Top Side Hustles of 2024: A Glimpse into the Future of Gig Work

In an era where the gig economy is not just thriving but evolving, side hustles have become a significant part of the economic fabric, projected to involve 53.7 million people freelancing in the US alone by 2027 according to Upwork. This shift underscores a remarkable growth trajectory, with the gig sector contributing over $1 trillion annually to the global economy. 

The demand for digital skill sets, such as freelance programming, digital marketing, and online education, has surged by 75%, illustrating the profound impact of digital transformation on economic trends. Notably, the average income for individuals engaging in these high-demand side hustles has increased by 35% compared to traditional employment sectors, signaling lucrative opportunities within this dynamic marketplace.

However, this burgeoning sector brings its set of challenges, with 45% of gig workers voicing concerns over job security and the absence of benefits. Despite these hurdles, the resilience and innovation demonstrated by gig workers are shaping a future where side hustles are not merely a means to earn extra cash but an important element of personal financial growth and economic stability. 

This comprehensive analysis aims to explore the opportunities, challenges, and contributions of side hustles in 2024, offering a roadmap for navigating the gig economy’s promising yet complex landscape.

As you begin this journey, we highly recommend exploring our business courses to broaden your skill set, equipping you for the multifaceted challenges of side hustling.


Our analysis draws from interviews with over 100 professionals across various industries, alongside a detailed survey conducted among a sample of our learners at Skill Success. We prioritize key metrics including income potential, flexibility, and market demand in our evaluation. This meticulous approach has allowed us to identify the most prevalent side hustles that not only show significant growth potential but also have a substantial impact on the gig economy.

Evolution of Side Hustles

Side hustles are not new, but the landscape has dramatically changed in recent years. Technological advancements and the global shift toward remote work have introduced new opportunities and challenges. 

A historical perspective of side hustles

The concept of side hustles has deep historical roots, existing ever since the early market economies. 

Initially, these were additional tasks people undertook alongside their primary jobs to make ends meet. These traditional gigs, such as tutoring, babysitting, and manual labor, were heavily localized, confined by the geographical and social boundaries of their era.

The digital revolution and its impact

The introduction of the internet began to chip away at these barriers, but it was the smartphone revolution and the rise of platform economies that truly globalized side hustles. 

This era saw the emergence of platforms like Etsy, Uber, and Upwork, which allowed individuals to offer their services or products to a global market, drastically changing the nature and scope of gig work.

Economic events catalyzing the gig economy

The 2008 financial crisis marked a significant turning point, propelling many towards gig work as an alternative income stream amid economic turmoil. This period highlighted the gig economy’s role as a financial safety net. The trend towards freelance work was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which showcased the feasibility of remote work and the reliance on digital platforms, making side hustles more accessible and widely accepted.

Modern trends in side hustles

Today, we observe a convergence of technology-driven opportunities with traditional skills, albeit in a digital framework. 

Online tutoring, e-learning, and digital marketing have become prevalent, reflecting the digital transformation of traditional gigs. This era underscores a strategic shift in perception towards gig work, viewed not only as a means to financial ends but as viable paths to entrepreneurship and career development.

Reflecting societal shifts

The current landscape of side hustles also mirrors societal trends towards sustainability and ethical consumption, with a resurgence in upcycling, local craftsmanship, and sustainable practices. These trends are connecting time-honored skills with contemporary concerns, offering new opportunities within the gig economy.

Upcycle: A Case Study on Sustainability and Economic Efficiency

This is the story of how one innovative venture, Upcycle, founded by Kylie Wallace, embodies the fusion of sustainability and freelancing. 

Upcycle represents an innovative business model that addresses both economic and environmental challenges faced by contemporary Australian households. This initiative focuses on repurposing and selling unused household items, specifically furniture, through platforms such as Facebook Marketplace. A notable success of this venture was the liquidation of a deceased estate in Brighton, which generated $12,000 in revenue within a week.

The primary goal of Upcycle is to provide a sustainable solution to the problem of household waste, coupled with the challenge of economic efficiency in a time of significant inflation. This venture capitalizes on the burgeoning second-hand economy, valued at approximately $60 billion, and responds to the increasing demand among Australians to minimize their environmental impact without compromising their financial wellbeing.

Australian households possess an average of $7,000 worth of sellable items, suggesting a substantial untapped resource for economic gain and waste reduction. Upcycle’s business model taps into this potential by facilitating the sale of these items, thereby contributing to the reduction of waste and the promotion of a circular economy.

The rise in inflation, reaching the highest level in over three decades, has led to conservative spending habits among Australians. This economic climate, alongside a growing consciousness regarding environmental impact, has spurred the growth of the second-hand economy. 

