Inside: 55 side hustle ideas to help you make extra money and move your career in a new direction.
Like many of the successful business owners I can think of, before taking my coaching and writing business full-time, I was side hustling.
Early mornings, late nights, lunch breaks, and even car rides were filled to the brim with writing and coaching so that I could build both the skills and the income level I needed to make my entrepreneurial dream a reality.
Fast forward almost four years from when I started my blog and I’m officially self-employed. I make my own hours, I work from my home, I wear business on the top leggings on the bottom, and I LOVE it. What I would have missed out on if I hadn’t bet on myself and put in the work to hustle!
Since I’ve seen how side hustling can lead to results, I often suggest that my coaching clients work on a side hustle (defined as any job or business you’re working on in addition to a full-time job) as well. For a bunch of reasons!
Why Start a Side Hustle?
A side hustle might be for you if:
- Testing the Waters: You have an entrepreneurial itch but you aren’t sure if you could make money with your idea.
- Risky Business: You are confident about the money-making potential of your entrepreneurial idea, but it seems really risky so you want to test it on a smaller scale.
- Seed Money: You are fully planning on going for it as a full-time business owner someday, but you need your current job for seed money to get it started.
- New Opportunities: You are out of work (you aren’t alone!) and need to find new ways to bring in money and showcase to potential employers that you are dedicated to your field.
- The Pivot: You want to change full-time careers and want to dip your toe into the water of a new industry or function and build up your experience.
- Workforce Reentry: You are a stay at home parent looking to make money and/or build up new skills to re-enter the workforce.
- Spice Up Your Life: You like variety in your work and multiple jobs seem exciting, not stressful.
- Flexibility: You are seeking flexible options for employment beyond the traditional 9-5.
Does any of this sound like you? Read on!
55 Side Hustle Ideas To Try – There’s Something for Everyone
If you’re ready to get started, or you’re hesitant to get started and could use a nudge, let’s do this!
I’ve broken out 55 side hustle ideas into categories that align with different interests and skills. Scroll through to find what resonates with you the most and get ready to start hustling!
Writing Side Hustle Ideas
We’ll kick off our list of side hustle ideas with a category I know very well – writing!
If you hear that blogging is dead, it’s simply not true. Blogs are different than they were 10 years ago, because there are very few people who can make a living by talking about their everyday life. However, when you use blogging as a content marketing platform you can create a business that brings in income through ads, company-sponsored posts, affiliate marketing (sharing products that you like), and through selling products of your own.
2. Freelance Writing
Owning your own blog may not feel like the right fit, and that’s totally fine. You can side hustle as a freelance writer, writing all kinds of things! Writing is a very valuable skillset and companies ranging from parenting websites to manufacturing plants need folks who can tell a cohesive story and communicate a clear message.
3. Write a book
Or you can turn your passion for writing into your own book! Maybe you have a wonderful idea for a children’s book, or a nonfiction title that dives into your professional expertise, or a novel that weaves a gripping plot. Publish through traditional publishing or self-publishing, there is no wrong way to be a published author nowadays!
If you have the skills to build something in the media world, go for it! Entertainment comes in all shapes and forms, but often that shape and form is on our phones from regular folks just like you and me.
4. YouTube Channel
If you have a skill set that you love to share with others, starting a YouTube channel could be the perfect fit. There are YouTubers who talk fitness, beauty, cooking, toy reviews, travel, etc. Combine your passion with your enjoyment of being on camera and you have a side hustle that you can earn income from through advertisements and sponsorships.
5. Social Media Influencer
How do social media influencers make money? Two big ways are through affiliate marketing and sponsorships. Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product (that you actually like and use!) and then earn a percentage of the revenue of sales from the company. Sponsorships is like getting a Nike shoe deal, but for being an awesome mom that people like and trust online.
Podcasting is big business nowadays! It seems everyone has at least one favorite that they tune into it. Podcasting can start as a hobby and then build into a side hustle by accepting advertisements or using it as a content marketing strategy for products or services you sell.
Business to Consumer Services
Another category of side hustle ideas falls under the business to consumer services category. This is super broad but think of yourself as the business and the consumer as an individual instead of a company. You can find clients through your own marketing or through Upwork. Some examples include:
Coaching is another side hustle that I know very well, and it’s one that is super popular! Career Coaching, Life Coaching, Health Coaching, Relationship Coaching, and Business Coaching all fall under the gigantic coaching industry and can each make an incredibly positive impact on people’s lives. Check for requirements and training programs.
