Life is expensive. When considering there's bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a desire for the finer things in life like holidays and the latest gadgets, it's no surprise that 34% of Americans have a side hustle.
For a lot of people, one primary income just isn't enough, and having a gig on the side to earn some extra cash is a must. But this no longer has to mean becoming a part-time delivery driver or babysitter.
Thanks to the online world taking over, it's easier than ever to use your spare time to make some dough.
Whether you're a student wanting to make money online alongside your studies, or you're just someone who wants to be able to spend a few hours after your 9-to-5 topping up your income, here are 10 awesome online side hustles for making money in 2023.
10 side hustles to make money online
- Affiliate marketing
- Virtual assistance
- Matched betting
- E-Commerce and dropshipping
- Online surveys
- Selling handmade products
- Becoming a YouTuber
- Online tutoring
1. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is an awesome way to generate a passive income if you have an audience on somewhere like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or basically any social media platform.
Provided you have an audience to promote to, all you need to do is sign up for affiliate programs – companies like Amazon, ProfitDuel, and many more have their own – and platforms like ShareASale, ClickBank, and CJ and start sharing your special links.
You'll typically earn commission for each sale made through your link. For example, as a ProfitDuel affiliate, you earn 50% commission for every referral that becomes a Premium member. It's as simple as that!
Benefits of affiliate marketing as an online side hustle to make money:
- Passive income: Once you've set up your affiliate links and created relevant content, you can earn commissions without continuous effort. This allows you to generate passive income over time.
- Low startup costs: Affiliate marketing doesn't typically require a significant upfront investment. You can start with minimal costs, such as setting up a website or social media profiles to promote products.
- Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose which products or services to promote and how to promote them. This flexibility enables you to align your affiliate marketing efforts with your interests and expertise.
- No product creation or inventory: As an affiliate, you don't need to worry about creating, producing, or storing products. Your main focus is on marketing and driving sales.
2. Virtual assistance
What better way to take full advantage of what the internet and booming gig-economy have to offer than by becoming a virtual assistant (VA).
If you're fairly skilled in things like customer service and general administrative tasks, virtual assistance could be the perfect online side hustle for you to make money from the comfort of your own home.
As a VA, you could be helping businesses with everything from data entry, managing schedules and proofreading documents, to more specialized tasks like social media management and blogging.
Benefits of virtual assistance as an online side hustle to make money:
- Flexible work arrangements: VA's have the flexibility to choose their own work hours and location. This makes it an ideal side hustle for those with other commitments, such as a full-time job or family responsibilities.
- Diverse tasks: Virtual assistants can engage in a wide range of tasks depending on their skills and interests. These tasks can include administrative work, social media management, content creation, customer support, data entry, research, and more.
- Variety of clients and industries: The demand for virtual assistants spans various industries, from e-commerce and startups to real estate and healthcare. This diversity means you can work with different types of clients and gain exposure to various sectors.
- Income potential: Virtual assistants often have the potential to earn a competitive income based on their skillset and the tasks they offer. As you gain experience and expand your client base, you can command higher rates.
Want to make some cash by talking about something (or multiple somethings) that you're passionate about? Start a podcast!
Podcasting is a super fun and creative side hustle, and the podcast market has blown up over the past few years (the number of podcast listeners grew by over 40 million from 2022 to 2023 alone).
You just need a quiet space to record, a decent microphone, some editing and recording software and something to say. Once you've built up a good listenership, it's time to monetize!
Benefits of podcasting as an online side hustle to make money:
- Flexible schedule: Podcasting is very flexible and can fit around your existing commitments. You can record episodes and edit them at your convenience, making it a great side hustle option for those with busy schedules.
- Monetization opportunities: Though it might take a bit of time to attract a substantial audience, once you do, podcasting has a load of monetization opportunities. This includes sponsorships, advertising, merchandise sales, crowdfunding, premium content subscriptions, and affiliate partnerships.
- Low entry barrier: Starting a podcast doesn't require significant upfront investment. With a basic microphone, recording software, and hosting platform, you can launch your podcast relatively affordably.
- Reach a global audience: Podcasts are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, allowing you to reach a global audience. You can connect with listeners from different parts of the world and diverse backgrounds.
4. Matched betting
Interested in betting but in a way that means you earn a guaranteed profit? No, that's not a trick question – it's possible with matched betting!
Matched betting is a side hustle that turns traditional gambling on its head and let's you make some serious cash online.
