How to Make Money on the Side: Business Ideas, Jobs, etc

Side income money earned laying on a table from a $1 bill to a $100 bill.

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There are plenty of ways to make money on the side — whether you’re looking for side business ideas, jobs you can do from home, easy part-time opportunities, or ways to turn things you already have into cash. We list ideas of all of these types below.

Online Options

If you’d like to make extra money from your computer, there are a number of opportunities that can bring you anything from a few extra dollars a week to hundreds a month or more.

Completing Online Surveys

Online survey companies pay you to answer questions about the products and services you use regularly. These services help businesses understand their target audience, and you get a few dollars for contributing your opinions, preferences, and experiences.

Many online survey companies provide a number of additional ways to make money, such as paying for online searches and signing up for email newsletters or free trials. If you sign up for a number of survey sites and spend a bit of time on them daily, you could make a few hundred dollars extra every month — and they’re all free to join and participate.

We’ve listed some online survey sites to get you started. We’ve only included sites that offer a cash option for points earned, as some online survey companies pay only in gift cards or other rewards. We’ve ordered the list below starting with the best overall options in terms of payscale, opportunities to earn, bonuses, and cashout options.

Selling Stock Photography

If you have a good digital camera or a smartphone with a high-quality camera — and a good eye for pictures — you can make money taking photos and selling them as stock photography.

Businesses and advertisers use stock photography for a wide range of purposes, typically paying either a small fee per image or a subscription fee for non-exclusive rights to use the photo. When you upload your photos as stock photography, you earn a small amount each time someone uses your photo. You can sell the same image multiple times.

Here are some stock photography sites where you can create a free account and upload your photos for personal or commercial use:

Selling Handmade Items

If you’re crafty or creative and enjoy working with your hands, you can make and sell homemade items online — such as jewelry, clothing, home décor, home goods, wedding and party favors, and more. There are quite a few places online where you can set up a store and sell your handmade items from home, including:

For even more similar ideas, we list small business ideas for women (because they outnumber/do better than men).

Work from Home Jobs

If the idea of side jobs from home appeals to you, there are many legitimate work from home opportunities where you can make part-time or full-time money without leaving the house. Popular work from home jobs include working as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, search engine evaluator, remote call center agent, and more.

For lots more information on work from home jobs, including how you can get started for free, check out our article about free work from home jobs (with no startup costs).

Selling Products

Here’s one side business idea the social and persuasive among us should consider. If you love talking to people and hosting parties, you can make side money as a home sales representative with multi-level marketing (MLM). Many companies provide these opportunities, which typically involve selling the company’s products both online through social media and with in-home sales parties.

There are a few important things to keep in mind if you’re interested in MLM:

  • While there are some legitimate MLM opportunities, there are also several scams. Be sure to research MLM companies thoroughly and talk to some of their current sales reps to get a sense of what the job entails and how much you could really make.
  • Most MLM scenarios require an upfront investment, which usually involves purchasing products that you can resell.
  • The best way to succeed with MLM is to treat it as though you’re running a small business

With that said, here’s how to make money on the side with legitimate MLM companies you can consider to get started with!



  • What they sell: Nutrition supplements, weight management, personal care, and sports nutrition products
  • Upfront investment? Yes; representatives purchase discounted products and resell them at retail values
  • How to get started: Connect with an Herbalife representative online.

Mary Kay

  • What they sell: Cosmetics, toiletries, personal care items
  • Upfront investment? Yes; starter kit purchase required
  • How to get started: Contact a local Mary Kay Beauty Consultant for details on how to become a distributor with Mary Kay


  • What they sell: Savvy, colorful women’s clothing (the company is most well known for its brightly patterned leggings)
  • Upfront investment? Yes; starter kit purchase required
  • How to get started: Contact a current LuLaRoe distributor for an application to become a consultant

Pampered Chef

  • What they sell: Gourmet kitchen items
  • Upfront investment? Yes; starter kit purchase required
  • How to get started: Provide your email address to start the Pampered Chef Consultant application process

Young Living

  • What they sell: Therapeutic essential oils
  • Upfront investment? Yes; purchase products at a discount and resell at retail value
  • How to get started: Sign up as a Young Living member to apply as a consultant

Want to work in the pet industry? See our article: Pet Companies That Pay You to Sell Pet Toys

Gigs Using Your Car

If you have a vehicle, you have opportunities to make extra money. It is important to account for the wear and tear on your car with any of these jobs; repairs or more frequent maintenance may be required due to driving the car more often, and can reduce your profits. Here’s how to make money on the side with your car.

Car Wrap Advertising

  • What you’ll do: Make passive income by having a vinyl wrap with advertising graphics installed on your vehicle. You’ll need to meet a number of requirements for car wrap advertising, including frequent driving and driving in high-traffic areas.
  • How to get started: Contact the legitimate car wrap advertising company of your choice to apply for a campaign. You can find legitimate companies in our article linked below.

Find out more in our article: Car Wrap Advertising Companies: Requirements, Pay, Reviews


  • What you’ll do: Deliver takeout food from a variety of restaurants to home customers
  • How to get started: Visit the EatStreet Careers page to find a Delivery Driver opportunity near you


  • What you’ll do: This car-sharing service allows you to rent your personal vehicle out to other drivers while you’re not using it.
  • How to get started: Sign up for Getaround and then list your car (be sure to read the Getaround Owner Guide to find out if your vehicle meets the qualifications for renting)


  • What you’ll do: With this ride-sharing service, you’ll provide local taxi service (pickup and dropoff) using your own personal vehicle through the Lyft app.
  • How to get started: Enter your info to get the Lyft app and sign up as a driver. Be sure to check out the Lyft FAQs for driver requirements and more information on applying.



