One of the most common questions I hear is how to start a side hustle when you don’t have any good ideas. This is a little list of side hustle business ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and I encourage you to add your own idea to the bottom if it’s not on here.
The beauty of these side hustle ideas is that many don’t require a huge initial investment or even necessarily a highly specialized skill-set. And certainly, not all qualify as “business ideas,” but each has the potential to earn you money in your spare time.
1. Teaching English. Earn $14-22 per hour teaching English to young students in China via video chat with VIPkid. If you’re eligible to work in the US or Canada, a bachelor’s degree and a year of educational experience are the only prerequisites.
Cool side note: Tutoring, mentoring, or coaching all qualify as teaching experience.
2. Caregiving. This business continues to grow as the population ages, and popular sites like Care.com can help match you with customers.
3. Affiliate Marketing. Refer website visitors to buy products online and earn a small commission on each sale. This is actually how I’ve made the bulk of my living over the last 10 years, so it definitely works!
Note: Please do me a favor and don’t buy into anyone’s sleazy affiliate marketing “program” or “system.” There are unfortunately a lot of slimy salespeople out there making their living taking advantage of newbies.
4. Airbnb. If you have extra room in your house, you can earn money renting it out to visitors on Airbnb.com. It’s a pretty cool way to make money and meet interesting people from around the world at the same time.
With a little bit of traction, you could even cover your entire rent or mortgage by hosting guests on Airbnb. Have you tried it?
My friend travels the world while renting out his Amsterdam apartment.
5. Ethical Credit Card Reward “Hacking”
No, not hacking in an evil way, but taking advantage of various sign-up bonuses and cash back offers doled out by banks. You’ve got to promise to do this responsibly, but it’s actually earned my wife and I thousands of dollars in free money and travel over the last few years.
What’s the easiest way to get started? Try a new cash back card on for size.
For instance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers up to 30% cash back — $150 after you spend $500 — with no annual fee.
If you know you’re gonna spend $500 in the next 3 months, that’s #freemoney.
6. Driving. If you’re free mornings, nights, or weekends, you can earn extra cash driving your fellow citizens around.
Sign up with Lyft (currently offering a $250 sign-up bonus) or Uber to get started.
One cool “hack”: Both companies offer “Destination Mode”, which basically allows you to earn money on your regular morning and evening commute by telling the app which direction you’re headed and only accepting riders along your route.
7. Delivery Service. With services like UberEATS you can earn money on your own schedule delivering take-out orders in your town … and you don’t have to worry about keeping your car super clean for passengers.
8. Notary Public Service. Notary certification is granted by the state and the cost is generally less than $100.
Once you’re certified, you can charge your own fee to notarize documents, or become a loan signing agent like Mark did and make $75-200 for overseeing mortgage signings.
9. Online Surveys. These won’t make you rich, but can be an easy way to supplement your income and you can do them in your downtime (waiting in line, watching TV, etc.).
If you love this stuff, check out Swagbucks .
10. Picking up Trash. I have a friend who has been doing this over 30 years and calls it “America’s simplest business.” He says you can earn $50,000-$100,000 a year for basically walking local parking lots and cleaning up the garbage.
11. Renting Out Your Car. In select markets, you can rent out your car on a daily or hourly basis to earn extra cash through companies like Turo.
According to their site, the average car sits idle 22 hours a day, so their service is a unique opportunity to capitalize on those idle hours. The company handles all the insurance.
12. Blogging. Blogging is one of my favorite ways of making extra money! It's not only a creative way of expressing yourself with sharing your writing, but the income potential is huge. I know bloggers that make over a million dollars a year! I'm not quite there yet, but I will be :)
13. Child Care. Is it just me, or does “babysitting” sound amateur compared to “child care”? Register on sites like SitterCity to begin building a client base.
14. Teaching Online. Udemy is an impressive online education platform where students can connect with teachers from all around the world in any subject. You can create your own course around a topic you’re an expert in and set your own tuition rate.
15. Baking. Do people love your desserts? Maybe you could provide cake, cookies, or cupcakes to some corporate event in town.
