side hustle ideas

15+ Unique & Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas

When it comes to side hustles, the name of the game is quick, easy, and lucrative. Most people often pick up a side hustle as a way to bring in extra cash without the time commitment and stress of a full-time job.

There really is no limit to the kind of side gigs that you can do to make money. In fact, I believe that some of the best side hustles are those that coincide with your own unique skill sets and interests.

Although I’ve written an exhaustive list of side hustles that you can try to make quick cash, I wanted to find even more unique ones to share.

So, I gathered some of the most unique, yet lucrative, side hustle ideas leveraged by some of the top personalities in personal finance and beyond. In this article, they share exactly how you can get started and your earning potential.

Here are over 15 unique and lucrative side hustles for the not-so-average person. 

15+ Unique & Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas

Become a makeup artist

With “YouTube University” at everyone’s fingertips, makeup artistry has become a viable option for many people. 

Monica Mitchell of Monica Nicole Beauty leveraged the platform to begin learning the art. Though she initially started it as a hobby, Monica began seriously pursuing makeup artistry as a side hustle in 2016. Since then, she’s projected earnings of as much as $25,000/year doing bridal and special events makeup.

Her advice is, “For any side hustle or start-up business, the first thing you need, aside from the skill in your respective industry, is the ability to self-motivate.” She notes that you will have to differentiate yourself in the industry by your unique style and the use of social media.

The barrier to entry in this industry is, of course, skill. Monica began learning by doing makeup on herself alongside YouTube tutorials and furthering her skills through professional education.

Her recommendation for those looking to enter this industry is to not only find inspiration but to find resources for things like business management & finances, social media marketing, and SEO.

Buy free (after rebate) products and sell them on eBay

Jim Wang of would buy free (after rebate) products, like software, and sell them on eBay. 

“A lot of anti-virus software is free after rebate and you can sell it at a discount on eBay, collect the rebate, and nearly double your money. There are zero barriers to entry besides the upfront cost of buying the software. Just buy it, send in the rebate, and list the product!” 

By leveraging this unique side hustle, he was able to make $100 or so a month, a great return for the minimal time commitment.

“The most important part was following up on rebates and making sure you got them all because otherwise, you’re losing money on each sale. It isn’t a lot once you get the system down. I would look at deal sites for free after rebate products, check eBay, and then use a template to sell similar products over and over again.” 

Sell videos to the media

Peter Koch of has made of $6,000 from selling videos to media outlets with very little time commitment.

He notes that this side hustle is extremely easy to get started. 

“Shoot interesting videos of your cat or similar and upload them to websites like Newsflare, Jukin media or Rumble. Those are video content licensing agencies. They have revenue share agreements with Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc.”

Easy enough.

Become a high school sports official

Being a sports official is one of the hidden side hustle gems that most people wouldn’t think of. However, according to Michael Lacy of (ironically), it’s a side hustle that’s earned him up to an extra $1,000 per month.

But he’s not the only one who’s discovered this gem. Both Vicki Cook of Women Who Money and Scott Vance of Trisuli Financial Advising have gotten in the game as well. Scott, a 20-year veteran, has made between $3,000-$10,000 a year.

All of these side hustlers note that their schedule is very flexible and the time commitment per competition is around 2-3 hrs.

Michael notes, “Games last between 2-3 hours and are usually in the evenings on weekdays. There are also a few weekend tournaments you can pick up as well. Some games can also be hours away but most associations will pay you more for traveling.”

Of course, you’ll need to know the rules of the game and attend training, but finding an officiating job is simple.

“Search public high school officials for  “x” sport (soccer, swimming, tennis, etc.) to learn more about the requirements in your area,” adds Vicki. You can also contact your local parks and recreation office.

Parking Cars / Valet

Valet anyone? Philip Taylor of has earned a few coins by parking cars on the weekends. With pay of $25/hr, he was able to get a great payout for 2-3 hours of his time—not to mention, the possibility of driving a really fun car!

“Find a car parking company and ask for a job as a valet or start a parking company yourself and offer your services to private parties, golf courses, clubs, etc.” 

Flip Sneakers

Jeff Rose of found success in flipping sneakers. Though Jeff notes that he hasn’t made much yet, I’ve personally known sneaker flippers for make in the 5-figures. 

With an extremely low time commitment, he anticipates making more over time as he learns more about how the process works.

“The easiest way is to download apps from the big shoe retailers (Nike, Adidas, etc) and use sites like StockX to see what the market demand is for upcoming new releases. Once you identify a new shoe is a hot release you buy the shoe and immediately resell on StockX. It’s that easy!”

