The Best Side Hustles of 2018

What it means to have a second job is currently shifting, especially with the explosion of the gig economy and the way technology has made working from home easier than ever. The ability to add one of the best side hustles or earn additional income — typically without the need for a traditional second employer — is empowering people to expand their horizons while also padding their bank accounts. 

Why We Love Side Hustles

One of the best reasons to embrace the side hustle is the freedom that accompanies many of these gigs. A traditional part-time job comes with a boss calling the shots, including when and for how long you will work and what you’ll be paid. Side hustles can give you a way to explore your interests, try new ideas, and grow a client base on your own. The result is that you’re not completely dependent on your “day job” for security and growth. Whether your goals are financial or personal, hustlers love being in the driver’s seat.

The Best Side Hustles of 2018

There are endless ideas for side hustles including teaching, general labor, housework and maintenance, and sales of every kind. We picked our favorites based on their ability to earn as well as the potential for personal development, entertainment, and satisfaction.

  • Develop a Blog. It might seem hard to believe, but there are still niches out there for new bloggers to dominate. There are also niches that are desperate for a fresh take and new ideas. Whether you’re hoping to jump into a stale market or bring a new one to the forefront, blogging provides the opportunity to explore your passions, educate an audience, and learn new things by researching and crafting posts.

    With a bit of attention to search engine optimization, capturing an audience of organic traffic can generate revenue long after you’ve hit the publish button. Some ways to earn an income from a blog include offering ad space to advertisers and referrals that will pay you a commission on any sales that originated from your pages.

  • Ride Sharing. Uber and Lyft are the big players in this market, and their drivers were big winners in 2018. We love ride-sharing as a side gig because of the simplicity of the arrangement and the amount of freedom it gives you. 

    When you’re available for rides, simply sign into the app. When you’re done for the day, sign out. Finding clients is left up to the company — you’ll be connected with people who need a ride so you don’t have to be good at marketing yourself. Plus, if you have a premium car or a large vehicle such as a van, you can earn a bit more than the average driver.

  • Freelance Work. There is a huge demand for specialized skills in many industries, and often that demand is temporary. If you have talents and experience in anything from technology to writing and translating, chances are there’s freelance work available for you. Freelancing can be a great way to start venturing out on your own full-time, build your skills base, and earn some cash.

    Upwork, Fiverr, and People Per Hour are all examples of services that connect freelancers with clients. Most of them will take a percentage of your earnings in exchange for handling marketing, billing, and client management — something that’s very appealing for freelancers who want to get to work and not fuss with paperwork.

  • Social Media Influencer. If you already have a large following on social media or the patience to build one, you can put that to work for you. Influencers are typically experts in a particular area, good with words, and know how to connect with niche audiences online. 

    Along with being a fun way to showcase your passions, influencers can also earn a decent income. Most influencers make money by connecting with brands to sponsor products or by charging for access to premium content such as webinars, albums, or digital products such as workout programs, recipes, templates, and other downloadable.

  • General Sales. Artists, crafters, bakers — anyone who likes making things can usually find a market online. Photographers can sell images as stock photos, Etsy stores are the perfect place for special arts and crafts, and Facebook Marketplace can connect you with local and national markets for your wares.

    We love this side hustle because when you’re working on your own terms, the adage of not turning your hobby into your job doesn’t apply! Whether you’re only earning enough to fund the next project or trying to make a profit, this is a great hustle that will keep your free time fun.

Interested in marketing your side hustle? IAW is a professional, global community for women to share their stories, businesses, services, and expertise. Gain personal, professional, and entrepreneurial development through our webinars, workshops, panel discussions, ask the experts, and more!

  1. Sue Gwin

    Living in The Bay Area of Northern California is a financial challenge. If you have a spouse and family you need double incomes to survive. The traditional part time job is very hard to find. Developing a side hustle means you work your own schedule. You can work your side hustle anywhere in the world so vacations can be a working vacation which has some tax benefits.
    Retiring is not an option for many people. Large corporations are changing their business format and look to a younger generation for new ideas and energy. The older workforce is feeling obsolete.
    I left a top management position with a mid sized distribution company to become an Independent Consultant for a company that manufactures products that I believe in because I’ve used them for months. My daily life has become less stressful. I am joining groups and exploring social media. I wouldn’t be doing this if I continued working in a stressful environment.
    My extra income is valuable but developing my own schedule and meeting new people is much more valuable!

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