Finding the right side hustle is like finding the perfect pair of jeans. It just fits.
Except the right side hustle puts more money into your pocket – potentially hundreds a month if not thousands.
And just like a perfect pair of jeans, what works for you might not work for me. That's why I scoured the interwebs for an exhaustive list of creative side hustles – this list will have at least one thing that will be your perfect hustle so you can earn extra money.
1. Fill Out Surveys
Market research companies are always looking for opinions. Doing online surveys will not make you rich but it's a little bit of money for a little bit of work. If you keep at it, you can cash out nicely.
One of the most popular is Ipsos I-Say, the online market survey arm of the decades old Ipsos company headquartered in Paris, France. Ipsos is famous for political polling with their partnership with Reuters but the company is so large, with so much opportunity, they need their online arm to supply survey takers! (that means more for you!)
Another fan favorite is Survey Junkie and they pay you instantly via Paypal. No gift card games here. They have over six million members, an A+ rating with the BBB and they're legit.
Finally, check out Swagbucks, a rewards and survey company who gives you $5 to start. They let you earn points from more than just surveys – you can get points watching videos, playing games, and surfing the internet.
2. Drive for Uber/Lyft
The last few rides I had on Uber were with a ballet dance professor, a Master Electrician, and college adjunct professor. They all sideline as an Uber driver because it's easy. You can make a little extra money on your commute home or when your kids are asleep. The last driver was on his way back from DC to Baltimore and picked us up along the way.
Tutoring is a great way to make money because students are always looking for additional schooling. You can look for local message boards, Craigslist, and Facebook groups to advertise your area of expertise, rates, and hours.
If you prefer a more flexible schedule and working out of your home, you could always tutor online. One great option is teaching English as a Second Language on VIPKid, a company that can connect US-based educators (you only need a Bachelor's degree in any field plus teaching experience, this can be tutoring, teaching at church, homeschooling, etc – not necessarily formal classroom education) with children in China looking for a 1-on-1 immersive language experience.
4. Start Your Own Blog
Blogs are a great way to earn income but they are not instant money machines.
Fortunately, they take very little money to set up (read our 10-minute how to start a blog guide) and they're fun to do if you're into the subject you choose. What's fun is that you get to interact with readers and other bloggers, slowly build the site over time, and it's a pretty quick learning curve.
If you want to learn how to make money from blogging, the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is top-notch. 6 modules, 30 lessons, and a private mastermind for just only $197.
5. Become a Proofreader
When I learned that Caitlin Pyle earned $40,000 a year as a freelance proofreader, I was genuinely surprised.
She was a courtroom transcript proofreader, which is in very high demand and requires a high level of competency, and put together a course called Proofread Anywhere (including a short course to see if it's a good fit for you).
You can do it at home, get paid per page, and work at your own pace with few time constraints.
6. Create an Online Course
Are you an expert in something? Is it so much expertise that it wouldn't fit in an ebook? Then you could create a course!
An online course can include videos, or a combination of videos, audio CDs/podcasts, and written text. You will also charge a higher fee for your online course, generally $100-$500, depending upon how popular the program topic is.
There are plenty of sites that can help you build your course but the two most popular are Teachable and Udemy. They will provide the technology you use to deliver the course (and charge for it), while only taking a cut of the profits.
The course subject matter is completely up to you. But you should naturally want to focus on your areas of expertise. For example, if you have been particularly successful as an investor, you might want to create an investment related online course.
7. Side Hustle on Fiverr
Fiverr is a marketplace where you can hire someone for pretty much anything.
This means YOU can start a side gig in pretty much anything and earn some extra money. Whether it's graphic design, digital marketing, writing & translation, video & animation, music & audio, programming, business, or anything else – if you are a creator, you can become an earner on Fiverr.
And it's not just $5 a job – you can charge anything you want. Layer on premium services and bonuses too. It's become quite a flexible platform and tons of people are using it.
8. Sell an eBook
eBooks are exceptionally popular, especially given the rise of the Amazon Kindle and how absurdly cheap it is to buy. Ebooks are simply books that can be downloaded and read digitally. Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon's marketplace for digital books and there are a lot of authors making a mint on the site.
9. Rent Spare Rooms on AirBnB
Do you have extra rooms and don't mind a stranger living in your house? You can rent it via AirBnB. It's essentially a lodging search engine that's grown to become a huge business. People go on the site, search for lodging, and if they rent from you then you get a share of the revenue. You're responsible for being the operator but it's pretty straightforward stuff.
I once had a friend who would rent out his apartment on Airbnb and crash on a friend's couch each time it was rented out!
10. Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are enjoying a boost in popularity with the rise of independent businesses like blogging. Virtual assistants often become indispensable members of the team because there are so many tasks that need to be done. A VA can be hired for one-time only jobs, recurring tasks, or a mixture of both. If you own a computer and have an internet connection, you could do some of these tasks from the comfort of your own home.
If you don't know where to start, check out Gina Horkey's 30 Days to Virtual Assistant Success.
11. Become a Freelance Social Media Manager
If becoming a VA was tempting, there are other “higher skill” tasks that can pay even more if you have the experience. Social media is HUGE and many sites need someone who can manage it for them. Social media means more traffic, traffic means more revenue, so this is the type of job that is in high demand and relatively high pay. If you're good at social media, being a manager might be a good direction to go in.
As you grow in ability, this is the type of thing you can do for multiple sites and really skyrocket your income.
12. Become a UserTesting
UserTesting.com is a website usability company that will pay you $10 per 20-minute video test. Each task on the site takes 20-minutes and will require you to go through a series of steps on a website and records your screen, you, and your voice as you talk through the process. A sample test might be adding a product to a shopping cart and going through the checkout process, talking through what is easy and hard, what you like and dislike on the screen, etc.
So many experts focus on how to save money, being frugal, and cutting back as much as possible. Cutting back can only get you so far. The key to financial success is to cut the unnecessary spending but also find ways to earn more. The more you make, the more you can save, the more it can grow, and the closer financial freedom will get.
If you're going to start anywhere, my strongest recommendation is to go with something simple to get the ball rolling – sign up for Ipsos I-Say and do a few surveys. Then sign up for Swagbucks and do a few more. You'll find them to be very easy and will put a few bucks in your pocket.
What will you do next?