Ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur without leaving your day job? With the power of the internet, anyone can harness their passions and supplement their income with a side hustle. While you may intend your side hustle to be a flexible companion to your 9-5, don’t be surprised it turns into a full-time job in a few successful years.
The first step after deciding what side hustle you’ll take on is establishing yourself online. Make sure to create an eCommerce website and open social media accounts for your new business. Other than that, we’ll detail what else it takes to start a flourishing side-hustle below. (Don’t worry: If you need help picking what to do, we’ll give you 16 great other business ideas, too.):
16 side hustle ideas you can start immediately
The following 16 side hustle ideas allow you to be your own boss and bring in some extra income.
01. Become an influencer
Marketers increasingly look to partner with new influencers for their campaigns, so if you already have a prolific social media following, you can most likely profit from promoting various products. You don’t even need a massive following, these days. Depending on your niche, you can be considered a micro influencer with just a few thousand followers on Instagram or Twitter. This is one of the most popular digital nomad jobs nowadays.
02. Create a YouTube channel
YouTube is one of the only platforms with built-in monetization opportunities that can earn you significant income. If you want to learn how you can earn your way to success on YouTube, check out our article on how to make money on YouTube.
One of the great things about creating on this platform is that almost every content type—from funny cat videos and in-depth tutorials to current events and small business tips—has a built-in following.
03. Start your own podcast
Podcasts have become more popular over this past decade. In fact, over 40% of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month–a stat advertisers have not ignored.
While you’ll need to rent or purchase some good equipment, such as a microphone, computer and pop filter, hosting a podcast gives you the freedom to discuss whatever topic you want. And with the right marketing skills, you could quickly rise to the top of your chosen niche.
04. Start a dropshipping business
Print-on-demand and dropshipping let you sell products online without dealing with inventory or shipping. You can create your own online store and sell custom-designed t-shirts, posters and housewares worldwide with minimal financial risk.
05. Write a blog
Once you have an up-and-running blog with significant traffic, you can incorporate ads or promotions that can earn you money.
06. Become a tutor
Teaching is always an in-demand side hustle—and while tutoring for kids or teenagers can rake in excellent money, people of all ages want to learn new skills; whether becoming business savvy or learning how to create a business website.
07. Create an online course
By creating an entire online course, you can teach remotely, generate passive income and impart knowledge to those genuinely interested in learning.
Online courses require you to create a curriculum, record the lessons and answer student questions. People will pay for high-quality educational content, so the more effort and production value you put into your course, the more you can charge.
08. Make your own products
If you enjoy making your own crafts like t-shirts, soap, or jewelry, consider turning your hobby into a side business. You can share your craftsmanship with the world by selling your products from your own eCommerce website. Promote yourself on social media or even with email marketing services to gain customers and start earning income.
Learn more about starting your own small business with these specific guides:
09. Do freelance graphic design
Work as a freelance graphic designer and use your creativity to help companies—from large enterprises to solo entrepreneurs—mold their brand image.
You can make connections and promote yourself on social media, or turn to platforms like the Wix Marketplace to directly offer your services.
10. Be a freelance writer
If you have a unique way with words, consider taking on freelance writing assignments. You could ghostwrite for blogs, write copy for brochures, or tailor personalized content for marketing campaigns.
If you don’t have experience writing professionally and want to break into this field, you can create your own blog to attract potential customers and build up a portfolio.
11. Manage social media
Social media plays a vital role in modern-day marketing. If you love spending time on social media and engaging with followers, monetize your skills and help brands grow their presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If you’ve honed your skills and expertise, create an online portfolio to offer your professional services.
12. Become a driver for a rideshare app
If you have a car, drive for rideshare apps to start earning a little extra money. Even with a demanding schedule, you can always squeeze in a few hours in the evening or on the weekends.
Plus, when driving for a rideshare app, you don’t need to market your own mobile business. You simply need the company’s approval to start driving.
13. Be a delivery driver
Deliveries provide another dynamic option for side hustlers with a hectic schedule. You can deliver products for local businesses as an employee or contractor, or you can work for app-based delivery services like Postmates or GrubHub. Both options offer flexible hours and often allow you to use your own car or bike.
14. Walk dogs
No side business ideas list would be complete without one of the ultimate urban outdoor business ideas: walking dogs. If you live in a large city, you know that dogs need walking while their humans are off at work or doing their own side hustles.
This work can be extremely lucrative for dog-lovers. You can either start your own business or register as a dog walker in your city with apps like Wag! or Rover. You’ll only need to complete a brief orientation before you can choose your own hours and decide which owners and dogs you want to work with.
15. Become a local tour guide
If you live in a cool city or trendy neighborhood that attracts tourists, consider showing it off as a local tour guide. You’ll invest some time in learning the history and little known facts, and then, with the right marketing, people will come to you to learn it all.
