Updated October 9, 2019

Side Hustle

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Many people start side hustles to supplement their income. Wondering which side hustles earn the most? Read on for the pros and cons plus what you can expect to earn.

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WHAT IS A SIDE HUSTLE?

A side hustle is any job you do to make money outside of your full-time job. It could be anything, from babysitting to tutoring to blogging.

Your earning potential will depend upon whether you're selling a product or service and working for someone else.

Start by considering what types of skills you have and what services you can perform—and would want to perform.

Then, think about the time you have and the time you can free up to focus on your side business.

Starting Your Side Hustle
Depending on what you choose, it make take some time to establish your side hustle. Here are some ways to market yourself:
  • Use social media to connect with the local community.
  • Check a freelance website, like Fiverr or Upwork.
  • Create your own website and promote it via ads or social media.
Search directly for part-time work or remote, freelance work on job sites dedicated to the topic, like Remote.com or industry-specific job sites.

Best Side Hustles

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Read on for a list of the best and most profitable side hustle ideas for every interest and skillset.

What are some good side hustles?
  1. Rideshare driver
  2. Rent out your car
  3. Write resumes and cover letters
  4. Flip items

Ridesharing

Driving for a ride-sharing service is an easy way to earn money on a flexible schedule. However, it may only be worth it once you consider your total expenses.

Pros

  • Set your own schedule
  • Chance to meet interesting people

Cons

  • Wear and tear on your car
  • Your score may depend on arbitrary measures
  • You'll need to drive often to make it worth your while

How to Start
First, pick your application. Uber or Lyft are the most common and most popular ride-sharing apps. Once you've picked your platform, download the app and sign up.

To sign up, you'll need:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Registration

When you submit this information, the company will conduct a background check. In addition, you'll need to have your car inspected. Uber or Lyft will give you options on where to inspect your car.

Once all of this goes through, you can start driving.

Earning Potential
Uber claims that drivers can make $25 an hour, but prices fluctuate depending on the time of day and demand. In addition, the base fare for drivers varies from city to city.

Keep in mind that the driver does not get the full price that the rider pays. Uber takes a 20% cut of all fares—and that's before you factor in any expenses like gas or maintenance.

If your car doesn't meet Uber or Lyft's standard's, you're not out of luck. To other gig jobs, such as working as an Amazon Flex driver, it doesn't matter how fancy or nice your car looks, as long as it's big enough to deliver packages. This guide from Gigworker will teach you how to get started.

Start Your Own Blog

If you're willing to work hard without immediate payoff, a blog can become a profitable side hustle after just a few months.

If your blog becomes successful, there are several ways you can make money from it: affiliate marketing, advertising, selling your own products, and partnerships.

Pros

  • Engage with people who have similar interests
  • Develop a fan base

Cons

  • No guarantee that your blog will succeed
  • Upfront costs to set up your blog
  • Upkeep required, such as running social media accounts
  • Technical skills may be required

How to Start
You'll have to set up your own website. This requires some technical expertise.

For detailed steps, check out our guide.

Earning Potential
Starting a blog will not generate income immediately. However, there's a lot of room to grow if you're willing to invest the time. Some successful blogs can earn thousands of dollars a month.

To create a profitable blog, you'll need to create and maintain a website that you feel comfortable using. This guide from GreenGeeks breaks down everything you need to know to choose the right platform for you and to get it up and running.

Teach English Online

Teaching English online is a lucrative and popular option. Because many people looking to learn English are in different time zones, this side hustle can be done at any time.

Pros

  • Work outside of your normal hours
  • You have an advantage as a native English speaker

Cons

  • TEFL and TOSEL certificates take time and money to acquire
  • You might work multiple back-to-back classes

How to Start
You'll need a computer, Skype account, webcam, headset, and strong Wi-Fi connection. Most schools require teachers to have a bachelor's degree in English or a related field.

In addition, you may need a TOSEL or TEFL certificate to teach English as a foreign language.

