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11 BEST Side Hustles for Busy Professionals with Day Jobs

by Matthew Carter | Last Updated: August 7, 2022
11 BEST Side Hustles for Busy Professionals with Day Jobs

If you have been looking for a way to make some extra cash but need to fit any extra work around a day job then look no further.

These suggestions will give you some great ways to make money on the side and swell your bank account without committing to a large number of hours. You will not be the only one doing either.

Recent statistics show that people all over the world are currently making extra money on top of their day job and as many as 1 in 44 Americans are involved with one side hustle or another.

Most of these jobs can be done remotely and with hours that suit you making them the perfect fit for your side hustle as a busy professional.

1. Affiliate Marketing

image of affiliate marketing

You may have the desire to run your own online business but don’t relish the thought of making any major financial investment on business premises, staff, or inventory. This is where Affiliate Marketing can be a perfect business opportunity for you. This clever way of earning an income online can be operated from any location and you can work whatever hours suit you.

The concept is simple; Affiliate Marketing is simply selling products or services online for other companies and earning a commission. The way that sales are tracked is via product links that are specific to your account. You place these links on your website and when the buyer clicks it and makes a purchase you earn money.

You will need to partner with an Affiliate Partner to get the product links and depending on the company you can take advantage of commission incentives and bonus schemes, The product range is virtually unlimited and you can pick and choose the products you wish to sell and place the respective links on your website.

Some of the well-known Affiliate Partners are companies like:

  • Share A Sale
  • Clickbank
  • Max Bounty
  • CJ Affiliate

Links are trackable and in many cases, the data remains active for up to 30 days. Meaning that if your potential buyer decides to make the purchase at a later date, you will still get the credit for the sale and be paid the commission.

This is a great way to make extra cash and some Affiliate Marketers that have perfected their operations make millions of dollars per year. This industry is projected to see continued growth over the next several years so it is not too late to start.

  • Low Start-Up Costs
  • Remote
  • No Inventory
  • Unlimited Product Range
  • Scalable
  • Need some technical skills
  • Can take time
  • Competition can be fierce

Things to consider

Doing some product research will stand you in good stead before setting up as an Affiliate Marketer, it is wise to decide on your niche and product range and research things like market competitiveness, and how well various products are selling. 

To promote your website and products you will want to set out a strategy and you may also want to set aside some funds for marketing and promotional purposes. You will need to get in front of the crowd and an effective marketing plan can help you do that.

If you are completely new to the Affiliate Marketing game then it is worth investing in a highly rate affiliate marketing training course to get you up to speed quickly, I recommend checking out Authority Hacker or Affiliate Lab

2. Amazon FBA

image of amazon fba

Another popular option for people that want to operate their business entirely online is Amazon FBA. This stands for Fulfillment by Amazon and unlike Affiliate Marketing where you sell third-party products, Amazon FBA is used to promote, sell and ship your own inventory items via the Amazon Marketplace.

It takes full advantage of Amazon’s extensive logistics network and you get to benefit from many of their programs like Prime and Big Box. Amazon FBA works by you sending your items and uploading the information to a database, then you list your products for sale on the Amazon Marketplace and wait for a customer to make a purchase.

Once the item has been sold it will be packaged, labeled and shipped out promptly using the Amazon network and delivered in a timely manner to your customer. You don’t have to do anything. If there are any customer service issues Amazon will handle them. If there are returns to be managed, Amazon takes care of that too.

It is an end-to-end solution for you, and it gives your buyers the security of purchasing from a well-known and respected company. They also know that any items that go astray or get lost will be replaced quickly, and any returns will be refunded promptly.

The downside to this is that Amazon has built such a great reputation for customer service that customers purchase more on impulse or to test products with the full knowledge that they can return them for any reason without hassle. Leaving you will a lot of incomplete sales.

Also, with this manner of online business, you will need to carry an inventory that can tie up large amounts of capital depending on the product. You will also be charged for the storage of those items and may be charged additional fees if they sit for too long without selling.

