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Great Side Hustles That Pay

Side hustles (or side gigs) are great ways to augment your monthly income outside your daily 9 to 5. For instance, you can pay off a debt, pad your savings, grow your investment portfolio, or simply bring in enough money to carry the month. Truly great side hustles allow you to maintain a work/life balance while achieving personal goals.

Great side hustles can also allow you to brush up on unused skills, explore your interests, or develop completely new skills for future opportunities. They may even prove to be the testing ground where you discover if you can make it on your own.

If a great side hustle and extra cash are what you are after, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you want to explore your technical, artistic, or business acumen, this article has something for you. I’ve curated some great side hustles that pay. Along the way, I’ll let you know which ones I’ve tried and what may be next on my list.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you can collaborate with an overseas company to manufacture a product and ship it to Amazon’s warehouse, where customers purchase it. According to Jungle Scout, 20% of sellers make from $1,000 to $5,000 per month with FBA. Earning potential makes this option a great side hustle.

Amazon reports that 62% of sellers have full- or part-time jobs outside of Amazon. Additionally, 68% of sellers use FBA. Moreover, Amazon reports optimistic statistics about seller earnings. For instance, 63% of sellers achieve profitability within one year of launching their business on Amazon. 25% of sellers earn $100,000 in annual commerce revenue in two or fewer years, while 60% do so in over years–note that includes 10+ years and so on. More interesting statistics are available here. They aren’t bad.

There is some general upkeep that Amazon FBA requires, such as fees, sales tax, and prep requirements, along with backend administrative duties that must be set up before selling. Still, most of the hard work gets done at the beginning.

Your creativity and business savvy also limit this gig’s potential. After all, you must develop a product idea and negotiate with overseas manufacturers to build it. Yet, this gig requires less effort than Amazon’s Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) program. FBM requires you to mail out each product manually as it sells. That can prove tiresome. It’s much easier to let Amazon handle the logistics. Even better is that FBA also ensures your product will have the prime shipping option.

The bar to entry is also not terrible for this great side hustle. That is $1,000-$5,000, with the average Amazon seller spending $3,836. That price is comparable to other ventures, like publishing a book. Ask me how I know? Okay, I’ve published one. The ad for it follows.

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Your upfront cost for FBA includes your first bulk order and getting it shipped from overseas to Amazon’s warehouse. Getting it right still requires substantial market research, and tools like Jungle Scout can be beneficial in identifying the right product. If I’ve piqued your interest, you can learn more about Amazon FBA by clicking here.

Of the great side hustles I have not tried in this article, this one will probably be my second to next. I find the model intriguing and like coming up with my product ideas. However, some of the other gigs I mention on this page are ones I’m already doing, so I’m not ready for this one yet. The upfront cost isn’t terrible, but product development and advertising can be substantial efforts. That should not deter you, but there are other great side hustles you can get into sooner and at a lower entry cost.

Website Creation

Websites can help you to generate income via affiliate marketing, personal branding, sales, paid newsletters, and so much more. For the articles I post to The Grith Blog, affiliate marketing is my primary source of revenue. As of this article, I have participated in affiliate marketing for Amazon and Google AdSense. That isn’t because I’m exclusive. I just haven’t explored other affiliate opportunities.

Two of the higher income-generating options are affiliate marketing and personal branding. For me, the jury is still out. Still, affiliate marketing is a nifty way to earn passive income. Websites like mine promote products that readers are hopefully interested in and make a small commission when a reader clicks through an ad and purchases a product. In some cases, the commission is earned just for the click.

If you are passionate about specific items, you can also write blogs about them and include an ad to purchase the product in your review. Most people, myself included, look for reviews and recommendations online when thinking of buying a product. If your review or recommendation is the one that pushed them to make the purchase, you can gain a small commission for the sale.

For instance, I love books, and one genre I frequently find myself reading is real estate investing. Three of the ones I’ve read stand out as great books, and I often recommend them. The below advertisements are all affiliate ads with Amazon.

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If you do create a website, you will need to learn a thing or two about domains, SSL certificates, hosting platforms, WordPress, website builders, or HTML&CSS. Fortunately, there are website hosting platforms, like SiteGround, that make handling the above items easier.

Building websites is a hobby for me, and I enjoy playing with HTML/CSS/JavaScript code. However, when I started looking to sell products, I quickly found it was much simpler to use WordPress and take advantage of its many available add-ons, such as shopping carts and checkout options.

