I get asked all the time what are the best side hustles.
And while some are definitely better than others, what’s best for you might not work for someone else.
The best side hustles are the ones you’re motivated to take action on! It’s entrepreneurial physics: once you get started, it’s much easier to stay started — even if the direction may change.
With that in mind, here are some of the best side hustles to add to your short list. These were selected based on:
- Interviewing over 500 side hustlers and entrepreneurs
- 15+ years of my own side hustle experience
Ready? Let’s do it!
1. Flip Items for Profit
The art of buying low and selling high is a super popular side hustle, and a very common option to start making extra money.
You can start by offloading items you have around the house, and then look for profitable inventory at:
- Yard sales
- Garage sales
- Estate sales
- Thrift stores
- Flea markets
- Facebook Marketplace
If you love the thrill of the treasure hunt, this could be a great side hustle for you.
For example, my friends Rob and Melissa Stephenson consistently earn thousands of dollars a month, flipping items part-time!
They put together this free training on how to get started and make your first sales in as little as 2 weeks.
Low startup costs
Simple business model
Can multiply money quickly
Can be time-consuming to source inventory
Difficult to store and ship bulky items
2. Build a Helpful Website
Write content on a topic you care about and build an audience in your niche. As you build out your library of helpful articles, you’ll pick up more traffic and revenue.
Content sites earn money from affiliate partnerships, ad revenue, and your own products and services.
Here are some inspiring examples from The Side Hustle Show archives:
- Andrew earns 6-figures a year curating gift ideas
- Scott earns 6-figures a year from his bird-watching website
- Jodi earns $5k+ per month from her part-time blog for girl scout troop leaders
- Katie earns $6k a month from her gray hair blog
Want to start a website of your own? Check out my free 6-part video course on how to start your own site.
Low startup costs
Great long-term earning power
Can sell the business down the road
Slow to see results
Lots of skills to learn
3. Customer Interviews
Many companies use customer interviews to get feedback on new products.
The best part? The average compensation is $50-150 an hour!
Here are some other companies that facilitate focus groups and paid research studies.
4. Freelance Your Skills
One of the best side hustles to start with is freelancing. You can get started for almost nothing and use the skills you already have.
In fact, more Side Hustle Show guests started with a freelance or service business than any other business model. In my case, I’ve done house painting, proofreading, freelance writing, and even some virtual recruiting.
After you take inventory of your skills, think of how you might connect with your target customers. This could be around you neighborhood, in Facebook groups, or through online marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork.
5. Rental Properties
Real estate investing is one of the oldest and most popular side hustles in the books … but houses are expensive!
Thankfully, new platforms like Arrived make it easy to invest in income-generating properties—with as little as $100.
The company pools money to buy rental properties, manages them, and then distributes the cash flow every month.
I also liked Austin Miller’s creative approach to building his rental portfolio, which was up to 17 properties worth $1.2 million when we spoke.
The kicker? They were all acquired “free”—without any of his own money.
6. Resell Furniture Returns
Reselling furniture returns is a unique low-risk side hustle.
How it works is you join Sharetown as a local “reverse logistics” rep. Sharetown partners with direct-to-consumer mattress and furniture brands to handle their return requests.
When customers decide they don’t want to keep the item, you’ll get dispatched to go pick it up. After that, you’ll clean it up, photograph it, and list it for resale on sites like Facebook Marketplace.
The Sharetown reps I’ve connected with target $150-250 per flip — and the kicker is you don’t have to pay Sharetown for the inventory until the item sells.
Check out my full Sharetown review to learn more.
7. Sell Digital Products
I love the idea of getting paid over and over again from something I create once, and digital products definitely check that box.
These could be:
- Online courses
- Spreadsheets and templates
For example, Emily McDermott built a cool side hustle selling spreadsheets on Etsy. She specializes in budgeting templates, and has sold over $250,000 worth of them!
Similarly, I’ve earned over $25,000 from an online course I published on Udemy.
8. Niche Newsletter
One of the side hustles I’m most excited about right now is curated email newsletters. Could you source the best articles on your topic of choice on a daily or weekly basis?
These are super valuable for readers since you help cut through the clutter in your niche. As your audience grows, you can monetize with ads, affiliate offers, or your own products or services.
9. Local Rental Business
High school teacher Steve Nadramia began renting out portable hot tubs, and now does $1000s a month in bookings.
These types of “unconventional” rental businesses are exciting because the return on investment is so much higher than traditional real estate. For example, in Steve’s case, he might buy a hot tub for $2000, and rent it out for $400-500 a month.
25 Other Unconventional Rental Ideas
What else could you rent out for a profit? Here are some ideas!
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Put your education to use helping students learn in a comfortable one-on-one setting. WyzAnt is one of the largest marketplaces in the online tutoring world, where you can set your own rates.
Or you can apply to work with BookNook, a popular online math and reading tutoring company for kids in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Pay is $15-22 an hour.
In this post, Matt Fuentes shared how he built his tutoring business up to $1000 a week.
11. Part-Time Remote Work
With legit jobs ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time, FlexJobs is the leading work from home jobs site. At press time, there were more than 30,000 openings in dozens of career categories.
They charge a nominal monthly fee to access their listings, but you’ll easily earn it back (and then some!) with one job.
12. Web Design Service
It might be surprising, but many businesses have a really outdated-looking site — or they don’t have one at all. Pitch the benefits of a strong online presence and help them out.
In an inspiring Side Hustle Show episode, Ryan Golgosky shared how he built his unique recurring revenue web design business to $100,000 a month.
13. Start a YouTube Channel
Creating content on YouTube is a fast-track side hustle, especially compared with blogging. It’s easier to “rank” videos for your target keywords, and once your channel reaches certain metrics, you can monetize with ads.