  • Shipping handled via Amazon
  • Customer Support
  • Returns Management
  • Item tracking
  • Large Inventory
  • Fees and charges
  • Inventory Tracking Challenges
  • Indirect Customer Relationship

Other things to consider

If you have never operated an online business before then Amazon FBA may prove tricky for beginners. Their shipping specifications and requirements can be complex to fulfill and uploading to their database can be problematic at first.

Because you will need to hold and manage a certain amount of inventory this can result in a double cost. The cost of buying it, and the cost of storing it, so you may want to consider how much you want to invest and tie up before becoming involved with Amazon’s FBA program.

As it is a program that will most definitely have a learning curve it may be wise to get a high-quality Amazon FBA training course that will walk you through Amazon’s process.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and while it can take some time to get to grips with Amazon’s system it can also be very lucrative when operated correctly. I recommend checking out our review of Amazing Selling Machine.

3. Create Online Courses

image of Course

Whatever your career or profession may be, there are always people out that that want to learn it and are willing to pay to attain the skills that they need. A great way to make a side income is to leverage the knowledge you already possess and impart it to other people. Many people are making extra money in this way and the benefits can be well worth the time you spend training your skills. 

There are 2 ways that you can get involved with online tutoring, you can design and sell online courses or training packages, or you can host live one-on-one or group training sessions. Both will earn you fees, but you may be able to charge premium prices for individual face-to-face training sessions, especially if your skills are sought after. 

You can market your talents on sites like Fiverr and set your own prices. After Fiverr takes their fees the rest of the money goes in your pocket. If you need software to design and market your own courses check out sites like Kajabi which will provide you with all the tools you need for course development. 

To get students and sign-ups you can market your services to local schools, colleges, or job training centers. Or you can simply promote yourself via social media channels to gain clients. The nice thing about making money in this way is that you can set your own schedule and availability, and it can be operated from anywhere as long as your laptop has a webcam for live sessions.

  • Leverages Existing Skills
  • Flexible
  • Set Own Prices
  • Hours to Suit
  • Course Development can be time-consuming
  • Schedules may not always work for clients
  • Live Sessions may run over time
  • Had to Maintain Engagement

Other things to consider

While teaching online courses can be very profitable for many the initial set up might take a bit of investment. You will have to generate the material or courses you will be teaching and this can take time. 

Consider ways to keep your trainees or audience engaged, as training is done online and not in a classroom setting it can often be hard for people to maintain motivation so you will need to find ways to drive engagement. 

Credibility may be something you have to establish to show why you are a professional in the field that you are offering training. As you are not a teaching facility or accredited trainer you will need to show people how they can benefit from your expertise.

4. AirBnB

image of airbnb

Undoubtedly one of the easiest and most profitable ways to make money in recent years is by Airbnb. If you are one of the 3 people in the universe that have never heard of this company it is an online website where you can list and rent your unused rooms or properties and earn rental income.

People all over the world make extra cash by using Airbnb as their side hustle and you can do it too. If you have a spare room or garage apartment or similar space that you don’t use regularly then you can convert it into a money-maker by letting people book and use it. Renters pay the money to Airbnb who hold it in escrow, deduct their fees and send the remainder to you.

If you live in an area that is popular or desirable you can charge premium rates. If you happen to be near a stadium or sports arena then you can really cash in during concerts and game times. Airbnb will recommend the rates that you should charge based on other properties in the area but the final decision is up to you.

  • Rental days to suit
  • Flexible
  • Funds held in Escrow
  • Low fees
  • Strangers in your home/property
  • Damage or theft
  • Area Restrictions
  • May need a property manager
  • Bad reviews

Other things to consider

For any rooms or areas, you are considering renting out it may be wise to assess the items and valuables in that room and remove or secure anything that you don’t want to get damaged or stolen. Thefts are relatively low risk as Airbnb has your renters information but it is still wise to take precautions.

If you are renting several rooms or properties and can’t always be at each location you may need to employ some kind of property manager to let guests in and out and to check the property when guests vacate.