Here's how: you use platforms like ProfitDuel to take advantage of free bets and promotions from bookies to place two opposing bets on the same event, guaranteeing you a profit no matter the outcome.
It only takes a few hours of your time each week, so it's perfect for fitting around an already busy schedule.
Benefits of matched betting as an online side hustle to make money:
- Low risk: Matched betting relies on mathematical calculations to guarantee profits regardless of the outcome. This means you're not gambling in the traditional sense and aren't subject to the typical risks associated with betting.
- Consistent profits: When executed correctly, matched betting results in consistent profits. This makes it a reliable source of supplemental income, allowing you to earn a steady stream of money over time.
- No gambling skills required: You don't need to possess sports knowledge or betting expertise to succeed in matched betting. The process revolves around following step-by-step instructions, which are readily available from various resources.
- Flexible schedule: Matched betting can be done at your own convenience. You can work on it during your free time, making it suitable for those with busy schedules or other commitments.
- Accessibility: Matched betting can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. This level of accessibility is ideal for people who want to work from home or while traveling.
Whether you're skilled at writing, graphic design, coding, or a whole bunch of other things, freelancing could be the ultimate online side hustle to make you some money.
Loads of people nowadays are turning to freelancing as an alternative to the traditional 9-to-5 job, but it can also be a great way of monetizing your free time alongside full-time (or part-time) work.
Benefits of freelancing as an online side hustle to make money:
- Flexibility: One of the biggest draws of freelancing is the flexibility it offers. You can choose when and where you work, allowing you to fit freelancing around your existing commitments, whether it's a full-time job, family responsibilities, or personal pursuits.
- Diverse opportunities: Freelancing opens doors to a wide range of opportunities across various industries. Whether you're a writer, designer, programmer, marketer, or have other skills, there's a demand for freelance services in nearly every field.
- Monetize your passion: Freelancing allows you to turn your hobbies and passions into a source of income. If you love photography, writing, or graphic design, you can earn money by doing what you enjoy.
- Multiple income streams: As a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients simultaneously. This diversifies your income streams and reduces the risk of relying on a single source of earnings.
- Skill enhancement: Freelancing encourages continuous learning and skill enhancement. As you take on different projects, you'll have the chance to learn new techniques, tools, and industry trends.
6. E-Commerce and dropshipping
With e-commerce and dropshipping, you get to use your entrepreneurial flair to set up your own online store and sell a curated selection of products, but you're not responsible for the more boring and laborious aspects like stocking inventory or sorting shipping.
This makes it a great, non-time-consuming side hustle option for making money online. You just set up a shop on the likes of Etsy or Shopify and partner with suppliers who stock your chosen products and send them out when a purchase is made.
Benefits of e-commerce and dropshipping as an online side hustle to make money:
- Low initial investment: Starting an e-commerce store with dropshipping doesn't require a huge pile of cash. You don't need to buy inventory upfront, saving you from major financial risk.
- Passive income potential: While it takes work to set up your store and market it, the dropshipping model can lead to passive income. Once you've got things rolling, you can earn while you're doing other stuff.
- No inventory hassles: Dropshipping means you don't have to deal with storing, packing, or shipping products. Your suppliers take care of all that, leaving you to focus on the fun parts of your business.
- Flexibility: You're the boss of your online store. You decide what to sell, how to market it, and when to work on your business. This is perfect for fitting around your other commitments.
- Global reach: The internet doesn't have borders, which means your online store can reach customers worldwide. You're not limited to your local area – your products can find buyers from around the globe.
7. Online Surveys
Looking for a super quick and simple way of making a few extra bucks while on your lunch break, binging Netflix, or waiting for dinner to cook? Say hello to online surveys.
With online surveys, you're literally getting paid to take a few minutes to share your opinions on certain products and services. Talk about a no-experience-needed side hustle!
Sign up to websites like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie and wait for the surveys to land in your inbox – it's that simple. While you won't get rich from this side hustle (expect to earn between $0.25 and $5 per survey, depending on its length), it's a nice way to add to your income.
Benefits of online surveys as an online side hustle to make money:
- Flexibility: Say goodbye to rigid schedules. With online surveys, you can choose when and where to participate. It's a side hustle that fits into your life, not the other way around.
- No special skills required: Anyone can do it! You don't need fancy qualifications or experience. If you've got opinions, you're good to go.
- Quick and easy: Survey sessions are usually short and snappy. You're not committing hours; it's more like a quick chat where you get paid.
