13 Actually Proven Side Hustle Ideas to Try

Having a side hustle (or several) is easily one of the best to boost your income.

If you’re like I was, you may have a heavy pile of debt (think: student loans & credit cards) and a side hustle sounds like a great way to start knocking down that pile of debt.

But how do I start a side hustle? Will I have time? Do I even have the skills necessary to do such a thing? I mean, side hustles are only meant for entrepreneurs to have, right?

For a very long time, these were the questions that filled my mind, and I continued to simply work my 9–5 job, with no increase to my income. For a few years, I instead became very frugal about my money in an effort to “stretch” my income.

I stopped buying lattes, avoided eating out, canceled my gym membership and worked out at home, avoided going out for drinks with friends, etc. While this did work for a little while, my life became dull and lackluster. I was paying off my debt (very slowly actually), but I wasn’t enjoying life nearly as much as I should’ve.

So, I revisited the idea of a side hustle. I was desperate to make a change, and after hours upon hours of research, I took a leap of faith and started my first side hustle. Since then, I have never looked back.

I was able to pay off a huge amount of student loans and credit card debt, work fewer hours at my day job, and travel more often. Most importantly, I was able to enjoy life again without feeling guilty for it. Going out with friends and buying an occasional latte doesn’t feel bad anymore. After all, what are we working for if we can’t enjoy the fruit of our labor?

This is a condensed version of my story, so please understand that while a side hustle is completely possible regardless of who you are, it does take time and effort. You will have to put in the time, even if that’s 30 minutes a day. You will have to take time to develop your skills and grow as a person, which in turn will result in the growth of your side hustle.

As mentioned above, you can start a side hustle regardless of who you are. Although your existing skills and available time do matter, the most important thing that will make you successful with this is effort.

There are so many side hustles you can start. Whether it’s getting a second job, selling things online, selling your household items, or writing, the opportunity is there!

Let’s explore some proven side hustles that can help you attain financial freedom in 2022 and beyond.

1. Start a Blog.

This one is easily my favorite. Why? Because the startup costs are very low (all you need is hosting, a domain, and WordPress) and you have the potential to make money in so many ways.

Some examples of ways you can make money blogging are ad space, affiliate links, selling mini e-books (think: “how-to” guides), and paid partnerships with brands. There are many ways you can go about this, but the first step is to choose a profitable niche and start writing.

A good friend of mine makes over $3,000 every month, and he just started less than a year ago! If you’re ready to start your very own blog, feel free to use my link to get a super discounted rate from Bluehost on hosting, plus a free domain.

2. Launch a Youtube Channel.

This one can be very lucrative, but it can potentially take some time and great content is absolutely essential. If you love being in front of the camera and have some interesting topics or ideas in mind, this one’s for you!

People like Casey Neistat and Logan Paul could live very lavishly on their Youtube incomes, alone. Quality is king in this realm. If you’re thinking about diving into Youtube, invest in a nice camera and learn a few editing skills, too. Ways to make money with Youtube include advertisements, sponsorships by brands, and affiliate links.

13 actually proven side hustles to try

If being camera shy is stopping you from launching a Youtube channel, then try starting a faceless channel instead. Some faceless channels, such as H20Delirious and Motivation Madness, earn thousands per month without ever showing face.

3. Host a Podcast.

​If you’re a great storyteller or have some great advice to share, a podcast is a great side hustle. It requires a fairly small upfront investment (a good recording system) and is easy to produce.

If you want a “plug-and-play” option for podcasting, try an app such as Anchor! This app allows you to record high-quality podcasts right from your cell phone. You can edit clips, add background music, and much more, all for free.

Some great ways to monetize a blog include selling ad slots and sponsorships by brands.

4. Freelance on Fiverr. 

Another of my personal favorites and a very lucrative way to make money online, the opportunities are endless on Fiverr. If you have a knack for writing, you can start an article writing gig. If you have HR experience and know what employers look for, you can become a resume editor/writer. Or, if you have skills such as WordPress maintenance or web development, you can easily make thousands a year.

There are even some people who make money on Fiverr by impersonating Morgan Freeman or Donald Trump! The great thing about this side hustle is that you can set your own pricing and hours. That is, of course, as long as you complete the work within the time you promised. Simply head over to Fiverr, create an account, and start selling.

5. Build a Dropshipping Business. 

By now, most of you have probably heard about dropshipping, which is a business model where products move from the manufacturer directly to consumers, and you simply act as a middleman. There are countless cases where entrepreneurs have created million-dollar dropship businesses.

What’s so great about dropshipping, then? Well, it requires very little startup costs. You can start an eCommerce store on Shopify and start selling. So what’s the catch? Well, it is a saturated industry.

Therefore, the key to becoming successful will heavily rely on your ability to find and dominate a profitable niche, which takes a bit of research.

