11 Side Hustles from Home and How to Get Started

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Get some ideas for your at-home side hustle with this list of suggestions.

[Featured image] Woman starts her side hustle from home on her laptop while sitting at her dining room table in her light-filled space. She's taking notes in a notebook and sitting beside fresh flowers.

A side hustle can allow you to earn extra money in your spare time, but becoming a business owner while maintaining a full-time job can be a challenge. Choosing a side hustle you can pursue from home may open you up to more flexibility while still enabling you to meet your goals.

In this article, we’ll offer some side hustle ideas that you can begin from the comfort of your own home, and will discuss some things to consider as you think about the perfect side hustle for you.

At-home side hustle ideas

As you think about the business idea that feels right for you, here are some side hustles that you can start right from your own home.

Lucrative side hustles you can do from home

There are plenty of other work-from-home side hustles you can consider, especially as companies continue to implement remote work technologies. Some high-paying side hustles that you can do from home include web designer or developer, digital marketer, virtual tutor, or bookkeeper.

Get more lucrative side hustles ideas.

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1. Dropshipping business

A dropshipping business looks like a regular online shop to the average customer, but behind the scenes, the company is a bit less traditional. With dropshipping, a retailer sells products housed and fulfilled by a third party, so the retailer is responsible for customer-facing communications, product curation, and marketing, while another company handles the inventory.

Where to begin: Sites like Alibaba, Dropship Direct, or Oberlo 

2. Crafting/artist

Many people sell handmade items or original artwork online, either through an independent online shop or through sites like Etsy or Saatchi Art. Both routes have pros and cons, so if you decide to turn your craft into a side hustle, do some research to see which path will work best for you.

Where to begin: Sites like Etsy, Saatchi Art, or Shopify

3. Digital creative

There are many ways to pursue creativity using only a computer, for example, video editing or graphic design. You may choose to seek clients who will hire you to create business assets. Or, if you want to monetize your digital designs independently, you may look into posting videos on YouTube or putting your designs on merchandise with a print-on-demand business.

Where to begin: Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, YouTube, or Printful

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4. Writing

Many companies hire freelance or contract writers to draft marketing materials, social media copy, SEO articles, editorials, and more, without expecting their writers to be available full-time. As a writer, you can also start an affiliate marketing blog, though since that path requires building your readership, it can take a bit of time before you start making money from your blog.

Where to begin: Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Indeed, or WordPress

5. Proofreading or copyediting

If you are more of an editor than a writer, you can get paid to proofread or copyedit marketing or editorial content. You can develop a steady flow of side income by finding one or two anchor clients, or clients you work with regularly.

Where to begin: Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or Flexjobs

6. Transcription service

Use your quick and accurate typing skills as a transcriptionist. Transcribing is the act of typing out audio. Some cases where a business might want their audio files transcribed might be to generate closed captions or to use quotes from a speech or interview in an editorial feature. 

Where to begin: Sites like Rev, SpeakWrite, or Fiverr

7. Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants help businesses or individuals with administrative tasks such as managing inboxes or scheduling. You can search for companies seeking a virtual assistant on regular job sites, like Flexjobs or Indeed, or you can apply for a company that pairs virtual assistants with businesses, such as Time Etc or Boldly. If you decide to go through a third-party matching process, you may have less flexibility in the number of hours you work per week or the specific hours you work.

Where to begin: Sites like Flexjobs, Time Etc, or Boldly

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8. Language teacher

Teaching English online to students worldwide can be a rewarding side hustle. And since you may be teaching across different time zones, you can schedule sessions outside of your local regular business hours. If you have non-English language skills, you can likely find virtual teaching opportunities in your language of choice.

Where to begin: Sites like VIPKid or Skooli

9. Hosting online workshops or classes

If you have a skill to share with others—for example, if you are a fitness instructor—you may be able to host a live online class or workshop and charge people for access. There are several ways to set up this type of business model. One option could be to create a Zoom link and invite guests once you receive payment.

Where to begin: Video platforms like Zoom or Google Meet

10. Audiobook narrator

This side hustle can require specific recording equipment and an echo-proof space free of background noise, but it can be fun if you like reading a range of materials and genres and are interested in voice acting. 

Where to begin: Sites like ACX, Voices.com, or BunnyStudio

11. Traveler host

If you have a private room, guest house, or entire property that you are not currently using, you may be able to rent your space out to travelers. You’ll need to be comfortable hosting guests in your home and able to provide clean-up services in between occupants, as well as be available should any urgent needs come up mid-stay, like a clogged sink.

Where to begin: Sites like Airbnb or Vrbo

Starting your side hustle from home

Now that you have some ideas for possible side hustles from home, here’s how you can analyze which is a good fit for you.

Once you have identified your goals in starting a side hustle—or your “why”—it can be helpful to spend some time thinking about the skills you want to leverage in working on your side hustle, as well as the spatial needs that come with working from home. Having clarity on both can guide you toward success while maintaining a comfortable home environment.

Assessing your skills

Your side hustle doesn’t have to connect to your primary job—but it can if that feels right for you. For example, you may be an accountant by day and a bookkeeper by night. Both roles use similar math and independent working skills. Alternatively, you may be a virtual piano teacher in your spare time, allowing you to also use your music and social skills.

Both side hustles have the same success potential; the difference is one option may be more enjoyable than the other, depending on your preferences.

Since you’ll be starting your side hustle on top of other employment, you may want to take some steps to choose the more enjoyable side hustle for you. This intentionality can help you avoid potential burnout and create a sustainable side business.

Three starting points for considering your skills may be:

  • What skills do I already use regularly?

  • Do I have the mental, emotional, and physical capacity to use those skills outside of my other responsibilities?

  • What other skills would I enjoy using regularly?

Once you’ve assessed your skills, start thinking about turning those skills into a business that connects with your goals.

Considering your environment

You may find that you can be more productive with certain tasks if you meet your spatial needs. Determining the best way for you to work from home, as well as recognizing your limitations, can help you physically set yourself up for success. 

For example, if you decide to start an online jewelry business, you’ll need space for your inventory and supplies—like beads, wire, tools, and packaging—and an area to create your jewelry. Meanwhile, as a virtual assistant, you shouldn’t need an extensive production area; instead, you can do all your work online.

As you consider your environment, some things to think about are:

  • What are the spatial needs for my side hustle?

  • What space in my home can I dedicate to my side hustle?

  • Do I have any limitations to work around?

If you live with other people, you may also want to consider how their presence can impact your ability to use your space. For example, there may be certain blocks of time when you’ll have to share your workspace or navigate varying noise levels.

Prepare to launch your side hustle

Beyond the skills you’ll be using for your core offerings, you can set your side hustle up for success with some core business skills, like bookkeeping, social media marketing, and project management. Learn these skills (and others) with a Professional Certificate from companies like Intuit, Meta, and Google on Coursera. What’s more—as you hone your side hustle through each series of courses, you can prepare for entry-level positions in high-paying fields.

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Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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