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Side Hustle Strategies: Generate Extra Income Without Quitting Your Day Job

Good news—you don’t have to quit your full-time job to earn a little extra money or start a business! Below, we share 10 side hustle ideas that can legitimately be done while you’re working traditional (or non-traditional hours). Whether you simply want to bring in a little money for Christmas gifts this year or you want to start something that has the potential to turn into a full-time gig, later on, these are the golden tickets.

What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is something you do to earn extra money while you’re working. You do it in addition to whatever your regular gig is, hence the term “side.” But it doesn’t automatically become your main source of income (nor does it ever have to).

The term “side hustle” has been hijacked by people who took the idea of having a side gig and replaced it with building a business so you can quickly quit your regular 9-to-5 job. But not everyone wants to or can risk ditching the day job. Especially not in today’s economy with the current cost of living.

Why consider a side hustle?
Having a side hustle is a great way to make some extra money while working your regular job. It can be anything from selling products online to doing freelance work, or providing services such as tutoring or pet-sitting. A side hustle provides an opportunity to bring in some extra income and gain valuable experience and skills. Here are just 10 of our top side hustle ideas to make money in 2024Make food or grocery deliveries
If you have a car and are looking for something that’s pretty much guaranteed to be available anytime and anywhere (so long as you live in a municipality large enough to sustain it), then consider becoming a food delivery driver.

While not the most glamorous side hustle idea, you can make legitimate cash driving for a company like Uber Eats or Instacart. The convenience of delivery is an in-demand service, especially in 2023 (who doesn’t want their groceries to just show up?). In a large city, chances are this can be a solid stream of income.

The downside to making deliveries is that you do need a car available (or a bike in some cases). But unlike taxiing people around, you don’t have to keep it spotless for passengers. You’ll also need stellar time management skills because the faster you deliver, the more money you can make.

Complete online surveys
It’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to become a millionaire from filling out online surveys. But you can absolutely make a little extra cash in your downtime if you dedicate it to sharing your opinion with companies looking for it.

Online surveys don’t provide a lot of extra income, nor are they consistent or scalable. But they’re a popular way to make money online because they can be done while you’re waiting in line, sitting on the train, or watching the latest bingeable show on Netflix.

Most surveys only take a few minutes of your time, and those that take longer usually pay a tad bit more. This side gig is easy to get into. You simply head to a site like Swagbucks or Toluna, fill out a profile and wait for them to send you surveys that are looking for someone like you.

Drive for Uber or Lyft
Driving for Uber or Lyft isn’t the perfect side hustle for everyone. But if you enjoy driving around and have regular access to a vehicle to pick up and drop off passengers, it can be a great way to bring in extra money.

What makes rideshare driving such an appealing gig is that you only have to work when you want to. Drivers create their own schedules and make money at times that work best for them. There are people who chose to make operating a rideshare car their full-time income.

Unfortunately, this option isn’t available unless you live in a large city that allows services like this to run. In Canada, cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary allow for rideshare drivers, but not all of those with smaller populations allow for more modern transportation options.

You also have to have access to a vehicle that meets the requirements of the rideshare service that you want to drive for. While this varies depending on the company and city, they often require a newer vehicle with at least five seats that are damage-free. However, there are a number of small business tax deductions you can take when you’re running a sole proprietorship like this.

Try Carsharing
As opposed to ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, etc) carsharing refers to renting your actual car out to someone else, instead of providing the driving services yourself.

As with the previous side hustle idea, you’ll obviously need a car to make this work — but car sharing is becoming an increasingly popular and viable way to get from point A to point B in a variety of professional and personal contexts.

In its “how to list your car” section of their website, the carsharing app Turo invites you to:

“Share your car whenever you’re not using it and earn an average of $620 per month on Turo, the world’s largest car-sharing marketplace.”

Obviously, there are approval and insurance processes to look into — but most car-sharing apps have streamlined the registration to make it quick and (relatively) painless! So if you have the time, the wheels, and the setup to make it work, carsharing might be a viable option to make a few extra hundred per month.

Sell or flip used products
Chances are, there are a ton of things in your house right now that you aren’t using. They’re tucked away in a box or on a shelf, gathering dust instead of making you money.

Savvy side hustlers use platforms like eBay, Craigslist, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and even Amazon to offload used merchandise for a pretty profit. This isn’t restricted to items you already own either—you can scope out products that you can buy cheap and flip online for a higher profit. Or even use Amazon’s Fulfilled By Amazon program to resell inventory.

The beauty of selling secondhand goods is that you can work in any niche you’re interested in, from books and clothing to kitchenware and vintage furniture. While this is mostly a part-time, off-hours gig, there could be potential to scale if you get savvy with it.

The downside to a side hustle in secondhand sales is that there is a lot of heavy lifting involved. You need to source, store, and market your business and products. You’re also restricted to the rules that the platform you choose to use has which could include the type or quality of the item.

Tutor online
If you’re knowledgeable about a particular subject (or several subjects), offering to tutor can be a great option to bring in money. Tutoring can pay via session or hourly, and you can easily bring in a few hundred dollars a month.

You can take on private tutoring clients on a local or international level through an online platform like Skype. Or you can connect with a company like VIPKID or Brainfuse that pays an hourly or contract rate but helps you obtain clients.

Teaching English is a popular tutoring gig for those who want to work and travel. The online experience could potentially lead to in-person jobs in other countries if that’s something that sounds appealing to you. However, there are often specific requirements to teach English.

Tutoring is not a great option if you’re looking for future scalability simply because tutoring usually happens in a one-on-one or small group setting. Unfortunately, we have a finite amount of time available, and we simply can’t create more to take on additional people.

Sell scrap metal
First things first: temper your expectations. Scrapping metal can make money, but it’s a lot of work.

On the scrap metal subreddit, one user writes:

“I’m at like $500-800 a month and I’ve been doing it for 7 years..my suggestion is to invest in an SUV, rip out the back row and passenger seat. Start gathering plastic bins, buckets and milk crates, and also invest in a trailer — most people won’t pick up washers and dryers, but they are a lot of weight. A small trailer will maximize your profits, also make sure you have sufficient closet and car space. Your car has to be literally packed to the brim.”

If you want to dive into the rough world of scrapping, we suggest this article: “How to Scrap Metal for Money: $400 a Month on the Side”. If you live in an area where the opportunity is realistic, then start scrapping!

Provide pet services
If you love pets, providing pet services is definitely on the table when it comes to side hustles. The potential is definitely there, from running a little pet daycare to overnight stays and grooming and walking services.

Services like walking or overnight stays are bound to be a little less flexible when it comes to your schedule because most owners will ask for a set time (or a window of time) where they want the task performed. However, something like grooming services can be booked on your schedule.

This is definitely a side hustle where you’ll want to look into the specific insurance required to watch and groom pets. But it could be a fun part-time way to make money for those that could use a little cuddle time with pets.

Start walking dogs
And, on the above note, have you ever seen someone walking down the street with a pack of pooches leashed to their waist? There’s a good chance those dogs weren’t all theirs, and a just-as-likely chance they were using a dog-walking app to monetize their love of canine companionship.

In 2023, hanging out with dogs isn’t just a fun pastime, but — with services like PetSitterPlus and Rover — a legitimate source of extra income!

Understandably, these apps require candidates to follow an approval process — but once that’s in the bag, you can very quickly begin applying to local dog walking and/or pet sitting jobs.

Host with Airbnb or Vrbro
Using Airbnb to host a space for a little extra cash can be a good source of passive income for those who want to keep their time free but want to make extra money. Of course, you need a space to host—a room, house or apartment space where people can stay. But if you have one, you’re golden.

Vrbro is a similar service but only allows listings of independent houses, whereas Airbnb allows rentals as small as a bedroom. There are other differences between the platforms, so if you’re renting an entire house, consider investigating both options.

You could absolutely cut these platforms out of the deal and list your space privately, but there are some serious benefits of using sites with a big reputation. Marketing is significantly easier, and new buyers are more trusting of well-known companies. Guests searching for somewhere to stay have a much greater chance of coming across your listing on a popular platform.

Plus, there is the added benefit of damage insurance which the company provides, the convenience of using their platform to collect deposits and payments, and customer support access.

Provide an Airbnb “Experience”
While obviously best-known for the abovementioned room hosting services, Airbnb also offers its more recently launched “Experiences” services, which it describes as “One-of-a-kind activities hosted by experts”. Among its most popular experiences are cooking ( “make and eat meals with locals who treat you like family”) and animals (“magical encounters hosted by animals and their advocates”).

Top-rated experiences can fetch a hefty sum. In Toronto, a top wine tasting experience runs from $125/person, while a night photoshoot in the photogenic Chinatown district can run from $200/person.

Some platforms similar to Airbnb Experiences include GetYourGuide, Klook, and Viator. If you’re looking for an online alternative, Onsite. Fun has the solution. Almost all experiences are vetted for quality, so be sure to offer something you’re proud of — and if you’re not there yet, start practicing!

Take gigs on Upwork
Upwork is a popular place for people looking to make some extra money online. Whether you can write blog posts, enter data, edit audio, create social media posts, or proofread, chances are there is someone on the platform looking for you.

What makes Upwork a great side hustle for people with full-time careers is that there is plenty of work to be done for almost any skill or experience. You bid for projects you’re interested in and breeze past ones that don’t interest you. And, best of all, you can complete projects on your own schedule.

The big downside to Upwork is that they take a pretty significant cut of your pay. While the exact percentage they take depends on how much work you get from a client (the more you do, the less they take), Upwork freelancers just starting out can expect to see 20 per cent go to the platform. They also charge a fee to transfer the money they collect on your behalf to you.

You also need “credits” to bid for jobs on Upwork. While you get credits on a monthly basis, you can pay for more. Freelancers also receive additional credits for getting “interviews” or replies to proposals they send.

Similar sites to Upwork include Freelancer, SolidGigs, and Toptal. You can sign up for an account (in some cases, you need to be accepted) and start looking for contract work you can finish on your own terms.

Start a blog
If you’re interested in the long-term online side hustle game, blogging can be a good choice. While making a profit off of a blog on the first day is highly unlikely unless you already have an audience, starting a blog has a high potential to bring in a steady stream of cash if you’re strategic about it.

Profitable bloggers use a variety of means to create income. From affiliate marketing and advertising to paid partnerships and products, there is ample opportunity to make this a lucrative side hustle. The key is to build a solid brand that your audience connects with and trusts.

Blogging is easy to balance with a full-time workload because you can create content in advance and schedule it to go live at your desired time. It has the potential to earn you a few hundred or thousand dollars a month, depending on the work you put into it.

The best news of all is that blogging is incredibly easy to get to. The internet is full of easy-to-access guides that can help you set up your first blog. It’s also relatively inexpensive to get off the ground. The downside is that you’ll have to put some work in before you see a profit.

Affiliate marketing
While affiliate marketing can be done as part of an income stream for a blog, you don’t necessarily need to have one to make money. When it comes to affiliate marketing, the only thing you really need is an engaged audience who trusts your opinion.

The idea behind affiliate marketing is that you team up with companies you love and share trackable affiliate links to their products provided by them (or through an affiliate platform) with your audience. When someone makes a purchase with your affiliate link, you get a small commission.

You don’t need any experience to become an affiliate marketer—for example, the Amazon Associates program is open to anyone who wants to give it a go. You simply need somewhere to share links for Amazon items you love.

Affiliate marketing can be done on a part-time basis while you’re working a full-time job. Or it can be scaled into your full-time work, depending on how much time and effort you put into it. However, in most cases, it takes a while to see significant results.

Start streaming on Twitch
Twitch is a video live streaming service that initially catered mostly to gamers and esports, but now hosts a wide variety of content. You can watch everything from Fortnite to live music to homework sessions and sports on Twitch. Some streamers even build a following simply by being themselves and talking to the camera.

One of Twitch’s most appealing features is that anyone can watch or create their own streaming channel for free. Lots of people stream on Twitch for fun to to engage themselves more in the community. Twitch streaming can also be a lucrative side hustle, but it requires a solid marketing plan to attract and monetize an audience.

Streamers who can earn through Twitch fall into two categories: Affiliates and partners. Becoming an affiliate only requires a small commitment; you must get at least 50 followers and stream at least 500 minutes on 7 unique days within a 30 day period. You must also have 3 or more average viewers.

Twitch affiliates earn 50% of subscriptions (often called “subs”) on their channel as well as 50% of revenue from “bits”, which viewers can use to tip streamers. They can also promote other products and services and accept donations. Some streamers build their entire content strategy around encouraging their audience to donate certain amounts.

Partner’s previously earned a greater share of their channel’s revenue, but they were recently reduced to the same rates as affiliates. Both streamer categories can also earn ad revenue, and partners have access to some additional features which may help them maintain and grow their audience.

While some Twitch enthusiasts may insist that you shouldn’t start streaming “for the money”, the reality is that few professional streamers earn monthly payments by accident. While the fact that anyone with the internet can stream on Twitch makes it appealing, it also means there’s a massive amount of competition.

That said, professional streaming is not a good side hustle or career if you don’t enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy the process of creating content live and interacting with your audience, making money on Twitch would be extremely laborious.

Start freelance writing
Freelance writers are those that write on a contract basis for a variety of platforms, from companies and blogs to news outlets, depending on the niche area they specialize in.

Freelance writing is unique in that while many do it as a full-time job, there are just as many that do it to supplement their income. Some writers even choose to focus on pieces specific to their full-time job to help compliment their resume (and pad their wallet).

Freelance writing is a good opportunity for those that enjoy writing, are good at it and are deadline-oriented. The startup costs are quite low, and you have a chance to make your own hours and work when you have free time. In most cases, you simply have a deadline to deliver content, and until then, you’re free to work when you want.

Sell services on Fiverr
Fiverr is another platform popular for freelancers of varied skill sets to make a bit of money online. It has a similar model to Upwork, except that it functions as more of a marketplace instead of a job board.

Instead of bidding for projects, freelancers on Fiverr sell their services. You have the autonomy to take on projects you love and reject those you aren’t interested in. And you can also set the prices of your services at whatever rate you choose.

Some freelancers and gig workers end up using the platform as their main source of income as there is no limit to home much work you can take on or the money you make. That said, while there is no monthly fee, the platform does take a 20 per cent cut of any money you earn.

Become an editor or proofreader
If you have a knack for spelling and grammar, proofreading might be the right side hustle for you. Proofreaders provide the final check on a variety of projects from manuscripts to blog posts, depending on their specialty.

Like proofreaders, editors also need a knack for the finer details of writing, but there tends to be more facets and specialties within the realm of editing. You can be a development editor who looks for plot holes and questions that need to be answered. Or you can edit all of the above for a particular section on a website.

Whether you want some holiday cash or you’re looking to pay off your student loan debt, there is a lot of work for both editors and proofreaders out there. Some jobs can be obtained through platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer, or you can find a part-time side hustle by searching on your own.

Start dropshipping
For side hustlers that dream of running their own online retail business but want to keep it part-time, dropshipping is the answer you’re looking for. You run an online store, but you don’t have to keep a physical inventory on-hand or deal with pesky little tasks like shipping.

You can open a dropshipping store with little-to-no experience. All you need is a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce (both of which you can access for an affordable rate) and a niche that you’re interested in selling in.

Once you have a platform to sell on, you’ll want to track down suppliers of products you want to sell. With Shopify, this can be done via plugins right on their platform, or you can source your own products if you have something else in mind. When your shop is set up it’s time to market and watch the sales roll in!

Dropshipping tends to have slightly higher costs than side hustles like starting a blog or creating digital products, but it’s still relatively cheap on the scale of internet businesses. How successful your business is will depend on how much work and strategy you put into it, but it can absolutely be done on a part-time basis.

One of the easiest types of dropshipping is Fulfillment by Amazon, otherwise known as Amazon FBA. This allows you to sell products on Amazon (or elsewhere) with Amazon’s massive infrastructure taking care of most of the work.

Teach online courses
While we mentioned tutoring earlier in the post, it’s not a terribly scalable way to teach because it tends to require you to offer sessions on a one-on-one or small group basis. But creating your own online courses can be a great solution for side hustlers.

The beauty of teaching your own online courses is that you can focus on topics that you love and are an expert in. You’d be pleasantly surprised by the kind of online courses that are successful—they’re not always the “how to grow your business” courses that you’d expect.

Knitting, yoga, traveling, and lifestyle topics are all fair game. The real gold in running your online course business is in your passion for and knowledge of the topic and your strategy when it comes to promoting it.

This is the ideal side hustle for those looking to work when they can and want to because it is a one-and-done model. You can make a course once and continue to promote it to future customers for as long as you’re willing to put in the effort.

You can create your own online course using a marketplace like Udemy, a platform like Thinkific, or an eCommerce app such as Shopify.

Create digital products
Digital products, much like online courses, run from that same one-and-done model. Products can essentially be a lite version of a digital course like an e-book or worksheet, though courses are also “digital products.”

The benefit to creating smaller digital products is that you can often create them faster than a whole course (depending on the size). However, you will most likely want to have your own platform to promote and sell them like a website.

E-books are a great example of a digital product, and many topics do well on platforms like Amazon. You can even use Kindle to create the final book, which takes a fraction of the time it would to do it manually.

This is a great option for hustlers that don’t have a ton of time but have the knowledge to share. Creating a single product doesn’t have to take a ton of time but if you market it correctly it has the potential to be wildly lucrative.

Become a virtual assistant
Starting a side hustle as a virtual assistant can help you flex muscles you already have, work on projects you’re passionate about and the hours you want to. It’s a good pick for those that have varied skills and want to add to their resume.

What this hustle entails varies—it can be performing the part-time role of an executive assistant, or it could mean that you specialize in a certain area, like email marketing, and help entrepreneurs connect with their audience. What services you offer are up to you.:

10 best side hustles to boost your income
If your goal is to bring in extra cash while you grow your full-time career or go to school, then a traditional gig on the side is probably what you’re looking for. Ideal hustles are flexible enough that you can do them when you are available and have time.

But not every side hustle is scalable. Some simply serve the purpose of giving you more money in exchange for a little more of your time. The following side hustles are ideal if you just want the extra cash, but you aren’t worried about starting a future entrepreneurial empire.

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