The Complete Guide to Earning Extra Income on the Side: 20 Side Hustles You Can Start Today

In the current economic times, a small hustle on the side could be the game changer to financial freedom. Here are some incredible side hustle ideas that can earn you some extra money.

Money. We all need a little bit more of it. Whether you’re planning a wedding, saving to buy property, trying to clear debt, or just putting some of it aside for future uncertainties, a little extra cash goes a long way.

While your day job may fund the essentials, a side hustle can be the game changer to make a difference in your bank account while offering the freedom you’ve always desired.

People have rediscovered that a full-time job and regular savings only go so far, while side hustlers enjoy an almost limitless ceiling. That’s why many are setting up shops on the side.

You can also join these savvy side-hustling professionals, but it’s not as cut and dried. Fortunately, this comprehensive piece will guide you appropriately as you look for the right side hustle.

Why Should I Start a Side Hustle?

In essence, a side hustle is extra employment outside your full-time occupation that you rely on for add-on revenue. It differs from a part-time job in that it offers more control and freedom over what you do, when you do it, and how long you work.

Often you can involve your passions in it and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Flexibility – You have control over your side hustle, so you can make it accommodate your day job and other commitments. This ultimately grants you more flexibility.
  • Improved finances – This is arguably one of the leading motivations to start a side hustle. The extra cash you earn will make it easy for you to pay bills and other expenses and contribute to savings.  
  • Passion exploration – When you involve your passions, you’ll enjoy your work as you boost your competencies.
  • It could become your main job – You’ve probably come across stories of professionals who started their side hustles and ended up dedicating all their efforts to their projects. A passion-oriented side hustle can grow to be your full-time career.
  • Opportunity to build wealth – If you’re not seeking to pay off debt, you can use the earnings from your side hustle to build wealth faster. The extra income can help you achieve your financial goals faster than a person relying on their primary job.

While your day job may fund the essentials, a side hustle can be the game changer to make a difference in your bank account while offering the freedom you’ve always desired. However, the best results only come when you choose the right side hustle and give it your all.

So, what side hustle can I do? Read on to find out!

A Detailed Review of the Best Side Hustle Ideas

With the numerous opportunities available, it’s not difficult to find a good side hustle to make money. Here are some impressive ideas if you’re looking for a side hustle to make extra cash. 

Ridesharing

Driving for Bolt or Uber isn’t everyone’s perfect side hustle. But if you can regularly access a vehicle and enjoy driving around, you have an opportunity to work at your convenience and earn something extra.

This side hustle has incredible growth and income potential. So once you’re experienced in the field, you can turn this into a reliable full-time job.

Unfortunately, this option is only limited to large towns that allow such services to run. So research the companies that are in your location and find the best one for you. 

Start A Blog

Blogging is great if you want to delve into the side hustle game for the long term. It’s highly unlikely to profit from a blog right away unless you already have an audience. But if you’re strategic, this endeavor has a high potential to earn you a steady income.

Savvy bloggers have various income avenues, from products and paid partnerships to affiliate marketing. So you have ample opportunity to turn this into a lucrative side hustle. The goal is to establish a solid, trusted brand with which your audience can connect.   

You can easily balance blogging with your full-time workload since you can write in advance and then schedule the content to go live. The venture can potentially generate a few hundred or a thousand dollars monthly, depending on your efforts.

Sell Your Photography

Some basic Photoshop skills and a great camera are enough to turn photography into a side hustle. If you take pictures of cities and towns, you can sell your pictures to the respective municipalities’ local publications like a city blog or newspaper.

The best place to sell your pictures is on your own website. But if you’re not yet there, you can leverage platforms like Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Alamy, Etsy, Fotomoto, or Crestock.

If you’d rather not earn by selling your pictures, you can earn even more by including them on products like phone cases, canvases, and T-shirts. Other possibly lucrative ventures include pet or wedding photography.

Affiliate Marketing

This side hustle involves collaborating with retailers to promote their offerings and earning commissions in exchange. It’s a relatively simple form of passive income since you only have to promote another company’s product and earn.

You’ll promote your affiliate links through email marketing, social media, a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel. You can begin on affiliate marketing platforms like ShareASale and Amazon Associates, but there are abundant options to pick from.

Freelance Writing

Many passionate and experienced writers are reaping big from freelance writing. The side hustle is not only lucrative; it also has a high demand.

You can bid for jobs that appeal to your skill set on matchmaking platforms like Fiverr and Writers Work. This could mean anything from blog articles and website content to creating miscellaneous marketing content and copywriting.

