Earning some extra money on the side and stashing it away for a rainy day isn’t something that comes naturally to all of us. In fact, most people are natural spenders—which is the exact opposite of the kind of money habits you'll need to create if you want to improve your state.
But what happens when you need to come up with a large sum of money, say $10,000? While you may have visions of Walter White from Breaking Bad dancing through your head, there are plenty of legitimate side hustles that can net you at least $10,000 per year.
What could you do with an extra $10,000 this year? Could you pay down some debt? Contribute to a retirement fund? Save up enough money to work towards home ownership? Buy a nice used car with your extra cash? While each of us would do something different with the money, the good news is that we can all get there by pursuing one or more of these proven side hustles.
Sign Up for Amazon Affiliates
Are you familiar with the Amazon Affiliates program? It lets you link to any product sold on Amazon, from your website or blog, then gives you a percentage of any sale you’re responsible for.
The best part about the program is that you don’t have to be directly involved in the sale. If someone comes to Amazon via your link and ends up buying anything on the site (within 24 hours), you get a set percentage of that total sale (ranging from 1 percent to 10 percent, depending on the category).
To be successful (and profitable) with Amazon Affiliates, you need to start a strong website and spend some time crafting content that attracts readers and builds a following. That can take a lot of time and effort, but once you build a readership, the revenue stream becomes extremely passive. It’ll probably take a few years, but it’s not out of the question to think you can make $10,000 per year through affiliate links.
Write Paid Blog Posts
Do you have a knack for writing? If so, there are plenty of money-making opportunities awaiting you online. Because websites thrive on content, many are willing to pay top dollar for quality blog posts that can be used to drive traffic to their pages.
If you can find a way to write specialized content on a range of different topics, it's very reasonable to earn upwards of a thousand dollars per month by pitching your blog posts to websites that accept paid guest contributors.
The key to being successful (and profitable) with freelance writing is to develop relationships with the right people. Some websites don’t accept guest contributions, and others only accept free posts.
While not a complete list, there are some popular websites that do pay for contributed posts. You aren’t going to get rich as a freelance writer unless you build a massive personal brand for yourself and start charging top dollar for content, but it’s a nice way to make some extra money outside of your day job.
Offer Services on Fiverr
Have you heard of Fiverr? It’s a marketplace website that directly connects skilled service providers with customers worldwide. The entire concept is based on “gigs,” which range from copywriting and internet marketing services to relationship advice and custom greeting card design. If there’s a service you need (or can provide), it can be found on Fiverr.
As the name suggests, most gigs start at $5, but that’s just the baseline. You can offer a variety of add-ons and increase your rates for premium gigs that allow you to charge upwards of hundreds of dollars depending on the product or service you're offering. Not bad for being able to work from home. Plus, you don’t even have to add a boss into the equation. You’re in charge—you get to choose when you want to accept or deny a job.
Private Label Products and Sell Them Online
Are you interested in building a side hustle that not only nets you a little bit of extra money per week but could also turn into a large revenue stream that one day becomes your full-time job? Consider giving private labeling some thought.
Whether you realize it or not, you’re already pretty familiar with private label goods. A private label brand is merely a generic product that’s been packaged and marketed under an independent brand that doesn’t own the rights to the product. In other words, they didn’t invent the product. Two examples most people are familiar with are Walmart’s Great Value brand and Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.
But did you know that you can use a private label, too? Thanks to the power of the internet, it's relatively easy to source products from international manufacturers on platforms like Alibaba, have them design packaging for you, and sell them yourself either in-person or on websites like Amazon.
The great thing about private labeling and selling on Amazon is that it can eventually become a passive income stream. While it takes a lot of work on the front end—and you’ll have to invest in strategic marketing and advertising—the profits can be sizable on the backside. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear about private labelers who make more than $10,000 per month selling just one or two products to their audience.
You aren’t going to magically get to $10,000 per month without a lot of hard work, but it’s reasonable to add five figures to your annual income if you spend substantial time building a quality brand for yourself.
Sell Handmade Goods at Local Boutiques
Do you like to make handmade goods? Can you make a cool product that people would pay money for? Some examples could include painting, crafting, quilting, and woodworking. If so, you may be able to monetize your talents by selling products through local boutiques and existing retailers.
Let’s say that you’re a talented amateur woodworker who likes to spend evenings and weekends in your garage building things. You make basic home décor items, small furniture, and other unique pieces that appeal to a wide variety of people.
While you may not know a lot of people in your social circle who are willing or able to buy your items, there are a lot more potential customers in your surrounding community who could do business with you—not to mention the possibilities for expanding online to platforms like Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
One option is to seek out local boutiques in your area. You’ll be surprised to learn that many of these stores—especially if they’re privately owned—are willing to buy inventory from local artisans and consigned products. Get connected with the right stores, and you can develop a steady stream of relatively passive income.
Another option is to look up farmer’s markets and festivals in your area. Many of these events allow people to rent out space for booths. Depending on the type of market and foot traffic, setting up a booth for a few hours on the weekend can bring you a pretty big return.
Many of us are at a stage of life where it seems like every possible friend is getting married. Or maybe your friend's children are getting hitched. Well, if you’re going to attend weddings anyway, why not make some extra money by offering to officiate the wedding?
It’s extremely easy to get licensed. A variety of websites and online churches allow you to become ordained in a matter of minutes (and for just a few dollars). And while there is some work that goes into officiating a wedding, you can usually charge between $300 and $500 for the service.
If you do just a couple of weddings per month or work hard to book out your summer by linking up with local country clubs and event venues, you can bring in an extra $10,000 or more with this side hustle alone.
Have you ever considered signing up for services like Postmates, Caviar or Eat Club and delivering food as a side hustle on nights and weekends? It may not be as creative or entrepreneurial as some of the other side hustles, but it can be a profitable way to make use of your time.
If you’re responsible, have some flexibility in your schedule, and own a car, getting hired by a food delivery company, app startup or even pizza place in your local city is fairly easy when there's demand. Most will pay around minimum wage, but you get to keep tips which is where the real money comes.
Consider, for example, that you’re able to work five-hour shifts on Friday and Saturday nights. If minimum wage in your area is $10, that would be $100 per weekend. But then you have the opportunity to get tips on top of that.
Most delivery drivers will tell you that they average between $60 and $80 for a five-hour shift. If you take the middle-point ($70), that’s another $140 in tips for the weekend—leaving you with $240 in extra earnings every weekend. If you work every weekend and add it up, that’s an extra $960 per month and roughly $11,500 per year.
Get Started on Your Side Hustle Today
You may make $10 an hour when you feel like you should be getting a six-figure salary. You might barely bring home $2,000 a month working full-time. Perhaps you didn't finish college and felt like you’ll be working the same entry-level job for the next 35 years.
Never before in history has there been a country where anyone from anywhere could dramatically increase their earning potential with just a little creativity and hard work. All it takes is a willingness to seek out opportunities and invest some sweat equity into your side project.
You’re not guaranteed to become the next millionaire, but anyone can earn an extra $10,000 per year by picking up a profitable side hustle and sticking to it. Now, it’s up to you to find the right one and put in the hard work.