You can also conduct food tours, giving visitors the unique opportunity to taste your city or region’s authentic dishes. Who doesn’t love to eat? Speak with owners from local restaurants, bakeries and butcher shops to see if they’ll create a food tour experience with you. All parties walk away with a win.
16. Become a personal trainer
Some people may need an extra push or some coaching to achieve their fitness goals. So, if you understand how to work out effectively and safely, you can become a personal trainer.
If you want to work in a gym, you’ll most likely need to become a registered trainer. But you can also lead classes outdoors or even in your home for friends, family and coworkers. This training requires limited equipment, which is great for your bottom line.
What you’ll need to start your side hustle
Side hustling is a way to independently earn money, but let’s be clear: Every new business requires an initial investment to get started. While some side hustles require more resources and planning to start than others, taking a measured approach in setting up your business will give you a leg up when you expand into a full-fledged business.
While every side hustle needs different equipment, everyone should know these basics before starting.
Supplies and software
First, consider what you’ll need to work. For example, if your side hustle will be online, you may need a new laptop or smartphone dedicated to your business. Many side hustles also require software or online tools, especially those in graphic design, writing or eCommerce.
Consider all your needed materials, such as office or shipping supplies, and keep a running equipment list so you can set yourself up for success.
Marketing and branding tools
Many businesses struggle to stand out from competitors and attract customers. That means you will need to appropriately market your side hustle.
Your online presence has an enormous impact on if and how people find your business. But before you can establish your business online, you’ll need to create a brand identity. This refers to all your business’s assets, including brand colors, typography, tone and voice.
Tip: Use a logo maker to design a brand-encapsulating logo for your website and social media channels. With Wix, you can even create social media graphics to help drive traffic from your social media profiles to your website.
Another key online marketing aspect is search engine optimization (SEO), or the practice of optimizing your content to appear higher within search results.
Tip: Optimize your SEO workflow with Wix. All sites are backed by a solid infrastructure that meets the needs of search engines, giving you a strong SEO foundation to compete in organic search.
When you start your new side hustle, you may want to neglect the more mundane tasks, such as accounting. But don’t ignore this area: You need organized finances to understand your cash flow and your business’s overall health.
Invest in accounting software to secure your financials, prepare taxes and create customized reports. If you need additional help, consider hiring an accountant.
Estimate your costs and potential income
Even the best side hustle ideas can end up in the red without a properly planned operating budget.
To get a complete picture of your budget, you’ll need to break down your expenses. This not only includes the cost of materials and equipment, but also your overhead costs, such as gas, phone bills and service subscriptions.
Then gauge your potential revenue. To calculate this, simply multiply the price you’ll charge for a product or service and multiply it by your expected number of transactions. Of course, you won’t know exactly how much work you’ll have. So come up with a realistic estimate to use as a starting point, then adjust when you have actual data.
Considerations before starting a side hustle
So, you’ve broken down more of the concrete tasks of starting a side hustle (e.g. supplies and expenses), but, you must still clear a few logistical matters before you start your new side hustle.
Make sure your employer allows it
Having a side hustle implies you’ll keep your day job. While some employers allow their employees to work other jobs or to start a new business on their own time, others won’t allow it.
Always check with human resources or your direct manager before starting your own side hustle—you don’t want to jeopardize your primary income source, after all.
Consider your schedule
Running a successful side hustle requires time. You’ll need to understand exactly how many hours you can invest. While some side hustles are incompatible with a 9-to-5 job, you can complete others in the evenings or on weekends.
Plan your taxes
Just like accounting, you don’t want tax planning to fall to the wayside. Make sure you track your expenses and properly document all transactions. Keep all receipts throughout the year as some expenses may also be tax-deductible.
If you earn more than $400 from your side hustle, you must pay self-employment taxes—and it’s likely you’ll need to file quarterly taxes in addition to yearly taxes. Income from self-employed individuals is not subject to withholding, so you must make payments throughout the year. For this reason, set aside a portion of your profits for tax purposes.
Independent contractors are considered self-employed individuals, however, the specific form you’ll need to file will vary depending on your business type. But if you run your side hustle on your own in addition to your regular job, you’ll most likely file as a sole proprietor.
Side hustle FAQ
How do I start a side hustle?
First you'll need to choose your idea, what service will you offer or product will you sell. Chances are you'll need a website to market and promote your idea. As with starting any business, its worth writing a business plan to outline your idea, how you plan to get it off the ground, and when you expect it to be profitable.
What are the most profitable side hustle ideas?
How profitable a side hustle is depends on a lot of factors, some of which you can control, others you may not be able to influence as much. However popular ideas with the potential of generating income include freelance writing, graphic design, online tutoring, and dropshipping.