Ranking 8 Side Hustles: From Worst to Best

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If you're looking to supplement your income without necessarily quitting your day job, this guide will help you navigate the world of side hustles. Having tried a multitude of side hustles, I've gained a wealth of experience and knowledge that I'm eager to share. Some of these ventures have even earned me an extra $15,000 a year, so there are definitely some gems to be discovered.

8. YouTube as a Side Hustle

Starting with side hustle number eight: YouTube Channel. This platform allows you to earn money through brand partnerships or by allowing ads to run before your videos. I started my own YouTube channel with makeup reviews about a year ago and made around $35 this month. While this might not seem like a lot, some of the most successful YouTubers earn millions of dollars a year. Additionally, you can collaborate with brands that need talent, as I have done with Shopify, and make a decent income. 

In terms of earning potential, I would rate starting a YouTube channel a 7 out of 10. You can learn how to grow your channel by watching other YouTube videos, and it's quite enjoyable to see your account grow. For difficulty, skill required, and enjoyability, I would give this a solid 8 out of 10. However, the time commitment can be quite demanding. If you're dedicated to growing your channel, it can feel almost like a full-time job in terms of hours. Therefore, I would rate this a 3 out of 10 for time commitment.

7. Retail Work as a Side Hustle

Moving on to side hustle number seven: Retail. Working in retail has its merits, but it's at the bottom of my list. This side hustle is often overlooked, but it can be a viable option if you're looking to keep your day job and supplement your income. On average, working shifts on the weekends can yield an annual income of around $31,000. In terms of earning potential, retail work scores an 8 out of 10. The workload is manageable, earning a score of 7 out of 10, as it involves social interaction and a relaxed environment. The specialized skill required for retail is minimal, as most of the learning happens on the job, thus it scores a perfect 10 out of 10. However, the time commitment is significant, as you need to be present for your shifts to earn your paycheck. This aspect scores a low 1 out of 10, as retail work is not scalable and doesn't provide the opportunity to earn money passively. As for enjoyability, retail work scores a moderate 5 out of 10. This side hustle could be a good fit for those seeking steady income but are not quite ready to start their own business.

6. Waiting Tables as a Side Hustle

Another side hustle to consider is waiting tables. This job can range from working at local diners to high-end restaurants. An interesting anecdote involves a waitress at Moxie's who earns $200,000 a year just from tips, working only three nights a week. However, this is not the norm, and the average income from waiting tables is closer to $30,000 a year. The earning potential varies greatly, from $20,000 to $200,000, which earns it a 7 out of 10. Waiting tables can be hard work, scoring a 4 out of 10 for workload. As for specialized skills, waiting tables scores a 7 out of 10, as it is a skill that can be learned on the job. 

Working as a waiter or waitress can be quite taxing, with a time commitment rating of one out of ten. However, it can also be rewarding for those who crave social interaction, earning it a six out of ten for enjoyability. To maximize your earnings in this role, consider applying for positions in affluent neighborhoods or at restaurants with expensive menus, as higher bills often lead to larger tips.

5. Graphic Design as a Side Hustle

Another potential side hustle is graphic design. This field offers a variety of opportunities, from creating social media and video content to establishing branding standards. As a junior graphic designer fresh out of school, you might start with a salary around $35,000 a year. However, as you gain experience and become more senior, you could charge anywhere from $40 to $100 an hour, giving this side hustle an eight out of ten for earning potential.

Despite the potential for high earnings, graphic design may not be for everyone. For instance, I personally found the job to be less enjoyable, rating it a two out of ten. While I initially entered the field with the intention of creating unique art for businesses, I found that I was often just following the requests of stakeholders, leaving little room for creativity.

If creativity is a crucial aspect for you, this might not be the best fit. In terms of skills required for graphic design, you can learn them online, but it may take some time. Expect to spend about four months learning the necessary programs, earning this aspect a five out of ten.

Graphic design is a field that can be challenging to master, with a difficulty rating of seven out of ten. However, once you grasp the basics, you'll find yourself breezing through tasks. The time commitment can be significant, as the process of creating and revising designs can span days or even weeks, earning it a five out of ten in this regard.

