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Best Side Hustles You Can Start to Earn Extra Money Today

How do you make extra money beyond your 9 to 5 job? There are many ways to do this if you have the time and energy to take on side hustles. Side hustles are jobs outside your regular one. It offers you the freedom to follow your passion, hone your entrepreneurial skills, and gain valuable experiences. Another great thing about side hustles is their flexibility because you can work on different side hustles whenever you can fit them and wherever you are.

Hi Fourward friends, it’s me, Joseline!

I’ll be sharing some of my expertise. My experience and training are in Marketing strategy and business development. I am the founder of BlkBld & Co. a boutique marketing agency that helps build, grow and scale black-owned businesses and have a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Human Resources from UW-Madison, and am currently earning my MBA specializing in Brand and Product management and entrepreneurship at UW-Madison. A few weeks ago we took a poll, and you all voted to hear from me about where to find a good side hustle!  So here is my own personal view on this matter. 

There is no shortage of side hustle ideas out there, and it might be overwhelming for you to choose the best ones for you. To make it easier, I have categorized them into five different types of side hustle you can try. If you’re still trying to figure out what kind of side hustle is best for you, then you might want to check this out.

1. On-Demand

On-demand side hustles are jobs that you are going to do whenever needed or required. It’s not a full-time job but more of an independent-contractor type. You’ll get tasks when there’s available work to do and then work on them. The on-demand side hustle is divided into three tiers, depending on flexibility, availability, and the kind of service you can offer.

Tier One

This is a do-the-job-at-your-own-time type of on-demand side hustle. You can do it whenever you’re free so flexibility is guaranteed. You can take on a job as a personal shopper through InstaCart, Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, TaskRabbit, and DoorDash that offer services through mobile apps and websites. InstaCart, for example, makes it possible for their customers to shop and order from their favorite stores.  

You can be a personal shopper through InstaCart, and you can do this after your 9 to 5 job or on weekends. If you have a car, you can be an Uber or Lyft driver during your free time. And for TaskRabbit and DoorDash, you can do various tasks for locals who need immediate help, such as moving, delivery, or handyman services.

Another side hustle you can do during your free time is producing an audiobook. ACX or Audiobook Creation Exchange is a platform where you can find work as a voice-over artist or audiobook narrator. All you have to do is make a profile at ACX for free, and you’re ready to go.

Tier Two

This type of on-demand is as-needed-basis, which means tasks’ availability depends on the demand. You can do jobs such as a house sitter, a nanny, or a personal shopper for this side hustle. You can check out registered platforms such as HouseSitter.com if you’re looking for work as a house sitter. It helps connect individuals to businesses or families looking for someone to do some house-sitting for them.

Care.com and Sittercity.com offer services like childcare, special needs care, senior care, pet care, and housekeeping. You can be a babysitter, nanny, pet sitter, or care provider by registering to their site. ThumbTack is another online service where customers can hire local professionals like a personal shopper, a handyman, or even a DJ. By making an account on their site, you can easily offer your services. You can also grab the opportunity to make extra income with the rise of Airbnb rentals. You can clean rental homes through Housekeeper.com

Tier Three

The third type of on-demand side hustle is still on an as-needed-basis but you need to be a bit more hands-on on it. Since last year most of us have been staying home, so why not rent out your car that you’re not using. You can go to Turo.com and post an ad. People can reach you through the app and rent your car.

Another great way to make an extra income is through Airbnb. Aside from additional income, it can cover the mortgage payments for you. But if you don’t have a house or a room available for rent, there are options for you to get in the Airbnb side hustle. You can do housekeeping like what has been discussed in Tier Two.

You can also manage someone’s property by answering inquiries through text messages or DMs for them. If you’re already a super host, why not take in another property and manage them under your account? 

And lastly, why not try dropshipping. It works through a retail-fulfillment system, meaning you don’t have to keep your products’ inventory. Instead, when someone purchases an item from you through the dropshipping app, a third party will prepare and ship it to the customer. All you need is a little imagination and creativity to make this work well for you.

Here’s another side hustle to try. You can check out Teespring.com, Printful.com, or Gelato.com if you want to design and sell custom-made shirts, sweaters, hats, accessories, and more. These sites allow you to print-on-demand; you don’t have to print a big batch like a traditional fashion retail store. The only challenge about this kind of side hustle is that you have to do your own marketing since the dropshipping store only caters to your products’ development and shipping.