Upcycle’s success indicates a significant shift towards more sustainable consumption practices, with half of the Australian population seeking greener products and services. This trend is particularly pronounced among women, with 75% expressing concern over their carbon footprint.

Upcycle’s approach not only offers a practical solution for individuals looking to declutter and generate income from unused possessions but also aligns with broader societal shifts towards sustainability and economic prudence. By facilitating the reintegration of unused items into the market, Upcycle contributes to the reduction of waste and supports the growth of the second-hand economy. This case study underscores the potential for innovative business models to address environmental challenges while responding to current economic trends.

Looking Forward: The Future of Side Hustles

As technological advancements like artificial intelligence and blockchain continue to evolve, the future of side hustles looks promising, blending the old with the new. This future is not just about digital platforms but about how traditional skills can adapt to the demands of modern society, maintaining the gig economy’s growth and its integral role in the broader economic landscape.

Related Article: Moonlighting Jobs in 2024: Facts, Statistics, and Expert Insights

How Do Full-Time Employers View Side Hustles?

The perspective of full-time employers on side hustles has evolved significantly over the years, with variations depending on the industry, company culture, and the nature of the side hustle itself. Here are some key insights into how full-time employers view side hustles today:

1. Changing attitudes toward side hustles

  • More acceptance: There’s a growing acceptance of side hustles among employers, particularly as they recognize that side projects can enhance skills, foster creativity, and improve employee satisfaction.
  • Cultural shifts: The rise of the gig economy and a cultural shift towards valuing work-life balance and personal fulfillment have contributed to a more open attitude towards side hustles.

2. Benefits to employers

  • Skill development: Employers often find that side hustles can lead to skill development that is beneficial to their organization. Employees may bring new perspectives, technologies, or methodologies they’ve learned through their side projects.
  • Increased loyalty: Some employers notice that allowing side hustles can increase employee loyalty. When employees feel supported in their personal and professional growth, they’re more likely to be committed to their full-time job.

3. Potential concerns

  • Conflict of interest: One of the main concerns for employers is the potential for a conflict of interest. Employers want to ensure that side hustles do not compete with the business or negatively impact the employee’s performance.
  • Time management: There’s also the concern that side hustles might lead to burnout or affect an employee’s ability to fulfill their duties during regular working hours.

4. Policies and transparency

  • Clear policies: Many companies are developing clear policies regarding side hustles. These policies often require employees to disclose their side projects and ensure they don’t conflict with the company’s interests.
  • Transparency: Open communication about side hustles can lead to a healthy balance, where employers support employees’ pursuits as long as they don’t interfere with their job performance.

Meanwhile, here are the perspectives from business leaders on whether hiring a freelancer is viewed as an asset or a liability.

“Freelancers are assets. There are tasks that are better off outsourced and if you know clearly your desired output, you get your money’s worth…”

DJ Dimaliuat, President, DRIVEN Marketing

The same was shared by Trainings and Beyond’s CEO, Maria Concepcion Cera. 

“They are assets. Provided that the expectations are set and properly communicated, freelancers can provide new ideas which may not be available within the organization. Plus, getting a third-party consultant gives a company the flexibility to break projects or tasks into manageable phases which increase efficiency in the utilization of financial resource and manpower.”

Maria Concepcion Cera, CEO, Trainings and Beyond

We were also privileged to receive insights from these young CEOs, who are notably siblings.

“Freelancers are assets because they offer flexibility, cost-effectiveness and specialized skills, despite potential challenges like communication issues and reliability concerns.”

Joan Boncay, CEO, IEN Business Consultancy

As the gig economy continues to grow, and the quest for work-life balance becomes more pronounced, employers are becoming more lenient and supportive of their employees’ endeavors outside the traditional work environment. This trend not only enhances the dynamism within companies but also opens up new avenues for growth, innovation, and efficiency.

image of a woman in a chair with a laptop exploring best side hustles in 2024

Top Side Hustles of 2024

Our research identifies several top side hustles, each characterized by unique opportunities and challenges:

list of best side hustles of 2024

1. Freelance content creation

Content creation has become increasingly vital with the continuous growth of digital platforms. This field encompasses a wide range of services including video editing, photography, scriptwriting, article writing, and graphic design. Success in this area depends on creativity, technical skill, and the ability to market oneself on platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, or through social media.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $60,000 annually, with high variability based on niche, experience, and client base.