What's the difference between TOSEL and TEFL?
  • TOSEL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
    This prepares you to teach English to someone whose native language is not English.

  • TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
    This prepares you to teach English in a country where English is not the primary language. This is the most common and most popular teaching certificate for people who teach English abroad.

Earning Potential
Most hourly positions teaching English will earn around $20 an hour, depending on the time zone and the days of the week. The rate will also vary depending on the number of students in the class.

Virtual teachers who commit to semester-long classes for high school, for example, can earn around $40,000 a year.

Freelance Writing

If you write for a living, freelance writing jobs may be an easy way to earn extra money on your own time. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

Pros

  • Set your own rate
  • Work from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Flexible schedule

Cons

  • Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork take a percentage of your earnings.

  • Upwork charges money to pitch to potential clients.

  • Difficult to find work without using major freelance sites.

How to Start
You'll find most freelance jobs through platforms for remote work, like Fiverr and Upwork.

Earning Potential
Experienced writers and editors can make $30–$40 an hour, though you'll likely need to settle for less in the beginning.

With some freelance sites like Upwork, you can set a preferred hourly rate, but clients are able to negotiate. Plus, Upwork takes a 20% fee on your total project earnings or hourly earnings.

Rent Out Your Car

Renting out your car is a great option for people who own their cars, but don't use them much. Many services allow you to rent your car out when it is most convenient for you.

Pros

  • With most major services, you set your availability
  • The only thing you need is a car

Cons

  • There are only so many times you can rent out your car
  • If your car isn't rented out often, it might not be worth it
  • You will not be able to control how other people treat your car

How to Start
There are three popular services to choose from:

  • Turo
    Turo is the original car renting platform and one of the largest.

  • Getaround
    Getaround is a newer car renting platform.

  • Maven
    This car-sharing service has a specific scope—GM cars.

Earning Potential
Depending on schedule and availability, renting out your car can earn you around $500 a month.

Rent Out Your House

Vacation rentals have become a popular way for people to travel. Renting out your home will capitalize on that trend—especially if your home is in a great location.

Pros

  • Guests can come and go without you needing to be there.
  • Everything can be handled online.
  • High earning potential for homes near convention centers or sports venues.

Cons

  • Some landlords do not allow tenants to list their units.
  • Rowdy tenants may wreak havoc on your space.
  • You'll need to invest time and money into making your space guest-friendly.

How to Start
First, you'll need to list your home on a short-term vacation rental site like Airbnb or VRBO. Set up a profile, share information about yourself, and verify your profile with a passport or driver's license. This reassures guests that you're legitimate.

Airbnb will help you calculate a nightly rate based on the location, number of rooms, and other factors.

Consider adding additional perks to help draw customers. Some suggestions are: free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea, basic cooking essentials, and toiletries.

Earning Potential
In most big cities, a room in a house or apartment can go for around $100. An entire apartment can cost upwards of $200 a night. But that doesn't include cleaning fees or the percentage that the platform takes.

All things considered, you can earn around $1,000 a month for renting out your entire home or apartment. However, where you live and your living space will factor into the price you can command.

Some cities have rules and regulations against renting your property out. In New York City, for example, it's banned.

Data Entry

Data entry jobs are easy work-from-home opportunities. These positions work best for people who thoroughly understand Microsoft Office and don't mind excessive typing. All you need is a computer and a Wi-Fi connection.

Pros

  • Nearly all data entry jobs can be done remotely
  • Multiple websites and platforms to choose from
  • Open to anyone with access to a computer

Cons

  • Fast typing skills are needed to make it a cost-effective job
  • You may be required to take a typing test
  • Some data entry jobs do not pay well

How to Start
Several websites connect companies with freelancers. Check out these popular examples:

  • Flexjobs
    Popular for data entry jobs

  • SigTrack
    Cross-check petition signatures with voter registration records

  • Microworkers
    Quick, brief tasks

  • Scribie
    Transcribe audio files

Certain large companies will directly hire remote freelancers to do data entry work. These include:
  • Birch Creek Communications
    Work as a remote contractor to finish data entry jobs involving transcription, data processing, and market research.

