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11 Profitable Side Jobs You Can Start in a Weekend (2024)

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Table of ContentsUpdated Feb 02, 2024

Side jobs have been my saving grace over the last decade. What started as a small freelance gig back in 2013 has grown into my full-time job. Yes, that little side hustle now completely supports my family!

I know firsthand that side jobs can literally change your life. Maybe you’re just looking to make a few extra bucks each month to afford more takeout dinners. Or perhaps you need to pay off crushing debt. Or, hey – maybe you even want to kiss your boss goodbye like I did!

Whatever motivates you, I want to encourage you to give side jobs a try. They provide more freedom, fulfillment, and – heck – more fun than just about any other job you’ll find.

In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite ways to get your first (or next) side job up and running. And nope, you don’t have to commit to some dead-end direct sales scheme. Rather, the ideas I’ll be sharing are practical, enjoyable, and can start generating cash after just one weekend of effort.

1. Freelancing

Freelancing is essentially offering your skills or services on a project or contract basis across various fields like writing, design, administration, and more. Instead of being an employee for one company, you work flexible gigs for multiple clients.

Some of the most popular freelance skill sets that I see in high demand right now are:

  • Content Writing – Companies need constant blogging, social posts, and other written content. If your English teachers complimented your persuasive essays, this could be for you!
  • Graphic Design – Logos, marketing materials, website graphics, and more all need designing by someone. No big agency required!
  • Data Entry – Not a glamorous gig but still in major demand. Speed and accuracy pay off here.
  • Virtual Assistants – Help business owners with administrative tasks, email, and schedules. Great organizational skills required.

I first started freelance writing by responding to local job classifieds advertising for blog writers. After getting two regular clients from those ads, I built a portfolio and started actively pitching businesses through cold emails.

Within 6 months, I had all the writing gigs I could handle! The key for me was specializing within a profitable niche and establishing authority so my proposals stood out.

If you want to dip your toes into the freelance waters, I recommend checking out sites like:

  • Upwork — The current leader in freelance marketplaces. Millions of freelancers, clients, and projects.
  • Fiverr — A unique marketplace where freelancers list their offer and price. Clients then browse the listings and select a freelancer to work with.
  • SolidGigs — A lead-generation tool that takes the hard work out of finding gigs that match your criteria.

They all offer lots of well-paying freelance opportunities across hundreds of categories. Time to pick your specialty and go get that side hustle started!

2. Gig Economy Jobs

The “gig economy” refers to the growing marketplace for flexible, on-demand jobs like ride-sharing and delivery. Apps like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart make finding paid side gigs accessible with just a few taps on your phone.

As a rideshare driver with Uber or Lyft, you can easily expect to make $15-25+ per hour in fares depending on location and time of day. The key is knowing when bars close or events end to maximize surge pricing rides! I drove a few hours most Friday nights last year and averaged around $22/hour after gas expenses.

Grocery and food delivery apps sometimes pay even better. Instacart claims their full service shoppers earn up to $22/hour plus great tips during busy store demands. So with some hustle, expect $25-$35 per hour.

The main benefits of gig economy side jobs are controlling your availability, cash payouts, and trying out various roles with little commitment. I’d sign up with a few apps like Uber Eats that interest you and experiment to find the best income fit!

3. Selling Online

Launching your own online shop or selling through Etsy and eBay has never been easier. With so much competition, the key is finding a specialized niche, attractive branding, and high-value products.

As an example, you could develope your skill in finding retro tees and collectible sneakers at local thrift stores for cheap. It’ll take some trial and error, but within a year you’ll figure out which brands and styles would reliably sell for $100+ profits on sites like Grailed.

Between sourcing new inventory at scale and building up your seller reputation, this “hobby” can generate well over $2,000 in average monthly profits only putting in 6-8 hours per week.

4. Flipping Items

Similarly, a common and lucrative side hustle is reselling undervalued items found at auctions, estate sales, and thrift shops. Also called “flipping”, the concept is pretty straightforward – purchase items you strongly believe are worth far more than the list price and quickly resell them for big profit.

For example, a few weeks ago I bought an antique porcelain figurine at an estate sale for $80 because I recognized it as a rare collectible worth around $650. After verifying this with some additional research, I listed it on Facebook Marketplace and had 5 interested buyers immediately. Flipped for $575 profit in under 3 days start to finish with minimal effort!

