How to Choose a Side Hustle: Best Kept Secrets to get Started

  • Time to read: 13 min.

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Do you need some extra money in your life, but you don’t want to give up your day job to do it? You might be thinking about how to choose a side hustle.

But how do you know which one will work for you? And what if you can’t afford to take the time off of work and start new projects on top of that? Keep reading for info on how you can find a side hustle that works for you.

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is a source of income you have in addition to your usual work. It’s you making money in your spare time, for you.

Typically you’ll set your own hours and decide how much you want to work — that freedom is the draw for many people who choose to pick up a side hustle.

Why Should You Have a Side Hustle?

How to choose a side hustle?

There are several reasons you might consider picking up another gig, whether it’s full-time or part-time. Maybe you just feel you’re underpaid at your 9 to 5 and you’d like to earn more.

Maybe you want to try something different than your regular day job income, so you’d like to branch out into other areas while still working for someone else.

It could even be that you need some extra cash quick and don’t have the luxury of giving up your salary right now.

Since it’s money you’re earning on the side, you get to decide what you do with it. These are some common uses:

  • Fundraising for a cause you care about
  • Paying off bills or debt faster
  • Making extra payments on your mortgage or car loan
  • Saving up for a special purchase, like an engagement ring or you new iPhone you’ve had your eye on
  • Investing in something you hope will appreciate in value (investing in bitcoin, for example)

What Makes a Good Side Hustle?

What makes a good side hustle?

Now you know you want to have a side hustle. But how do you choose one? There are plenty of options out there-how will you know which ones are best for you?

While you might think it’s just about making the most money, that’s not the case. You also need to be able to actually find time in your schedule to pick up a second source of income.

And you’ll need to know you can give it your all, or you won’t be able to do it for very long.

When you’re choosing your side hustle, you’ll want to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How much time am I willing to put into it each week?
  • What kind of money am I looking for? (Hourly wage, project payout, etc.)
  • Will this be something that’s only part-time or something additional on top of my current work?
  • Do you have time to start this on top of everything else I’m doing?
  • Do you have a passion for anything you’re considering? Or is there something you’ve always been curious about trying but never got a chance to yet?

You’ll also want to think about how you feel about your potential new gig.

Could you see yourself doing it long term or do you just need it as a short term solution?

Do you have enough experience with the jobs involved to know you can succeed at them?

Is there an easy way you could up your skills for this?

If you could, you’d want to have a bit of experience before you jump in.

How to Choose a Side Hustle

how to start your side hustle

Now you know you want one, you’ve determined your best options based on how much you have time for and how you feel about them, you know you can keep it up for the long term. Now you’re ready to find your side hustle.

There are several ways you can go about finding your side hustle. Maybe you already have an idea you you’re really excited about that you want to try. If you have a passion, you’ll have no problem sticking with it even when you feel like giving up.

If you don’t have a specific idea in mind already, there are lots of options you can consider based on your current skills or previous experience you might not have thought you could use in a potential side hustle.

And you have options you might not have considered if you’ve never thought about your skills and experience before. Either way you go about it, you’ll need to know the skills you have that you can use in your potential side hustle.

If you already have a job you want to supplement with another gig, consider if you could get more hours in the week or how you might be able to free up some time during the day or even at night to take up the second work. Think about your schedule carefully before you make a commitment you can’t keep up with.

If you’re looking for something full-time, you’ll need to know how you feel about taking on another job while keeping your current one, especially if you have no control over your hours at work already. Are you really ready to take on more work you might not love, but you also know you need the money?

If you’re looking for something part-time, you can still use your current skills or knowledge you have from outside your job to look into finding a way to earn some money. You can also use your current skills you have to up your chances of success.

For example, if you have a pleasant voice you know you can use to record a podcast or you can take good photos you could share on social media, you might be able to find a way to make money with either one.

Or you may be able to turn your blog you already have into a way you can earn money talking about something you’re passionate about by writing blog posts.

If you have an idea how you’d like to use your skills outside your current job, you’ll need to figure out how you could apply them in your potential side hustle to make passive income.