It is also important that your blogs and content become top spots in Google searches if you want to drive readers to your website and generate revenue. Google’s ranking system considers many factors. You will have to do your research and develop great content, so readers find your website and keep returning. That is no easy feat and one I’m still attempting to figure out. If I ever do, I’ll post it here.

Of course, getting readers to your website is one thing, but getting them to click on a generated advertisement is another thing altogether. Real estate investing is one of my great side hustles. Perhaps not for money, but at least for technical development and learning. Still, website development is one of the great side hustles you can certainly do after your 9 to 5.

Private Tutoring and Teaching

If you have a daytime job, you probably already have education, training, or experience that others will find desirable. It could be math, programming, electronics, electrical work, plumbing, etc. Other people want to know what you know and are willing to pay to learn it.

They may also just be struggling in school and need someone to guide them through some homework or chapter material. The pay for tutoring can range from $15 per hour to as much as $100 per hour or more.

You can advertise on Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, Facebook groups, and even your website to find customers. When it comes to tutoring, you can do so in person or over platforms like tutoringme, tutor.com, preplea, and varsity tutor. Similarly, if you speak English, there are plenty of opportunities to teach conversational English via sites like vipkid for $15-$22/hour.

Beyond tutoring, you could take it further and generate educational content for Udemy.com or teach a class in person. I have consulted to develop programming courses in the past, and I occasionally teach a night course in programming at a local university. Both of these are great side hustles for maintaining my programming skills. I haven’t yet developed courses for Udemy or LinkedIn Learning, but I am glad others do. I complete courses on these platforms all the time.

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Service Gigs

Service gigs include online businesses like proofreading, reviewing, editing papers, copyrighting; ghostwriting; website development, logo creation, and so much more. These great side hustles are also easy to start. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork are great platforms to provide your services. Do it well and repeat customers may be interested in assigning you a monthly retainer.

Because of online platforms, you can perform these gigs from anywhere. They also help you to work with multiple clients at once. A few people, like Alex Fusulo, a Fiverr millionaire offering website content development, biography writing, press release writing, blog writing, and e-book writing and editing,” have done exceptionally well on Fiverr.

By the way, Alex Fusulo wrote a short paperback, 25 pages, detailing her formula for achieving a 6-Figure income in less than six months. However, the book has a rating of 3.6 stars, and some comments read as follows.

“…This book has 25 pages and maybe two helpful tips. But it has shown you the formula. Create anything, make it sound better than it is, keep the price low, and you will make money.”

So, not great, but no one can discount what Alex has achieved in the industry. I also guarantee she has sold way more books than I have.

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Now, if you want something more substantial, you might try a book by Patrick Smith and his team. Their book is The Fiverr Master Class: The Fiverr Secrets Of Six Power Sellers That Enable You To Work From Home.

There is also plenty of cheap and free content available on Amazon and other sources–“Hello, Google”–that can have you generating ideas within minutes.

This gig also ranks top of my list for great side hustles I plan to try next. Like FBA, it has a low bar to entry. You bring the skills, and the platform links you with customers.

Fiverr is also the platform I turned to when editing and preparing my book for publication. I found editors, logo designers, book formatters, book cover designers, and more on this site that helped me cross the publication finish line.

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Translator

Opportunities as a translator are available if you are fluent in multiple languages. The translation industry is a rapidly growing enterprise with gigs around the world. If you like it, it could become a full-time career.

Services you can offer include translation, proofreading, transcription, subtitling, voiceover, and multilingual data labeling services. The only equipment you need is a laptop and an internet connection. 

To find work, seek out LSP (language service providers) and sign up on their website. Most of these gigs only require a few weeks of training, and income estimates range anywhere from $8 to $40 an hour based on which languages you speak and your years of experience. 

While I continue to study a second language, I’m probably more in need of this service than I am suitable to provide it. Still, this could be a great side hustle for those who have the proficiency for it!

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Notary Public

By becoming a commissioned electronic notary and working for Notary.Notarize.com, you can work from home and make your schedule. Some notary loan signing agents report incomes of $10,000+ monthly, earning six figures annually. That sounds more like a full-time job.

Each state has statutes that list how much a notary can charge for fees of the notary service. However, I have on numerous occasions needed a notary to sign off on documents I needed to send, and I needed them outside my 9 to 5. It’s a needed service and one you can do as time permits. You can learn more here.

Being a notary public isn’t a gig I’m considering for myself. Being a notary means you have to witness the things you are signing. So, people either have to come to you, or you have to go to them, and I’d rather not deal with the coordination. I have other side hustles that interest me more.