  • DionData Solutions
    This company provides data services to government agencies and other organizations.

  • Capital Typing
    Freelancers are hired as independent contractors to perform data and clerical services.

Earning Potential
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry workers make an average of $15 an hour.

But most employers will pay per job, not per hour. To make the most money, you will have to work fast.

If the opportunity requires you to pay money in advance or buy anything in advance, it's a scam. Be careful when choosing a data entry job website.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing

If you have experience hiring people or working in human resources, editing resumes and cover letters might be a good fit for a side hustle.

Having insight into what makes a resume stand out from the crowd will give you an advantage.

Pros

  • Can be done remotely
  • Those with HR experience will have an advantage
  • These services are always in demand

Cons

  • Can be time-consuming for the amount of money you will earn
  • You may need a webcam if you want to Skype with your clients
  • Earnings may stagnate if you don't expand your business to higher-level clients

How to Start
There are a few ways to start this side hustle.

First, you can look for freelance jobs through remote websites like Upwork or Fiverr. On Upwork, employers and people will list jobs for hourly or flat-rate fees.

Second, try to network and build clientele through local Facebook community groups, Nextdoor, or Craigslist. Parents and students on those platforms may be more open to hiring someone from their own community.

Consider offering free services initially to grow your clientele and build word-of-mouth support.

Earning Potential
Resume writers working with college students and young adults tend to charge around $100 for their services. People working with higher-level clients can charge far more.

Wages will also be higher for people working in metropolitan areas, where there is more demand and more clientele.

It's important to remember that pricing will affect how people perceive your services. Don't undervalue what you offer.

Domain Reselling

A domain name is like internet real estate. As the internet grows, they become more and more valuable.

Selling and reselling domains is one of the easiest side hustles you can do from the comfort of your own home. You can get a large return on your investment if you have a good eye for potentially popular domains.

Pros

  • Low-effort side hustle with potentially high reward
  • Can buy a large quantity of domains upfront
  • Can sell domains for a significant markup price

Cons

  • Need a good eye for potentially popular domain names
  • Need cash upfront to buy domains usually $15 or more
  • Cursory knowledge of building websites required

How to Start
Start by making a list of potential domains. You'll want to keep your focus narrow: think of topics you have an interest in. In-depth knowledge of specific fields will give you a better idea of what people will be looking for.

Once you have your list, check if the domains are available by clicking here. You can use this website to compare prices for similar domains.

Once you have the domain, you'll want to make sure people can find it. Make sure your landing page has contact information and a place for people to place an offer.

Earning Potential
Buying the domain names will cost you as little as $15. You can sell them for $400–$500, depending on demand. Some domains sell for $5,000–$10,000.

There are plenty of domain name options out there: .com, .app, .biz, and .info, to name a few. Typically, domain names with a .com ending will be more in demand.

Freelance Bookkeeping

If you have experience doing payroll and running numbers, working as a freelance bookkeeper for businesses can be quite lucrative.

Before you start, think about what types of services you will be offering clients. Being as specific as possible will help set clear expectations.

Pros

  • Can be done anywhere, anytime
  • Room to grow, especially with word-of-mouth referrals
  • Steady income (over time)

Cons

  • Rates vary depending on your area and clients
  • Upfront costs of bookkeeping software or certifications
  • Might need to work for free when starting out
  • Difficult if you do not already have this skill set

How to Start
You'll most likely need accounting or CPA software like QuickBooks. Also consider seeking out certifications to show clients that you are legitimate.

One way to get started is to introduce yourself to CPAs locally or online and see if they will refer you to their clients.

You can also use online freelancing platforms, like Upwork or Fiverr.

Earning Potential
You can earn between $20 and $50 an hour. Your rate will depend on whether you charge hourly or bill at a flat-rate. In most cases, you'll want to bill hourly to ensure fair payment.

