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25 Side Hustles: Ideas For Making Money In Your Spare Time (2023)

25-side-hustles:-ideas-for-making-money-in-your-spare-time-(2023)
25 Side Hustles: Ideas For Making Money In Your Spare Time (2023)

Nearly everyone could benefit from a little extra income, but sometimes saving extra money and having a full-time job aren’t enough. Good side hustles build recurring revenue streams that go a long way in earning extra income.

Side hustlers come from diverse backgrounds and sell a wide range of products. They’re scrappy, experimental, and view resource constraints as a thrilling challenge, not as a sign to give up. With just a few hours a week in your spare time, you too can benefit from a side hustle.

If you’re looking to make passive income or some extra money by converting a hobby into your own business, browse our list of side hustle ideas—everything from pet sitting to digital marketing to gig economy work.

The 25 best side hustles for 2023

  1. Monetize a YouTube channel
  2. Sell digital products
  3. Become an IRL or online tutor 
  4. Deliver packages
  5. Start a podcast
  6. Design and sell your own t-shirts
  7. Offer pet sitting and dog walking services
  8. Become a rideshare driver
  9. Deliver groceries and other items
  10. Rent out your home or a spare room
  11. Offer digital marketing services
  12. Become an affiliate marketer
  13. Start a blog or newsletter
  14. Sell your photography
  15. Participate in paid online surveys
  16. Get paid to test apps and websites
  17. Become a transcriber or translator
  18. Create and sell your own handmade goods
  19. Mow lawns and do other landscaping tasks
  20. Start a dropshipping business
  21. Create a clothing line
  22. Offer services like car washing and detailing
  23. Get sponsorships on social media
  24. Give tours of your neighborhood
  25. Resell used or vintage goods

Woman working on a laptop in a living roomAre you ready to start a side hustle? Browse these ideas in detail for information on how you can launch an online business or make extra cash by selling your skills. The best side hustle ideas are those that match your skills and interests.

1. Monetize a YouTube channel

YouTube has more than two billion users who watch 250 million hours of videos every single day. Building an audience big enough to profit from YouTube ads takes a lot of time, which is why it’s better to find a more direct connection to revenue than to wait for ads to become viable. Luckily, there are a ton of ways to make money on YouTube that go beyond paid ads.

? Tip: Start by producing great content that resonates with your target audience. As you grow your following, consider making more money selling paid subscriptions, producing merch to sell online, or doing paid sponsorships.

2. Sell digital products

Digital products include any non-physical asset that exists in the digital world. These products are typically downloadable or streamable files like MP3s, PDFs, videos, and templates. If you’re a musician, music is always needed for movies and ad campaigns.

If you’re a graphic designer, websites are always looking for new fonts and graphics to make their site stand out. Digital products could include educational materials, audio files (like stock sound effects or music), digital templates, and more.

3. Become an IRL or online tutor

A teacher helps two young students with school workTeaching is one of the most rewarding opportunities, and with online platforms like Cambly, TutorOcean, Preply, and Learn to Be, it’s easy for anyone to tutor students online. Some young entrepreneurs even start freelancing while in school. Services like tutoring and exam prep are so popular in universities among student freelancers that the test-prep market is expected to grow at a rate of 6% annually until 2027.

? Tip: Take your tutoring side gig to the next level and make more money by building your own online store and selling courses online. An online course is a heavy lift up front to create, but can provide passive income over time.

4. Deliver packages

Anyone with time and access to a vehicle can now sign up to deliver packages through Amazon Flex. Amazon Flex is a great way to earn extra income in your spare time. Work scheduling is flexible: drivers simply sign-up for a block of time and receive as many or as few delivery assignments as they have time for.

5. Start a podcast

Podcasting, like social media and blogging, has become a staple of the broader world of online content. In fact, podcasts have been growing more popular each year since their creation.

Podcasting is comparatively cheap, too. A decent USB microphone sold specifically for podcasting can be purchased for less than $100, and recording platforms like Audacity are free and easy to use.

?‍? Learn more: 

6. Design and sell your own t-shirts

Print-on-demand businesses are fun, low-risk ventures if you have a passion for design and are looking to dip your feet into the entrepreneurial waters. Shopify apps such as Printful, Printify, and Gelato allow you to easily upload custom designs onto t-shirts that are printed and shipped at the point of purchase, meaning there’s no need to make large inventory purchases upfront.

