How To Make Money By Hustling – Side hustles, also known as side gigs, are paid projects you do outside of your main job. They can be a great way to pay off debt or earn more money on the side.
They can also be a means to tap into unused skills and explore your passions. And if you really want to get creative, you can use a unique side hustle as a testing ground for a business idea.
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Looking for a ready-made side hustle? Or maybe a creative gig you can use to carve out a niche for yourself outside of your full-time job? In any case, you have come to the right place. We’ve curated the best side hustle ideas we’ve found.
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For one, it’s important if you want to make a little extra money, work a part-time job, or replace your full-time income.
Each side hustle’s recommendation is paired with our best tips and other resources to help you get started. Plus, we’ve included an earnings estimate based on side hustlers we’ve interviewed, industry reports, salary estimates, and a healthy dose of fact. (Just because an app says you can earn up to $30 an hour doesn’t mean it’s likely.)
Depending on how much money you want to make in your spare time, you can “right size” the amount of freelance work you take on.
These side hustles can be done outside of your 9-to-5 and are mostly available nationwide, year-round. Some side hustles are easily obtained, some will take some planning and setup but provide passive income, and others offer opportunities to hone specialized skills.
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All of them are tried and true. And we have the resources to help you get started on your side-hustling journey.
Here are our picks for some of the best side gigs – some that you can start and make a few extra bucks (and then some) pretty much immediately.
Use your car and your smartphone to drive people around your city and earn decent money on the side. Uber and Lyft, the most popular ride-sharing companies, are always looking for drivers.
To qualify, you need to be at least 21 years old, have a valid U.S. (For Uber, you need to have at least three years of driving experience if you’re under 25.)
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Pay is based on a ride-by-ride basis, plus tips, which can translate into a handsome hourly wage once you get the hang of it. Earnings are largely determined by tips and how many rides you complete each hour.
Driving strangers around isn’t for everyone. So, try meal delivery instead. Most food delivery apps and services work the same way: A customer places a food order with a local restaurant, you drive to the restaurant, pick up the order and take it to the customer. You get paid by-the-order plus tips.
Gig delivery services DoorDash and Uber Eats dominate the market nationally, and are generally considered the best because they are the most consistent. You may have smaller delivery options in your area like Postmates, Bitesquad, Caviar and others. Compared to ride-sharing driving, the car requirements are less stringent. You will still need a valid driver’s license, insurance and the ability to pass background checks.
Destiny Frith of Nashville, Tenn., works with Shipt 8-10 hours a week to help pay off her credit card debt. William Deshazer for The Penny Hoarder
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Some people hate going to the supermarket, which is why grocery delivery services are on the rise. Not to mention, the pandemic created an increase in demand for these services.
Instacart and Shipt are the two biggest players. They employ armies of gig workers who go shopping, pick the desired items and deliver them to customers’ homes. In some locations, DoorDash offers limited grocery delivery services as well.
As a grocery delivery driver, you may have a higher earning potential when it comes to tips. But the work is more laborious compared to other driving-based side hustle.
If you prefer your car not to absorb the smells from your gig, you can also provide packages on-demand. Amazon Flex is the leading package delivery gig provider. You can also find some package delivery gigs through Postmates or TaskRabbit, but these two apps encompass a lot of other services.
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Amazon Flex stands out from many other app-based side hustles in that, per Amazon, most drivers make between $18 and $25 per hour (depending on location, tips, etc.). You can sign up for “blocks” or shifts for a finite period of time, which allows you to better estimate your daily earnings.
You need to be 21 years old, have a valid license and have proper auto insurance to qualify.
Vehicle requirements vary based on the type of delivery. For Prime Now orders, any reliable car will do. A larger vehicle may be required for Amazon.com orders.
If you have specialized skills and want to make some side money with them, join a freelance network. Marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork are a good way to test the freelancing waters. These websites help you find gigs and connect with clients.
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As a freelancer you get to decide who you want to work with and how much to charge for your services. The most common types of freelance services in online marketplaces include marketing, customer service, virtual assistant work, administrative support, web and software development, and writing.
Makeup tutorials and personal training are popular gigs you can do in person or online, as well. If you have a brand or a huge following, you can earn more money – and maybe parlay it into bigger earning efforts by being an affiliate marketer or operating your own online store.
Freelancing is sometimes synonymous with freelance writing. Sure, the general freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and Content Mills are decent places to start. But successful writers turn away from them quickly and start pitching directly to the publications and websites they want to write for.
Once you’ve built a few clips, it’s good to specialize in a niche topic that interests you. Usually, the more focused your topic and the deeper your expertise, the higher your rate. Overall, rates are dependent on the industry (journalism, fiction, marketing, etc.) and the prestige of the publication or website.
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Becoming a successful graphic designer will not happen overnight. But if you have an artistic eye, creativity, the people skills to negotiate and Adobe Creative Suite, designing can be very lucrative.
The opportunities to design are plentiful. Other freelancers need logos, small businesses need brochure templates, websites need pleasing graphics, restaurants need menus. The list goes on, and there is a lot of growth potential.
Starting out, you could find yourself earning around $20 an hour for small-scale projects. But as you hone your artistic skills, the more selective you can be with your side projects. It is common for skilled designers to make more than $100 per hour.
Virtual assistants often handle administrative tasks like organizing workflows, scheduling meetings, and filing documents. But as the remote side hustle becomes more popular, higher tasks are often part of the gig.
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These days, it’s typical for virtual assistants to also provide graphic design, copywriting, bookkeeping, translation, and other services. Almost a virtual jack-of-all-trades. If you can provide these secondary skills, you can also increase your hourly rates.
Small and medium-sized businesses, now more than ever, need to have an online presence. But many business owners simply don’t have the time to keep up with their business pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And it shows.
You can use it to your advantage. It may be pretty obvious why businesses have left their social accounts to languish. Frustrating for customers. But for you? It’s an opportunity to reach out to the business, offer your services and make money with your social media skills.
You can offer businesses a mix of help with branding and customer service – with prices much more appealing than an agency.
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Some companies are willing to shell out the money to get your opinions on advertisements and other content primarily on social media and search engine websites.
All you have to do is scroll through search results or social media feeds for a few hours a week. Sometimes on your phone. Sometimes on your computer. These popular micro jobs are typically available at Lionbridge, Sutherland Global and Sykes.
Whippet dogs Cooper and Allie greeted Diana Sanchez when she arrived at their home for her 30-minute visit where she fed the dogs, let them out to use the bathroom and showed them affection in Tampa, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
Pet sitting is the perfect side hustle if you are an animal lover. The job is flexible, ubiquitous and you get to play with some adorable pets. What more could you want?
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The old-fashioned way of socializing at dog parks and pinning up bulletin board ads is one way to build clientele.
If you want to jump right in, try Rover or Wag—two of the most popular pet-sitting apps. They work like many other gig apps. You sign up, create a profile and get matched with people in your area who need it
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