50+ Profitable Freelance Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start Now
If you are looking to hop to a new job, start a business, or just make a few extra bucks, there’s never been a better time to pick up a side hustle. The freelance ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace, and there are plenty of flexible options and great side hustle ideas. And many people are already freelancing on top of working full-time jobs, so you wouldn’t be alone.
If you’re looking for side hustle ideas, you have literally dozens of opportunities you can start right now (so you start earning cash immediately). If you want to, these can turn into full-time jobs. But if you don’t, then you can keep them on the side and do whatever else you’d like.
What is side hustling?
Side hustling is any kind of work done in addition to one’s full time job. Some side hustles can be a quick fix, while others can take some time to build up.
Why should you side hustle?
One of the great perks of side hustling is the opportunity to cultivate new skills. Not only do you get to learn, but you can get paid while doing so. Many platforms allow for you to develop at your own pace, so you can start with your strengths and build from there.
What a lot of people don’t realize is some side gigs can earn more than a regular full time job. Obviously, it takes some work to get to this point, but with the right resources, it can be realized much quicker than you think.
When looking for side hustle ideas, look for an activity or hobby that you enjoy doing. This allows the work to become less about feeling forced to do something. A lot of side hustles can also compliment what you do full-time. For instance, if you’re a physician, you can make extra money online answering questions on a platform like JustAnswer. This can be fun to do if you already enjoy the job you currently have.
Start a business
Side hustling is a great way to see if a business idea of yours could work out. Many platforms accelerate the process for you, but still allow you to build your business at your own pace. Some side hustles will allow you to sell products that you make, or enjoy using.
How do you know which side hustle ideas are the best?
How can you figure out which side hustle ideas work for you? The most important factors to keep in mind are:
- Your skills: What are you already good at?
- Your available time: How much time can you commit to the side hustle?
- Your knowledge: What do you already know about the jobs you’re interested in?
- Whether you like it or not: Are you going to enjoy the work?
53 side hustle ideas you can start right now
1 – Take up freelance writing
From writing on a blog, doing web copy, to resume and cover letter writing, there are many options out there that can make you extra money freelance writing. The best part is you can start with what you’re best at and don’t have to worry as much about anything else.
2 – Do paid quizzes and surveys
As far as side hustle ideas go, paid surveys is one of the easiest. The next time you have some free time, why not fill in a couple surveys on a rewards site? Online survey companies work with rewards sites like Swagbucks, to offer you rewards for completing their polls. You do have to be eligible for certain surveys, but it’s one of the easiest ways to make money online.
3 – Drive for Uber or Lyft
One of the biggest advantages of being a driver with Uber or Lyft, is the ability to work your own hours. You can go at your own pace, and it fits really well as a side hustle if you work another job. Uber and Lyft can also pay you really quickly. If you find you need cash right away, you can opt to get paid the morning after your shift. Of course, you need a car for this – but there are even sites where you can rent a car just to drive on Uber or Lyft.
4 – Do odd jobs on TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is a great option for anyone who wants to get their hands a little dirty. The website offers one of the biggest platforms for people offering help with everyday tasks. A tasker can triple as a plumber, mover, and cleaner all on one website. If you’re handy with odd tasks, TaskRabbit is a great choice to make extra money.
5 – Babysit
If you’re angling towards a more nurturing side job, there are always busy parents looking for someone to take care of their kids. Babysitters are always in high demand, and they don’t even require much background to get started in. Not to mention, babysitting can teach you invaluable life skills. There are lots of babysitting networks like babysits.ca and care.com that can easily connect you with a parent in need.
6 – Mow lawns
A reliable job that doesn’t require much experience to get started is mowing lawns. Landscaping companies are always offering work year-round, and will provide you with the tools you need to get started. Not to mention, mowing the grass can be a meditative process.
7 – Sell old items on eBay or Craigslist
When was the last time you actually wore those Jordans you bought for $300? What about that dress you only wore once for your cousin’s wedding? Good side hustle ideas don’t always have to mean working or making something new. We all have items in our closet or storage that could see better use elsewhere. Platforms like Grailed and Carousell are great for those looking to sell clothing. Just be sure to do some extra research on the current market value of your things. That old vintage watch could’ve doubled in value.