Start small while you learn how to spot valuable finds across niches like electronics, golf clubs, designer furniture and fine art. Once you establish what sells reliably in your area plus handle logistics like transportation and storage, flipping can make for rewarding and exciting side income.

5. Remote Writing Jobs

Finally, remote writing gigs are perpetually in high demand across countless industries from marketing agencies to Fortune 500s. Generally paying $.10-$.50 per word for beginners, your income scales quickly the more skilled and efficient you become.

It does take serious dedication and consistency to make freelance writing extremely profitable. But during my first year starting out, I averaged around $1,500 per month working 6-8 flexible hours per week. Within 3 years and doubled my rates after developing a specialty covering home services and building a professional portfolio.

6. Teaching Online

Thanks to eLearning platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and Khan Academy – anyone can generate substantial income teaching their knowledge online. While creating courses requires upfront effort, the most successful instructors earn $2,000 to $5,000+ every month over time by specializing in in-demand topics.

7. Starting a Blog

Launching a personal blog lets you build a professional platform and community around your interests while opening up various money-making opportunities over time like affiliate marketing and selling digital products.

However, blogging for profit is a marathon requiring tremendous persistence through months or years before seeing tangible earnings. You can expedite growth by relentlessly providing value before ever asking readers to buy anything. This establishes trust and authority.

8. Ride Share Driving

Driving for rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft is a premier gig economy side hustle. Reports show average hourly pay between $15-$25 per hour after expenses. Savvy drivers maximize prime evening and airport runs during surging demand.

Optimizing your acceptance rate, maintaining a highrating, and focusing on peak times/locations makes consistently earning $25 per flexible hour very feasible. Some even rent vehicles to keep mileage off their personal carsand maximize daily earnings.

9. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

For animal lovers, pet sitting and dog walking represent potentially fun and easy-to-start side jobs. Income varies based on your rates, number of clients, and typical “walks per day” in your area between $15-$40. These services scale well as you establish a solid client base and reputation over time.

10. Fiverr Gigs

Finally, while far less ubiquitous these days, Fiverr remains a top marketplace connecting freelance service providers to buyers across pretty much any niche imaginable – translation, graphic design, viral video creation…you name it!

Most gigs still start at the signature $5 tier for simple services, but plenty of seasoned freelancers offer premium add-ons up to $500+. Definitely competitive, but some clever perseverance can result in nice side earnings.

11. Take Surveys

In your spare time, completing consumer research surveys through reputable websites represents possibly the simplest productive side hustle out there. While boring to some and not going to make you rich quick, sites like SurveyJunkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars reward your opinions to tune of ~$100 per month typically.

I have participated in surveys when I have some TV time or 15 minutes to kill. They won’t replace your day job income anytime soon, but can nicely cover a few subscription services or the phone bill when choices add up.

12. Rent Out Your Home

If you travel occasionally or have an unused secondary property, renting through Airbnb represents enticing income potential in many areas popular with tourists and business travelers. With typical nightly rates ranging $50-$250+ and Airbnb’s glossy marketing platform, your extra space can make you extra money quickly.

Airbnb claims hosts typically earn $924 per month on average. I rented my 2 bedroom condo near downtown last summer during a long international trip and collected $3,800 profit easily over 2 months. Of course, do consider cleaning costs and furniture wear and tear – but the income potential is undeniable if you can work logistics.

13. Become a Brand Ambassador

A growing trend companies use promoting products or services is hiring online “brand ambassadors”. As social media expands its influence, brands look to passionate customers to authentically engage their networks.

Compensation varies widely depending on following size, content frequency demands, and product type – but $100 to $1,000+ per campaign is reasonable for most starter gigs. If creative digital marketing excites you, registering through websites like BrandBassaor can help land some initial opportunities.

14. Do Makeup or Hair for Events

Tap into your artistic talents providing makeup and hair services for weddings, proms, photoshoots, or other special events as lucrative side income. Special occasion demand spikes around holiday weekends specifically.

Freelance glam rates typically range $150+ for bride/bridal party services, $50-$100 for prom-goers or photoshoot touch ups. While paying customers may wax and wane seasonally when starting out, busy stylist can easily clear an extra $10k+ if fully booked May – October.

15. Car Washing/Detailing

For the mobile entrepreneurs, offering auto washing or detailing services represents reliable profits. Many folks simply dislike cleaning their vehicles themselves. Startup costs are reasonable – power washer, professional vacuum, cleaning supplies, and leather/interior brushes to start.

