Updated: Aug 2
I love writing about side hustles.
Depending on what your specific gig(s) are, they can be fun, and they can provide you with regular and steady income.
In fact, the only gripe I ever have with side hustles is that they oftentimes require us to perform boring or repetitive work in the hopes of making a few dollars to put towards your rent, car, or student loans.
But nobody said they have to be boring! Today, I'm back to discuss 25 creative side hustles that you should try in 2023 - and beyond!
What is a creative side hustle anyway?
Creative side hustles are money making projects and endeavors that go outside the norms of side gigs. No more survey completing, Instacart shopping, or gig economy deliveries on this list.
In my mind, for a side gig to be considered creative, it needs to meet three specific criteria:
It needs to be profitable: You are out to make money, after all.
It needs to be different: No more boring and mind-numbing work.
It needs to be attainable: Longer term projects are okay, but I won't include any projects that will take years to make you money.
With these specifications in mind, let's get to work.
Easy and creative side hustles from home
I'm going to start the list with 8 different side hustles for creatives, all of which can be built and worked from the comfort of home.
1. Buy and resell concert tickets
Earning Potential: $1,000+ per popular show
I know this one can be a little bit controversial, especially after the Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster drama in November. But if you're able to buy tickets to a popular show in your area (or not in your area), it can be really worth it to buy and sell extra tickets.
I had two extra tickets to a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show in Boston, listed them on StubHub, and sold $300 worth of tickets for $1,200. Not only did it pay for my wife and I to go to the show for free, but we actually made money to go, money that I was actually able to invest into my business.
2. Reselling items on Amazon
Earning Potential: Varies by item
Becoming an Amazon seller is another great option that you may consider to help you make some extra money from home. Keep in mind - this will take some upfront cash to get started.
But once you decide what you want to sell and whether you'll be a professional or individual seller (Amazon's terms to decide your selling fees), it is easy to get started. If you're good at finding sales and bargains out there, then this could be the money-making side hustle for you!
Check out our Amazon selling guide for an all-encompassing guide.
3. Try flipping liquidation pallets
Earning Potential: $10-$100+ per item
One of our readers actually gave us the heads up on this trend, where Americans are shopping online (or in person at liquidation outlets) to purchase and resell items from liquidation pallets. This side hustle, deemed pallet flipping by insiders, is based on the premise that buying a pallet at a reduced price gives you wiggle room to resell its contents at their normal prices, allowing you to earn some profit.
Just make sure to account for shipping and other hidden costs that may arise.
4. Become a coach
Earning Potential: $75+ per hour
Everybody has expertise in something. So why not use that expertise in an attempt to help others achieve that same expertise? Coaching has become more and more popular over the last decade or so, and it is now common to find them in many disciplines, including:
The best part? You'll likely be able to use social media to attract clients.
5. Learn affiliate marketing
Earning Potential: $500+ per day (in time)
You're probably already familiar with the principles of affiliate marketing. A person or company partners with other companies in order to promote products or services. You'll earn a percentage of the revenue each time somebody makes a purchase using your link.
In most cases, it is up to you to decide how to get others to view and use your links. This is where your creativity and the power of unique thinking come into play.
This is also our main source of income here at The Student Debt Destroyer, so we've gained some proficiency over the last couple of years in particular. To learn more about the affiliate marketing process, we highly recommend that you check out this article on HubSpot - don't worry, this is not an affiliate link ;)
Once you're ready to affiliate market, I recommend Flex Offers in particular. Their platform is simple to use, and requirements are clear.
6. Freelance on Fiverr
Earning Potential: Varies
You've likely already heard of freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork. What you may not know is that you absolutely have skills to offer on these sites. People just like you are selling services ranging from small business support to coding to logo design.
The best part is that you can choose to work on only what you want to do, and you'll get paid for it. And while there are some services offered by those with incredible technical skills, it is in no way a requirement.