Consider calling local bookkeeping agencies to ask what they charge for various services. This will help give you an idea of where to set your rate.

Keep in mind that rates will vary depending on the area and clients you service. When you first get started, you'll have to be willing to compromise on your rate.

Flipping Items

With this side hustle, you buy items and resell them online using sites like Amazon or eBay. It will likely require a lot of driving around. You'll need to go to garage sales across your city and have a good eye for valuable items.

Pros

  • Potential for big profit
  • Fun for those who like "treasure hunting"

Cons

  • Need an eye for high quality products
  • A fair amount of driving is required
  • Easy to lose money if you don't know the market well

How to Start
You'll need to find local garage sales and estate sales. Most of these take place on weekend mornings, so you'll want to get there early to beat the crowds.

Always target wealthier neighborhoods in your area to increase the odds that you'll find something valuable.

Do research on how much certain items are worth. Consider how much money you may need for any renovations and whether they're worth the cost.

You can use places like Craigslist Free Stuff and Facebook groups that give away free items to get free products and flip them for money.

Earning Potential
If you buy and resell items, expect to earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000 a month. The amount of money you earn will depend heavily on what you sell.

Freelance Your Current Job

This option works especially well for anyone in IT, writing/editing, social media, and teaching.

Pros

  • Already have the skills you need
  • You can charge higher rates because of your experience

Cons

  • Doing more of the same work might feel monotonous
  • Positions might not be remote

How to Start
The two most popular sites for freelancing are Upwork and Fiverr.

Earning Potential
The earning potential for this side hustle will depend on your industry.

If you're working in IT, for example, you can easily charge $100 an hour, depending on your experience and area of expertise

If you're working in writing and editing, you can expect to earn anywhere from $25–to $50 an hour, depending on your experience.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) do everything from running social media accounts and websites to scheduling appointments.

If you have a wide range of skills and are looking for a flexible side hustle, this job may be a good fit for you. Plus, many people turn this side hustle into a full-time job.

Pros

  • Room for growth
  • No highly specialized skills necessary
  • Work remotely
  • Make your own schedule

Cons

  • Working from home can be difficult and distracting
  • No paid vacations and or paid sick days
  • Setting a rate can be tricky.
  • Upwork/Fiverr take a percentage of your earnings

How to Start
To find clients, consider building your own website and advertising your services online. Alternatively, you can also find work through remote sites like Upwork or Fiverr.

Before you start, narrow down the list of services you plan to offer your clients. Tailor your offerings to your own skill set.

Here are some common VA tasks:

  • Calendar management
  • Travel arrangement
  • Inbox management
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Content research
  • Social media management

Earning Potential
Expect to earn anywhere from $20–$80 an hour, depending on the services you provide and the clients you work with.

Keep a few things in mind when setting your rates:

  • VAs are not employees. Be aware of how this affects your rates and which tax forms you'll use.

  • You will not have any of the benefits of a full-time employee, like paid sick days or health insurance benefits.

  • Overhead expenses, like website maintenance or any membership fees for programs you use, are your responsibility.

Why You Should Have a Side Hustle

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The most obvious reason to start a side hustle is money. You can use the extra cash to boost your savings, pay off existing debt, or even take a well-deserved vacation.

But a side gig comes with other benefits, too. These include:

Peace of Mind
Most of our financial futures are tied to our jobs. But a side hustle can make you less dependent on that one source of income. This can reduce stress if disaster strikes.

Acquire New Skills
New jobs bring new responsibilities. Side hustles give you a chance to learn new skills or sharpen the ones you already have.

Improved Prospects
You never know where your next opportunity lies. Some side hustles—like becoming a virtual assistant—can develop into full-time jobs later.

Bottom Line

Side hustles are a great opportunity for full- or part-time workers to supplement their income and develop additional skills.

Consider your schedule, what upfront costs you can afford, and how much work you're willing to put into it. It may take some time for your side hustle to be lucrative, so be patient.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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