Most independent detailers charge per service not by hour – washing and interior cleaning for $50 up to $120+ for premium detailing packages including wax, carpet extraction, chrome polishing, etc. Building a 15-20 car weekly clientele quickly drives part or full-time level income.

16. Event Planning

Offering your organizational skills and design flair to coordinate special events – parties, weddings, corporate functions – can make for rewarding and potentially lucrative side income. Especially with an assistant or two to handle physical setup/takedown, your responsibilities center on creative visioning, vendor communications, and client updates.

Event planners typically charge minimum $50 per hour or percentage commissions scaling from 10% to 15%+ of the overall budget. As you establish positive vendor relationships and prove your reliability to customers, building a robust pipeline of 4-6 monthly events at average $5k budgets can drive strong part-time pay.

17. Do Odd Jobs via TaskRabbit

Variety is the spice of side hustling! TaskRabbit offers myriad household tasks from furniture assembly and TV mounting to grocery shopping and lawn cleanup posted by clients in your area. Simply browse open requests and claim jobs matching your skills and availability.

Pay averages a very reasonable $40 per hour according to Taskers. My first month trying it part-time resulted in $650 extra working around my 9-5 with minimal effort just knocking out basic chores others happily paid to avoid. Nice supplemental income potential if bored of food delivery and ridesharing apps!

18. Become an Audiobook Narrator

If gifted with clear and engaging vocal chops, professional audiobook narration side gigs can be extremely lucrative studio-based work. While competition has intensified recently, connects authors to narrators willing to split sizable royalties from completed audiobook distributions.

Based on author stipulations and claimed genres, finished recordings averaging 180-250 finished minutes earn base pay guarantees around $200 plus ongoing 50-90% royalties. Not recording A-list celebrity level compensation of course, but tidy payout structure for consistent bookings over time.

19. Tour Guide

Capitalizing on your passion for hometown history or simply enjoying playing host to curious visitors, applying as tour guide makes for interesting summer or weekend side money. Typically requiring municipal registrations and some historical knowledge exams, popular cities offer public and private multi-language tours covering major attractions and hidden gems alike.

Guides in tourism hot spots like NYC, LA, Chicago, New Orleans can reasonably expect $300-$500+ weekly pay for active schedules across individuals, couples, and larger group bookings. Though securing roles will take hustle, upside from 5-star reviews and return requests over time keep things enriching.

20. Garage Sale Fundraising

If limited on personal items to sell online for side profit, why not coordinate a community garage sale benefiting a cause important to you instead? Gathering 5-10 families’ stuff they no longer need but would happily donate in their name creates major inventory to raise charitable funds quickly and cost-effectively through a fun weekend event.

Aim for at least $1,000 total take and set expectations that 70-80% of sales will directly support your charity partner. Any remainder helps cover event expenses incurred. Promote appropriately locally and this creative concept will have folks gathering both to find deals and support through their unwanted treasures.

21. Jewelry Making

For crafty creators making handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other statement pieces provides enjoyable income potential from local consignment, Etsy, craft fairs, and custom orders through your personal network brand awareness steadily builds.

Hourly pay difficult to estimate given drastic time variance designing new pieces vs fulfilling established inventory demands. However settled into steady 10 hour weekly commitment, $400-500 monthly profits reasonable expectation supplementing fun hobby with side capital to cover created costs/grow supplies investment as desires evolve.

22. Other Niche Side Hustles

The list of potential side hustles is practically endless depending on your unique skills, interests, and personality. Other popular options could include:

  • Yeti/Cup decal making
  • Vinyl record and book reseller
  • Vintage refurbished furniture flipper
  • Craft cocktail/mocktail recipe creator
  • Drone photographer/videographer
  • Kitchen appliance technician
  • Recipe/meal prep service
  • Live stream video gamer

The most fertile money-making side pursuits center around identifying activities you genuinely enjoy and then narrowing focus toward a niche audience willing to pay for related products/services others overlook. Let your passions guide you!

I hope this gives you a strong starting framework and ample side hustle ideas to choose between or combine towards your financial goals!

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Written by Preston Lee

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Preston Lee is the founder of Millo where he and his team have been helping freelancers thrive for over a decade. His advice has been featured by Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes, Adobe, and many more.

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Reviewed & edited by Alex Skinner, Editor at Millo.

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