20+ Ways to Make Money on the Side (grouped by category)
These days, opportunities to supplement your income come plenty. Unfortunately, this also means the sheer number of options will overwhelm or confuse you about where to even begin.
Drawing from my experience teaching 60,000 students in my courses and engaging with over 800,000 readers, I’ve created this list of 20+ tried-and-true ways to make money on the side (and ones to avoid if you want steady, easy cash).
Whether you’ve been wanting to learn how to make extra income while working full-time or how to make money on the side with jobs that align with your passions, this post is designed with you in mind.
I’ve organized these money-making opportunities by category, so feel free to skip directly to the sections that resonate most with your goals and interests. Let’s begin!
Table of Contents
How to make money on the side online
Whether you’re a wordsmith, a coding genius, a digital marketing maestro, or a multitasking virtual assistant, freelancing offers unparalleled opportunities. The reason is clear: businesses are recognizing the efficiency and expertise freelancers bring to the table.
Freelancing is a win-win. For you, it means flexibility, the ability to define your work hours, and the freedom to choose projects that align with your passions. For clients, it translates to swift task completion with top-notch quality. In fast-paced environments, companies often find it more efficient to tap into the expertise of freelancers for specialized tasks like transcription, copy and video editing, social media management, bookkeeping, and even tutoring.
Begin by networking or showcasing your skills on job boards and prominent freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer.com, or Fiverr. These platforms act as launchpads, allowing you to test the waters and gradually expand your clientele.
While the initial phase might seem challenging, the rewards are worth it once you carve out your niche, develop a robust portfolio, and actively promote your services.
Blogging is like having your own stall in a busy marketplace. Make the most out of this path by choosing a niche that aligns with your passion and, equally importantly, holds the interest of an audience that’s willing to spend good money on that niche and your chosen monetization strategy.
The idea is to craft high-quality content, delve into sponsored product reviews to earn from brands eager to promote on your platform, or sell advertising placements with Google AdSense (or negotiate directly with brands that resonate with your readership).
The fascinating part? Blogging allows you to tap into existing, highly engaged markets rather than start from scratch. Once you’ve made that initial dollar, the possibilities for earning through your blog are limitless.
Selling digital products
Selling digital products is my favorite because you have the option to do it as a side gig, and then move to full-time once it makes you a good amount of money.
Digital products, whether they’re courses, eBooks, or memberships, offer the advantage of being virtual assets — which means no fretting about physical manufacturing, scalability, or the logistics of shipping. This allows you to focus on what truly matters, which is creating valuable content and experiences.
But here’s where most people fail: they fall into the trap of building a truly valuable digital product and expecting it to sell itself. Success hinges on effective marketing. Too often, people create stellar products and then leave the promotion to others, especially influencers who don’t fully grasp what it means to embody the product.
Get started by understanding your ideal user, pinpointing the product they genuinely need, devising a profitable business model, and then strategically launching your creation into the digital space. Remember, the options are vast — from communities and courses to coaching events, eBooks, memberships, and guides, there’s a digital product for every niche and every need.
Ebooks have been gaining traction lately, and it’s no surprise given their affordability and eco-friendliness. If you possess expertise that can be shared, self-publishing ebooks is a fantastic side hustle to consider.
While it may demand patience and persistence, self-publishing lets you earn money passively — even while you sleep! Once the content is created, your income potential multiplies as long as your ebook remains relevant.
Even better, getting started is easy! First, pinpoint a niche where your knowledge and passion intersect. Next, create valuable, informative content that genuinely helps your readers. Select the right publishing platform that aligns with your goals, and don’t underestimate the power of effective marketing.
Ebooks can serve as incredible lead magnets for your business by offering unique value that surpasses free online content. So, invest time in crafting quality, and let your expertise pave the way to a lucrative side income.
YouTube is one of the most promising and lucrative online side hustles. And while it might not turn you into an overnight millionaire, the potential for earning begins fairly soon.