8 – Upcycle and resell used goods
As we all know, one person’s trash is another one’s treasure, and upcycling can put real value into that saying. Upcycling is a great option for freelance artists and designers who like to spice up old, unwanted items. Restoration projects have become a trend on the internet, and it can be a fun way to make extra money.
9 – Rent a spare room on Airbnb
For those who have the luxury of having an extra guest room, why not try listing it on Airbnb? You can set the price, rules, and availability of the room, and post it whenever you feel like it. Airbnb also has your back when it comes to damages, offering protections of up to $1,000,000 to your property.
10 – Deliver for Uber Eats or DoorDash
Although ride hailing services have seen a slow down due to the pandemic, demand for food couriers has exploded with everybody staying at home. As a food courier, the hours are flexible, and you can work between different platforms. Some even allow you to deliver via bicycle, keeping you active while making extra money.
11 – Answer questions on JustAnswer
People like to seek expert help for their problems. JustAnswer provides a space for people to get easy access to those experts. If you’re already working in a field that offers consultation, JustAnswer can help you reach more people. The service runs 24/7 so you can work on your own time, and approval to be an expert can take as quick as two weeks.
12 – Start a blog
If you enjoy writing, it’s natural to think about starting your own blog. You can write about the subjects you want to talk about, or interview the subjects you want to talk to. It involves a lot of work, but blogs allow you to sell ads, sponsored content, or sponsored products. Blogs also present an opportunity to build a work portfolio.
13 – Start a drop shipping store
A neat option for anyone interested in starting a business is starting a dropship store. If you find you don’t have the space to keep the products you want to sell, this is a good option. Drop shipping is when a store doesn’t keep the products it sells, and instead uses a third party to buy and ship products to the customer. Platforms like Shopify or Squarespace make it easy to start one up.
14 – Start a newsletter
If you enjoy writing but a blog is little too much work, a newsletter can be a happy medium. You can release content at your own pace, and platforms like Substack, Revue, and Mailchimp make the process of designing a newsletter more approachable. Once you get a decent following, you can make a good money through ads, sponsored content, and subscriptions. People subscribe to newsletters because they want a higher form of connection to your brand, and they’ll be more keen to trust you when you recommend a product.
15 – Launch an online course on Teachable
If there’s something specific you really enjoy teaching, there are some great online platforms at your disposal. Teachable is one the more popular, and it allows experts to sell online courses, tutorials or coaching sessions to clients looking to learn new skills. The platform offers detailed breakdowns of the sales you make, and simplifies the business aspect so you can focus on teaching.
16 – Teach languages online with Preply
Another skill you can consider teaching is another language. Preply is a great platform for teachers who prefer giving 1-on-1 lessons remotely. You can offer courses whenever you’re available to teach, set your own rates, and the site features one of the largest student bases online. The website also makes it easy to indicate if you’re better suited for beginners, or more intermediate learners.
17 – Write an ebook
Writing a book might sound like a lofty goal, but it’s easier and faster than you might think. For example, Stefan Palios (the editor of PulseBlueprint), finished his first book in three months and it was a side project.
In terms of what to write about, a good place to start is a topic you’re passionate about. This means you’ll have lots of experiences to pull from. An added advantage with ebooks is accessibility and sustainability. You can reach more people in a shorter amount of time when you publish your book online, and you don’t have to pay for printing.
18 – Build themes for Shopify, WordPress, or Bubble
Artistic coders, programmers, and designers have plenty of ways they can start a business online. People are always looking for unique themes to build their website on. Shopify, WordPress, and Bubble offer designers a platform to flex their web design skills, and sell templates and themes that people need.
19 – Become an ethical hacker
Ethical hackers, also known as “white hats,” can offer their services by hacking into a business’ information systems and checking if a server can be compromised – then providing the solution so it won’t happen again by a malicious actor. There are plenty of courses online on how to get started hacking, and the skills can be valuable to have. If you were running your own online business, knowing how to protect your online presence can save major stress.