- Make a difference: Seriously, your opinions matter. Companies want to know what you think about their products and services. By taking surveys, you're shaping the stuff you'll see on the shelves.
8. Selling handmade products
Into crafting cool stuff like jewelry, pottery, clothing, or even digital products? Turn that creative skill into a lucrative side hustle by selling your handmade (or digitally-made) products online.
The best part is that to do so, you don't need a fancy brick-and-mortar store. With websites like Etsy and even using social media platforms like Instagram, you can set up a virtual shop without breaking the bank and start making money for your creations.
Benefits of selling handmade products as an online side hustle to make money:
- Side hustle harmony: Running an online store doesn't need to take over your life. You can work on it whenever you have the time, making it a great complement to your other activities.
- Passion payoff: Ever thought you could make money doing what you love? Handmade products let you monetize your hobbies, turning your passion into profit.
- Low startup costs: You don't need a fancy store or huge investment. With online platforms, you can start small and grow gradually without breaking the bank.
- Global reach: The internet connects you with customers worldwide. No more being limited to your local market – your products can reach people from all corners of the globe.
- Be your own boss: You're in charge. No more answering to anyone else's schedule or rules. You get to make the calls in your creative business.
- Sustainable earnings: With the right approach, your handmade hustle can grow over time. It might start as a side gig, but it could become a stable source of income.
9. Becoming a YouTuber
This might seem a little daunting at first thought, but if you're comfortable in front of the camera and think you could create engaging content that will speak to a certain audience, starting a YouTube channel has the potential to be an awesome, flexible way to make money online.
With the rise of video content and the massive reach of YouTube, there's a world of monetization opportunities waiting for those who dare to hit that record button.
Whether you're into vlogging, cooking, gaming, makeup tutorials, or sharing your travel adventures, there's an audience out there eager to watch. You get to share your passion, expertise, or simply your unique personality with the world.
YouTube offers various ways for creators to earn some green. Ads, for example. When your videos get views, ads might pop up, and you earn a cut from those ad revenues.
Then there's the YouTube Partner Program. If your channel meets certain criteria (like having a minimum number of subscribers and watch hours), you can become a YouTube Partner. This opens the door to more monetization options, such as channel memberships, merchandise shelf, and Super Chat during live streams.
Benefits of becoming a YouTuber as an online side hustle to make money:
- Monetization opportunities: As your channel grows, so do the ways you can earn. From ads and channel memberships to sponsorships and merchandise sales, YouTube offers diverse monetization options that can turn your hobby into a money-making venture.
- Flexible schedule: You're in charge of your content creation timeline, aka when you film and upload your YouTube videos. This flexibility makes YouTube a great side hustle, allowing you to balance it with your job, studies, or other commitments.
- Passive income potential: Once your videos are out there, they can continue to generate views and revenue over time. This passive income potential allows you to earn even when you're not actively creating new content.
- Skill enhancement: Running a YouTube channel involves learning valuable skills. You'll become proficient in video editing, content planning, social media promotion, and even understanding analytics.
10. Online tutoring
If you have a skill or specialised knowledge in a subject (think playing guitar, being a science whiz, or understanding the intricacies of being a Social Media Manager), becoming an online tutor is a great and fulfilling online side hustle option.
You can use course-selling platforms like Tutor.com or Chegg Tutors to connect with students who want to learn the skill you've mastered, and you can this do at whatever time and from whichever location (provided you have internet access) you choose.
Benefits of online tutoring as an online side hustle to make money:
- Flexible schedule: Say goodbye to rigid 9-to-5 hours. Online tutoring lets you choose when to teach, allowing you to seamlessly fit it into your existing routine.
- Location independence: As long as you have an internet connection, you're good to go. You can tutor students from anywhere, whether it's your home, a coffee shop, or while you're traveling.
- Supplementary income: Online tutoring can be a steady source of extra income. It's a side hustle that rewards you for your time, skills, and dedication.
- Easy entry: Starting online tutoring is relatively straightforward. With minimal upfront costs and user-friendly platforms, you can kickstart your tutoring journey without major hurdles.
Recapping 10 online side hustles to make money in 2023
In a fast-paced digital landscape, the possibilities for online side hustles are virtually limitless.
As we've explored these 10 diverse avenues, it's clear that there's a side hustle for everyone – from the creatively inclined to the analytically minded, and from those with a few spare hours to those seeking more substantial income streams.
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