I have noticed a pattern, when I search the web for best side hustles, best side gigs, best side jobs, or ways to make extra money, most of the articles that I find are talking about making pennies here and there by scanning receipts, saving money by cutting costs, watching ads, or getting rewards. Umm… those are not JOBS. So, let’s talk about REAL jobs that you can do to make decent money.
One thing that I have learned and embraced in my adult life is that it’s good to have multiple streams of income. Some people hustle because they have to to make ends meet. Others hustle to be able to save some money. Some hustle for fun money, and vacation. Whatever your reason, it’s nice to know what actually works for others. Thanks to the uptick in gig jobs, finding a 2nd job is easy these days.
I’ve been trying out a few different things to see what I like. A bonus of many of these for me is that it keeps me active. My job at work and my blogging job mean that I can spend hours staring at a computer screen. Sometimes it is great to take a break from that and drive around, see pretty neighborhoods, and get a bit of exercise while doing it. And for a bonus, by 2020 I want to have more income streams implemented that are mostly passive income.
If I would have known about some of these jobs back in 2012 when I lost my full-time job and spent 4 years as a struggling entrepreneur, I would have been a lot better off… and maybe, just maybe, not have gone back to work.
Sign Up for Chime Banking
Before you sign up for any of the jobs below, do this…
If you work gigs jobs, or even if you don’t, I highly recommend that you sign up for Chime! I’ve been using it since January 2019 and I’ve been very happy! And it is true, if you use Direct Deposit you really do get your money 2 days faster than most banks! Sign up with my Chime link and we both get $50!! It’s not a gimmick. It’s a real checking account! I love using it because it is not directly tied to my main bank account. So, there is less fear of hacking. However, it’s also very easy to transfer money back and forth. You can a real Visa debit card, and it’s a great way to keep your side job money separate for tax purposes.
Sign up for Chime now, and then apply for the jobs below.
Creative Side Jobs
I’ve loved photography for a long time. And I have made good money over the years taking pictures. If you have good people skills, a great eye, a good professional camera, some genuine photography skills, and patience, you can have an enjoyable job doing photography jobs ranging from portraits to parties to weddings.
Now, it is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work! Taking the pictures is the easy part. You do have to be on your toes, not mind standing for hours and walking around… but for the most part that is enjoyable. The hard part comes after. Depending on the event you may have hundreds of pictures to pick through and edit. It can take a while.
I have to add… just because you get a good camera, it does not make you a photographer! In other words… real photographers do not use Auto mode.
If you think that you can do it, don’t only invest in good equipment, invest in yourself by taking a few classes.
If you have design skills, or even just a mind that comes up with catchy phrases you can make some extra money designing and selling t-shirts. If you have the skills, and funds to get the equipment you may choose to purchase, print, sell, and ship your own from home. However, if you want to do it the easy way there are several great websites out there that will handle the printing and shipping for you. They keep a portion of each sale, however your store is basically on autopilot.
A few of the ones to check out are Shopify, Teepublic, Teespring, CafePress, and Merch by Amazon. I recommend doing some research on pricing, number of designs that you can upload, shipping time, and more before you settle on one.
Web Related Side Jobs
If you are looking for a good work from home side job, blogging may be the one. This is obviously something that I have been doing for a while. If you are a good writer, feel that you have valuable information to share, and you are consistent and can build a following, you can make money blogging. But, I will be honest with you… it is not easy! It is hard, hard work. I have been blogging consistently since 2005. It has taken time to gain trust, followers, and a reputation across the Internet. I have been through up and downs. My traffic has dropped from being decent to being almost non-existent. I’ve been turned down for opps that I knew that I was perfect for. And I’ve survived Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter purging dead or fake accounts causing me to lose tons of followers. Blogging is NOT for the faint of heart.
Most of us fell into it by accident, and have learned along the way. But, these days people have a roadmap to follow. If you choose to do this, do your research, make sure that you plan well… plan your blog design, plan your first few rounds of content, a create a blogging schedule. Once you are established you can slack off *wink*. But, in the beginning it is important to drum up some interest. I have watched many others try to start blogs and fail. It’s not for everyone.
I am working on a post about how to start a blog that I will share soon.
Social Media Influencer
It used to be that a Social Media Influencer was just a blogger who shared content across social media… period! Part of promoting our content included pushing it to social… it still does. But, times have changed. Platforms like Instagram are allowing people with no blog to be influencers. If you have an engaged following, take great pictures, and can write a good caption, you may be able to make money promoting products or services just using your Instagram account. I have worked on a couple of Instagram only campaigns. Some of the influencer networks now offer this as an option.