20 – Start a “drop servicing” side hustle
Drop servicing takes inspiration from dropshipping when you sell someone else’s product. In drop servicing, you wrap a service around an existing product or service. For example: corporate swag (like custom t-shirts with a brand logo on it). In a typical process, a company would have to reach out to a swag provider or submit the orders manually on a supplier’s website. To make this a drop service business, you do all the ordering for your client. They simply email you with what sizes they want (and how many items they want), and you handle submitting the orders and tracking the shipments. For your work, you charge a fee on top of the cost of goods.
Drop servicing is convenient because you don’t have to do anything until you have a confirmed client. Unlike setting up an ecommerce store or making your own products, you truly have zero upfront costs.
21 – Coach on Clarity.fm
If your area of interest involves helping others grow their business, Clarity.fm can offer you a great space to offer that kind of advice. New startups are constantly looking for ways to grow, and Clarity offers you a platform to get in touch with those people. If you specialize in a specific field, Clarity also makes it easy to find specific experts.
22 – Take advantage of community arbitrage
Community arbitrage is when you buy something in bulk that you already know an existing community wants. From there, you sell it to them for higher than the bulk rate, but lower than the retail rate. For example, let’s say you have a community (through a newsletter or blog). You then ask for the kind of software everyone uses, and 10 people tell you they all pay for Zoom. You can go to Zoom, get a bulk discount on 10 licenses, and resell those licenses back to your community. You charge more than Zoom’s bulk rate, but less than Zoom’s retail rate. You already have buyers waiting, you make profit, and your community gets a discount – everyone wins.
23 – Launch a YouTube channel
Video has become one of the most important mediums for content creators and there is no bigger site than YouTube. You can produce the kind of content that you want, and there are millions of viewers watching videos every day. It’s also a great platform for sponsored content. It’s also interesting to note many stars like Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes launched their careers off of YouTube.
24 – Sell custom goods on Shopify or Etsy
Many people take up arts and crafts activities as a way to relax or enjoy themselves. It can also be a rewarding way to make some extra money online. People are always starting small businesses on Shopify and Etsy selling unique items they make. The websites are helpful in letting freelancers reach new customers, and there’s a market for anything unique. You can enjoy yourself while also making extra money on the side.
25 – Become a virtual assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the most flexible options for someone looking for a remote side hustle ideas. People are always looking for someone to manage their social media accounts, appointments, and schedules. These jobs can also end up being lucrative depending on who you work for, and you can easily find jobs on platforms like Virtual Gurus.
26 – Make affiliate and referral commissions
As some of the fastest growing SaaS platforms in the world, PartnerStack or CJ Affiliate provides referral, affiliate, ambassador, and reseller programs for its users. You can customize your own referral links, company pages, campaigns, and rewards while also learning valuable skills such as how to incorporate SEO in your referrals. If you already use specific software with your clients, it can be an easy way to add an extra revenue stream.
27 – Rent out unused space as storage
There’s an ever-increasing need for storage space. If you have the luxury of extra space in your house or apartment, maybe consider putting it up for rent. Neighbor is a popular platform to find someone who needs a place to store their things. It’s flexible and is much more appealing for potential customers. The options are much cheaper than storage garages, and there’s a built in community that prides itself on friendly service.
28 – Tutor young students remotely
Parents are usually too busy to help their kids with homework, which is why there is always a demand for tutors. There are dozens of websites that make finding students easy, and many allow you to focus on the subjects you’re strongest at teaching. Not to mention, being a tutor can help develop your communication and leadership skills, and strengthen your ability to gain knowledge.
29 – Start your own podcast
In recent years, podcasts have exploded in popularity. It seems like everybody has one these days, but with good reason. They can be a fun, reliable way to make extra money – and you can get started for free on Anchor.fm. Starting a podcast can also develop your audio, storytelling, and writing skills. You can really do a podcast on anything, and there are so many platforms available for creators looking to build up a following.
