Top 11 Side Hustles

 Top 11 Side Hustles
by Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief

Do you need extra bread? Do you have access to the internet? Do you have the ability to control your emotions at least well enough to interact with people for a few hours a day? Do you own a phone? 
Hot dog. You're in luck! Here are several web & gig-based methods for you to earn additional income. 
Who knows, maybe one day something on this list could actually be your main source of income. [probably not, but keep hope alive, when you struggle and strive. all that] Anyway, Off we go!

Hey, I ordered 2 papadams!

11. Crafting
If you're an old person, or a young person who acts old, or a middle aged person who spends a lot of time with animals and people usually leave the room rather than converse with you, have I got the perfect side hustle for you! A great way for you to make extra money working from home is by making crafts and selling them online. Some sites, like Shopify and Etsy actually feature craft makers who make a living from selling crafts. I know, right? Although, you may not want to jump in full canoe and try to make a profession out of it unless you're an experienced craft-style person. Here are some craft ideas to get you started: crocheting, sewing, knitting, embroidery, jewelry, greeting cards, candle making, confections (chocolate and such), home-made soap and baking/decorating cakes. Or if you want to create something a bit more robust, there is sculpture and metalwork, custom pottery and folk art. Keep in mind, some crafts are decorative, some are functional, and some are considered fashion or aesthetic. If you try it and like it, you may decide to create your own website to sell crafts for a higher profit, but keep in mind that it takes much more time, money, resources and marketing ability to sell on your own site, as well as upfront shipping costs and supplies.

10. Domain Investing
Domain investing is pretty much like normal investing; buy low/sell high, etc. but instead of stocks or bonds or mutual funds, it involves web domains. If you're already an experienced businessperson or entrepreneur, “domaining” can provide a decent side revenue stream. If you are sales and internet savvy, you may eventually be able to make a living at it, but don't hold your breath. I would imagine that a very small percentage of domain investors depend on it for their main source of income. Like any other type of investment, buying and selling domain names comes with its' own set of risks. You have to pay recurring registration fees for the domains you purchase. So you may end up paying for domains that no one wants. Or, even worse, when and if you decide not to renew an unused domain, someone may step in and buy it for a fraction of the cost. To prevent this, you would need to pay for domain privacy, which hides the registrars expiration date info at an additional cost. For experienced investors who consider the risks and returns thoroughly, domain names can become a unique way to diversify your portfolio of investments.
Here are some basic steps of domain investing: Search for a domain, Evaluate the domain, Register the domain name, Find a buyer, then Sell the domain. Domain broker services exist to help with buying and selling.

9. Becoming a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client's office. A virtual assistant typically operates from a home office but can remotely access necessary planning documents, such as shared files, folders and calendars. If you're considering this line of work, you will need to have a dedicated home office in order to work as any type of virtual assistant. In addition to a computer with a high-speed internet connection (a laptop or workstation, not just your phone) you'll also need a printer, copier/scanner, and yes, possibly even a fax machine. (Most young people don't even know what that is, so just shop for an all-in-one.)You will also most likely need a dedicated phone line as well. The average salary for a successful virtual assistant is $21 per hour in the United States. A high-level virtual assistant's day may consist of scheduling appointments, making phone calls, making travel arrangements and managing email accounts. Some virtual assistants specialize in offering graphic design, blog writing, bookkeeping, social media, and marketing services.

8. Freelance Videographer
There are countless resources, both free and relatively inexpensive, that you can use to train yourself to become a decent videographer. If you're just starting out, don't be too concerned about buying the latest hi-tech equipment right out of the gate, especially if you're inexperienced. Get the basics down pat first. Acquire solid fundamentals while practicing in your spare time both the shooting and editing process. A videographer must be creative, passionate about creating or documenting and have an eye for detail. You will also need good communication skills and the ability to provide direction. Professional freelance videographers generally own all of their own video production equipment, so their rates are normally based on their skill level, their portfolio and the cost of the equipment they own. Build a strong foundation with the right training and business model. Step one: Create a well-rounded portfolio. Step two: Always keep learning and being creative. Step three: Establish your brand. Step four: Develop a plan that will make this an easy and dependable side-hustle.