YouTube is a fantastic option because it offers a lot of opportunities to monetize your content, offering you the flexibility to choose what aligns best with your content and audience. You can join the YouTube Partner Program and earn from ads.
Dive into selling channel memberships and monetize your live streams with YouTube Super Chat. Expand your horizons by uploading your videos to YouTube Premium. Beyond that, you can explore creating promotional content for brands and selling products directly to your YouTube audience.
Simply find your niche, build a channel around that niche, and create compelling, valuable content consistently. As your subscriber count grows, so do your monetization options. Remember, tt’s not just about views; it’s about building an engaged community.
These days, it seems like everyone wants to become an influencer. Yes, the field has become highly competitive, but with the right approach, there are still many opportunities to make a good buck.
Influencer marketing offers the potential for major earnings while leveraging your expertise or passion. With a captivating narrative and a knack for building trust with your audience, you can partner with brands, promote products or services, and earn commissions or fees in return.
But success in influencer marketing doesn’t come overnight. To excel, choose a competitive niche that resonates with you, select the right social media platform where a good chunk of your audience resides, craft a robust content strategy, effectively distribute your content, and most importantly, foster a genuine community around your brand.
Over time, this engagement can turn into a lucrative source of income and a rewarding side hustle. So, whether you’re an expert chef, a fashionista, a tech enthusiast, or whatever passion you choose, influencer marketing could be your path to extra income.
Now more than ever, more people turn to online shopping for all their needs. This also means more e-commerce resellers also keep popping up here and there to meet consumer demand.
With e-commerce reselling, you simply acquire products, tweak their prices, et voila — you turn them around for a profit! What’s fascinating is that you don’t need to be the next big production house to delve into this opportunity. You can start small, perhaps even dealing in second-hand treasures, and gradually expand your business.
The key is to ensure that your pricing strategy is both savvy and competitive. Take into account production costs, marketing expenditures, and those sneaky marketplace fees that can eat into your profits. If needed, dive into more market research. Keep a keen eye on the pricing points of top-selling brands in your niche, and tailor your strategy accordingly.
Testing websites and apps
You don’t need a PhD in computer science to excel in user experience testing for websites and apps. It’s accessible to anyone with basic English comprehension and proficiency, and a few essential tools: a computer, Internet connection, microphone, and webcam.
Testing websites and apps is a good way to earn easy money because it offers a unique opportunity to interact with cutting-edge digital interfaces, providing insights that shape the user experience for various platforms. As a tester, you play a vital role in refining websites and apps for better functionality.
To get started, sign up on platforms like TestingTime and Userlytics to discover new projects. However, since the niche is so saturated, the path to success might be a slow climb. Regardless, you can choose more than one side hustle to supplement your earnings as long as you have the bandwidth for it.
Start a consulting side gig
Another lucrative path worth exploring is starting a consulting side gig, especially in popular fields like artificial intelligence (AI). As AI becomes increasingly integrated into business processes, entrepreneurs are seeking guidance in leveraging this technology for tasks ranging from data analysis to content creation and even marketing strategy development.
Not only does consulting allow you to dive into cutting-edge technologies, but it also positions you as an expert in an in-demand field that is both intellectually satisfying and financially rewarding.
Start by evaluating your expertise. What field are you good at and are people willing to pay for your expert insights? If the answer is no, then it’s never too late to start learning!
Using AI consulting as an example, you can deep-dive into beginner-friendly AI tools such as ChatGPT and DALL-E, gradually progressing to more complex systems. Once you’ve mastered these tools, you can start offering AI consulting services and providing AI integration expertise.
And if you have the skills and resources for it, you can also invest in AI-focused businesses or even create and/or market AI-powered products. The key is to stay informed, stay ahead, and, most importantly, be ready to guide businesses into becoming future-ready.
Selling photography online
Armed only with a good camera and a creative eye, you can turn your passion for photography into a consistent monthly income.