  • What you’ll do: This ride-sharing service is similar to Lyft — use your personal vehicle to pick up and drop off local passengers, and get paid.
  • How to get started: Sign up on the Drive With Uber page.

Opportunities in Your Neighborhood

You don’t have to go far to make extra money. These services you can provide around your neighborhood can even be small side business ideas, if you’re willing to work at building a clientele! Here’s how to make money on the side around your neighborhood (and help out your neighbors at the same time).

Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

Many dog owners are unable to walk their dogs as often as they’d like to, for a variety of reasons. You can earn money offering dog walking services for busy professionals, elderly and shut-ins, and more. Pet sitting can also be a profitable business; many pet owners are hesitant to use pet daycare or boarding, since the change in environment can be stressful for their pets.

Here are a few ways to get started as a dog walker or pet sitter:


Start a drone business. The most basic way to start is by doing aerial drone photography.

House Cleaning

If you don’t mind working with a mess and appreciate the satisfaction of a job well done, you might enjoy providing house cleaning services. You can advertise your services around the neighborhood with flyers, newspaper classifieds, or Craigslist ads, or you can sign up to accept house cleaning jobs on various websites, including:

Laundry Service

Do you have a washer and dryer at home? Chances are, some of your neighbors don’t. And since no one enjoys going to the laundromat, you could make extra money by offering laundry services.

You can set up your laundry cleaning business by either picking up, cleaning, and delivering laundry; or by having people drop off and pick up their laundry at your home. Wash-and-fold services can be invaluable to many people, and chances are you’ll be in high demand.

Find out more about starting a home-based laundry service in the article with the steps for starting your own laundry business.

Operating a Bread Route

Our article has an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of opening a bread route.

Operating a Vending Machine

Our article has more information about how much you can make by operating a vending machine.

Personal Shopping

Similar to laundry services, there are plenty of people who would pay you to perform another dreaded errand: grocery shopping. If you enjoy shopping and don’t mind driving, you could become a personal shopper in your neighborhood. In many cases, you can even get your own shopping done while you’re out shopping for your clients.

See more in’s guide to becoming a personal shopper.

Pet Sitting

Animal lovers will enjoy making extra money as a pet sitter. You can care for pets in your own home or someone else’s, and on a part-time or full-time basis. Pet sitting is a versatile side job with plenty of options (and lots of bonus furry cuddles!).

A good way to get started is to talk with your local veterinary office about your availability as a pet sitter. You can also find lots more information on the website for the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

Seasonal Outdoor Work

Do you have a lawn mower and a way to get it around town? If you’re good at outdoor chores, you can help out your neighbors and make extra money by mowing lawns, weeding flowerbeds, landscaping, and shoveling snow (or plowing driveways, if you have a truck with a plow) in the winter. Reliable lawn mowing and snow shoveling services tend to advertise themselves once you land your first few clients and word of mouth begins to spread.

You can start out by asking friends, family, or close neighbors if they know anyone who would be interested in having their lawn mowed or driveway shoveled. You can also advertise your outdoor services with flyers or classified ads.

Move to a Remote Location

Alaska pays you to live there and so do communities in other states. To find out how much and which places specifically besides Alaska, see our article about moving for money.

Making Money From Stuff You Own

There are lots of ways to make side money by selling things you already have, whether it’s unused possessions, unused space, or even body fluids. Here’s how to make money on the side with things you already have.


Do you have a spare room in your home? You can rent your room out to travelers or people on vacation and earn extra money with the popular home-sharing service Airbnb. Running an Airbnb rental makes a great side job from home, for those of you who need to be around the house.

Many people think that Airbnb is just for people who want to rent out their entire houses while they’re on vacation, but there are also opportunities to provide hotel-like room rental services through Airbnb. You can find out your earning potential and create an account, if you don’t already have one.


If you have items lying around the house that you don’t need or use anymore, you can turn them into dollars by selling them on used goods sites like Craigslist or eBay.

  • Craigslist: Online classifieds with multiple city-specific websites. Most Craigslist sales are local, and the buyers come to your home to pay for and pick up the item.
  • eBay: Worldwide online auction site for new and used goods. Most eBay listings are sold online and shipped directly to the buyer, although you can specify local pickup only for large items like furniture and exercise equipment. Get started selling on eBay.

Donating Plasma

When people talk about selling blood, they usually mean selling plasma — an important blood component used by hospitals and health centers in medical procedures. There are a number of plasma donation centers around the country that will pay you for donating plasma, provided you meet the requirements for donors.

Learn more about how and where to donate plasma in our article, about the highest-paying plasma donation centers near you.

Donating Sperm or Eggs

For healthy men and women typically between the ages of 18 and 40, donating reproductive material is another option for making extra money. Most sperm and egg banks have stringent requirements for donors, so you’ll have to make sure you qualify before you can donate.

You can find out more about the requirements for donating sperm and how much you can make in our article about sperm donor pay.

Pawn Shops

If you’re looking for a fast and convenient way to turn your unwanted items into money, consider checking out your local pawn shop. Pawn shops pay cash on the spot for all kinds of gently used items, from DVDs and video games to jewelry, guitars, power tools, electronics, and more.

Our related research has more information about what pawn shops want and what they’ll typically pay.

Selling Trees from Your Property

There are companies that buy all kinds of trees — from Walnut to Pine. If you have any strong, desirable trees on a property you own, here are the companies that want to buy your trees. The process requires virtually no effort on your part.


  • Debbie

    Thanks sooo much….I enjoy doing laundry! Sounds like something I may try and know I’m helping others.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      We’re glad you found our article helpful, Debbie! Best of luck!

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