The 11 Best Places to Find Side Hustle Jobs That Pay

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It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to freelancing on the side to earn extra money, hone their skills, and maybe even build a business of their own.

Whether you’re just looking to supplement your day job income or eventually strike out on your own, you’ll find dozens websites and marketplaces to connect you with potential clients.

But which ones are the best for you? That depends on your skills and expertise, and also what you want out of your side gig.

Are you looking to earn a few extra bucks this weekend, or is this something you could see yourself doing for a while and racking up some serious cash?

Here are some of the best places to find your first side hustle gig, and they all have a unique angle and strategy. Check out the list and see where it makes the most sense for you to set up shop.

1. FreeeUp

Great at what you do? With a multi-step application, interview, and vetting process, FreeeUp.com matches clients from all around the world with workers that represent the top 1% of online freelancers.

The new (established in 2015) freelance marketplace specializes in e-commerce, digital marketing, web development and virtual assistance. You’re free to set your own schedule and rates, sometimes north of $50 an hour depending on your skills.

Payments are made weekly and the company takes a 15% cut for facilitating the connection.

In summary:

  • Best for e-commerce and digital marketing experience
  • Free to join (but you have to be good and get accepted)
  • Mention me, Nick Loper, to expedite your application.

Click here to learn more and apply.

2. Hired

Hired.com helps designers, engineers, data scientists, and managers by connecting them with prospective clients. Using artificial intelligence, Hired matches clients with candidates from their deep pool of talents with the results emailed out in just a few hours.

Unlike other recruitment services, Hired helps its talents by coaching and guiding them through the entire recruitment process.

One thing that’s cool about Hired is they also help you get the best offer by letting companies compete for your services instead of having you get into a bidding war with other workers.

The company caters to people looking for full-time, part-time, and freelance gigs.

In summary:

  • Tech-focused
  • Free to join
  • Many opportunities are for full-time traditional jobs, but you can find remote or part-time gigs
  • Earn top dollar

Click here to learn more and create your free Hired profile.

3. Toptal

Toptal.com is one of the leading freelance marketplaces but only caters to developers, designers, and finance experts.

With its strict and extensive screening process, clients are assured that they are only getting the top 3% of applicants in the given field. (Toptal stands for “top talent”.)

Toptal contractors do mostly remote work (you can pass on the jobs that don’t fit your schedule) and are paid very well. If you’re confident in your abilities and want to work with fast-growing startups and name-brand clients on challenging projects, this is the platform for you.

In summary:

  • Tech-focused
  • Free to apply
  • Earn great pay (think hundreds of dollars a week, even for part-time)

Click here to learn more and apply today.

4. Contena

An online directory for freelance writers, Contena.co collects the best writing opportunities from around the web and compiles them into one central job board.

What I like about Contena is that the writing jobs here usually pay well — for instance, you might find requests ranging from $150 up to even $1000 an article. Now of course to command those prices you’ve got to deliver great work and know what you’re doing.

What I don’t like about Contena is it’s not free, and they’re not particularly upfront about it. (You can create an account for free, but to actually pitch the jobs, you’ve got to pay up — $99 a month for 6 months.)

In fairness, it might only take one or two gigs to earn back your investment, and the included freelance coaching and training provided could jumpstart your writing career.

Contena’s main value proposition is as a time-saver. Since you don’t get paid for the time spent looking for gigs, many writers swear by it!

In summary:

  • Great for freelance writers
  • Curated database of well-paying legit writing jobs
  • Paid plans include freelance coaching and training like how to pitch and how to spruce up your portfolio

Click here to learn more.

5. FindSideGigs.com

Its unique and personal approach sets FindSideGigs.com apart from your regular freelancing sites.

When you sign up for free, Find Side Gigs not only sends you the latest part-time remote gigs available on the Internet, it also provides you all the other information you need to help you land the job straight to your email.

For instance, they’ll provide you with the company info, the decision maker’s contact info, and something about the decision maker’s personal life so you can set yourself apart by contacting them in a more personal approach.

They also offer a premium subscription at $10 per month which gives you an advantage by receiving the gigs list a week before it gets sent to all the free subscribers.

Jobs are mostly remote and involve skills that belong to the Marketing and General Business categories.

In summary:

  • Marketing-focused
  • Free (or very inexpensive) to join
  • Unique and interesting gigs straight to your inbox

Click here to learn more and join for free.

6. Fiverr

What can I say? I’ve got a warm place in my heart for the quirky Fiverr marketplace, where many services start at just $5.

I’ve been a Fiverr seller for years and it’s actually where I scored my first freelance editing clients. With a few different gigs, I ended up making over $7000 in my first year on the platform.

