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The Best Side Jobs: Earn Extra Income and Flexibility

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A nine-to-five doesn’t work for everybody – and for some, it just isn’t enough! As a result, many people are interested in picking up a side job to earn extra income.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

  • How to assess your interests and skills to determine the ideal side job
  • The best online and offline side jobs available in various industries
  • A brief introduction to the gig economy.

Let’s get straight into it!

The Best Side Jobs: At A Glance

An overview of our suggestions below.

Online Side Jobs

  • Freelance Work
  • E-commerce
    • Digital Marketing
    • Dropshipping
    • Selling Handmade Goods
    • Flipping Products
  • Digital Marketing
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • Social Media Management
    • SEO Consulting
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Online Tutoring and Teaching

Offline Side Jobs

  • Retail Positions
  • Event Staffing
  • Food and Catering Service

Home Based and Personal Services

  • Babysitting/Nanny
  • Dog Walking
  • House Cleaning
  • Gardening

The Best Side Jobs to Consider In 2024

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best side jobs available – both online and off!

Online Side Jobs

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Freelance Work

Freelancing is when you work for yourself, usually taking contracts from several different clients. Clients may be individuals, companies, or other organizations. As a freelancer, you are not employed at these organizations in the traditional sense.

Freelancing isn’t exactly a new concept. In fact, it originated with mercenaries who would act as soldiers for whoever paid them the most rather than whoever they were loyal to.

Examples of popular industries for freelancers in our digital age include web development and design, IT, photography, content writing, and marketing.

Freelancing isn’t restricted to remote work; in fact, there are people who offer physical labor on popular freelancing platforms. 

However, freelancing has recently soared in popularity due to its connections with remote work and flexibility that is uniquely possible with “white-collar” jobs.

E-commerce

E-commerce stands for electronic commerce.

In other words, it’s when things are sold on the Internet. Three popular E-commerce side jobs are dropshipping, selling handmade goods, and flipping products.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is when you order products from a supplier and have them delivered directly to your customers.

This means you don’t have to take on the work and costs involved in transporting and storing the products.

You only have to take care of aspects such as running the web page and communicating with your customers and suppliers!

Selling Handmade Goods

You can make decent money by selling items you make. The advantage of this approach is that your product will be unique, reducing market competition.

Many people run online stores selling unique, customized cultural jewelry on websites like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.

Flipping Products

Flipping products (otherwise known as retail arbitrage) refers to buying items cheaply and then selling them for a profit.

For example, if an item becomes trendy on social media, you can find a supplier that stocks them at a very low price and then sell them at a higher price that people are willing to pay out of convenience.                

Flipping products doesn’t always have to involve purchasing products from a supplier.

Many people have items that they rarely use which are worth a lot of money to the right buyer. An old game, film, or album that has a cult following, a signed basketball, or a unique piece of furniture are common examples of items that get ‘flipped’ for profit.

You can combine this approach with other methods to build a unique business!

Digital Marketing

Marketing is itself a lucrative service that you can offer as a side job! The three digital marketing side jobs we’ll discuss are affiliate marketing, social media management, and SEO consulting:

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is all in the name: marketing by affiliation.

When a video creator or blogger’s content tells their fanbase about a service or product with a unique discount code, that’s a prime example of affiliate marketing.

The service or product receives publicity from the affiliate marketer’s content, which translates into traffic and customers. The content creator then gets paid a commission for each sale made with that discount code.

Social Media Management

Businesses usually have social media pages. They need content to be posted to these pages regularly, comments to be responded to, and insights to be gained from customer feedback.

Different businesses value different demographics for this role, depending on their target audience.

For example, millennial and Generation Z workers are especially valuable to some businesses because they understand the culture and humor behind the content that tends to go viral today, as well as the values and perspectives other younger people tend to hold.

SEO Consulting

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is when you optimize online content to make algorithms more likely to show the content to the right people on a search engine.

SEO consultants investigate which terms people are most likely to search for, as well as the terms that give pages the best chance to appear higher on the SERPs.

Virtual Assistance

As a virtual assistant, your tasks are typically similar to a traditional assistant.

You are paid to do things like organize meetings and travel, make phone calls, send emails, and perform general duties that you might otherwise perform in a physical office!

Online Tutoring and Teaching

Both tutors and students often find it more convenient to hold sessions online nowadays, as traveling to a physical meet-up location no longer feels as essential.

For instance, you can easily display a video of your tablet’s screen with the microphone recording your voice as you explain an equation or answer.

There are also collaborative brainstorming and charting tools that a tutor and student can both access online while in a video or voice chat.

