After making the jump from juggling side gigs to freelancing full-time, I’ve been navigating the wild world of the gig economy. It’s been a ride full of ups and downs, but the freedom it offers is unbeatable. Now, friends often hit me up for advice on starting their own side hustles. Who wouldn’t want more control over their income and the chance to be their own boss? So, let’s chat about some legit side hustles that can turn your home into a money-making haven.
Are Side Hustles Growing in Popularity?
So, let’s dish about side hustles, the unsung heroes of our ever-evolving work landscape. Everyone’s buzzing about them more than ever, right? But here’s the real deal: the term “side hustle” isn’t some trendy lingo of the moment—it debuted back in 1950. Yup, it’s been quietly weaving its way through history, gaining momentum during and after the last recession when folks scrambled for creative ways to make ends meet.
Fast forward to the recent pandemic shake-up, and suddenly, side hustles became the talk of the town. It was less about where the work happened and more about how it got done. The pandemic nudged us to rethink our approach to work. Enterprising minds discovered new skills or unearthed dormant talents that were perfect for embracing the side hustle culture.
While entrepreneurs have sworn by side hustles for ages, even full-time gig workers got in on the action, learning skills that set them up perfectly for the hustle game. Yours truly included! I’ve taken the reins of my side hustle and turned it into a well-paying gig. I’m making more as a self-employed freelance blogger, working half the time, and calling the shots on who I work with and when. Life is GOOD!
So, What are the Best Side Hustles to Make Money?
Sure, you can Google “best side hustles to make money,” but not everything out there is a cash cow. Steer clear of survey gigs—they’re often scams or end with a “you don’t qualify” bomb. From my experience, the real winners include copywriting, food delivery (my son swears by DoorDash), handyman services, dog walking, and house cleaning.
Copywriting is my forte, with a focus on blogging. I specialize in SEO-optimized, informative content that drives traffic to your website. The pay is solid—I’ve set my rate at $75 per hour or $.12 per word for 2024. This ensures a steady flow of quality work, weeding out low-budget gigs. Successful copywriters, hustling through networking and self-promotion, can easily break six figures annually (and higher). Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are gold mines for marketing and advertising.
2. Food Delivery
Food delivery, like DoorDash, isn’t just about the base pay (which ranges from $2-$10+ per delivery). The real dough comes from tips, and they can be quite generous. According to Indeed, DoorDash drivers rake in an average monthly pay of $4,843, a whopping 85% above the national average. Exploring delivery options in your area could be a tasty opportunity if you crave flexibility and have a few hours to spare for your hustle.
3. Handyman Services
Full disclosure—I’m not remotely handy. Surprisingly, 19% of Americans claim extreme handiness, averaging a 3.7 out of 5 self-rating. Men (3.8) slightly edge out women. If you lack DIY skills and lack a household handy person, fear not. In my non-handy past, I enlisted pros such as Chaz with The Works Handyman Services for everything from hanging pictures to installing ceiling fans. If you’re tool-savvy, market your skills on platforms like Thumbtack for a thriving gig.
4. Dog Walking
As a content writer often writing on pet-related topics, I’ve observed the undeniable need for dog walking. While I don’t currently have a pooch, I’ve been a proud puppy mom countless times. With the shift back of humans to the office, many dogs miss out on their exercise. Did you know dogs are the most popular pets in the U.S.? With 65.1 million households owning a dog, there’s a vast market. If you’re a canine enthusiast who enjoys staying active, this could be your golden gig.
5. House Cleaning
Confession time: I adore a pristine home, but cleaning? Not my forte. Call it undiagnosed OCD. I love a clean home, but I despise the act of cleaning. Enter housekeeping services—my sanity saviors. While my husband embraces the mop and broom (I gladly let him), many households crave help. In fact, nearly 10% of U.S. households hired cleaning services last year. The US Department of Commerce predicts that 80% of dual-income households will opt for outside cleaning services within a few years.
Ready to make homes sparkle? Take inspiration from Ellen at MN Family House Cleaning, a cleaning service formed in early 2023. Ellen shared with me, “When I was a solo house cleaner, I loved seeing spaces transform. It was satisfying to see a sink sparkle and straight vacuum lines on a carpet. I loved the positive feedback from my clients and giving them their time back! Now, as a business owner transitioning from working in the field to working behind the scenes, I love equipping other people to provide great service and give peace to our clients. I love that we can serve even more people than when I was solo!”
Be like Ellen!
Find the Best Paying Side Hustles For You
In the grand hustle of life, side gigs can be your ticket to financial freedom and personal fulfillment. Consider your strengths and passions, carve out your unique niche, and create a sales path that keeps you thriving. Whether you’re crafting compelling content, delivering delicious bites, fixing things up, taking pups on strolls, or turning homes into havens, there’s a side hustle suited just for you.
Embrace the side hustle culture—it’s not just about making money; it’s about making a life that resonates with your aspirations. And hey, if wordsmithing is on your agenda, I’ve got your back! Let’s turn those side gig dreams into a reality.