What’s cool about Fiverr is that it’s a search engine for services, and in recent years they’ve added a lot more capacity for sellers to charge higher prices with package offerings and even custom offers up to $10,000.

As a side hustler, you’re free to create listings for whatever service you can provide — and say how many days it will take you to deliver. Think of what type of gateway service would get clients in the door to your world.

In summary:

  • Simple, popular platform
  • Free and easy to get started
  • Rates can be low

Click here to learn more and set up your free account.

7. Facebook Groups

This is another one of my favorite ways to land clients. How it works is to embed yourself in communities where your target customer is already hanging out, and being as helpful as possible in the comment threads.

On The Side Hustle Show, Gabe Arnold even gave the tip that you can use the search box to find posts where people are asking questions, using search keywords like “help”, “recommendation”, “question”, “?”, “know anyone”, etc.

Of course, be tactful and try and provide as much public support as you can. Don’t just go in yelling, “Hire me, hire me!”

I have a few friends who have completely mastered this strategy and become the go-to people in their communities for services like podcast editing, website support, virtual assistants, and Facebook ads.

I even landed a few book editing clients by being part of a couple self-publishing groups on Facebook. Do a keyword search for the type of customer you want to serve and see what kind of groups pop up.

In summary:

  • A longer-term strategy
  • Free to get started
  • Can be time-consuming upfront, but hey, if you’re already on Facebook, you might as well plant the seeds

8. Craigslist Gigs

Did you know that buried in the corner of Craigslist is a section specifically for side hustle opportunities? It’s called “gigs” and inside you’ll find everything from manual labor projects like moving or landscaping to graphic design to brand ambassador gigs for local events.

In just a few minutes of browsing I saw posts for writers, photographers, models, house cleaners, and tutors. Naturally, avoid any gigs that sound too good to be true and do your due diligence before meeting any strangers.

In summary:

  • Great for selling yourself locally
  • Good for one-off gigs to earn extra cash
  • You have to sort through some scams to find legit gigs

9. TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is perhaps a more organized and legit-feeling version of Craigslist Gigs. The company specializes in matching individuals and companies in need of short-term help with “taskers” (you).

Most of the gigs are local and in-person, but you can find some virtual opportunities as well. I used the platform as a customer to find a local handyman, and he told me he usually does 3-4 jobs a day and makes a good living on it.

My handyman charged $75 an hour, but other workers on TaskRabbit might start around $15-25 an hour. As your reputation and performance on TaskRabbit grows, you can increase your rates.

In summary:

  • Good for legit, local gigs
  • Revenue can grow as you do more jobs
  • Free to join

Click here to learn more and apply today.

10. Peopleperhour

Peopleperhour.com is another popular freelancing platform that helps you find jobs that you can do remotely. The site seems to have more traction in Europe, and gigs are mostly about graphic design, writing, SEO, and coding among others.

As a freelancer, you can bid on the jobs already posted, or create your own “hourlie” — a little package of what you’ll deliver for a fixed price. Rates are still competitive here, but often higher than similar packages on Fiverr.

In summary:

  • Great for virtual work
  • Bid on jobs or create your own service listing
  • Free to join

Click here to learn more.

11. Specialty Marketplaces

If you have a specific skill or service in mind, odds are there’s a specialty marketplace just for that. For example, you might consider:

12. A Bonus: Your Own Website

A website isn’t necessary for a lot of side hustlers starting out, but it can be an important element to your business to showcase your expertise, highlight your portfolio, and share testimonials from past clients.

In time, your content might be indexed by the search engines and potential customers can find you through Google local searches.

Here’s my free guide on the fastest and cheapest way to set up a website for your service business.

Your Turn

Marketing 101 says to get in front of your customers where they already are, and in this post I’ve tried to outline some common places your customers might be hanging out.

What do you think? What have you found as the most effective place to find side hustle gigs?

Let me know in the comments below!

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17 thoughts on “The 11 Best Places to Find Side Hustle Jobs That Pay

  1. Great list, Nick.

    I can vouch for Cragistlist. Got some real gems of the clients who showed their confidence on me in spite of the fact that we’re thousands of miles apart. Some of them became long term clients. You need to sift through the noise, but it is quite possible to hit gold with CL.

  2. Hey Nick,

    I’m about to run to the gym right now for a quick workout + maybe some cardio. When I get back, I’m going to lay in my humble 2 cents on this side hustle post.

  3. Hi Nick,

    Longtime subscriber/follower, first time commenter here. Just want to say you rock! Every time I want to give up and return to the soul-crushing rat race, *poof* your email appears in my inbox and I am renewed. I know I can be successful and fulfilled by continuing to freelance and side hustle. Thank you!

