t know how to craft? There are plenty of YouTube videos and online resources that can show you how or at least get you started.
13. Wash and/or detail cars
This job only requires cleaning supplies and a good eye for detail. If you offer to provide services at a person’s home or office then you can market the convenience you also provide – you clean their car while they go about their business. Throw in a fancy air freshener and it’s a win-win.
14. Sell baked goods or other food items
You can offer cakes and cupcakes for birthdays or special events, handmade tamales or pancit, specialty jams…the options are only limited by your cooking or baking skills. In order to be on the up-and-up, you’ll want to research cottage food laws in your area to find out what you need to do to be operating legally.
15. Resell or “flip” items
Flipping it basically the art of buying things for cheap (or getting them for free) and selling them for profit. Between garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores and side-of-the-road finds, you can make good money reselling on eBay or elsewhere online. Since flipping (usually) involves spending money in order to make money, you’ll need to be choosy about what you buy and for how much, but there’s a lot of potential for profit if you know what sort of items tend to sell better than others and if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into cleaning things up and marketing them well.
16. Write resumes
If you can turn your writing skills into resume writing skills and help others get hired, you can absolutely make money. Federal resumes are especially complex – if you can write traditional resumes and federal resumes then you can specialize by offering both and charge a higher fee.
17. Teach English online
There are multiple options for this but the most well known is VIPkid. Basically, VIPKid is an online ESL learning platform that provides a virtual classroom setting for students (ages 4-12) in China. VIPkid lets you earn a base pay between $18 and $22 an hour while teaching English online and from the comfort of your own home.
Requirements are fairly straightforward. You need to be a current resident of the US or Canada; have some formal or informal teaching experience (mentoring, tutoring, coaching, etc.); have a Bachelor’s degree in any field; and have a computer with high-speed internet that can handle both video and audio.
18. Offer to house sit
Literally one of the easiest side gigs out there. I used to house sit fairly regularly when I was younger – it mostly involved watering plants, picking up mail, and watching cable channels that I didn’t have at home.
19. Clean houses or office spaces
Cleaning houses can be very good money. Cleaning office spaces can often be even more profitable. In military communities, cleaning homes for inspection before a PCS move can easily net $300+; it’s likely that with the right advertising you can find similar opportunities near you. Requirements are simple: references, your own supplies, a strong attention to detail and willingness to work.
20. Rent out your garage, shed or other space
Maybe you don’t have an extra room to rent out (or maybe you do but don’t trust that it’ll be safe – I hear you), but there are a lot of other spaces you can rent out instead. Your garage, shed or even your backyard can be profit making. A lot of people need extra storage in one form or another – heck, your driveway may be the perfect the solution for someone in need of a temporary spot to park.
21. Sell your photos online
Two great perks to selling photos online are that 1) you don’t need experience, and 2) they can be sold again and again with no additional work on your part, making them a great source of passive income. I’ve listed and linked a few of the more popular sites for selling photos below – keep in mind that payout thresholds and rates can vary considerably.
22. Get paid to track your activity
I personally use Achievement and really like that it’s basically a set-it-and-forget-it app. You have the ability to link it to multiple other health and fitness apps such as Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, and Apple Health. Basically, it tracks your activities, including sleep, daily steps and exercise, nutrition and even meditation info. Then it rewards you with points which can be converted to cash. Achievement also offers periodic (brief) surveys and articles that you can earn points for completing or reading.
The payout threshold is 10,000 points or $10 and that does take some time to accumulate, however, I’ve already received 2 payouts to PayPal since I started using it so it’s definitely worth checking out.
23. Join a focus group
I made $400 by taking part in 2 focus groups over 3.5 hours total. Not bad. I earned $250 to act as part of an online mock jury trial (involving a very real car accident) from the comfort of my own home. I earned another $150 for giving my opinion about a television pilot -this was supposed to be a 2 hour session but I got sent home after only 30 minutes (but paid in full) because my initial feedback was that I didn’t like the show (it was terrible, haha).
You can search for focus group opportunities on Facebook or Craigslist, but I personally signed up with Focus Pointe Global. They will send you various opportunities by email and you can search their site directly as well. Certain locations have more opportunities than others, but there are remote options too.
24. Get cash back for shopping
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a great way to get money back while shopping online. Basically, you start at the Rakuten website, search for the store you want to shop at, check to see how much cash back that store offers (this varies by store and often by product type as well – look for double cash back promos for even more savings), click on the store link and proceed as usual. Rakuten will track your purchase and give you cash back via a “Big Fat Check”.
You will have to spend money in order to save money using Rakuten, but if you’re already making a necessary purchase then it makes sense to shop though Rakuten and receive cash back. I’ve been using Rakuten (Ebates) since 2014 and have accumulated several hundred dollars since then. (If I always remembered to use it, that number would be a lot higher!).
FYI – Ebates has recently changed its name to Rakuten and now offers a browser extension that makes it easier than ever to save.
25. Edit or proofread
Fiverr is a great place to find editing and proofreading (and many other) opportunities. Whether you look on Fiverr or elsewhere, there are a wide variety of proofreading and editing jobs available, from simple, single page documents to website copy to completed manuscripts. I’ve actually made money offering editing services on Craigslist – instead of advertising directly, I searched for things like “manuscript”, “editor”, and “proofread” across various locations to find people who were actively looking for help.
Questions? Advice to share? Let me know in the comments!