? Tip: Shopify has everything you need to bring your own business to life and start selling t-shirts online. Get the tools and free resources you need to build, launch, and grow your business all in one place.

7. Offer pet sitting and dog walking services

These days, people treat their pets as members of the family⁠—so there’s a growing demand for reliable people to take care of their furry loved ones. In the past, finding clients was the hardest part of becoming a dog walker or pet sitter, but with apps like Rover, Wag!, PetSitter.com, and PetBacker, it’s easier than ever to find good clients in need of a hand.

? Tip: Level up by starting your own pet business, selling products to your existing clients. Set up a simple website to sell your services and products in one place—and make more money from the same clientele.

? Success Story: How an Internet-Famous Corgi Led to a Viral Dog Backpack Biz

Bryan Reisberg’s adorable corgi, Maxine, won over hundreds of thousands of dog-lovers on Instagram. His efforts to keep her safe while traveling through Manhattan led to a massively successful backpack company powered by Shopify. ? Learn about Little Chonk

8. Become a rideshare driver

These days, there are several options for those wanting to drive for a rideshare company. You can always drive for tried and tested companies like Uber or Lyft, but there are also independent options that cater to specific needs or cities, like ZIRO, which is largely based in San Francisco, or Wingz, which specializes in shuttling people to and from the airport.

9. Deliver groceries and other items

A person delivers food by bikeIf you enjoy driving but don’t always enjoy having strangers in your car, you can sign up to drive for grocery delivery apps. Check out Instacart or Spark Driver (Walmart’s delivery app) for grocery delivery side-gigs.

As with grocery delivery, food delivery has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. Food delivery is an easy-to-start side hustle, with a ton of apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, SkipTheDishes (Canada only), and Menulog (Australia and New Zealand only) where you can sign up to become a driver.

10. Rent out your home or a spare room

You likely already spend time caring for and maintaining your home, so why not make some extra cash from it? Renting your home or spare room has big earning potential. Airbnb is the most common way to rent out your home, but you might also try listing it on other apps like Vrbo, Agoda, or Plum Guide (UK only).

? Tip: Level up your side hustle to sell products to your guests. Use Shopify Collabs to find brands willing to let you promote their products for a commission. Guests love the soap in your bathroom? Place a QR code in your bathroom so they can buy it.

11. Offer digital marketing services

With the number of online businesses out there, there’s always a need for freelancers with specific skills to help founders create content, run social channels, optimize a website, and more. Advertise your services online through gig or freelance sites and set up a basic website with a portfolio of your work. You can make more money by creating an online course and selling it as a digital product to people who want to learn your skills.

12. Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is when you advertise someone else’s products or services on your platform and get a commission from any sale that comes from your referral (usually through a unique link or code). This is a great way to combine side hustles.

If you have a podcast, are an influencer, or have a store of your own, get into affiliate marketing. It’s a great way to gain some passive income while you’re either working on a different side hustle or working on your passions.

To get started, go to an affiliate marketplace like Leadpages, ConvertKit, ClickBank, or ShareASale and find the right products for you. And if you’re a content creator, course educator, or influencer working in the world of ecommerce, the Shopify Affiliate Program might be a great side hustle.

?‍? Learn more: 

13. Start a blog or newsletter

Blogging has long been a popular side-hustle, but monetization can prove challenging. That’s why more and more bloggers are turning to Substack, a platform where independent writers can publish their work directly to their audience and get paid through the use of recurring subscriptions.

This allows bloggers to build an audience over time and maintain a regular stream of monthly income, without having to rely on intrusive ads, sponsorships, or finding freelance writing gigs.

? Tip: Once you have a substantial following, consider making more money by selling products like merch to your fans. This is a great way to build awareness for your personal brand.

? Success Story: This Skin Care Founder Blended Her Personal Story with Her Brand

In this guide to brand storytelling, founder Charlotte Cho explains how her personal story and that of her culture were critical to building two skin care brands. As a popular beauty blogger first, she was able to build credibility when she eventually launched. ? Read more

14. Sell your photography

A person holds a camera hanging from his neck by a strapSites like Burst, Shutterstock, and Getty Images are always looking to buy photos that can be used on websites and ad campaigns. And as long as the web exists, there will always be a need for new photos, because websites will always need to update and refresh their content.