Flip Guitars

Speaking of flipping, Daniella of has made as much at $3,000 per month flipping guitars on eBay. She notes that knowledge of guitars and instruments, in general, is helpful. 

The time commitment is about 2 hours per guitar to find a good listing for a good price and involves, “analyzing the listing for red flags, communication with the seller, doing any necessary repairs, listing the guitar itself once it arrives, communication with buyers and packing/shipping.”

Create 3D Models

The best side hustles are those that you can leverage the skills and resources that you already have. That’s exactly what “Dollar Rev” of figured out when he started creating 3D models for other architects.

As a result, he commands $100-120 per hour and up to $5000 in a month for this side hustle. Not too shabby for 10 hours/ week.

His advice is, “Learn how to create 3D models with a free program such as Sketchup. Email architecture firms pitching to assist them in overflow work. Rather than needing to hire or fire based on workload, simply bring their excess work to you. Create relationships with a handful of firms and you’ll have a constant stream of projects.”

Attend focus groups

Ashleigh Allman of makes her extra cash by attending focus groups through a local marketing company.

“They work with both local and national businesses to get feedback on a variety of topics. The pay is great and so far I have given feedback on radio station content, healthcare, hospital providers, restaurant service, and new products.”

On average, Ashleigh makes about $60 an hour and accepts 1-2 projects per month that take 1-1.5 hours. Obviously, the more that you do, the more you can make.

She notes, “Most cities have some type of local market research company. Google your city + market research to find a company close to you. You can also sign up for online focus groups.”

Bake decorated sugar cookies

Kristin Stones found her side hustle niche with baking and decorating sugar cookies. Though admittedly time-consuming, she notes that you quickly learn how to work on multiple orders at the same time and work more efficiently.

The blogger makes anywhere between $50-$250 per week depending on the number of orders that she receives. 

Her advice is, “Start baking your creations for family parties and create a Facebook or Instagram page so people can see your work! You will be surprised how quickly people start asking to place orders. If you bake it they will buy.”

Become an Online Business Manager or Consultant

It’s no secret that there’s money to be made online. However, the secret is that your favorite online personalities have a team of people like you doing the work for them. 

That’s why Jerry Brown, Tom Blake, and Drew DuBoff have all been successful with their consulting and management side hustles.

Drew found success as an Online Business Manager working 40 hrs/month with two clients. 

“As of right now, I make $4,000 per month from being an OBM (online business manager). My hourly rate is about $100.”

Though most people don’t start out at this level, Drew found a well-established path to getting there.

“Most people don’t start out in the OBM (online business management) field. The path that I took (and what others take, as well) is starting out as a virtual assistant and then transitioning your clients into a more lucrative position for you. That can often take 6 months to a year before the trust is established. I’ve found that networking is the best way to launch any successful side hustle.”

Social Media Management

Meanwhile, Jerry of makes between $400-$600 per month managing a company’s Twitter account for 5 hours per week.

His advice for getting started is to learn how to use social media automation tools such as Buffer, Tweepi, Viral Content Bee, etc. 

Jerry says, “A way to get your foot in the door is to reach out to a company and pitch them on why you are the best candidate for the job!”


Tom of, on the other hand, chose the route of managing the online marketing for local businesses.

“I started a digital marketing consulting side hustle with a colleague! We essentially helped a few local small businesses with paid advertising and social media management for a monthly retainer fee. Most of the businesses were in the furniture industry, and we were able to help them attract local business through a mixture of Google and Facebook ads.”

The marketing maven and his business partner only spent about 10-15 hours per week doing the job, while bringing in as much as $3,000 per month. 

Tom says, “I think this is the sort of side hustle where some prior experience helps. However, these are the type of skills you can learn with some hard work. Advertising is an ever-changing industry, so keeping up to date with trends and best practices is a must. Find a local small business and offer to help them with their social media presence for a small fee to gain some experience.”

Become a life insurance agent

Sa El of was able to turn his side hustle as a life insurance agent into a full time, $100,000/year business.

“It is super easy, all you have to do is take the online course and pass the state test.  It took me 30 minutes to pass. Then, you get appointed with insurance companies”

Sa suggests setting aside 20 hours per week for this side hustle, although you can get the necessary course and appointment completed in less than 2 weeks.

Test Websites

Tana Williams for recommends making some extra cash through website testing through

“It pays $10 a test, each test averages about 15 – 20 minutes, and the payout is exactly one week later. There are step-by-step instructions of the walk through the website, and questions that you verbally answer about the site.”

Although Tana has made about $2,500 with this side hustle, she’s found extra benefit from it as well.