Amazon Affiliate/Influencer Storefront
If you have a blog, you can sign up for an Amazon Affiliate account. This allows you to recommend Amazon products, embed a special link in your post, and get a commission if people click the link and make a purchase. I have been doing this for years. It’s great around the holidays. However, having links here and there in older posts can always bring in a little passive income.
If you are an influencer, you might get approved for an Amazon Influencer Storefront.
Visit the Amazon Affiliate site for more information.
Other Affiliate Programs
Most stores out there on the Internet have affiliate programs. There are way too many to list, but there are stores like Best Buy, Groupon, and even web hosting services. The best way to handle this is to see if one of your favorite sites or services has an affiliate program by Googling. You will likely sign up through one of several affiliate portals on the web such as Rakuten Linkshare, Pepperjam, or Impact.
Gig Economy Jobs aka App Jobs
If you have a smartphone, a good connection, and some patience you can sign up for several app jobs that allow you to make money on your own time, using your phone.
You know I’m addicted to Amazon. I spend most of my money there, so it only makes sense that I would find a way to get some of it back. 🙂 This is my favorite side hustle so far!
What is Amazon Flex? If you shop often on Amazon you may have noticed that sometimes regular people in regular cars deliver your packages. This is Amazon Flex. Not the folks in the big blue vans, they are different. We work as independent contractors. I have been flexing now for almost a year! I LOVE IT!! The flexibility, the ability to catch shifts (blocks) when I want, and the potential to pay down bills, save for Christmas, pay off vacations, and more is awesome.
Flexing is not for the faint of heart though. It is a physically demanding job. You must be able to live up to it physically. You should be able to lift up to 50 lbs, have a reliable vehicle that can accommodate 40 or more packages (sometimes very large), have the legs to get in and out of your car 40 times a day, and possibly climb stairs.
Depending on where you live, you may have several stations to choose from when it comes to picking up deliveries. Each station will cover a different area. But, you may not know exactly where they are sending you until you get your packages.
Interested in signing up? These positions are in high demand and there is usually a waiting list. Check out flex.amazon.com to see if they are hiring in your area. Pay starts at $18/hour, but can sometimes be more when demand is high.
DoorDash is a food delivery service. You use an app to get offers, accept them, head to the restaurant to pick up the food, then deliver it to the customer. It’s easy money. What I like about DoorDash is that you can clearly see what you will make before you accept an offer. Also, I can turn it on no matter what area I’m in as long as there is demand.
What I don’t like is that in certain locations the offers seem to be very low. Also, you can only turn on the Dash button if you are in an area considered busy. I have only seen the button a few times. However, sometimes they offer promos that pay you more for each delivery. For example, on a recent Sunday they offered an extra $3.50 per delivery in the Hyde Park area. I’m sure this is because the city was extra busy because of the Chicago marathon.
Once again, you need to have a reliable vehicle and be ok with making several deliveries in one day.
Interested in signing up? Head on over to my DoorDash link, so we both get a bonus!
Grubhub is also a food delivery service. In this case, when you sign up you choose a zone to work. I chose a zone close to home. However, this means when I am at work in Chicago, or have down time over in Indiana I cannot do Grubhub. But, what I do love is that I can turn it on whenever. And depending on where you are, it gets busy fast, and the pay is not bad for deliveries. Once again, you will see what you make before you accept the delivery.
I’ve been doing it for a while here and there and I like it so far.
Want to sign up? Head on over to driver.grubhub.com.
So, I actually signed up for Instacart back in February, then quickly chickened out of doing it. At the time, I had to choose hours in the app. I canceled the first hours that I scheduled! Soon after they deactivated my account for non-use. After chatting with a friend recently, I decided to give it another try. They made one major change that I like. Instead of scheduling hours, I can now receive a batch on demand based on location. So, in the past 3 weeks I’ve done a few relatively quick shops in nearby stores, delivered them, and made a few bucks. It was a nice test run. I think I would like doing it, especially if I keep getting orders for Aldi. I know Aldi like the back of my hand!
One thing I noticed that I don’t like is the the tips are REALLY low. I was wondering if Instacart customers are just that cheap. But, after seeing a note in a Facebook Instacart group is appears that Instacart only suggests a 5% tip by default on every order. Huh? 5%?? That is nowhere near the suggested tipping amount of 20%. I mean… based on the fact that we are SHOPPING, packing, and delivering tips should be a LOT more. I get much better tips just driving (no shopping involved) Whole Foods under Amazon Flex.