30 – Invest in dividend-paying stocks
Investing in stocks can be an intimidating venture for those unfamiliar. But it can be reassuring to know there are plenty of safe options available for first timers. Options like dividend stocks – companies that are well-established, and reliably pay earnings back to their shareholders – can make investing feel more comfortable. Their yields might not be the highest, but money can really start to add up the more stocks you hold. Note: always do your own research when investing. It can be risky, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
31 – Do voiceovers and voice acting
If you have the gift of a beautiful reading voice, consider offering those chords on a voiceover platform. Some of the most popular sites include voices.com, Voices123 or voiceovers.com. These sites allow you to get in touch with creators from different streams, and it can lead to even more opportunities down the line. You might be able to land something really big.
32 – Become a background actor
Did you know Brad Pitt and Sylvestor Stallone started as extras? Local film productions are always looking for background actors to have for shoots. Sets can be great opportunities to network with all kinds of people, and you can learn a lot from the process. Moreover, a background role is still an acting role. It can be the start of a successful acting portfolio. You never know where you could end up. Background agencies tend to be local, so do a custom Google search for “Background casting agency [your city]” to find opportunities.
33 – Edit podcasts
The hard thing about podcasts is that it requires a diverse set of skills. You need someone to write a script, handle recording, edit the show, and post it on different platforms. Each of these could be potential jobs you could take up as a side hustle. The job most in demand when it comes to podcasts is usually editing, as the process can be a lot of work. If you have editing chops and are comfortable with your audio workstations, this can be a great way to make extra money.
34 – Buy shares of real estate with Addy or Fundrise
There can be many benefits to investing in real estate. People always have a need for housing, and there is steady cash getting pumped into property. If you want to give it a shot, platforms like Addy or Fundrise can get you investing right away. There’s no pressure on the amount you start with either. You can jump on anything from office, retail, industrial, and multi family and the platforms let you pay what you can afford.
35 – “Find” money by reducing expenses
Taking a step back and analyzing your monthly expenses can be an eyeopener. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we’re spending on certain things. Monitoring your spending habits can be an effective way to reduce your expenses. While you might not be earning any money through the work, you could be saving. Your future self will thank you. Who knows, do this well (and invest the savings), and you could even reach FIRE (financial independence, retire early).
36 – Build an app or micro-SaaS
Nowadays, every business should consider building an app. Everybody has a phone, and apps can be a great way to reach your customer base. If you’re not building an app for your own business, you could also consider building an app for other businesses. Being able to know coding languages and having familiarity with different OS are useful skills in today’s job market. And if you’re not a developer, there are lots of no-code builders out there like Adalo or Bubble.
37 – Sell influencer content
Selling sponsored content is one of the most popular ways for content creators and businesses to make a little extra money. You can sell sponsored content on anything from blogs, videos, podcasts, and social media. It can be especially valuable if you already have an established audience. They’re more likely to trust your word on a product if they’re part of your community. If you already have a following, networks like #paid can help you monetize.
38 – Rent out your car
If you’re a remote worker, monitor how much time you actually spend driving. It’s probably not that much if you work from home. One option you could consider is renting out your own car. A popular platform like Turo will let you post your car for free, and allow you to set your rules and rates. They also offer a protection plan to protect you from any potential damages.
39 – Launch a print on demand store
If you’re an artist or designer, printing designs on clothing can be one of the most rewarding side hustle ideas out there. There are plenty of platforms like Shopify that expedite the process for you, and all you have to worry about is your designs. It’s a great way to work on a hobby you enjoy, and earn compensation for doing it.
40 – Get a part-time remote customer service job
Customer service is one of the most adaptable skills to have in the freelance market. Companies are always in search of good communicators who could deliver customer service remotely. There are a lot of places to find remote jobs – many of which pay far above minimum wage. They can also be a good entry point into the customer service sector if you aren’t as experienced.
41 – Join Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk is an online marketplace that makes it easier for businesses to outsource their jobs to the on-demand workforce. For instance, a podcast company could request help from a producer on Mturk to help with editing and processing audio. Mechanical Turk offers a wide range of jobs, so there’s a potential side hustle for just about any freelancer.
