For some people, the thought of quitting their 9-to-5 to pursue an entrepreneurial life is exciting.
For many others, it's frightening.
But what if there was a happy medium — a way to keep a full-time job (and all its security) while earning an additional stream of income? Enter the side hustle.
Let's learn more about side hustles, explore what makes a good one, and review the best side hustles for entrepreneurs and sales pros.
What makes a good side hustle?
A side hustle can have an incredible impact on both your life and your wallet — so long as you pick the right one.
A good side hustle meets the following criteria:
- Provides flexibility: Since most side hustles supplement a full-time job, they must fit into your schedule. When browsing potential side hustles, consider how much flexibility each job allows in terms of scheduling and deadlines. For instance, as a freelance writer, you have the flexibility to increase or decrease the number of gigs you take each week.
- Aligns with a passion or interest: One of the biggest challenges of having a side hustle is staying committed to it —so finding one that aligns with a passion, hobby, or interest of yours is an absolute must. For example, if you love teaching, becoming an online tutor could be the perfect fit.
- Pays-off financially: As the popular saying goes, time is money. Even if you enjoy your side hustle, odds are you're probably doing it to make additional income. That doesn't mean you should do something you hate just because it makes money. Instead, aim to find the middle ground — a hustle you enjoy that's also profitable.
Here are 12 side hustles that leverage the skills and experiences of entrepreneurs and sales pros.
Best Side Hustle Ideas
If you have expertise in a specific subject, consider applying your knowledge as a consultant. For instance, if you have considerable experience in SEO, you might try offering your insight to help startups improve their websites and organic search engine ranking. No matter what your specialty might be, leverage your expertise as a consultant and charge an appropriate rate.
2. eBook Writer
Have you ever dreamed of writing a book someday? Joining the publishing world is surprisingly feasible (and profitable) with eBooks. From how-to manuals to travel guides to mystery novels, just about any subject is fair game. There isn't much of a catch — self-publishing websites such as Amazon KDP and Smashwords take a small commission on every sale in return for hosting and advertising your work.
3. Seller on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon
Turn your hobby into a profit with an ecommerce store. Whether you want to sell your hand-knitted mittens or resell your sports memorabilia, ecommerce sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon make it easier than ever to connect with a community of interested buyers.
116 million people listen to a podcast monthly. You could say we're in the golden age of podcasting. Do you have a topic you could talk about for hours? Whether you want to dissect your favorite reality show or interview experts about your favorite subject, consider starting a podcast.
5. Print-on-Demand Artist
Calling all creative types — if you like creating unique designs and artwork, consider opening a print-on-demand business. Print on demand (POD) sells your artwork on products like phone cases, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and more. The best part is that you can hand off the less-glamorous parts of running a business (like shipping and fulfillment) to a POD site, like Redbubble and CafePress, for a fee.
6. Course Instructor
Have you mastered the art of networking? Or maybe photo editing? If you're a professional with tips and tricks to share, consider packaging your knowledge into an online course and selling it on an online learning platform, such as Skillshare, Udemy, or even Airbnb Experiences. This is a great way to capitalize on your expertise and earn income teaching topics you already love.
7. Website Tester
Websites are considered the face of a business, which is why many brands, both big and small, are willing to pay to hear your feedback. But fear not — you don't need advanced technical skills or a degree in computer science to become a website tester. Simply interact with a prototype website or app, answer some questions about your experience, and earn money in the process.
Whether you want to share your five best tips for cold-calling prospects or recap sports highlights from the weekend, YouTube is the perfect vehicle to deliver engaging content to the right audience. And, when done consistently, you can build an audience and monetize your videos with ads.
9. Airbnb Host
Do you have a spare bedroom in your home that isn't getting much use? Turn your extra space into extra income with Airbnb. Airbnb hosts make about $924 a month on average — making it one of the most lucrative side hustles.
10. Public Speaker
If the thought of public speaking brings you excitement rather than jitters, consider becoming a public speaker. As a public speaker, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and build your professional network while earning additional income.
11. Professional Freelance Writer
Have a passion for writing and editing? If so, try your hand as a freelance writer. Many gigs fall under the umbrella of freelance writing, such as content writer, blogger, SEO writer, and ghostwriter. Before applying to these jobs, make sure you gather a few pieces for your portfolio that showcase your skills.
12. Language Teacher or Translator
Speak a foreign language? Online language tutoring is an excellent option to leverage your knowledge into extra income each month. Or, if teaching isn't your thing, look for opportunities as a freelance translator in an industry that interests you.
The easiest way to start a side hustle is to take inventory of your own interests, skills, and hobbies. But remember, not all side hustles are created equal. Consider your options until you find one that fits with your schedule, aligns with a passion, and makes sense financially.