Side hustle ideas are everywhere.
That’s the philosophy of Side Hustle School, a daily podcast that I started on January 1, 2017. My goal with the show is to tell stories of regular people—perhaps just like you—who’ve all found ways to create a new source of income without quitting their day jobs.
In most cases, these people start their side hustle using the skills they already have. And many times, the type of hustle they pursue makes a huge difference. The best side hustle ideas aren’t projects that steal your time and drain your energy, they’re assets that earn money for you while you sleep.
That’s how I think of side hustles: income-generating projects that will make your life better.
My book, Side Hustle, provides a step-by-step, 27-day plan of action to help you chart your own success. I hope that you’ll go through the plan of action together with me and lots of other people all over the world.
One thing I’ve learned since starting the podcast and meeting listeners in more than a dozen cities is that sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas. Well, this report contains 48 of them, all taken from popular episodes of the show.
Not every idea will work for you, of course—but some might. If you like what you read in the summary, visit the Side Hustle School site to listen to the episode that describes it in more detail. The show notes page for each episode usually includes links for further reading as well.
I hope to feature your story at some point. Until then, I’ll be cheering you on! Oh, and be sure to subscribe to the show … it’s also free. 🙂
- 01 RENT STROLLERS, CAR SEATS, AND OTHER “BABY GEAR” TO VISITORS.
When families travel, they can’t always bring everything they need with them. The crowdsharing service, Babierge, coordinates rentals between people who need equipment and independent agents who provide it for a fee.
- 02 PUT YOUR ART ON IPHONE CASES; GET PAID WHEN PEOPLE BUY IT.
If you’re an artist, you might be surprised to learn that people might want your work on their phone cases. Use Society6 to upload images—they’ll do the rest. The service is free, and whenever customers purchase, you’ll receive a commission.
- 03 TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO USE THEIR SMART DEVICES.
Let’s face it—with the introduction of a new Apple product twice a year, it can be hard to keep up with all of the latest systems. There are plenty of people out there who would like to learn how to use the full capabilities of their devices but have no idea how to get started. Teach them how by creating a series of online courses specializing on various techniques. The best part is that these courses can earn you a passive income while you’re sleeping!
- 04 RENT OUT YOUR CAR TO STRANGERS.
Using the carshare service Turo.com (or others), you can list your car for rent by the day, week, or month. For best results, list at a low price for the first few rentals then raise the price once you have good reviews.
- 05 MAKE MONEY LIVING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY!
Looking to move overseas? Research and document your journey so that you can get paid offering guidance to others looking to do something similar. Plus, the low startup and maintenance costs for this side hustle idea mean a higher rate of return for you!
- 06 START YOUR OWN PRIVATE WINE LABEL (IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK!).
Have you dreamed of launching your own wine label but never thought you could without having to manage your own full-fledged vineyard? Think again! The days of growing, fermenting, and even bottling your own wine are long gone, and several innovative private wine label companies have popped up. Some of these offer certain varietals bottled and ready to go, and some like Terravant will even go as far as helping you to design your label and build your brand for you!
- 07 CREATE A FUN NOVELTY ITEM.
Some of the most awesome ideas can come to you over drinks with friends, and—in some cases—those ideas have the potential to lead to a new source of income. Is there something that you’ve been sitting on that just may be crazy enough to work? In this episode, a group of friends decide to upgrade the small pockets on t-shirts so that they can double as puppy carriers and mobile drink coolers.
- 08 SELL RESUME AND COVER LETTER TEMPLATES.
Does building resumes and cover letters like a boss come to you with relative ease? Turn those skills into cold hard cash by creating resume and cover letter templates and selling them on a platform like Creative Market. Bonus: offer optional coaching services to go along with it, and create a “build your own” package with tiered pricing!
- 09 BECOME A NICHE PHOTOGRAPHER.
Turn your love of photography into a new stream of income. For best results, create a focus for your photography (e.g. – cosplay, pin-up, sports, etc.) instead of just marketing yourself as an all-purpose photographer. General photography is fine, but establishing yourself as an expert in a specific market makes you stand out much more.
- 10 GET ORDAINED ONLINE AND MAKE $300/CEREMONY.
Want to be a part of one of the best moments in a couple’s lives? Join the ranks of Conan O’Brien, Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, and Benedict Cumberbatch when you create a side hustle marketing your officiant services.
- 11 CREATE A SIDE HUSTLE THAT WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH YOUR DAY JOB.
A lot of people worry that starting a side hustle will have a negative effect on their full-time job. What if you created something that benefited your job? In this episode, a real estate consultant creates a side hustle curating art installations for her day job. It’s a win-win because both businesses benefit from the connection.
- 12 CREATE A UNIQUE DELIVERY SERVICE.
