A whopping 40 percent of Americans earn money from some sort of side hustle, a recent report from Zapier shows. Of that bunch, 37 percent say their side hustle earns them an extra $5,000 annually, and 17 percent say they make an extra $15,000 or more.
The point? Side hustles are a popular option for increasing income without leaving your full-time job — and for good reason.
Side hustles help people make extra money while working full-time.
So how do you, as a full-time worker, master the side hustle finesse that so many others are profiting from? To start, you need to know the best side hustles of 2022 and beyond. Here are eight side hustles to pique your interest.
1. Vacation rentals remain one of the best side hustles of 2022
Vacation rental demand by nights booked is up 21 percent YoY, according to vacation rental company Evolve’s latest industry trends report. This information suggests vacation rentals remain a smart side hustle.
For those who already have real estate property that they can rent, it makes sense to put time and money into improving it and making it accessible and desirable for short-term renters. Naturally, there’s the big hurdle of buying real estate if you haven’t already done so. With the real estate market poised for a turnaround, it could soon be a smart time to enter the market with short-term vacation rental income in mind.
2. Publishing written content on platforms like Substack and Medium
If you are a skilled writer and have something to say, one side hustle option is publishing written content on platforms like Medium and Substack.
Medium keeps its partner program earnings statistics under wraps now, but its latest data from 2020 shows that 6.4 percent of active writers earn $100+ per month. At that time, the highest-earning story grossed $16,685.50.
Substack, a newsletter platform where subscribers pay to see your content in their email inbox, is best for people who have built-in audiences or decent social media followings. (You can, however, build your audience from scratch.) For example, if you secure 100 followers at $5/month each, you can earn an extra $500 per month before taxes and fees.
3. The virtual assistant side hustle
With the rise of independent workers like freelancers (48 percent ob gbf Gen Z workers are already freelancing, Upwork CEO Hayden Brown says), you can only imagine: Freelancers need help, too. That’s where the virtual assistant (VA) comes in.
You can be an independent VA or work for an agency, focus on a particular niche, and complete tasks ranging from invoicing and expense tracking to transcription and research.
4. Publishing podcasts, TikToks, and more for paid sponsorships
Top TikTok influencers can earn $50,000–$150,000 or more per year in combined income from the TikTok Creator Fund and brand partnerships. For those seeking a side hustle on top of a full-time job, there’s no pressure to earn quite this much — but reach for the stars!
Podcasters can earn from ads, Patreon support, affiliate sales, and more. Marketing yourself (potentially even on other podcasts) and monetizing your show is key to making the most of this side hustle as it’s more labor-intensive than some other methods.
5. Consulting and strategy (for those further along in their career)
If you have expertise, leverage it with a consulting or strategy side hustle. In this case, keeping your (potentially) impressive full-time job can increase your legitimacy as a freelance consultant and strategist.
From marketing and SEO to sustainable and equitable business practices, there’s opportunity in almost any industry and almost any expertise.
In this world, your network is your friend, but you can also leverage your social media audience. You can consult virtually or create an e-book or course that sells your knowledge in a cohesive package. (Just be sure you know what you’re talking about! Integrity is everything.)
6. Become a paid keynote speaker
If public speaking doesn’t scare you (or you’re willing to face your fears and get good at public speaking), becoming a paid keynote speaker may be a suitable side hustle.
Professional keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey says, “The best way to get a paid engagement is to stop selling and start connecting your expertise to the client’s problems. The client hiring you doesn’t care about your speech. They want to know you have done the work. Be transformational with tangible results instead of just telling a story or poem with three points.”
Consider speaking for free a few times to build your rapport as a keynote speaker, then transition to a paid model as you become more highly valuable.
7. The secondhand hustle on platforms like Poshmark and Depop
It’s possible to profit hundreds or thousands of dollars selling secondhand clothing on Poshmark and Depop. This makes sense, given the fact that the thrifting industry is worth a whopping $28 billion — and is poised to eclipse fast fashion by 2028.
Here, the work lies in thrifting, typically at low-cost places like Goodwill or Salvation Army (not curated vintage shops, which are typically marked up and eat into your resale profits).
By doing the grunt work and finding the clothing treasures, you can build an active shop. Consider finding a style and sticking to it so you can be the go-to destination for people with a certain aesthetic. To maximize your reach, market yourself on social media and optimize your listings for search.
8. Refurbish thrifted furniture
Do you ever find yourself scouring Facebook marketplace or Craigslist for fun? Do you know how to do basic refurbishment or are interested in learning?
Refurbishing thrifted furniture and reselling it for a profit is a viable side hustle. The key is to find basic or slightly damaged furniture pieces on marketplace websites, put a bit of time and effort into making it trendy and chic, then selling it for a profit (considering your labor and cost of materials).
Don't let your full-time job limit your income.
Just because your full-time job has a set income doesn't mean you can't earn extra money. Side hustles remain a valid (and in many cases, necessary) way to earn extra money on top of your regular wage. As the cost of living remains heightened in 2022, side hustles are more important now than ever before.