7. Anything to do with Dogs
People love dogs. Especially lonely, annoying goofballs who think their dog is the only dog in the world and the absolute center of the universe (they have disposable income, wink). I myself like dogs. But I don't get crazy. Two dogs actually live here with me and have essentially taken over my house. There's Bosco, a carolina/boxer who is now an old, ornery 86 pound tough-guy/drama queen; and Babygirl, a redbone coonhound/boxer who vacillates between being a playfully adorable icon and a bloodthirsty rabbit-hunting stalwart home protector. We have formed an ecosystem here and we all have a role to play. I don't consider myself their master as it were, because they are not my slaves. I don't “own” them, per se, they are simply canine companions. But seeing as how they don't have wallets or people skills or opposable thumbs, I end up doing the bulk of heavy lifting in regards to homemaking. 
Anyhoodles, here are several ideas for all the dog nuts (nuts as in enthusiasts) as well as normal people who are also somewhat fond of dogs: 
this used to be my meditation platform
Bosco & Babygirl

Bake and sell homemade dog treats, Make dog clothes (that's actually a thing. I kid you not), Dog sitting, Dog walking, Become a dog trainer, Start a dog health blog, Train your dog to be a model or actor, *Put your dog on social media and get revenue from them being an influencer *(I would only recommend doing this if you are already very aware that most people think you're an annoying, self-absorbed pain-in-the-ass. If for some reason, you have no idea that most people find you insufferable, I would not do this. You will get your feelings hurt. And you will alienate the last few level-headed people who are willing to openly associate with you) Make dog Halloween costumes (that's also a thing. I swear), Become a dog photographer, Make breed-specific clothing and accessories for dogs and their owners, Make funny dog videos and hope they go viral, Sell dog equipment and accessories online, And so on and so fourth. You get the idea. The point is, most people already know you're really aggravating. Why not make some decent side-cheese by using the one character in your life who doesn't realize it.

6. Local Tour Guide
The first step in becoming a local tour guide is being at least slightly familiar with the area in which you live. Because so many people are now relocating for work, school or family reasons, there is a growing demand for people to “sell” the benefits of their town as a new home for individuals and businesses. Local tour guides generally lead and/or guide tourists, visitors and curious residents on tours of cities, landmarks, districts and places of interest. This guidance may include recommendations for the best restaurants, hotels, shopping, local attractions, activities, sporting events, historical landmarks and famous local establishments. Tour guides can potentially earn between $50 and $150 per day depending on overall experience, interest in locations, types of tours offered and the tour guides personality and area knowledge. Tourists are also encouraged to tip their guides, which can increase your revenue. If you are a teacher, researcher or history buff, becoming a historical guide could be a great way to earn extra income while sharing your personal interests in architecture, landscapes, temples, battlefields and other places of historical importance. Other types of guides include: Adventure guide, Museum guide, Nature guide, Bar-crawl guide and Parks & Rec guide.

