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Top 10 Side Hustle Ideas for 2024

Check out the best side hustles to earn extra money in your spare time, and learn how to start one of your own.
January 05, 2024
Megan Ferringer
15 minute read
Top 10 Side Hustle Ideas for 2024
Top 10 Side Hustle Ideas for 2024

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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Megan Ferringer
Written by Megan Ferringer
Written byMegan Ferringer
Updated January 05, 2024
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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In today's economic climate, diversifying our income streams is more important than ever. The unpredictability of the job market, combined with the rising cost of living, makes a compelling case for the necessity of side hustles on top of your day job. 

But there's more to it than just necessity. Side hustles also offer an opportunity to tap into your entrepreneurial spirit, take control of your financial destiny, call your own shots, and pursue something you’re truly passionate about.

Side Gigs for Extra Income: At a Glance

  • The best side hustle marries what you’re good at and passionate about with services or products in demand.

  • When deciding what side hustle is best for you, examine its profitability, the time commitment required, and what skills are needed.

  • Scalability and longevity are important factors when selecting the right side gig.

Turn Your Side Hustle Into an LLC

Incorporate your side hustle to protect your hard work and prepare yourself for scalability and future growth.

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What Is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is a business or job that an individual pursues on top of their primary occupation, often with the main goal of earning some extra income. It's a concept that has gained significant traction in recent years due, in large part, to the seemingly infinite possibilities available in today’s digital era–and a growing desire (and need) to make extra money. 

Today, side hustles come in many shapes and sizes — from starting a small business and selling products online to freelancing, consulting, or providing niche services. But no matter what type of side gig you pursue, they usually all have a few major things in common:

  • Give you the flexibility to pursue opportunities outside of your regular 9-to-5 job

  • Help you diversify your income streams, make good money and earn passive income

  • Add an enhanced sense of financial security during uncertain economic times

So, with side hustle culture becoming more and more popular, how do you know where to start? What makes a good side gig? And what are some top jobs you should consider? If you’re ready to expand your entrepreneurial horizons, this article breaks down some of the key things you need to land a side hustle you love. 

What Makes a Great Side Hustle

Ask anyone what they like most about having a side hustle, and they’ll most likely give you two reasons: More freedom to work on what you want, when you want, and having an outlet to earn some extra income. But, when it comes to choosing a great side hustle, there’s a little more to it than that. 

Before you dive in, here are the top three categories you should always keep in mind as you search for the perfect business idea and side gig:

  1. Time: How long does it take to start up this side gig? Is this something that you can get up and running quickly, or will it take some significant time investment? 

  2. Profitability: What kind of return on investment can someone expect from this side hustle? Because you’re already working a full-time job, you want to ensure the extra time spent on your side gig pays off and that the additional money earned justifies the means.

  3. Talent: Does this side hustle require specialized skills or talent? You’ll want to examine your skill sets first and ensure the side gig aligns. It’s best to look at jobs that don’t have a ton of barriers getting in your way, like special training or certifications, so it's easy to hit the ground running. 

10 Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Money

The great thing about side gigs is how truly endless the possibilities are. From freelance writing, self-publishing, and affiliate marketing to launching an eCommerce, virtual assistant, or pet-sitting business, there are many ways to bring in extra income and spend your time doing something you truly enjoy. 

We break down some of the top side hustle ideas below to help you jumpstart your entry into entrepreneurship. 

A man managing an eCommerce company | Swyft Filings

1. eCommerce

E-commerce is increasingly becoming a viable side hustle, owing to its flexibility, scalability, and the ability to reach a global customer base. Thanks to platforms like eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace, you can sell virtually anything online, from vintage clothing to handmade crafts and digital products. 

It’s important to note the two different avenues of eCommerce: reselling and selling original works. Reselling involves buying products at a low cost and selling them for a profit while selling original works involves creating and selling your own products. 

Both options have their own set of pros and cons. Reselling can be less time-intensive, as you're not making the products yourself, but it requires a keen eye for profitable items. On the other hand, selling original works can be more rewarding and profitable but requires a significant upfront time investment.


The time it takes to start an eCommerce business can vary depending on the complexity of your business model, the products or services you plan to offer, your level of experience, and the resources at your disposal. 

