I don’t know about you, but to me, it seems like we are living in a world growing more expensive by the minute! Just about everyone I know is feeling that squeeze and the tighter reins on the finances that come along with it.
Whether it’s regular bills like utilities increasing, unexpected expenses such as car repairs or medical bills, dreams of traveling or other experiences, or just wanting to have a little more room to breathe, many of us are looking for a revenue stream (or two, or three!) to add into the mix.
Enter the side hustle!
A side hustle isn’t necessarily just a way to make extra money. For many, it’s also a way to pursue their hobbies or passions in a meaningful way that also compensates them financially for their time. That’s a total win-win, right?
There are so many possibilities out there, and truth be told, there are a plethora of articles and blogs posts that have been written about these options, but here is my own list, of a few lesser known, (and slightly quirky) side hustles that you may not have heard of or considered!
Most of these can be done with just a few hours of your time per week, meaning they’re easy to incorporate into your current schedule.
Some can even be parlayed into something more permanent and full-time if you find you really have a passion for the work and want to scale.
Some of these are just genius ideas and ways to make money that you may not have heard of before, and others involve various hobbies and pastimes that people enjoy, so they’re a great way to make a little cheese doing what you love!
1. Become an Online Tutor
This first one may be a passion-based side hustle for some, but not so much for others. Do you enjoy explaining things and breaking them down for others? Have you always dreamed of being a teacher, or do you feel like you’d be good at it?
Many of you may have heard about opportunities that are available to teach ESL to kids (or even adults) from countries like China, Taiwan, and Korea, through companies like VIPKid, iTutorGroup, Gogokid, and DaDa. These companies pay anywhere from $15-$25/hour, depending on a few variables, and they all require at least a bachelor’s degree as a qualification.
There are a few companies where you can teach English online without a degree, including MagicEars, and QKids.
What you may not realize is that you can work as an online tutor in a huge range of other subjects as well!
If you speak another language fluently, there are a ton of sites that will allow you to get paid to tutor students in that language, and most allow you to set your own hours and rates. Examples include Preply, italki, and Verbling. (https://www.verbling.com/teach
You can also offer tutoring services in just about any subject you are good at on websites like tutors.com, 24hourtutors.com and preply.com, which all offer a huge variety of subjects you can tutor in such as:
- graphic design
- music lessons
- computer skills such as programming and IT
The list of options is kind of mind blowing! If you have any sort of skills that you think someone else might be interested in learning or improving upon their current knowledge, these are the sites to check and see if they offer it as a tutoring option!
What I love about this, is that it’s honestly a way to turn a passion or favorite hobby into a viable way to make money if you enjoy passing on your knowledge to others!
Pay and hours vary, but many tutoring sites allow you to set your own rates, with some suggesting an average of $30-$40/hr. Do a little research and investigate what others are charging for tutoring in your subject of choice to see what might be feasible for you!
2. Textbook Arbitrage
I came across this little gem of a side hustle a while back and was kind of blown away by its simplicity and sheer genius! This works best in the US.
In a nutshell, there are currently over 20 million students enrolled in colleges and universities across the US, with one thing that virtually all of them have in common: They use textbooks.
Of course, the issue that many students face is that along with the cost of tuition, is that the cost of new textbooks has also shot up in recent years.
The average student at a public 4-year university will spend between $1,250-$1500/year on books & supplies alone.
So, it’s hardly surprising that many students are turning to used textbooks as a way to save some cash. The first stop for most students when looking for these used textbooks? Amazon of course!
Amazon’s Used Textbooks Come from Two Places:
Sellers like me and you
Anyone with a used textbook to sell can put it up for sale on Amazon. You just need to look it up and see how much it’s selling for. Since you’re selling your own book, you can set the price to, but the fact is most sellers don’t really know what their book is worth, or don’t necessarily care, because they’re looking for a quick sale.
Amazon’s Trade-in Program
Amazon knows which textbooks have the most demand, and they are willing to pay you big bucks to trade in your used textbooks that are in high demand. By accepting trade-ins, Amazon is able to mark up the price and resell those textbooks for a profit.
The crazy thing is, what these books are selling for, and what Amazon is actually willing to pay for the same book often have a significant difference in price, which is where your golden opportunity to profit comes in!
Here’s a video to explain exactly how this works:
And as mentioned in the video, the easiest way to take advantage of this arbitrage is to use a handy tool called Textrader, which you can learn more about right here, which does all of the hard work of finding profitable texts for you to buy and trade in.
Yes, you’ll need to make a small investment in the tool, and you’ll have to buy your first textbook, but once you’ve returned the text to Amazon with the free shipping label they’ll send you, and receive your first gift card from them with whatever your profit might be on top of the amount you paid for the text, you can then buy your next text (or two or three) with that same gift card!
Eventually, you’re going to be able to get to the point where you will have a very decent chunk of change sitting in your Amazon account, and as any dedicated Amazon customer knows, you can buy just about anything on Amazon these days!
