So, you're trying to make some extra money on the side, and are looking for side hustle ideas to cash in on the entrepreneur lifestyle. Because everyone's doing it — side hustling to make some extra cash, trying out a couple of side gigs or work from home jobs here and there.
But if you're already working a regular 9-to-5, aren't you already way too busy?
How do you find the time to do all of this side hustling and still enjoy living your life?
Indeed, a lot of side hustles focus solely on the “hustle” part. For example, you'll find suggestions all over the internet about becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft ridesharing, and Amazon Flex or Prime Now delivery services. GrubHub and DoorDash are popular services for restaurant delivery.
But what if you don't have the time or bandwidth to do all of that physical hustling? What if you already work a full-time job, therefore, only have a few hours a week to dedicate to side gigs?
17 Best Side Hustle Ideas That You Can Do from Home
The following side hustle ideas can be done entirely from home, according to your schedule.
While there is a certain level of effort involved — you can make your hours. Plus, you can do as much or as little as you'd like. The earning potential and growth potential is limitless with many of these ideas.
1. Online Surveys
Who hasn't tried online surveys?
I think out of all the side hustle ideas out there, “taking surveys” takes the cake in terms of getting a bad rap. Online surveys have gotten some negative press over the years, simply because they're the absolute easiest way to make a little bit of money. Emphasis on “little bit.”
But, it's still making money.
All you have to do is provide your opinion — something every one of us has. The hard part is finding a company that will pay you top dollar for the least amount of your time.
And for my money, I'll take my chances with Survey Savvy every time. Why? Because out of all the companies I've tried, Survey Savvy has consistently sent me the most surveys in the $1, $2, and $5 price range.
Most other companies will either give you pennies, or award points you need to accumulate & convert into a few dollars. Additionally, joining the Survey Savvy team will allow even more money-making opportunities.
Mistplay is an Android-specific application that offers users the opportunity to play games in exchange for monetary reward.
The app launched in 2017, with the focus on providing users an environment in which they can participate in games in exchange for prizes. Through earning points, users can join in-app games to work toward receiving gift cards to various retailers.
With Mistplay, you are eligible to receive compensation from the minute you start playing. You can even play with friends and level up your avatar to unlock achievements and earn units faster.
Enjoy playing games with friends? They have you covered! Mistplay supports user communications and offers a chat feature, encouraging connections amongst participants.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your Android and download it now!
3. IntelliZoom Panel
IntelliZoom is a cross between an online survey and website user testing. You're assigned a task, which usually involves evaluating a website. They record all steps of the job with either screen recording software, webcam video, or both. You walk through all of the task steps, answering questions, and explaining your thought process.
They encourage you to “Think Out Loud” to understand the average customer mindset. And the reason I include this company here is because the payout is $10 per study. With other online surveys or web testing sites, you might be lucky enough to stumble across a $10 review. But it isn't something offered consistently.
4. Kindle Self-Publishing
Are you more of a creative type? If you love to write stories, you should consider self-publishing on Amazon. You might think getting a book published would be a complicated process, but it isn't.
Using the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, they take care of all of the technical details. You upload your completed document, add a cover image and description, and Amazon takes care of the rest. Many people make great side incomes by writing short stories. And the beauty of this is — once you have your book listed on Amazon, it will stay there for years to come, earning income with no additional work on your end.
5. eJury Member
If you watch prime time television, you may have seen the favorite CBS show “Bull,” starring Michael Weatherly. It's a courtroom drama about a trial-consulting firm that assembles mock juries to help predict potential trial outcomes.
Sound interesting? Well, you can have the opportunity to do the same thing, entirely online.
eJury.com brings together online juries and focus groups to help attorneys develop their case strategies, based on valuable data and information that YOU provide.
You can sign up to be an eJuror right on the website. And will be contacted once a qualifying case becomes available.
A typical case consists of a written description — facts, diagrams, pictures, and questions. The average case study takes 35 minutes, and you are paid $5 – $10 per case, depending on length.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing, if done correctly, is pretty much “set it and forget it.”
A certain amount of work is required upfront, and then after that will be passive income. So what exactly is affiliate marketing?
It's when you vouch for a product or service, recommending it to others. And then that company offers you a reward for bringing in new customers. It could be a certain dollar amount, a free product, or a free service, depending on what the company sells. And it's something everyone can do, even if you don't have a blog or professional online presence.
