What Are The Best Ways to Make Money (While Avoiding the 9 to 5!)

Are you looking for the best ways to make money but don't want a full-time job?

If you're looking for the best ways to make extra money that have:

  • Flexible hours
  • Earn good money
  • Don't require a degree
  • Can mostly do from home (your couch) or online

Then you're in the perfect place!

Some sites that tell you how to make money will tell you to sell your plasma to spend 8 hours filling out surveys to make pennies. Don't even get us started on these MLM schemes that promise you "easy money."

We're going to give you proven, common-sense things just about anyone can do that earn good, consistent money.

Here are 15 ways to make money with side hustles without getting stuck in a 9 to 5 job.

#1 - Become a Freelance Writer

Did you know you can earn upwards of $500 to $750 per article as a freelance writer?

There are a ton of benefits to freelance writing:

  • Create your own schedule.
  • Great money once you get experience.
  • Learn about & write about topics that are interesting to you .
  • No degree or training necessary.

I personally have experience in freelance writing.  In fact, I once made $2,000 on a single article!

That rate only came once, but it was still an enjoyable payday. I've really limited myself because I prefer writing for Studenomics.  I don't take as many writing gigs as I could. However, I can say that I've been lucky enough to find most of my freelance writing gigs without even applying for them (others asked me).

How do you get started?

The two most important things you'll need to do to make money are to:

1) Create a portfolio:  Site owners will want to see samples of your work before they hire you.  This could be starting your own blog and writing there or taking a small amount (or even working for free) until you get a few published articles.

For example, my friend, Miranda Marquit, who earns 6 digits per year has placed links to some of her sample writing on her website here.

2) Make the right contacts:  The easiest way to meet website owners in the niche you're interested in is to join forums and groups where they hang out.  Usually, you can find website owners if you join digital marketing groups.  For example, there are a ton of personal finance site owners in this FinCon Community on Facebook.  

3) Reach out: If you're in a group, get involved.  Read the comments and add comments.  You'll soon learn who the site owners are in your group.  Then reach out and ask if they need help writing.  Don't over think this!  Websites need a TON of content so you may really be doing them a favor.

Freelance Writing Resources:

#2 - Ridesharing - Don't Overlook Uber


You probably already know you can make money driving for Uber. 

But did you know some people make as much as $80,000 per year driving for Uber?

I tried this personally in 2015 as an experiment to show you guys how it's possible to make money on the side. I drove for Uber and tracked the finances of this kind of side income and made great money. 

Best of all, it was extra money!  I didn't have to stop any of my other income-producing activities.

Top Benefits of Driving for Uber

If you're looking to save money by not going out as much and to make some side money, you're going to enjoy Uber. The best part is that you can clock in and clock out whenever you want. There are no limits. I turned on Uber many times when I wanted to get somewhere just to see if I could have a paying client take me in that direction.

How Much Can You Make Driving for Uber?

Here are some of the average earnings in some of the biggest cities in the U.S.  Keep in mind you should subtract about $.30 per mile for driver expenses like gas, insurance, depreciation of your vehicle, and taxes,  according to a recent MIT study.


Earnings Per Hour Median

Earnings Per Trip Median

Los Angeles, CA



Chicago, IL



New York, NY



Dallas, TX



Miami, FL



San Jose, CA



Baltimore, MD



2019 Statistics sourced from Gridwise.

Tips:  5 Simple ways to earn a LOT more driving:

One of the great perks of being an Uber driver is the ability to earn tips.  A recent study showed Uber drivers earn hundreds of millions in tips per year and the average person who tips gives $3 per ride
Studies show you can really increase your tips with these super-simple strategies:
  • Greet your passenger with a smile and say hello - this triggers the "likeability" principle.  People tip more if they like you.
  • Use their name - studies also prove people like you more if you use their name
  • Offer them something free: a bottle of water, a mint or piece of gum, or offer to charge their phone - this triggers the psychological priciple of "reciprocation."  People feel like they have to pay you back when you give them something, even if that thing cost you almost nothing (Why do you think car dealerships offer you a water or popcorn when you walk on the lot?)
  • Be courteous.  Ask if the music and temperature are ok.  
  • And of course, the obvious like being friendly, being clean, and keeping your care clean.

