*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Whether you're looking to supplement your 9-5 income or replace it entirely, this list is a great starting point!
For the past few years, I have been studying the numerous ways people are successfully making money outside of a 9-5 and decided to compile the most intriguing and lucrative side hustles, businesses, and income stream ideas here for you.
Top tips to get the most out of this list:
Make a list of the hustles that catch your interest and dive deeper into them.
If you're unfamiliar with an idea, don't dismiss it right away because you think you're unqualified. It may be much easier to learn than you think!
Pick one idea at a time to focus on and give it your all.
Utilize free resources like YouTube, Facebook groups, blogs, and forums to research ideas in-depth.
My goal is to help educate you on the endless amount of money-making options available so you can increase your income and design a life that provides more flexibility.
Have fun and good luck!
Table of Contents
Flip items for profit
Print on demand
Sell on Amazon
Become a virtual assistant
Make YouTube videos
Create your own Shopify store
Sell on Etsy
Make Skillshare classes
Teach English online
Create your own app
Write an e-book
Become a voiceover artist
Social media manager
Create an online course
Earn credit card reward points
Become a notary
Be a CitizenShipper
Be a search engine evaluator
Real estate investing
Social media influencer
Drive for Amazon Flex
Flip websites with Flippa
Deliver with Instacart/Doordash
Sell gigs on Fiverr/Upwork
Sell digital downloads
Sell stock photos
Become a wedding officiant
Email marketing specialist
Take part in market research on Usertesting
Be a brand ambassador
Community manager/online moderator
Buy and sell domains
Be a local tour guide
Advertise on your car
License stock music
Real estate wholesaling
Have (frequent) garage sales
Rent out used baby gear
Party planner/wedding organizer
Host trivia nights
Organize a digital bundle sale
Mobile oil change service
Flyer distribution service
Mobile laundry service
Start a local newsletter
Home inspection service
Start an estate sale company
Become a mobile mechanic
Write a niche newsletter
Customer service/tech support
Small business marketing
Reselling free items from Craigslist
Computer repair service
Mobile car washing service
Rent out your car
Rent out your attic or garage
Field agent task app
Get paid to pick up trash
Be a virtual babysitter
Plan a retreat
Sell at the farmer's market
Be a movie extra
Complete tasks on Task Rabbit
Host a space on Airbnb
Use cashback websites
Rent out your RV or camper
Resell vintage clothes
Do micro-tasks on Mechanical Turk
Become a personal shopper
Start a food truck
Give music lessons
Learn Facebook advertising
Start a paid private Facebook group
Become a nutritionist
Sell baked goods
Start a mystery objects shop
Be a speechwriter
Become an online researcher
Raw land flipping
3D Printing service
Create and sell handmade products
Become a presentation designer
Curate subscription boxes
Online personal trainer
Sell on OpenBazaar
Independant HR consultant
Freelance financial advisor
Start a lead generation business
Build a Chrome extension
Become a makeup artist
Virtual cooking classes
Create and sell recipes
White hat hacking
Become a business plan writer
Sell your study notes on Stuvia
Legal writing service
Online dating guru
Be a freelance illustrator
Create a membership site
Create and send press releases
Create an online directory
Online collections agent
Make a daily deals website
Buy at storage unit auctions
Produce online training events
Freelance genealogy researcher
Open an antique booth
Equipment rental business
Open a franchise
Start a laundromat
Open a car wash
Open a snack/coffee stall
Start a bed and breakfast
Start a printing business
Grow and sell plants
Create brand names on Squadhelp
Run a Christmas tree stand
Sell unwanted coupons online
Write a children's book
Sell experiences on Airbnb
Complete Craigslist gigs
1. Flip items for profit
Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?
People flip items for profit from thrift stores by purchasing undervalued items with potential resale value, either by fixing or restoring them, or reselling them as is, on platforms such as eBay, Amazon, or Facebook Marketplace.
For some serious inspiration that will get you excited about this hustle check out the Flea Market Flippers. A family who brings in thousands in profit each month from flipping and now they help others do the same! They have a free video series that will teach you a lot about getting started.
