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20 side business ideas to help you make extra cash

side business ideas

Starting a side business can be an effective way to earn extra income. Call it the passion economy or the gig economy—the bottom line is that there is money to be made in taking up work outside of your main source of income.

Choosing the right niche to start your endeavor is step one. After this, you’ll need a sharp business website that attracts new clients. Need some help in figuring out how to come up with a business idea? Here are 20 ways to help turn your side business ideas into big revenues.

20 side business ideas to help you make extra cash

01. Freelance writing or content creation

There has never been more content out there. The question is how to make it pay off for you. Freelance writing is an excellent side business idea if you have a background in content or editorial. By leveraging your existing writing skills and areas of expertise, you can enjoy a flexible side gig that can be managed from just about anywhere.

There are various job opportunities available for freelance writers, including copywriting, blogging, editing, ghostwriting and article writing. You can start by pitching stories to the publication of your choosing or keeping an eye on freelance writing job boards such as Pro Blogger.

Creating a freelance website can help you get your side business off the ground faster and more effectively. Use your website to promote your services, showcase your work and secure clients. Take some time to learn how to make money with AI too, using today's AI tools to scale and diversify your work.

side business ideas - freelance writing website

02. Social media management

It’s a social-media-run world, and we’re just living in it. Almost every business out there has a social media presence, but business owners often lack the time or know-how to get the most out of their social accounts. That’s all the more true for long-running small businesses trying to keep up with the digital age. That’s where you come in.

Becoming a social media manager, consultant or strategist is one of the best small side businesses ideas. It’s not just about tweeting hot takes, though. A successful social media manager will develop a social media strategy, create content (from text to images and video), create and manage content calendars, handle community engagement (engaging with followers, answering messages and comments) and keep a close eye on analytics. You’ll also need to stay in-the-know about new social channels, like Meta’s Threads.

side business idea - social media manager

03. Graphic design and branding

Do you have a sharp aesthetic sense? Graphic design could be a great way to earn some extra cash. Graphic designers have a wide range of opportunities available to them, including creating logos, branding materials and marketing collateral for businesses of all sizes. They can also explore opportunities in web design, UI/UX design and social media graphics, helping clients establish a strong online presence.

If you need to hone your design skills, there are in-person or online design courses that can give you that extra edge. And once you’re ready, you’ll want to post your portfolio online to show off your skills and attract new leads. Take a look at other designers’ sites—like Eksdesigns, for example—to let the inspiration flow.

Create a portfolio to showcase your graphic design work and source potential customers.

side business ideas - graphic design portfolio

04. Tutoring or teaching online courses

If you love teaching or have specialized knowledge on a given topic, selling online courses can be a fantastic way to augment your income. You can sell your course through your Wix site, or check out a number of easy-to-use learning marketplaces.

One-on-one video tutoring is great for giving focused attention to a single student or small group. For wider reach, Udemy allows instructors to build online courses on topics as varied as business, the arts, health and fitness, language and technology. MasterClass is another popular site where learners can study acting with Natalie Portman, tennis with Serena Williams or conservation with Jane Goodall. Who says you’re not worthy of joining that faculty list?

Learn more about how to start a tutoring business, to get your teaching idea off the ground. Then get started with these education website templates.

side business ideas - tutoring

05. Professional photography

Everyone’s a photographer in some regard these days, what with our smartphones always at the ready. But a qualified photographer still brings a certain expertise to the frame, and that expertise is what people and businesses are willing to pay for.

Photographer Will Pohlman (a.k.a. Will Photo) has carved out a niche with his particular side business: still and video shots of pricey sports cars and motorcycles. His sleek, image-heavy and text-light Wix site showcases his work without having to explain too much. As our English composition teachers used to say: show, don’t tell.

Photographs can also be sold as digital products, eliminating the need for shipping and other considerations.

Create a photography website with Wix and choose from a selection of photography templates to sell your photos.

Will Photo's car photography website

06. Selling handmade crafts and products

Handmade crafts are a booming business, and if you’re the crafty type—painting, knitting, woodworking, etc.—there are ways to cash in online. Selling arts, crafts and paintings can be a rewarding side business idea to do from home.

