The Best Side Hustles to Earn Extra Income – The Motley Fool

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Learn how to become financially independent through a side gig.


Key points

  • One in three Americans have a side hustle, and more plan on starting one.
  • A side hustle can help you generate extra income and help develop new skills.
  • There are plenty of opportunities available such as starting a blog, YouTube channel, podcast, or freelance gig.

According to a recent study, one in three Americans (34%) have a side hustle. Of those who have a side hustle, two-thirds (67%) started one within the past five years, and three out of 10 (31%) started a side hustle during the pandemic. The trend is growing, with another one out of four planning to start one soon.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle can increase your income and help you become more financially independent. In addition to helping you diversify your revenue streams, many are motivated to develop a new skill or do something they enjoy. Here are the top reasons for starting one:

  • Do something fun, or something they enjoy — 38%
  • Diversify income — 33%
  • Develop new skills — 28%
  • Save up for a specific financial goal — 25%
  • Save up for a specific purchase — 23%
  • Test a specific business idea — 16%

A side hustle is a great way to test out a business idea while keeping your day job. It offers the best of both worlds while putting extra cash in your bank account.

Top side hustles

With inflation running at 40-year highs, a side business can help offset the increase in prices and provide more money to invest for your future. Many of the best side hustles can be based on your experience, skill sets, and your passion. Like to garden? Create an ebook or instructional videos. Are you a musician? Create educational videos and launch a blog. Many are using YouTube and TikTok to gain a following and make money off advertising. Others are creating blogs to share their unique knowledge.

Begin by writing all of the things you enjoy doing, your experiences, and what you are good at. From there, look to see which one would be the best way to monetize your strengths. The key is to focus on one or two things and do them really well. That will help bring in more money. It is important to be patient, as some may take time to generate enough meaningful income. Here are some side hustles to consider.

  • Selling a product online: You can start by selling personal items on Amazon and other websites. You can later expand to buy your own inventory.
  • Launch a blog: You can start a blog for free and share your knowledge. There are many ways to make money with a blog. You can sell ads, sell products or services on your site, sell a subscription, or make money through affiliate programs.
  • Start a YouTube or other social media channel: You can make thousands of dollars a month by generating a large following primarily through ad revenue.
  • Teach or tutor: You can become an online coach or spend extra time to teach available students interested in your knowledge and skills.
  • Do some freelance work: Freelance work can range from delivering food to offering proofreading and editing services. There are multiple websites you can use to offer your services.
  • Build passive income through real estate or Airbnb your property: Real estate has been a solid source of passive income. Using Airbnb to rent your property is another way to generate side income.
  • Start a podcast: Have knowledge to share? Or have keen insights into certain topics? Podcasting is another way to gain a large audience and make money through ads.

These are only a few of the side hustles you can use to generate extra income. There are plenty of opportunities available that require little risk but can help you earn more money to help you gain financial freedom.

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