Watch my Flipping for Profit Tiktok Videos
Making money with a print-on-demand store involves creating and uploading designs onto a print-on-demand platform, such as Printify, Printful, or Teelaunch, connecting it to your website or Etsy shop, and earning profit on each item sold without having to hold inventory or handle printing and shipping yourself.
This is an income stream that I am very excited about and have been testing myself. I made $2162 profit in my first few months and can't wait to see how much I can scale it.
PS: Not very artistic? Me either. I use Creative Fabrica to find commercial-free designs and Canva to edit them.
3. Sell (books) on Amazon
The market for buying and selling used books on Amazon is thriving. In fact, I went from waiting tables to making $80,000 in my first year reselling books on Amazon, and it's a business that I still run today!
I got hooked in 2019 when I stumbled across the 100 Book Challenge and was introduced to the Book Flipper Community.
And if you're worried about having to learn how to recognize valuable books...don't. There's an app for that and my secret weapon: ScoutIQ
With it, you simply use your cell phone to scan a book's barcode and it tells you EXACTLY what it's worth on Amazon and if you should buy it or not.
If selling books doesn't entice you, that's fine! Amazon is a giant and there are dozens of other ways to make money on the platform.
Like reselling, wholesaling, and private label.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where an online store doesn't keep the products it sells in stock but instead partners with a supplier to ship products directly to customers on its behalf.
Websites like AutoDS and Shopify make it easier than ever to set up your own dropshipping store. I even built my own dropshipping stores a couple of years ago and they still make me money daily!
This low-risk business model lets you offer an endless array of products to your customers without buying any inventory upfront!
Here's how it works:
List products from a supplier on your online store.
When a customer orders it from your store, you pay your supplier for it at a wholesale price.
The supplier then ships it directly to your customer.
You profit from the difference between the wholesale and retail prices you set on your website.
There are lots of ways to generate income from a blog or website! Blogging can provide multiple streams of income through affiliate marketing, sponsored content, advertising, digital products, services, and merchandise.
Blogging is a great fit for those who are looking to build a personal brand, share their experiences and knowledge, or establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
No experience with web design? No problem. I built this website using Wix and it is great for beginners. It offers a drag-and-drop interface, high-quality templates, and user-friendly features so you can get your website up and running asap.
6. Become a virtual assistant
On average, virtual assistants in the United States charge anywhere from $15 to $75 per hour. However, some highly experienced virtual assistants with specialized skills may charge up to $100 an hour or more!
A virtual assistant (VA) is a self-employed professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely, typically via the internet.
They perform a variety of tasks, such as managing emails, scheduling appointments, conducting research, handling social media accounts, or offering customer support.
The best part is you don't need to have any specialized experience to start out. I recommend heading to YouTube for recommendations on how to get started as a beginner!
PS: One cool opportunity to specialize would be to become an influencers assistant
7. Make YouTube videos
The coolest part about YouTube is that ANYONE, regardless of age, can start a YouTube channel and be a success. If you are looking for a hustle that can make you serious money AND set you up for the future, you need to invest your time in YouTube.
On average YouTube pays out $18 for every 1000 views. It doesn’t sound like a lot at first but YouTube is a GOLDMINE.
Let me explain. Think of YouTube videos on your channel as assets.
If you do it right, once you create them they can bring in money forever.
That's passive income in your pocket.
Now, if every single video on your channel brings in a little cash each month, imagine how much of an impact 100 videos will make, or 1000.
Ads aren’t the only way YouTubers make money. Most profit is made through affiliate links, services/products sold, and sponsorships.
Like with everything on this list consistency is key, so don’t expect massive results right away. But trust me, keep making content and you'll build a successful income stream in no time.
For insight on which videos to make to get the most views, check out VidIQ. It's a must-have YouTube video optimization tool that provides features such as video keyword research, video SEO optimization, video tag generation, video competitor analysis, video monetization insights, and more.
8. Social media manager
The fact is, if you're here because you found me on Tiktok I think it's fair to assume you're already more social media savvy than the average person (or business). However, if you're looking to take your knowledge to the next level Skillshare and Udemy offer affordable and high-rated social media management courses.
Right now you can even sign up for Skillshare and get 30 days of classes for free!
If you're looking for a remote social media manager job Linkedin has a never-ending supply of job postings for just that!