To take your first steps towards craft-selling mastery, start by deciding what to craft, who your target audience should be and then develop your brand. Once you’re ready, you can sell online directly from your Wix website (you can even create a Facebook Shop with Wix), from an eCommerce marketplace like Etsy or via freelance gig sites like Fiverr. To maximize profits, it is essential to focus on creating unique, high-quality products that stand out in the market and fall under a certain niche like eco-friendly products. Additionally, leveraging social media marketing will help you reach a wider audience. This can also work well as a small town business idea.

side business ideas - crafts

07. Event planning and coordination

Everyone loves an event to remember, and someone needs to plan them. If you’re known for throwing an unforgettable party, this could be a lucrative side gig opportunity for you.

A freelance event planner’s role is to prepare and plan everything needed for weddings, corporate conferences, birthday parties and more without a hitch. That means understanding your client’s goals, creating and managing a budget, and researching venues and vendors. It also means keeping multiple balls in the air during the event. For inspiration, check out K Hazel Designs’ elegant website featuring wedding, party and corporate event planning services.

Creating an event website can help get your event planning idea started. Choose from a selection of event website templates for inspiration.

side business ideas - event planning

08. Rental services for equipment, party supplies or furniture

Newborn? New job? New marriage? Parties are an evergreen industry because there’s always something to celebrate. Parties also need supplies and therefore suppliers—which is where you come in.

From bounce houses to centerpieces, chairs, AV equipment and photobooths, renting out supplies, furniture or equipment for events is a great way to make money on the side. There may be some initial upfront cost if you don’t already own these items, but once you get started, this business idea keeps the party going and the money coming.

09. Home or office organizing

Organizational skills are priceless, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a price on them. Become a professional home organizer and turn your passion for order into a money-maker.

You can help clients organize and label their items, stow them away in closets or storage spaces, form long-term plans for staying organized and facilitate the disposal or downsizing of unnecessary items. Have we mentioned that less is more?

10. Pet sitting and dog walking

Pet sitting is arguably one of the most fun ways to start a business. Do it right and it won’t even feel like work. Who doesn’t love the company of a pup, a cat or an adorable goldfish?

Starting a pet training business requires a certain amount of initial training for us humans, but the investment can pay off once customers start knocking on your virtual door. If you aren’t sure how to kick off this online business idea, offer your services on a booking site like Rover to build your client base. Before you know it, you’ll be launching your own website, much like Better Pet Sitter—a Phoenix-area service offering pet sitting, training, walking and grooming.

Looking to start a dog walking business? Check out our guide.

The Better Pet Sitter website

11. House sitting

What’s an even easier way to make money than keeping a grumpy cat company? Sitting in someone else’s cozy home and watering the odd plant.

For example, Montana-based Pets & Plants not only offers pet sitting, dog walking and overnight pet care, but also house sitting to water those finicky ferns or pick up the mail. In addition, owner Mary Augustine runs a blog to make her site more personal and engaging.

12. Translation services

Hola, bonjour, konnichiwa and ni hao. No matter how you came to learn it, a foreign language is a highly marketable skill in this globalized world. Sites like Upwork are excellent forums to hawk your linguistic wares, and where you can choose to charge either per word or per hour of work required.

Language skills matched with specialized knowledge can be lucrative as well (think: English-Chinese translator who understands civil engineering), as long as you can ensure that those specialized clients can find you.

13. Baking and selling homemade goods

It’s called the passion economy for a reason. Let your inner Julia Child run free while making some extra dollars on the side.

With low overhead costs and the ability to start small, you can set your own prices, experiment with recipes and build a loyal customer base with the help of a website (check out these bakery website templates for inspiration) or social media (or even consider a setting up a pop-up shop). Whether it's cookies, cakes or artisan bread, the aroma of fresh-baked goods combined with the satisfaction of seeing people enjoy your creations makes this a sweet side hustle worth pursuing. Learn more about how to start a baking business or check out these food business ideas for more inspiration.

You can also explore these eCommerce business ideas if you want to learn more about opening a store. Or expand your offering—curate and sell subscription boxes of all your baked goods.

side business ideas - cooking and baking

14. Landscaping and gardening

What’s better than making money in your side hustle? Making money in your side hustle while basking in the great outdoors. One idea is to start a landscaping business. Creating a website for your side business? Choose from these gardening and farming templates for inspiration.