5. Gig Economy Apps
You all know what these are. You perform miscellaneous work using your own resources for low pay, no benefits and very little if any resume building opportunities or experiences. But hey, the good news is, anyone can do it. No matter how dumb or untrustworthy or apathetic or assault prone or light-fingered or undependable or weedy. In fact, it's probably best if you do identify with some of these personality traits, because otherwise it may bother you to know that (thanks to the app economy) many more competent, knowledgeable employees can no longer make a living in the industry for which anyone now qualifies by simply by possessing a phone and are typically untrained in any way whatsoever. So, rather than rate them or talk about the pros and cons, I just made a list of the ones I know about:
Qwick, Grubhub, Doordash, Ubereats, Postmates (food delivery) Handy, TaskRabbit, Thumbtack (home improvement) Uber, LYFT (rideshare) Getaround, Turo (carshare) Instacart (grocery shopping) Rover (pet sitting) and many more, I'm entirely certain. Just do a search in your field of interest. Here is a list of things that you can probably find a gig app for if you look hard enough. If not, you're welcome to develop and build your own app. Nah, I'm just playing. If you knew how to build apps you wouldn't be effing around delivering groceries or signing up for spamming freebie discount coupon sites. 
Popular gig categories include: Online Media Freelancing, Renting your vehicle, Babysitting, Dogsitting, Delivering food and/or groceries, Ridesharing, Blogging, Tutoring, Renting your home, Buying and reselling products, Helping people move, Be a Handyman, Take Online Surveys, Assemble equipment, furniture and appliances for people who ordered online, and so on. 

4. Freelance Writer (or content creator)
Freelance writers typically create articles, ad copy, web content, technical information and socially relevant or business related materials. Freelancers are generally employed by news outlets, periodicals, private companies and specialized product or service industries. My best advice in getting started, is to get training. Take classes, attend webinars, join groups, etc. Write as often as possible, about a lot of different topics and let readers on all levels  honestly evaluate your work. You must develop a thick skin and learn the fundamentals of grammar and spelling, sentence structure, outlining, and various writing styles. Blogging is a good way to start. Become familiar with various types of media outlets and how they work. When you get comfortable with online content creation, learn some basic SEO (search engine optimization) skills. If you are writing for hard copy publications, learn how to submit clear, concise copy to the editor and take their advice. Learn how to take constructive criticism and above all, dont quit your day job. It takes years to become a proficient, successful writer of any kind.

Watch my tutorial on common grammar mistakes
Yippie Kye-yay!

3. Become a Wedding Officiant
Nowadays, depending on where you live, anyone can marry anyone in a legally binding ceremony. Even besides that, practically anything can marry anything symbolically for the amusement of those involved; dogs to dogs, cats to cats (I will go ahead and tell you, they're not going to sit still the whole time), dogs to cats, people to dogs (yes it has actually happened) people to cats, otters to other otters, aquatic life, probably also pigs and ferrets and birds and snakes; hey, you name it. Who am I to stand in the way of true love? Bottom line, when someone really wants to get married, regardless of the participants and circumstances, they will want a competent, professional officiant whether the ceremony has legal standing or not.
Here are a few ideas about becoming an officiant on that side-grind.
1. Start by doing your research. Find out your state's laws on marriage and any local or cultural customs and traditions that will make you stand out as a candidate for hire.
2. Submit any and all applications for licensure and register with your state if required.
3. Get ordained. There are several online ordination courses and services that can prepare you for any potential licensing, certifications or permits. If you're already ordained, decide what type of wedding ceremonies you want to officiate and develop a marketing plan.
4. Assist in the planning of the ceremony. Ask the couple or the event host what you should wear, whom the guests are likely to be and information about the ceremony in general.
5. Take the time to prepare for the ceremony. The more personable you are, the more you will be recommended to others. A wedding ceremony should be a precious, lasting memory for most people even if it isn't. As far as you're concerned, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will last forever.
Most people today, regardless of self-identification, gender preferences or lifestyle choices, are much more likely to seek a wedding officiant outside of the standard religious tradition or social norm. Becoming an officiant may provide a steady side income by officiating ceremonies that may be considered unconventional by most people.