However, if customers are generous and pay attention to the low tip they can change it (like my last customer did), as they should, because this is a personalized service. If the payout is decent and customers cooperate, you can actually make good money in a relatively short period of time. And you do not have to accept an order at all if the pay is low, or the location is too far.
Sign up using my Instacart Referral Link.
I have not tried Shipt… yet. However, I am going to sign up and compare it to Instacart. Shipt is another shopping service….
CHANGE OF PLANS – I applied last week before I finished writing this post and I was quickly turned down! Even more, I was turned down based on my “virtual responses” which means they watched my videos, based on 3 questions, and decided not to hire me. Wow! I could say so much about that. Talk about bringing back some feelings of uselessness! However, after hearing from a few friends it seems that they are quite picky. Out of about 8 people that admitted to applying, only one was actually hired. Whatever… maybe you will have better luck.
Want to give it a try? Head on over to the Shipt Shopper site to sign up.
If you have technical skills, electrical skills, and minor construction skills you can make decent money doing HelloTech. I signed up a few months ago. However, I have only completed a few jobs because many of them are doing hours when I’m work, and waaayyy on the other side of town. There are slow periods, like now. However, back in July during Prime week it was jumping! Everyone was ordering Ring or Nest cameras to be installed. And I’m sure as the holidays approach it will get busy again.
Jobs include computer troubleshooting and set up, Ring camera installation, TV mounting, smart thermostat installation, camera mounting, and more. When you apply, you go through a series of tests including video interviews. Once approved, you set your skills in your account, so that you get jobs of interest. Some skills that you choose require more testing. Can’t have technicians showing up to customer’s homes and not knowing that what they are doing!
Want to sign up? Head on over to us.hellotech.com/techs to apply.
If you have skills such as marketing, graphic design, writing, web development, or accounting you can sign up as a freelancer on Upwork. You create a profile, input your skills, set your prices, and wait for customers to come to you.
In addition to the skills mentioned above, you can also offer technical support, photography, and more.
Head on over to the Upwork site to sign up.
Fiverr is similar to Upwork. It started out as a site for folks to offer services that they can do for the low price of $5. Over the years it has grown. You can now opt to do $5 services, or offer upgraded services at an additional costs. Services range from social media management to graphic design to voice overs to creating jingles and more.
Visit Fiverr.com to sign up.
I admit that I signed up for Thumbtack, but quickly turned off the alerts. There were a LOT. I realized it was not for me. Now, this is mainly because I have a day job, so many of the gigs that were popping up I was not available to do. However, if you do not work during the day and you have the time, you can keep really busy grabbing small jobs on Thumbtack.
The services are just about everything that you can think of. Some of the services that I signed up for include computer repair, mobile repair, virus removal, and other computer related things. However, you can also use Thumbtack to find house cleaners, handyman, electricians, and much more. So, no matter what you do, you can probably find business on Thumbtack.
One thing to know is that you pay for leads. For example, if you get a notification that someone is looking for a painter and you choose to give them a quote, you pay a fee for that lead. Depending on how many you do, and whether or not you get the business, this can be pricey. Since I have not personally completed a job yet, I do not know all of the details, so do your research before signing up.
Visit Thumbtack.com to sign up.
If you like dogs then Rover is for you! You can get paid to walk dogs, run a doggy daycare, be a sitter, or run a dog boarding (overnight) service. You set your own schedule and prices, and use the Rover app to run your business.
This sounds like a lot of fun for someone who is good with dogs. Head over to Rover.com to sign up.
We have all heard of Uber and Lyft by now. For a while, this was the top side gig available. Each service allows you to drive passengers in your own car. I know many, many people that do it, and they are happy with it. However, the market is saturated now, so I’m told it’s not as easy to make great money doing just Uber or Lyft like it used to be. You have to work a lot of hours to make a full time salary. However, as a side gig, it would not be bad. But, of course the holidays are coming and it will be busy. And if you live near an airport rides are always needed.
As for me, I am a bit weary of having strangers in my car. I have heard some stories! But, if you do not mind, you can make decent money.
Which should you do? A lot of people that I know seem to sign up for both programs. That way if one is slow, you can switch over to the other.
Sign up for Uber.
Sign up for Lyft.
These are 17 of the best side hustles that will allow you to work for yourself, or supplement your current income. I hope this list helps someone! Now do a bit of research, pick the best side job for you and… off you go to make some money!