Starting a side hustle is one of the most powerful ways you can leverage your time, energy, and passion to earn extra money online.
The best side hustle ideas can turn just a few hours of hustle every day, into passive income streams that generate extra income on the internet - helping you remove financial stress, and win back your time.
The Visualize Value side hustle story started back in 2019, with a simple idea - earn $1 on the internet.
Alongside running a fully-fledged design consultancy, we started building social media audiences by sharing visuals that helped people make sense of complex business, philosophical, and entrepreneurial concepts.
Fast forward two years, Visualize Value now generates millions of dollars selling online courses, and leveraging a diverse, and talented online community that is working together to create, and innovate at the edge of the internet - but this is a long way from where we started.
We are going to walk you through the best side hustle ideas out there, how you can make your first $1 in side hustle income, and why building the right mindset is essential to success.
What is a Side Hustle?
Side hustles give you a way to earn money on top of your 9-5 day job, in order to supplement your income, and win back your time.
The best side hustle ideas are those that you can run in your spare time, and that centralize around areas you are passionate about or want to learn and develop in.
Getting a side hustle off the ground can be a challenging task, so it's important that you care about the side project you're working on, and that you adopt the right mindset to become successful over time.
While not all side hustles are designed to make money, the majority of entrepreneurs and side hustle owners focus on the initial goal of making $1,000 per month in side income.
Not only does this help ease financial stress, and create cash flow, but this is a great marker to aim for when you're just starting out.
Side hustles can also be a great way to earn extra cash fast. If you are just getting started and struggling for ideas, there are quick ways to get a side hustle off the ground from home so that you can start earning extra cash.
Start by taking a second side hustle job by accessing gig economy apps. While you're not building an asset you can leverage for the long-term, it's a good way to start earning a few extra bucks, while you work things out.
Adopting a Side Hustle Mindset
Before we dive into the top 10 best side hustle ideas you should focus on to make more money online, let's talk about developing a side hustle mindset - this is a crucial step for any entrepreneur that's looking to level up, and earn passive income.
The First Step Is The Steepest
When you're just starting out with your side hustle idea, it can be daunting to know where to start, and how much effort to put in. But ultimately, you just need to get moving.
Whether you're looking to make money fast or start a side hustle that could grow into something bigger, focus on making tangible steps forward every day to get your side hustle off the ground.
Momentum is hard to build and easy to lose, but if you want to make good money outside of your full-time job, then you need to get moving and become consistent - procrastination kills the best side hustle ideas, so adopt the right mindset from the offset.
Done Is Better Than Perfect
When you're getting your side hustle off the ground, focus on getting things done, rather than being perfect.
The best side hustles force you to learn new skills, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and overcome new challenges. If you focus too hard on being perfect from the get-go, then you'll never be successful.
Fail fast, and fail forward.
Work Backwards From Your Goals
Think about what success looks like upfront.
If you are looking to start a side hustle to earn more money fast, then think about the quick ways you can make extra cash on the side. Whether that is starting a dog walking service, renting your spare room, or starting a personal training business.
Alternatively, if you want to build something that is greater than the sum of its parts. And something that can overtake your day job income, then calculate upfront the revenue and profit you will need to drive to make the transition to focusing on your business full-time.
While it's important to start moving, having an idea of where you want to get to will make you more efficient and driven to achieve your objectives.
And if it's not about earning extra income right away, lean into the hard skills that your side hustle can teach you, which you can leverage to build value, and make money in the future.
Top 10 Best Side Hustle Ideas To Earn Extra Money
When we started Visualize Value, we had no idea how many people we could help, and how many online business owners and entrepreneurs we could inspire.
We focused on learning the skills and tactics that other side hustle owners could leverage to grow their own brands online, and packaged those skills into online courses that fast-track the process, and drive efficiency.
That's why we want to focus your attention on the big online business ideas that can replace your day job, and drive you passive income for years to come.
1. Launch an Online Blog and Design a Content Engine
One of the easiest and best ways to start a side hustle from home is to start an online blog.
While it can be a grind to get off the ground, starting a blog as your main side hustle is an excellent long-term play that can help you earn extra money, and eventually replace your full-time income.
There are millions of niches on the internet, where consumers are looking for information, product advice, and resources to help them meet their everyday goals.
Millions of content sites online drive passive income on the internet by producing content that visitors come to consume, swapping that attention for digital advertising dollars, affiliate commissions, and own product sales.
As a side hustler are in the perfect position to create content within a niche that you're passionate about and provide value.
What's more, this type of side hustle forces you to learn new skills if you want to take your fun side hustle idea to the next level. Not only do you need to learn to design content that converts, but you will also need to develop expertise in search engine optimization and affiliate marketing.
