The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won't be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based consultant.
Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, 4th of July, Mother’s Day. There are a ton of traditional holidays that count as solid reasons to explore the side business idea of crafting and selling seasonal decorations. After all, people and businesses pay good money for them. In fact, total sales of Christmas trees in the U.S. alone amounted to a whopping $1.04 billion in 2014. And you still have holiday lights, nativity scenes, crafted hangings, baskets, wreaths, and other decorations to cover, making this a potentially year-round seasonal side business idea.
Furniture flipping is actually a really fun business. I’ve dabbled in this myself a time or two, and it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks if you don’t mind putting in the time. What you do is scour garage sales, Craigslist, or even the side of the road on trash day looking for furniture that’s in need of a little TLC. Then, take the time to fix, refinish, or paint the furniture, and resell it for a profit.
Great list! I just started my financial website (still not live yet), and one of my side hustles is working for a company that hires teachers to teach English via Skype. 10-15 hours per week, making $10 a lesson. It’s great, since my mortgage was so cheap, that side hustle alone pays it off each month! Other side hustles include: adjunct professor for community colleges and a freelance writer.

A ballroom dance business provides ballroom dance lessons in a well-appointed studio. It can train teams that participate in national or regional competitions and also provide dance lessons for those who simply want to learn how to dance. A ballroom dance lessons business may be associated with a recreational center or a club, and may offer classes for both interested dancers as well as teachers.


Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 - $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.
This business is perfect for seasoned business owners or upper level managers who are looking for a career change. A business consulting firm must be experienced in business management, marketing, and team building and management. They must also understand how to generate revenue from a wide range of businesses and expand existing streams of income.
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding side business idea. Link up with a local yoga studio to teach nightly classes or offer personalized yoga in-home at a higher rate to pursue this kind of emotional and physical balance with others, during your free time while helping your bank balance, too.
To start an affiliate marketing business you’ll need a strong online presence. The most successful affiliate marketers run blogs, websites or newsletters that enjoy high levels of readership. This passive income technique is based on the idea that the products and services you recommend are strongly targeted and relevant to your audience and don’t feel like outright selling. It’s also essential to always be transparent about your relationship with the affiliate partner to avoid losing your reader’s’ trust.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin's story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.

Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization-obsessed customers. Entrepreneur says you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business idea in this niche but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
Use a platform like ACX to create and sell audiobooks on platforms like Audible and iTunes. If you have a great idea for a non-fiction audiobook where you can teach a difficult skill like stock trading, foreign currency investing, accounting, online marketing or others, you can easily create a five-figure monthly income with the right volume of audiobooks.
So where does the money come in? As your audience starts to grow and you begin attracting more and more traffic, a whole array of different blog monetization options will open up to you. It’s best to choose the most organic ways that won’t detract from your blog’s reputation. For example, if you’re blogging about walking as a hobby, start selling custom walking trail plans or promoting walking boots. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to have multiple sources of income, as any one of them can shrink unexpectedly. The five main categories of income streams that bloggers tend to adopt are:
This kind of goes with Amazon, eBay and Craigslist selling but dumpster diving is a good source of products to sell. I have found a few dumpsters in my area that regularly throw out valuable items I sell on one of the previously mentioned sites. My first week I found a large box of brand new toner bottles that cost $2400 on Amazon. I sold them for nearly $18oo individually over the couse of a month. Printing companies are good sources. I have gotten multiple printers, some working and some not but these are not $100 Walmart printers so even broken they can sell for enough to make it worth it or you can part it out too.
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don't Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
Self-publishing is thriving, eBooks and online guides are slowly but steadily making a lot of online authors richer every day and, to the surprise of a number of cynics, people are still reading! So here’s another golden nugget for you – write a book or a long-form guide and sell it online. Whether you have a great personal story to tell, a valuable, educational piece cooking up in your head or have accumulated a wealth of resources or knowledge on a particular topic that could prove invaluable to others, you can start making money off it as soon as it gets online. If you publish your eBook through Amazon Kindle Publishing and continuously promote it on your blog or website, the sales will keep on trickling in.
Next you will want to create and display your pins. The Selz store builder makes it easy to show off your work, while the stylish web design options will help your store to stand out from the competition. You can choose to sell hard enamel pins or soft enamel pins, or both if you desire. In the beginning, though, it’s generally best to choose one or the other to avoid being overwhelmed.
I started this blog in February of ’08 simply as a hobby, and two years later it became my full-time “job.” when I realized there was money to be made (a total fluke that I jumped all over!) Now, 4 years after that, here we still are and having the time of my life. So you really never know what opportunities are around the corner when you start hustling. But you do need to grab them when they cross your path.
16 Be a doula Jasmine Birtles, the founder of website moneymagpie.com, says you can make between £12 and £15 an hour or £250-£500 for a birth by being a doula – a birth partner and post-birth partner. "If you've had a baby and you want to help new mothers, do a short course with Britishdoulas.co.uk and work locally," she says. "You do what a grandmother or sister might do for a new mum, such as giving moral support, helping around the house, caring for the baby and supporting the whole family."
If trends hold steady, there will be an estimated 6 billion smartphones in the world by 2020. This is an incredible opportunity for those who want to break into this market, as there will be increased demand for products to protect these expensive investments from dents, scratches, and breaks. The majority of phone cases are sold online to decrease overhead costs. However, retail storefronts can be a good investment for entrepreneurs depending on the target customers.