But if you're looking to take things up a notch and increase your profits you can freelance as a social media manager and offer packages of services to clients for a set price.
This allows you to take on multiple clients each month and doesn't limit you to an hourly wage.
Try this, instead of simply applying to job postings for social media manager positions on Linkedin, email them and pitch your packaged services.
You can also find potential clients to pitch just by scrolling on Instagram and Tiktok.
Brand deals without the influencer part!
UGC (User-generated content) is BOOMING right now and for good reason. Companies are realizing that authentic photo and video content showcasing their products are what consumers want to see. Not overproduced advertisements.
In fact, a study by Crowdtap found that UGC generates 6.9 times higher engagement than traditional marketing content. Now brands are shifting some of their marketing budgets to pay ordinary people like you and me to create content for them.
Check out these video examples to see the types of videos brands are paying for.
Freelancers are popping up all over social media to offer their UGC creation services to brands. The average BASE rate for 1 UGC video is $150 and can go up considerably depending on what the brand is asking for.
It's not uncommon to see UGC creators making $10,000 a month and this business is still very new. There is plenty of space in this niche for you and you can learn a lot for free from UGC creator accounts on Tiktok.
As a newbie, consider listing your UGC services on Fiverr! You won't be able to charge as much as you would if you pitched brands directly but it'll still bring you in a decent amount.
My boyfriend has brought in an extra $3637 over the past 6 months just from a couple of UGC listings on Fiverr. Not bad!
Just like dropshipping but instead of selling products you're outsourcing services!
Here's how it works:
Identify the service you want to offer (e.g. digital marketing, content creation, website design, etc.)
Create a website offering your service (Shopify is perfect for this).
Market your business or pitch potential clients.
Once a service sells on your website, you don't do the work yourself. Instead, you outsource that work to a freelancer for less than what you sold it for.
The freelancer completes the work.
You approve it.
The client is happy and you pocket the profits!
PS: Get $20 to spend on your first freelancer just by signing up with Freelancer.com
11. Teach English (or any language) online
You can make money teaching English online by providing one-on-one lessons to students from around the world through platforms such as VIPKid, iTalki, or Preply.
General requirements to teach English online:
PC or laptop
Strong internet connection
Webcam and headset
*The coolest part? Being able to speak another language other than English is NOT required.
12. Virtual teaching/tutoring
Teaching virtual classes is a great fit for anyone with expertise in a subject matter, good communication skills, and a passion for teaching.
Virtual classes aren't limited to subjects like math, writing, and history either. This mom of 4 makes $4000 a month on Outschool teaching kids how to play video games!
Outschool is a highly rated and well-loved teaching platform for virtual classes that gives you the flexibility to set your own rates, make your own schedule, and share your knowledge with the world!
13. Create your own app
Have a great idea for an app? Maybe now is the time to bring that idea to life! Your app doesn't have to be fancy or the idea revolutionary. Even the most basic apps can be profitable if it helps solve a problem for your target audience.
Some common app monetization strategies include charging for downloads, offering in-app purchases, displaying ads, and providing premium features for a fee.
Don't worry about not being able to code. Lucky for us there are websites like appypie and bubble.io to help you create an app with no coding skills required.
Or do what I'd do. Hire a professional on Fiverr to create the app for you.
14. Write an e-book
Making money from writing an ebook involves creating valuable content, publishing it as an ebook, and promoting and selling it to a target audience through various online platforms like Amazon or even your own website.
E-books are an excellent way to monetize your knowledge due to their digital nature, allowing for ongoing sales from a one-time effort!
Here are some steps you can follow to pick an idea for an ebook:
Identify your area of expertise or interest and consider topics you are knowledgeable or passionate about.
Research the market to determine what problems or needs your target audience has that your ebook could address.
Validate your idea by conducting surveys, conducting market research, and gathering feedback from your target audience.
Pro tip: once you've written your ebook grab a premade ebook template from Etsy to format it in an aesthetic way.
15. Voiceover work
On average, beginner voiceover artists can expect to make anywhere from $50 to $200 per project. However, with experience and increased demand, you can potentially increase your rates over time.
Backstage is my #1 recommendation for finding voiceover gigs. They have an entire job board devoted to voiceover work that gets updated daily.