You can also sell your photography as prints or put them on a mug or sweatshirt. Get your images on something physical and sell them as hangable and wearable art. Getting quality prints of your photos is easy and cheap these days, so there’s a real market if you’ve got the right image.

You might even sell your photography as a service. Photographing weddings alone can be a full-time gig, and that’s not even mentioning concerts, graduations, baby announcements, annual family photos—the list goes on.

15. Participate in paid online surveys

There are countless companies and market researchers that want to know what people think of their products and services. Websites like Branded Surveys, Swagbucks, and Survey Junkie have a ton of surveys you can get paid to take. Filling out surveys probably won’t pay your bills, but it can pad your pocket with extra money for the weekend.

16. Get paid to test apps and websites

Nothing will halt business faster than a website riddled with issues or an app that doesn’t work. So developers get testers to go in and push all the links and play with all the buttons to make sure things work before they go live. Guess what? You can get paid for that.

Matchmaking sites like UserTesting, UTest, Userlytics, UserCrowd, and Enroll can connect you with a ton of website- and app-testing gigs. Some competitive gigs even offer $100 for a 60-minute test, so there is money to be made here.

17. Become a transcriber or translator

A transcriptionist receives audio files from their clients and types out what they hear. These files may be videos, audio notes, phone calls, or even legal proceedings, so a good ear and quick fingers are crucial. Check out freelancer sites like Rev, TranscribeMe, and GoTranscript for paid transcription opportunities.

18. Create and sell your own handmade goods

Two people make handmade crafts in a studioIf you’ve ever wanted to make money from your hobbies, there are plenty of crafts to make and sell online. Although creating handmade products requires plenty of time spent learning a craft, it’s one of the best ways to stand out in a sea of commodity products.

Think of something you enjoy doing, even when no one’s paying you. Whether it’s carpentry, knitting, painting, or crafting—these hobbies can serve as the foundation for many unique side hustles.

? Success Story: How a Crafter Scaled Her Eyewear Business

Kerin Rose Gold started designing her own sunglasses before being spotted by top celebs. Now she employs other artists as she grows her brand, A-Morir. ? Read Kerin’s story

19. Mow lawns and do other landscaping tasks

The hardest part of starting a lawn care business is finding clients, but did you know there are a ton of short-term lawn care jobs available through services like TaskEasy and TaskRabbit? These kinds of short-term jobs are easy to squeeze in during your spare time, making them good side hustle ideas for anyone who enjoys lawn care.

20. Start a dropshipping business

If you like the automated aspects of print on demand but are more interested in marketing and operations over creating custom designs, consider starting a dropshipping business.

Dropshipping is another online business model where a third party manufactures and ships existing products for you. All you have to do is set up your store, price your products, and market the business.

Dropshipping is also a low-risk opportunity because, again, products are only shipped when they’re purchased, which leaves plenty of room for profit, so long as your marketing expenses are reasonable. You can also dropship on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to reach more customers.

? Tip: With Shopify, it’s easy to start a dropshipping business and start selling without the hassle of managing inventory, packaging, or shipping. Orders are sent directly from your wholesaler to your customers, so you can work on what matters—your products, marketing, and customers.

?‍? Learn more: 

21. Create a clothing line

Sure, starting a clothing line might seem like more of a full-time job than a side hustle, but curating your own clothing line is easier than it sounds, especially using a dropshipping business model.

There are a ton of dropshipping clothing suppliers to choose products from, meaning the majority of your workload would be spent building an audience and curating pieces that appeal to them.

? Tip: If you’re creative, you can level up your side hustle to design and produce your own clothing line from scratch. Sew one-of-a-kind pieces or outsource your vision to a factory.

22. Offer services like car washing and detailing

Washing cars, both inside and out, is a task that most people know how to do, but few are eager to do themselves. That’s what makes it such a lucrative side hustle. Costs can be kept low: just a few cleaning supplies that you may already have. Apps like TaskRabbit, Steady, and Jobble have a ton of quick car-washing jobs available in cities all over the world.