2. Virtual assistance services

Virtual assistants provide administrative, technical, or creative assistance remotely. The demand for virtual assistance has spiked with the global shift towards remote work, requiring skills in communication, organization, and a variety of software tools like email management, scheduling, and data entry.

Average Salary: $20,000 – $50,000 annually, depending on the complexity of tasks and hours worked.

3. App/software development

As businesses and individuals increasingly rely on digital solutions, the demand for custom software, mobile apps, and web applications has surged. This field requires technical programming skills and an understanding of user experience design. Developers can find opportunities through freelance platforms, direct contracts, or by creating their own software products.

Average Salary: $50,000 – $100,000+ annually, highly dependent on the developer’s skill set and project complexity.

4. Online tutoring

The e-learning market’s expansion has opened vast opportunities for online tutors. Subjects in high demand include languages, STEM, and skills-based courses like coding or digital marketing. Successful online tutors combine expertise in their subject with a knack for engaging instruction and can leverage platforms like Zoom, Skype, or specialized e-learning platforms.

Average Salary: $15 – $50 per hour, varying by subject matter expertise and educational level.

5. E-commerce arbitrage

E-commerce arbitrage involves buying products at a lower price and selling them at a higher price online. This hustle requires an eye for deals, understanding of e-commerce platforms (Amazon, eBay), and knowledge of market trends. It’s a flexible way to earn, but success depends on the ability to spot and act on profitable opportunities quickly.

Average Salary: $20,000 – $100,000 annually, significantly influenced by the ability to find good deals and the scale of operations.

“The best side hustle in 2024 that absolutely anyone can do is visiting garage sales and reselling online for a profit. You don't need qualifications, you don't need to invest a lot of time, you just need a few spare dollars, a local garage sale and a willingness to make some money. In the past I've been able to find a lot of great deals at yard sales, some of my best finds have been a lot of Mad Magazine comic books for $20 that I sold on eBay for $1,000, a vintage action figure for $1 that I sold almost immediately for $50 plus a ton of other examples. I teach people what to buy and look out for at garage sales on my newsletter which is completely free and delivered once a week direct to your inbox.”

Mathew Carpenter, Owner,

6. Social media management services

With businesses needing a strong online presence, social media managers are in demand to create content, manage posts, and engage with audiences. This role combines creative content creation with analytical skills to grow social media platforms and requires staying up-to-date with the latest digital trends.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $70,000 annually, with potential for more based on client size and campaign success.

7. Pet sitting/dog walking

For animal lovers, pet sitting and dog walking are great ways to earn extra money while enjoying the company of pets. This side hustle has grown, especially in urban areas where busy professionals seek trustworthy individuals to care for their pets.

Average Salary: $15,000 – $30,000 annually, highly dependent on the number of clients and hours worked.

8. Delivery services

The rise in online shopping and food delivery apps has boosted the demand for delivery services. This hustle requires a reliable mode of transportation and can be a flexible way to earn, with platforms like Uber Eats, DoorDash, or local courier services offering various delivery opportunities.

Average Salary: $15,000 – $40,000 annually, influenced by hours worked and the platform used.

9. Reselling gently-used items

Platforms like eBay, Poshmark, and Depop have made it easier to resell used items. Successful resellers often specialize in certain niches like vintage clothing, electronics, or collectibles, leveraging their knowledge of the market to find and sell items at a profit.

Average Salary: $20,000 – $60,000 annually, with a wide range based on niche and market demand.

10. Selling digital products

Creating and selling digital products, such as ebooks, online courses, stock photos, or software, offers a way to earn passive income. This requires expertise in a particular area, along with marketing skills to promote and sell your products online.

Average Salary: Variable; can range from a few thousand to over $100,000 annually, depending on the product and marketing efforts.

11. Virtual event planning

With the increase in remote work and virtual gatherings, there’s a growing need for virtual event planners. This role involves organizing and coordinating online events, requiring strong organizational skills and familiarity with virtual meeting platforms.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $60,000 annually, depending on the scale and frequency of events.

“A surprising top side hustle in 2024 is virtual event planning. With the continued rise of remote work and digital gatherings, individuals and businesses seek experts who can craft engaging and seamless online events. Virtual event planners organize and coordinate these digital functions and integrate interactive elements, such as live polls and breakout rooms, to enhance participant engagement. This niche has grown significantly as it combines creativity with tech savviness, offering a juicy opportunity for those skilled in digital tools and event management.”

Jon Torres, CEO,

12. Car flipping hustle

Car flipping involves buying cars at a low price, improving them, and selling them for a profit. This side hustle requires knowledge of cars, negotiation skills, and an understanding of the used car market.