Here are some of the key requirements for becoming a voiceover artist:
A Unique Voice: A distinct, distinctive voice with good tone, pace, and inflection is essential for voiceover work.
Equipment: You will need a good quality microphone, a quiet recording space, and a computer with audio editing software.
Training: While some voiceover artists are self-taught, taking courses or workshops can help you develop your skills and learn industry standards.
If this sounds like fun, Skillshare has some in-depth classes taught by voiceover experts to teach you everything you need to know about getting started.
16. Make Skillshare classes
Speaking of Skillshare classes, why not teach one yourself? They can be an excellent way to earn passive income.
Skillshare is an online learning platform that allows individuals to share their skills and knowledge by creating and teaching classes. Skillshare classes can be a great way to earn passive income for a few reasons:
Large audience: Skillshare has a large and growing community of learners who are looking for new and diverse classes to take. This means that your class has the potential to reach a large audience.
Passive income: Once you create and publish your class, you can continue to earn money from it as long as it's enrolled by new students. This means that you can earn passive income from your work, even while you're not actively teaching or promoting it.
Flexibility: You can create classes on any topic that you're knowledgeable in, and you can choose when and how much time you want to invest in creating and promoting your classes.
18. Data entry
Is it boring? Yes. Will it make you money? Also yes.
I'd start by perusing the data entry positions available on Flexjobs. They are the only remote job site that I trust because they screen each job before it's posted. That way you don't waste your time with any remote job "scams".
There are also sites like Mechanical Turk if you're just looking to make money with data entry in your free time. It's not going to make you rich but hey! Money is money.
If it turns out you actually love data entry jobs consider listing your data entry services on Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and Upwork.
19. Take part in market research
FINALLY. An online survey website that is actually worth your time.
Websites like Respondent, and UserInterviews will pay good money for your opinion on website layouts, app ideas, and new products.
I’ve seen studies pay as much as $400 for an hour video call!
It's as easy as:
1. Create a free profile
2. Apply to participate in studies
3. Get paid
20. Sell on Etsy
There are an endless amount of opportunities on Etsy and no matter how much competition there is on the platform there are still ways to stand out and grow your shop. After all, Etsy has a staggering 96.3 million active buyers.
The KEY with Etsy is to fight the urge to only create products that you think are cool. If you go that route there is a very small chance that your Etsy shop will be successful. Simply because no one will be able to find your items in a sea of similar products.
BUT if you start by doing Etsy keyword research with tools like eRank you'll be able to see exactly what products buyers are searching for that have low competition. Then you focus your efforts on creating products to meet that demand.
I sell print-on-demand products on Etsy but you can also sell handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies.
If you decide to create handmade products to sell on Etsy consider also applying to sell on Amazon Handmade to reach a wider audience.
21. Earn credit card reward points
*Disclaimer: the majority of credit card reward programs are only available to people located in the United States. Please sign up responsibly.
I know this isn't technically a business idea, but reward points have gotten me so many free flights, hotels, and gift cards that I consider it one of my income streams.
Credit card rewards points are a loyalty program offered by credit card companies to incentivize card usage, where customers earn points for every dollar spent which can be redeemed for various benefits such as cashback, travel, merchandise, etc.
Now here's where people get confused. You're right, just accumulating points earned by making purchases won't get you very far (unless you're using your travel cards to make purchases for your dropshipping business like I do).
The real magic happens when you first sign up for the cards and receive a sign-up bonus. This can be in the form of free hotel stays, a free flight, or a large sum of points. It's important to note that these programs are always changing and one month a program like the Chase Ultimate Rewards Card could be offering a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points and the next month be offering 100,000.
Some people get REALLY serious about "travel hacking", which is accumulating points and maximizing their redemption so they get the most bang for their buck. You can use points for just about anything and when used wisely they can go a long way.
When I first signed up for my Marriott card I received enough points to get me 15 DAYS at a Bali Marriott. Granted, the points go even further in places like Bali but you get my point.
I talked to Megan from @topknotsandlayoners (AKA: the queen of travel reward points) and these are her top recommendations for travel cards that have the best perks and the most valuable reward points.