42 – Sell on Ravelry
Another neat platform for the arts and crafts hobbyist to consider is Ravelry. If you’re into fiber arts like knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving, Ravelry can give you a platform to showcase your creations. In addition to being a social networking site, it also facilitates micro-businesses, allowing designers to sell knitting patterns and tools. You can build a community, share ideas, and sell them all on one platform.
43 – Start a subscription box service
Subscription boxes like meal kits and beauty boxes have seen a growth in popularity over the past decade. If you have a unique idea of your own, why not try starting a box service of your own? You get to show off different entrepreneurial and creative skills, and make a lot of people happy with a unique service. It’s also a great way to network with different companies that offer unique products.
44 – Start a Patreon
If you’re a content creator offering a service, one way people can continually support you is by becoming your patron on Patreon. You can build different payment plans, and offer more perks to those who pay you more. It’s a unique way for content creators to interact with their audience, and show appreciation for the support.
45 – Join Medium’s partner program
Another option for writers looking to make money off their content is joining the Medium Partner Program. When you write on their platform, you earn more money based on engagement from the Medium community. This becomes an even stronger option if you already have a built in community on the platform.
46 – Become a dog walker on Rover
It’s no secret that dogs make us happier. So why not find a way to get closer to them? Better yet, make some extra money being a dog walker. You get to be closer with dogs, you get a little exercise, and you make a little extra money. A popular platform like Rover can set you up with busy dog owners. The platform is not just limited to dog walking either. You can also offer service as a pet sitter for all kinds of pets.
47 – Become a transcriber
Although there are lots of transcription AI available, some apps aren’t the most reliable. As a result, there are a lot of people who offer work as transcribers. The speed might not be at the same level, but humans are able to take in instructions, and pick up on specificities that an AI might not be able to. A popular platform to find work as a remote transcriber is Fiverr.
48 – Invest in rental properties
Real estate has produced many success stories and a lot of people got started taking it up as a side hustle. A great perk of investing in rental properties is how flexible it can be. Most of the income you earn is passive, meaning you can be earning money while focusing on other work. It requires more work to be good at it, but investing in real estate usually yields higher returns than stocks. Note: real estate, like stocks, can take a lot of money and not give you anything. Always make sure you do your own research ahead of time.
49 – Sell on Gumroad
Although there are plenty of e-commerce options available for content creators, most don’t offer the flexibility of Gumroad. You can sell digital products, subscriptions, pre-orders, memberships, physical products, consultation and just about anything else on their platform. Creators also sell directly to their customers, which makes transactions feel more like a social exchange.
50 – Hack your credit card rewards
We all know of stories of people who claim to have travelled the world off their rewards card. Most people aren’t that obsessive over their card rewards, but it doesn’t hurt to be. A lot of cards offer perks that its owners don’t even realize and there are plenty of opportunities we can miss out on when we forget to use our card.
51 – Sell pictures on Picfair
Selling photography can be a tricky business online. There are lots of platforms that take cuts out of the money you make, and only allow growth for experienced photographers. On Picfair, the photographer has full control over their images, and they collect 100 per cent of the royalties themselves. The platform will also handle license work for you, so you only have to focus on the pictures you post.
52 – Helping small businesses set up online stores
Setting up an online presence as an inexperienced business owner can be an overwhelming task. With so many platforms and themes to consider, it can be hard to get started. A great way to provide support and make some extra money, is helping set up online stores for these businesses. You get to work on practical skills that you can carry over for your own business, and it could be an opportunity to test platforms you’re unfamiliar with.
53 – Deliver groceries with Instacart
Not everybody owns a car, and with the pandemic leaving many scared to leave home, there’s no better time to get started delivery groceries. Instacart is an accessible platform that lets you do shopping and deliveries for its users. Like many other courier services, you make your schedule, making it a flexible option for those with additional jobs.
Good side hustle ideas mean both fun and profit
The beauty of these side hustle ideas is you can take it at your own pace. Sure, it can lead to a profitable full-time gig, but it also doesn’t have to. The key is that you know what you want out of it – and make sure you get it.