23. Get sponsorships on social media

A woman records a video for social mediaStarting a popular account on TikTok or Instagram takes finding the right content for the right audience at the right time. If you have something unique to offer, create compelling sharable content and engage with your fans. Once you’ve built a loyal following, you can monetize your fame through sponsorships (brands pay you to promote their products).

? Tip: Shopify Collabs makes it easy to find brands that match your vibe, build affiliate relationships, get paid for what you sell, and track everything in one place.

?‍? Learn more: 

24. Give tours of your neighborhood

A study done by Eventbrite shows that 78% of Americans prioritize experiences over products. With platforms like Showaround popping up, and Airbnb launching its Experiences feature, it’s clear that the demand for a good neighborhood tour guide is on the rise.

25. Resell used or vintage goods

Another way to make a few extra bucks is by selling your used goods. You can sell items you’re no longer using on a local buy and sell group or Facebook Marketplace. Level up by finding great thrift items and reselling them on a vintage marketplace. This is a fun side hustle idea if you have a great eye for décor or fashion.

? Tip: If you realize you have a knack for selling vintage clothing online, why not open your own online store?

How to start a side hustle

A man counts American moneySide hustles are a great way to earn extra income but, like all new ventures, they require a bit of legwork upfront in order to get traction. If you don’t choose an idea that fits your current lifestyle, it’s easy for this extra work to sink to the bottom of your to-do list and, eventually, fall by the wayside.

On the other hand, a side hustle can also start eating into your social and family time or conflicting with your main job. This could end up being a good problem if you decide to take your side hustle to the next level and work full time at building your own business.

Here are the steps to take to start a side hustle:

  1. Research the options. The side hustles in this guide are a great jumping off point. Dig into a few that pique your interest and see if you can make money doing them in your spare time.
  2. Map out your plan. Check if you require any licenses, equipment, or special training. Sign up for the relevant gig economy apps. Plot your side hustle onto your existing calendar to see how many hours per week you can dedicate to it.
  3. Have a goal. A goal will help keep you on track. A goal like “earn extra money” isn’t specific enough. Try “earn enough money to pay down my student debt” or “make extra cash to save for a car.”
  4. Advertise your services or products. Depending on your side gig, you’ll need to let the world know you’re open for business. If you’re selling services like personal training, start a TikTok account sharing workout tips and point to your contact info. If you’re offering a spare room for short-term accommodations, set up a listing on a site like Airbnb. If you sell products, invest in ecommerce SEO.
  5. Level up (or not). Many people start side hustles with the full intention of keeping them that way. But if your idea takes off and your services are in high demand, consider leveling up your side hustle and learning how to start a business.

Questions to ask when considering side hustles

A man works at a computer in a libraryAlthough side hustles don’t always become full-time jobs, it’s common for side hustlers to gravitate toward this option once their venture becomes profitable enough. If you want a side hustle that could eventually become your career, here are some things to consider.

1. Does the idea fit your current schedule?

You’re going to be dedicating a meaningful amount of time to this side hustle, so it helps if that time fits into your own schedule. A side hustle idea should be something you can do outside of your 9-to-5 day job but that won’t interfere with or keep you from that job.

Things will come up at your full-time job. Some days you may have to pick up an extra shift or work overtime to finish up a project, or you may have obligations like meetings and team-building events.

If you want to make sure you put time into your side hustle, it helps to pick something that’s easy to reschedule. Side gigs like dog walking, real estate, or babysitting might seem appealing, but they could be more difficult to arrange around your regular day job.

2. Does the idea align with your passions and interests?

Working 40 hours a week is enough to zap most people’s creative energy by the time the day winds down. And after time well spent with family and friends and on personal responsibilities, it’s easy to see just how hard it can be to carve out additional headspace to work on a side project.

But it’s these hours tucked away in life’s margins that tend to be the best time to do the focused work needed to get something off the ground. The workday is done, the weekend is still a couple of days away, and since you’ve already watched all the true-crime documentaries on Netflix, your schedule is wide open.

But, try as you might, sometimes you just won’t want to work. That’s why it’s ideal if your side hustle closely pairs with what you’re passionate about, even if it’s not the end-product itself. That might mean you enjoy some aspect of running things behind the scenes or immersing yourself in a new topic or field of interest, or you have a desire to do something to help people.