#2: Amex Business Platinum Card
#3: Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
PS: If you really want to dive deep into the world of points and miles check out The Points Guy.
22. Become a Notary
Specifically, a loan signing agent.
On average, a loan signing agent can make anywhere from $100 to $200 per signing.
Here's how it works:
A loan signing agent is a notary public who specializes in facilitating mortgage loan signings, ensuring all documents are signed, notarized, and returned to the lender in a timely manner to complete the loan process.
They verify the identity of the signers, explain loan documents, and ensure that all parties involved understand and agree to the terms of the loan.
Why this job is important:
People typically need a loan signing agent when they are closing on a mortgage loan, either for buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage. The loan signing agent acts as a neutral third party who verifies the identity of the borrower and witnesses their signature on the loan documents.
To become a loan signing agent, you typically need the following:
Notary Public Commission: You must become a notary public in your state, which typically requires passing a written exam and a background check.
Loan Signing Agent Training: Most states do not have specific requirements for loan signing agents, but it is recommended that you receive training in loan documentation and loan signing procedures.
Professional Certification: Some organizations offer certification programs for loan signing agents, which can demonstrate your expertise and professionalism to potential clients.
Equipment: You will need a printer, scanner, and fax machine, as well as a laptop or tablet, to complete loan signings electronically.
Insurance: Consider obtaining errors and omissions insurance to protect yourself against any mistakes or misunderstandings during loan signings.
Note: Requirements for loan signing agents may vary by state, so it is important to research the specific requirements in your state.
The Loan Signing System seems to be one of the most popular programs for learning how to start your own notary business. I had trouble finding anyone online who had negative things to say about it, which is honestly impressive for a course.
They even have a 5-star rating from the BBB and offer a money-back guarantee.
The main difference between this program and others is that they not only teach you how to conduct loan signing, but they also teach you how to effectively market your business so you can maximize your income. They offer a free training if you'd like to learn more.
23. Be a CitizenShipper
CitizenShipper is an online marketplace connecting people who need to ship goods with individuals willing to transport them.
Once registered, drivers receive notifications of shipments that match their criteria and can provide quotes to customers.
A common scenario is when someone needs their pet picked up and driven to them across state lines. As a driver, you can take also gigs to transport vehicles, household items, and boats!
24. Freelance writing
On average, freelance writers in the United States earn around $20-$50 per hour. However, the top-earning freelance writers can earn several thousand dollars per project.
Here are some steps to help you get started as a freelance writer:
Develop your writing skills: Take writing courses, read books, and practice writing regularly to improve your writing skills and develop your style.
Build your portfolio: Create a portfolio of your best work to showcase your skills to potential clients.
Network and market yourself: Join online writing communities, attend events, and use social media to network and promote yourself.
Find clients: Look for writing opportunities on freelance job platforms, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. You can also reach out to businesses and websites directly and offer your services.
Set your rates and negotiate: Determine how much you want to earn per hour or per project, and be confident in negotiating your rates with clients.
Starting as a freelance writer can be challenging, but by developing your skills, building your portfolio, marketing yourself, and finding clients, you can launch a successful freelance writing career.
PS: Getting started is the hardest part. The more you focus on building relationships with clients the easier it will be to secure projects and get repeat buyers!
25. Social media influencer
Love 'em or hate 'em, there is no question that influencing can bring in the big bucks.
Remember when it was revealed that Alix Earle (4 mil followers on Tiktok) earns $40,000-$70,000 per post?
Regardless of how you feel about "influencers", content creation can be extremely rewarding and an effective way to make a living from your passion. However, It does involve a lot more work than most people think and can sometimes take years to monetize.
But you're in luck, if this is something you're interested in and you're willing to give it your all, now is the PERFECT time to start posting consistently on platforms like Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest. Heck, there are even LinkedIn content creators with huge followings.
To get started on your influencer journey, you can follow these steps:
Choose a niche: Choose an area of interest or expertise that you would like to provide value on and create content around it.
Build your brand: Create a consistent image and message across your social media profiles.
Grow your audience: Share high-quality content regularly, engage with your followers, and participate in online communities related to your niche.
Collaborate with others: Partner with brands and other influencers in your niche to reach new audiences and gain exposure.