Part of what people love about big cities like New York City—the city that never sleeps—is that you can get pretty much anything you could possibly want at any hour of the day. Why not implement something similar in your own hometown? If you enjoy baking, consider launching your own cookie delivery side hustle! Cookies are universally loved, and who wouldn’t want a dozen freshly baked cookies delivered to their door at midnight without having to lift a finger?
- 13 TAKE UP TUTORING PART-TIME.
Do you have knowledge that others would benefit from? Become a tutor and help others learn how to master a new skill. While you can totally do something like this on your own, creating an account on a tutoring platform like Wyzant.com allows you to easily connect with potential clients because of their massive database.
- 14 MONETIZE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
Create videos on a topic of your choice in YouTube, and use Google AdSense to collect a small profit when your viewers click on the ads on the video page. This is also a good option if you’d like to get paid without charging your viewers directly.
- 15 MAKE $700/MONTH DROP-SHIPPING CRICKETS (OR SOMETHING ELSE…).
Do you want to start a side hustle but are limited on time and space? Give drop-shipping a try! Drop-shipping suppliers are in charge of keeping inventory, boxing, and shipping whatever product you’d like to sell, and you just have to worry about customer service and communication. For best results, pick a niche market like Jeff did with his cricket drop-shipping business in Ep. 46!
- 16 MAKE UPWARDS OF $17,000/MONTH SELLING T-SHIRTS.
Put your love of cats and memes to good use by creating t-shirt designs and using a platform like Merch by Amazon to handle the production, shipping, and customer service. The best part? They’ll do it all for you without any upfront costs! Ideal for those looking for a more passive, hands-off side hustle.
- 17 CREATE KEEPSAKES AND MEMENTOS FOR PARENTS.
If you enjoy arts and crafts, find a way to create something like baby or animal clay imprints for parents that they can cherish for years to come. For best results, go directly to the source by advertising at obstetrician offices and humane societies.
- 18 CREATE A MEMBERSHIP SITE (AWESOME MEMBERS ONLY JACKET NOT INCLUDED).
If you’re a teacher, why not use your powerhouse of knowledge to help other instructors by offering them online resources? You could start with a blog on WordPress and use a plugin like Memberful (try it for free!) to allow your followers to seamlessly sign up for a membership where they can access your online resources. Word of wisdom: offer free resources for everyone, and market the membership resources as “next-level.”
- 19 WRITE YOUR NOVEL OR GENRE FICTION SERIES.
In the technological era, it’s never been easier to write and self-publish your own writing. Whether your genre is Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, or Children’s books, Amazon offers an easy self-publishing option that takes 5 minutes to set up and gives you the option to earn royalty payments up to 70%.
- 20 CAPITALIZE ON A POP CULTURE TREND AND RAKE IN THE REWARDS.
Pretty much everyone in the modern world has heard of Harry Potter, Twilight, and 50 Shades of Grey—use that to your advantage! There are many ways you can capitalize on trends: you could write fan fiction, start a storefront selling branded merchandise, or create jewelry based on the series. The side hustle opportunities are literally endless!
- 21 USE YOUR MAD ‘DAY JOB’ SKILLS AFTER HOURS.
Do you have a marketable skill that you utilize at your day job? Maybe you’re an accountant, developer, advertiser, etc.—those are skills that not everyone has, and you can easily start a side hustle as a consultant offering your skills to others. Remember: there’s no school or degree for consulting. Be confident in your skills, and set yourself up as an expert in your field.
- 22 BECOME A BLOGGER! IT’S STILL POSSIBLE TO BUILD A FOLLOWING AND GET PAID.
You could definitely teach someone how to do something in person, but wouldn’t it be so much easier to create a resource blog and online courses that don’t require as much of your time? Purchase a domain for cheap, transfer it to a blogging platform of your choice (naturally, I’m a fan of WordPress), and start adding some quality content. There are plenty of ways to monetize your blog, but offering online courses is a very popular (and successful) model.
- 23 3 CREATE A LOCAL GUIDE FOR TOURISTS.
Do you live in an area visited by tourists? Find a way to utilize that local knowledge of yours! Create a tour guide highlighting the area with an easy price tag and keep it in a visible place. Level up: add in locals-only information about times to visit places, super-secret spots that aren’t well-known, or offer a guided tour for those looking for more direction.
- 24 BECOME A BRIDESMAID OR GROOMSMAN FOR HIRE.
Take advantage of all of those hours spent delivering the perfect toast and holding your friend’s train out of the dirt by offering up your services as a professional bridesmaid or groomsman on Craigslist.org.
- 25 MAKE MONEY PLANNING HIGH-END RETREATS.
