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8 Side Hustles to Earn Extra Cash

An office desk covered in post-it note with side gig job ideas
Thamyris Salgueiro/Shutterstock.com

In today’s economic environment, everybody could use a little extra cash. The good news is that there are plenty of earning opportunities to pursue. From giving people a ride and selling merchandise to narrating books and becoming a teacher, your skill is in demand. Read on for the possibilities.

Drive For Extra Dough

A car with Lyft and Uber stickers on the windshield
The Image Party/Shutterstock.com

If you enjoy driving, listening to your favorite music, and meeting new people, rideshare driving may be a good option for you. Services like Uber and Lyft revolutionized the transportation industry by enabling almost anyone with a driver’s license to earn money by taking people where they need to go. Ridesharing is a terrific side hustle because it’s easy to sign up, you choose your hours, and you can get paid the same day you work.

The sister-gig to ridesharing is making deliveries. Most people associate delivery driving with food delivery services like DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub. But there are more options than just dropping McDonald’s off at someone’s doorstep. There are also services like Instacart that enables you to do grocery shopping for someone in your area and deliver it to their home. Additionally, Amazon Flex is a viable option for transporting packages on your own time.

However, you’ll have to spend money on fuel, car maintenance, and various other expenses that crop up along the way. Plus, how much you earn varies depending on where you live, when you decide to work, and how many hours you put in. You can find various estimates online about how much money drivers make, but suffice to say, you won’t know about your unique situation until you try it yourself.

Pretty Pictures for Pennies (Lots of Them)

If you’re into photography, you can sell that passion to the world. And with how fantastic our smartphone cameras are, you don’t even need expensive photography equipment to succeed (even though it is a plus). Sites like Shutterstock and GettyImages enable you to earn a commission every time someone licenses your work. There’s also an abundance of sites that allow you to sell your photos directly to customers.

Of course, you’ll need to research what people are licensing and buying from these sites to maximize your earnings. Plus, stock photography is a highly competitive market, so you’ll need to hone your skills to stand out above the other shutterbugs.

Read for Money

A desk full of audio recording hardware
Thomas Bethge/Shutterstock.com

Reading is one of the great joys of life, and if you have a great voice, you may have just what it takes to earn money by becoming an audiobook narrator. ACX is a service that connects audiobook readers with writers that need their services.

If you pass the audition, you and the author work together to establish a time frame to complete the audiobook. You’ll also have to agree on what you’ll earn for your efforts. You can opt for a simple royalty share, where you get paid nothing up-front but make a percentage of the audiobooks sales. There’s also an option to get paid upfront for your services.

Keep in mind that producing an audiobook takes a great deal of time, effort, and an investment in equipment. If you want a quality narration, you need to invest in a decent microphone, headphones, recording software, and a sound editing program.

Graphic Design Dollars

Having even minimal graphic design skills can bring in some extra cash. Services like Redbubble, Designhill, and CafePress let you upload your designs for printing on items from clothing to stickers, phone cases, household items, bags, mugs, and much more. And you get paid every time someone buys an item bearing your design.

More advanced designers can find work creating things like fonts, logos, vectors, WordPress themes, and even video game assets. A great site to sell these works is Evantomarket.

Content Creates Cash

A Microphone in front of a Twitch stream
Devon Deth/Shutterstock.com

If you have a knack for writing, making videos, or even talking at length, you’re a good candidate to start a blog, video channel, podcast, or even become a social media influencer. However, making this type of content is time-consuming and requires skills in multiple media-production areas. Plus, it takes a long time to build an audience. So, you’ll have to learn to market yourself and your content.

Nevertheless, if you put in the time and effort to find your audience, you can monetize your content in many ways. Sites like YouTube, Twitch, and Rumble offer revenue sharing for ads played on your videos. You can also solicit your audience for direct donations. Another option is to partner with brands to promote their products. Again, these options won’t be available to you right away, so make a plan for the long-term if you want to go this route.

Your Opinion Matters for a Price

The easiest way to earn a few extra bucks in your free time is to take online surveys. Companies pay good money for market research. Services like Branded Surveys, Survey Junkie, and Swagbucks match companies with people to take their surveys. And they all have great apps, so you can take a survey whenever you have some downtime to fill.

Completing a survey generally pays from $.30 to $5.00. So, it’s not quit-your-job money. Compared to how much you can make with some of the other options in this article, it’s pocket change. But in these uncertain economic times, every little bit helps.

Put Your Skills to Work

A closeup of a Sawstop table saw and its fence
Josh Hendrickson / Review Geek

If you have a professional skill, odds are you can find a platform that lets you make money from it. Freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer offer a wide range of professional categories, from graphic design and copywriting to web development and marketing. These sites match your skill with someone who needs a project completed. You negotiate your prices and work out a timetable that works for you and your client.

And even if you don’t have a skill that can be sold digitally, there are some freelance options. Sites like TaskRabbit connect you with people in your area that need manual labor. Tasks like assembling furniture, mounting TVs, fixing toilets, installing lighting, and other handyman jobs need to be done all-around your city. And if you have the skills to do them, it’s a great way to make some extra cash.

Share Your Knowledge

If you use your marketable skills in your 9-5 job and don’t feel like using them in your off-work hours, you can always teach them to others. Services including Superprof, Udemy, and Teachable allow skilled professionals the opportunity to create courses or become a tutor in their craft. Of course, there’s a learning curve to course creation and interacting with students. But, if you’re passionate about the knowledge you’ve gained and want to share it with newcomers, this could be a very satisfying side hustle.

Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »