The best side business ideas can help you make some extra money while working full-time on your day job. Today, many opportunities exist to start a profitable side hustle while working from home in your spare time.
Unlike full-time work-from-home jobs, side business ideas only use a portion of your day, so you can still go to your 9-5 job. But who knows, your side business can quickly grow into a full-time business, and you may want to leave your day job!
A great starting point is to leverage your existing skills and look for ways to monetize them. For example, if you’re an experienced graphic designer, start offering graphic design services on freelance sites like Fiverr or Upwork. Or, if you have experience in web development, create a website providing web development services and charge premium prices for your work.
Other ideas include selling products online (such as through Etsy or eBay), proofreading documents, offering digital marketing services, setting up a virtual assistant business, creating an eCommerce store, being a student tutor, or teaching classes online.
There are countless ideas you can choose when starting a side business. Let’s check them out!
What Are The Best Side Business Ideas To Earn Extra Money?
Starting a blog is an excellent way to make extra money. After committing full-time to it for less than a year, the blog you’re reading became a full-time business. I did this because my stock music business was running in the background.
For instance, you can start a book or fitness blog and monetize it in different ways.
You can use advertising to earn money from ad clicks and impressions or promote affiliate products and earn a commission on sales made through your unique affiliate link. You can also work with brands and get paid to create sponsored content that aligns with your blog’s niche and audience.
By blogging with consistent effort and strategic planning, you can become a full-time blogger sooner than you think.
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2. Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate marketing is an excellent side hustle idea for anyone who wants to earn extra money without creating their own products. It works by promoting products you didn’t create and earning a commission for every successful sale.
The key to a successful affiliate marketing business is choosing valuable products and creating content that educates your audience about the product’s benefits. Successful affiliate marketers leverage social media platforms, email marketing, or blogs to reach their target audience and promote their affiliate links.
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you can start by joining affiliate programs of companies you already use and trust. Many programs offer marketing materials and resources to help you promote their products effectively.
Also, some courses and training programs, like the Legendary Marketer 15-Day Challenge, can help you learn the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and set you up for success. This program helped me earn my first-ever affiliate commission and take my affiliate marketing game to the next level.
3. Stock Photographer
If you love photography, you can sell your photos on stock photo websites like Pond5, Shutterstock, or iStock. Many businesses and individuals always seek high-quality images for their websites and marketing materials.
Stock photography is a lucrative side hustle idea for anyone with a talent for capturing stunning visuals. When selling your photos on stock photography sites, you earn passive income and build a portfolio of work showcasing your photography skills.
Most businesses are willing (and expect) to pay for high-quality images that align with their brand’s message and identity. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what types of images sell well and meet the technical standards required by stock photo sites.
With practice, you can hone your photography skills and create a library of images that appeal to a broad range of customers and generate consistent income.
4. Stock Music Composer
If you’re a musician, you can create and sell stock music through websites like AudioJungle or Pond5. Stock music is often used in commercials, films, and other creative projects.
Before starting to work as a full-time blogger, I used to make a living selling stock music. Creating and selling stock music on royalty-free music websites like AudioJungle and Pond5 was a fantastic way to earn extra money while pursuing my passion for music.
This side hustle allows you to start your own business by exploring different musical genres, creating original soundtracks, and licensing your music to clients worldwide. Whether a beginner or an experienced musician, you can turn your musical talent into a profitable side hustle by composing stock music.
With persistence and a good ear for music, you can build a reputation as a sought-after composer and earn money doing what you love.
5. Teach a Language
Teaching a language is not only a profitable side hustle—it can be a rewarding experience. Sharing your language skills with others can help people improve their communication and cultural understanding.
Online language teaching platforms like iTalki or Verbling provide a user-friendly interface for teachers and learners to connect, schedule lessons, and communicate. You may set your own rates and availability and use your teaching experience to develop personalized lesson plans for your students.
Whether you’re a native speaker or have learned a language through your travels or studies, creating a business around teaching a language can be a fulfilling and lucrative way to make money on the side.
6. Sell Your Skills
Do you have a particular skill set that others may need? Consider selling your services online through platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. You can offer anything from graphic design to voiceover work to web development to make some extra cash.
By selling your skills, you can reap the benefits of your years of training and experience. There is always a market for your particular set of talents, as everyone has at least one area of expertise.