As a freelance writer, you’ll decide the jobs you want to bid for and how much you want to be paid. You can make yourself more appealing by putting up complete certifications and writing samples.

Selling Used Items

You likely have a ton of unused things in your house tucked away on a shelf or in a box, piling up dust instead of earning money.

Savvy hustlers make a pretty profit by offloading such merchandise on platforms like Jiji. This isn’t restricted to the items you own, but you can scope out items that you can buy cheaply and then flip online for a profit.

The beauty of this side-hustle is that you can specialize in any niche, from clothing and books to vintage furniture and kitchenware. While this is mostly an off-hour, part-time gig, there’s immense scaling potential if you get savvy with it.

However, you must prepare for some heavy lifting, find a nice storage space, and market yourself extensively.   

Create and Sell Handmade Goods

Income-earning hobbies are satisfying because if you enjoy the work, it won’t feel like work. Anything you enjoy doing, even when you’re not paid to do it, can be the foundation for a unique side hustle.

Almost everyone has a creative outlet or hobby that you’re passionate about. If it involves creating handmade goods, you’re in a great position to stand out in a sea of vast commodity products.

Selling these items online will link you to even more potential clients. Furthermore, sourcing raw materials will align your manufacturing process with your brand values.

So if you’re confident in your skill, go for it!

Host with Airbnb

Hosting a space via Airbnb can be a remarkable source of passive income, giving you the opportunity to make extra cash while keeping your time free. Of course, you must have a space to host – an apartment space, room, or house where clients can stay.

You could also list your space in private and cut out Airbnb, but using established sites with a noteworthy reputation is beneficial. For instance, it’s easier to market the space, and the platform provides damage insurance and customer support.

Being an Instagram Influencer

Most people grow up dreaming of fame. But in reality, we all can’t act or sing. But you can still establish your personal brand based on your expertise. Maybe you can bake awesome cookies or have a really cool sense of fashion. You can start a side hustle as an influencer on Instagram.

It’s cool if you don’t like the spotlight. You can also grow an Instagram account around your artwork, photography, or pet. You’ll then monetize your account via Instagram takeovers, sponsored posts, or selling products.

Remember to stay consistent with your content, posting frequency, and post scheduling.  

Dropshipping

This could be the answer you’re looking for if you plan to own and run an online retail business as a part-time activity. You’ll be running an online store but won’t have to maintain a physical inventory or handle pesky tasks like shipping.

After choosing a niche you’d like to focus on, you can easily open a dropshipping using platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify and then begin to market your products.

This business venture tends to be slightly costlier than most ventures, but it’s relatively cheaper than web-based side-hustles. Your success will depend on your strategy and the effort you invest in the business.

Flip Or Sell Items On Digital Marketplaces

Being a reseller is another potentially lucrative side hustle. It involves buying a product, marking up the price, then selling the item for a profit. Typically, you’ll serve as the middle man linking customers to manufacturers. As a reseller, you can be a distributor, wholesaler, retailer, or arbitrage.

Grocery And Food Deliveries

If you own a motorcycle or car and are looking for a side hustle with pretty much-guaranteed availability, consider making food and grocery deliveries.

This isn’t the most glamorous side business idea, but you can earn legitimately driving for delivery companies like Uber Eats. 

Delivery convenience is in high demand (who doesn’t want their food or groceries just to show up?), and this can be potentially lucrative, especially in large towns and cities.

Podcasting

Listenership for podcasts has grown steadily in the last few years. Initially, a podcast was a comedian’s must-have, then journalists began leveraging the channel. Currently, podcasting is an essential medium for anyone who wants to build their brand’s online audience and turn a side gig into a profitable business.

Besides being an online content staple, podcasting is also relatively cheap. A decent USB mic costs around Ksh. 4,000, and you can use free recording and audio editing platforms like Audacity.

Selling Informational Products

This potentially lucrative side hustle is for someone who’s passionate about research, understands digital marketing, and has sufficient time.

Are there current trends and topics that you’re knowledgeable about? Is there a popular topic you know about that has limited information? You can turn this into an income opportunity by creating content around such topics. The goal is to constantly create vast content types like courses and e-books that can generate recurring income for you.

Remember to focus on specific niches that involve societal problems that need to be solved. The best part of this is you’ll be earning to help people.

Rent Your Car

Another cool, relatively simple way to make an additional income is by renting out your vehicle. If you have a vehicle that you don’t use regularly – maybe you’re busy at work or in school – you can rent it out to someone who needs it and earn from it. 