2. Virtual Side Hustles

Virtual assistants and freelancers belong to this type of side hustle. Virtual side hustle tasks include administrative jobs such as managing sales calls, answering emails, social media management, and data entry. Business owners often employ virtual assistants or freelancers to help them establish their business. You may be tasked to do graphic design, write blogs or articles, or do some research.

Freelancer.com, Fiberr.com, and Upwork.com are online platforms for freelance services. They connect clients to those looking for online side hustles. Rates start at 5 dollars an hour, but you can increase that depending on your experience. 

If you’re a graphic designer, you can check out 99designs.com. It’s a platform where clients are looking for graphic designers to work with. You can custom design logos, and if the client likes them, then you’ll get paid. Aside from these sites, you can always advertise your services on social media or contact local businesses and ask how you can work together.

3. Physical Side Hustles

Physical side hustles are something you create; it’s either tangible or digital. If you are crafty, you can make hand-made items from small trinkets to big furniture and sell them on Etsy or Shopify. Create and sell digital arts and posters that people can download and print.

Can’t build items from scratch? Try flipping garage-sale finds. You can find a lot of inexpensive yet valuable things at thrift stores and junkyard sales. Flip or upscale these items, and you can post them on eBay or Craiglist for double or triple the price you paid.

Used items like furniture, household appliances, collectibles, or anything else you’re not using can be sold online and can be an additional income for you. You can even do it professionally for others and collect a small commission for each sale. Take quality photos and write a good description and you can earn extra profit.

Photography can also be a great way to earn cash. If you’ve taken a photography class or you have an eye for photography, then offer your service. Offer studio shoots, family shoots, headshots, and brand shoots. Photography is still an in-demand service. You can also add your photos to Stock images, Getty, Shutterstock, or SmugMug and provide marketers images they can use. 

Real estate is also under the physical side hustles. If you’re interested in real estate, you can try various avenues. You can flip homes, be a real estate agent, or engage in commercial real estate. You can check out biggerpockets.com for podcasts, tools, and resources regarding real estate.

4. Bundle Your Expertise

So, what expertise do you have that you can bundle? If your expertise is in mental health or marketing, you can have a side hustle as a consultant. Aside from that, you can write an ebook to generate passive income. Try publishing an ebook through platforms such as KDP and CreateSpace, both by Amazon. These platforms allow you to print-on-demand, which means you need not shell out money unless someone ordered it. 

You can also create an online course about your expertise through Udemy or Teachable and leverage some of your skills to create a healthy income. The time that it took you to learn those skills is valuable. You can charge people who want to learn what you know which you have gathered for many years.

Another side hustle is starting a blog or podcast. However, you won’t make money right away with a blog. If you start a blog and deliver enormous amounts of value, you could set yourself up with a platform where you can explore earning passive income. This is something you can quickly build on the side with just a few hours of work per week, but you do need to stay consistent and post great content regularly. By doing this, you are sure to get affiliate links from  Amazon or other marketing brands.

The same goes for being a personal trainer. Find clients to help achieve their weight loss or fitness goals by creating meal plans and constructing workout routines. Be a fitness guru, and you could make a decent income for your efforts.

No matter the niche, identify your expertise, areas you really shine in and figure out how you can package that into a business. 

5. MLM (Multi-Level Marketing)

MLM is also known as network marketing. Many people may not like MLM because of its controversial marketing approach. But when you look at it closely, even the corporate world is shaped like a pyramid, with the CEO at the top and the workforce at the bottom.

There are two kinds of MLMs, one which offers physical products and the other has social services. The whole point of MLM is recruiting, whether they have a physical product or not. You can try Mary Kay, Amway, BeachBody, and DoTerra.

Make it a stepping stone to learning the business. Know and understand what to do, what to avoid, learn how to create and motivate a team. MLMs can offer a lot of excellent experiences for you. I learned customer service, communication, and business strategies through my short time doing Mary Kay.   

These are just some of the best side hustles that you can try. You can choose which ones you think will work best for you. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a side hustle that you’ll love and make your extra money from. Be sure to explore and learn as much as you can so you can make the most out of these side hustles!

For the live discussion on this topic, check out the IG TV episode. 

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