If the prospect of earning a good income while working remotely appeals to you, and you possess a keen eye for design, here's how to kickstart your career in graphic design. Begin by enrolling in a course on Udemy to hone your skills. You'll need to familiarize yourself with software like Photoshop and Premiere among others. Once you're confident in your abilities, start applying for jobs on platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn.

4. Becoming a Landlord or Airbnb Host

Another career path to consider is becoming a landlord or an Airbnb host. This can be a passive way to earn income. For instance, renting out an apartment can yield around $9,600 annually. If you don't own a property, you can still participate by renting out your leased home on Airbnb, provided you have your landlord's permission.

This career path earns a perfect score of ten out of ten due to its potential for high earnings with minimal skill and time requirements. According to CNBC, the average Airbnb host earns approximately $920 per month, which equates to about $11,000 annually.

In certain desirable locations, such as beach communities in California, homeowners can earn up to $30,000 in a single summer by renting out their homes during the tourist season. This strategy involves temporarily living elsewhere, such as a hotel or with relatives.

However, it's important to note that this option may not always be enjoyable, especially when dealing with tenants who fail to pay or Airbnb customers who lodge complaints. On a scale of enjoyability, this side hustle scores a six out of ten.

3. Consultancy as a Side Hustle

Another side hustle to consider is becoming a consultant in your field. This allows you to work your day job and take on clients during evenings and weekends. For instance, I currently help entrepreneurs optimize their e-commerce sites and marketing plans, charging $250 per session for solo entrepreneurs. By conducting three sessions per month, I can make an extra $9,000 a year. For larger projects with bigger businesses, I charge $10,000 a month.

The earning potential for consulting is substantial, earning a ten out of ten stars, or even an eleven out of ten if you're highly specialized in your field. For example, a cosmetic chemist could easily make $200,000 a year. The sky's the limit with this side hustle.

However, it's important to note that the more of an expert you are, the more you can charge. Therefore, this side hustle scores a three out of ten for skills required as it does necessitate on-the-job experience or some form of education.

As a consultant, you can guide your clients with just your words, which requires minimal effort. For difficulty and time commitment, this side hustle scores a ten out of ten stars. The added advantage is that you have the freedom to choose your clients, meaning you don't have to work with anyone you don't like.

2. Freelancing as a Side Hustle

Another viable side hustle is freelancing. Similar to consultancy, freelancing involves contract work. However, as a freelancer, you're not just sharing advice; you're doing the actual work. While this can be equally rewarding, it can also be more time-consuming, earning it a 6 out of 10 in terms of time commitment. To start freelancing, post on LinkedIn that you're open to work and start searching for freelance positions on job sites like Indeed or LinkedIn.

1. Ecommerce as a Side Hustle

Running an ecommerce store is another excellent side hustle. This venture allows you to bring your ideas to life, from branding and website development to product creation. The joy of seeing your idea materialize into a tangible product makes this side hustle highly enjoyable, earning it another perfect score of 10 out of 10.

Learning the ropes of running an ecommerce store is also quite accessible, thanks to resources like YouTube tutorials. The skill required and difficulty level are manageable, making it another 10 out of 10. As the owner of an ecommerce store, you can dedicate as much or as little time as you want, and your earning potential is unlimited.

Take ButcherBox as an example. This ecommerce store reached nine figures without the help of investors, proving that the possibilities are endless when you're in control of your own business.

One inspiring example of the power of ecommerce is Cassie Ho. She started a multi-million dollar apparel brand using ecommerce, demonstrating that the sky truly is the limit when it comes to earning potential. In fact, the potential is so great that it deserves an 11 out of 10 rating.

If you're interested in starting an online store, Shopify offers a free trial, and no credit card is required. This is particularly beneficial if you're hesitant about making a commitment. Moreover, if you're short on product ideas, there's a free ecommerce course designed to get your store up and running quickly. This is an excellent resource if you're working with a low budget or if you're a total beginner.

Get Side Hustlin'

Many people are drawn to side hustles for a variety of reasons. Some may be tired of relying solely on their nine-to-five job, while others may have been raised to always have a side project. Regardless of the reason, the world of ecommerce offers a wealth of opportunities.

For those interested in learning more about running a business, there are numerous resources available. From content on dropshipping to running a business on Instagram, there's a wealth of information out there to help you succeed.

Remember, the sky's the limit when it comes to your earning potential in ecommerce. So why not take the first step and explore the possibilities?