8. Resume Writing
Resume writing is a subcategory of Career Coaching that can be a great side hustle all its own. If you have experience in higher education career services, HR, or recruiting, you likely know quite a bit about how to make a resume stand out and could help others shine on paper. I promise you, people are happy to pay for this type of service!
We’ve known all along how important childcare care is, but 2020 really drove that point home. If you love being with kids, nannying or babysitting children (perhaps even with your own children with you) can bring in extra income, build your network, and add experience to your resume. Need to find more clients, check out Care.com.
(Don’t worry, I didn’t forget photography under B2C! It could have gone here for sure but it’s down in the Art section!)
Business to Business Services
If business to consumer services are you serving an individual, business to business services are you offering your skills and expertise to a company. Here are some side hustle ideas that fall into that category.
If you have a particular set of skills, think Liam Neeson but less scary, businesses could hire you for your expertise on a project. This could be anything including organizational structure, project management, research, or industry knowledge for a book, movie, or new venture. These examples largely fall into the business to business category, but sleep consulting is another fantastic side hustle you could turn into a full career and that’s more on the B2C side.
Numbers are not my jam. Give me words, all the words, but numbers… eeeek. I’m not alone in this either and that’s why if you’re hyper organized and good with numbers and processes, bookkeeping could be a great side hustle for you. Bring your accounting skills out of your 9-5 and create your own business working with other small businesses who need your help!
12. Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants are in demand as online business ownership becomes more and more popular. What Virtual Assistants do is provide services that help business owners keep their companies on track. That might include social media management, creating Pinterest pins, creating website content, scheduling appointments, or managing email accounts. This is a highly flexible role and can help you build digital skill sets.
If you have a good eye for editing and proofreading, you can turn these talents into a profitable side hustle. Things that need editing and proofreading include, but are not limited to, books, blog articles, trade journals, and the bag of chips that just told me a serving size is 3 chips… Come on now… You can find editing/proofreading gigs on Fiverr.
Transcribing is really important as we all work together to make content more accessible. (Think the captions on the videos you watch on Facebook – so helpful when you are trying not to wake a sleeping baby, but also very necessary for people with hearing loss.) If you are a good typist, transcribing is a flexible do from anywhere kind of role that can be a great side hustle.
Technical Service Side Hustle Ideas
We’re all online, all the time! The people behind the scenes making that online experience visually appealing instead of a bunch of zeros and ones are super talented and highly in demand, so if this is something you know how to do, or could learn how to do, you’ve found some great side hustle ideas.
15. Graphic Design
Designing beautiful logos may come easily to you and your magic fingers in the Adobe Creative Cloud, but it doesn’t come easily for everyone. Lots of small business owners are open to hiring graphic designers for projects including logos, designs for printed products, business cards, and more. I’ve hired the very talented Katelyn Lizardi several times over and I will again!
16. Web Design
Web designers and tech support are also crucial to helping businesses run. If you would love to take your career in a new direction and you have the technical know-how, working with small business owners as a side hustle is a great way to build up your portfolio. This is work you can do on nights, weekends, or full-time as you grow your business.
Education Side Hustle Ideas
Teachers are amazing humans and I’ll be singing that song until the cows come home. If you have a teaching skill set, you can use your experience to bring in additional income or even pivot into a new field outside of the classroom.
There are a bunch of ways you can teach outside of the traditional classroom. For example, you can teach English online, tutor, or teach a class through your local library or Parks & Rec department. Teaching does not need to look one way!
18. Online Courses/Course Design
You can take an online course on just about anything nowadays, and people do! If you have honed your teaching skills, bringing your favorite topics to life through an online course you create on Teachable could be a lucrative side hustle and potentially even a full-time gig if you end up loving the online world. Or you could help others create curriculums for their online courses if you don’t love being on video.
19. Printable Worksheets
Teachers around the country are creating their own worksheets and lesson plans and then selling them to other teachers through TeachersPayTeachers which I think is just awesome! The benefits of this are tenfold, but here are two of the folds. 1) Busy teachers don’t need to recreate the wheel, they can purchase plans that will work well for their classrooms. 2) Teachers who are doing amazing and creative work get compensated by sharing their materials with other kids. Love this!