In fact, this side hustle has immense growth potential, and you can buy more cars in the long run if you’re strategic.

You’ll rent your car on your terms and set the availability and price, so you’ll always have it when you need it.

Online Tutoring

If you understand a particular subject or several of them, you can make some extra cash by offering to tutor. You can earn hourly or per session, and you can rake in a few hundred dollars monthly, depending on your effort.

Teaching English and Swahili is among the most popular side hustles to make money from home. The online experience can also expose you to in-person job opportunities in other countries if it sounds appealing to you.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a great opportunity for future scalability. Tutoring is mostly in a small group or one-on-one setting. With a finite amount of time, it’s simply difficult to take on additional clients.

Freelance Bookkeeping

Many startups have come up in the last two years in spite of the Coronavirus situation hitting small businesses globally. With this comes a higher demand for professional bookkeeping services.

If you have some accounting knowledge, you can become a freelance bookkeeper on the side to supplement your day job. You’ll be tasked with balancing the entity’s checkbook, sending out invoices, paying off vendors, payroll management, and compiling necessary tax documents.

Notably, you don’t need many certifications for this role, as many companies now use bookkeeping software programs like Xero and QuickBooks. You can also work remotely, serving companies anywhere in the world.

Social Media Management

Kenya is strongly part of a tale in which over 58% of the global population now uses social media. So today’s businesses must maintain a great social media presence. However, not many entrepreneurs have the resources or time for it; hence they look for a social media manager.

With this job, you’ll manage everything from creating content and scheduling posts to interacting with your audience and responding to their comments. You may also upskill to manage your client’s social media campaigns and collaborations. This can be a perfect opportunity if you spend a great chunk of your day on social media.

Content Editing

If you’re a perfectionist, have a great eye for detail, and are confident with your writing skills, you may turn to content editing as a side hustle and make money reading over and editing written content.

You’ll be tasked with picking out any grammatical or spelling mistakes, tidying up written content, ensuring it aligns with the client’s style guidelines, and then preparing it for publication. You could also be responsible for optimizing the work for search and uploading it to their site.

There are many clients on Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr looking for editing experts. So get yourself ready to serve them.

Creating YouTube Tutorials

While this isn’t among the fastest ways to earn on the side, creating and publishing tutorials on YouTube can earn you a respectable amount of cash. You only need to deliver engaging content that keeps people interested in your channel.

By offering free tutorials, you can upsell viewers on the services and products you might be offering.

Considerations to Heed When Looking for A Side-Hustle

With all these income-earning opportunities open for exploration, it can be difficult to choose a specific side hustle to compliment your day job. But you’ll always make an informed decision if you ask the following questions: 

Is There Sufficient Energy and Time to Handle the Task?

While blogging and recording voiceovers may seem to require little energy and less time, others like ridesharing, package delivery, or freelance bookkeeping will require a different form of dedication. So choose a side hustle that doesn’t strain your time and drain your energy.

What’s The Side Hustle’s Earning Potential?

This is probably your first priority, but it must align with your scheduling and time horizon. For instance, package delivery is more flexible and has a better earning potential than a second job. Also, investing sufficient time in your hustle can increase your earning potential over time. But your growth potential will likely be limited if you’re looking to earn an immediate income. 

Do The Rewards Justify Your Effort?

Taking on a hustle on the side for money is fine, but what you earn should justify the effort you’re investing in it.

How Flexible Is the Scheduling?

A side hustle beats a second job with flexibility. While you’re looking to accommodate additional income on the side, you want an activity that’s flexible enough for you. The most flexible side-hustles are web-based or app-based. But you can still leverage some offline options like tutoring, which offer great flexibility and high earning potential.

Do You Need Additional Certification or Training?

Some remarkable side gig ideas need extra professional certification or training before you can begin delivering and earning. So be sure to confirm the upskilling requirements, whether they align with your abilities, and if you have time for the learning curve.

What’s The Activity’s Growth Potential?

If you expect to grow your side hustle over time, you must consider growth potential. Some gigs have limited growth potential, while others, like blogging, have massive possibilities. So if you want to scale the hustle to a full-time occupation, you must first realize the activity’s future potential.

Parting Shot

You have vast options if you’re looking for a side hustle to supplement your income. But the above list summarizes the potentially lucrative opportunities with the highest growth potential.

After selecting your most preferred hustle, put in the required effort and dedicate sufficient time to enjoy the fruits.

Good luck!