Nearly everyone could stand to 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.
If you’re looking to make extra income, here are a few side hustle ideas:
The 24 best side hustles for 2022
- Participate in paid online surveys
- Get paid to test apps and websites
- Transcribe videos, phone calls, and other recordings
- Become a rideshare driver
- Deliver groceries
- Rent out your home to vacationers
- Deliver food
- Become an affiliate marketer
- Tutor online
- Walk dogs and pet-sit
- Start a blog on Substack
- Deliver packages
- Sell your photography
- Start a podcast
- Design and sell your own t-shirts
- Wash cars
- Start a social media page and build income through sponsorships
- Give tours of your neighborhood
- Create and sell your own handmade goods
- Mow lawns and do other landscaping tasks
- Start a dropshipping business
- Create a clothing line
- Start a YouTube channel
- Sell digital products
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Transcribe videos, phone calls, and other recordings
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.
4. 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.
5. Deliver groceries
If 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.
6. Rent out your home to vacationers
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).
7. Deliver food
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 UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, SkipTheDishes (Canada only), and Menulog (Australia and New Zealand only) where you can sign up to become a driver.
8. 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.
9. Tutor online
Teaching 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.
10. Walk dogs and pet-sit
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.
11. Start a blog on Substack
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.
12. 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.
13. Sell your photography
There are a bunch of sites like Burst, Shutterstock, and Getty Images that 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.
14. 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 (many of which are sold specifically for podcasting) can be purchased for less than $100, and recording platforms like Audacity are free and easy to use.
15. Design and sell your own t-shirts
Print-on-demand businesses are fun, low-risk ventures if you’ve got 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.
16. Wash cars
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.
17. Start a social media page and build income through sponsorships
When people hear the word “influencer,” they tend to think of someone who’s given up all forms of privacy in return for a dedicated fan base, but you don’t have to put yourself front-and-center to be a successful influencer. Social media management is a great side hustle idea with a lot of room for creative expression.
Any kind of web content, whether it’s memes, photography, digital art, or even niche content like ASMR videos, can be lucrative if you build an engaged audience that businesses want access to.
18. Give tours of your neighborhood
A study done by Eventbrite showed 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.
19. Create and sell your own handmade goods
If you’ve ever wanted to make money from your hobbies, then crafting and selling your own handmade goods might be just the side hustle idea for you. 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.
20. Mow lawns and do other landscaping tasks
The hardest part of starting a lawn care business is finding clients, but did you know there’s 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 that enjoys lawn care.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. Start 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.
24. 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, free-to-use audio files (like stock sound effects or music), digital templates, and more.
Questions to ask when considering side hustle ideas
Side 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.
For this reason, unique side hustles often feel less like a chore and more like a creative outlet that places craft and commerce on equal footing.
Although 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.
Finding the perfect side hustles 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.
Illustration by Eugenia Mello
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Side hustles FAQ
How do I make an extra $2,000 a month?
- Join a focus group.
- Take online surveys.
- Become a dog walker.
- Sell services to local businesses.
- Do deliveries for food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Postmates.
- Rent out your vehicle on Turo.
- Teach English.
- Start a bookkeeping business.
How do you start a side hustle?
- Write a list of things you are passionate about.
- Figure out if you’ll invest money in your side hustle right away.
- Make time in your own schedule to work on your side hustle.
- Create a plan for how to make money online with your side hustle.
- Execute on your plan!
What are the most profitable side hustles to make money?
- A dropshipping business
- Selling your own handcrafted products
- Creating and selling your own designs
- Selling services as a freelancer
- Teaching an online course
- Selling digital information products
- Starting an affiliate marketing business