Average Salary: $20,000 – $80,000 annually, highly dependent on market knowledge and investment capacity.

“12 months ago I quit my full-time job at PwC to get out of the 9-5 and create my own income. I followed a friend into the Car Flipping Hustle and haven't looked back. I am not a car person, I have no mechanical experience, but love chatting to people and once I learned the art of negotiation, I was hooked. You can start with as little as a few thousand, and you can test the waters before you apply for the dealers license. 1 year later, I decided to help the new generation of dealers and have built out Full of free tools and resources and most importantly, an auction with wholesale and off-market deals to get you started."

Bradley Roulant, Car Flipping Expert, carjeani

13. Small scale property development

Investing in property to renovate and sell or rent out has become a popular side hustle. Success in this field requires a significant initial investment, knowledge of the real estate market, and an understanding of renovation costs and processes.

Average Salary: Variable; profit margins can range significantly based on the property and market conditions.

“Having tried so many side hustles: Shares, AirBNB, Amazon, Renovating, Buy & Hold investing… Nothing comes close to a lucrative, 6 -figure, 3-5 hours per week side hustle like small scale property development. So what is small scale property development and why is it so lucrative and requires so little time. You find the deal, your broker helps you fund the deal; your designer and builder creates the homes, your agent sells the home and you project manage it all a few hours a week and are paid handsomely for your trouble.”

Amanda McEwin, Founder, Rising Star

14. Home organizing

Professional home organizers help clients declutter and organize their living spaces. This hustle is perfect for those with a knack for organization and design, and it requires minimal startup costs beyond marketing and basic supplies.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $50,000 annually, influenced by client base and geographic location.

15. Grant Writing

Non-profits and educational institutions often seek skilled grant writers to secure funding through proposals. This field requires excellent research and writing skills, along with a deep understanding of the grant application process.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $70,000 annually, with variability based on success rates and clientele.

Each of these side hustles offers unique opportunities and challenges, reflecting the diverse ways people are earning extra income in 2024. Success in these fields requires a combination of skill, dedication, and an understanding of market demands, along with a willingness to adapt to changing trends.

Survey Responses on Top Side Hustles in 2024

If you find yourself contemplating embarking on a side hustle in the coming months, you’ll find the insights from our latest survey invaluable. This overview of the top side hustles, as reported by participants, aims to equip you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. 

Dive into these survey results to discover which side hustle aligns with your goals and how you can navigate its challenges effectively.

1. What factors influenced your decision to start or contemplate your chosen side hustle?

  • Passion/interest in the activity was the most influential factor, with 44% of respondents indicating that it played a role in their decision.
  • Financial need was the second most common influence, cited by 15% of the participants as a reason for pursuing a side hustle.
  • Both flexibility in scheduling and skill development opportunities were factors for 11% of respondents each.
  • Career transition was a motivating factor for 4% of those surveyed, suggesting that it was a relatively less common reason for starting a side hustle.
  • All of the above factors combined influenced 15% of respondents, indicating that for these individuals, multiple factors played an equally important role.

The survey paints a picture of today’s side hustlers as driven by more than just financial needs. Passion, personal growth, and flexibility are key motivations, highlighting a shift towards finding deeper satisfaction and balance in work. This trend points to a broader definition of what it means to be successful in the gig economy, one that encompasses personal fulfillment and continuous skill development.

These insights have significant implications for the future landscape of work. Businesses and service providers in the gig economy will need to adapt to these motivations to attract and maintain a committed freelance workforce. Likewise, policy-makers should consider these factors to support a segment that values flexibility and growth, signaling a workforce that’s not just navigating but also shaping the evolving world of work.

2. What new skills have you acquired or plan to acquire through your side hustle?

What new skills have you acquired or plan to acquire through your side hustle?
  • Technical skills (e.g., coding, web design): 19%.
  • Business management Skills (e.g., entrepreneurship, project management): 11% 
  • Communication skills (e.g., public speaking, content creation): 11% 
  • Networking skills (e.g., building professional relationships, community engagement): 11%
  • Creative skills (e.g., writing, graphic design, photography): 7%
  • Marketing skills (e.g., social media marketing, SEO): 7% 
  • Problem-solving skills: 7% 
  • Time Management skills: 7%.
  • All of the above: 19% 

The survey results reflect a dynamic shift in the side hustle ecosystem, with a significant emphasis on skill acquisition. The prominence of technical skills underscores the digital transformation of the economy, where coding and web design are not just beneficial but increasingly necessary for professional advancement. The equal attention given to business management, communication, and networking skills points to a holistic development approach, with side hustlers recognizing the importance of a well-rounded skill set.

