Side jobs have quickly become one of the most popular ways for people to supplement their day-job income, escape a poor life situation, or add a little to their savings.
In fact, over 45 million people in the U.S. alone have side jobs; making extra money every week by putting in a little extra effort after hours.
I happen to know from personal experience, that side jobs can bring in anywhere from a couple extra hundred dollars a month (eating out a bit more often) to thousands of dollars every month (paying off your debt more quickly) or even a full-time income (telling your boss goodbye!).
For whatever reason you’re interested in giving side jobs a try, I say: go for it!
I started my first side job 10 years ago. Today, that side-hustle has propelled me through 3 incredible day jobs and then completely saved me when I got laid off from my most recent job 2 years ago.
That’s when my side job became my full-time job and now I work for myself 100%. It’s been incredible.
Along with my encouragement to try starting your own side job, today I’d like to offer 10 practical, fun, and realistic side job ideas that you can literally start in one day (maybe a weekend or a day off) if you’re motivated enough.
Starting, growing, and running a side-hustle can be a lot of work. But it’s 100% worth it.
If you’re really serious about side jobs, I can’t recommend highly enough that you do two things:
- Read Chris Guillebeau’s book titled Side Hustle where he’ll teach you how to go from idea to execution in less than a month.
- Listen to Nick Loper’s podcast: The Side Hustle Show where he dives deep into some of the most creative side jobs I’ve ever heard. You should also take a look at Nick’s long list of side-hustle ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
The ideas I share below are some of the most common side jobs because they’re easy to execute and can bring in some extra money very quickly—in just one day if you really want to.
1. Find freelancing side jobs
One of the quickest side jobs to start making money from is to become a freelancer.
For most people, freelancing is something they already do as a hobby that can mean very little (or zero) startup costs and a quick path to doing work you enjoy for pretty good money.
I used to work at an office where I met one of my coworkers who was working side jobs as a freelancer. After a few months of my being there, he told his boss he was leaving to work for himself full-time.
A few years later, he’s still crushing it, finding freelance jobs on sites like Upwork where he connects with clients who can use his services.
To start getting freelance side jobs, consider what talents or hobbies you have that you can offer people right now.
If you enjoy writing, for example, there are plenty of freelance writing jobs for beginners posted every day online.
If you like to dabble in Photoshop, getting your first graphic design clients may be easier than you think.
The list is virtually endless: photography, social media, app development, cooking, translation, legal work, and a million more options can all be used to find side jobs as a freelancer. You can find freelance side jobs in just about any niche in marketplaces like Flexjobs. If you’re more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person, then there are also lots of great side hustles for introverts that you can choose from.
Psst: Have you heard about Hectic? It's our new favorite tool for freelancing smarter, not harder. Client management, project management, invoices, proposals, and lots more. Hectic's got it all. Click here to see what we mean.
To see if freelancing side jobs might be right for you, try getting a few freelance jobs and giving them a try. At a minimum, you’ll get a taste for the work. At most, you could transform your life and career.
2. Tap into the gig economy to find side jobs
Another streamlined way to experiment with side jobs is to tap into the gig economy.
When we talk about the gig economy, we’re referring to side jobs with companies like Über, Lyft, DoorDash, TaskRabbit, etc.
Gig economy jobs can be relatively easy to find if you’re willing to fill out the applications the apps require and be relatively available to complete the work.
What’s nice about getting gig-based side jobs typically means you can set your own hours and adjust based on how much (or how little) free time you have in a given week.
To get started with gig economy side jobs, try reviewing our list of gig economy apps that you can download and try this weekend.
3. Do odd jobs on sites like Fiverr
If you’ve never heard of Fiverr, the company started as a marketplace where anyone could sell any service they wanted for just $5.
Of course, this overlaps a bit with our first item on the list: freelance side jobs. But I wanted to include sites like Fiverr in their own section because they really go far beyond just freelancing.