In fact, you may even opt to offer something you're passionate about, including writing, translation, voice-over work, or something else altogether!
7. Write an eBook
Earning Potential: Varies
Believe it or not, this is actually how The Student Debt Destroyer came to be. I wrote an eBook in 2020, and listed it on Amazon for sale through the KDP program. And if you enjoy writing, I would highly recommend you consider doing so too!
There are plenty of tools out there to help you choose a topic and get started writing. Once your book is complete and ready to sell, you can also leverage a number of marketing tools and strategies to help you make sales. Since we have experience here, we'll leave you with one pointer. Begin building your social media presence and email list far ahead of your book's launch - that way, you will have already begun to build a following.
8. Teach students online
Earning Potential: $20+ per hour
We've written about starting a tutoring business before. What many people don't realize though is that you can actually tutor or teach various subjects online if you don't have the time, energy, or desire to establish your own practice in your area.
Sites like Tutor.com allow you to work with students on a variety of different subjects - you just need to pass a quick test to assure that you are qualified in a certain area. Another option that you have (and there are lots of sites!) is to teach English to non-native speakers across the world. We recommend you consider Skooli, Preply, and Qkids.
Creative side hustles to scale into businesses
Next, we want to introduce you to a number of side hustles that may require you to be outside the home. The plus is that these ideas are more traditionally scalable into full-time businesses if you decide to go that route.
9. Start an aquarium cleaning service
Earning Potential: $60+ per tank
We told you this list was going to cover some of the most unique and creative side hustles we could think of. But there is a sizable demand for aquarium cleaning services, especially in places like doctor's offices, assisted living facilities, and restaurants.
By offering these services, you'll likely be able to get a multi-month or year commitment, which could provide you with more financial stability than the average side gig out there.
10. Mobile car detailing
Earning Potential: $100+ per car
Another strategy that you may consider is detailing cars in your area. People love having clean cars, interior and exterior, and they are oftentimes willing to pay a good amount of money for it. You can use this to your advantage in starting a potentially high-paying side hustle.
You'll need to get a little creative to market your services, but startup costs are low, and you can even find a specific aspect of detailing to make your work stand out.
Down the line, you may even be able to hire a team to do the details for you.
11. Pressure washing
Earning Potential: $50 or so per hour
Our third side hustle that you just may be able to scale is a pressure washing gig. This is another one of those ideas where you may be able to hire a team in time, but what we really like about pressure washing is the ease in which you'll be able to build a portfolio of work.
Once you get a client or two (and this will be the most difficult part), you'll be able to quickly build a portfolio or stunning before and after pictures. Our recommendation? Use these photos to help build marketing materials, lawn signs, etc.
12. Cleaning parking lots
Earning Potential: $200+ per month, depending on size
Okay, so this one was a surprise to us too, until we did some more research and saw the crazy opportunity out there. Parking lots/garages, particularly those in or around major cities, can quickly become filthy.
Your startup costs here are also likely to be quite low and include only some basic equipment, such as a blower, push broom, and a way to remove trash or litter. The best part? It pays well, and the nature of the work is such that you're also likely to be able to secure a multi-month or year commitment!
13. Flipping furniture at a profit
Earning Potential: Varies
For those of you that are inherently creative, you may choose to buy old furniture, fix it up, and sell it at a profit, even after including the time and money you put into a piece. And while I am not a creative person with my hands, it is pretty incredible how quickly a piece of furniture can take on a completely different aesthetic by changing things like:
Plus - old furniture is trendy right now, and you'll likely be able to sell your pieces with no other tool than Facebook Marketplace.
14. Property manage Airbnb listings
Earning Potential: $40 per hour
Did you know that you need not own property to make money off of an Airbnb listing? That's right! In one of the more unique side jobs out there, you may consider pursuing a number of projects that fit into this category, including:
Professionally photographing properties for those listing on Airbnb
Starting an Airbnb cleaning service
Working as a property manager
When you really think of it, there is no shortage of ways in which you may be able to build a money-making side hustle.
