26 Legit Hustles That Can Help Boost Your Income (11min read)

March 24, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ March News

15% of working adults in the U.S. are working a side business

When one thinks of making money, most think the income that ends at 5:00pm and your supervisor locks the door.  Well such is not the case in 2016.  “Picking up a side hustle not a part-time job”  It’s a great way to boost your weekly and monthly income.  Reaching that financial goal faster, that’s fully funds your emergency bank account or taking that real vacation that we all dream about.

First thing you must do is clear your mind and think of the things that align with skills and interests you already have. The reasoning is that it will hardly feel like work. Set rules and goals for yourself like ” I only work 3 days per week or my minimum I need to make is $1,000 per month”   While some Legit Hustles will offer more earning potential than others, they all have a low cost ease of entry and flexible weekly hours; just like you’d like it to be.  THIS LIST IS NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER

1. Amazon Reselling.

Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, provided you have products to sell. If you’re the type to hit all the local garage sales each weekend, there’s all sorts of valuable things that can be resold online. If you want to step your Amazon selling game up, check out this detailed guide to Amazon Clearance Arbitrage on SideHustleNation featuring an interview from Travis Scott of

2. Local Business Consulting.

If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills touse in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet.

3. SAT Tutor.

If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers on the side? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework.

4. Social Media Manager.

We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail or travel, have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder.

5. Google Paid Ad Specialist.

If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income on the side is to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows.

6. Babysitter.

No, babysitting isn’t just for teenagers and college students. Quite on the contrary, if you call yourself an Au Pair instead, you can make some pretty good side money working nights and weekends.

7. Property Manager.

Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on the side with relatively little work on your part. From collecting rental checks, to managing repairs and improvements, or simply being on call for emergencies, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors.

8. Baking.

It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisan fare.

9. Portrait Photographer.

If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to make a side income. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, then you’ll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments. Check out this men’s portrait photography class on CreativeLive.

10. Wedding Photographer.

Wedding photographers command premium rates – after all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding. Check out The Wedding School and the Complete Wedding Photography Experience to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.

11. Brewing Your Own Beer

Like drinking beer? With patience and a bit of skill, brewing it yourself could result in a product others will pay to drink.  Pick up a starter kit from Mr. Beer ($43), then get creative about how to tweak your flavor combos into something unique. Test the market demand and build a rep within your community for your brew on a budget by setting up shop at a local street fair.

You might currently see and hear this company being promoted all over.  Just like Uber it is a ride sharing business, where Lyft app users can request a ride from a the nearest Lyft driver at a touch of a button.  You need to be 21 years of age, own a car (2006 or newer) have a clean driving record, own a cell phone and clear a national background check.Lyft pic  Lyft drivers receive 80% of the fee received plus any tips from the passengers requesting rides.  In addition, depending on how many rides you give per week will let you earn 100% of all fees collected.  According to you can earn $35.00 an hour.

13. Notary Public

Public notaries(PA) primarily serve as validators of, and impartial witnesses to, public legal documents—especially those related to affidavits, oaths, deeds, estates, special-powers-of-attorney and business agreements.  Depending on the state, a full-time notary public earns an annual salary of $36,000—so carving out just a slice of that for a part-time gig would offer a nice extra savings. Even better, you can notarize documents from anywhere, so you could advertise your company as a mobile one, like Glenn Turner’s of Advanced Mobile Notary in San Francisco, who come notarize your documents with a 24-hour notice.

14. WordPress Website Consultant.

Countless small businesses start out their web presence using a WordPress hosted website before needing to upgrade to other solutions for various reasons. Many of them will pay several hundreds of dollars for someone to get them set up online. If you have the patience to learn how to do it yourself, it’s an extremely valuable skill.

15. Rent Your Car on Turo.

If you own a car but barely use it, you can make some easy cash on the side by renting it out on Turo. Before you freak out, know that there’s a $1 Million insurance policy on all cars, plus drivers are prescreened, so you can have peace of mind.

Another option: vehicle advertising, which can generate anywhere from $100 to $400 per month, with companies like Wrapify and Carvertise.

16. Catering Business

EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time business.

17. Start a YouTube Channel.

If you can create value-driven, entertaining video content and grow your subscriber base to a few thousand subscribers, your videos can start generating pretty substantial income from all the ads being displayed on your videos. Many YouTube users make well into the millions each year.

18. Music Instructor.

Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? Private music instructors charge upwards of $20-100/hr, and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either.

19. Etsy Selling

Have a talent for crafting or creating other handmade goods? From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is one of the world’s largest independent marketplaces that’s perfect for anyone who is creative and willing to sell their handmade creations. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology.

20. Car Washing and Detailing.

A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends.

21. Dog Walking Service

Dogs are amazing. But, owners aren’t always at home to take them for a walk. If you’re a canine fan like I hope you are, this great side business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. With pet-crazed, yet busy Americans having more pooches around, dog walking services have become a thriving industry in some U.S. cities. In fact, there’s already an app called Wag that links up dog walkers and pet owners.

How about pet sitting.  Just check out DogVacay and Rover to see what I mean. Would the payout be worth it if you try? One person in New York earns $3,300 a month just pet-sitting for busy animal lovers.

22. Selling on TeeSpring.

T-shirts can be a viable path toward creating an automated side business that makes money for you while you sleep. Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who’ve done just that. Want to learn how to make it happen? You can find TeeSpring selling walkthroughs here,  here and here.

23. Window Cleaning Services.

From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners, especially for office buildings. If you want to try it out as a side business, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.

24. Ikea Furniture Builder:

It can be frustrating trying to build some of the stuff you buy at Ikea. It looks so good in the show room when it is finished, but when you bring it home in a box it comes out in 100 pieces. If you like building stuff, you can help people build stuff they bought. All you really need is a drill and a wrench.

25. Sell used Cars

If don’t have the cash to start flipping homes, perhaps you can get there by flipping used cars. Selling used cars is a lot easier than selling property and requires less capital. You can find used cars at auctions, fix them up, sell them, and take home a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.  You can sell them anywhere from you buzy street corner, your Facebook page, Instagram or

26. Embrace the American Thrift Culture

The thrift store industry in the U.S. has rebounded significantly since the onset of the global recession in 2008, as consumers have looked to reduce expenditure and maximize their income. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, the market leader Goodwill Industries generated retail sales of $2.69 billion from just 2,500 stores during 2011, as citizens flocked to sell their unwanted clothes, appliances, and household clutter. This represents an excellent opportunity for students, who can sell their possessions through both online resources such as eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and local garage sales.

Oh Yes One More Hustle!

As I’m sure you know, the event planning landscape is competitive, with new individuals getting into the mix each year may be a way to go. Well my thought is to step your game up with event planning certifications.  Here are 3 certifications to choose from:

  1. The Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) designation and the Certified Meeting Planner program from Meeting Planners International (MPI)
  2. EVENTful Ventures offers a popular video/eBook-based program and The QC Event School
  3. New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies This intensive includes a four-part in-class series plus a capstone portfolio review to gauge ability and understanding.

One final word of caution: if you’re considering an online program, be sure to confirm they offer a form certification or other designation upon completion. While you may gain valuable insights and next steps with or without a formal certificate, many planners and agencies want to tout their achievements — and that means proudly displaying or listing their certifications online and in sales collateral. 


Don’t be afraid to do your own thing. Begin your “Legit Side Hustle,”  TODAY.  When you do, remember that you are only limited by your own imagination and skillset. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.  You will find your own support system within yourself.


Compiled by:

William Streeter


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