How do you start?

  • Apply to Uber or any other company that's available where you live
  • Get accepted, watch the tutorials, and then start driving
  • Ensure that your car is clean and that you're ready to hit the road
  • You drive during your spare time to make some extra cash

I ended up writing a whole book on driving for Uber based on my experiences. You don't need much to get started (a cell phone, car, and a decent driving record).  So what's stopping you from earning some extra money with Uber?

Rideshare Resources:

#3 - Create Something and Sell on Etsy

Do you know how to create anything like jewelry, necklaces, shirts, hats, or crafts?

Or perhaps do you have a skill like drawing or wood working?  Maybe you like to buy cheap stuff and fix it up.  Maybe you know how to make cool digital printables and personalized canvas prints? You can do all of this...

... then sell it on a site like Etsy.

Examples of Stuff You Could Sell:

I'm totally useless here because if it doesn't involve typing, I can't create.  But I've seen many students, friends, and readers excel at this. The world needs stuff and we need you to create.

How do you start?

  1. Sign up to become a seller on Etsy
  2. Create something as cheaply as possible
  3. Post it on Etsy
  4. Start selling - Etsy helps sell your stuff but you can also promote it on social media
  5. Find new customers through referrals
  6. Keep on making quality work

I hate to simplify this but there's no other way to put it. You have to find a market gap and fill it. This is what Matt did. You need to read Matt's story of how he quit his job to create tables

#4 - Teaching/ Training

There is a huge demand for teaching and training folks. 

... and you can make some serious coin!

This stretches from personal training to teaching people how to speak a language to tutoring high school students. 

For example, you can charge $25 to $75 per hour for tutoring.

Or, if you have a legit skill or certification, the sky is the limit.  My friend, Ryan Kennedy, who happens to look like a Greek god, charges $6,500 for a 90 day intensive health coaching plan and earns multiple 6 digits per year! 

Examples of Things You Could Teach for Money:

  • Guitar, piano, violin, or other instruments
  • How to get better at dating
  • Soccer, basketball, golf, etc
  • Working out, eating right, getting lean on a budget, etc
  • Jui Jitsu/ Grappling/ Submission holds/ Boxing/ Self defense
  • Dressing well for any occasion
  • Salsa, swing, or wedding dancing 
  • Art and design
  • Web development and SEO

Teaching or offering one-on-one lessons is similar to freelancing except that you can charge more money for personalized coaching. Freelance work usually requires that you complete a task for money. As a coach/teacher, you can create reoccurring income for yourself.

How do you start?

  1. Decide on the skill you'll offer: You don't need to be a master to be considered an expert.  As long as you're better than most and have a passion for teaching it, you can help people!  
  2. Find a first client (even at a discounted or free rate):  You need to take someone from zero to hero. You need a great testimonial. You need proof of what you have to offer.  
  3. Turn your training into a package offer:  You can offer a course, a coaching agreement, or do consulting work.  Set a fair price to start and increase it as you get busier.
  4. Promote Your Services:  Usually just posting your offer on Facebook or speading your offer by word of mouth is enough to get a few clients and you don't even need a website.  If you want to take it bigger, start a website.

I firmly believe that you need to spend your free time picking up new skills. Don't sit around complaining about how life isn't fair. Get out there and offer to teach something.  If you're not confident you're an expert yet, maybe take a few courses yourself to really distance yourself from the pack and feel like an expert. 

At the gym I always see private lessons ranging from lifting weights to submission techniques. There's nothing stopping you from becoming an expert. That person offering work out advice or showing submissions was once a confused beginner too. There's no need to feel intimidated right now if you don't think you're a master of anything. We all start somewhere.

#5 - Become a Virtual Assistant (VA)

There's an enormous demand for almost every kind of Virtual Assitant (VA) work these days and they make GREAT money!