Offline Side Jobs

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Retail Positions

Retail job positions are widely available all over the world – and because many sales can be completed within a short timeframe, part-time and casual workers are often highly suitable candidates.

In addition to an hourly rate, many retail jobs pay the salesperson a portion of each sale called a commission as it motivates them to sell more products.

More expensive sales mean bigger commissions, so selling items like TVs and laptops is a side job that can provide massive returns!

Event Staffing

Infrequent events are a great source of work for freelancers for the same reason that they often aren’t a great source of work for those seeking full-time work (and the predictable income that comes with it).

Events like festivals and concerts are always in need of one-off workers who can be security guards, scan tickets, handle donations, set up seating, set up stages, and so on.

Food and Catering Service

Food and catering services are required by many events, and it’s a huge industry in itself.

Weddings, funerals, and conferences are great examples of events that will pay you decent money to make and serve high quantities of high-quality food.

Often, you may even be able to take the leftover food home, despite the clients paying for the ingredients. Considering a lot of people’s income goes towards food, that’s a great perk to enjoy!

Home Based and Personal Services

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Babysitting/Nanny

There are many reasons people often require freelance childcare services.

For example, a full-time or part-time babysitter may become unexpectedly ill, and the primary caregivers may not have any friends or family available to call on.

This is an obvious choice if you love kids, but it can also be an easier gig than expected if you choose overnight gigs.

After all: the kids are sleeping, and you’re mainly there to make sure nothing bad happens! You might even be able to work on another side job for a couple of hours while being paid for this one.

Dog Walking

Any good pet owner wants their animal to be happy – and at the end of the day, an unhappy dog usually makes for an unhappy owner.

Many dogs don’t require much skill to handle; they just require someone with the time and motivation. That’s why dog walking is an especially accessible form of freelancing that you can start almost straight away!

Of course, there is also a demand for people who can handle more difficult dogs that may be traumatized, have health problems, or just be a little impulsive and overbearing.

House Cleaning

Research shows that in most families, both parents are working. In the past, one person often worked around the home while the other earned an income with an external job.

As a result, there is a demand for house cleaners who can do what might usually have been done in the past by a stay-at-home spouse.

Gardening

Just as people now struggle to stay on top of house cleaning, they also struggle to keep their gardens in order!

As such, there is usually a lot of gardening work in your local neighborhood which you would be able to take on as a side hustle. There are often also jobs available on commercial sites that have gardens.

Gig Economy

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If setting up any of these side jobs sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry!

There are many sites and apps that make it easy to post jobs and find work such as Fiverr, InstaCart, or DoorDash. This is such a big ecosystem that it’s earned its own name: the gig economy.

If you have a smartphone, a laptop, or a car, you can start cashing into the gig economy almost instantly!

Before You Get A Side Job: Assess Your Skills and Interests

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1. Identifying Your Marketable Skills

The most important thing to do before getting a side job is to identify the skills you have that people pay money for.

For example, some people are good at reading and understanding texts or are very well-spoken, while others are good at fixing complicated systems like cars or can make food that others rave about at parties.

Most people either already have such a skill, or the ability to develop one and turn it into a marketable service!

Some key questions to focus on are:

  • What products do many people want or need that you can somehow acquire?
  • What products or services do many people not realize can be of value to them?
  • Is there something that many people need or want, but can not do or create themselves?
  • What are some things people can do for themselves, but need or prefer someone else to do?

2. Aligning Your Skills and Interests with Side Jobs

The second most important thing to do when deciding on a side job is to work out how your skills and interests can mesh with the occupations that are out there.

This can mean developing existing skills more extensively before contacting potential clients, or focusing your client search on websites that offer work related to your skills and interests.

3. Evaluating Your Schedule

It is also important to consider your current working schedule. Some side jobs require you to adhere to strict hours, while others allow you to pick up shifts at random times.

Some jobs also require a lot more time than others. If you plan on making this side job a long-term undertaking, you want to make sure it is something you can commit to!

If you’re happy to do a more intense side job for a temporary period of time, don’t overbook yourself and end up with unhappy clients.

4. Working Towards Your Long-Term Goals

A side job is not only an opportunity to earn some money in the short term but also to add some experience and skills to your resume in the long run.

What do you want to do in the future, and how can a side job right now help you make that happen? Certain jobs will stand out to future employers, clients, and business partners in the future, while others will seem irrelevant.

Wrapping Up

Whatever you’re good at, there’s probably a way to make money doing it – and the internet has made this easier than ever before!

All you need to do is find the perfect balance between your long-term goals, interests, and skills, and the services people need. Then, take your pick from this list of the best side jobs available, and watch the extra income roll in!

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