“It’s also great practice for learning how to vocalize your opinion better during work discussions!”

Overall, it takes an hour to get signed up, install the browser plugins, and do your trial test. After that, tests normally take about an average of 15 – 20 minutes.

Refinish Old Furniture

Allan Liwanag from has made roughly $500 per month re-finishing old furniture found on Craigslist and yard sales for free or deeply discounted.

“Depending on the condition of the furniture that you need to refinish and the time it takes for people to buy your furniture, it could take between a week and 3 weeks. Start with going through yard sales and Craigslist and see which pieces of furniture you can refinish. Try to buy the ones that can be updated without having to modify their overall look. From there, buy basic tools and other things that will help you bring the old look to a new one.”

Offer Conversion Rate Optimization

R.J. Weiss of commands as much as $150 an hour optimizing conversion rates for clients on the Unbounce web design platform.

Using Upwork to acquire clients, he was able to leverage the fact that he was one of the very few people with the skill set. 

“Most of the work for a client was done upfront. From there, it was consistent monitoring and tweaking of clients’ websites, with the idea of improving conversion rates. I worked as little as a few hours to twenty hours per week. The two most important skills to learn are copywriting and web usability. There are a lot of drag and drop website builders today, so no coding is required.”

Walk Dogs

After building a network of neighborhood dogs to walk, Ryan Luke of was able to make $100-$200 a week for about 3 hrs/week. In his case, the more hours, the more money. 

“Many people are simply too busy to walk their dogs to give them much needed exercise! When I was younger I put advertisements up in my neighborhood and posted on Nextdoor offering to walk their dogs.

I would walk someone’s dog three times a week for $20 a week. I could usually walk 5 dogs at a time depending on their demeanor and I did it in the morning. 

When I was the busiest, I walked the same 5 dogs on the 3 same days and 5 other dogs on 3 other days. This left me with only one day open but I was making about $800 a month for only working an hour each day!

There was no cost associated with this side business because I used the owners’ leashes. It was also a great way for me to stay in shape!”

Freelance on Amazon Mechanical Turk

Jarek from Time In the Market started using Amazon Mechanical Turk do freelance jobs. His strategy of focusing on tasks that payout $12+/hr allows him to make about $350 per month from this side hustle.

“There are a lot of online websites out there where you can make money but Amazon Mechanical Turk seems to be on the best ones. The work isn’t glamorous but it is there when you want it and can be a great way to make some extra money on the side.”

You just go to the Amazon Mechanical Turk website and sign up. 

Jarek’s advice, “The reality is that A LOT of work on Amazon Turk is bad so it’s important to know which work is good and avoid the bad stuff. Scripts and extension can really help with that. This makes it easy to only focus on the good stuff. ”

Wholesale Houses

Andrew of has dabbled in all kinds of real estate side hustles, but possibly the most unique one is wholesaling. Over the 3 odd years that Andrew has been wholesaling homes, he had made over $100,000 after all expenses. 

According to Andrew, “[wholesaling] is where you market to find really good deals and get [houses] under contract. You then assign the contractor to another investor that wants the house as a flip or rental for a higher price than you have it under contract for.”

You can get started with only a little time on evenings and weekends. Although, being available to answer calls from motivated sellers and to go see homes is important.

Though Andrew has found success, he cautions that it takes a lot of knowledge to become good at wholesaling homes. 

“A lot of real estate gurus talk about how easy it is to get started wholesaling, but you actually need to have a lot of knowledge to be a good wholesaler – how to estimate repairs, how to negotiate, how to run the numbers for what other investors would pay, etc. If you truly find a good deal, finding a buyer is the easy part.”

Become a Real Estate Agent

Being a Real Estate agent is often seen as a full-time career; however, it can also prove to be a very lucrative side hustle.

David Cahill of Finances Super Hero spends anywhere from 10-15 hours per week on this side hustle. As a result, he’s been able to make over $100,000 in the last 3 years. 

Becoming an agent isn’t as hard as you think. Simply take the required classes, either locally or online, and test for your license.

David recommends joining an established team as a buyer’s agent to gain access to valuable training, mentoring, and leads.

Summary of lucrative side hustle ideas

As you can see, there are tons of unique and lucrative side hustles that you can start. Though all aren’t necessarily easy, their payoff may be worth the effort.

Some other lucrative side hustles that you can consider include real estate investing, which comes with a  hefty start-up cost, dropshipping/selling products online, and multilevel marketing. I recommend checking out my posts on each of these side hustles if you want to learn more.

So, what unique and lucrative side hustle have you done?

Fo Alexander

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