16. Becoming an Adjunct Professor. You may need a graduate degree for this one, but it can be a fun way to share your knowledge with the next generation of students and earn some good money on the side — especially if you can teach online or with pre-recorded lectures.
17. Being a TaskRabbit. Task Rabbit is an on-demand errand-running service that enlists regular people to help out. You can earn money in your spare time completing real-world tasks on their unique platform.
The platform also allows for virtual work like online research and other tasks that can be done remotely.
18. Selling on Amazon. This is another one of my favorite ways of making extra money. I have friends that make 7 figures doing this. Amazon makes it so easy for sellers to make money because they practically do most of the work for you. They package and ship the product, handle all customer service phone calls, and best part is Amazon customers already have so much trust with them that we need very little marketing to be able to make a full time income.
I personally have seen huge success with this and make a decent living with my earnings (I plan on creating a course on how to successfully sell products on Amazon so stay tuned).
19. Selling on eBay. eBay can be a tough, low-margin, competitive environment, but that’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities left to earn extra cash on the world’s largest marketplace.
I met one side hustle ebay seller who sold $100,000 worth of stuff (mostly used electronics) on ebay in one year, and another who built a 6-figure business as the “Flea Market Flipper.”
20. Selling on Etsy. Etsy is the world’s largest marketplace for unique hand-crafted goods. What can you make?
My friend started selling wine-themed wedding decor on Etsy as a side hustle and since turned it into a full-time business.
21. Selling on Fiverr. Fiverr is one of the greatest sites in the world. The basic premise is “what would you do for $5?” You’ll find everything from hilariously weird and useless gags to legitimate and genuinely helpful micro-business tasks.
I’ve used Fiverr for graphic design, book covers, website optimization, article writing, and even the intro voiceover for The Side Hustle Show. I’ve experimented as a seller on Fiverr, starting with selling non-fiction ebooks.
Getting a little more adventurous with my gigs, I got featured on the homepage and was flooded with orders, ultimately earning $920 in 10 days. Later, I broke down my first year on Fiverr, where I earned an average of $500 a month.
22. Selling on Teespring. Teespring is a print-on-demand t-shirt platform, where you can custom-design your own shirts and sell them through the site.
23. T-Shirt Printing Service. Create silk-screened t-shirts for events and organizations. Bonus points for creating the designs yourself.
24. Virtual Assistant Service. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to clients from their home office. If that sounds like a fun side hustle you can set up shop on your own or jump on board with an established VA company like BELAY or Fancy Hands.
25. Proofreading. Do you like to read? If you have an eye for detail you can set up shop on Upwork as a proofreader and bid on jobs large and small. I actually offered this service on Fiverr for a while and made some decent money.
26. E-commerce. Sell products online through your own store or through Amazon or eBay. In this episode, Will Mitchell walked me through how to find a profitable import product.
27. Raw Land Flipping. This sounds a little crazy, but my guest Mark calls his raw land investing business the best passive income model because he doesn’t have to deal with “problem tenants, rodents, or repairs.”
28. Tutoring. Put that education to use by helping students learn in a comfortable one-on-one setting. WyzAnt is one of the largest operators in the online tutoring world.
If you already have experience teaching or tutoring, you might consider VIPkid, where you can teach English online to students in China.
29. Kindle Publishing. Selling ebooks on Amazon is one of the income streams I’m cultivating. I love the idea of having my work for sale on the world’s largest store!
From my very first author royalty check, I keep learning more about self-publishing and am hopefully getting better every time I put pen to paper … or fingers to keyboard.
I generated 20,000 downloads with my first “serious” book launch, and my latest title earned nearly $18,000 in its first year.
30. “Alternative” Investments. For me, alternative investments are vehicles like peer-to-peer lending, real estate crowdfunding, business lending, and even cryptocurrency.
This is a great side hustles because it’s automated and passive. Yes, it takes some capital to get started, but you can earn a solid return.
31. Sperm Donor. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a business, but it’s probably more fun than donating blood.
32. Sports Coaching. School teams are sometimes in need of coaching help and this can be a fun and active side hustle.
Making an extra few thousand dollars a month doing any of these side hustles are fairly easy. I know they aren't a traditional way of earning income but I promise that it is completely worth trying!
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