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7 Min. Read

Best Side Hustles. Real Ways to Earn Extra Money.

Considering a side hustle to make some extra money? Consider these ideas first.

  1. Driving
  2. Reselling
  3. Blogging
  4. Freelancing
  5. Direct Selling

1. Driving

Driving is a red hot profession right now, with the creation and growth of ridesharing programs. You’ve seen the ads. You’re told you can set your own hours and make terrific income. Depending on where you live, you may have your choice of driving for Uber or Lyft, or both.

Both companies are headquartered in San Francisco. Uber drivers work in approximately 800 cities worldwide and a client tipping feature was added to the app in 2017 (that’s good news if you’re considering this side hustle). You must own or provide a car to drive for them, have a valid driver’s license, and a smartphone. You must also pass Uber’s background check. In some cities, the vehicle being used must go through a safety inspection. You may also be required to have a business license but that also depends on the city.

Lyft is available in 300 cities in the United States and Canada. If you want to drive for Lyft, you are also required to undergo a background check that includes a search through sex offender registries. With Lyft you may also have to do an in-person interview.

With both services, estimates vary on the earnings you’ll make because you have to take into account the wear on your car, the accumulation of mileage and the cost of gas (you’ll want a fuel-efficient car if you’re doing this a lot) and of course, how much you will be driving. There’s also a lot of lost time waiting for clients to get to the curb. However, if you drive during ‘surge pricing’ where car rides are more in demand, you can make more.

If you prefer not to deal with the public, but still want to drive, you could consider delivering products or food, like for Amazon Flex or UberEATS. Typically, food delivery drivers will be expected to work in the evening though.

If you’re thinking of driving as a side hustle, consider your general state of health too. How long will you be driving each time you go out, and do you have any conditions that would require frequent breaks? Plan on moving around and stretching while you’re waiting for your late clients, even if it’s only for a minute. Otherwise you should consider ways to get a little more exercise when you’re not actually behind the wheel, like a morning walk or joining a health club.

2. Reselling

This practice refers to the finding and purchasing of products that are in demand, and then reselling them at higher prices. Many small businesses that do this now partner themselves with Amazon, which offer “selling plans” that can also handle payment and fulfillment of orders. This eases the burden on resellers from having to develop their own retail sites, even their own “brand”, but these services do come with a cost.

Perhaps you don’t want to go that big though, and just want to resell occasionally. Either way, how do you find those much desired-products at a cost you can afford and make some profit too? Consider:

  • Estate Sales (Get There Early)
  • Auctions
  • Garage Sales
  • Discount Department Stores
  • Manufacturers (Buy in Bulk)
  • Local Classifieds
  • Websites
  • Your network (ask around, ask on Facebook. People are dying to get rid of ‘stuff’ for money)

3. Blogging

Creating a blog may sound hard at first to someone who has never done it. You need an affordable web hosting service, and you need something to write about. What is ideal is writing about something that becomes popular with readers so that the site becomes attractive to advertisers. Here are a couple of ways you can make money on a blog:

  • Affiliate Programs. You provide a link within your blog, to say, Amazon. When someone clicks through and buys something, you earn a commission.
  • Google AdSense or Other Website Advertising Programs. You allow text or displays ads (or both) from advertisers to be placed on your website. You decide exactly where these ads can appear. You get paid when the ads are seen (this is called “impressions”) or clicked on (called “pay-per-click”).

Whatever the idea is for your blog, you want the content to be original and authentic. You want it to be so good that readers sign up for your next newsletter and visit your site often.

Here’s an example of a food blog called “The Minimalist Baker”, started by a couple who had an idea to provide easy thirty-minute recipes to their readers. It does not publish every day, but the popularity of the website eventually led to the couple writing and selling their own cookbooks, as well as making money through ads posted on their site.

4. Freelancing

Ask yourself – What exactly are you great at? What do you do already, right now, that may be in demand? Can you impart your guidance or assistance to people who need it? Maybe you can help people with their resumes, or teach them conversational Italian? Maybe you can start a business that provides in-home personal training? Or music lessons? Consider focusing on a particular skill that you have, that you also enjoy, that you can make some cash doing in your spare time.

5. Direct Selling

If you don’t want to start a business yourself, you can make money by selling for someone else as a “Direct Seller”. This means you are selling outside the retail “bricks and mortar” environment and often you can set your own hours. And there’s plenty to choose from in the way of products – home and health care, cosmetics, wine, gardening supplies, pet products, jewellery, toys and of course tupperware (just to name a few).

Keep in mind that these types of side hustles are commission-based. You’ll want to talk to the company representative first to see what kind of support you have, and if there are any fees involved in becoming a direct seller.

Other Questions Related to Best Side Hustles:

What’s a Side Hustle?

What Is the Best Side Hustle?

What’s a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is an activity that provides income. Previously a side hustle referred to a ‘part-time job’ or “gig” with semi-regular hours, but today it encompasses anything that generates income for the person undertaking the hustle. It could still be a part-time job with set hours or a startup like building a website or an app. For instance, a website can generate income while the website owner is doing something else, like a full-time job.

Let’s use an example. John is a professor at a large university. From Monday to Friday he teaches economics to first year students. However, he’s always had a passion for music and has been practicing the piano his whole life. He loves to play for his family and at the odd social gathering. On Saturdays and during summer weekdays, he offers piano lessons to students for extra money. That’s John’s side hustle.

What Is the Best Side Hustle?

A best side hustle is one that provides not only extra income, but is enjoyable. If you are considering a side hustle, you also want to consider the time involved, the start up costs and the taxes you will pay on the extra income.

You should also consider the scalability of the side hustle. Let’s say your available hours to run a side hustle differ from week to week. Does the hustle offer some flexibility? Can last minute changes be accommodated? Also, what if you suddenly have more hours available and wish to make more money? In other words, is the earning potential up to you?

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