Around 45% of working Americans have a side hustle outside of their main job. A side hustle can help you during career change and to mask employment and skill gaps.
In this article, I’ll talk about:
- 17 top-paying side hustles you can start in 2023
- The relative pay you can get through each side hustle
- The best way to leverage a side hustle on your resume
- Why you might want to start a side hustle
- And at the end of this blog, I’ll talk about what every side-hustle proposal has to have in its very first sentence so that you’re not wasting your time prospecting.
Before I get what the 18 top-paying side hustles are in 2023, let’s make sure you’re telling your story properly on your freelancer resume. Your resume should show a strong history of successes in the side hustle you’re trying to pursue if you’re trying to draw freelancing contracts of $10,000+.
If you’re a beginning freelancer, you can focus on your transferable skills and “social proof,” like reviews from previous bosses.
If you’re planning on using your resume to showcase your strengths to get high-paying side hustles, it has to capture your achievements. If you’d like to take a look at a profile that a client of ours used to make $323,000/year, you can grab it by submitting your information below:
Here is a list of 17 top-paying side hustle ideas that are categorized based on their hourly wage and earning potential:
1. Online Tutoring
Average salary per hour: $30 – $100
The biggest advantage of online tutoring is the convenience involved. For instance, you set the timing and frequency of the tutoring sessions. You can also have as many or as little sessions as you want. This makes it a great and easy side project to transition into.
Students of all nationalities and age groups can be potential customers. And you can organize tutoring sessions for a variety of topics, such as:
- Traditional subjects like math or science
- Playing musical instruments
- Religious education
- Foreign languages to English-speaking students and English to ESL students
If you don’t have students of your own, you can always sign up with an online platform to book candidates such as Chelsea International Education, Wyzant or Varsity Tutors and get paid $20-$80+/hour, depending on how you price your services.
2. Personal Training
Are you a fitness enthusiast? Do you know your way around weight resistance training? Do you have a wealth of knowledge about nutrition and exercise?
You can use your knowledge, experience, and skills to provide personalized training to people, either in person or through online lessons. You can also use your phone to broadcast lessons for a group of clients if you prefer online lessons.
If you already have a home gym, then you likely won’t even need to make any additional investments.
Getting a nutritionist certificate can also help you provide better dietary and fitness advice for your clients.
3. Managing Social Media and Digital Operations for SMEs
Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are heavily reliant on outsourcing for most of their digital operations. These companies often need help with different parts of their business. For instance, they might outsource their social media management, seek a content writer to build their website, or need a data analyst to crunch critical information.
4. Freelance Graphic Designing
If you have a background in graphic design, then you can easily transition into freelancing. There are a variety of companies and individuals who need artists to translate their vision into reality.
You can use your graphic design skills to make company logos, project posters, company cards, and story illustrations. And you can do this all within the comfort of your home.
If you already own a graphic tablet or graphic editing software, you have all you need to begin.
5. Party Planning
Average salary per hour: $12 – $75 + vendor commissions.
If you enjoy planning events, are highly organized, enjoy working with people, and are great at following tight deadlines, you should consider becoming an event planner.
You can start by volunteering to plan and organize a birthday party, a house-warming party, or a bridal shower party. This is an easy way to build your reputation and portfolio.
The best thing about this side project is that it requires no initial investment. All you need is a can-do attitude and a detail-oriented mindset.
6. Driving for Uber
Average salary per hour: $19.43
One of the top-paying side hustles you can start today is driving for Uber. The requirements to become an Uber driver are extremely simple. If you have a smartphone with high-speed internet, a driver’s license, and a car in good working shape, you can become an Uber driver.
Below are some tips to keep in mind to become a great Uber driver:
- First, get familiar with the Uber app and understand how to operate it well.
- Second, have a positive attitude. Greet your riders with a smile. If the rider seems friendly, talk to them about their day. But if the rider doesn’t show interest in speaking with you, it’s better to stay quiet.
- Third, accessorize your Uber with an aux cord, a charging cable, and any other accessory that can make the ride comfortable and enjoyable for the rider.
Good customer service is the basis of achieving a 5-star rating; the higher your rating, the more you’ll get chosen for rides.
7. Freelancing on Upwork
Average salary per hour: $17.96
Freelance websites such as Upwork and Freelancer have been instrumental in revolutionizing the way professional tasks are completed worldwide.
Skills such as web development, programming, and graphic designing are always in high demand. Small companies in particular look for freelancers to complete projects at an affordable price. Working as a freelancer can help you take advantage of this need and make money.
But you don’t need technical skills to become a freelancer; you can also capitalize on your creative skills.
For instance, you can leverage your fluency in English or writing. There are a vast number of clients who need help with their blogs, story, or assignments. Moreover, many clients need help editing or proofreading their work. There are even people looking for creative individuals to translate their vision into art pieces.
Check out freelance online and you will see that there are so many ways you can leverage your skills and talent. You can literally start today.
Average salary per hour: $17.44
Have people praised you for taking good photos? If so, photography maybe is a side hustle that you can start today.
