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Side hustle business ideas in the US

10 Side Hustle Business Ideas to Make Extra Money - United States

Need some extra cash in your pocket? Discover some of the best side hustle business ideas so you can save, support your regular income, or invest in new goals.

Side hustles are a great way to increase earning potential and make extra cash outside your full-time job wages.

Money earned from side hustles has increasingly become important when it comes to managing bills, so much so that 44% of Americans are running a side hustle to fill financial gaps. Also, 71% of Americans believe that if the earnings from their side gig were to disappear, they might be unable to cover their bills. So yes, having a side gig can really go a long way.

There are so many side hustle ideas, but finding the best one can be a little tricky. Things to consider include your passion and interest, viability, profitability, growth prospects, and legitimacy. In this article, we've put together 10 lucrative side hustle ideas to help you generate the extra cash you need in 2023.

10 side hustle ideas to make money in 2023

Here’s our list of some of the best side hustle ideas to make extra money, either in person, online, or from the comfort of your own home.



Are you a graphic designer, skilled writer, artist, or software developer? Trying out freelancing might be the best side hustle idea to help monetize your skills. With freelancing, you enjoy more flexibility in your work schedule, gain valuable experience, and earn extra cash.

To begin as a freelancer, you need to create a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and lets potential clients know you've successfully handled similar projects to theirs. After working on a portfolio, you can use freelance platforms to find clients. Set up a convincing profile, set pricing, and search for relevant job postings. You can explore freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, and Guru to find clients.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way to make money by advertising someone else's product or services and getting a commission for any conversion made through your referral.

Affiliate marketing is a side job that becomes more rewarding over time, but you have to learn the ropes before you can start profiting from it. With affiliate marketing, it's essential you find the right brands to work with and the right offers to promote.

You have a better chance of earning higher commissions if you dropship the products yourself than starting affiliate marketing for an e-commerce store. However, some industries pay well if you bring in new customers as an affiliate. The amount of money you make as an affiliate marketer depends on your affiliate network, the type of conversion required, and the offer you're promoting.

The affiliate marketing spending is anticipated to reach $13 billion by the end of 2023. The average annual earnings of an affiliate marketer is $72,969.



Becoming a blogger can be a profitable online side hustle that lets you monetize your passion for writing and interest in a specific subject. As a blogger, you have to choose a niche you're very knowledgeable about and can spend hours chatting about.

Build your blog using user-friendly platforms like Wix or WordPress and produce high-quality content that is both relevant and informational to your target audience. Increase your readers through SEO strategies, networking, and social media promotion.

After growing your following, you can sign up for ad networks like or Google AdSense to display ads on your site and get paid based on clicks or ad impressions.

Other ways to make money from blogging are to collaborate with brands in your niche, write reviews or sponsored posts for companies, promote products or services, build an email list, and collaborate with other bloggers and influencers. On average, bloggers earn $35/hour, which amounts to an average yearly income of $73,199.

Tip: Maintaining high-quality content alongside tracking your blog's performance is crucial when it comes to maximizing the earning potential of your blog.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant

If you have good organization and administrative skills combined with computer literacy, becoming a virtual assistant might be the best side hustle to make money from home. As a virtual assistant, your job definition might include answering emails, scheduling appointments, handling phone calls, researching and data entry and managing social media accounts.

The best time to apply for a Virtual assistant job is now because the need for VAs is on the rise. Statistics show that VA recruitment experienced a 41% boost in 2020 compared to the year before. Also, the industry is expected to grow by $412bn from 2021 to 2025 at a CAGR of nearly 12%.

The average VA salary in the U.S. is $39,915 yearly, and the average hourly rate is $19.19/hr. Your experience level and the nature of your tasks determine your rate. VAs can get jobs on platforms like Wishup, Zirtual, Virtalent, etc.

Tip: Becoming a VA requires little overhead cost, and you have the flexibility to work from home. However, you'd need a quiet workspace and a fast internet connection so you can attend to clients as effectively as possible.

House sitting

House Sitting

When people go on vacation, they often require someone who would take care of their house and protect it from theft or damage. As a house sitter, your obligations might include general maintenance, watering plants, and caring for pets. House sitters can make an average of $17/hr. Pricing depends on factors such as location and additional responsibilities. A house-sitting gig lets you earn on the side while you attend to your full-time job.

You can partner with reputable house-sitting platforms like MindMyHouse and TrustedHousesitters that can help connect you with homeowners needing your services. Additionally, consider contacting real estate agents, pet care services, or local travel agents who may know homeowners needing a house sitter.

Tip: Since this job is based on trustworthiness, you first need to build up your reputation; you can do that by offering your services to friends and family. Capitalize on word-of-mouth advertising and requests for testimonials and referrals to boost trust and credibility.