For those who prefer getting their thumbs green over scrolling through social feeds, consider some outdoor business ideas. Landscaping, gardening and lawn care are lucrative side gig options for anyone with a skill or passion for plants. Those brand new to landscaping may wish to consider an apprenticeship first—others may choose to work for a stint at an existing landscaping business before striking out on their own.

side business ideas - landscaping

15. Fitness coaching, personal training, yoga and wellness

“Early to bed, early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise,” Benjamin Franklin supposedly said. These days, investing time and energy in our physical and mental wellbeing can truly help make us healthy and wise—and helping others do the same can make us wealthy, too.

If you have experience or passion in the fitness space, get inspired by businesses like TKO Yoga & Fitness, Power of 3 Wellness and the House of Pilates, all of which demonstrate how to offer customers that personal attention that they are willing to pay for. Ben Franklin, ever the side-hustler, would approve.

Get started with the Wix fitness solution to get your fitness side business idea off the ground.

TKO Yoga & Fitness website

16. Personal styling and fashion consulting

Are you the type whose friends always ask for fashion advice? Now’s the time to stop giving out that advice for free.

There is no need for a college degree or extensive fashion experience to become an online personal stylist (also known as a virtual stylist). A sharp eye, impeccable taste and a finger on the fashion pulse will suffice. You’ll want to build your customer base by networking with industry professionals, offering pro bono services to gain experience and creating a professional portfolio showcasing your work.

17. Blogging

You’ve got opinions. We know; so do we. Why not turn them into a source of cold, hard cash?

The variety of blogs is limited only by the variety of things people care about. There are food blogs, tech blogs, money blogs and blog blogs (that is, blogs about blogging). And while they can take a while to become profitable (that tends to happen only when a blog reaches a critical mass of followers), they have become reliably steady side businesses for people all over the world. Linking to affiliate products, partnering with brands and running ads are some ways to hit that blogging bonanza.

Start a blog with the Wix blog maker and reach a larger audience. They work out how to make money from your blogging while monetizing your content.

Learn more: How to start a blog

side business ideas - blogging

18. Social media influencing

It’s true that everyone wants to be an influencer these days, but it’s not all about the fame. Even those with a comparatively modest following in a specific area—call them micro-influencers or nano-influencers—can translate that clout into income on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

According to Sarah Adam, Head of Marketing Partnerships and Influencer Marketing at Wix Studio,

"New influencers are joining the industry all the time, alongside brands, agencies and tech companies trying to improve the way to work within the industry. I believe the way in which brands work with influencers today is going to change, and evolve for the better in the future. As long as brands can adjust to that and ride that wave, they will be doing amazing things."

There are manifold ways to turn that hard-earned influence into inflow. Once you build a following, try your hand at offering advertisements, premium subscriptions, sponsored content or brand partnerships. You could also join affiliate networks or programs (like the Wix Affiliate Program) to get started earning right away.

19. Car washing and detailing

There are an estimated 278 million registered cars in the United States alone, and someone needs to keep them shiny and fresh.

The old “wash and wax” is just the beginning. From interior to exterior, floor mats to rims, a beloved ride needs love and attention to stay ship-shape. Check out businesses like Hiller Auto Detailing and Paramount Detail for ideas on turning your geeky gearhead know-how into a tidy payday.

Want to start a car wash business? Learn more from our complete guide.

Hiller Auto Detailing website

20. Airbnb hosting or vacation rental management

Renting out a property can be more than a side business. Among the many passive income ideas out there, this is the one perhaps most likely to turn into a main source of income.

Even if you don’t have the money to invest in an Airbnb property, you can rent out part of your own home—perhaps a spare bedroom, driveway or even a backyard shed. It’s a low-effort way to earn cash from a space you already have and there are plenty of online platforms to connect you with customers. For starters, check out Spacer to rent out your parking space, or Neighbor to hire out your driveway. Also consider from a range of rental business ideas.

Side business ideas FAQ

What are the top side business ideas in 2024?

Creative industries:

  • Freelance writing and editing

  • Graphic design and web development

  • Social media management

  • Virtual assistant services

  • Teaching online courses or tutoring

  • Event planning and catering

  • Handyman or home improvement services

Tech and eCommerce:

  • Building and selling online courses

  • Affiliate marketing

  • Dropshipping or reselling products

  • Creating and selling digital products

  • Developing mobile apps or games

  • Offering subscription boxes

Health and wellness:

  • Online fitness coaching

  • Nutritionist or health counseling

  • Yoga or meditation instruction

  • Life coaching

  • Massage therapy

Which side businesses make the most money?

Explore more business ideas

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