The 25 Best Side Hustles For Creatives To Make Money On The Side


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What are the best side hustles for creatives?

If you have a creative passion, you may feel like it’s not possible to make money from it. But that’s not true at all!

In this post, I’ll share my top side hustles for creatives based on:

  • My 15+ years of side hustle experience
  • Conversations with 100s of creative hustlers
  • Schedule flexibility and earning power

Ready? Let’s do it!

side hustles for creatives

1. Sell Printables on Etsy

Selling printables on Etsy is a great way to make extra money if you have an eye for design and love researching new niches.

etsy printables

For example, Rachel Jones reported earning up to $10,000 a month without any inventory.

2. Print on Demand Products

Merch by Amazon is a fun way to make extra money. Upload your t-shirt (and other product) designs, set your price, and then let Amazon do all the work of printing and shipping your orders.

Elaine Heney made over $50,000 doing this part-time and shared some of her tips on The Side Hustle Show.

(My wife made over $2k in her first year doing this in her spare time too!)

3. Start a YouTube Channel

Creating content on YouTube is a a great creative side hustle. In playing producer, you’ll be in charge of:

  • script writing
  • filming locations
  • shooting or sourcing footage
  • editing
  • designing thumbnails

It’s a lot of work, but will definitely exercise your creative muscles. Once your channel reaches certain milestones, you can begin to monetize with YouTube’s built-in advertising options.

(You can also use YouTube in other creative ways, like to sell a digital product or service.)

In my case, YouTube is around a $400/mo income stream:

youtube ad income

4. Freelance Writing

With millions of websites all competing for attention, freelance writing is a service that’s constantly in demand. Someone’s got to create all that content, right?

Georgia Austin even turned her writing side hustle into a full-blown agency!

Here’s a great free resource to get started: Your 9-Step Blueprint to Making Money as a Writer

AWAI - blueprint to make money as a writer

If you have a way with words, make sure to check out this creative side hustle.

5. Web Design Service

In an inspiring Side Hustle Show episode, Chris Misterek shared how he taught himself web design and began earning $3000 a month.

It requires both creativity and technical skills to bring a website to life for a client. But even with a wide variety of DIY options, professional designers are still in-demand.

6. Build a Helpful Website

Write content on a topic you care about and build an audience in your niche.

For example:

Want to start a blog of your own? Check out my free 6-part video course on how to start your own site.

Pros:

Low startup costs

Great long-term earning power

Can sell the business down the road

Cons:

Slow to see results

Lots of skills to learn

7. Product Licensing

If you’re always coming up with new ideas, product licensing is the creative side hustle for you. How it works is you sell the rights to your idea to large companies, who then pay you royalties for every sale they make from that idea.

For example, Nate Dallas earned $300,000 from Mattel after licensing them an idea for a Pictionary spin-off.

8. Find a Virtual Job

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FlexJobs: #1 For Remote Jobs
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The best place to find legit work from home jobs. Established in 2007, FlexJobs has 1000s of listings including part-time, full-time, and freelance options in tons of industries.

FlexJobs is the leading work from home jobs site. With over 50 career categories, FlexJobs has jobs ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time.

flexjobs homepage

When I searched for “creative” jobs, I found over 200 results!

flexjobs creative job postings

There is a nominal monthly fee to access their listings, but you’ll earn that back (and then some!) with one job.

This is a great way to find a remote job in your niche.

9. Teaching Music

With a love for music, teaching, and working with kids, you could start a part-time music teaching business. In our town, we see instructors setting up shop at children’s fairs and the weekly farmer’s markets to advertise.

10. Music Licensing

Singer-songwriter Cathy Heller found a unique way to “reverse-engineer” her dream job by licensing her catchy tunes to big brands and TV shows.

Alternatively, licensing stock music is a bit of a numbers game, but can be a cool way to earn passive income from your art.

11. Voiceover Acting

I think we can all agree that getting paid to talk is a pretty sweet gig, and Voices.com is the #1 marketplace for voice over talent.

Companies are always on the look for professional voiceover talent. Once you start listening for it, you’ll hear voiceover work everywhere.

One Side Hustle Show guest reported turning her voiceover side hustle into a full-time gig in just 4 months, earning up to $3000 an hour in the process.

12. Start an Email Newsletter

The newsletter business model is low overhead, simple to manage, and can scale to a significant income stream.

For example, the popular daily business newsletter Morning Brew sold for a reported $75 million!

Building a newsletter is a popular way to build community with others who are creative just like you.

13. Self-Publish on Amazon

Pros:

Low startup costs

Great long-term earning power

Can sell the business down the road

Cons:

Slow to see results

Lots of skills to learn

If writing is your creative outlet, start publishing your work! Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle platform, you can publish your work and tap into a massive audience of book buyers. 

Self-publishing is one of my favorite and longest-running side hustles. I remember my first royalty payment from Amazon — it was something like $42 — and being thrilled, thinking “I did it! I’m a professional author!”

Since then I’ve earned over $75,000 in author royalties. Books are a pretty awesome way to build authority in your niche and earn passive income along the way.

self-publishing side hustle income

Related: My Amazon author profile and book listings

11. Create an Outschool Class

Outschool is a marketplace for online small group classes for kids.

teach on outschool

Inside you’ll find classes on:

  • creative writing
  • reading
  • coding
  • music
  • art
  • and more

For example, Jade Weatherington reported earning over $10,000 a month from her virtual writing classes.

What creative outlet could you teach?

12. Sell Lesson Plans and Material

Teachers Pay Teachers is a popular marketplace for lesson plans and other educational materials.