If you’ve got a camera and some basic Photoshop skills, photography can become your side hustle. If you like taking pictures of your city, you can sell your photography to your local publications such as city newspaper or blog. Sites like Foap allow you to sell your phone pictures on their platform and you can earn money with every photo you sell. If you’d rather not make money with your pictures, you can add your photography to products like canvases, t-shirts, and phone cases to make even more money. And if that’s not enough, you can even seek clients to venture into wedding photography, pet photography or product photography.
What Employees Say: “VIPKID pays between $14-22 an hour, plus more in incentives some months. Most kids are fun and well behaved. You create your own schedule and work as little or much as you want. The materials are already provided, you just have to review them beforehand and plan out how you want to teach the materials and which props you want to use.” —Current ESL Teacher
Although it is called Fiverr, you will only be netting just under $4 after Fiverr takes the first 20% and Paypal takes a few more pennies. However, there are many things you may be able to do quickly for $4. A quick design, a quick voice over if you have that deep sexy voice, or creating a quick intro video for a company in a matter of minutes for you techy type may get you some quick and painless cash. Also, if you sell enough, keep a good rating, and Fiverr likes you, there are levels you can advance inside Fiverr for higher cash payouts and more gig offers.
This step is more for someone who does online writing/blogging as their side business. For bloggers, a content calendar is a godsend and is something you should be doing every month (in my opinion.) If you run a small business or online store, calendars can help you complete priority tasks, keep up with email marketing and social promotions. Even if you don't blog, you need to have some type of calendar for all of the marketing activity you're doing to, well, market your business.
Next, let’s tackle one of the most popular online business ideas – affiliate marketing. So what is it, exactly? In a nutshell, you recommend products or services offered by a chosen company to your readers, followers or people you know. If they buy something as a result of your recommendation, you get a commission (either a percentage or a flat fee). Easy, right?
Are you one of those people who start their day with a to-do list? Then you’ll enjoy helping others get their life back. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to entrepreneurs and business owners who have more on their hands than they can handle. The ultimate perk of this side business is that you can work from your home office or anywhere you want, as long as you have a wifi connection and access to a phone. Freelance marketplaces are the best places to pick up some freelance gigs until you have a solid stream of clients coming through your own website.
After you’re certified, you can more or less set your own hours. Driving schools are always in-demand so you can be sure you’ll always have a steady stream of customers. That said, this business really starts to pick up in the warmer months, so you can also take advantage of the seasonality and take it into consideration when considering it as a side business.

There's a misconception that keeps those with dreams of owning their own business from following their dreams. It's a misconception that's not only false but dangerous to the small business community. It's not true that every entrepreneur sits in a rundown apartment somewhere in Silicon Valley, eats boxes of cheap mac-and-cheese and stays up all night building the next big startup. Most entrepreneurs aren't living in poverty hoping to someday sign the papers for millions of dollars in funding only to see their dreams become the next worldwide craze.
Did you major in a subject like English, history, or math in college, or do exceptionally well on the SAT exam? Do you have patience with children? If so, you likely have what you need to tutor kids in particular subjects. Seek out parents or teachers and let them know that you tutor students in a certain subject, and offer materials for them to share, and phone calls will often trickle in. You can get going locally or expand across the country by offering to tutor online.
Coming up with a good idea isn’t a static process; it involves a lot of trial and error. The best way I’ve found to generate ideas is to write and write often. Make lists every day of things that you might enjoy, and try to figure out how you could make money doing them. To help, here’s a list of 50 business ideas you can begin building as you continue plugging away at your 9-to-5.