Interestingly, the subset of side hustlers who are investing in a comprehensive skill set indicates an emerging trend of ‘hybrid professionals’ who are adaptable, multi-skilled, and ready to take on diverse challenges. The drive to develop across multiple disciplines could be seen as a strategic move to ensure resilience in the face of an unpredictable job market.

3. How do you measure the success of your side hustle?

  • Income generated: 22% of respondents measure the success of their side hustle through the income it generates.
  • Personal satisfaction: Another 22% define success by the level of personal satisfaction their side hustle provides.
  • Skills acquired: 11% consider the acquisition of new skills as a metric for success.
  • Business growth: A smaller percentage, 4%, look at business growth as an indicator of success.
  • All of the above: Notably, 41% of respondents measure success by a combination of all these factors.

The results from the survey reveal a nuanced perspective on what constitutes success in the realm of side hustles. While financial gain remains a significant measure, with 22% of participants equating success to income, there is an equal emphasis on personal satisfaction, illustrating that for many, the value of a side hustle transcends monetary benefits. This suggests a shift towards a more holistic view of success, one that encompasses personal fulfillment and happiness.

The focus on skill acquisition, though less prevalent, highlights a strategic approach to side hustles—as platforms for continuous learning and professional development. Surprisingly, only a few view business growth as a standalone success metric, which may reflect the casual or supplementary nature of many side hustles.

However, the largest segment of respondents (41%) adopts a comprehensive outlook, considering income, personal satisfaction, skill acquisition, and business growth collectively in their definition of success. This indicates that side hustlers are increasingly looking for a balanced combination of financial, personal, and professional achievements as indicators of their venture’s success, a trend that may signal a maturing gig economy where success is multifaceted and individually defined.

Analyzing the survey results reveals a multifaceted view of the side hustle economy. On one hand, it reflects the growing entrepreneurial spirit among individuals who are eager to leverage their skills and interests beyond conventional job markets. On the other, it underscores the necessity of thorough preparation and strategic planning. Success in side hustles is not just about identifying lucrative opportunities; it also hinges on one’s ability to navigate logistical hurdles, time management challenges, and market saturation. 

Challenges in Side Hustles 2024

Embarking on a side hustle can offer flexibility, additional income, and the opportunity to pursue one’s passions. 

However, it also comes with its unique set of challenges. Addressing these issues requires awareness, planning, and sometimes creative solutions. Here are some common challenges faced by individuals engaged in side hustles, along with insights into navigating these obstacles:

1. Time management

Balancing a side hustle with a full-time job, family, and personal commitments can quickly become overwhelming. Effective time management is essential to prevent burnout and ensure progress in all areas of life.

  • Prioritize tasks: Use tools like the Eisenhower Box to categorize tasks by urgency and importance.
  • Set specific work hours for the side hustle: Create a schedule that includes start and end times, and stick to it.
  • Use productivity apps: Leverage apps like Trello or Asana for task management and to avoid overlapping responsibilities.

2. Inconsistent income

Side hustles often generate fluctuating incomes, which can pose challenges to financial stability and planning.

  • Create a budget that accounts for fluctuating incomes: Use financial tracking tools to monitor income and expenses.
  • Establish an emergency fund: Aim for 3-6 months’ worth of expenses to cushion against lean periods.
  • Explore multiple side hustles: Diversify your side projects to create multiple income streams.

3. Market saturation

The rising popularity of side hustles in certain sectors can lead to market saturation, making it difficult to find consistent work and stand out.

  • Identify and focus on a niche market: Specialize in a specific area to differentiate yourself.
  • Continuously upgrade your skills: Attend workshops and courses relevant to your field to stay ahead.
  • Enhance your online presence: Utilize social media and professional networking sites to showcase your work and attract clients.

4. Legal and tax implications

Navigating the legal and tax obligations of running a side hustle is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid potential issues.

  • Consult with a tax professional: Understand your tax obligations and benefits as a side hustler.
  • Stay informed about legal requirements: Regularly review laws related to freelancing and self-employment in your area.
  • Keep detailed records: Maintain comprehensive records of income, expenses, and contracts to simplify legal and tax processes.

5. Health and benefits

Juggling a side hustle and a full-time job can lead to health challenges and increased stress.

  • Research independent health insurance options: Look into health sharing plans or marketplace insurance.
  • Consider a health savings account (HSA): If eligible, use an HSA to save for medical expenses pre-tax.
  • Allocate a portion of income for health expenses: Ensure your budget includes health care costs.

6. Work-life balance

Maintaining a balance between work, personal life, and a side hustle can be challenging but is crucial for long-term success and well-being.

