30 Best Side Hustle Ideas To Make Extra Money

best side hustles

Did you know that the online outsourcing market is projected to grow to $16 Billion by 2020? Millennials, especially those in the age group of 20-25 years, form a large part of this outsourcing market.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that nearly 80% of students work part-time and about 30% of working professionals have side jobs.

Freelancing has increasingly become a popular option in the last decade, with students and working professionals alike.

Here are a few reasons why side-jobs have appeal to the Y-Generation:

  • Opportunity to earn an additional source of income , which can be used to offset the financial pressure due to student loan debt and lifestyle upkeep.
  • Develop and hone a skill set
  • Productive use of time

Best Side hustles or the “second job” is a concept that has been branded by the millennial generation.

Besides the regular 9 to 5 clocked hours, some millennials design websites, some tutor a subject and some others run odd errands to make a few extra bucks on the side.

In fact, the gig economy, characterized by independent contract jobs, has been growing at a faster rate than payroll employment.

According to a report by CNBC, the number of independent contractors have increased by 27% more than the traditional clocked-hours employees in the last 2 decades.

If you want to take complete advantage of the opportunities existing in the gig economy, below are some of the side-hustles you can pursue to earn an additional income.

These opportunities are broadly divided into 3 categories:

1. High Skill Set – Lucrative pay-offs ($$$)
2. Moderate Skill Set – Moderate pay-offs ($$)
3. Easy Skill Set – Low pay-offs ($)

High Skill Set – Lucrative pay-offs

This set of specialized jobs require a certain level of refined skill set.

Establishing yourself as an independent contractor in this category requires a greater deal of time and effort, but you can be sure of a lucrative payoff.

So what kinds of jobs can you expect in this category?

According to a report published by LinkedIn, here is the list of the most In-demand skills in the market right now:

  1. Cloud and distributed computing
  2. Statistical analysis and data mining
  3. Web architecture and development framework
  4. Middleware and integration software
  5. User interface design
  6. Network and interface security
  7. Mobile development
  8. UX/UI Design
  9. Data Presentation
  10. Storage systems and management

So how do you brand yourself in the above fields?

Develop and refine your skill-set

Since you will be working on real-time projects, you cannot work with novice skills.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an excellent way to strengthen your knowledge on a host of subjects.

These courses are conducted by tier-1 universities, professional internet groups and industry experts and are the most cost-effective way to gaining expertise in a particular subject as you get access to industry-best resources and training for a fraction of the cost than what is offered through others sources.

Most of them are for free with a paid option for a verified certificate.

Here are some courses that you can refer to establish yourself as a freelancer in the above fields:

Pattern Discovery In Data Mining by Coursera

Architecting Distributed Cloud Applications by Edx

SEO for wordpress by Udemy

You can find several such courses on:

  • Edx
  • Coursera
  • Harvard Open Courses
  • Khan Academy

Internships

  • Gaining some level of practical experience in the form of internships is recommended before you start-off as a freelancer.
  • Accept projects/internships even in cases of low or no stipend because having a good mentor in the initial phase of your career can be a really good pay-off.
  • Apart from the learning curve that an internship provides, there are chances of your internship transitioning into a full time job.

Freelancing

  • Freelancing is a great way to gain some practical experience in your interested field.
  • As a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients at the same time.
  • Freelancing projects are a great way to build your portfolio and pick up on a multitude of skill sets.
  • You can take up a few projects for free initially, to get on your references and build work samples for your portfolio.
  • Once the word is out about your credibility, you can set a price chart and take up projects according to it.
  • You can find excellent freelancing projects on Fiverr, Elance and Craigslist.

Moderate Skill Set – Moderate pay-offs

In case you do not have the time to invest into learning a specialization, you can opt for generalized job-roles.

The payoff is comparatively lower than those found for specialized profiles, but the skill-set can be developed pretty quick.

Here are few alternatives that you can explore:

1.Virtual Assistant

  • A virtual assistant is a self-employed professional who is hired to provide administrative, technical or creative help to clients through online mediums.
  • Eg: Apple’s Siri, Online customer help desk
  • Companies generally outsource virtual assistants, so this is a sector where the demand for freelancers is extremely high.
  • You can pick up projects from sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.