For example, the time it takes some side hustlers to create or source their products, build their eCommerce platform, build their inventory, and create a marketing strategy can take anywhere from three months to one year. 


Several factors influence the money you make from an eCommerce side hustle, and you’ll need to do some thorough market research before diving in. Your product offering, pricing, operational costs, customer retention, platform fees, and even market trends will all affect how much cash flow your business will have.


While there are no required certifications or skill sets to launch an eCommerce business, there are many helpful things to know. For example, you’ll need solid technical knowledge to build a seamless eCommerce platform experience, basic marketing know-how to drive brand awareness, and an understanding of buying behavior. All of these things, however, can easily be self-taught. 

2. Freelance Writing

If you have a knack for words, freelance writing is an excellent side hustle. Unlike selling physical products, your investment is mostly time and the price of a good laptop and internet connection. And, with businesses consistently in need of fresh content for their websites, blogs, and marketing materials, the demand for skilled writers remains high.

The beauty of freelance writing also comes from its true flexibility; you can tailor your workload to your own schedule, choosing to take on as many or as few assignments as you desire. You can also choose the type of work you’re interested in depending on what subject matter you feel most comfortable writing about. 

It’s important to note that freelance writing differs from editing and proofreading. Writing entails creating original content, while editing involves refining existing content for clarity, grammatical accuracy, and style. Proofreading, on the other hand, is the final check for minor errors before the content is published.


While some freelance writers prefer building long-term clients and connections over time, there are easier ways to jump into the world of freelancing writing. Freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork let you quickly create a profile and start marketing your writing services to potential buyers within minutes. All you need is an interested client, and your new freelance business is up and running. 


Your freelance writing side job might not be hugely profitable immediately, but as you build up a portfolio and a list of satisfied clients, you’ll likely see your income increase. 

It’s important to note that you’re usually responsible for establishing your own rates as a freelance writer. For reference, the average freelance writer makes about $29 per hour, with the average writing rate per word ranging from $0.05-$0.10 for beginner writers, $0.30-$0.50 for intermediate writers, and $1-$1.50 for experienced writers.[1]


The great thing about freelance writing is how accessible it is to anyone who has a love for words and a true knack for storytelling. However, being a subject matter expert in niche topics, like being an expert in tech writing, for example, can help you stand out from the competition.  

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where you earn a commission for promoting other people's or another company’s products and services. 

For instance, a YouTuber may include an affiliate link in their video description after reviewing a certain product. If a viewer clicks on that link and makes a purchase, the YouTuber earns a percentage of that sale.

Affiliate marketing can be appealing due to its passive income potential. Once you've established your promotional content and affiliated links, they can continue generating income with minimal maintenance. However, this side hustle is particularly effective for individuals with an established online following, such as YouTube channel owners, podcast hosts, or Instagram influencers. 


There’s a lot of noise to cut through on the Internet. That’s why, to be successful with affiliate marketing, you’ll see the most profit if you already have access to an engaged audience actively watching your content. You’ll need to build up a following through outlets like email marketing, social media channels, and organic search traffic, which can take a few months to gain traction. 


Affiliate marketing can source high passive income, as some successful affiliates make over $100,000 monthly. However, it requires effort, patience, and consistency to succeed. To succeed in affiliate marketing, choosing a niche that you are genuinely interested in is crucial.


The good news is that there’s not a ton of existing skills or training you’ll need, as long as you don’t mind hustling to build a following and have a good pulse on what your target audience is interested in. 

A virtual assistant working from home | Swyft Filings

4. Virtual Assistant

Another popular side hustle is becoming a virtual assistant, which includes working remotely, usually from home, while providing services virtually. A virtual assistant may handle similar administrative tasks as a personal assistant but often takes on scheduling and event planning roles, front-end web development, graphic design, bookkeeping, data entry, customer service, and other online tasks.


You ultimately decide how much time you put into your virtual assistant hustle. The best way to start, however, is to align your skill sets with tasks that are in need. 

You can look for available gigs on websites like Fiverr or job-hunting sites like Robert Half, ZipRecruiter, and Monster. Once you find a job that sounds up your alley, you should be able to start almost immediately. 