  4. I wouldn’t recommend using Taskrabbit as I had a lot of trouble with people trying to hire me for things I put in my description that I would not do and then I got penalized for it.

    For example, under “Personal Assistant” I listed a specific list of skills and tasks that I would do for $18 an hour. People would then hire me to help them move. Besides the fact that moving is a separately category (that starts at least twice the price), I put in my profile that I am physically incapable of doing moving tasks. So even though I reported the tasks as unfillable by me because they were the wrong category or because the client didn’t read my profile, my account was disabled for not accepting tasks.

    If you decide to use Taskrabbit, I would suggest you not use the availability feature as this is what I believe I ran afoul of.

  5. I tried out TaskRabbit last year. It is free to join but you need to pay a fee for a background check. Supposedly you get it back as a bonus once you’ve completed your first gig. I also noticed they do not show any third party verification emblems (like McAfee or Better Business Bureau).
    I emailed them to follow up, as I had not heard from them. The response I got was:
    “Due to a large amount of registrants, we can not process every prospective Tasker at this time. We will be in contact with you when the needs in your city change. I apologize that I cannot provide a more concrete timeframe.”
    That was 13 months ago.

  6. Almost forgot to double back and comment on this side hustle post. Side hustle gigs are increasingly popular because there’s no more job security. The true job security nowadays is having your own business and believing in yourself. As long as you work for someone else on a traditional 9 to 5 cushy job or a bridge job, you’ll always be seen as less and never paid what you feel you’re worth.

  7. My intro to freelancing was via Upwork (formerly Odesk I believe) as a hiring manager, but am curious about it as a manager (hirer) and freelancer. Based on its absence from this list, I’m assuming it doesn’t compare well. Any insight from the group?

    • Upwork is definitely a viable option, but I’ve heard from a few people recently they haven’t been allowed to join. Upwork gives the reason “we already have too many people with your skills,” or something like that!

      • That is correct. I have been using Upwork for two years now and make decent money at it, so my wife signed up to see if she could get something going as well. At first, the answer was a solid “no”, for the reason cited above, and then once they did let her join, Upwork keeps her profile set to private since she has had no work history. But she doesn’t get any looks since her profile is private and hence has not gotten any work, which is the only way to go from ‘private’ to ‘public’. It’s a real Catch-22.

  8. Have you tried Guru.com? I’m thinking about giving it a try because my former radio talent coach recommended it to me but I also heard they charge. Also, any good suggestions for people who want to do freelance voice over work or copywriting? I’ve been writing, editing, and recording audio commercials for years at a radio station but I want to branch out into freelance voice over work and writing copy for commercials and other scripts.

  9. Good stuff Nick!
    Getting this little guides to people for them to start their hustle will increasingly boost professional mindsets to migrate in a more definitive way to the freelancing world. There are so many opportunities to make smart money within these digital micro-communities that it is certainly time for the wider internet spectrum to realize it, and start planning now to get on the wave. Multiple digital or face to face gigs are the way of the future. Saving space and resource, and optimizing deliverance is all a distributed system being develop right now.

  10. We just launched our site a few months to expand our business outside of the NYC area. Our budget is NOT a bottomless pit and most of our customers have come to us through word-of-mouth…..So we decided to place ads in Craigslist and other places basically looking for individuals that would promote our website in exchange for a 10% commission on orders. We provided, free of charge, as many postcards as they needed. Each postcard had a unique discount code for tracking purposes. We thought for sure this would be a hit but it wasn’t. It just seemed as though many people were coming on board but ALL of them lacked the drive to, well, hustle. So for all of you folks out there….if you’e looking for a side hustle then be prepared to hustle…At the end of the day, work is work.

    JD Benisi
    FreeDeliveryPrinting.com

  11. Taking surveys online isn’t a work from home job, it’s just a side hustle (Something to do in order to make money on the side.) If you’re looking for a regular work at home job with hourly pay then I would suggest checking into the following companies:

    West At Home (Customer Service)
    Amazon (Virtual Contact Center)
    Live Ops (Home Based Agent)
    U-haul (E-sales & Reservation)
    Apple (At Home Advisor)
    Cox Communications (Telework Customer Care Representative)
    Starwood Hotel & Resorts (Virtual Reservation Sales Associate)

    If you’re interested in taking online surveys, then I would suggest joining Mindfield Online, Pinecone Research, and 20/20 Research because they offer cash rewards for each completed survey. I wanna write about this at my blog, check it http://ericasessayblog.wikidot.com/

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