I'm sure you've heard of cashback or refund programs like Ebates (aka Rakuten), where you get money back from making purchases online. But did you know you can also make money as an Ebates affiliate? You sign up through their affiliate program and are given your affiliate link. Then you promote your link on social media, or by email to family and friends, and yes, even on your blog, if you have one.
And for every person who signs up through your link with a qualifying sale, you will earn $25. That's huge!
And it's also why so many people promote Ebates online. It's a heck of a lot easier to earn $25 referrals than actually to earn $25 cash back after making online purchases.
Fun fact: Ebates has been officially renamed/rebranded to “Rakuten,” which means “optimism” in Japanese.
7. Selling Photos & Stock Footage
If you were to look at your phone right now, how many photos do you think would be on there? I just looked at mine, and I have 668 images, plus 104 videos.
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could somehow make money on a few of these photos? I don't mean by selling out your bestie, or posting a bunch of selfies online. But if you have high-quality photos (in focus, non-blurry) of outdoor scenes, foliage, nature, animals, flowers, sunsets — you name it — you can make money by selling them online.
Websites like Shutterstock, Pond5, iStock/Getty Images, and Fotolia will pay you for your still pictures or stock footage (short video clips). Each company has specific guidelines. But in general, they look for quality photos that are generic and seasonal, which others can then purchase for commercial or personal use through their website.
Also, if there are people in your pics or footage, then a model release form also needs to be completed.
8. Merch by Amazon
One of the quickest and easiest ways to sell a physical product online is through Print on Demand. That means you provide a design, and the POD company takes care of the printing, shipping, and customer support. Merch by Amazon is the platform I recommend for getting started with POD since it's user-friendly and trendy.
I mean, everybody has shopped on Amazon one or two times, right?
To get started selling on Merch, all you need are a few creative ideas and an app to mock up your design. There are so many designing apps out there, accessible for computers and also for smartphones. Some free and popular programs are GIMP, Canva, Stencil, Over, and WordRabbit.
Side Hustle Ideas that are Mostly Passive Working from Home
This next group of side hustle ideas can also be done from home, and are very close to being entirely passive. Some additional work may be involved, but something that can be handled while multitasking.
9. ThredUp Clothing Consignment
The only real work involved with this side hustle is washing and folding the gently used clothing you plan on selling online. ThredUp will mail a shipping bag and postage-paid shipping label right to you (in what they call a “Clean Out Kit”). You place all of the items in the bag, seal it, and schedule a free pickup from USPS or FedEx.
Upon receipt, ThredUp will inspect all of the items, determine prices, then list them for sale. And as each item is sold, you'll receive the cash into your linked account, which is way easier than listing individual items online on eBay and then having to ship purchases to the buyers. ThredUp takes all of the grunt work out of the process for you.
10. Scanning Receipts
This is something you need to remember to do, but it's pretty quick & no thought is involved.
The next time you spend a day grocery shopping or running errands, make sure you save those paper receipts! There are several smartphone apps where you can scan your receipts for cash.
Some of the most popular receipt scanning apps are Receipt Pal, Receipt Hog, and Fetch Rewards. You gain points for scanning paper receipts, and can also connect an email address to include email receipts from online purchases.
Depending on how frequently you scan, it may take a few months before you can cash in.
But again, this is such a low amount of effort. And you're doing the shopping anyway, so already have the receipts. Instead of crumpling them in a ball and throwing them away, make them go a bit further for you and cash in.
11. Search Bar Rewards
How often do you use Google to search online? Once a day? Several times a day? Well, some companies will pay you for using their search engine. Two examples that immediately come to mind are Swagbucks and Bing. One of my peers uses Bing exclusively for searches to accumulate Bing Reward points.
He has teenagers who play video games on Xbox. He tells me you can use your reward points to pay for your Xbox Live monthly subscription. He said he'd used points to pay for an entire year of Xbox Live upfront and has done this for several years.
Now that's impressive — solely from doing online searches that you're going to do regardless. So instead of asking someone to “Google it,” maybe instead say “Bing it“!
12. Picky Domains
Picky Domains is a site I've recently discovered, and have been trying out. Customers sign up with Picky Domains when they are looking for a brand name or domain name suggestions. They put together a short business background and show you the parameters — like associated keywords, and a maximum number of words or letters.
And as a Picky Domains contributor, you would suggest names that they might like. If the customer picks your suggestion, then you get paid between $20-$75, depending on the type of order.
Also, you can make a small amount of bonus money even if the customer likes your suggestion, but ultimately doesn't select it. If you have a creative streak and are good with words, it should be easy to make dozens of recommendations for each company — something you can do while watching TV at night, with really no effort involved.