(You can also use YouTube in other creative ways, like to sell a digital product or service.)
14. The Amazon Influencer Program
My latest side hustle is as an Amazon Influencer. This is an offshoot of the Associates program designed for content creators with a following on social media.
Once your Influencer account is approved, you’ll be able to upload short product review videos.
In turn, Amazon displays those on the relevant product pages, and rewards you a commission when someone makes a purchase after watching your video.
I made a little over $100 doing this in my first month, with very little effort!
Bookkeeping is one of the first tasks new business owners look to outsource — which is where the side hustle opportunity comes in.
Remote bookkeeping is a great side hustle option if you have accounting experience from school or your day job. Plus, you can earn $20-70 an hour for your work.
16. Residential or Commercial Cleaning Service
It may not be glamorous, but commercial cleaning is something nearly every business spends money on. And since it usually gets done in the after-work hours, it’s a good fit for side hustlers.
Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog built their cleaning business to $25k a month — and contract with other pros to do the work!
17. Mobile Notary
A mobile notary side hustle is best if you have a strong attention to detail and reliable transportation. As far as earning power, you can make up to $100 an hour completing loan signings for new home buyers — often in the evenings.
(Banks like to lend to people who work during the day, too!)
For each signing, you’ll walk borrowers through their stack of mortgage documents, explaining each one and making sure they sign and initial in all the right places.
Check out the resources at Loan Signing System to learn more.
18. Product Licensing
One of the best side hustles I’ve come across is becoming a modern-day inventor.
With product licensing, you sell your product ideas to large companies, who in turn pay you royalties for every sale they make from that idea. You don’t have any upfront manufacturing or marketing expense, and can tap into the huge distribution of existing brands.
For example, Nate Dallas earned $300,000 from Mattel after licensing them an idea for a Pictionary spin-off!
19. Software Consulting
Is there a software tool you’re an expert in? One one you’re an early adopter of?
One popular side hustle is to “piggyback” on the popularity of a particular software tool, and provide training and support for it. My friend Brad Rice does this with Salesforce and earns over $200k a year part time!
As more people and companies use the software, there’s a growing demand for qualified training.
Plus, new software comes out all the time, which means even if you don’t have a software in mind today, it could be a side hustle idea for you down the road.
20. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
When homeowners travel, it opens up an opportunity to come by and take care of their animals.
To set up shop, try Rover.com. Several Side Hustle Nation readers report earning $1000 a month watching other people’s pets!
21. Pressure Washing
Pressure washing is oh-so-satisfying and can be a great seasonal way to earn some extra cash. Rates may range from $100-250 or more per house, which is pretty cool considering a high quality pressure washer may only cost $400.
This is one where you can breakeven and start turning a profit pretty quickly.
22. Delivery Apps
Starting a delivery side hustle is easy and straightforward. In most cases, you’ll just need to:
- Have reliable transportation (car, bike, electric scooter, etc.)
- Be 18 or older
- Complete a background check
Your earning power is typically in the $14-25 per hour range, and you can set your own schedule.
Here are a few delivery apps to consider:
- Instacart – Pick up and deliver groceries around town. Check out our full Instacart shopper review for more.
- DoorDash – Deliver takeout orders. For more, check out our full DoorDash review.
- Uber Eats – Deliver takeout meals like my friend Jason, who reported earning $25-30 an hour.
Easy to get started
No marketing or sales required
Can earn money quickly
Limited earning power
Wear and tear on your vehicle
Income may be inconsistent
23. Local and Online Gigs
Steady is a cool app and website that consolidates all sorts of “gig economy” opportunities. For example, you can find work from home gigs, flexible “anytime” options, and even regular full- and part-time jobs.
Browsing through the listings, I found the usual array of delivery and rideshare gigs, but was pleasantly surprised by some of the other offerings. There were a number of local opportunities I’d never heard of in:
- brand ambassadorship
- political advocacy
- mystery shopping
- and more
Steady acts as a portal to all these gigs and gives you a convenient central location to browse. After you create your account, you’ll be able to see everything available online and in your local area.
What are the Best Side Hustles to Avoid?
I believe just about any side hustle can work under the right circumstances, but there are a few I’d be cautious about.
- Network Marketing Companies / Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Companies — The vast majority of participants in these ending up losing money.
- Low-Paying Microtasks — Several platforms pay you pennies to complete quick tasks online. While the work can be quick and easy, your time is probably better spent elsewhere.
- “Done for You” E-Commerce Stores or Websites — Building the website is the easy part; figuring out how to drive profitable traffic is where these programs fall short.
When you’re starting a side hustle, ask yourself, “What if it works?” We tend to focus on the negative — “What if this fails?” — and while that’s important, be sure to consider the upside as well. And if it does work, would that be a win for you?
Looking for More Side Hustle Help?
- Start Your Free $500 Challenge. My free 5-day email course shows you how to add $500 to your bottom line.
- Join the free Side Hustle Nation Community. The free Facebook group is the best place to connect with other side hustlers and get your questions answered.
- Download The Side Hustle Show. My free podcast shares how to make extra money with actionable weekly episodes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is anything you do to earn money outside of your main job. While side hustles can include working a second job or gig economy app, the best side hustles are more entrepreneurial — they can scale to eventually replace your day job income.
What are the best side hustles?
The best side hustles depend on your skills, interests, and personal goals. For some, that might mean freelancing or reselling products. For others, it could be building a website, online course, or software tool.
How do I start a side hustle?
The first step in starting a side hustle is determining your underlining WHY. If you don’t have a powerful internal motivation, it’ll be too easy to quit at the first sign of resistance. After that, you’ll want to make a short list of potential side hustle ideas, and narrow those down based on your goals. Finally, you’ll want to educate yourself and validate your idea as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.