You decide when and where you work, how much you earn, and, most importantly, be your own boss. Who knows, you might even find that your side hustle turns into a full-time gig! So don’t be shy; put yourself out there and start making that extra dough.
7. Open an Etsy Shop
If you’re creative and crafty, you can sell your handmade goods on Etsy. From jewelry to home decor to clothing, there’s a market for all kinds of unique and handmade items.
Etsy is the most popular platform for all things handmade, including vintage and unique. It’s a treasure trove of original finds you won’t see in any big-box store. And if you’re the one creating those handmade goodies, you could turn it into a profitable side business.
Among Etsy’s many advantages is that opening a shop there requires little technical know-how. You only need a decent camera, some imagination, and the guts to share your work with the world.
A tip to get you on the right track is to start by looking at what’s already popular on the site. You’ll find everything from handmade candles to custom t-shirts to vintage furniture. Then, you can open an account on Etsy and start listing your items.
Starting a podcast is a great side hustle for anyone who loves to discuss a particular topic, even if you don’t have a great voice.
With podcasting software like Anchor or Buzzsprout, it’s easier than ever to record and publish your own podcast episodes. You can cover any topic, from veganism to knitting to personal finance.
With millions of people tuning in to podcasts daily, you have audiences for just about anything you can imagine. Furthermore, once you gain a loyal following of fans, you can monetize your podcast through sponsorships and advertising.
9. Sell Your Online Course
You can turn your knowledge and expertise into a profitable online course using platforms like Thinkific and Teachable. These online course platforms give you all the tools you need to create, market, and sell your courses to a global audience.
You can offer courses on anything from photography to cooking to digital marketing. With the right niche and marketing strategy, you can build a passive income stream that generates revenue while you sleep.
10. Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the Internet (right after Google). That’s why starting a YouTube channel is a great way to make money online for years.
My YouTube channel, Musical Wanderings, has allowed me to earn hundreds of dollars monthly (just with advertising) by sharing my relaxing musical performances. You can monetize your channel through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing with the right niche, engaging content, and consistent effort.
Yes, most people don’t know, but Musical Wanderings is my relaxing music side hustle, where I publish meditative and relaxing music on YouTube.
11. Dog Walking
You can start a dog-walking service or dog-sitting in your local area if you have a passion for dogs. It’s an excellent way to make some extra money on the side, as many dog owners are too busy with work to take their pets for walks throughout the day.
In order to get more customers, you can promote your business on social media, print flyers to hand out in the area, or launch a website.
If you have a knack for plants and gardening, you can make a living doing what you love. Many homeowners are too busy to maintain their gardens and are willing to pay for professional help.
You can offer services like mowing, trimming, planting, and even landscaping. Advertise your services in local gardening stores or on community notice boards to attract more clients.
13. Write Content Online
With the rise of digital media content, there is an increasingly high demand for online content writers. Platforms like Upwork allow you to create a profile and start bidding on content writing projects from clients all over the world.
You can specialize in anything from blog writing to technical writing to social media content and even leverage AI writing assistants. As you build up your portfolio and reputation, you can increase your rates and earn a steady income from writing online.
14. Graphic Designer
If you have a knack for design, offering your services as a freelance graphic designer can be another great side business idea. Many businesses need help with designing logos, brochures, flyers, and other marketing materials.
As a graphic designer, you can work with clients remotely and set your own rates. You can start by creating a portfolio of your work and reaching out to potential clients on freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
15. Web Designer
If you have experience with coding and web design, you may offer your services as a freelance web designer. Many businesses need help with creating and maintaining their websites.
You have the freedom to work while traveling and choose your own hours and pay rate as a freelance web designer. A good place to start is by making a portfolio of your best work and contacting potential clients via freelance websites like Upwork or Fiverr.
As a translator, you can offer your services online to individuals and businesses who need documents, websites, or other materials translated into another language.
Globalization has increased the demand for translation services, making it a viable business idea. You can specialize in a particular language or niche, such as legal or medical translation, and set your rates accordingly.
Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer can help you find clients and get started in the industry. Furthermore, you can market yourself through social media and word-of-mouth referrals to build a strong client base.
Cleaning is a great side business for people who like working with their hands and don’t mind getting dirty. You can offer your residential or commercial cleaning services and charge clients hourly or by the job.
This idea lets you specialize in specific types of cleaning, such as deep cleaning, move-in/move-out cleaning, or carpet cleaning. You can advertise your services on social media, local classifieds, or even create a website to get a wider reach for your cleaning business.