15. Build websites
Earning Potential: $1,000+ per project
Gaining access to publish on the Internet has never been easier - or more in demand. Still, the barriers to entry are too great for too many people. Among the most lucrative and unique side hustles on our list, you can build websites for these individuals and small businesses!
The best part is that you don't need to have any coding experience whatsoever.
Take this website, for instance. The Student Debt Destroyer was actually created through Wix, a company that helps you make websites with a bunch of drag-and-drop elements, while at the same time still helping you to gain the aesthetic you're looking for.
If you want to build websites for clients, your best bets are likely Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace.
16. Start an Etsy store
Earning Potential: Varies
In another creative side hustle for the artistically inclined, Etsy stores have time and time proven themselves to be good money makers for those that are able to fill a niche in the marketplace.
Today, Etsy sellers are able to market a plethora of different products, from calendars, to jewelry, to personalized gifts and everything in between.
Other weird side hustles
The final bucket of side hustles that we will consider is our other miscellaneous and unusual side gigs. These are likely things that you've never thought about before, and they may come across as a little weird, but they are absolutely profitable.
17. Offer notary services
Earning Potential: $5-10 per document
We've heard from our readers that offering notary services can actually be among the most lucrative side hustles out there if you compare your investment of time. Upfront costs are limited, as you'll only need to pay for your licensing, stamp, and seal.
And while you probably won't get rich notarizing documents, it can be an excellent way to make decent money without a ton of extraneous effort.
18. Volunteer for focus groups
Earning Potential: $20-$30 per hour
Every day, thousands of product and service-based companies hold or schedule focus groups in an attempt to gain valuable feedback. This feedback, which can help businesses to make critical decisions, also provides an excellent opportunity for you to build a nice side hustle.
Focus group pay can vary widely depending on the company, time commitment, and location, but honestly, who isn't interested in pulling in some extra dollars on the side for sharing their opinions?
19. Wrapify your car
Earning Potential: $200-$450 per month
This is probably the most creative side hustle we've come across. Renting out space on your car to advertise through Wrapify can be an excellent way to make money with no effort. You just drive where you're planning to drive, and then you get paid for it!
Do keep in mind that Wrapify is likely to be a more feasible side hustle for those in or around populated areas, where more people will actually have the opportunity to see your wrapped car.
20. Become a taste tester
Earning Potential: Varies
The final idea on our list is to become a professional (okay, semiprofessional) taste tester. Similar to participating in focus groups, restaurants and food companies are constantly bringing in taste testers for feedback on new and existing menu or product offerings.
This feedback is valuable to businesses and is used to help guide decision-making. And from your perspective, you get paid to eat. What could be better?
21. Work as a mystery shopper
Earning Potential: Up to $20 per hour
Companies and businesses of all sorts hire mystery shoppers to effectively go undercover in a store or restaurant.
You'll be tasked to visit a location, interact with employees, check for certain things inside a store, and write a review of your experience afterwards. While you likely won't get rich as a mystery shopper, you likely can earn $20 an hour for your work.
Unique Internet side hustles
I couldn't help myself. Here is a mini list of five other unique side hustles to pursue if you are serious about putting more money in your pocket.
22. Complete online surveys
Earning Potential: Up to $300 per month
One of my favorite ways to make extra money online is to fill out academic and business research studies. Here's why.
First, they tend to pay well compared to the amount of time that they take to complete. And secondly, surveys provide you an opportunity to help out academics and businesses trying to solve complex issues and perform market research.
My current favorite survey site is Swagbucks, but there are plenty of other sites too, include Amazon Mechanical Turk, Survey Junkie, and others!
When I had more time to dedicate towards completing surveys, I was able to earn about $300 or so per month across multiple sites.