Gina Horkey was a busy mom of a toddler, had a full-time job, and starting VA'ing in 2004 just to make a bit of extra cash.  Within just 6 months, she was making $4,000 per month and never looked back.  She soon quit her full-time job to focus on working as a VA and now teaches other aspriring VA's how she did it.

So, what exactly does a VA do?

As a virtual assistant, there are dozens of ways you could help someone with skills you probably already have:

  • Filtering emails / managing spam - Do you think you could go through someone's inbox a couple of times per day and delete the spam?  Of course you could!
  • Deal with customer service inquiries / Chats / Tickets - Not rocket science.  In most cases, you'd have preset answers.  But it takes time and an owner should NOT be working on those things.  VA to the rescue!
  • Send birthday or anniversary emails or cards
  • Schedule appointments
  • Travel planning / Reservations
  • Data entry 
  • Basic website, social media, design needs if you have the skills

Just think of the 100 things a busy entrepreur should do to keep his/her business running efficiently.  Should the owner be sending out birthday wishes when a virtual assitant could do it?  Think about it.  As a VA, you could really free up a businsess owner's time so they can focus on growing their business and making money.  

That's huge!

And the best part is you can normally do these tasks part-time, from home, and choose your hours.  You're not an employee.  You run things they way you want!

How do you get started?

  1. Start by building a portfolio: You need to show potential clients what you can offer. You're not going to let someone design your kitchen if you haven't seen proof of their work. Nobody wants to pay someone who's not proven. Work for free or at a discounted rate and do whatever it takes to build up some proof of your work.  Then ask for testimonials!
  2. Start charging:  You have to find a paying client.  You can use Kijiji or promote on Facebook or a street corner.  Start with a fair price and raise your prices as you gain experience and clients.  If you need help getting clients or setting pricing, check out Gina Horkey's course:  30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success
  3. Spread the word about the work that you're doing: You ask for referrals and you promote your services. As you get better and become more popular, you can increase your rates.

Are you ready to start making more money as a VA?  Good.  Do it.

Get Started As a VA Resources:

#6 - Pet Sitting/ Walking

Are you an animal lover?  

How would you like to make up to $1,000 of extra cash per month by watching pets occasionally or taking someone's pet for the occasional walk?

The best part?

No need for you to call everyone you know or start a website or go door to door offering your services.  The clients come to you if you sign up with Rover.  

If this sounds like your dreamjob, you can make a lot more than $1,000 per month by working a bit more.  The average person makes $3,300 per month who takes care of dogs 4 weeks per month.

Time Commitment

Estimated Earnings

Watch 2-3 dogs for 2 weeks per month

$1,000 per month

Watch 2-3 dogs for 4 weeks per month

$3,300 per month

According to Kristen Forecki, director of operations at Rover.com

True story...

I once went to visit a friend who had a house full of dogs. I knew that this was always their wish. I just didn't realize that they hadn't bought all of these dogs. 

Turns out that they were making some extra money by watching pets over the weekend. They actually made hundreds of dollars for pet sitting.

The cool part is they were still able to work their regular jobs, so this was just extra money!

What are the benefits of becoming a pet sitter?

  • You get to hang around pets without committing to one
  • You get paid for exercise
  • No skills required
  • If you sign up with Rover, they bring the clients to you!

My friend Lindsay actually started doing this when she was off work. She always had friends ask her about watching their dogs. She realized that she could actually make money doing this, so she got on Rover and it opened her eyes to the possibilities out there.

How do you start here?

  1. Decide if you want to watch pets or walk them (or both) and how often.
  2. Sign up with Rover. Fill out the forms on Rover and go through the application process (you need a police report and a few testimonials). If you don't want to use Rover, you can always put up signs on social media. I've seen folks on Facebook groups promoting their services.
  3. You need a 5-star review or two.  Ask a friend if they'll let you watch their dog using Rover.  You can even give them the money back.  The trick is you need people to use your service and ask them to RATE you so that other people will see you have worked before and have a good rating and good testimonials.  
  4. Enjoy the extra cash (and your new furry friends)!

