What Is a Side Gig? 26 Side Hustles to Help You Earn Extra Cash
By: Dannie Phan | September 2nd, 2020
Are you trying to put together an emergency fund, save for retirement, or save for an exciting holiday? How do you make extra money to move towards those goals more quickly? You could take on a part-time job. Or you could start a side gig. What is a side gig, you ask? We’ll explain all and list our favorite ways for you to make money on the side.
What Does Side Gig Mean?
When your day job isn’t hacking it for you financially and your boss isn’t ready to give you a raise, a side gig, or side hustle, is a job that you perform over and above your full-time job. Starting a side gig could be the perfect strategy for making extra cash in your own time, on your own terms.
The side gig economy is really gathering momentum in the United States. In 2019, almost half of working-class Americans had a side hustle. Most of these are millennials and younger. However, side hustlers occur across the age spectrum.
Some people take on just one side gig, while others take on a couple of different side jobs at a time. Depending on the kind of work, some side gigs are seasonal. Others you can pursue year-round.
Is A Side Gig A Legit Way to Make Money?
Absolutely. Side hustles are a legitimate way to make an extra income. How much money you make is up to you and the side gig that you choose. As with everything in life, what you put in is what you get out!
What Are Some Good Work From Home Side Gigs?
The Corona Virus has changed life as we know it. According to studies done by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University, 42% of Americans now work from home. With more of us spending more time at home, it is good to know that there are a bunch of side jobs that you can do from the comfort of your own space.
1. Taking Surveys
Get paid to give your opinion. Businesses need information about how their products or services are received in the marketplace. The most affordable way for them to collect a great deal of information is by asking consumers to complete surveys. Paid online surveys can reach a wide group of people in a reasonably short space of time. Survey companies such as Swagbucks link the retailers with the consumers.
Taking paid online surveys is not going to make you rich in a second, but it is an easy way to make a few dollars that can help to chip away at that student loan. Take some time to find the good ones and sign up for a few at a time. Some good ones are Swagbucks, MyPoints, Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, Vindale Research, Pinecone Research, and LifePoints.
2. Online Tutor
With the rapid pace at which technology is progressing, more and more people are looking to learn online. If you love teaching kids, you could make some side income by signing up with online tutoring companies such as TutorMe and TutorVista.
If you want flexibility and have a bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification, you could sign up with Education First. This tutoring company offers up to $20 per hour as well as extra pay during peak hours, and bonuses for teaching more classes.
If you don’t have any teaching expertise, you can earn $15- $22 per hour teaching foreign language students simple conversational English with a platform like VIPKid.
SayABC and Qkids are two more options for work-at-home tutors to teach English as a second language.
3. Chat Agent
Ever notice that chatbot icon that usually pops on the bottom right of your screen? Well, most often that chatbot represents a real live human being on the other end! As online activity increases, there is more and more emphasis on the efficacy of companies’ websites. And therewith the need for chat agents. Depending on the website, agents with different areas of expertise are required. For example, general Q&A, product inquiries, tech support.
If you think that this could be a great side hustle for you, you can apply to companies like The Chat Shop, Apple.com, and SiteStaff.
4. Social Media Manager
If you love social media and business strategy, this could be the perfect side hustle for you! A social media manager is someone that manages the various social media channels of a company. For example, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Not to mention, their website. A social media consultant will do all the background work of creating strategies for marketing campaigns and promotions. They will also plan and/or facilitate the creation of marketing materials and other advertising material.
Sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer will list projects like these for freelancers.
5. Customer Services or Sales Representative
If you have a friendly disposition and love talking to people, consider becoming a Customer Service agent. Companies like Aetna, Arise, Concentrix, DealDash, and Liveops offer loads of freelance sales representative opportunities for people who want to work from home.
6. Editor or Proofreader
If you enjoy language and have a keen eye for detail, this side gig could serve you well. The role of a proofreader is to perfect documents by reading through them, finding the errors, and fixing them. Companies such as Kibin, ProofreadingServices.com, and Scribendi offer freelance proofreading and editing jobs.
The Best Side Hustles for Passive Income
The best kind of income is passive income. Money that keeps coming into your account with little exertion from your side. Most of these types of side gigs come with a little bit of input at the beginning. But once you have everything in place, you could earn a tidy sum in the form of passive income.
If you have a space available that someone else could make use of, why not rent it out. Sign up with Airbnb and list your extra bedroom. This is a great way to make passive income!
2. E-commerce Store Owner
Flexible hours plus passive income. This side gig is great for a work-at-home mom. If you enjoy being creative, you can open an Etsy store to sell your one-of-a-kind wares. This is a great way to make money from your hobby!
3. Web Searcher
Surfing the internet is something we all do almost every day. Why not get paid for it? Sign up with Swagbucks or InboxDollars and set your default search engine to theirs. You will earn points every time that you search the web. Swap your points for gift cards. Free money!
4. Invest in Real Estate Online
If you’re not up for the hassles of being a landlord just yet, or quite simply, just don’t have the capital to buy a rental property, there is a solution. With a minimum investment of $500, you can get started with a Fundrise Starter Portfolio. Your money is split into two portfolios that support private real estate in the U.S.
5. Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending websites connect entrepreneurs and new business owners with people who have some spare cash to invest in their success. Borrowers loan money from these lenders, or investors, instead of traditional financial institutions. The P2P lending website will determine the rates and terms of each transaction. Investors make interest on the amount that is borrowed as a traditional bank would. Peerform, Upstart, and Lending Club are some of the P2P lending sites that you can look into.
What Side Job Makes the Most Money?
The need for bookkeepers and accountants is ever-growing. If you have knowledge or experience in this field, why not make a few extra dollars as a freelance bookkeeper. If you are not a qualified bookkeeper, there are many different courses that you can take to familiarize yourself with how it all works.
With your own bookkeeping business, you could potentially earn in the region of $50 000 per year!
2. Virtual Assistant
With the ever-growing number of solo entrepreneurs, there will be an increasing need for virtual assistants. The definition of a virtual assistant is someone that performs tasks from a distance, (i.e. virtually) to support a business owner. These tasks are to help the business owner maintain and/or grow their business. The tasks can include any number of things, answering emails, schedule planning, administrative tasks, writing, marketing, customer service, etc. A beginner virtual assistant can earn around $35 – $50 per hour.
3. SEO Consultant
In the world of website creation and online marketing, SEO is everything. Every business wants their website to rank highly in search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) consultants help businesses to improve their website’s SEO scores. It’s a fascinating world, but it can get quite technical. If you want to brush up on the nitty-gritty, courses are available online. You don’t need any prior expertise and can earn up to $75 per hour.
4. Freelance Writing
If words and grammar are your jam, this side hustle could be the one for you. Every day hundreds of jobs are posted online for freelance writers. Depending on how much time you can spare and the quality of your work, you could be earning upwards of $2000 per month.
Blogging is also a great side hustle. You can also earn a fantastic side income by starting your own blog and monetizing the adverts or getting paid for marketing other people’s products.
5. Medical Coder
Medical coding jobs are specific to the know-how that they require. However, they do pay very well. If you have the right expertise and proper certification, this would be a great way to make extra money. Companies that offer work-at-home medical coding jobs include, Aviacode, nThryve, and The Coding Network.
6. Amazon Seller
Starting your own FBA Amazon business is a great way to earn lots of dollars. This side hustle could even turn into a booming business. Have a look on the internet for free courses on how to start your own Amazon business.
Side Jobs That You Can Start with Minimal Skills
For this side hustle, all that you need is a car or motorbike, and a can-do attitude! To get paid for delivering food, sign up with legitimate, paying companies such as Postmates, UberEats, and Instacart. The great thing about this second job is that you get to determine the hours. So, you can juggle it with your day job. Also, in densely populated cities like New York, you can even do food deliveries with a bicycle, or on foot. Another bonus is that you get paid weekly. This is a great choice if you are strapped for cash.
2. Rent Out Your Car
If there are times when you are not using your car, why not make some money from it? Turo is like Airbnb for rental cars. It’s super easy. Sign up with Turo and list your car’s details. You can set your own rate and mileage or you can let Turo set a market-appropriate daily price for you.
You can earn between 65% and 85% of the trip fee. You will be paid via direct deposit within five days.
All Turo customers are pre-screened. You have 24/7 support and $1M in liability insurance. You don’t even have to do a personal handover. With the Turo Go app, you can unlock your car for your guests. You can also use the app to track mileage.
3. Ride Share Driver
While we are on the topic of cars. Become an Uber or Lyft driver to earn money in your free time.
Flipping pancakes? Yes, you could make some extra cash selling pancakes out of a food truck. But we mean a different kind of flipping. The business definition of flipping is to purchase something with the intent to sell it at a higher price after only a short holding period. These days people are flipping anything from thrift store items and websites to cars and houses!
5. Mystery Shopper
Shopping while earning money at the same time? Yes please! Mystery shopping can become a well-paying side hustle if you choose the right companies to work with. For example, BestMark, Market Force, and Secret Shopper.
6. Childcare Provider
Do you have bundles of energy and love spending time with kids? Consider becoming a childcare provider or babysitter. Most babysitting jobs are on weekends and after hours so this side gig can work well in conjunction with a traditional 9-5 job.
7. Dog-walking or Pet-sitting
If you love animals, why not do a side business of spending time with them. You can earn extra income for doing anything from pet grooming, to dog-walking, to pet-sitting for people when they go on vacation.
If you have a good size backyard, you could even hire out this space for people to come and let their pooches hang out and stretch their legs for a day or an afternoon.
8. Tour Guide
This is a super fun side business! Do you love exploring the hidden gems in your area? Make extra money while getting to meet new people and show them around your city.
Legitimate cash back sites such as Shoply, MyPoints, and Swagbucks have grown tremendously in the past few years. Sign up with these sites for your online shopping and earn cash back on most of your purchases. Easy money!
What are the Best Side Hustles for 2020?
Before you dive headlong into a new freelancing career or take on a second job, take some to think about your financial goals and the motivation for earning extra cash. If you are in a hurry to make good on some credit card debt, then you will want to choose a side hustle with quick turnaround time in terms of financial gain. Something like house-sitting or becoming an Uber driver. However, if you aim to create a passive income stream, then you can look to investing in rental properties or peer-to-peer lending.
Whatever you decide on, it should be something that works for you and fits in with your lifestyle.
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