How much you make will vary depending on your services and pricing structure, but some virtual assistant gigs can pay as much as $100 per hour. 


To be truly successful and profitable as a virtual assistant, you’ll need a core skill that you focus on. Consider what tasks you’re already really good at, like editing in Photoshop, data entry in Excel, or even building websites in WordPress. 

5. Online Surveys or Focus Groups

In the realm of side hustles, participating in online surveys or focus groups presents an opportunity to earn extra income with relatively minimal effort. Companies like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, or Vindale Research offer compensation for sharing your thoughts on various topics, products, or services. Alternatively, you could join focus groups through platforms like Respondent or User Interviews

It's crucial to note that while these options can provide extra cash, they typically don't offer the same scalability or long-term profitability. Unlike other hustles, your income largely depends on the number of surveys or focus groups available and your eligibility for those opportunities. 

As such, while online surveys or focus groups can be comfortable and flexible ways to earn additional income, they're less likely to evolve into a full-fledged business venture. 


Individually, focus groups and online surveys require a minimal time investment, but if you’re looking to really make a profit, the time commitment can add up. On average, focus groups take about 60-to-90 minutes, while online surveys are usually only five-to-10 minutes. 


While this side gig can earn you extra cash in the short term, it’s not the best side gig for entrepreneurs looking at long-term options. That said, focus groups can pay anywhere from $50 to $400 an hour, while online surveys pay a little lower, usually around $5 to $50 per survey.[2] 


Almost anyone can participate in online surveys and focus groups, as long as you have the time and patience to give 100% of your attention and meet the criteria they’re looking for. 

6. Social Media Management

As a social media manager, you manage a brand's digital presence across various social media platforms, develop and implement marketing strategies, and create engaging content that aligns with the brand's identity.

One of the benefits of this role is the plethora of social management tools available to streamline your tasks, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social. These tools allow you to schedule posts, monitor analytics, and manage multiple accounts from a single dashboard, making your workflow more efficient.

As you delve deeper into social media management, you may also find yourself in the realm of content creation. This could involve creating viral content, which are posts that capture the audience's attention and inspire them to share it with their followers. Viral content could range from informative infographics to timely memes, depending on the brand's voice and target audience. 

This could also involve building up your own social media presence and following to become an influencer, opening the door to brand partnerships, sponsored content, product promotions, and more. 


Before diving into social media management, you’ll need to build up your brand and secure your first client. This starts with building out a portfolio that demonstrates your expertise. 

You’ll also need to start marketing your services to build up a following, which can be done across platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or even at in-person networking events. 


You're responsible for setting your own rate. Your social media management rate should be based on your experience, value, business expenses, and your client’s budget and scope of work required. However, as you build up your portfolio over time, you can start charging more and taking on bigger clients, making this a side gig with tons of scalability. 


With the right tools and a knack for creating engaging content, you can leverage social media to generate a significant income stream.

7. Sitter

Becoming a sitter is probably one of the most popular side hustles. It offers tons of flexibility and freedom to choose the type of service that makes the most sense for you, your skills, and your interests. Here are some of the popular and in-demand services to consider. 

  • Babysitting: This involves looking after children on a part-time basis. This work can include everything from keeping the kids fed and entertained to helping them with everyday tasks like homework. Babysitting requires patience, creativity, excellent communication skills, and basic first-aid knowledge. Websites like or Sittercity can help match you with families in need of babysitting services.

  • Senior Sitting: This role often involves providing companionship, assisting with household tasks, or providing basic healthcare assistance to senior citizens. While the work is rewarding, it can come with some challenges, including emotional resilience and patience. Resources for finding work in this area include Care and HomeInstead

  • Pet Sitting: Pet sitting can include everything from dog walking and feeding cats to maintaining living spaces. It could also mean watching over pets in your own space while their owners are away. A love for animals and understanding their behavior are key in this field, but it also involves dealing with the less glamorous side of pet care, like cleaning up after them. Websites like Rover or Wag! can connect pet sitters with pet owners needing assistance.


Like many of the side hustles mentioned, the biggest time commitment is building up experience so you can have a solid base of references. If you're starting from scratch, this process could take some time, but as you build up more experience, it’ll be easier to take on new jobs. 