Transportation/Delivery Side Hustle Ideas
If you’d prefer to take your side hustle on the road, linking up with transportation or delivery companies might be the right fit for you. This can be a great way to build up a side income, have a flexible job that allows you to go to school or take care of your family when you need to, and enjoy variety in your day.
Some of my good friends really love the grocery store, but I’m not one of them. So when Instacart started up in my area I was so down for getting my groceries delivered! In fact, it’s become one my go-to working mom hacks that keeps the peace around here. Check out job opportunities to be an Instacart shopper here.
There’s a good chance you have Ubered or Lyfted once or twice before. What originally seemed like a bonkers idea to me (just summon a stranger from the internet and get in their car???) has been met with high demand. Get in on the market as a driver for Uber or Lyft as a side hustle and make your own hours.
If you can find it on Amazon, I’m most likely going to be buying it on Amazon. I love supporting small businesses too, but the convenience of click click clicking on Amazon to find exactly what I need without leaving the house is huge. I’m not alone in this at all which is why Amazon is basically always hiring.
You could also pick up a gig with GrubHub delivering takeout to folks in your area. In some areas, you could even deliver on your bike – exercise and an income – not a bad deal!
Online Retail Side Hustle Ideas
Everyone is buying online, and not just from huge retailers. You can create an online shop using Etsy, WooCommerce, or Shopify and sell items yourself as a side hustle. Showcase your artistic talent, wise words, or fashionable flair! You’ll also be working on your digital marketing skills which is a really valuable skill right now. Some ideas for products you can create and sell include:
Clever and cozy t-shirts are crazy popular! Get in on the game of retail by creating your own t-shirt designs and either buying bulk orders to sell or working with a print on demand company.
Who doesn’t love a good mug? Find a great quality mug and create a design with your own quotes or images. Create your designs using one of my favorite online tools, Canva.
If you have a talent with needles, you can turn that into a side hustle! One thing I love about this side hustle idea is that it’s a way to make an income from something you love, create special pieces like will be treasured (like the baby blanket Jessica of Miss Scraptini made for my kids), and you can use your creativity in a way that may not be tapped into at your day job.
I love seeing all the creative jewelry designs that side hustlers and business owners come up with! Jewelry makes great gifts and folks love finding unique pieces. If you want to move your career in a creative direction, this is one way to show your skills. Check out these beautiful designs from Twisted Pine on Etsy!
There’s something special about pottery in your home that was handmade just for you. Some of my favorite items in my house were handmade by Melissa at Foster & Feed, a fabulous potter and Head of School for a private school in California!
Art Side Hustle Ideas
Do you have a talent for the arts? You can make money with that talent you know, both online or in-person!
Lots of photographers I know started their businesses as a side hustle and built up a client base of raving fans. If you love taking pictures, can invest in a good quality camera, and are willing to put in the work for continued education in your craft, get snapping sister! Start building your portfolio with friends and family and then branch out. You may end up with a thriving business like Lyndsay Hannah Photography!
29. Greeting Cards
Two ways to go with creating your own greeting cards! You can create, sell, print, and ship beautiful hardcopy greeting cards to your customers. Or, another great option is what Yolanda Ridley or Put the Kettle On does. Through her shop, she sells printable greeting cards you can buy and then print at home.
Etsy is filled with talented artists sharing their artistic skills with the world, and earning money doing it! If you love to paint or draw offline, you can sell your artwork online, take custom orders, or be hired as a freelancer to illustrate children’s books.
My uncle creates amazing wood burnings and builds Adirondack chairs in his retirement. A high school classmate makes beautiful wooden utensils and cutting boards that he sells at craft fairs and on Instagram. If you share these skills, tap into your creativity as a side hustle, passion project, and new leg of your career.
Food Side Hustle Ideas
Let’s put those culinary skills to work with these side hustle ideas! Break your way into a culinary career.
If you’ve always dreamed of owning your bakery, you totally could you know! Quinn’s Cookies started out as a side project to help a breastfeeding friend who was having trouble producing enough milk for her baby. Then that project turned into an amazing business selling lactation cookies.
