BOSS BITCH GUIDE TO: THE SIDE HUSTLE
You can make money doing almost anything. Here are a few examples you might not have thought of, the skills you need (aside from downloading an app) and the typical pay you can expect.
Did you see something that caught your interest? That made you say, “Hey, I could do that!” Or, maybe it sparked an idea for something else you could tackle on the side. The thing about side hustles is that the possibilities are endless. Almost anything can be a side hustle if you have enough ingenuity — from becoming a dog masseuse ($50/hour) to your neighborhood’s go-to Ikea furniture assembler (which is priceless, in my opinion). The amount out- of-the-box but still totally legit ideas can fill a book. But, I’m going to fill the rest of this step with my favorite ones.
WAYS TO GET YOUR SIDE HUSTLE ON
DO YOU LIKE SPORTS?
REF FOR LOCAL SPORTING EVENTS
You will need to take a quick certification class (but it’s no biggie, usually just a weekend of training) and then you’ll be assigned to games by your local recreational association. If you’re a newly minted sporty spice, you might be assigned to youth basketball, soccer, lacrosse games and the like. If you played sports in college or have a degree in athletics, you might be eligible to ref high school, college, or even semi-pro games, which are more lucrative and typically offer better schedules.
How much you can make: $20–$1,500 per game.
LIKE TO WRITE?
BE A FREELANCE BLOGGER
Many websites need part-time writers and some of them are even willing to pay (that may sound snarky, but some digital outlets think you should just be glad they’re willing to publish your stuff for free—don’t get me started). To find ones that will reward your brilliant prose with actual cash (that’s the whole point of this, right?), start by checking out writing boards like BloggingPro, ProBlogger, and Freelance Writing Jobs (FWJ), which consolidates all Craigslist posts from around the country. Organize your clips (that’s journo speak for the stuff you’ve published previously) if you have them, or come up with a few writing samples ahead of time. If you want the most buck for your writing bang, check sites like Listverse.com which includes longer features of 1,500+ words that can net you 100 bucks each. Once you start finding regular outlets, they may make you a regular contributor where you can earn even more.
How much you can make: $0.01–$0.10 per word (it may not sound like a ton, but it adds up!).
LIKE TO TEACH?
BE A PRIVATE TUTOR
Did you ace your SATs? Bet you never thought you would need those random six-syllable words ever again, right? Think again. Private tutoring is a huge market. You can make extra money by marketing your skills locally or online on sites like AceYourCollegeClasses.com, where you upload tutorials and basic lesson plans. If you have an advanced skill set and want to teach something more specialized, or even to a larger group, such as within a startup or local company, you can parlay that into a successful consulting gig. Look to Guru.com and Tutor.com for ways to find these kinds of (often cush) gigs.
How much you can make: $10-50+ per hour tutoring, $100-350+ per hour consulting, depending on the age and specialization you’re teaching, as well as how advanced your own credentials are (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and beyond!)
You’re running errands, you’re screwing around online, you’re living your normal life. Even if it’s not “fun” per se, you are still doing it anyway, so you might as well make money in the process. In addition to the sites above like TaskRabbit, Postmates and Uber, here are some more unique ideas that pay you simply for doing run-of-the-mill, non-skill based stuff that you do anyway, all the time.
Watch TV. According to Nielsen, the average 35-49 year old American watches more than 33 hours of TV per week. You can actually If you turn that tube time into side hustle time at an average of $20/hour, you’ll have an extra $660/week or $2640/month.
PS: if you just can’t forego the binge watching, there actually is a hustle around your favorite pastime by signing up with RewardTV, which pays you to answer trivia questions after you’ve watched a show, to help inform production houses about what you’re into for future programming. This gig can make you an extra 20 bucks/month and w. Who doesn’t want an extra 20 bucks a month for doing what they planned to do anyway? Well, people who want an extra 20 bucks an hour. I mean, duh, right?
Surf the Interwebs. Believe it or not some search engines will actually pay you just to surf the web so they can to track your habits. If you sign up for Bing Rewards or Google Screenwise, you can make 100-200 bucks a year by literally just using the browser. Yup, you can earn money from taking Buzzfeed quizzes, Google stalking ex-boyfriends (no judgement, we all do it) and shopping online. Your search habits are extremely valuable to them, and they’ll cough it up just to take a peek! Nielsen Mobile for iPhone users pays you $50/year for just installing the app; again, it’s a drop in the bucket for them to collect valuable intel while you just keep doing your thang. SmartPanel is another app that pays you ($75!) just for installing it on your phone for browsing data collection.
Watch YouTube Videos InboxDollars and YouCubez will even pay you, sometimes handsomely, to do that thing you’re caught doing a dozen times a day: watching random vids online. Now, admittedly, they might not be the most riveting ones because they are sponsored by brands, but for every time you watch an ad you’ll get paid (from a few cents to a few dollars per ad, depending on if you leave a comment or share on social media which gets you the premium payments) just because the brands want your eyeballs.
Take iPhone Photos. If your phone is anything like mine, you have so many pictures that it should be illegal. I mean, really, how many times a day can a person get that annoying “storage full” push notification. The good news is that if you, like me, take glorious pictures you could get paid for them with an app called Foap, which will give you $10 for someone to license your handiwork. Bonus: you make even more money every subsequent time your photo sells. The more artsy and the prettier the image is (yes, I know there’s nothing prettier than your selfie) the more money you can make from it.
Speaking of which, there’s even a company called Pay My Selfie which will pay you up to a dollar a pop to take selfies of yourself going about your daily activities — cooking dinner, running on the treadmill, flossing, whatever — which they then mine for consumer insight data about which products people are using.