If you're serious about starting your own business by creating content, learn how to understand search demand on Google. And focus on creating content that is structured to rank on search terms that will drive you traffic while you sleep.
The best content websites and online blogs rank their content on thousands of search terms. That means they get a regular flow of traffic 365 days a year, and a chance to convert that traffic into revenue.
If you can master this skill, then you can build a content asset that makes you passive income, and side hustle money on auto-pilot.
The best ways to make money from online blogging include placing affiliate links in your content, selling your own online courses, selling sponsored content, and partnering with brands who want to promote to your audience.
If you don't know where to start, freelance writing is a great way to work on your content skills - you can also check out our courses that show you exactly how to turn online blogging into your main income stream.
2. Get Your Online Course Business Off The Ground
Another brilliant side hustle idea is to build and sell online courses.
While starting an online blog is a great way to build passive income over time, online courses give you the ability to package your expertise into a digital product that you can launch and sell on your own online store straight away.
The reason that online courses are one of the best side hustle ideas is that the economics are stacked in your favor.
Firstly, as long as you can drive traffic to your online course (through search engines, social media, or affiliate marketing) then the chances are high that you will maintain a healthy profit margin when you start to make sales.
In fact, there really is no cost to selling an online course, beyond producing the content. That means you can drive 100% profit margin over time, and you don't need to worry about the headaches of physically delivering your product.
That's right, no shipping costs, inventory issues, or stock shortages.
The best side hustlers will work on multiple strategies to drive their online business, promoting online courses via social media, and their own online blog - in turn, accessing huge audiences on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook, while also building a content engine that ranks in Google.
Like any online business, there are still challenges to think about. These days, there is so much free content online, competing for customers' attention. That means you need to create exponential value within your digital product in order to give customers a reason to buy.
Don't rush this process, focus on learning skills that you can leverage, and use them to help make other people's lives easier. If you can master this, then you have a great shot at earning extra income with this side hustle idea.
If you want to get started right away, check out our Build Once, Sell Twice Online Course, which shows you how we scaled our online course side hustle from $0-2,000,000 per annum in online course sales within 18 months.
3. Get To Know Affiliate Marketing
Another one of the best online side hustles is using affiliate marketing to make money.
Affiliate marketing is the concept of promoting another brand's product or service, in exchange for a one-time fee, percentage of sales, or ongoing percentage of service revenue.
To promote affiliate products, and services, you need to build an online audience. This could be via your social media accounts, your own online blog, or an email list.
The best affiliate marketers are experts in attracting high intending audiences, with purchase intent. That means, when they recommend products, there is a high chance that their audience will click through and buy - which over time, can become very lucrative.
Think about it, if your content ranks on search terms where people are looking for purchasing information, they are ready to buy, and looking for someone to help them make the best decision - that's where you can come in.
Depending on the type of side hustle you want to focus on, think about ways you can build trust with your target audience. And work backward to understand how you make the maximum impact on your chosen online platform - whether that be Youtube, Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or your own online blog.
Start by driving eyeballs to your content, social media posts, or Youtube videos, from there you can monetize using affiliate marketing - selling other people's products, and services, so you can focus on growing your business, without the headache of managing your own products.
4. Pick Up Freelance Work Or Start A Service Business
One of the best ways to start a side hustle from home is to pick up freelance work.
As long as you have a skill you can take to market, then there is a place for you in the freelance world. Make the most of your spare time by leveraging your skills to help other online businesses meet their objectives.
Start by checking out freelance marketplaces like UpWork and Fiverr, to see how other freelancers pitch for work. From there, think about the type of service you will offer, and make sure that you have the skills needed to win clients, and deliver excellent service.
There are an endless amount of tasks, and skillsets that online businesses are looking for support with. These include freelance writing, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, graphic design, translation work, video editing, and project management work.
And if you are looking to take it to the next level, thousands of entrepreneurs have turned their freelance work into their main source of income - completely replacing their 9-5 day job.
What's more, building a side hustle at home where you are building value for others, is a great way to learn on the job, and gives you the skills to start your own content business that can generate its own passive income streams over time.
5. Get Started With Dropshipping
Another way to get your side hustle off the ground is to start your own online store - and there are a couple of ways to do it.
Dropshipping relies on third parties to hold stock, ship stock, and fulfill online orders. That means, instead of you focusing on the logistics of running your own eCommerce store, you can focus on driving traffic, and marketing your online business.
The other benefit of dropshipping is that the start-up costs are relatively low. Once you have found a supplier who can ship your products, it's easy to create your own online store, and start promoting your business.
What's more, you can build an online store in a market niche that you're passionate about. That way, you can focus on delivering the best service for your customers, and ensure that your dropshipping business is set up to compete with other brands you're familiar with.