For example, Jodi Carlson began putting some of her content on the site and now earns $5,000 a month part-time.

This is a great way to get paid over and over for something you create once. If you enjoy sharing your passion, this can help both teachers and students.

13. Create a Local Experience

Another fun creative side hustle is to create a local tour. 

For instance, Alex Kenin hosts hundreds of “urban hiking” tours a year on the side from her day job — at $49 apiece!

What unique experience can you offer travelers?

It doesn’t even have to be a tour. Michele Mattix makes money hosting guided meditations through Airbnb Experiences. You can create your own experience, set your price, and Airbnb markets it to travelers.

14. Podcasting

Podcasting is a creative outlet for me. I get to come up with the show structure, choose the topics, share my ideas, and highlight the most interesting clips.

Plus, a large podcast following can translate into serious sponsorship dollars. It costs less than you think to start and The Side Hustle Show has honestly been a life-changing project for me.

And I’m not the only one — my friend Steve Young turned his part-time podcast into a full-time business with multiple streams of income.

15. Baking

Do people love your desserts? Maybe you could provide cakes, cookies, or cupcakes to some corporate event in town.

Jenn Fei has built a pretty serious following for her custom cookies—and sometimes sells out in just minutes!

cookie examples

16. Personal Chef Service

Could you picture yourself making meals in someone else’s kitchen? This could be a good way to monetize your cooking skills— without the risk of starting your own restaurant.

Some friends of ours pay $180-200 a week for meals delivered to their house.

HireaChef.com connects you with families and events looking for private chefs, or you might just post on Facebook or NextDoor.

With platforms like Eatwith, you could even begin charging to host meals.

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17. Photography Service

This is my wife’s favorite side hustle, and earns her an extra $10,000 a year. Plus, it exercises a creative side of her brain that she doesn’t get from her engineering day job.

Another photographer, Vincent Pugliese, shared how “freelanced his way to freedom” and went from earning $30k a year to $30k in a day.

18. Teach an Online Course

One way to monetize your creativity is to teach others what you do. For example, Jacques Hopkins earns $30,000+ teaching an online piano course. Phil Ebiner built a huge online business teaching people photography and how to use the Adobe suite of products.

One place to sell your course is Udemy, an online education platform with thousands of on-demand courses. You can create your own course around a topic you’re an expert in and set your own tuition rate.

I did this several years ago with a self-publishing course and have earned over $25,000 in (mostly) passive income from it!

passive income from udemy

If you have an existing audience, you might be able to sell the course directly (without giving Udemy a cut). In this episode with Nate Dodson, he shares the framework he used to earn $40,000 a month teaching people how to start a microgreens business.

19. Event Entertainment

Brian McGovern is a party entertainer — he’s been practicing magic and performing since he was in high school. On The Side Hustle Show, he reported earning up to $10,000 a month doing something he loves.

Maybe you’re a photographer, comedian, DJ, celebrity lookalike, or musician.

Check out sites like GigSalad to set up your profile and get booked. 

20. Graphic Design Service

Quality graphic design is always an in-demand side hustle, and there have never been so many outlets on which to sell your skills.

The most popular design-focused site is 99designs, but you can also check out Crowdspring, DesignCrowd, or other freelance marketplaces.

21. Furniture Restoration

Side Hustle Nation member Ryan Cron earned extra money restoring and flipping furniture in his spare time.

His advice?

Start with dressers. “It’s basically a rectangle,” he explained.

That way, you can practice sanding and painting a relatively straightforward piece before tackling more challenging projects.

Look for inexpensive furniture at moving sales or on Facebook marketplace and clear out some space in your garage to do the work.

The other key is taking attractive pictures when you go to list the item for sale — make the piece look good!

22. Interior Design

Bringing a creative vision to life is super satisfying, and interior designers get to do it every day. With this creative side hustle, you’ll be in charge of selecting furniture, finishes, decor items, paint colors, and more.

If that sounds like fun, the prospect of earning $5,000-$10,000 per project may light you up even more! 

Most interior designers are using Instagram to showcase their portfolio and connect with potential clients.

23. Home Organizing Service

The Marie Kondo craze is still alive and well, but helping people set up an organized home always involves a bit of creativity. 

It’s like a real-life game of Tetris in some cases! If you love creating order out of chaos, this could be a rewarding side hustle to start.

Home organizers charge an average of $55 an hour, which makes it a strong creative side hustle.

24. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing might include:

  • Creating social media content/posts (text, images, videos)
  • Increasing followers/growing a community
  • Managing social media engagement and conversations
  • Moderating online communities
  • Commenting on social posts
  • Curating relevant content
  • Scheduling content in online tools like Buffer or Hootsuite
  • Running ads and campaigns
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Generating leads

As you can see, there’s a lot of creativity required nearly every step of the way. 

For example, Pete Macleod (@petecodes) started a Twitter-writing service that now earns $10k/month. Creating Twitter and LinkedIn content was something he enjoyed doing anyway, so he began offering it as a service to other content creators.

twitter writing service

25. Video Editing

Video editing is a great creative side hustle that you can do from home.

Typical rates may range from $50-250+ per video, depending on the industry and complexity. 

And it’s a business that can scale. For example, Justin Tan turned Video Husky, an unlimited video editing service, into a 7-figure business in just a few years.

What’s the Best Creative Side Hustle For You?

It’s totally possible to make money with a creative side hustle.

The best one is the one you take action on. Take a look at the options and get started today!

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

Usually Hustling, Occasionally Social

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