10 Side Hustle Ideas

Freelance photographer photographing bride and groom
••• Erstudiostok/iStock

One in three Americans currently have a side hustle, according to a recent survey, and one in four are planning to start one. These flexible gigs can provide extra income on top of a full-time job, bridge the gap between jobs, or give caregivers a way to earn while fulfilling their other responsibilities.

But not every side hustle idea leads to higher earnings. If you’re thinking about picking up a second job, you need to make sure that it will be a good use of your time.

How To Find the Right Side Hustle for You

Choosing the best side hustle comes down to understanding your needs, abilities, and constraints at this moment.

Know Your Motivation

Money is only one reason for picking up extra work. You might embark on a side hustle because you want a chance to learn new skills or use talents that don't apply to your full-time job.

A side hustle can also help you test-drive an entirely new career—an especially good idea if you’re thinking of turning your passions into your primary gig. Not every hobby needs to be monetized and some may lose their allure if reduced to an income-generating opportunity. You won’t know until you give it a try.

Evaluate Your Skills

If you want to earn some extra cash but aren’t sure what to do, think about your skill sets. Is there anything that you are particularly skilled at, but aren't able to use that skill at work? Maybe you are a strong writer or editor. You could look for freelance writing or editing jobs. Perhaps you have always been good with animals. You might consider dog walking or taking care of neighborhood pets. Think about what skills you have and put them to good use.

Consider Your Passions

Along with considering your skill sets, think about what you are passionate about. Do you care a lot about fitness and wellness? Consider becoming a certified yoga teacher and teaching classes at your local gym. Are you enthusiastic about education? Become a tutor in a topic you are knowledgeable in.

Make sure your side hustle is something you care deeply about so that you can enjoy the extra work.

Manage Your Time

Before taking up a side hustle, make sure you can balance your time and energy. You need to make sure you can still do well at your first job. Think about how much time your side hustle will take, and when you can best get it done. Is it something you can do in the evenings or on weekends? Create a schedule that will allow you to balance your two jobs, while still leaving some time for yourself.

10 Side Hustle Ideas

No matter your skill set or schedule, there's almost certainly a side hustle out there that will work for you. Use these ideas to help you get started brainstorming your list of possibilities.

1. Ecommerce

Sell craft items on Etsy, collectibles on eBay, or just about anything on Amazon. Ecommerce side gigs can help you turn your hobby into a career, clean out your attic or basement, or start a brand-new business. These gigs offer a great deal of flexibility, allowing you to earn money whenever your schedule permits.

2. Babysitting or Dogsitting

Leverage your caregiving skills and love of helping others to create a thriving side career as a babysitter, petsitter, or dog walker. You can offer these services through word of mouth or take advantage of the many caregiving websites and apps, including Care.com and Rover.com.

3. Party Planning

Some people have a knack for throwing parties that get talked about for years to come. Their secret is often a talent for managing the details. If that sounds like you, party planning might be the side hustle of your dreams. Not interested in the planning aspect, but love parties? Consider your other talents and become a caterer, DJ, or baker.

4. Photography

Maybe you enjoy taking photos of your family or friends? Consider taking up photography as your side hustle. You can offer to take family portraits or photograph events like engagements and weddings. This kind of gig gives you the control to choose what days and times you work.

5. Real Estate

Are you addicted to scrolling through Zillow, even though you’re not looking for a new home for yourself? Maybe real estate is where your passions lie. There are many possibilities for turning real estate into a side hustle, from getting your real estate license, to renting out part of your home on Airbnb or VRBO, to flipping homes.

6. On-Demand Jobs

Need total flexibility to earn on your own time? On-demand jobs might be the answer. Offer your repairperson services on TaskRabbit, pick up groceries for Instacart, or sign up as a driver at Lyft or Uber.

7. Teaching

Share your expertise with others and earn good money doing it. Tutor kids or adults, offer music lessons, or teach yoga or other fitness classes. These side hustles often require a commitment to some sort of schedule but are typically easy to fit in around your other responsibilities.

8. Tour Guide

If you live in a city or other area frequented by tourists, consider offering your services as a tour guide. All you need is some knowledge of the area, a friendly, outgoing personality, and strong oral communication skills. You can offer your services through family or friends or join sites like TourByLocals.

9. Web Design

If you have web design or development skills, you can turn your side hustle into serious cash. Companies pay a median hourly rate of $37 for web developers and digital designers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This job is also extremely flexible and easy to fit into your schedule around a full-time job or other responsibilities.

10. Writing and Editing

Put your editing and writing skills to good use. Edit student essays for college applications, offer freelance writing and editing services for websites, or start your own blog. You can find freelance editing and writing jobs on many job search sites—or go directly to the careers page of your favorite company’s website.

Key Takeaways

  • Side hustles can help you earn income, build your skillset, or turn your passions into a new career.
  • To find the right side hustle for you, consider your interests, skills, and goals.
  • Find side gigs on job search sites, on-demand apps, or through word of mouth.
  • Time management is crucial. Be honest with yourself about your schedule and other time commitments before picking up more work.


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