23. Grow social media accounts
Earning Potential: Unlimited
Growing your social media accounts will not directly lead you to a profitable side hustle on its own. But, it is the first step in the process to passive income.
Once you've established a robust following, you'll likely begin to be approached by brands and retailers asking you to promote their products on your channel in exchange for money. It will be smaller brands at first, but if you continue to succeed, larger companies like Amazon just may come calling.
For these reasons, I've listed the income potential as unlimited. There are too many variables to take into account!
24. Create and sell online courses
Earning Potential: $10,000+ per month in time
I've written about this before, but building and selling online courses can be an excellent opportunity to get paid handsomely for work you'll complete once. Here's why this just may be the best side hustle out there for you.
First, it presents an awesome opportunity to earn some passive income for work you'll only have to complete once. Imagine earning money while you sleep.
And secondly, since we all have unique skills, it can be a great opportunity to really package your knowledge together and use it to help others benefit too.
25. Find and sell used golf balls
Earning Potential: $2,000+ per month in time
My final idea is to find and sell used golf balls. Searching around areas on or near golf courses can yield dozens of golf balls per half hour of work. There is definitely a thrill of the hunt, since balls like Titleist Pro V1X's have a far greater value than many other golf balls on the market.
Once you've collected a bunch, you can sell them online or directly to retailers.
How to start a creative side hustle
Thankfully, starting a creative side hustle has never been easier than it is today. With the help of my Side Hustle Mastery course, in just ninety days, I will help you:
Identify, implement, and build a side gig that is interesting, fun, and plays to your strengths.
Brand your venture and position yourself for success.
Run your micro business and turn a profit while doing so.
Assess growth opportunities while scaling in a responsible way.
Get on track to make an extra $20,000 per year.
Why pick a creative side hustle?
If you're a creative mind at heart, you'll find this list of side hustles much more intriguing than many of the more traditional options out there. Plus, there are many other reasons why they may be right for you.
First and foremost, it can provide you with a great opportunity to make some extra money on the side, in a way that is more fun than your day job (and less boring too!).
There is also the fulfillment aspect.
Making money off your own venture is a large part of what the American Dream is all about, after all. The fulfillment of being able to build something that rewards you financially is a large part of why I started pursuing creative and unique side hustles in my free time.
Clever and unique side gigs in particular can also be a great way for you to find a creative outlet from your normal work outside of pursuing sometimes costly hobbies when you have a few minutes here or there.
How much money can your side hustle make?
The amount of money that you can make each day, week, or month depends on a number of different variables, including:
The number of hours you work
The side gig(s) you choose to work on
Your upfront investment
Other factors that may arise
The largest contributing factor in our minds is the actual project that you decide to pursue. Let us be the first to advocate that you not just choose a certain side hustle due to its earning potential.
It is critical that you also pick something that interests you. This is supposed to be your outlet from work after all.
Do this when starting your side hustle
Though the point of side hustles is inherently to make money in either a unique or more mundane fashion, there is still a couple of best practices you'll want to consider, regardless of what side hustle you decide to pursue.
1. Establish a side income bank account
We highly recommend that you establish a separate savings account to hold all of your side hustle income. How else are you to keep track of your expenses, income, and other critical business metrics.
Plus - in today's high inflation and interest rate environment, you'll want to consider a high-yielding account with a bank or other institution. Whatever you do, do not leave free interest on the table.
2. Pick a side hustle you enjoy
Too many of us work day jobs that don't interest us, and life is most definitely too short to work a side hustle that does not interest us. Whatever you decide to do - pick something that you enjoy, even if it may not be the most lucrative idea out there.
Picking a unique side hustle doing something that you enjoy will make your work feel like a hobby, and that can be the greatest part of it.
Side hustles can be an excellent way for you to exhibit some creativity, while at the same time using your creativeness as an outlet from your work, responsibilities, and the stress of everyday life.
Have you ever tried any of the strategies on this list? And will you in the future?
Tell me in the comments below!
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