  • Set clear boundaries: Designate specific times for work and relaxation, and communicate these boundaries to others.
  • Prioritize self-care: Regularly schedule activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, and time with loved ones.
  • Learn to say no: Take on tasks and projects that are manageable without overcommitting.

7. Scalability

Deciding whether and how to scale a side hustle requires careful consideration of market demand, personal capacity, and strategic planning.

  • Assess market demand: Conduct market research to validate the potential for scaling your side hustle.
  • Create a business plan: Outline steps for growth, including investment, resources, and timelines.
  • Seek mentorship: Connect with experienced entrepreneurs for guidance on scaling your business.

8. Skill Development

Continuous skill development is essential in the ever-evolving gig economy but finding the time and resources for education can be challenging.

  • Leverage free and low-cost online resources: Utilize platforms like Skill Success.
  • Join professional groups: Network with peers and mentors in your industry for knowledge exchange.
  • Set aside time for learning: Incorporate dedicated time in your schedule for skill development and professional growth.

9. Isolation

Remote side hustles can lead to feelings of isolation, making it important to build a network of support and collaboration.

  • Join online communities: Participate in forums and social media groups related to your side hustle.
  • Attend networking events: Engage in local meetups or conferences to meet like-minded individuals.
  • Co-work virtually or physically: Share a workspace or organize virtual co-working sessions to reduce isolation.

10. Client Dependence

Relying on a limited number of clients for income is risky and can lead to instability if any client drops off.

    • Market your services broadly: Use various platforms to advertise your services and attract a diverse client base.
    • Offer referral incentives: Encourage satisfied clients to refer others to your services.
    • Regularly review and adjust your client portfolio: Aim for a balanced mix of clients to minimize dependence on any single one.
a woman seated with a laptop researching best side hustles 2024

Skill Success Voices: Tips, Success Stories, Insights 

Below, experts from Skill Success share their insights on freelancing, offering advice on how to succeed in the industry and revealing essential truths that aspiring freelancers need to consider.

1. Jean Yutuc, SEO Content Lead

When I was a single mother, I discovered the potential of social media as a powerful tool to supplement my income. I started out selling handmade beaded accessories—bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. This venture not only honed my entrepreneurial spirit but also equipped me with a diverse set of skills, including copywriting, social media, sales, and even graphic design.

My journey took a significant turn when a friend recognized my talents and offered me a position as a copywriter in his company. This opportunity was my gateway into the world of professional marketing. I had the privilege of crafting marketing strategies for companies across various industries, including healthcare, cybersecurity, and e-learning.

When it comes to acquiring clients and maintaining relevance in the freelance marketplace, I firmly believe in the power of NETWORKING. Building connections both within and outside your industry is crucial. Offer value to your network, even when there isn’t an immediate work opportunity. This approach not only broadens your professional circle but also enhances your reputation.

Managing your online presence is another key aspect. Ensuring that your digital footprint—especially on platforms like LinkedIn and other social media—is positive and up-to-date, reflects well on your professional image.

Lastly, continuous learning. The landscape of freelancing is ever-evolving. Upskilling, exploring new trends, and just being curious—it’s what keeps you ahead. It’s a blast being on this never-ending learning curve.

Related Article: Upskill Reskill or Hire Skilled Employees, Which Way Should Businesses Go

2. Barbara Isla, Content Writer 

I started my freelancing journey at the age of 21, and now, at 35, I can reflect on the challenging yet rewarding path it has been. Freelancing has indeed been lucrative for me, enabling me to purchase a basic car, own a tiny home, and ensure my children receive quality education. 

However, this success didn’t happen overnight. My journey was paved with a diverse array of clients, both positive and challenging experiences, and a constant process of reinvention—from being a writer to a real estate broker, and even an event host.

What I’ve learned over the years is the importance of versatility in skills. Relying on a single skill set is risky, especially in a field as dynamic as freelancing. Like any business, freelancing experiences its highs and lows, and during those slower months, you wouldn’t want to find yourself in a position where you have to drastically cut your budget. 

My advice is to use the quieter periods as opportunities for growth—invest time in learning new skills, attending webinars, and expanding your network. You never know when or where you’ll secure your next significant client or deal. Embracing a multifaceted skill set not only enhances your resilience but also opens up a broader range of opportunities in the ever-evolving freelance marketplace.

3. Edward Lu, Digital Content Marketing Specialist

Throughout my career in the creative space, I began with traditional layout and printing before transitioning to digital design amid the rise of companies like Macromedia and Adobe. Early adoption of tools like Photoshop and Freehand was crucial as the industry shifted towards computerized design and production. This period also saw the explosion of the Internet, prompting my venture into web design. However, my focus remained on digital and graphic design for print.