6. Sell Print on Demand Products. 

Although this side hustle technically falls under dropshipping, it deserves its own attention because it can be extremely lucrative. Print on demand works much like dropshipping.

First, you create trendy designs either on Photoshop or an online editor. Then you connect your online store to a service such as Printful or Printify, where you upload your designs to be placed (as mockups) on shirts, phone cases, and more.

The mockup products are then synced into your online store. When someone purchases a shirt from your online store, Printful or Printify automatically receives the order, produces the shirt, and sends it directly to your customer with your branding.

You don’t pay for the production of the shirt/item until the customer pays for your product. This side hustle is great because it requires little startup costs, is fun, and can be a long-lasting business if you’re able to catch onto trends early.

7. Sell Stuff Online. 

There are literally endless possibilities when it comes to what you can sell online, and this industry tends to pay very well. You can sell arts and crafts, online courses, e-books or physical books, clothing, the list goes on. When it comes to selling online, one of the most important yet overlooked things to consider is creating a sales funnel that will convert leads to sales.

This can take plenty of sales and marketing knowledge. However, you can use a service such as ClickFunnels which connects to your online store and takes all the guesswork out. ClickFunnels helps you build a sales funnel that automates your online selling efforts.

If you can provide a valuable product or service and create a good sales funnel, this side hustle can easily turn into a full-time hustle!

8. Create digital products.

​Want to sell a product that never runs out of inventory, requires no order fulfillment, and can be sold globally? Look no further than digital products!

These are evergreen products (think: ebooks and online courses) that you create, post on your website, and sell to your heart’s content. If you can build up good followership or create a premium product that is helpful, valuable, and unique, you can easily make upwards of six figures selling digital products.

There’s little to no startup investment aside from time, and anyone can do it! You just have to be an expert at something. And remember, being an expert at something simply means you know a little more than others about a certain topic.

9. Run a Social Media Management Business. 

If you have a pretty good experience with building an audience on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest, a social media management side hustle can be a great gig that has the potential to grow into a full-time job or even a full-fledged business. You can set your own pricing and work schedule, and you can even work with multiple clients at a time.

A great way to scale this side hustle idea is to focus on working within a specific industry. For example, a friend of mine in Los Angeles works strictly with real estate agents and companies who are looking to gain leads/clients using social media. At first, she simply curated premium content for their Facebook/Instagram accounts, but now she’s expanded to also run paid ad campaigns for her clients as well.

I personally use an online app called SocialPilot, which helps me handle multiple clients so easily. I can create analytics reports, view all accounts on one page, schedule posts, interact with followers, etc.

10. Offer Handyman Services.

​So far we’ve discussed only a few of the many online side hustle opportunities. However, there are also many hustles you can start in your local community.

If you’re skilled at handyman work such as tile repair, sink repair, house siding, and other housing needs, you can advertise your services in your local newspaper, Craigslist, or even on social media. This option works great because you have the flexibility to set your own hours.

11. Rent Your Car on Turo.

If you have an extra vehicle you rarely use or you don’t use the primary vehicle that often, you can rent your car to the public on a platform such as Turo. Simply clean your car, take quality photos of it, and post it for rent on the website.

You can also set your availability on the site as well so that your car is only shown as available when you know you won’t need to drive it. This business can be scalable with some good planning, and some people have even leased fleets of vehicles to rent on Turo for a sizable profit.

12. Drive for Uber or Lyft.

13 actually proven side hustles to try

​If you don’t want to rent your car, you also have the option to drive people around with it through Uber or Lyft. Yes, becoming a Uber or Lyft driver is still a great hustle, especially as covid restrictions are being lifted.

These platforms turn your car into a taxi business and allow you to start almost immediately (after providing proof of identity documentation). Then, you can start driving whenever you desire, as you virtually create your own schedule. The main requirement for this gig is that your vehicle is fairly newer and has 4 or more doors.

I know many people who drive for Uber or Lyft in their spare time and have either paid off hefty debt or funded vacations.

13. Work as a Bartender or Server.

If none of the ideas above interest you, you can always pick up a second job as a server or a bartender. Bartending will typically pay more, but bars/restaurants usually require that you have prior experience. As a server, however, most restaurants are only looking for good customer service, and you have the potential to make a decent amount of extra income.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can start a side hustle. And these are only a few of the many ways you can do so. The key is to first realize that you (yes, YOU) can do it, and to start right away. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and this journey will require effort and time. But if you truly believe in yourself, stick with it, and dedicate yourself to the process, the results will come.

And trust me, you’ll be very pleased with the fruits of your labor. The amazing feeling you get after seeing your work pay off is surreal, and a side hustle can change your life.

It’s definitely changed mine for the better.

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