If you enjoy event planning, try reaching out to friends and family who you think would be interested in upscale retreats. Many people would love to create these unique experiences for themselves, but they lack the time to put them together. See if you can create them yourself and charge a service fee for putting it all together.
- 26 CREATE YOUR OWN TOUR GUIDE SERVICE!
If you live in a popular city or town, why not start your own tour service? For the most part, this side hustle idea can be tackled with minimal costs, and the only real expense is time. Bonus: approach businesses like Airbnb to see if you can offer your services to guests staying with them.
- 27 BECOME AN AMAZON AFFILIATE AND BRING IN PASSIVE INCOME.
The Amazon Associates Program is one of the oldest and most common affiliate programs, and it takes about two minutes to sign up. The best part about taking on an affiliate side hustle is that you can bring in your side income without having to dedicate too much time to it! Start looking at products that you love and use on a daily basis—you may be surprised to find that you can be an affiliate for them!
- 28 HELP OTHERS ‘ADULT’ LIKE A BOSS!
Important life skills like money management and budgeting are rarely taught in high school and college. If you’ve got ‘adulting’ down to a science, you can help them! You could offer personal consulting sessions or set up online workshops to help people figure out life.
- 29 START YOUR OWN SUCCESSFUL ETSY SHOP!
There’s a reason why so many people use this e-commerce platform instead of (or in addition to) launching their own site. Not only is getting a storefront set up easy to do, you’ll also have the opportunity to get your products into the hands of Etsy’s massive client base. For best results, learn more about SEO so that you can drive as much traffic to your products as possible.
- 30 CREATE UNIQUE JEWELRY PIECES AND SELL THEM AT THE MARKET.
Who says a side hustle has to conflict with your weekly schedule? Become a weekend warrior selling your unique jewelry at the farmer’s market! Farmer’s Markets have become big business in the U.S., and most cities boast at least one or two markets. Check around to see what markets are available to you, and start making extra money on the weekends.
- 31 SET UP A WORM COMPOSTING BUSINESS.
If you care about sustainable practices and don’t consider yourself especially squeamish, try worm composting on for size! Not only would you be helping to remove what would traditionally go to waste in a landfill, you could turn around sell that nutrient-rich soil to gardening enthusiasts or connect with your local Meals on Wheels program to see if you could work out a system like Henry in the episode below.
- 32 BECOME A CHOCOLATIER.
Many U.S. states have Cottage Laws, where you can sell certain foods that you make in your home until you reach a certain income level. This makes it easy to launch your own chocolatier (or whatever else you like to make) side hustle within the comfort of your own home—no fancy production kitchen required!
- 33 CAPITALIZE ON UNIQUE FITNESS TRENDS.
Sticking with a cardio routine and schedule can be challenging to do, and many people get bored with more traditional cardio methods over time. Offering an interesting and fun alternative to your everyday cardio workout can put you on the fast track to success! Many studios do not operate at full capacity every day, and that’s time that you could be using to teach your unique cardio class. Once you have an idea, reach out to local fitness studios to see if they’d be open to letting you rent out one of their vacant spaces.
- 34 LAUNCH A RESEARCH-BASED RESOURCE SITE.
Do you enjoy researching and finding the best deals or services? There are many people out there who will gladly hand over money to someone who can minimize the time they have to spend online searching for it themselves. Maybe you can help people find the best deals on clothing, games, or even cheap plane flights like the side hustler we featured in Ep. 51 who started Scott’s Cheap Flights. Upgrade your service (and side income!) by including affiliate links and membership options!
- 35 MAKE AND SELL HEALTHY, NATURAL PET FOOD.
For many, pets are as much a part of the family as their children. If you’d like to help furry and feathered friends get on a more well-balanced diet, check out the guidelines for starting your own pet food or treat business!
- 36 START YOUR OWN KARAOKE LEAGUE!
Who doesn’t love to belt out their favorite tunes over beers with friends? If you’re part of the karaoke community in your city, get some people together and launch your very own karaoke league where you can create teams and battle it out on stage! Pro tip: reach out to local businesses to see if they’d like to join the league as part of a team-building exercise and increase morale.
- 37 TURN YOUR BASEMENT INTO AN EXERCISE STUDIO.
Don’t let your basement go to waste—turn it into a studio space and accept clients in your own home. If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting your own yoga, meditation, or pilates studio but have been wary of the fees associated with getting your own rental space, take a look at what kind of opportunities your own home could provide. This couple is able to bring in an additional $3,000 a month!
- 38 BEE A BEEKEEPING ADVOCATE.
It’s never been more important to save the bees, and you can help! Learn more about bees and beekeeping and help to provide your local community with a healthy, sustainable habitat for honeybees. This buzzworthy mission can promote urban beekeeping and education, all while bringing you some sweet cash.