Fast forward to today, my role has evolved to include copywriting, video editing, and sound design, alongside a brief stint in parcel delivery during the pandemic—a testament to the value of versatile work. Currently working from home, I contribute my array of skills to my brother’s cybersecurity startup, aiming for its success through graphic design, copywriting, video editing, and email marketing.

4. Cathleen Garcia, CPHR, HR Manager

Most of the employers are looking for full time contractors who can exclusively dedicate their services to the specific employer as it fosters more commitment and proven performance if they are committed to a long term employment. Some employers that may be open to freelancers are those that don’t have a budget yet or don’t have much workload yet that will equate to full time hours. Most of the employers start with minimal hours then once it grows and have more responsibilities to give, they eventually increase the number of hours until it becomes full time. I think it also gives both parties the opportunity to test the waters and if they are the right fit to work long term.

Freelancers may not work for a more established company as they already have full time positions they are capable of offering. It may be ideal to start ups and some specific roles only that focus on a weekly deliverable and not much team collaboration needed like writers, designers, Ads specialists, consultants and the likes.

Professional Insights on Top Side Hustles in 2024

1. Leigh Raymond, Founder, Second Act Society

“With GenX women being the most financially vulnerable demographic, more women over 50 are looking to start side hustles from home. Side hustles that are simple to start and can harness the experience of GenX women include virtual assistant services, home organizing, grant writing, wedding celebrant, vintage clothing reselling, pet sitting and many more. There are so many options out there.”

2. Jake Munday, CEO/Co-Founder, Custom Neon 

“The most popular side projects in 2024 will be those that make use of digital skills and online platforms, which will reflect the rising need for flexible and remote job options. This can help businesses connect with global markets from anywhere with proficiency in digital marketing, e-commerce, and content creation, which sets you apart from the competition. Sales of sustainable and environmentally friendly products increase along with client awareness and the need for sustainable solutions. Unique, niche products have the potential to be profitable side ventures in the online marketplace.”

3. Udemezue John, Digital Entrepreneur,

“The freelance world is booming! If you have transferable skills like writing, design, or social media management, freelancing platforms offer a flexible way to earn extra cash. For product lovers, consider reselling gently-used items or creating handmade crafts. E-commerce platforms and local markets can be great outlets. The digital age also offers opportunities for online tutoring, creating and selling online courses, or even testing websites for usability. The key to successful side hustle is finding something you enjoy and can fit into your existing schedule. There’s a perfect side hustle out there for everyone in 2024!”

4. Rongzhong Li, CEO/Founder, Petoi

“Some of the top side hustles include freelance content creation, virtual assistance services, app development, and online tutoring. With the rise of remote work and digital entrepreneurship, these hustles offer flexible earning opportunities. Additionally, e-commerce arbitrage and social media management services continue to be lucrative options for those seeking extra income. As technology evolves, new opportunities in fields like blockchain consulting and AI-driven services are also emerging as promising side hustles in 2024.”

Top Recommended Online Courses for Side Hustles in 2024 

Here are top online courses that cater to a wide range of interests and professional aspirations, ideal for anyone looking to thrive in their side hustle this year:

  • Digital Marketing: Provides a comprehensive overview of digital marketing, covering SEO, social media marketing, and more, ideal for enhancing online presence.
  • Web Development: Focuses on the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, perfect for beginners or those looking to enhance their web development skills.
  • Graphic Design: Covers essential skills in graphic design, including typography, brand identity, and design theory, culminating in a capstone project.
  • Writing and Content Creation: Offers insights into blogging, copywriting, and SEO, suited for those interested in freelance writing or content creation.
  • E-commerce and Online Selling: Delivers key insights into setting up an online store, sourcing products, and driving sales, essential for e-commerce enthusiasts.
  • Social Media Management: Trains on developing effective social media strategies, campaign management, and success measurement, crucial for managing social media platforms.
  • Photography and Videography: Teaches basic to intermediate video editing skills, key for content creators and freelancers in visual media.
  • App Development: Introduces app development fundamentals, offering a path for those interested in creating mobile applications.
  • Financial Literacy and Investment: Lays a foundation in managing personal finance, including investments and taxes, valuable for all side hustlers.
  • Project Management: Covers project management essentials, from planning and budgeting to risk management, useful for those offering or transitioning into project management services.

Engaging in lifelong learning through these courses can enhance your skill set and open doors to new side hustle opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What are the top side hustles for remote work in 2024?