P.T. Barnum once said, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.” You, too, likely have many — so get out there and get some bank for sharing them! Here are a few options:
Review What You Eat and Where You Shop. Being a mystery shopper or a taste-tester is one of the coolest side gigs around. Testers can make $8-200/hour for shopping and eating in addition to a reimbursement of your purchases up to a certain amount. There are a bunch of sites for finding these gigs, just beware of scams by checking to see if they are a member of the MSPA (Yep, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association — it’s a thing!). Some legit ones are Best Mark, Experience Exchange, Intelli-shop, Market Force, and Sinclair Customer Metrics.
Review Websites I’m sure you’re already mentally critiquing what sucks and doesn’t suck on the websites you visit every day. If you provide that feedback to the owners of those sites you can make $30/hour as a website tester. User Testing is a company that tracks your mouse movements on the site and then asks you a few questions about your experience, Enroll and Loop 11 are also great sites for testing websites and apps, and they even email your assignments to you so you can complete them on your own schedule.
Sell What You Have: If you have high-end stuff like designer clothes and accessories to offload (yes, I’m talking about that Miu Miu clutch you bought on sale and wore once to a party then relegated to the back of your closet), look to TheRealReal or Tradesy. Bonus: you’ll have more room in your closet to do a little shopping with some of the extra dough you’re making. Treat yo’self! Try OfferUp for household stuff and furniture; it helps users connect with people in their area to find great used deals sans shipping costs. Old books? Head, to BookScouter for old books, and, which lets you compare what other used books in your subject or genre have sold for to price them competitively, then ships your books for free once they sell. Gazelle is great for those old smartphones and laptops you have lying around; instead of making them a biohazard, send them to Gazelle with their easy click-and-ship printable labels and get some money back.
Sell Crazy Stuff: You can sell a lot of things. If you have seriously long, thick hair, companies like Hairworks and Online Hair Affair allow you to list your hair for $250 for use for extensions and wigs, after you pay a $20 fee for your ad (with photos!). Also, while you donate blood (also a good thing to do, BTW — Karma, you know?) you can sell platelets, plasma and bone marrow, which is quite coveted in the medical community. Lastly, you can retrieve and sell your eggs to those struggling to get pregnant themselves. Depending on your level of education (yeah, I know it’s fucked up but people pay more for college educated eggs), you can make tens of thousands of dollars doing this. But, as someone who has frozen her eggs and is thus intimately familiar with the process, let me tell you: you will earn every penny.
AirBNB is a perfect example of how to make extra cash by exploiting the hot new business trend, the “Share Economy,” in which people rent out something that other people want while they aren’t using it. Going on a weekend trip to Mexico with some of your Boss Bitches? If you rent your apartment while you are gone, you’ll have more margarita petty cash while you’re there. And it’s not just houses and cars you can rent out — there are a ton of oddball things you probably never would have imagined you could rent, such as:
Dog, Parking Space, Power Tools, A Tent: Sites like Loanables and Snapgoods let you post whatever random stuff you have laying around — even your dog. Yup, renting your dog can get you about 5-10 bucks per hour. This one is as win-win as it gets; lots of guys want to borrow your pooch as a “chick magnet,” and you get your little furball walked fo’ free. For parking spots or storage, 50 bucks per month is the going rate. For something like a tent, a saw, a hammock, or whatever other crap like that you have sitting around collecting spider webs in your storage closet or garage, you typically get about 10 bucks per day. People who list just 10 random things a year have reported making as much as two-grand overall.
A Friend: Just like in the Kevin Hart movie The Wedding Ringer, there seriously are people who will pay to rent a wingwoman or wingman on RentAFriend — which means that you can make about 50 bucks an hour, just to hang out with someone. It’s not the “Netflix and chill” kind of hanging out, but it’s not as sketchy as you might think, either; these are legit people who need friends (aw) to play sports with them, go to amusement parks or museums with them, or maybe to pose as a date at family functions to deflect grandma’s endless interrogation about their dating life and why they haven’t “found someone” …seriously
Sometimes money isn’t the only or even most valuable way to get paid. A lot of side hustles get you stuff that’s not cash but would typically be something you would buy, anyway (so actually it is cash, kind of). Consider these as high-class barters or in-kind payments where no actual money is involved, but still a net positive for your bottom line:
Be a Madame Ambassador: If you are active in the lifestyle world — that is, if you’re an active runner or biker or yogi — you could be rewarded in gear as a brand ambassador. A friend of mine is a marathoner, often running 80+ miles/week, which means she goes through running shoes every 8 weeks or so. Yep, sounds painful for your body and your wallet, amiright?? So she joined a sponsored running club and is now a brand ambassador for their gear company, saving around $2000 per year on expensive shoes and running apparel. As an added perk, she also gets to see and test some of their new gear before it hits the market. No, she’s not technically getting paid to do this, but all she has to do is train and race in their gear and she saves herself beaucoup bucks — and looks good doing it.
Trade your mad skills for more mad skills: Investing in yourself, like we talked about in Section 1, will pay dividends* later on. And with a little hustle, sometimes you don’t even have to pay for this self-development, which can be pretty expensive under normal conditions, because there are lots of creative ways to barter for classes or personal enrichment workshops. A friend of mine, Lo Bosworth (who was on two very popular reality shows, Laguna Beach and The Hills) wanted to go to culinary school, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. So instead of paying for it, lo just called up the school she wanted to go to and offered to do video tutorials for them in exchange for tuition. Guess what? It worked. And it can work for you, too. You don’t have to be a reality star to have a little chutzpah and see if there’s a creative exchange you can work out. Offer to spread the word on social media, or refer additional friends to enroll. Often specialty schools and classes don’t reach capacity and it’s no big thing to add you fo’ free if you can add value to them.