Having a good understanding of what makes a good picture and basic editing skills are critical to making this a lucrative side project.
If you don’t have one, you will need to invest in a proper kit in addition to buying a subscription for a photo editing software.
Consider covering a friend’s birthday party or wedding reception. Play around with your photo editing software to learn its ins and outs. Build a portfolio that you can upload online for potential customers.
You can also do landscape and wildlife photography and sell them on stock websites such as Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, or Etsy. Additionally, you can also build a reputation for being a great pet photographer.
To generate leads, you can collaborate with bloggers and Instagram influencers. When they use your photographs, you will get a shout out, which can generate more leads for you.
9. Walking Dogs
Average salary per hour: $16
If you love dogs, this might be one of the best side hustles for you. You can take a break from your busy routine, get out of the house, and exercise, and all while being around dogs.
Here are some tips to mastering the dog walk:
- Get a front-clip harness or leash. It will pull the dog from the front and the dog won’t fight against it.
- Make sure that you clean up after your pet. For this purpose, always bring a poop bag along.
- Bring a water bottle so that your dog doesn’t feel dehydrated. You can also bring a toy for your dog that you can throw for them so they can run around for a bit.
Click here to find out ways to promote your dog walking service and get clients.
10. Car Washing and Auto Detailing
Average salary per hour: $8.75 – $20.21
Car washing and auto detailing is one of the most lucrative and top-paying side hustles that you can start today.
Here’s why it’s lucrative:
- The barrier to entry to auto detailing is lower than other side projects. This means you can start earning profits pretty quickly.
- It is easy to retain clients if they like your work. You can quickly build a loyal customer base that can grow due to positive word-of-mouth.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Purchase some basic equipment.
- Educate yourself on standard car detailing techniques.
- Build your skills by washing, polishing, and detailing your own car.
- Advertise to your friends and family to start building a customer case.
Average salary per hour: $13.02
You can easily turn your passion for baking (or cooking) into a side project. This is doubly true if you’re already baking on the regular.
To start, consider joining school bake sales. Set up a stall at the local farmer’s market or festival where you can sell your baking products.
You can also offer a home-based pick-up service; take a limited number of orders per week. Moreover, you can ask a local bakery to sell your cakes or brownies for a small fee.
If you’re serious about taking up baking as your side project, remember to do the following before you start:
- Create a business plan: Outline what you’re going to offer, at what price, how much it’s going to cost you, and how you’re going to sell your products.
- Figure out your recipes and costs: Keep things simple to start with. Pick a product you know you can make well and will sell well.
- Finalize your recipes: Test your products until you’re happy with customer feedback. Having a winning product makes achieving success easy.
- Take great shots of the baked goods: If you’re not confident of your photography abilities, ask your friends for help.
- Advertise online: Setting up a Facebook page or Twitter page is one of the easiest ways to create an online presence.
Average salary: $500 – $2000 per month.
If your blog delivers valuable content to an audience, you could earn a generous amount of income from it in the long run. In their first year, bloggers usually make around $500-$2000 per month if they consistently post valuable content.
The good thing about blogging is that you don’t have to work on it every day. You need a few hours a week to research, develop, and deliver great content. Once you have a consistent posting schedule, you’re good to go.
Some of the ways to make money via blogging on WordPress include:
- Blog content monetization: Affiliate marketing, Google AdSense, or sell sponsored blog posts.
- Paid membership website: Limit valuable information for members only.
- Paid webinars and online courses: Make money while teaching something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
- E-Commerce business via WooCommerce: Add a plugin to your WordPress and set up a new store in minutes. The sky’s the limit in terms of what you can sell.
The best thing about blogging is that anyone can do it.
All you need is a strong fluency in English. And if you want to learn the technical details, there are hundreds of free tutorials available online. There is a very small knowledge barrier for starting this side hustle.
13. Selling Products on E-Commerce Websites
Average salary: $1,000-$25,000 per month.
Using platforms like eBay, Big Cartel, Etsy, or Amazon, you can establish an online business where you’re selling your products around the world.
For example, you can make and sell…
- wedding cards
- hand-dyed yarn
- stickers and enamel pins
- charms and even clothing
The best part of this business model is that almost all operations can be outsourced. For instance, manufacturing and transportation, etc.
For example, you can hire a company to print your designs on a sticker, enamel pin, cap
or t-shirt. These companies might even help you with shipping. Also, in addition to
shipping service, companies like GS-JJ pins and CustomSticker even offer free design
assistance. There is no shortage of companies who you can collaborate with to bring
your dream products to life.
There is no skill you cannot translate into a profitable product. Once you’ve picked a skill, define a price point, and set up shop.
14. Renting Out Your Spare Room on Airbnb
Average salary: $924 per month.
If you have a spare room in your house, you can consider renting it out through Airbnb. In addition to generating a good amount of income, the two biggest benefits of renting your spare room on Airbnb include:
- Zero dollars spent on marketing because Airbnb will add your location to its home page itself whenever someone searches for a place near your area.