13. Amazon Influencer Storefront
If you are active on social media, whether it's Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, you may want to consider becoming an Amazon Influencer. That is slightly different from their affiliate program because, as an Influencer, you get to create your storefront on Amazon, with a custom Amazon URL.
When you set up your storefront, you're curating all of your favorite Amazon content to display in your store.
And you can create separate Idea Lists, that serve as categories.
For example, you can create an Idea List of Best Summer Reads, or Must-Have Hair Care Products, or Cutest Dog Halloween Costumes. Then you can share your Amazon storefront link wherever you have an audience or followers.
And when customers shop through your storefront, you earn money on qualifying purchases.
14. Pay Your Selfie
Pay Your Selfie is a fun one that you can do while multitasking, and can help you earn a few extra bucks every month. With the Pay Your Selfie app, you earn money by posting selfies of certain everyday situations. For example, a “BBQ Grillin' Selfie,” or “What's For Breakfast? Selfie”, and even a “Where Do You Keep Your Marshmallows? Selfie”.
You'll receive anywhere from 25 cents to $1 for each approved selfie. Again, not a tremendous amount of money, but a chunk of change that can add up for the minimal effort!
Working Mainly from Home, Minimal Human Interaction
Here are some side hustle ideas where you can make money from home, but may need to engage in a small amount of human interaction. Which wouldn't be an everyday occurrence, but may happen every once in a while.
15. Online or Telephone Focus Groups
Online Focus Groups are a great way to make money from home by providing your opinion. They're similar to online surveys, except they pay a lot more. Like, it wouldn't be challenging to locate an opportunity where you can make from $50 – $200. But in general, you need to qualify for a particular demographic.
You more than likely will need to complete a short survey upfront to make sure you fit the criteria required by the focus group. The focus group may take the form of an online community or forum, where they want you to post your opinion on something. Or a company may mail you a product to use, and then you need to tell them what you thought about it. It could even be a brand new smartphone app that they'd like you to try out & give your opinion on.
A lot of this communication gets done entirely online.
But, sometimes companies may offer phone interviews, where you need to talk to an actual person to answer questions. There are even in-person focus groups, like the ones you see on TV in car commercials. When you register with a research organization, you typically set your preferences — whether you prefer online, text, telephone, or in-person focus groups.
Totally Passive Income
These next few side hustle ideas require virtually no effort and produce completely passive income.
But, they may not be for everyone.
They need a certain level of transparency, allowing these companies into your daily online behavior. If you're a little hesitant about “Big Brother” watching you, these may not be a good fit for you. However, if you don't mind sharing a few of your online habits, you can cash in by receiving money for doing nothing.
And I will tell you; I currently participate in both of these. (But then again, my life isn't all that exciting, so they're probably not discovering a ton of useful information!)
16. Digital Reflection
With Digital Reflection, you get paid for having a hardware device connected to your computer router. Also, you earn quarterly bonus payments for validating any online devices used in your household (laptops, cell phones, tablets). According to the company website, they gather data to create research reports for businesses around the world, and the reports never contain any personally identifiable information.
As far as the pay, you'll receive $20 for signing up and installing their device, the “internet meter.” Then you earn $5 for each month that the meter is plugged in. Every quarter you get a $20 bonus. They also throw out a few extra bonuses every once in a while, for installing updates and validating your information. I've been a member for roughly a year and a half and have made $365. For doing nothing but keeping a device plugged in.
17. Savvy Connect
Similar to Digital Reflection, Savvy Connect pays you money when you connect their program to your devices. They collect data as you surf the web, and track trends in online search, shopping, and entertainment. And in return, you earn cash rewards. Savvy Connect is part of the Survey Savvy program.
Working a side hustle doesn't have to take every spare second of your day. Especially if you already have a full-time job. Because your time is just as valuable as money, and you need to have a healthy balance between work time, fun time, and downtime — or else you may find yourself in an unhappy situation.
Also, if you're not a super-social go-getter, you don't have to work the hustles that put you out in the spotlight. There are tons of ways to make money on the side. The side hustle ideas in this post are merely scratching the surface on how you can earn extra income.
Robin is a full-time business professional who has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. She is also a personal finance blogger who shares her first-hand experience with the struggles of money and debt. On Mastering the Side Jam, she focuses on ways to maximize efficiencies to make and save money, pay off debt, and live your best life. She has been featured on The Money Mix, Rockstar Finance, The Financial Diet and Women’s Money Talk, and has been quoted in various online publications.