Selling photography online provides an opportunity to monetize your artistic skills. With the demand for high-quality visuals in various industries, it’s easy for your photos to find a market. This hustle is also highly scalable — upload a photo once, and it can generate income repeatedly over time.
To get started and succeed in selling photography online, start checking out stock photo websites. These platforms allow you to showcase and sell your work to a global audience.
If you’re equipped with a professional camera, explore stock photo sites. For those who prefer using their mobile phones, there are websites specifically designed to purchase mobile-taken photos. Research and choose the stock photo platform that aligns with your style and goals.
…but you don’t have to take the same path as everyone else. How would it look if you designed a Rich Life on your own terms? Take our quiz and find out:
Online tutoring offers educators and subject-matter experts the opportunity to share their expertise and earn extra income. From mathematics and science to English and physics, no subject is off-limits.
While some platforms require a college degree and previous teaching experience, others are more flexible, seeking only individuals with proficiency in specific subjects. Choose your niche based on your knowledge and skill set and you’re ready for the next step.
Consider joining a tutoring platform so you can leverage their existing pool of clients and start building your reputation. Over time, as you gain experience and positive reviews, you can expand your client base and even explore offline tutoring opportunities.
Become an affiliate marketer
Affiliate marketing is a mutually beneficial relationship. Businesses leverage the reach of affiliate marketers to promote their products or services, and in return, affiliate marketers receive commissions for driving sales or leads.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to create your own products or services. Instead, you focus on building a compelling website with high-quality content that attracts an audience interested in your niche. Once your website gains traction and you have a sizable and engaged audience, you can approach companies in your niche to become their affiliate.
To succeed as an affiliate marketer, you must cultivate trust with your audience. This means promoting products or services that align with your niche and are genuinely valuable to your followers. Building a loyal and engaged audience takes time, but the potential for lucrative commissions makes affiliate marketing a worthy online side hustle to explore.
How to make money on the side from home
Pet sitting and doggie daycare
Pet sitting and doggie daycare are perfect for animal lovers, especially those who are well-equipped to handle emergency or health situations.
This job allows you to monetize your love for animals while enjoying the convenience of working from home. Many pet owners prefer this personalized service over traditional kennels, creating a lucrative niche for those who can provide a caring and safe environment for pets.
To kickstart your pet-sitting side hustle, leverage your network. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances for referrals. Utilize the power of social media and local postings to make your services known. Additionally, explore dedicated pet-sitting websites that connect you with pet owners in need of reliable caregivers.
Babysitting and childcare
Contrary to the stereotype, babysitting is not just a way for teenagers to earn pocket money; it’s also a viable option for adults.
If you have a genuine affection for kids, this side hustle can be both rewarding and profitable. Parents are often on the lookout for reliable and caring individuals to entrust with the well-being of their children, creating a demand for experienced babysitters.
Getting started in this side hustle doesn’t necessarily follow a fixed path. Most individuals begin by babysitting for family and friends, gradually expanding their network through word of mouth. Successful babysitters often find that one satisfied client leads to another, building a steady stream of referrals.
Senior sitting and companion
While many seniors require trained caregivers, some families are open to hiring individuals who can provide companionship and take care of their loved ones’ needs, even without formal medical training.
What makes this side hustle great is that it allows you to work from home or the client’s home, providing flexibility in your schedule. It can also be deeply fulfilling to make a positive impact on the lives of seniors, many of whom may be lonely or in need of assistance with daily tasks.
Building a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable senior companion can lead to referrals and long-term clients. Just remember that senior sitting is not for everyone, as it requires patience, compassion, empathy, and a genuine interest in the well-being of older individuals.
Tech setup services
Many people still struggle with setting up their computers, managing software installations, ensuring IT security, configuring devices, and even handling data entry. If these are areas where you excel, you can turn your skills into a lucrative income stream.
The appeal of tech setup services lies in their flexibility and convenience. You can offer these services from the comfort of your home or travel to clients’ homes to assist them with their tech needs. Whether it’s setting up a new computer, securing a network, or helping with software issues, your expertise can be in high demand.