Whatever the appeal, a good litmus test is that you’re drawn to the work when you’re procrastinating on something else—that little bit of enthusiasm can go a long way.

3. Is the idea financially viable?

Although not every hobby should be burdened by the need for profitability, most of us have student loans and bills to pay. By our definition of a good side hustle, we are looking to create some kind of return on time invested. That means your side hustle needs to be financially viable and, over the long term, relatively stable—not just a part-time side job.

Most side hustles aren’t profitable right away, since your primary focus is tweaking your product or service and finding how best to reach your first clients or customers. You want to keep costs low in the early stages and work exclusively on “ringing the cash register” or proving out your idea with a sale so you can see what the numbers look like.

What does that mean exactly? Since the start of any project is completely lopsided in terms of time put in and revenue that comes back out, you don’t need to be as concerned with tracking your sweat equity.

But as you make progress and start earning extra money, it’s important to understand how much it costs you, in time or dollars, to get a client, customer, or sale and ultimately turn your effort into profit. If your resulting margins or hourly wages put you in the red, your side hustle may not be sustainable.

4. Is the idea “passive income” or more hands-on?

Beware of the term “passive income” as most side hustles aren’t fully passive. There will at least be some initial set up work to get your idea off the ground. The level of work can vary greatly from affiliate marketing on the low end to service-based businesses like pet sitting or handmade products on the high end. What you choose depends on how much time and effort you can afford to contribute to your particular side hustle.

Finding the best side hustle ideas for you

An underappreciated benefit of side hustles is that they can act as a sandbox where you learn how to make good money online. Making extra money online is a distinct skill, and since most of us rely on traditional careers to pay the bills, it doesn’t always feel intuitive. Side hustles offer you a way to test small business ideas and practice in public.

And side hustles aren’t just a tool for making side income. Starting a side hustle is a way to teach yourself valuable skills and help yourself grow as a professional and as an entrepreneur. For writers, actors, painters, musicians, and artists of all types, a side hustle can provide artistic independence, professional growth and, eventually, a profitable way to turn your passion into your career. Whether you walk dogs, deliver food, or start selling online, you’re taking the first step on your way to financial freedom.

Feature illustration by Eugenia Mello

Side hustles FAQ

How do I make an extra $2,000 a month?

The amount of extra money you can make from a side hustle depends on a number of factors. While the following ideas are a great place to start, your level of effort, the demand for the work, and the market you’re in can all influence how much side hustle money will land in your bank account. Try:

  • Joining focus groups
  • Starting a dog walking service
  • Selling services to local businesses
  • Doing deliveries for food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Postmates
  • Renting out your vehicle on Turo
  • Teaching English or other languages
  • Starting a bookkeeping business
  • Monetizing a popular TikTok account

How do you start a side hustle?

The steps to starting a side hustle can vary depending on your creative skills, start up costs, and the level of effort for the side hustle you choose. A few basic first steps include:

  1. Write a list of things you’re passionate about.
  2. Figure out if you’ll invest money in your side hustle right away.
  3. Make time in your own schedule to work on your side hustle.
  4. Create a plan for how to make money online with your side hustle.
  5. Execute your plan!

What are the most profitable side hustles to make money?

After an initial investment of time and effort, some ideas can eventually net you a good monthly income. Some of the most profitable side hustle ideas to make extra money include:

  • Starting a dropshipping business
  • Selling your own handcrafted products
  • Creating and selling your own designs
  • Selling digital marketing services through freelance work
  • Teaching an online course
  • Starting an affiliate marketing business

What are the easiest side hustles to start?

The easiest side hustles to start are those that require no specialized skills or upfront costs. While many turn to the gig economy to offer services through sites like TaskRabbit or do rideshare driving, you can just as easily set up a simple website to help you get freelance work or sell your services.

How much time should I dedicate to my side hustle to make it successful?

It’s recommended to set aside at least a few hours each week to work on your side hustle. Prioritizing your time and focusing on the most important tasks to grow your business is crucial. With dedication and hard work, you can turn your side hustle into a successful business and make extra money.

 

This originally appeared on Shopify and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
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