Pet Sitting Resource:

  • Let Rover bring the pet sitting clients to you!  It's easy to get started.  Learn more here.

#7 - Rent your place out with AirBnb.

I got paid to drink coffee and I've found ways to rent out my place for decent money. I actually got to live in my condo for three months for free after I rented the place out for the first month.

The Airbnb app on my phone has made me some solid cash.

Airbnb isn't just about renting your place out anymore. You can now offer things to do and places to see.

What are the benefits of using Airbnb as a side hustle?

I've personally found this to be the best way to bring in some extra money. I would either run coffee crawls for money or I would rent my spare bedroom when I wanted some money. You don't have to worry about spending a fortune on marketing materials or trying to figure out how to do everything.

What are the benefits?

  • It's easy to start to hosting.
  • The work has already been done. You can see what others are doing with rentals to learn from them.
  • You make friends from around the world.
  • You actually make money without wasting time on training and other useless costs.

How do you start making money with Airbnb?

  1. Decide if you want to rent a piece of your property.
  2. If you choose to rent a place, then furnish it and see what others are doing before you list your place

#8 - Start an Airbnb Experience/Your own tour.

If you don't have any space to rent out or don't want to deal with that aspect, you can start your own Airbnb Experience. This is essentially your own activity that you market on the Airbnb platform.

What are the benefits of an Airbnb Experience?

  • You have no start up costs.
  • You can literally offer anything as an experience (from drinking coffee to eating pizza around town). Some of the best experiences, are pretty unique to say the least.

How can you start an Airbnb Experience?

You go through an application process through Airbnb.

The best part of starting an Experience is that you can turn this into a side hustle tour business.


Here’s how I started an experience for money, look up other hosts who are making money with Airbnb Experiences or read up on how to get 5 star review.

#9- Social media management.

Social media isn't a waste of time. Your social media skills could earn you thousands of dollars per month. Many small businesses know that they need to be on social media, but they don't know where to start.

"We're paying $2,000 for our social media company and they kind of suck." 

A coffee shop owner in my community confessed to me that the company they hired wasn't cutting it. They only paid that rate because they didn't know better. They wanted to be on social media but they didn't know what to do so they outsourced everything.

Are you pretty decent at social media?

You can easily become the social media manager for a small business in your community.

What are the benefits of running social media accounts?

  • You get to transfer a skill that you already have. Chances are that your basic editing skills could go a long way.
  • You're already on there all day. Why not get paid for something you were going to do?
  • There's so much opportunity here. Every small business needs a social media presence and most business owners either don't have the time or know where to start.

How do you start?

  1. Grow your own social media presence. Are you popular on any social media platforms? Take the time to grow your own account so that you have a portfolio.
  2. Reach out to local shops and small businesses to see if they need your help.
  3. Show them the value of your work.

Your love for Instagram or Facebook could actually turn into a legit source of income. Don't let anyone tell you that social media is a waste of time.

#10 - Flipping stuff.

You can make some money from that junk sitting around your place. I recently unloaded some crap for actual profits.

Do you have a lot of junk? Do you want to flip stuff?

Go and sell that stuff. My friends were leaving Canada and they surprisingly were able to sell everything that they had (even bed frames and broken lamps). People came to their place to pick up crap.

What are the benefits of flipping stuff?

  • You likely have a home or storage space filled with stuff.
  • You get rid of clutter.
  • You get cash for experiences.
  • You can work on your marketing skills.
  • You can always find things to flip.

How do you get started with flipping?

  1. Look at your house and see what you can get rid of.
  2. Check out eBay, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and the usual suspects to see what you can get.
  3. List your items and negotiate.
  4. Sell and turn a profit.

Here are some further resources to check out:

#11 - Blogging.

You can make money and control your future by sharing your best ideas online.

Have you thought about blogging for money?

I've been blogging for 12 years now and this line of work has changed the trajectory of my entire life.

What are the benefits of blogging?