Pet Sitter

Do you love animals? If so, pet sitting is a great side hustle. The work is flexible and needed. You also get to play with some adorable pets. After working a 9 to 5, playing with someone else’s pets may be just what the doctor ordered.

It’s also not that hard to get started. Gone are the days of networking at dog parks and pinning up bulletin board ads. Thanks to web-based platforms like Rover and Wag, putting yourself out there as a pet sitter is pretty simple. All you have to do is sign up, create a profile, and get matched with people in your area who need pet services.

You can even choose what services you want to offer. For example, maybe you are only available to walk pets on the weekends, but you could house sit anytime. It’s a solid way to generate cash flow when you need it. Do it long enough, and you will quickly build a list of repeat customers. By the way, rover.com is how I found my current pet sitter; we’ve been using her for years.

This job pays, but it will probably be in hundreds per month–not thousands. The average part-time salary for a Rover dog sitter is about $1,000 (actually, $800 after the 20% fee). That number is based on a survey Rover did of three sitters. Other users reported $500 per month. Visit Rover’s Q&A community to learn more.

While I love cats and have a soft spot for dogs and other critters, this gig still hasn’t made it high on my list. I frequently have to pick up and travel, and my interests tend to be more academic. I also have my own little fur buddies to look after at home.

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Rent Your Car

Do you own a vehicle that you don’t drive that often, or do you have a second vehicle? Renting your car can provide a passive income stream.

Two platforms you may already be familiar with are Turo and Getaround. You can think of them like an AirBnB for cars. These platforms allow owners to list their vehicles as part of an independent car rental service. I rented a Jeep Gladiator while vacationing in Kauai earlier this year. I had a great experience.

As with Airbnb, Turo and Getaround cover car owners with up to $1 million in liability insurance. Owners also have the right to deny or accept renters or remove their vehicle listing at any time. However, you may want to double-check your insurance policy to see if it will cover damages to your car, something liability won’t cover, in case your vehicle is in an accident.

Local supply and demand and any perks you offer will determine how frequently your vehicle gets rented. For instance, if you are willing to pick someone up at the airport, include a cooler of beverages in the truck bed, or have some fishing or camping gear, you may see your vehicle rented more often.

Additionally, for budget planning purposes, don’t count on renting your car out every day. Moreover, make sure you factor in commission fees. Getaround will charge 40% of booked rentals, while Turo will charge between 15% and 35%, depending on your insurance coverage.

My experience with Turo while in Kauai was great! It was so good that I briefly considered signing up. However, I don’t own a secondary vehicle, and I’m not willing to give up access to my primary one.

Real Estate Investing

If you’ve read many of my other articles, you probably know I’m a real estate investor. In my book, Transition Time: A Veteran’s Guide to a Thriving Transition, I also discuss my entry into this great side hustle.

Very few side gigs have the potential to generate wealth, like real estate investing. Regardless of your income level, there are multiple ways to enter this field. If you have savings, you can jump right in as a buy-and-hold investor, a private money lender, or a fix-and-flipper. If you have limited cash resources, that’s not a problem. You can start as a house-hacker or a wholesaler.

I won’t go into details for brevity, but none of my other side gigs compare with my real estate ventures. Besides generating a passive income, I love starting with an older home needing work and turning it into something tenants will appreciate. While I often outsource most renovations, this great side hustle allows me to work on my home improvement skill.

If you’re interested in learning more, another one of my side gigs is coaching future real estate investors. If that interests you, let me know via this website’s contact form.

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A Final Word (or Two) on Great Side Hustles

Thanks to new platforms, like Fiverr, Turo, Uber, Amazon, etc., it is easier than ever to find a side hustle for which you are uniquely qualified. These opportunities are also flexible enough that you can work them around your 9 to 5. Welcome to the emerging ‘gig economy.’

As you consider these great side hustles, pick the ones that will still afford you some work-life balance. Do your due diligence, and assess each gig’s flexibility, pay, and overall earning potential. You might want to speak with people already working these gigs and see what you can learn about pay, worker satisfaction, and any pros or cons.

It’s also prudent to capitalize on your experience and existing skills. Doing so can help you break into your next gig at a sprint. Alternatively, you can choose gigs that appeal to you and give them a go. The worst case is you end up with less money and wasted time but some useful experience. So, is it a waste? However, the best case will see you finding a new passion and getting paid for it.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What are your great side hustles, and do they pay? Which ones do you recommend over others? What do you wish you knew before you gave them a shot?

Read more!

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