Repeat business from Airbnb can, in part, be based upon favorable reviews from past guests. It is worth making sure they have a smooth check-in process, everything is to their satisfaction and add a couple of unexpected extras like snacks or bottles of water to generate the best reviews possible.

5. Write an Ebook

image of eBook

It is said that everyone has one good novel in them. Well, now with the advent of online publishing this is your chance to test that statement. Amazon’s publishing program,  Kindle Direct Publishing, will help people to publish and market their ebooks and a nice feature is that you can set your own prices for any books that you write.

You may be thinking that you don’t have enough time to sit and write a full novel but hold on, the world of ebooks has not only novels but features all kinds of works. Self-help manuals, Poetry collections, training manuals, How-to manuscripts, and many other items besides. You are not limited to creating works of fiction. 

Anything that you can write that you think may be marketable can be promoted on Amazons Kindle Marketplace. Customers purchase the book for a fee, download it, and you reap the profits, fewer Amazons commission charges of course. 

The nice thing is that to publish a book in this manner is completely free. Until your items start selling there is no money to pay, so no sales, no charge. Of course, that means your not making any money either but at least you won’t be out of pocket until your book starts flying off the (virtual) shelves.

  • Set your own prices
  • Zero Cost before sales
  • Write as many books as you want
  • Cover any subject
  • Pricing may be low
  • Pay for own marketing
  • No editorial support
  • Competitive – saturated topics

Other things to consider

Although this is a great way to earn income on the side the eBook market can be quite cut-throat when it comes to pricing and undercutting. Now that self-publishing is accessible to the public at large there is a risk of market saturation leading to low pricing in an attempt to gain sales. 

You will need to market your books effectively to gain sales and you are on your own for this. Any promotional ads or similar will have to come out of your own pocket and can reduce your profits. 

Unlike a traditional publishing house where you can benefit from the help and guidance of an editor, you will need to do your own editing work. This means that you have less support and feedback on your work.

6. Uber

image of uber

On most lists of side hustles, Uber will make an appearance and this one is no different. It has been included because although it has seen its share of issues Uber is still one of the top side-hustles available today and people are making decent money at it.

Driving people to and from their location has to be one of the easiest ways to make money out there. It doesn’t require any special training, you do not need any specific skills other than a full driver's license and a decent car. It is also appealing for people in stressful jobs as it is the kind of gig that doesn’t take a lot of brainpower.

In fact, many people enjoy Ubering as they find it relaxing. Picking up people and driving them to and from their destination while chatting casually can actually be quite therapeutic. You will meet people from all kinds of backgrounds and areas, and it is amazing sometimes how much people will share with you. 

It can be a fun and easy way to make money and you don’t even need to use your own car. Uber has a leasing program that allows you to use one of their own vehicles for a weekly charge, thus saving any extensive wear and tear on your own car due to the extra miles. 

Evenings and weekends are a prime time for requested Uber rides so this can be the perfect side hustle to fit around your 9-5 job. Peak periods can yield double or triples fares, sometimes even higher, so you can really cash in on these times.

  • Totally flexible
  • No skills required
  • Can rent a vehicle from Uber
  • Peak period high earnings
  • Strangers in your car
  • Wear and tear
  • Bad ratings
  • Increased insurance

Other things to consider

You will need to check your insurance policy before using your car to drive for Uber. Some companies have begun to restrict insurance on personal cars used in this manner and even if your company approves it, chances are your premium will increase. You may even be required to pay for a commercial policy in some states. 

You might want to consider the safety aspect of having strangers in your car especially if operating late at night or in remote areas. Uber does a lot to ensure the safety of its drivers but it is always prudent to exercise common sense. 

While there are no special skills or requirements for operating Uber you might want to employ a few basic customer service skills. If riders feel like they were not properly treated or think you were rude you might receive a bad rating. One or two won’t hurt, but too many may get you removed from the Uber platform.

7. Courier

image of courier delivery

If you are not really a people person and driving the public around while making small talk isn’t your bag, you can always make a bit of money on the side from delivering packages and paperwork. Many companies will pay an on the spot premium for instant delivery and if you can stack several up at once you can earn some good fees. 