Seriously, you can sell just about anything on Fiverr. From celebrity impersonations to greeting cards to spell casting (yes, you read that right), the opportunities are endless with sites like Fiverr.
To get started in just one day, visit the “start selling” page.
4. Sell something… anything… on the side
Starting a successful side job can be as simple as selling something. Anything.
For example, you can make and sell handmade goods on sites like Etsy or you can design t-shirts and other items to sell in your own print on demand store.
If you’d rather not sell online, your side job could be growing produce in your garden and selling it at a local farmer’s market or painting home decor signs and selling at a local bazaar.
To get started with this side jobs idea in less than a day, make a list of things you can quickly and easily make to sell and brainstorm the best places to sell them.
5. Sell or flip items on sites like Craigslist
Another quick way to make money with a side job is to sell or flip items on classified sites like Craigslist.
You could start by looking around your own house for stuff you don’t need or want anymore that other people might pay money for.
Simply, snap a photo, post it, and wait for someone to call. Of course, learning some basic copywriting techniques wouldn’t hurt in order to jazz up your listing a bit.
Once you’ve sold any unused items from your home, you could start venturing out into garage sale flipping—hunting for high-value items being sold at yard sales or flea markets in your community and then selling them at a profit on sites like eBay.
Getting started with this side jobs idea is as simple as digging through the attic for stuff you don’t mind parting with.
6. Take advantage of remote writing side jobs
With a bit of training and TONS of practice and experience, you can hone your ability to write and become quite good and efficient at it.
7. Try making money as an artist
If you’re artistically inclined, then you can try getting side jobs as an artist. Making money as an artist isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be since companies and brands are in need of creative, unique, works of art for a myriad of different purposes.
If you’d rather not make money as a commercial artist, there are still a ton of great options. You could teach an art class, license your art to stock sites, sell commissioned art, and more.
You can give these side jobs a try by starting with our list of 12 ways artists can make money.
8. Become a virtual assistant on the side
The proliferation of the Internet has made it easier than ever to work at home which means there has never been a higher need for virtual assistants.
A virtual assistant is someone who provides professional administrative help usually from their home office.
That means, your side jobs could include you helping a blogger tackle their email after your family is asleep for the night. Or you could review documents for the CFO of a big company halfway around the world.
To explore the world of becoming a virtual assistant, I suggest you read this in-depth guide.
9. Teach something you know
If the idea of side jobs where you get to teach other people something you’re passionate about sounds exciting, then you’re in luck.
Of course, teaching-related side jobs require quite a bit of up-front work, but the results can really pay off.
To try it out, I’d start by watching this video explaining how 10 Udemy instructors banked over $1.6 Million in a year’s time.
10. Take photos of food, or families, or babies or…
With the evolution of Instagram and the advancement of photography technology, we all have in our pockets every day, taking great pictures has never been easier.
Of course, you’ll want to learn about what makes a great photo by studying digital photography and practising (a lot!), but with some dedication, you can easily make some extra money every month doing portraits, commercial photos, baby photos, and more.
To get started, I recommend you read this article on becoming a freelance photographer.
11. Start a blog on the side
Last on my list of side jobs is to start a blog. I’ll warn you right now that starting a blog will take some time, but it can really pay off in the long run.
Starting your own blog can pay nice dividends if you stick with it and stay smart about it.
Bloggers make money traditionally through advertising, selling their own digital products, affiliate marketing, coaching or consulting, and more.
If you can think of enough interesting things to write about on your blog then over time, your traffic and audience will grow.
This comes last on my list because while you can technically start this side job in one day or less, it will take months or maybe years before you’re making a decent amount of money from it.
To start, I recommend reading this article on starting a blog—written by my friend Ryan who makes over $20K/mo from his blog.
Which side jobs are you most interested in?
After reading this far, I’m dying to know: which side jobs are you most excited about? Are you going to get started on one of these side jobs this weekend or on your next day off? If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Starting and growing a side job when you have limited time can feel overwhelming and slow-going at times. But keep your head up and have fun with it and you never know what might come of it.
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