The downside to dropshipping is that it can be very competitive. Given the low start-up costs and the ease of creating dropshipping relationships, there tend to be a lot of players looking to compete, flocking to the latest trends.
The best side hustles in the dropshipping space master the art of driving scalable paid traffic from various social media platforms and paid channels. They do their best to drive efficient traffic that converts and allows them to scale their business in a profitable way.
Once you have the model working, your web store becomes a much more compelling proposition for other dropship suppliers, allowing you to create exclusive dropshipping relationships which will take your side hustle to the next level.
6. Launch Print on Demand Products
Like dropshipping, print-on-demand stores outsource fulfillment to 3rd party print on demand services like Printful.
This type of side hustle is another excellent way to get started.
The start-up costs are low, as you only pay the cost of production at the point the product is shipped, and it's easy to design, and list your products.
Services like Printful allow you to customize products like t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, and art - making it easy to list them on your online store quickly and to start promoting them to your audience.
Like dropshipping, it's important that you build an audience, and understand how to drive scalable paid traffic to your webshop.
If you can master this, then print on demand can be an excellent way to build a passive income stream, and drive extra income.
This is a model we have implemented at Visualize Value, allowing us to turn our popular visuals into products - check out our Merch to get a better understanding.
7. Become an Online Influencer
The great thing about this side hustle is that many of you will already have a social media presence, so with a little refocusing, you can take things to the next level.
Social media influencers make money across online platforms and in many different ways.
That means it's a good idea to start by thinking about where you want to build your presence. For example, do you want to start a Youtube channel, grow an Instagram audience, or grow your audience on Tiktok?
Each social media platform will require a different strategy to grow your profile, and a different focus to achieve your goals of turning your social media presence into a money-making side hustle.
Depending on your focus, there are a number of great ways to monetize your audience. Many of the best social media influencers make money by selling sponsored posts, recommending products in return for affiliate commission, and by driving their audience to their own online store.
If you are looking for a blueprint that will help you grow your own social media presence, then check out our Visualize Value playbook.
Here we show you the key lessons, concepts, and tactics we used to grow our social media following from a few hundred followers to a few hundred thousand followers within 24 months.
8. Sell NFTs and Collect Digital Art
The NFT space exploded in 2021, with projects like Bored Ape, and Crypto Punks utilizing the Ethereum blockchain to sell limited collections of NFT art online - and there is no sign of things slowing down.
The NFT (non-fungible token) space is expected to grow by $146 billion at a CAGR of 35.27% between 2021-2026. With brands beginning to spend big on developing NFT and metaverse projects at scale - but this is not just an opportunity for big businesses.
Thousands of side hustlers have produced and traded NFTs to make extra money online. In fact, Benyamin Ahmed created his collection of Weird Whale NFTs last year and sold them for over $1m using the NFT marketplace OpenSea - and he was just 12 years old.
To make money selling NFTs, you need to get to grips with the world of crypto and blockhain.
Learn where NFTs are traded, and develop an understanding of building an audience, and community around your project. This type of side hustle also lends itself well to designers, who can create their own digital collections.
While market cycles fluctuate demand, the NFT space will continue to grow and develop. Think about ways you can leverage the concept of NFTs to monetize digital assets and make side hustle income in the long run.
9. Launch a Youtube Channel and Grow Your Audience
Another brilliant money-making side hustle idea is starting a Youtube channel.
Just like developing your own online blog, building a large Youtube audience gives you the ability to leverage your audience to make money on autopilot.
Start by picking your niche, and working out who is currently generating views and ranking their Youtube videos. Take a look at the types of content they are putting out, and how they are using that content to earn money.
Most Youtube channels generate income through advertising revenue. However, the best Youtube entrepreneurs diversify their income streams by promoting affiliate products, driving sales on their own eCommerce store, or selling online courses.
Just like optimizing your blog for organic search, you will need to master the ability to optimize your video content to show up when people search for relevant terms in your industry.
It's important to structure your videos in the right way, optimize your video titles, and descriptions, and work out upfront what people are searching for.
This will put you ahead of your competition, and in a position to crush your side hustle goals before you start recording your content.
10. Sell Photography Online or Launch a Photography Service
If you are a keen photographer, another way to make money outside your full-time job, is to sell your photography online.
Whether you have a professional camera or a smartphone, you can sell your pictures online - earning you extra income.
Check out sites like Alamy, that allow you to sell your images as stock photos. Similarly, if you can build an audience around your work (via social media), then you can start to produce print-on-demand products that leverage your imagery to create stunning products.
This is a great way to turn your passion for photography into a side hustle that drives your side hustle income on autopilot.
Another avenue you can explore is starting a service-based business in the photography niche.