  • You can write about a topic that you're passionate about.
  • There's potential to make lots of money.
  • You can diversify your income.
  • All you need is an internet connection to make money.

How do you start blogging?

  1. Choose a topic that you want to cover. Write down 7 fears, 7 interests, and 7 things you love. Write down what you're passionate about and then narrow it down.
  2. Sign up for hosting. Choose a hosting plan. You can get started in less than an hour these days.
  3. Create pillar content. Start writing and creating content.
  4. Spread the word. Get the news out about your blog.
  5. Find products to sell/ways to make money. There are so many different ways to make money with blogging these days. You can sell ad space, create your own products, offer coaching, or even ask for donations.

A blog can even be your homebase for where you display your best work to the world. Many freelancers started off as bloggers.

Resources: How To Make Money Blogging - Including Lessons Learned & Mistakes Made

Read this post on starting a blog.

I’ve used both Bluehost and Siteground. Bluehost is a good place to start for most new bloggers. Siteground has really good deals right now. You can’t go wrong with either to get started.

12: Vlogging.

What if you can't write or don't want to write? There's good news. You can start doing videos.

There are many ways to monetize videos too.

What are the benefits of vlogging?

  • You can easily create content.
  • You can covey emotions much easier through video than writing.
  • You can pump out relevant content much quicker.

How do you make money with your videos?

  • Put them on Youtube and grow a channel.
  • Do sponsored videos. A friend of mine gets lots of views on videos when he shares them to Facebook or Instagram.

This article digs deep on how you can make money on YouTube. They brought this point up on making money:

“If it’s a CPC advertisement, then you get paid based on how many viewers click on the ads surrounding your video.

Per view, advertisers on average pay $.18. If your channel receives 1,000 views, it’s worth $18. Google keeps 45 percent of what is made, so a YouTuber would make (on average) $9.90 per 1,000 views.”

#13 - Mobile apps.

Have you thought about creating mobile apps? 

We all know how addicting some apps can be. The good news is that you can be on the other side. Theres's money on creating your own apps.

#14 - Offer a service on Fiverr.

Have you ever been on Fiverr? I used to use this site for cheap logos in 2012, then I paid for some smaller silly  projects (like turning me into a Simpsons character), and now it looks like Fiverr has grown tremendously.

Now you can offer anything and everything on there. Take a look at how Fiverr has expanded over the years.

How to make money online

After digging around a bit more, I found that many freelancers are making extra money by offering their services for more than $5.

How to make money online

I give credit to these folks because they're offering services from personal training to yoga tips to making videos for you. If you look closer, you'll see that they're charging more than $5 and they have hundreds of positive reviews.

Have you ever checked out Fiverr? It's not just for cheap work. You can now make real money from offering your services on Fiverr.

What are the benefits of using Fiverr?

  • It's an established marketplace with a huge global audience. You're setting up a shop in a popular mall.
  • You can offer any service that you can think of. Look around and you'll see some random services being offered.

How do you get started?

  • Think of what service you want to offer.
  • Look at what others are offering.
  • Craft the perfect offer.

Use this link to test out Fiverr. Try it out and see if you can list something.

#15 - Complete odd jobs.

Have you heard of people delivering food or booze for money?

There are many ways to make money by essentially running errands and completing similar tasks.

here are many odd jobs that you can provide for money. I haven't done of any of these but I'll just list off a few options before we move on to the next way to bring in extra money.

Imagine making an extra $1,000/month?  What would that do to improve your current lifestyle or life?

"If you don’t control your income, you don’t control your financial plan. If you don’t control your financial plan, you don’t control your freedom." -- MJ DeMarco

My #1 recommended resource to help you become a writer and make money is the Freelance Writer Academy.  It was created by my friends, Miranda Marquit and Ben Luthi, both of whom make six digits per year writing!  Click here to learn more.

1 thought on “What Are The Best Ways to Make Money (While Avoiding the 9 to 5!)”

  1. I Have been trying to find a job so that I can meet my expenses. But by reading this article I got some help that I can earn money on my own with flexible working hours.

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