2. Online Surveys

  • Yes, you do get paid to give your opinion!
  • However, your feed-back should be detailed and honest as you are judged by your content quality here.
  • You can earn anything from $0.5-$10 per survey

Here are some trusted survey companies that pay you in cash via PayPal:

  • Survey Voices- Take surveys and get paid at Survey Voices! You can make $800/week completing surveys! All you need to do is instantly qualify, then view exclusive offers in exchange for your opinions and get access to paid surveys, clinical trial opportunities, and part-time work offers! Want to make $800 a week? Click here to start earn cash on demand with Survey Voices.
  • Survey Junkie- Survey Junkie’s interface is super smooth and intuitive (unlike the majority of survey company websites that look like they were built in 1997), and members are paid in cash via Paypal.  Oh, and Survey Junkie also has an 8.9/10 rating on TrustPilot — the highest of any online survey company.  Click here to start earning money with Survey Junkie.
  • Inbox Dollars Earn cash, not points. InboxDollars pays members to read emails, take surveys online, play games, and go shopping! New users also receive $5 just for joining.
  • FusionCash- FusionCash is a loyalty program which rewards surfers for trying offers, taking surveys, and more. Sign Up Process: The sign up for FusionCash is very simple. Just click here to sign up with FusionCash, then fill out the few questions and you’re good to go. Also, you automatically get $5 bonus for signing up, which gets you a good jumpstart on your first cash out.
  • SurveyDownline- SurveyDownline is a 100% free service where residents of The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia can earn cash by taking paid surveys. Everyone could use some extra cash, and filling in online surveys is a simple way to get paid for your valuable opinions.Paid surveys are easy to fill in at any time of the day or night. Even the busiest of people can take a paid market research survey in a few moments. Click here to start earning money with SurveyDownline.

You can find more money making apps and surveys here:

3. User Testing

  • User-testing is a research conducted by firms to improve their customer experience.
  • Businesses are willing to shell out quite a few bucks to understand if their product/service effectively satisfies the customer demand before officially introducing it in the market.

You can register yourself as a user tester and pick up projects through these Websites:

4. Online Tutoring

  • If you were the go-to person in college for doubt-clearing, you might have an excellent side-career as a tutor.
  • Due to the competition level, tutors are high in demand for STEM subjects.
  • Subject knowledge, a desire to teach and working internet connection is all you need to establish yourself as a tutor.

Here are a few sites that can help you set-up your online tutoring career:

5. Blogging

  • Blogging is one of the most powerful social media tool. In fact, full time bloggers are known to earn as high as a 6 figure income with a single blog.
  • Blogging is the first choice side-hustle of most millennials because it looks deceptively simple.
  • However, that is far from the truth.
  • Maintaining a successful blog is a very scientific process which requires content writing and marketing skills of the highest order.

Here are a few actionable tips to create a revenue-rich blog:

Don’t already have a blog set up? You can start up in a matter of minutes:

If you want to get started on your blog now, take a look at my free blog starter guide to get your site set up in less than 15 minutes. If you use my exclusive link, you can get a domain name for free and my exclusive discount price of $2.95/month for hosting!

6. Translation

  • The current market size of the global languages industry is around $40 billion and it is expected to keep growing cumulatively every year.
  • The best part is, although there are various translation-related applications, automated translation is not considered to be completely reliable by publishers. There is a continued demand for translators especially in the areas of website translation, transcripts and foreign language education.

Here is a list of the most in-demand translation languages

  1. Chinese
  2. Spanish
  3. Japanese
  4. Portuguese
  5. German
  6. Arabic
  7. French
  8. Russian
  9. Korean
  10. Swedish

Here are a few resources that can help you transition into a translator:

7. Referral Programs

  • According to a research by the research company Neilson Holdings, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product/service when it is referred by a friend.
  • Now, that is a statistic that companies like and this is precisely why companies across all sectors and sizes have been implementing referral programs.
  • From an organization’s perspective, the ROI of referral programs is lucrative and hence they are willing to invest into a decent incentive plan for the referring sources.

Here are few resources that will help you to make money out of referral programs:

8. Stock Photography

  • The growth of E-commerce and E-learning industries has been a catalyst in the transition of photography from a hobby occupation to an off-beat profession.
  • Almost every company has an account on stock photography sites like shutter-stock , getty images, etc. to fulfill their imaging needs. There is a high demand for HD images to support E-commerce products, blog posts, articles and E-learning modules.
  • If you have always pursued photography as a hobby, maybe it is time to start thinking about it commercially.

Here are a few sites where you can sell your photos online:

In case you are thinking how to go about it, these resources might help you:

9. Editor

  • Believe it or not , companies and people are willing to pay huge bucks for proof-reading and editing reports, proposals, advertising copies and other such documents.
  • In fact , certain freelance proof-reading is known to pay $17 per hour!
  • If you happen to have a background in human resources, you have an added leverage.
  • You can take up resume and cover-letter editing projects as there is a huge job-seekers’ market out there.
  • Here is a definitive guide on 23 tips to create the ideal resume that you can refer to in case you want to freelance in the recruitment field.