If you know you can always fall back on what you do now if you get laid off you might want to consider how you could use your current skills you have in your potential side hustle. You can also think of ways you could increase the money you make with what you do now.

Remember, there are no right or wrong hustle ideas or ways to make money online.

Pros and Cons of Having a Side Hustle

Pros and cons of having a side hustle

Once you have a clear idea how you want to use your skills you have now or you know you can learn new ones, you’ll need to take a good hard look at the pros and cons of having a side hustle or starting your business.

Having one means you’re not just working enough hours for your main job plus your side gig, you may be working pretty much around the clock if you don’t have a lot of time you can spare for your side hustle.

If you already work more than 40 hours a week and you can’t get any extra time from your employer, you’ll need to ask yourself how you’d feel about working those extra hours on top of what you do now.

When I started this side hustle website, for example, it was worth it to me to start this small business even though it is something I do after work and on the weekends.

If you don’t want to work so much or you can’t, you may not be happy you decided on a side hustle you can’t work at all. Depending on your personality you might end up regretting your decision and letting it go altogether.

You might realize that starting side hustles from home might not be the best option for you, and that’s OK.

That’s why you need to know how you feel about working full-time plus more if you want to make sure you’ll be happy you chose your side hustle you can enjoy.

If you already work around 40 hours a week and you can get more time at work you might only need to supplement your income with your side gig. You can always find ways to make more money without much if any extra work, though it takes some effort on your part to do this you should never have to take up another job just for the money if you don’t want to.

You’ll need to think about how much money you’d like at least or how much you realistically need before you go looking for a side gig that will earn that amount for you. This way you’ll know what kind of opportunities are worth considering and which ones you should rule out right away.

Once you know you have a goal you can work toward you can start looking for your side gig you’ll enjoy without feeling overwhelmed by the search. Just think about how much you want to make and you can find opportunities that will let you do just that in no time at all.

How Can You Make Your Side Hustle Profitable?

Make your side hustle profitable.

One you know you have the skills you can use you need to look at how you’ll get what you want out of your side hustle. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t treat your potential side gig like a real job you should be able to make money from.

You might think you’re better off sticking with your main gig and supplementing it with something you enjoy on top of it instead of making your part-time work into a business you own yourself.

If that’s the case, there are ways to turn any type of part-time work into something that will let you earn more just by keeping what you’re already doing now.

Think about whether or not there are opportunities for other people happy that could benefit you you have the skills you need to start your own business.

Your gifts with words might be useful on a freelancing blog you already have into something you can turn into a way you can earn money talking about something you’re passionate about.

You might want more of an audience, though, if you’re interested in writing you could write for other people’s blogs or ebooks instead of making your own. You’ll never know how it feels to run your own show by working for someone else who has all the control whether you like it or not.

That’s why you need to make sure your side hustle is profitable before you settle down and give up on having your own thing entirely. If writing is where your interests lie, think about how you can use it to earn money you might not have considered before.

You could write for yourself about business ideas you enjoy and you can find a company that will let you do this if you don’t want to make your own blog or ebook.

You might be able to pick up some gigs writing for other people’s websites you’d like to work on, too. This way you won’t feel trapped under orders you didn’t agree with and you’ll get an audience who will read what you write no matter how long it takes you to turn out another piece, too.

Is Your Side Hustle Worth the Money?

Is your side hustle worth it?

Once you know your options when it comes to making more money in addition to your main job you should take some time considering how much time you can you’d like to spend on your side hustle.

You might only want to pick up a little extra work you can fit around your current schedule or you might want to look into ways you can make money with zero capital through things you already enjoy doing that are even more rewarding.

If you love playing video games, you could start streaming them live online and getting paid for it directly without having to worry about making advertisers enough money before you get yours like you would with a YouTube channel or other social media platform.

If that’s the case, think about how much time you can invest in something like this before you give it serious consideration over other options.

There are no right answers when it comes to how much you should be looking for when trying to find opportunities related to your side gig you want to make money from.