To get started, consider building a website or online profile to showcase your tech skills. You can promote your services through social media, local classifieds, or word of mouth. Building a reputation for reliability and efficiency is key to attracting clients and earning a steady income for years to come.
As a personal assistant, your skills in time management, communication, and attention to detail can be in high demand. What makes this side hustle even more appealing is that you don’t have to physically be present in someone’s office; most personal assistant tasks can be accomplished remotely. This flexibility allows you to offer your services to a wide range of clients, regardless of their location.
To launch your own personal assistance business, leverage freelancing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Create a profile that highlights your effective organization and communication skills. As you take on tasks and build a reputation for reliability, your client base will also grow.
Create and sell your handmade goods
If you have a knack for crafting, whether it’s making crocheted clothes, hand-poured candles, or unique jewelry, there’s a market out there waiting to show their appreciation with cash.
Selling your handmade goods combines your skills with your personal interests, making the work enjoyable. When you’re genuinely passionate about what you create, it shines through in the quality of your products and the enthusiasm with which you market them.
To get started, pick your craft and identify your target audience. Then, utilize the right marketing channels, such as Etsy, social media, or your website, to showcase your art. Over time, you can turn your passion project into a thriving business that generates a steady stream of income.
How to make money on the side offline
People often find themselves short on time, and that’s where you come in. Delivering groceries provides a practical solution to a common problem, making it a reliable source of income.
With platforms like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Instacart, you can enjoy a streamlined process that connects you with customers in need of a convenient way to get their groceries.
The key to success lies in your reliability and efficiency. Ensure timely deliveries, maintain the quality of the items, and you’ll find a steady stream of income coming your way.
Become a photographer
As a photographer, you’re not confined to one niche; you can specialize in events, portraits, or even product photography. The key to kickstarting your photography side hustle is leveraging your existing network. Offer your stellar services to family and friends for free initially, perhaps at gatherings or special occasions. Word of mouth and personal recommendations will take care of the rest.
To take it a step further, set up a professional online presence through a website or social media. Showcase your work and encourage satisfied clients to leave testimonials. As you gain traction, bookings for various events will follow.
Resell used or vintage goods
If you have an eye for the value of vintage items, then why not buy these treasures at a bargain and turn them into profitable sales?
Thrift stores, estate sales, and online marketplaces are your playgrounds. Reselling vintage goods is about curating a collection that resonates with buyers. As you gain experience, you can diversify your strategy. Maybe start with online platforms and, once you’ve honed your instincts, consider opening a physical thrift store.
The key here is planning. Understanding trends, knowing where to find hidden gems, and establishing a solid online presence can turn your love for vintage into a lucrative business. With each sale, you not only make a profit but contribute to the ongoing narrative of these timeless pieces.
Programs to run away from (Avoid at all costs!!)
Multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes
Let me be crystal clear: MLMs are the glitter-covered black holes of the side hustle world, and you want to steer clear. They’re not much more than glorified pyramid schemes hiding under some flimsy guise of legality.
These schemes thrive on selling a dream of endless riches rather than a tangible, marketable product. And since they work on a referral-based structure, their goal is to get as many people on board as possible.
This means they prey on the hopeful, peddling the idea that with just a bit of effort and recruitment, you’ll be cruising down Easy Street in no time. Trust me, it’s a headache waiting to happen.
Hustles requiring licensing or certification
Diving headfirst into side hustles that require licenses or certifications, like venturing into salon services or real estate sales, might seem enticing, but they demand a hefty upfront investment, both in terms of time and money.
Sure, these businesses have potential, but let’s face it: they are not the sprint you’re looking for in a side hustle. The licensing and certification processes alone can be daunting and time-consuming, not to mention the financial commitments required to kickstart them.
When you’re hustling on the side, time is a precious commodity, and sinking too much of it into bureaucratic red tape might not be the wisest move. Remember, the goal of a side hustle is to complement your income without overwhelming your life and hijacking your long-term goals.
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