In addition to millions of everyday products, you can even buy your groceries on Amazon Pantry and have them delivered – sweet!
3. Personal Chef
Do you love cooking for others? Do you enjoy creating recipes, planning menus, shopping for supplies, and seeing it all come together? If so, a side hustle as a personal chef could be exactly what you’re looking for!
There are a couple of ways to go about this one.
The first option is to be a personal chef in someone else’s home.
People hire personal chefs for all sorts of reasons, everything from needing support during a time of crisis or need, such as an illness or new baby, to general lack of time in some large or ultra-busy families.
Other reasons might be an event with a large group or some sort of special occasion that needs a catered meal outside of the ordinary.
Whatever the reasons may be, there are several great sites that people look to, where you can register yourself and offer your services as a chef such as hireachef.com, hellocheffy.com, care.com, and meetachef.com.
Some are free to list with, others such as hireachef.com allow you to list with them if you are a member of the USPCA.
You can apply to be a member of the USPCA here.
With this option, you offer your chef services to guests in the comfort of your own home, which obviously offers an advantage to those who feel most comfortable and confident in their own kitchens!
Whichever site you choose to sign up with as a host, you’ll then be able to set up a profile with meal plans, food pics, prices, an explanation of what your home environment is etc. so that people get a really good idea of what you’re offering and if they like what they see, they can then reserve a spot for your event.
The sites act as a marketer and a facilitator for you, to bring your unique offerings and a group of eager potential diners together.
Once reservations are made, they also take payments for your event (and a cut of said payment as their fees, generally) which means that you can relax and simply focus on the dining and social experience for your guests.
People rave about this increasingly popular dining model, and it’s easy to understand why.
In our disconnected and overly processed world, the experience of a delicious, creative home-cooked meal, and the opportunity to socialize with a small group of friends, or even with total strangers in an intimate setting can be exciting.
Whatever people’s reasons are, the popularity of these sites and the “foodsharing economy” is growing by the minute, so if you’ve ever wanted to flex your chef muscles in a cool and pretty pressure-free environment, now is the time to jump in!!
4. Professional Cuddler
This side hustle certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you feel very comfortable with non-sexual, physical contact with others, and are perhaps drawn to a job that is a form of therapy, and that is truly helping people, it’s a side hustle that is not only highly rewarding, but also pays well!
Here’s a great little video from someone who does it!
People seek professional cuddlers for a wide variety of reasons, which may include going through a period of loneliness, or isolation, or perhaps because they’re experiencing stress, grief, or depression. Or it may simply be a form of self-care for some.
Human contact and affection, which releases feel-good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, can be incredibly healing, both physically and emotionally, and is something which we all benefit from.
All these companies offer reasonably priced training programs which you will need to enroll in and complete in order to become certified as a pro-cuddler and take on clients through them.
These programs really cover a lot of ground, including safety, setting boundaries and other psychological considerations for cuddlers, as well as cuddling techniques which will really lead to the best and most effective cuddling sessions with clients.
Once you are certified with one of them, you’ll be able to set up a profile via the company’s site offering your services. You can pretty much choose whatever schedule works for you, and the average cuddler makes between $80-100/hour. Not bad for something that feels pretty awesome for both parties!
Interested in finding out more? I have a special offer for any of my readers who would like to become a certified cuddler with Cuddlist. Click here to get signed up with their amazing certification course, and get a 10% discount using the promo code “SLICE.” Sweet!!
Image by Martín Sandoval Fernández from Pixabay
5. Voice over artist
Has anyone ever told you that you have the perfect voice for radio/commercials/audiobooks/cartoons, or maybe something else voice-related?
This one is near and dear to me, because it’s what I actually do as my main job!
It can absolutely start as a side hustle, though, and if you find that you love it, and you’re getting lots of work, you can always scale up!
My best advice for how to get started in this industry is to read a couple of great books I recommend:
And then check out a really comprehensive, but also affordable course for VO beginners, at www.gravyforthebrain.com.
You’ll learn all about how to get started as an absolute beginner through an extensive series of videos and other resources, which will help set you up for success!
I’ll get further into my recommendations for working from home as a VO artist in an upcoming blog post, but the books I’ve recommended and Gravy For the Brain are a great place to start if you’re curious whether it might be something you’d enjoy!
Some final thoughts…
Whatever you decide on as a side hustle, consistency and persistence are key! Many people come across an idea that sounds interesting or enjoyable, and dabble a little in it, but abandon their pursuit when it’s not immediately profitable.
You can do well and make decent money doing virtually any side hustle if you set your mind to it and invest your time wisely. Realizing that success will most likely not happen overnight is crucial, so be patient, keep sight of the big picture, and keep at it!
How about you? Do you have a side hustle that you love, that you’d recommend to others, or do any of these appeal to you?
Let me know in the comments!!