All you need to do is know how you plan on making your extra work worth it for you before you take the first step toward turning your passions into profitable opportunities. If you’re not willing to put in the time you could just be wasting your time looking for something that doesn’t have the potential you think it has right now.

Do You Want Your Side Hustle to Be an Actual Business?

How to grow your side hustle into a business.

If you aren’t interested in something you can only do part-time, or if you don’t want to pick up gigs working for other people, you might consider how much start-up costs are involved with whatever side hustle you’ve found so far.

You might assume anything related to starting your own business you would be able to do on your own you’d be able to find the support you need with your friends or family.

You might not realize how many times you’ll need to spend money you don’t have just trying to get the ball rolling before you’re making enough money to consider yourself successful.

If you can’t afford to go into credit card debt you might think about working with other people who are looking for small-time opportunities like yours you can partner with so there’s less risk involved for everyone involved. That way, if anything goes wrong along the way you won’t lose as much together than you would on your own.

Make Sure Your Side Hustle Pays What You Want It To

It’s time to think about how you’re looking to make money you might not have considered before you start looking for ways you can earn it.

There are different ways you could think about making your side hustle pay off bigger no matter how much you need or want to make with this extra work you do after your current job is done for the day.

You might find something you can get started with quickly and easily even though it doesn’t come out to very much per hour. Then, once you’ve finished training you could look into moving up so you can earn more than what your boss offers at your other job while still having time off whenever you need or want it.

This way you won’t feel trapped between obligations that will limit how much money you bring in every month just so you can have your time back.

The main thing you should remember before you start working more for less than you feel you’re worth is you don’t ever want to risk settling for less than you deserve just because you think that’s all you’re able to push toward your side hustle goals right now.

Being greedy isn’t always the best policy, but it usually will pay off when you know you’ve done more than enough work to make sure you get what you need no matter how many people tell you otherwise.

Find Ways to Save Money on Your Side Hustle

Finally, if there are any big costs involved with starting up something or branching out toward bigger opportunities related to your side gig be sure you do everything in your power to save money you’d otherwise be spending on your more lucrative side hustle.

You might have to give up some luxuries you’ve wanted to pay for with your own money that you can’t afford yet, but you’ll find you won’t feel the pinch as much if you’re doing something you love instead of trying to settle for an opportunity you didn’t even know was out there until you started looking around.


Don’t let all these rules overshadow what you want to do for yourself because this is your life and how you choose to make a living should always be your choice. If it’s not, you could end up working long hours without ever getting ahead financially or enjoying what feels like a complete break from everything involved with earning a living.

That’s no way to live your life so you should always keep an open mind about what you want out of any side hustle you might have in the works. One you start working even harder it could pay off in ways you’ve never imagined while still being able to build a solid future for you and your family.

FAQ: How to Choose a Side Hustle

What are some of the best side hustles 2021?

Some of the best side hustles you might be able to start this year are proofreading, being a virtual assistant, blogging, cryptocurrencies, social media manager, tutoring, starting a Facebook Group, independent customer service operator, and affiliate marketing.

What is a good side hustle you can do while you’re still working your full-time job?

One of the best side hustles you could do while you’re still at your full-time job is starting an eCommerce business you can grow online. With this type of business, you sell products. This is actually one of the more popular online side hustles.

What are some fast ways you can make money?

Some fast ways you can make money right away are getting a part-time job, finding seasonal work you might be able to do around the house, completing surveys you find on websites you’re already visiting, writing articles you can sell to other websites, taking on data entry work you find online, doing website testing for businesses that need feedback, delivering food or items you purchase yourself then deliver them to people you know who live nearby.

What were some side hustle ideas 2020?

Some of the best side hustles that were popular in 2020 were selling your own items you no longer needed on Craigslist or eBay, baking and selling your products, buying and selling real estate in your spare time, teaching English online, and investing in the stock market.

What are the best apps for side hustle?

For side hustles you might want to download some apps you can use on your phone that you can use to make money. Some good examples of this are Swagbucks, Gigwalk, and Upwork. The side hustles Reddit has some other ideas as well.