Not much of a baker but you can slice, dice, and season with the best of them? Please come cook at my house! Follow the rules though – cooking as a side hustle for either catering, owning a food truck, or as a personal chef is both doable and delicious but there are regulations to keep in mind.
Check out one of my favorite food trucks in the MA, Flashback Franks. One of the co-owners is side hustling it with this awesome truck as she balances her role as a college professor! Also, Served Kitchen, a wonderful nonprofit started by two fantastic chefs, is a side hustle feeding the hungry through weekly meal delivery services.
34. Creating Recipes
Circle back to the blog option and combine that with your skills in the kitchen! People LOVE recipes online and food blogs are a very profitable niche both for advertising dollars and sponsorships. You could also turn your recipes into a cookbook.
Health and Wellness Side Hustle Ideas
We talked about health coaching already which is a big industry. If being a health coach, either as part of a company or on your own isn’t your jam though, there are other ways to get involved in the industry as a side hustle or full-time gig.
35. Fitness Instruction
Yoga, spin, Zumba, kickboxing – there are tons of fitness options out there that need fitness instructors. You’ll need the training to do this, but you can find lots of classes and training programs out there. Maybe you’ll even spin this off into owning your studio at some point if that’s where you want to take it. Learn more here! (Please forgive me for the spin pun…)
36. Meal Planning
If you are great with planning healthy meals for your family, that’s a really amazing skill set. Put it to use by selling personalized meal plans for individuals or families including shopping lists and recipes.
37. Sports Coach
Ever thought about coaching a sports team? Volunteer in your local community to coach your kid’s team to see if coaching is the right fit for you. You’ll get the state mandatory training you’ll need for injury and safety, and then later you could think about using your sports expertise and coaching knowledge for a paying coaching gig.
Sales Side Hustle Ideas
Sales tends to get a bad rap, but when you think about it, we’re all selling something! Whether we are actually selling a product or service, or selling ourselves in a job interview, every one of us at some point is trying to convince someone to invest in something else.
38. Direct Sales
Yes, I am talking about multi-level marketing companies. Are some of these pyramid schemes that simply aren’t the right fit for you? Yes, absolutely. But do your research and you can find the right organization to team up with. If you are passionate about the product or service they are offering and think it could add value to others lives, getting involved in a MLM might be really natural for you and a good way to step into business ownership.
39. Retail Sales/Customer Service
If you prefer a more traditional sales experience, working in retail with part-time hours is a good option. Especially during the holiday season, retailers tend to need extra hands and this could be a good way to make extra money and gain more work experience.
40. Real Estate
You might not immediately tie Real Estate to sales but it definitely is. You are selling houses! For HGTV fans, getting a real estate license and becoming an agent can be a good part-time role that could turn into a full-time career. Learn how to get started here.
41. Yard Sale Sites
Reduce, reuse, recycle, make money! Set up a good old fashioned yard sale or use the yard sales tools on Facebook, Craigslist, or eBay. This is a great way to clear out your house of clutter, buy, refurbish, and resell, and side hustle your way into some extra cash. Plus you’ll be building up your online marketing skills. Please don’t be hoarding toilet paper and selling it online though…be cool.
42. AirBnB Rentals
The travel industry isn’t exactly booming in 2020, we all know that. But we’ll bounce back and AirBnB rentals could be a great way to make money as a side hustle and help pay down your mortgage. If you’re doing real estate investing (see the investment section down near the bottom) buying and renting properties in vacation spots can be particularly lucrative and a way to tap into your real estate itch!
Beauty Side Hustle Ideas
Hey there, beautiful! Your beauty skills have a market out there that will help you make money, keep your creative juices flowing, and get experience in an industry you love.
43. Hair Styling
If you have always been the one your friends turn to for help with their hair, maybe a career or a side hustle in hair styling is right for you. Check your state laws here because while some types of hair styling, like braiding, may not require a license in your state, other types definitely do. This will require an investment of time and resources to further your education, but could absolutely pay off into a career you love.
44. Makeup Artist
My makeup skills tap out at putting on lipstick and mascara, but I totally get sucked in by makeup videos on YouTube. They are fascinating! Take your makeup skills online and teach others to do their own, or become a freelance makeup artist. See your state’s requirements before you get started though to see if you need a license.