2. Tutoring
In today's social climate, education and training at all levels is at a premium. In the last two years, lockdowns and closures have added to that necessity. Here are a few suggestions for anyone who would like to become a tutor. The first thing you need to get started is a minimum standard of education for yourself. Tutors need at least a high school diploma to work with students at any level. A college education is good to have, but not completely necessary in every potential tutoring situation. However, the more advanced the subjects, such as Tech or ESL, the more education and experience you need to have - and the higher your potential income. Regardless of education level, it's best to complete a tutoring and training program. There are multiple online and in-person training pathways for potential tutors. Joining a tutoring association or online group is a great way to make contacts and build relationships in the tutor community. If applicable, earn your tutoring certification and get licensed. Make a business plan, advertise your services and set your rates based on educational industry standards. Remember, a good tutor wants to develop a student who at some point will no longer require assistance. You are also teaching study skills and habits that will benefit the student in both academics and life. Skills such as organization, focus and time management are crucial to the learning process.
Tutoring is one of the best experiences you can list on your resume. Being a tutor proves that you have the skills to give instructions and explain concepts in a clear, concise and understandable way.

Honorable Mention Side Hustles that didn't make the list:
DJ'ing (it's not for everyone), Selling T-shirts Online (it's easy, but you have to be creative and clever)
Promotional Event Staff (It's easy but you're on your feet a lot) Podcasting (fun, but not easy to earn consistent revenue) Social Media Marketing (easy as a job, hard as a gig)

1. Blogging (with intent)
Blogs are making a comeback. Full stop. Especially due to the slow, painful death of traditional journalism at the hands of disreputable and outwardly biased corporate-owned network news outlets. Mainstream media has the worst combination of qualities in that it is intentionally misleading and dishonest while simultaneously being completely clueless as to how the public now views them. 
CNN + for example, just flushed a quarter of a billion dollars down the commode by sucking the chrome off a trailer-hitch. They have already started to layoff employees. Do you really think these networks are part of an establishment who actually cares about you and how you receive and process information? In a nutshell, the tables have turned. Gone are the days of all internet sources being automatically unreliable or agendised propaganda. I'm not saying all online content is worthwhile. There will always be some bat-guano stuff online. No doubt. But there now exists an opportunity to use an objective standard in viewing content; the same standard we use in reading books or listening to lectures and speeches. You can basically tell if someone is credible and not full of baloney within the first few pages of a book, or first few minutes of a presentation, or the first few responses to a valid question. However, if you are one of those people who checks someone out to see their political affiliation before even listening to them, or even worse, if you're someone who makes up their mind about someone prior to hearing them out, then please go back to the lying, decaying dinosaur network who tells you exactly what you want to hear. Truth isn't for you. Chances are, most well thought-out, objective opinions are lost on your narrow minded view and antiquated set of beliefs.
For everyone else, there are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of independent sources online for people to get their current events, news, entertainment, sports, social events and special interest content.
As a Blogger, you can provide that content and potentially create income through multiple channels. The most common is getting paid through advertising networks and services, generally either per impression or per click. With “paid per impression” ads, the page visitor does not have to actually click on the ad in order for the blogger to receive revenue. “Per impression” basically means the number of times an ad is seen by viewers. Bloggers can also get paid by creating an affiliate income stream. One of the easiest and most common ways to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing. You don't need to have or create your own products or services. Most bloggers promote other people's products and/or services on their blog. When someone makes a purchase by clicking and following an affiliate link posted on your website or blog, you make a commission on the sale. You can sell local advertisements if your blog is specific to a particular area. You can also get paid sponsorship for content if your blog is related to special interests groups or consumer products.
Blogging and online content creation can be a lucrative side gig or compliment to your chosen profession, but keep your expectations realistic, especially when starting out. It can sometimes take several months to a year after monetization for blogs to be profitable, so my best advice is to start your own or contribute to existing blogs that feature content that you're interested in sharing and discussing with others.

In conclusion, there are a lot of ways most people can make extra money. 
Just don't harm anyone or tear anything up.
And don't offer to cut down trees or run electric wiring unless you're fully licensed & bonded. ~ SP

Skip Pulley

For those who are looking for direction in their career or are interested in discussing ideas about additional income, visit my site for more information on life coaching, life balance & direction and upcoming webinars, podcast discussions and workshops on a variety of different professional topics.
Thank you! One love ~ Skip


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