A side hustle refers to something you might do for income in addition to your regular form of employment, perhaps in the evenings, on weekends, or whenever you have spare time. More and more people are turning to side hustles to bring in a little extra income each month. These are some of the most popular:
Top 11 Best Side Hustles
- Affiliate Marketing
- Freelance Writing
- Amazon FBA
- Graphic Design
- Retail Arbitrage
- Food Delivery
- Social Media Manager
- Online Tutoring
- Coaching and courses
- Odd jobs
The notion of hustling probably brings to mind the sound of rap producer Rick Ross intoning everyday I’m hustlin’. But hustling does not have to be about whatever flashy business is immortalized in hip hop culture. In fact, most forms of hustling are far more mundane—but they still require a lot of hard work, aka hustle.
To hustle means to work rapidly and energetically. Perhaps its usage, as applied to side sources of income, refer to the fact that people who already have a nine to five job need some extra drive and motivation to find the requisite energy to work in their free time as well. It’s so much easier to come home and spend a few hours unwinding in front of the TV or scrolling social media. But memes and TikTok videos alone won’t do much for your bank account.
Some people are motivated to earn extra money because, well, they need extra money to pay their bills. Others are interested in making more so their side hustle can turn into a full-time gig that provides more freedom and flexibility than traditional employment. And, of course, some people just like the hustle.
What is a Side Hustle?
People who have a side hustle spart part (or in some cases much) of their free time running their own business. This includes all business-related activities, such as ordering inventory, packaging, shipping, and marketing goods, or in the case of services, finding clients and executing the services they advertise.
Whatever the case may be, a side hustle usually does not refer to a second job. And while some intelligent individuals can figure out how to invest in cryptocurrency or buy and sell stocks, generally speaking, side hustle implies some type of work that requires action, and well…hustle.
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Top 11 Best Side Hustles to Make Money
Side hustles are generally things that someone can do to generate income on their own, including:
1. Affiliate Marketing
An affiliate link is a piece of code provided by a company. They are typically added to a blog or social media post. When someone clicks the link, the browser lands on a product page, and if the reader purchases that product, you get a portion of the sales.
Affiliate linking or affiliate marketing is offered by nearly every type of company selling any type of service, from hotel bookings to software services to consumer goods. Be advised that some companies will only give affiliate links to websites with a certain amount of traffic, but others, like Amazon, will give out affiliate links to pretty much anyone who wants to use them.
2. Freelance Writing
Content is king on the web today, and the race to climb to the top of the Google search results means that there is a constant need for quality written content. Using a freelance marketplace, like Upwork or Fiverr, can help freelance writers find clients who need blogs, webpage content, social media posts, and other written materials.
From travel influencers who need a blog post about their latest trip to Hawaii, to Fintech businesses who are writing an email newsletter about the differences between trading vs. investing, there is a diverse range of potential clients around the world who need writing and don’t have the time or know-how to do it well.
3. Amazon FBA
Amazon makes it easy to open an online store because you can ship the items to Amazon and they will handle all the storage, packing, shipping, and delivery of these items. This option is known as Fulfillment by Amazon. You can manage the backend fulfillment on your own, but FBA sellers can participate in the Amazon Prime Program, where consumers can obtain the item in less than 48 hours. This in turn makes your item more appealing.
It’s important to note that Amazon does take fees for listing items and managing the fulfillment, so it’s important to price your products accordingly.
4. Graphic Design
Graphic design is a great online business because so many business owners need graphic content for their website, packaging, marketing, and social media. A graphic designer often uses software like Canva or Adobe to create visually appealing content.
It helps to have an artistic background and understand concepts like the color wheel or the rule of thirds so that your compositions will stand out and make you more appealing to hire for freelance work.
5. Retail Arbitrage
Do you enjoy exploring fun items in the clearance section of a regular store? You may not realize it, but there are tons of people who would pay top dollar for some of the rare finds you can find at these venues.
Thankfully the internet allows you to broadly reach out and offer these items to millions of potential shoppers. This is known as retail arbitrage: you find items on sale, and relist them on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, or any other similar venue. While retail arbitrage does specifically refer to the clearance section in a retail venue, you can do the same thing with used items at garage sales and thrift stores.
6. Food Delivery
UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub all make it possible to earn money on the side of your off-work hours by delivering food. These companies hire drivers to deliver food from restaurants to hungry customers by using an app to pair available drivers with people placing orders.
The great thing about these apps is that unlike doing delivery for one specific restaurant, you are not locked into certain hours and you can also stay as busy as you want.
Ridesharing is similar to the premise of food delivery in that you are harnessing the financial power of your idle vehicle in your spare time. Only instead of shuttling food around, you’re driving people, just like a taxi driver.
Ridesharing has proven to be very profitable for drivers in certain locations, but take note that in other locations drivers have complained that after the costs of car maintenance, the hourly wage they earn is much lower than they’d like. In any case, side hustles like ridesharing and food delivery offer great amounts of flexibility and are excellent side hustles for drivers who like the fun of being on the go.
8. Social Media Manager
Not every regular person can become an Instagram Influencer, but being a social media manager as a part time job is certainly within reach of most creative individuals. If you are good at writing clever Facebook posts, like commenting on other people’s posts, and have a background in graphic design, you can manage the social media accounts of a business.
A business owner is often too busy to create social media content or run ads, so they will outsource these tasks to someone doing freelance work. If you can get several business owners to turn over the reins of managing their social pages, you can turn this part time work into a full time gig.
9. Online Tutor
As you might guess, an online tutor helps students with their homework. You can work with a college student on their calculus or a third grader on their history. There are dozens of tutoring marketplaces, but you can also do your own marketing.
Substitute teaching is a similar type of freelance job, but online tutoring offers more flexibility in terms of scheduling and choosing who you want to work with. You can set your own rates and work as much or as little as you want. This is a great choice among odd jobs for people who love working with kids or have an interest in a particular academic topic, like math, history, or science.
10. Coaching and courses
Have you read three to four books on a given topic or experienced some valuable life lessons? Chances are you could build a small online course sharing your expertise and sell it on a site like Teachable or Udemy.
You can also offer one-on-one coaching with clients in diverse areas. For example, if you have experience working in a bank or accounting firm, you could offer counseling sessions on how to deal with student loan debt or how to build a retirement account. Never underestimate the power of what you know. If you enjoy teaching and sharing, selling information as coaching or online courses is definitely a great side hustle.
11. Odd jobs
In-person odd jobs, like assembling furniture or being a dog walker, are also a great side hustle. It’s easy to get a steady stream of clients through word of mouth in your neighborhood, but it’s even easier with apps like TaskRabbit and Nextdoor, which allow you to put your tangible skills to work.
If the idea of running a small business through Amazon or building out online courses does not sound appealing, going the more traditional route in terms of mowing a lawn or doing grocery store runs can also provide great side earning potential.
There are also some ways of earning money online through odd job sites, such as taking surveys on survey sites. Be advised, however, that sometimes earning money through online surveys or playing games is not always as lucrative as advertisers make it out to be.
Make Your Side Hustle Income Go Further
Side hustling is hard work, because it’s oftentimes done during the time you have off from your full-time job. But if you have the right combination of pluck and luck, you can turn side hustling into something profitable. You may even be able quit your day job and pursue something you like more, or at the very least something that offers more flexibility.
There are several reasons that side hustling is not practical for some people. Some people have family obligations or demanding careers. Others just don’t want to or don’t feel the need to use their spare time to work. Whatever the case may be, there are still ways to grow your money through passive income streams.
Stocks and real estate are the two main ways that millionaires have built their wealth, but there are plenty of other paths to explore if you’re looking for ways to make your money go further. No matter the reasons, you can learn more about the various ways you can make your income work for you by taking a quick second to join infinity investing.
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