Low Skill Set – Low pay-offs

This is a set of offline jobs that do not require formal or corporate skill sets. Rather, it is more dependent on time commitment, soft skills and the resources available to the student.

Here are a few options that you can check out:

1. Renting out a spare room

  • This is an awesome opportunity to earn a little extra income from your extra space.
  • There is enough profit in renting out a spare room to help you cover a quarter of your monthly costs.
  • If you are not looking for a full-time room-mate, you can list out your house on Airbnb for specific time-periods.
  • Fun-Fact : In Washington, the average home rental rates for December touched $1,576 per week!

Your Home Can Earn You Money: 

2. Catering

  • This is one of the easiest side-jobs to get into, since a majority of the event managers are understaffed.
  • You can also easily accommodate a catering gig into your schedule, as parties are generally held during the weekends and during the holiday season.
  • You can find such assignments in Indeed and Craiglist.com

3. Baby-sitting

  • According to UrbanSitter, babysitters are known to make $15.71 per hour.
  • It is a good idea to babysit for family and friends as a beginning. You will be able to gauge if you have the required patience and aptitude to deal with kids.
  • Also, trust is an extremely important factors for parents while hiring for babysitters. By starting off with your friends-family circle, you will be able to earn reference & experience letters which will give a huge credibility boost for your profile.

Here are a few websites through which you can find babysitting gigs:

4. Uber

  • Uber is an excellent opportunity to put your driving license to use.
  • It is an ideal side job for full time students as Uber allows you to set your own working hours and get paid instantly.
  • According to a blog post in The Finance Guy, full time students can make as much as $24.25 per hour!
  • You can also try driving for Lyft as well. New drivers get a $250 sign up bonus through this link.

To know more on how to become an uber driver, check out this resource:

5. HandyMan Services

  • A handyman is someone who is skilled in tackling “fix-up tasks” like repairs and maintenance work.
  • Handyman work includes gardening, plumbing,electric and mechanical repairs, etc.
  • Apart from making a few extra bucks, you also save on taxes.
  • Fun fact : The Penny Hoarder recently covered a story on a self employed handyman who earns $30,000 a week!
  • Indeed.com and Task-Rabbit are two of the most popular resources to get handyman gigs.

6. Dog walking

  • This one is for all the animal-lovers out there!
  • Dog-walking has 3 lucrative benefits – You get to spend time with your four legged friends, you yourself get some exercise and you don’t have to pay taxes!
  • You can find dog-walking gigs on Rover , Job monkey and We love pets

7. Medical Studies

  • Being a human guinea pig is not a bad idea after all, especially if you can earn upto $15,000 per project (Some clinical trials do shell out that kind of cash!)
  • Research and clinical trials test the effect of drugs and medicines to determine their efficiency.
  • While the money may look lucrative, one must do a thorough research before nominating himself/herself for a study regarding the safety measures and side effects.

In case you want to explore this option, here are some resources you should check out:

8. Event Anchor

  • If you were a regular participant in elocution and debates, anchoring/hosting events is an opportunity to put your speaking skills to use.
  • To start off, you can register yourself with your local event management agencies and put the word out on social media.
  • You can also find some opportunities on Indeed.com and Freelancer

9. Brand Ambassador

  • This is suited to students with people , sales and marketing skills.
  • Brand ambassador is an incentive based program, where students are paid to promote a particular brand on campus.
  • Tasks can range from wearing company merchandise , getting registrations or social media promotions.
  • Campus ambassador opportunities are posted on job and internship sites like LinkedIn and Indeed.com

10. Hosting a Meet-Up

  • Organizing meet-ups are a great of meeting new people and earning money on the side.
  • The task is simple : Create a community of like-minded people and charge them a membership fee for each community event.
  • Meetup.com is globally the most popular website for finding & creating meet-ups.

The best side hustles are not limited to just making extra money. In the current skill economy, they are a great asset for your resume! In fact, you might actually find your career calling and there is a possibility of a side gig turning into a full-time job.

Have you tried any of these side hustles? Tell us in the comments section below!

Abhyank Srinet

Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control.

His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online start up for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients.

He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company.

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Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors, but all opinions are my own.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Probably one of the most comprehensive side hustle list out there and I appreciate how it is sorted by difficulty. Excellent article, I will definitely have to look into renting my space into an AirBnb at some point.

  2. There are some intriguing points in time on this page but I don’t determine if I see these people center to heart. There may be some validity but I most certainly will take hold opinion until I check into it further. Good write-up , thanks and we want a lot more! Added onto FeedBurner in addition

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