A work from home job can be any position that does not require you to be in an office. There a wide range of work from home jobs. Some companies offer opportunities for employees in traditional roles to work remotely for all or some of their workweek. These jobs often use technology for meetings, assignments, and collaboration. This practice is called telecommuting. Other work from home opportunities may include jobs such as customer service representatives for which companies will hire remote workers, or part-time virtual assistants to manage work which does not require a physical presence in the office.
Owning a home staging business is an ideal full or part-time business for creative people looking for a business they can run from home or a small office. Due to the nature of the industry, owners of a home staging business need to have a flexible schedule. Late nights and working during the weekends is typical. Some of the work may involve moving heavy furniture and other physical activities.
From crafting to home repair to website design and more, if you've ever wanted to turn your hobby into a business and watch your passion generate cash, Running a Side Business is the book for you. Packed with tips, legal resources, start-up success stories and USA TODAY snapshots and infographics, you'll learn the life cycle of a business and get answers to important questions along the way. Find out how to:
You can sell everything that goes along with scrapbooking; including designs for different themes, stickers for added detail, scissors with a range of blade shapes, books to work in, and more. Make sure to clearly label and display pictures of the different supplies that you are selling. For an additional income source, consider offering guides and themed books.
My husband and I tutored as side hustles while we were dating and still in college. We both used to help kids with math on the weekends and evenings. Sometimes, we’d get paid as much as $40 per hour especially if we traveled to another town to help kids. This was a nice amount of income for college students, and it allowed us money to go on dates and even save up for a few trips. If you like teaching and helping others, this is a great, low-cost business to start.

Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist and you have the motivation to turn this business idea into a money-making enterprise.


Many people enjoy cooking outside on the grill, and love to have up-to-date, modern tools to use while doing it. You can be a one-stop shop for any accessory your customer might need- spatulas, knives, meat thermometers, grill brushes, tongs, etc. You can purchase these items from a wholesaler and sell them on your store. You will need to market your new business, so make sure to connect your Selz store to your social media, and anywhere else you have an online presence.

A sports photography business owner should find excitement in watching all types of sporting events. An owner should get a thrill from capturing awesome action shots that freeze important moments in sporting history. If you share these passions and would like to share your excitement with all those who see your photos, then starting a sports photography business is perfect for you.

But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you'll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp. Then once you're an expert at your craft, you can further your education and move up to offering  more hands-on experiences like design sprints for higher-value clients around the world.

Forget content marketing, video is the new king. Creative and video agencies charge gazillions of dollars for high-end production, so there’s a lot of demand for budget services. If you know your way around video editing software, this is a great opportunity to make some extra cash. Combine this skill with a voiceover service and you have the beginnings of a promising online venture. Many businesses and private clients are looking for video editors on freelance marketplaces, such as PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Freelancer, but you can also get extra exposure and generate profit by setting up a YouTube channel and creating some value-driven video content.


Great post, MM! Incredibly inspiring, I really only grasped the side hustle concept since starting my blog about 6 months ago, after reading sites like yours. Already, apart from my blog, I’ve put my personal recording studio into use and started a music production side hustle, and a friend and I have launched a boutique logo design start up, called BroGoLogo, as an quality alternative to commodity products/services that you mention in this post.
I have worked as an SEO and digital marketing consultant for over 10 years and booked side gigs ranging from $500 to over $100,000. This has been by far my most successful side hustle. And even though SEO has become more of a commodity service – it feels like everyone and their mother does SEO these days, I have built a referral network that continues to generate new clients.

Time to get scrappy! Start building it all out yourself with Wordpress or any other free software out there until you can get going and hire/partner with someone. Then you’ll not only have something to SHOW these guys, but it’ll also show *them* that you’re doing what it takes to make this vision of yours a reality and that you’re super passionate about it. Everyone has a million ideas out there and it would be awesome to have partners right fromt he start who believe in it and willing to jump in to build it for free/peanuts, but sadly it doesn’t usually work out that way. Gotta just get out there and start DOING IT and hack it together as you go… If it’s a good idea (and you’re truly passionate about it), you’ll find a way to make it work :)


We're all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea. Over time as you grow in your ability to leverage various social channels, you can add more service offerings like running high-return Facebook Ad campaigns or hosting lucrative sweepstakes competitions for the brands you want to work with.
Maybe you’ve always had a knack for repainting old thrift store furniture. Or maybe you’re a gifted musician who could coach other young aspiring talent. Maybe you have a specific education, training, experience or skill that you could develop into a freelance business such as financial planning or graphic design. Whatever your “thing” may be, there are plenty of good reasons to get going.

Whether in the classroom, at the grocery store, or on a job site, there’s always the potential that someone could need immediate, life saving medical assistance. Many SCA victims require defibrillation within 4 minutes of an attack, yet it takes emergency medical personnel 8-12 minutes to arrive after an emergency call is placed. Your assistance in training individuals and workplace teams will, undoubtedly, save someone’s life.
It’s also important that other people are already doing it because that means there’s a market for it. Your side hustle needs to be profitable – it has to make money. There is no point in starting a business that won’t be profitable. So, make sure there is a market for it. People mistakenly think that because an area already is filled with people making money that it’s too saturated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. That just means there’s money to be made in that space.
Whoa! This list is massive. There are so many awesome side hustle ideas out there. Thank you, Nick, for bringing so many to light! You have done a lot of research here and it shows! This is a topic I love to talk about myself. I even have a list of side hustles for millennials to start this weekend here: https://missmillmag.com/career-alternatives/7-easy-side-hustles-weekend/ I would love for you to check it out.
×