It doesn’t always require a car either, if you have a motorbike or even a bicycle and live in a busy area you can make money by using these vehicles for local deliveries. Companies like Roadie have made a business of utilizing an Uber-style platform for their deliveries. Work when you want to and bid on the jobs that suit you. Check-in your area for apps of this type as there are several smaller companies that have their own app

As you can see where each gig starts and ends you will know exactly how many miles you will travel and where you will end up. This transparency helps you to plan your working hours to maximize your earnings. Weekends can be a profitable time as there are often fewer delivery drivers available meaning you can cash in.

One of the great benefits of running for this type of delivery operation is that you often have the opportunity to negotiate your own price. The organizers of these businesses wish to fulfill all of their customer’s orders so you may receive a call asking (begging!) for you to take a particular job. This is where you have the opportunity to help the business, but earn yourself premium pricing. More often than not your terms will be accepted because the delivery has to be made.

  • Flexible
  • Some negotiation on payments
  • Can stack several jobs
  • No experience needed
  • No guarantee of work
  • Wear and tear on the vehicle
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Responsible for damages

Other things to consider

Some of the packages you may be transporting could be items of value, in the event of any damage, it would be wise to determine who is responsible for the cost or replacement of the item. 

As with Uber, you are driving commercially and your insurance coverage may need to be increased to reflect the change of vehicle use and additional mileage. This will typically mean an increase in your monthly insurance payment.

8. Translation Services

image of translation services

Should you happen to be a person that is fluent in more than one language then you can easily turn this to your advantage and charge quite favorable rates for providing translation services. This could be for private individuals or executives, hospitals, or for business agencies that offer translation services to other companies, and many translators operate on a freelance basis.

There is no shortage of work as effective translators are much in demand. However, you will need to be able to converse, write and understand grammar in the second language to an almost native level. Much of the work you may be required to translate may include legal terms or similar complex text so you will need to be able to translate with as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible.

Most translation services will pay quite well with recent industry data showing that hospital translators along with being a growing trend, make around $50,000 per year. Hospital translators are sought after to help assist communications between medical staff to patients and their families.

  • Primarily freelance
  • Good rates of pay
  • Use already existing skills (i.e second language)
  • Plenty of work available
  • Accuracy issues can reduce pay
  • Translation of documents can be tedious
  • Misunderstandings can happen

Other things to consider

Translation services pay for the skills, fluency, and accuracy of their translators so having a few words of another language simply will not be enough. Most companies will do an assessment before hiring so make sure your grammar, writing, and speaking skills are up to a suitable level. 

If you are translating for specific countries it may be helpful to be aware of cultural differences to avoid any awkward misunderstandings or misinterpretations. 

Translation services may also see a high level of fluctuation in demand. This can lead to some irregularities in income and sometimes you may be inundated with work, while other times you may be literally twiddling your thumbs waiting for jobs to come in.

9. Online Surveys

image of online survey

Another mainstay on the lists of ‘How to make Extra Money’ is Online Surveys, but there is a good reason for that. While doing surveys will not make you into a millionaire they are readily accessible, they pay ok, and they take not much more than time to complete. You do not need to be a subject matter expert in any particular area and you don’t need any specialized skills. 

It is also highly flexible. There are usually as many surveys available as you wish to take. The level of involvement you will need to have varies, you could be required to write a review, or it could be as simple as selecting the answers to multiple-choice questions. Either way, you can usually take any surveys at your own pace at a time that suits you.

Some of the larger survey companies are Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars, but there are literally dozens more out there to choose from. Some companies pay you for your time in cold hard cash. Others will compensate with gift cards or similar schemes so make sure their payment methods fit your needs.

  • Easy
  • Needs no skills
  • Can receive cash, gift cards, or other methods of payment
  • No special equipment needed
  • Low rates of pay
  • Waiting period for payouts
  • No fixed earning
  • Time-consuming

Other things to consider

To make money as an online survey taker you will need to be quite dedicated to your task. After a while doing surveys can be quite unexciting and can feel a bit isolating due to the lack of social interaction. It will also require quite a number of completed surveys before you earn any decent money.