- You don’t have to sell anything.
The income can vary dramatically depending on where you’re based, the quality of your house, and the services you provide.
In the US, San Diego and Miami are known to be the top-earning cities on Airbnb, with an average two-bedroom house grossing over $53k in AirBnB income a year. This makes using Airbnb an incredibly lucrative earning opportunity.
15. Creating Content on YouTube
Similar to blogging, YouTube is one of the top-paying side hustles that you can start today to invest time and effort into. All you need to do is consistently create valuable and enjoyable content. Indeed, your earnings will grow with your viewership.
There are many ways to earn from YouTube. For instance, you can monetize your account with AdSense. In addition to that, you can do sponsored videos for companies.
Moreover, you can earn via affiliate marketing. There’s a variety of ways to earn through your YouTube channel. One great benefit of monetizing your account is that old, monetized videos can easily become a recurring income from your videos.
Perhaps the best part of this side project is that you can make content for whatever you are passionate for.
- Do you love doing makeup and creating looks? Then you can review products and share makeup tutorials.
- Do you like fitness exercises? Then you can make content on fitness exercises and show your passion for physical fitness.
- Do you love cars? Then you can share maintenance tips.
- Do you love unboxing? Then you can make videos where you are unboxing mystery boxes.
- Do you enjoy celebrity gossip? Then you can talk about celebrities and share updates from their lives.
16. Selling Your Art Online
There are many online platforms where you can sell art (digital and traditional) such as Amazon or Storenvy.
Moreover, it is very easy to set up a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to showcase your work.
Making paintings on demand is also turning out to be a fairly big business all over the world. Many artists charge around $2000-$5000 for a single piece. You can earn a similar amount of money if you invest time and effort in building your artist brand.
Most successful artists have their own websites where they share their own artwork. Setting up your online portfolio using Squarespace is very easy. They also use several platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, to engage with followers.
17. Flipping Cars
Car-flipping involves buying used cars at a relatively lower rate than the market and selling them for a profit. This side hustle can help you make significantly large profits, especially if you know a lot about cars. Cars between the range of $1,500-$4,000 can net a profit of $1,000-$2,000.
Make sure to check the laws for car flipping of the state you’re in to see how many cars you can sell in a year without a dealer’s license.
For instance, California residents can sell five cars per year without becoming a dealer.
Once you do the research, visit websites such as Craigslist or eBay Motors, find the best quality car in a low price, contact the private seller, and start flipping cars.
As long as the car is priced lower than the market rate and you can fix it up quickly, it should make a good flip.
18. Renting Out Your Spare Storage
Average earning: $300 – $600 per month.
Another great way to make some extra bucks is by renting unused space in your home, property, or garage as storage or parking space.
With Neighbor, you can generate a passive income by just storing your neighbor’s stuff. Also known as the “AirBnB of storage”, Neighbor allows anyone with extra storage space to list the availability of their garages, basements, closets, and spare rooms. They also provide protection against damage or threat to your property.
The Value a Side Hustle Adds to Your Resume
There’s more benefit to taking up a side hustle than just making more money.
A good side hustle adds value to your resume as well.
You can learn transferable skills during a side hustle. For example, you can learn customer service management, deadline management, and leadership. Moreover, you can learn new technical skills that can help you transition into a new career.
This is why adding a side hustle to your resume can be incredibly beneficial. It becomes an additional source of proof of skills a recruiter is looking for.
For example, suppose you’re applying for a marketing job and your side project is blogging. By including success stories from your side project, you can naturally incorporate keywords related to digital marketing and analytics into your resume.
There are are many other reasons you may want to take up a side hustle:
- It gets you extra income to reduce your financial stress.
- It allows you to pursue a passion or skill that you wouldn’t otherwise explore in your main job.
- It provides an opportunity for you to explore a different field.
- It polishes your skills, especially if you have a creative outlet.
- It pumps value into your resume, especially if you have an employment or skill gap.
How You Can Start a Side Hustle Today.
If you’d like to start a high-paying side hustle today, our favorite freelancer platforms, ranked, are as follows in terms of earning potential, ease of use, and fee structure:
- LinkedIn’s Profinder tool
After creating a profile, you can begin sending pitches to clients. Make sure to “echo” the language they are using in their gig listing to show them that you understand their needs and can help them.
Would you like to take a look at an annotated resume that a client of ours used to make $323,000/year? You can grab it by submitting your information below:
And the first few lines of your pitch are all someone sees in the beginning on all of these platforms unless they click to read your entire proposal. Therefore, it is critical that your first sentence is hyper-customized to the gig listing!
If this is something you need help with, you should take a look at our 10-minute video on submitting high-dollar-value proposals on Upwork, cold email, and LinkedIn Profinder.
This video is free with our freelancer profile service, which you can invest in below, and if you’d like to learn whether this service is a good fit for you, use this link to schedule a free consultation with us.
We will redo your LinkedIn, Upwork, or Fiverr copy completely from scratch to ensure you get high-quality gigs and clients with deeper pockets.
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