45. Personal Stylist
If I was going anywhere besides my own kitchen table nowadays, I would definitely consider a personal styling service. I don’t know anything about putting together a good outfit, but if you do, your services could definitely be put to good use as a side hustle.
Animal Care Side Hustle Ideas
Animal lovers! This section of side hustle ideas is for you.
46. Dog Walking
My best friend was a dog walker during and right after law school and it was a great gig! She loves dogs, she walked about a million steps a day, and she had the flexibility to work while studying for the bar. You can dog walk with an established company or on your own.
47. Pet Sitting
If you love animals you could also consider pet sitting as a side-hustle option. Going to stay at someone else’s home to watch their pet may not be the ideal scenario if you have kids to care for, but if you can safely watch someone’s pet in your house that could give you a ton of flexibility while offering the pet owner peace of mind. Plus, the cuddles! How did I not lead with the cuddles!?
Household Task Side Hustle Ideas
Who doesn’t need some help around the house? If you find yourself drawn to home shows about organizing, cleaning, and decorating, there could be an interest there that could spark the next stage of your career! (And spark joy, clearly.)
Are you a pro at keeping your own home clean and you actually really enjoy it? Not everyone does. In fact, a lot of people don’t. Cleaning is a $46 billion dollar industry for a reason. Get in on it by starting your own cleaning business. Starting with just one or two clients can be a great way to side hustle and see if this is a business you want to grow.
49. Home Decorating
When my husband and I bought our house we took one look at the picture of the living room on the paint sample catalog and decided we would just do that I guess? Home decor has never been our strong point.
BUT, if your home looks like all the droolworthy images on Pinterest and you can help others recreate those looks (either DIY or purchased) that’s a serious skill that you can turn into a business.
Marie Kondo anyone? If organizing and decluttering brings you joy, turn that into a side hustle and help other people organize all their stuff! Professional organizers have been popping up all over the place because as much as we all want to think we can Kondo our homes ourselves, it’s harder than it looks.
Green Thumb Side Hustle Ideas
If you are good at keeping green things alive, you can turn that into a side hustle. That’s a skill set not everyone has, but a lot of people want!
51. Selling Plants
A teacher friend has this amazing plant-filled home and knows all about them. As a side hustle, and because she really enjoys plants, she does pop up plant sales helping people learn what plants are right for them and how to care for them.
52. Plant Education
Remember the online courses we talked about earlier? And printable educational worksheets? You could do that with your love of plants and nature too. People want to learn how to take care of plants and their yards, and if you can teach it – that’s a profitable side hustle!
53. Lawn Work
If you have the tools and the know how to landscape, your skills are definitely needed. Maybe this turns into a large business for you and you have employees, or maybe it’s a one woman shop and you’re trimming bushes, mowing laws, and weeding on your own. Either way, you are doing something you enjoy, being your own boss, and helping others.
Investing Side Hustle Ideas
Make your money work for you by diving into investing as a side hustle. There’s a lot of flexibility with these options and great opportunity for “passive” income. Don’t let the term “passive” fool you though – you’ll still need to be putting in some work here!
54. Stock Market Investing
If you have an eye for numbers, you can put your money to work in the stock market. To turn this more than a passive side hustle, get actively involved in choosing your stocks and researching the market. This is not a guaranteed get rich quick scheme, you’ll notice none of this is, but it is a great learning opportunity for your career and a way that you can make money if successful in your strategy. Here’s a guide for beginners!
55. Real Estate Investing
My brother and sister-in-law know all about the real estate investing game! They’ve been working this side hustle for years and it has been a great source of income for their family. Real estate investing might look different to different people, but how they have done it is buy single or multi-family homes, fix them up, and rent them out. It’s like real life HGTV!
Important note! This is not an exhaustive list of the possible side hustle ideas. As I close this out my brain is going “Oooo, floral arrangements! Singing! Snow Plowing!” The options go on and on, it’s about finding your right fit.
I hope this article got your wheels turning for some side hustle ideas you can take with you into the new year. Or even a hobby worth checking out that might turn into a side hustle in the future.
Also, if you’re contemplating a change but feel like a little more self-assessment could help you figure out the right path, I’ve got you covered! Try these five free personality tests that will tell you a whole lot more about yourself than a Buzzfeed Quiz about what type of pie you are!
(Not that that’s not important, of course.)