It can be a good and easy way to make some extra cash but survey taking should definitely be an occupation that is considered a side hustle rather than a way to make a full-time income. 

You will need a decent PC or laptop and a decent internet connection. It can be frustrating to get almost to the end of a survey and your internet connection goes out, possibly leading to the loss of your work so make sure your equipment is up to the task.

10. Transcription Services

image of transcription services

If you have a good ear and a knack for typing and grammar then you can earn good money for providing transcription services. If you have specialized skills perhaps related to your careers like Engineering or Legal or Medical knowledge, then you can charge higher rates for offering services in professional areas. 

Many companies need the services of a good transcriber and knowing commonly used industry terms and information will stand you in good stead. There is no shortage of work available for good transcriptionists and many choose to operate as a freelancer. If you prefer working for a company there are many out there. A quick Google will reveal the companies that are available and hiring in your area or country.

There is minimal outlay associated with being a transcriber but you will need to have fast and accurate typing skills and an ear for the English language. Good knowledge of grammar and punctuation will also be necessary for offering professional services.

  • Totally flexible
  • No special equipment needed
  • Lots of work
  • Good pay for industry specialists
  • Isolated
  • Errors can reduce pay
  • Work can increase and decrease rapidly

Other things to consider

Although you will have some flexibility in deciding which projects you will work on, transcription work can fluctuate massively throughout the year so it may be worth deciding on the volume of jobs you want to manage.

There is no special equipment required to operate as a transcriptionist but to make your life easier and to be more efficient as a transcriber you may want to invest in a foot pedal and professional transcriptionist software. This will help you work as efficiently as possible and maximize your income.

11. SEO Consultant

image of seo

If you happen to work in a field that is related to IT or marketing then you can really cash in on your expertise by offering to provide SEO services to small businesses. The market has become somewhat flooded with people offering Social Media and Website Design services, there is still quite a good amount of places that need effective SEO services.

Companies will pay well to improve their search engine position in Google and that is where you come in. You will need an understanding of SEO, marketing principles and digital marketing. It will also be useful to know how to use WordPress and other tools to make the company’s websites rise in Google’s ranks. 

You may also be called upon to devise an ongoing SEO strategy for your clients. This can involve making sure that their website is operating to the optimum level by running audits and fixing technical problems. It may also mean creating a marketing plan with social media marketing or promotional items like Facebook or Google advertising. 

Pay can be based on performance so this can be a very results-based occupation but it can also be performed from anywhere as long as you have access to a laptop, meaning you can set your working hours to suit and schedule time around your day job.

  • Flexible hours
  • Interesting work
  • Sought after skills
  • Repeat business
  • Unrealistic client expectations
  • Will need software and other tools
  • Varying income
  • Constant changes

Other things to consider

Even though this field is still not as competitive as something like web design it still has a good amount of competition and industry experts. You will need to determine what your skills are and what you can offer to potential clients. It may be that you have good industry knowledge in a specific area like retail, so it would be worth tailoring your services to companies that operate in this realm.

Unlike many other side hustles on this list, operating as an SEO Consultant will require some investment in things like professional SEO software to track things like search engine rankings and improvements or to perform keyword research.

Managing customer expectations can be a challenge. The most often heard client requirement from SEO professionals is the phrase ‘I want to be number one on Google’. Well, so does everybody! While you will be able to improve search rankings you may not be able to rank first place on Google unless your client is prepared to make a large investment. So make sure you explain the results they can realistically expect to avoid dissatisfaction.

Side Hustles for Professionals Summary

If you are working in a demanding career but still need effective ways to generate some extra money on the side then I hope some of these side hustles get your juices going.

If you are able to use your existing skills and knowledge then you can dictate pretty good rates of pay in many of these side gigs.

Specialized skills equal specialized pay so consider ways you can integrate your previously gained expertise into a side gig to garner higher compensation.


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