Starting a side hustle for extra money is a great idea. There are lots of options that allow you to create your own schedule and set your own rates. In today’s digital age, it’s never been easier to start earning a little extra.
From freelancing to creating and selling your own digital products, the internet holds a wealth of opportunities for starting a side hustle.
What makes a great side hustle?
Before you get on board and decide you want a side gig for yourself, there are a few qualifications you should put in place before venturing into something new. After all, your time is important, and the last thing you want to do is waste it on a gig that won’t come to fruition. What makes a great side hustle? Look for:
Low startup cost: Ideally, startup costs are minimal and include the equipment you already have (laptop, camera, smartphone, car).
Flexible: Is it something you can do late at night, early in the morning, on the weekends — especially if you have a family and a 9 to 5 job.
Poised for growth: If your side hustle can never grow, then look elsewhere. Look for a gig that has the potential to expand into something more than one or two hours per week. A big benefit of a side hustle is having something you could take full time if you need to.
Use your skills and knowledge: The best side hustles tap into skills or knowledge you already possess. That way, you can hit the ground running without too much of a learning curve. It’s ok if you don’t know everything right away, but having a foundation is a great place to start.
Online only or in-person: Another question is whether you want your side hustle to take place completely online, or if you want to do something in person (like a rideshare driver or working through TaskRabbit).
7 side hustles for extra money
Let’s get right to it and look at our favorite side hustles for extra money.
1. Freelance services
If you have a particular skill you have experience in, then why not market yourself for freelance services?
Freelance work is ideal for side hustles because there is such a low entry for costs, the work can be done whenever you want (as long as you’re meeting the client deadline), and you can earn money fairly quickly.
If you’re unsure if you have a skill that would work well as a freelancer, here are examples of ideas you can market:
- Virtual Assistant
- Writer (blogs, magazine articles, news articles)
- Copywriter (Website landing page, online product descriptions, sales copy, brochures)
- Graphic designer
- Website designer
- Website optimization
- Social media manager (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)
- LinkedIn optimization (updating client’s profiles and pages)
- Transcription services
What do all of these have in common? You likely have one of these skills you can build on already, whether it’s in your personal life or professional. The key is to find out what the going rate is per hour or project, and let people know you’re available for hire.
Many of these freelance services start around $25/hour and go up from there.
There are several websites that can house a digital portfolio for your work. If you don’t have any work examples to add to your portfolio, then create samples of the kind of work you’d be interested in taking on.
You can also look for jobs on websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, ProBlogger, or LinkedIn to name a few.
2. Become a Pinterest VA
Similar to a social media manager you can do as a freelancer, a Pinterest virtual assistant concentrates only on…Pinterest! And who doesn’t love pinning away for hours?
Actually, a Pinterest VA is hardly someone who pins for hours on end. Instead, this is a lucrative side hustle where you can put your Pinterest knowledge to work. If you’re familiar with growing audience engagement through creating pins and analyzing Pinterest data, then you can get paid to this for someone else. Someone such as an influencer, small business owner, or an agency.
A Pinterest VA has several responsibilities in the world of Pinterest, including:
- Creating pins
- Scheduling pins
- Organizing Pinterest boards
- Auditing the account
- Keyword optimization for Pinterest search
- And so much more…
Pinterest VAs can charge by the hour or project, but a few hours a month can net you as much as $500 per client.
To get started with this side hustle, we highly recommend reading How to Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant in 2020 and check out Become a Pinterest VA Today to jumpstart your work as a Pinterest VA.
3. Start a blog
If you love to write and engage with an audience, consider starting a blog. Blogging has officially been around since the 90s, but the world of blogging is hardy fading away anytime soon.
As a blogger, you set up your blog and social channels, and start writing consistent posts. Sure, you can write about almost any topic you can imagine, but the best strategy is to define your niche.
Once your niche is identified, run with it. Write and post like your life depends on it. It won’t be long before your audience starts connecting with you, once you’ve established a cadence.