Digital content creation, virtual tutoring, freelance programming, and remote consulting services are highly popular, benefiting from the flexibility of remote work.

2. How much can I realistically earn from popular side hustles this year?

Earnings vary, but side hustlers can make an extra $500 to $2,000 per month on average, with potential for more in specialized fields.

3. Are there any side hustles that I can start with minimal investment?

Yes, activities like content creation, tutoring, virtual assistance, and social media management often require more time than money.

4. What platforms are best for freelancers looking to find side hustle opportunities?

Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and LinkedIn ProFinder are great for a range of services, including writing and web development.

5. How do I balance a full-time job with a side hustle without burning out?

Effective time management and clear boundaries between work and hustle activities are key, along with ensuring time for rest.

6. How has the gig economy changed in 2024, and what does that mean for side hustlers?

There’s a shift towards skilled tasks and a demand for higher quality, offering more opportunities but requiring higher competency.

7. What are the best side hustles for someone with a background in tech?

App development, cybersecurity consulting, and tech support services are lucrative for those with tech skills.

8. Can side hustles lead to full-time entrepreneurial opportunities?

Many successful businesses began as side hustles, requiring scalability, market demand, and full-time commitment.

9. What are the most time-efficient side hustles for those with limited hours?

Dropshipping, affiliate marketing, and selling digital products can be efficiently managed alongside a full-time job.

10. How do I market my side hustle to stand out in a competitive market?

Focusing on niche markets, leveraging social media, and building a strong personal brand are effective strategies.

Key Takeaways

Here are the key statistics and insights gathered from the extensive overview on the top side hustles of 2024, reflecting trends, earnings, challenges, and opportunities within the gig economy:

  • Projected freelancing growth: By 2027, the freelancing community in the US is expected to include 53.7 million people, indicating a robust expansion within the gig economy.
  • Surge in demand for digital skills: There’s a 75% increase in demand for digital skill sets such as freelance programming, digital marketing, and online education.
  • Concerns over job security: 45% of gig workers express apprehension regarding job security and the absence of benefits.

Factors influencing the decision to start a side hustle

  • Passion/Interest: 44% were motivated by a passion or interest in their chosen activity.
  • Financial need: 15% cited financial need as a key motivator.
  • Flexibility in scheduling: 11% valued the flexibility that side hustles offer.
  • Skill development opportunities: 11% were driven by the opportunity to acquire new skills.
  • Career transition: 4% saw side hustles as a pathway to career transition.
  • Combination of factors: 15% indicated that a mix of the above factors influenced their decision.

Skills acquired or planned to acquire through side hustles

  • Technical skills (e.g., coding, web design): 19%
  • Business management skills: 11%
  • Communication skills: 11%
  • Networking skills: 11%
  • Creative skills (e.g., writing, graphic design, photography): 7%
  • Marketing skills: 7%
  • Problem-solving skills: 7%
  • Time management skills: 7%
  • All of the above: 19%

Measures of success in side hustles

  • Income generated: 22% measure success by the income generated from their side hustle.
  • Personal satisfaction: 22% define success by the level of personal satisfaction they achieve.
  • Skills acquired: 11% view the acquisition of new skills as a metric of success.
  • Business growth: 4% consider growth in their side hustle as an indicator of success.
  • Combination of factors: 41% measure success by a combination of income, personal satisfaction, skills acquired, and business growth.

Venturing into a side hustle can be an enriching path towards financial freedom, personal development, and the pursuit of your passions beyond the regular 9-to-5 grind. The opportunity to transform a hobby into a profitable business or uncover new sources of income is captivating in the modern gig economy. However, stepping onto this path requires an awareness of the challenges that lie ahead. 

Effective time management, navigating a crowded market, and maintaining a balance between your main job and your side hustle are just a few of the hurdles that demand strategic planning and steadfast resilience. 

As you contemplate venturing into the vibrant world of side hustles, remember that being well-prepared, embracing continuous learning, and adapting to change are your greatest assets for overcoming these obstacles and achieving success.

In the changing landscape of the gig economy, equipping yourself with a broad range of skills is more important than ever. This is where the Skill Success All Access Pass shines. Offering a vast selection of courses designed to enhance your skill set, whether you’re interested in digital marketing, e-commerce, or graphic design, this platform empowers you to learn at your own pace and broaden your expertise across different fields. 

With the All Access Pass, you’re invited not just to partake in the gig economy but to excel within it. By taking advantage of Skill Success, you’re not only equipping yourself to face challenges head-on but also positioning yourself at the cutting edge of opportunity and innovation.

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