- 39 IMPROVE AN EXISTING PRODUCT.
When you think about it, we use a ridiculous number of products over the course of a day—is there something you use on a daily (or even weekly) basis that could be improved? As Brandi said to her 10-year-old son after he complained about the current sports cups available to him, “If you don’t like something, quit complaining about it and come up with a solution!” There are plenty of resources available to someone looking to manufacture their own new and improved product, so if you’re frustrated, find a way to make it better! —>LISTEN TO THE EPISODE TO LEARN MORE.
- 40 LEARN HOW TO MAKE AND SELL CANDLES.
If you’re having a difficult time discovering a skill you already have, consider picking up an easy-to-learn skill like candle making. Not only are there plenty of free, online tutorials on sites like CandleScience, learning the basics can take as little as an hour, and the candle business has long-term appeal independent of trends.
- 41 BECOME AN ONLINE STORYTELLER.
If you love to write and are a natural storyteller, share your stories online in the form of a digital magazine. Not only are startup costs low, there are sponsorship services out there like Patreon that allow you to fund your writing through readers and allow you to focus on what you do best, writing!
- 42 JUMP ON THE MEAL PREPPING BANDWAGON!
You can’t visit Reddit or Instagram without coming across a multitude of meal prepping pictures, and if you love to cook and plan out recipes, this may just be the side hustle for you. Spend some time researching with Keyword Planner to see what words associated with meal prepping pop up the most in search engines and use those to streamline your SEO(Search Engine Optimization). If meal prepping isn’t your thing, use Google Trends to find the next big thing!
- 43 SNUGGLE FOR DOLLARS (IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK).
Since the rise of the technological era, it’s never been easier to connect with others at the touch of a button. Despite the advantages this provides, an increase in texting and socializing on social media may result in less substantial relationships, leaving users feeling isolated and disconnected. Snuggling services offer a new way to fill this void and respond to a growing need without judgment.
- 44 TURN A HOBBY INTO COLD, HARD CASH.
More than anything, side hustles should be fun and something you look forward to doing! The sky is the limit, so don’t settle for something that you don’t truly enjoy doing. In this episode, a social worker uses her jewelry making hobby to make extra money on the side and even lands her work in several major tv shows with the help of The Artisan Group. Note: if you’re not sure that your hobby would be profitable, test it on a starter site first!
- 45 HAVE LARGE COMPANIES SPONSOR YOUR CONTENT.
Did you know that there are companies out there that you could partner with who will pay you to create content they would want to pay for? In 2016, Preston from Millo booked around $75,000 from sponsorships working two hours a day on the commute to his day job! Not sure of where to start? He says he got his start the old fashioned way—cold calling.
- 46 TEACH SOMEONE A UNIQUE SKILL.
Everyone has something that they’re good at—share your special skillset with others. If master penmanship and calligraphy is where you excel, you’re in good company. Calligraphy has taken off on social media, and one of our featured side hustlers decided to teach this skill to others with workshops and specialized kits. What kind of skill can you pass on?
- 47 WRITE CURRICULUM AND LESSON PLANS FOR BUSY TEACHERS.
The platform TeachersPayTeachers.com hosts lesson plans, classroom exercises, and other resources for teachers. Prices are low (typically just a few dollars per item), but you can earn ongoing royalties whenever they sell. Some content providers earn $1,000 a month or more.
- 48 START A NICHE PODCAST.
Starting a podcast can be as easy as purchasing a $200 microphone and downloading free audio software. There are plenty of resources available to someone looking to get started. For example, John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire has broken down what you need to get started and even offers a free online course. For best results, find a niche topic that isn’t widely covered. There are plenty of general discussion podcasts out there, so find something that will allow you to stand out!
- 49 LAUNCH A SUBSCRIPTION BOX SERVICE.
Subscription boxes are very trendy right now, and the types of boxes are almost as numerous as the number of people who subscribe to them! If you’re not sure how to get started, there’s a handy guide from an e-commerce site called Cratejoy that essentially serves as a platform for all kinds of different boxes and makes it easy to sell your subscription box no matter where you are in the process. Pro tip: whatever you decide to focus your box on, make sure that it’s as niche as possible. In a world full of subscription boxes, you want yours to stand out from the rest!
- 50 CREATE A SERVICE THAT RENTS OUT HOMES FOR EVENTS.
s there an event in your city that happens frequently or maybe even every year? Create your own Airbnb style home rental service! Research the habits of others, what people are willing to pay for, and what side-bar business you might be able to create. Tens of thousands of people attend the Super Bowl every year, and more often than not, they spend lots of money having a good time, eating, drinking, and renting cars and hotel rooms. Since they’re in the habit of doing that anyway, why not jump in front of that wave and get paid?