I’m sure you’re wondering how can you actually make money from blogging? While earning money takes time, one of the most lucrative aspects is how many income streams one blog can generate. Making money from a blog can take on one or more of these forms:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Sell digital or physical products
- Market your freelance services
- Sell an online course
- Display ads
Getting started with a blog is often the hardest part of the process. Check out our guide on how to set a blog up. There are numerous resources for starting and growing your site, but a guide such as Create and Go Pro Launch Your Blog Biz can help you start down the right path.
4. Create an online course
Have you ever taken an online course to help you learn basic skills or refresh your knowledge in a subject? Chances are, you have a skill you could share with someone else who is eager to learn something new.
It’s easier than ever to create an online course, and you’d be surprised at the range of subjects you can teach. I’ve seen courses for water coloring, hand lettering, or brewing your own beer at home. Or there are more in-depth courses such as writing a novel or learning a new language or web code.
Trust me — if you can create it, someone will likely want to learn about it.
With online courses, you put in all the work upfront and then you market your course. Once your course is live, most of the hard work is over. The key is to create a course full of usable content and is easy for users to follow.
Platforms such as Teachable and Udemy make it easy for anyone to create and promote their own online course. Depending on the platform, you might have a fee each month, but there are sites that allow you to post for free.
5. Teach English online
If you enjoy working with children then teaching English online is another great option for earning extra money. Companies like VIPKid connect you with families from around the world to tutor their kids in English skills.
What’s so cool about this side hustle is you don’t have to be an educator to qualify for teaching. Anyone with a background in working with children (like as a parent, daycare worker, or tutor) can qualify.
Since most children you’d be working with are in Asia, the time difference makes it flexible so you can teach at night or early in the morning.
Payment starts at $14-$18 per hour as your base rate. But you have the ability to earn incentives too. You can take on as many classes as you like and whatever fits your schedule, and there’s no cap on your earnings.
6. Sell digital products
Digital products continue to be a fantastic source of revenue. One of the best aspects of creating a digital product is there’s almost no limit to what you can create.
Think of all the printable products or products people download…and think of all subjects a download can cover. Now, what is to stop you from creating your own digital product and selling it?
You might think digital downloads are limited to music or videos. But there’s so much more. Here are ideas of products:
- Calendars and Planners
- Lesson plans
- Checklists and organization tools
- Binders for projects (decorating, landscaping, organizing)
- Financial tools for budgeting and planning
- Stationary and invitations
- Party supplies
- Logos and designs
- Stock photography
I think you get the idea. There are numerous ideas for creating digital products to sell. The best part is you can literally sell them while you’re sleeping.
You can sell digital products in several places. If you have a blog or website, you can add it to your landing page. You can set up an Etsy shop or Ebay. You can develop an email list and advertise to your contacts. You can sell photographs on stock photography websites.
Getting started is a fairly easy process, try a site such as Canva to help you create your products. Once you start creating, you’ll be amazed at the number of places you can post your work for sale.
7. Facebook ads
There’s no denying Facebook ads are not only a great way to drive traffic to a website, but running a campaign is one of the all-time best side hustles. Why do I love these ads so much?
For starters, businesses need to run Facebook ads. Someone has to create those ads that seem to follow us everywhere we scroll through our feed. It takes a savvy ad manager to know how to create ads that grab attention and target the right potential customer.
Local businesses likely don’t have the time to manage their Facebook ads and create engagement with new customers. This is where you come in. You can get paid to create the campaign and target the right audience for a local business.
This is exactly the path Mike and I took to find online success. It wasn’t long before we realized creating Facebook ads was a flexible, exciting, skill-based side hustle that could generate extra income for our families.
If you’re not sure where to start with Facebook ads, then check out our Facebook Side Hustle course. We will walk you through every step so you can make money ASAP, instead of you figuring out Facebook ads on your own.
Once you’re familiar with Facebook ads, it’s possible to make $1,000 per client by running their Facebook ad campaigns.
Final thoughts on side hustles for extra money
Not only do side hustles have the potential to alleviate stress to your finances, but a side gig can be a ton of fun. Many of these online ideas are fantastic creative outlets that just happen to pay you money.
All it takes is your focus and determination. Combine these with one of our ideas for extra money, and there is no telling how much you’ll be able to earn from your side gig.