Sitting is appealing as a side gig because of its nearly limitless scalability. You can take on as much work as time allows and continually expand your client base. While the actual rates for babysitting, pet sitting, and senior sitting vary, you can expect to start out with a lower hourly fee, knowing you can increase it over time as you gain more experience. 


Knowing how to respond to health emergencies is critical for gigs like babysitting and senior sitting, like having some basic first-aid knowledge or even CPR training. However, it’s also essential to have patience and a willingness to adapt to new situations across all types of sitting.

A part-time bookkeeper working on the computer | Swyft Filings

8. Part-Time Bookkeeping

If you have a knack for crunching numbers and are detail-oriented, bookkeeping could be a great option for a side gig. Bookkeeping is another rewarding side hustle that could turn into a full-fledged business. 

As a bookkeeper, you'll manage and record a company's financial transactions, ensuring their books are accurate and up-to-date. 

This is a great side gig if you’re also interested in working with a diverse range of clients. But it’s important to keep in mind that for this gig, small to medium-sized businesses are usually the best targets for freelance bookkeepers. These companies generally can't afford full-time bookkeeping staff but need reliable, professional bookkeeping services.

Pursuing bookkeeping can be a great stepping-stone to establishing your LLC or filing a DBA (“Doing Business As”), which lends a professional touch to your business and offers certain legal protections.


This side hustle promises a bigger return on investment if you obtain certain certifications, outlined below. For this reason, you must account for a few months of training before starting to market your new business and secure your first client. 


With the freedom to set your own hours and your own hourly rates, there’s a lot of potential to make significant earnings as a part-time bookkeeper, especially as you grow your services and customer base. For example, you could earn anywhere from $20 to $150 per hour.[3] 

However, the most important thing to note is that this side gig introduces the potential for a steady, reliable income and even more potential to scale this gig into a full-time position.


While no strict qualifications are needed to become a bookkeeper, a strong understanding of accounting principles can be highly beneficial. To improve your credibility, consider obtaining certification from a recognized body like the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

9. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn't keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, the store purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. This allows you to start an online business without the need to handle shipping logistics or manage inventory.

However, it’s important to note that dropshipping is not a "get rich quick" job. It requires significant time and effort. You'll need to create a professional and user-friendly website, research and source products, manage customer service, and develop a marketing strategy to drive traffic to your online store.

Finding reputable suppliers is a crucial step in building a successful dropshipping business. Platforms like AliExpress, SaleHoo, and Doba connect you with wholesale suppliers and provide services tailored for dropshipping companies. 


Dropshipping requires a significant time investment upfront. You’ll need to build a website to sell your products and spend time researching and sourcing quality items people will want. Once your business is launched, you’ll also be responsible for fielding customer queries and complaints.


Dropshipping businesses can pull in daily profits ranging from $50 to $5,000.[4] The key is to stock up on products that people can't get enough of, make sure there's enough room for profit, nail your marketing and sales game, and keep those customers coming back for more by offering products that evolve with changing market demands.


You’ll need some basic marketing, sales, inventory, and accounting skills to run a successful dropshipping business. It’s also essential to have a strong grasp on how to effectively handle customer service issues, which will inevitably be a part of running your dropshipping business. 

10. Self-Publishing or ePublishing

Platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and Lulu have made self-publishing or ePublishing a reality for wordsmiths looking to start a side hustle.

Unlike freelance writing, where you mostly write on clients' topics, self-publishing allows you to choose your genre, style, and subject matter. You are in complete control of the entire process, from concept development to writing, editing, designing the book cover, and deciding on the pricing.

Self-publishing or ePublishing is also a great option for anyone who has ever had an idea for a book but doesn’t necessarily have a natural knack for words. Some publishers hire ghostwriters to transcribe their ideas into a structured, engaging narrative. This approach allows you to focus on the ideation and marketing aspects, leaving the actual writing to professionals.


Self-publishing can require some significant upfront time to break into. Beyond just writing a great story, it also involves marketing yourself and your work, which can be a significant time investment. Building a solid online presence, participating in writer's forums, leveraging social media, and investing time in SEO for your book are just a few ways to increase visibility and sales.