There are tonnes of customers out there looking for wedding photographers, product photographers, or even photographers who can capture family portraits.
If you have an eye for capturing a great image, build a website that promotes your services, and start pushing out content via social media to make more money in your spare time.
How To Start a Side Hustle
Now that we have covered our top 10 side hustle ideas, let's check out the best way to set up your side hustle - including the steps you can take to get started.
Focus On Your Passions
Turning a side hustle into a successful online business will only happen if you can combine action with the areas you're passionate about.
The most successful entrepreneurs care deeply about their side hustles and other businesses, and this drives them to be successful when things get tough.
Whether you are starting a small business, or looking to replace your 9-5 income, spend your time building side hustles that teach you new skills (that you can leverage), in areas that you enjoy spending time in.
Determine Whether You Need To Invest Upfront
Some side hustles are easy and cheap to move into. For example, online blogs, and social media platforms allow you to post content cheaply, while you start to build your online audience.
However, other side hustles require investment to get you off the ground. If you are looking to launch small businesses in areas like eCommerce then you will need to think about the start-up costs.
That might be online tools to help you sell, the cost of purchasing stock, or the larger costs of developing new products.
There are so many ways you can get a side hustle off the ground, but chasing the most lucrative side hustle ideas often involves upfront investment to get you moving.
Calculate your start-up costs upfront, so that you understand what level of investment will be required to get your idea off the ground.
Check You're Not Putting Your Day Job At Risk
When you're just starting out, it's important to balance your side hustle with your day job.
There is no point in putting your day job at risk by overextending yourself and focusing too much on your side hustle. Especially when it isn't generating any extra money.
Aim to spend the hours outside of your day job working on your side hustle, until you are covering your costs, and earning enough money to forget your 9-5 income.
Likewise, make sure that you check there is no conflict of interest between your side hustle, and your day job. If your employer learns that you're earning money on the side, and this is in conflict with your 9-5, this could create problems.
While the side hustle opportunity is huge, make sure you create the right balance and plot your moves carefully.
What Side Hustles Earn The Most Money
If you are looking for the most lucrative side hustles, the good news is, that there really is no limit to what you can earn on the internet if you're successful. The only limit to your income potential is your ability to work, be consistent, and hustle.
It's you, against you.
There are Youtube, and Instagram influencers making millions of dollars per month promoting their own products, driving affiliate revenue, and advertising online.
Likewise, there are store owners who crush 6-figures per month by scaling their paid traffic acquisition, building a large presence in Google, and dominating social media promotion.
With that said, there are a few ways to stack the odds in your favor.
Chose high-demand, high-value niches, where the cost of acquiring customers is big, and the returns of winning that customer are even bigger.
For example, niches like finance, iGaming, crypto, stocks, and real estate investing are lucrative, evergreen niches. If you can create value within these areas, and drive traffic, then you are in a great position to earn a lot of side hustle income.
What Are The Best Side Hustles From Home
If you are looking for the best side hustles to start from home, and you don't have time to start a fully-fledged project, there are more options out there.
For side hustlers looking to make extra money outside of their full-time job, there are quick ways to get started. These can offer a great way to help clear student loan debt and create an extra income from a side hustle job.
Check out this list to gain inspiration:
- Mobile Pet Grooming Service - use your own car to visit pet owners looking for grooming services. This is a mobile business that can generate extra income at a low cost in your own time. There are tonnes of free tutorials out there that can help get you started.
- Become a Virtual Assistant - help others get through their daily tasks by becoming a virtual assistant. Find clients and advertise online using freelance marketplaces like Upwork.
- Deliver Food and Groceries - turn your own car into a way to make money. Check out food delivery apps and local businesses to see how you can get started.
- Start a Tutoring Business - do you know a foreign language or a specific skill that you can help others learn? Tutoring and online training businesses are a great option as a second job, and a way to supplement your bank account with a little extra cash.
- Take Surveys and Join Focus Groups - trade your time for extra money by participating in focus groups, and online surveys. Brands want to optimize their products and services and will pay you to give you thoughts, and feedback.
- Rent Your Spare Room - instead of taking a part-time job, get paid for renting out your spare room. This is a sure-fire way to turn your largest liability (your rent or mortgage payments) into a passive income stream.
- Kick Start a Dog Walking Service - if you have spare time, use it to walk dogs, and make money from people who don't have time to let their dogs out over lunchtime, or during the day. This is a great way to top up your bank account with little effort.
- Wash Cars and Do Yardwork - if you are able to find clients, help them by cleaning their cars, and tidying their yards. This is another way to make extra money on the side.
- Start Selling Online on Facebook Marketplace and at Garage Sales - garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace are a solid way to turn your spare items into extra cash. Think about what you can give up, in order to make extra money and get paid for the items you no longer use.