18. Sell Items on eBay
Starting a business doesn’t have to be complicated; you can do it from home, selling your own stuff.
If you know how to find unique items at garage sales or thrift stores, you can start a side business selling those items on eBay. You can start by selling items from your own collection or by finding items selling on eBay and then purchasing them at a lower price. You can also specialize in a specific type of item, such as vintage clothing or rare collectibles.
Selling old stuff on eBay can be an extremely profitable business idea if you happen to find valuable rarities.
19. Rent Your Home on Airbnb
Using Airbnb to rent a spare room in your home or a vacation rental property is a great way to make some additional money or launch a new career. You can make a significant amount of money by renting out your space to travelers, and you are flexible to set your own prices and availability.
This is the ideal side business idea for anyone with a full-time job who doesn’t want to start a typical online business.
Babysitting is a classic side hustle that is always in demand. You can offer your services as a babysitter to families in your area and charge by the hour or the job.
You can also specialize in specific age groups, such as infants or toddlers. If you like staying at home, taking care of other people’s babies is a terrific home business idea.
If you have specialized knowledge in an area, such as writing, composing, editing, or programming, you may want to consider working as a freelancer.
There are many platforms to find freelance gigs, such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. On the other hand, you can create your website and advertise your freelancing services.
Dropshipping is a popular side business model allowing you to sell products without holding inventory. You can create an online store and partner with a dropshipping supplier such as AliDropship to fulfill orders for you.
Dropshipping allows you to sell a variety of products, from clothing to electronics, and you have the flexibility to work from anywhere.
23. Virtual Assistant
As a virtual assistant, you may offer administrative or technical support to clients from anywhere in the world. You can handle tasks such as email management, social media management, scheduling, or research.
You can find virtual assistant gigs on platforms like Upwork or Freelancer or create your own website and advertise your services.
24. Social Media Manager
If you love spending time on social media, you can turn your hobby into a business by becoming a social media manager. Social media managers are responsible for creating and curating content, posting updates, and engaging with followers on social media platforms.
Not all small business owners have time to manage their social channels. Therefore, they must rely on social media managers, making this a lucrative business.
As a social media manager, you can work with businesses, influencers, and even individuals to help them grow their social media presence. You can charge a flat fee or a percentage of the total budget for your services.
25. Monetize Your Social Media Channels
You don’t need to manage other people’s social channels to start a profitable side business through social platforms.
If you already have a large social media audience, you can monetize your channels by promoting products or services. Companies are always looking for influencers to help them market their products to a broader audience.
Affiliate marketing is another way to advertise products and make money from customers who buy them using your referral link.
26. Write an eBook
Writing eBooks is a great side business idea you can do from home.
If you have a writing talent, you can write an eBook and sell it on Amazon Kindle. With Kindle Direct Publishing, it’s easy to self-publish your work and start earning money from your writing.
You can write about any topic you want, whether fiction, a how-to guide, a novel, or even a collection of short stories. The more niche your topic is, the better your chance of standing out in a crowded market.
27. Print on Demand
Print-on-demand services like Redbubble and TeePublic allow you to create designs or write witty slogans and sell them on t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and more.
One of the advantages of print-on-demand is that you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping, as the company takes care of that for you. All you have to do is be creative with your designs and upload them to the websites.
If you know how to use tools like Canva or Photoshop basics, print-on-demand is a great business idea you can start today.
28. Become a User Tester
If you enjoy testing out new products and giving feedback, you can become a user tester.
Companies like Wynter and UserTesting pay people to test their products and give feedback on the user experience. This allows you to work from the convenience of your home and earn extra money in your spare time.
29. Wedding Planning Business
If you like organizing and planning, you could enjoy working in the wedding planning industry.
A wedding planner’s duties include assisting engaged couples with all aspects of planning and carrying out their nuptials, from securing the services of reliable vendors to developing a well-organized schedule.
Building a website exhibiting your work, connecting with other wedding professionals, and advertising your services are great ways to get your business off the ground.
Best Side Business Ideas: Over To You!
Starting a side business or side hustle is an excellent way to earn extra money and eventually turn it into a full-time business.
All the ideas mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to side gigs. The key is to find a new business model that matches your skills, interests, and resources.
With the rise of the Internet, starting and growing your business online or working from home has never been easier. Whether looking to supplement your day job income or start a new career, you have plenty of profitable side business ideas to explore.