Self-published authors can earn 40–60% royalties on the selling price of their book. This is much more than the 10–12% royalties that traditionally published authors typically earn.[5]


All it takes is your great idea and some creativity. From there, you can work to bring your story to life. A solid grasp of marketing will give you an upper hand here, too, giving you the skills needed to build your brand and create demand for your book. 

A blogger shooting a video | Swyft Filings

How to Start a Side Hustle

Now that you have a better understanding of side hustles and the types of gigs you can choose from, the next question is this: How do you get started? Here’s a breakdown of some of the key steps you need to follow to move forward, no matter what type of job you’re hoping to chase after next.  

1. Follow Your Passion

With so many different side hustles to choose from, knowing which path to choose can feel overwhelming. To point yourself in the right direction, look at your interests. 

What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing outside of your 9-to-5 job? What skills do you have that you wish you could utilize more? 

The answers to all of these questions should serve as your guide when choosing your next side gig.

2. Determine Your Time Commitment

If you’re already working a job, whether it’s full-time or part-time, you already know how precious your spare time is. That’s why, before you start with a new side hustle, you need to be honest with yourself about how much time you can and are willing to commit. 

The biggest thing here is to set your boundaries and stick to them. Having extra income is great, but allowing yourself time to step away from work is just as important. 

3. Make a Plan

If you're diving into the world of side hustles without a business plan, it's time to whip one up. Every startup or new business should have one. Think of it as your roadmap, guiding your side hustle toward your small business goals. 

Your business plan doesn’t have to be lengthy or complex. Instead, focus on summarizing the basics, like a description of your business idea, how you plan to market your business, research on competitors, and a profile of your target customers. 

4. Set Earning Goals

It’s easy to say that you want to make extra money each month. To start, look at some of your financial goals and how much money you need to earn to reach them. 

Are you looking to pay off your student loan debt? Are you saving up to buy a new home? Knowing how much money you want to bring in can help you determine your pricing. 

If you don’t have any financial goals, you can also start by researching the average amount your particular side hustle could bring in. This will help you establish a baseline to work around. 

5. Know the Law

No matter what type of side hustle you choose, you will encounter certain business laws that may require you to take action. For example, as your business grows and becomes more successful, you may consider officially incorporating your business by establishing an LLC. 

This part of starting a side hustle might seem overwhelming and unknown, and that’s totally OK. When you get to this stage in your journey, we can easily walk you through this process. 

Taking Your Side Hustle to the Next Level

Exploring the world of side hustles is a great way to earn some extra income and spend time making money doing something you love. 

Oftentimes, the hardest part of getting your new side gig up and running is figuring out where to start, but by following the tips and suggestions in this article, you can confidently take your first step to being a business owner by pursuing a side hustle that’s perfect for you. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a good side hustle right now?

The best side hustle for you depends on your skills, interests, and the amount of time you can dedicate. Once you establish these key pillars, see if any of the ten side hustles listed above align with your goals. 

How do I start a side hustle? 

Once you put in the time and research to find the perfect side hustle, your next step is putting your idea into motion. While the steps vary depending on the gig you’re pursuing, there are proven formulas you can easily follow, from creating your business plan and picking a business name to establishing your funding options.

How much time should I dedicate to my side hustle?

The amount of time you should dedicate to your side hustle is different for every person. You’ll want to look at your personal goals, the nature of the side hustle, and your existing commitments. Spend some time thinking about these things before deciding how much time you’re willing to commit. 


  1. Copyblogger. “Establish Your Freelance Writing Rates (New Data).” Accessed November 30, 2023.

  2. Side Hustle Nation. “Online Focus Groups: 26 Paid Research Companies that Pay Up to $250 an Hour for Your Opinion.” Accessed November 30, 2023.

  3. “How to Become a Part-Time Bookkeeper in 6 Steps.” Accessed November 30, 2023.

  4. Zippia. “Average Dropshipping Income + Profit Margin (2023).” Accessed November 30, 2023.

  5. Scribbler. “How Much Money Can You Make by Self-Publishing a Book?” Accessed November 30, 2023.

Originally published on January 05, 2024, and last edited on January 05, 2024.
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