Tour guide

Tour Guide

If you live near a tourist hotspot and enjoy meeting new people while talking about your beautiful neighborhood, you can monetize this by giving tours. Study shows that 90% of tourists would prefer to experience a city like locals do and crave an authentic experience. Also, 98% of tourists prefer to have a local as a travel guide.

To succeed as a tour guide, design curated tours and provide a memorable experience for your clients by being engaging, friendly and knowledgeable about the major tourist attractions in your city. The average tour guide salary in the U.S. is $32,323 yearly and an average hourly rate of $15.54/hr.

Driving instructor

Driving Instructor

If you've got a good driving record, patience, and the ability to communicate in the simplest of ways, becoming a driving instructor might be a good side hustle for you. Depending on your experience and location, you can earn between $33,000- $79,000 yearly with an average hourly rate of $24.88/hr.

Before you start providing driving lessons, you need to obtain a driving instructor's certification or license. This usually involves concluding a training program and passing the practical and written exams.

Tip: You can source for clients by collaborating with local driving schools, colleges and high schools within your target area. Schools usually direct students who need extra practice or specialized instruction to private driving instructors.



Podcasts are increasingly becoming popular and are an effective way to reach a large audience across several platforms. There are about 140 million podcast listeners in the US as of 2023, and the average American tunes in to an average of 8 podcasts per week. These numbers clearly show that with a proper setup and an interesting niche, you can connect with your target audience and build a following.

After recording your episodes, you can publish them on platforms like Podbean and Libsyn and push them to major distributors such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Amazon Music. These distributors will list your show and make it available to vast audiences.

Aside from built-in ad monetization, podcasters make money the same way YouTubers do. Also, they can get sponsorship from companies in their niche in exchange for ad reads. With an average hourly rate of $16/hr, podcasters earn $32,275 yearly.

Self-publishing eBooks


eBooks have totally changed the fiction and nonfiction scene in terms of sales. eBooks can be stored electronically and distributed cheaply, which translates to higher earnings even after retailers like Amazon must have taken their cut.

So, if you like creative writing or want to share your expert opinion on a subject matter, self-publishing eBooks might be a lucrative side hustle.

Amazon pays self-published authors 35% royalties on ebooks priced higher than $10 and pays 70% royalties on ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99.

Tip: You can use tools like Grammarly, Quillbot and Google Docs (with a voice typing feature) to write your books. If you plan to publish on platforms like Amazon, check out their requirements on the correct format to upload.



If you're passionate about photography and often get great feedback from people around you for pictures you take, you might want to turn your passion into a profitable side hustle. To get started, you need to invest in equipment like high-quality cameras, lenses, and other essential accessories to capture aesthetically pleasing images.

You also need to create a professional portfolio that demonstrates your artistic brilliance and sells your abilities to potential clients. You can build your portfolio by taking jobs from people around you, like friends, family events, weddings or birthdays. You can promote your photography business through social media platforms, networking, and word-of-mouth referrals.

The amount of money you make as a photographer depends on your specialty. For instance, a wedding photographer would make more per session than a portrait photographer. On average, photographers make $20/hour, which amounts to $41,090 yearly.


What is the best side hustle to earn money?

Some of the best side hustle business ideas you can earn from include:

  • Freelancing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Blogging
  • Virtual Assistant

How do you start a side hustle?

Here are 8 tips on how to start a side hustle:

  • Pick a side hustle that's in line with your skills and interests
  • Assess your availability in terms of time and resources
  • Study the industry and niche down
  • Make a business plan
  • Set earning goals
  • Identify your value proposition
  • Create an effective marketing strategy
  • Get feedback from customers

What are the easiest side hustles to start?

Some easy side hustles with low overhead costs include:

  • Freelancing
  • Blogging
  • Virtual Assistant
  • House sitting
  • Tour guide

The bottom line: side hustles to earn extra money

There you have it: the 10 best ways to make money on the side. Whether it's freelancing, podcasting, or photography, the important thing is to choose a side gig that aligns with your skills, goals, availability, and budget.

Even as a side hustle, you still need to invest the same level of commitment and follow through as you would any other business.

Additionally, if you'd rather quit your full-time job and begin your journey as an entrepreneur, the best place to start is by getting business ideas. Read our latest article on the most profitable businesses in 2023 to discover lucrative entrepreneurial opportunities.

Buying and nurturing an existing business to success is also a great way to become a business owner. To start this process, you can browse our site to see the thousands of profitable businesses listed for sale.

Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is Head of Content Marketing at She is a B2B Content Strategist and Copywriter. She has produced multiple articles that rank on the first page of Google SERPS, and loves creating people-first content.