Many people have turned to side gigs in the last few years to help with the rising cost of living. When looking into side hustles, there are numerous factors that you should consider before deciding which income stream to focus on. Since there are many side hustles that you could pursue, GOBankingRates decided to perform a deep dive into the money involved, the difficulty in getting started and whether side gigs are worth it.
We reached out to side hustle expert Daniella Flores from I Like to Dabble to speak about the different side gigs out there. We also got a first-person account from a side hustler to discuss the process. Here’s a look at popular side hustles to see if they’re worth it.
Dog Care on Rover
You can set up an account on Rover and offer dog-care services, from walks to house sitting. Since many people became dog owners for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for dog care services.
How Much Money Can You Make With Rover?
“My goal was and still is that my side hustle covers all my living expenses,” remarked Laura Jackson-Ryan, a side hustler who joined the Rover platform to make some extra money on top of her full-time gig. “I work full time, and Rover is my side hustle. Rover pays for my rent, maintenance, phone bill, gym membership, etc. My full-time job money is used to save, live my life and continue to experience things I want to. Having a side hustle income allows me to do more with my life. Having 100% of your living expenses paid for offers a whole new lifestyle.”
Flores quoted the money that can be made from Rover if you explore house sitting: “I’ve stepped away from this one for now but was doing about $500 to $1,000 a month when I would take house/pet-sitting requests.” You can make around $35 per walk, or you can earn over $100 per night for house-sitting or dog-boarding services.
How Difficult Is It To Get Started on Rover?
“I didn’t take long to establish long-term clients. Within the first month, I had two dogs booked with me twice a week. Fast forward almost two years, and I still have these clients. At the start, my rates were low to bring on clients and gain reviews. I still honor the pricing for my original clients, but all new clients have a different fee, depending on the service,” Jackson-Ryan said.
She expressed that the most challenging part was setting up the profile on Rover, as you have to create a profile, find references, go through a background check and then wait for bookings to appear.
As time goes on, the difficulty in landing paid gigs becomes easier. “I try to combine my dogs into the same walk. It’s a mutual benefit; I get more per hour, and they get more socialization.”
Freelance Writing and Other Freelance Work
One popular side hustle is doing any kind of freelance work. Flores got into freelancing writing, but depending on your skill set, you can offer whatever service you’re comfortable with. For example, there’s always demand for video editing, graphic design and personal training freelance work.
How Much Money Can You Make Freelancing?
The amount you earn from freelance work will depend on your service and skill level. Your best bet is to browse through a freelance job board like freelancer.com to see the going rates. Flores informed GOBankingRates that she could make anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month from this side hustle, depending on her workload.
How Difficult Is It To Get Started Freelancing?
When speaking about the required effort, Flores commented that freelance writing was the most challenging to build up. “Freelance writing was difficult when it came to entering into it. Raising rates was also hard for me at first but got easier the more comfortable I was with negotiating.”
Starting a Blog
A popular side hustle that has been around for over a decade now is blogging. Flores noted that many of her income streams came from the blog she started as a side hustle.
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
What side hustle streams could be created from starting your own blog? Flores shared some figures:
- Digital products (guides, printables and courses): $1,000 to $4,000 monthly, depending on new course enrollments
- Blog ad income: $1,500 a month, increasing toward the end of the year as advertiser’s budgets increase
- Affiliate income: About $500 to $1,000 a month
- Brand partnerships: $5,500, varies on the month
- Coaching: $500 a month as a coach for those looking for side hustle/career tips.
How Difficult Is It To Get Started Blogging?
Flores stated that growing a blog is the most time-consuming side gig, and it takes years to build up the multiple income streams associated with the blog. When asked about the difficulty between the different income streams within blogging, she said, “Courses were difficult for me… because of the amount of work that goes into marketing and promoting it.”
The most challenging aspect of blogging as a side hustle is that there are no guarantees that your blog will turn a profit.
What To Consider Before Pursuing a Side Gig
While side hustles can be beneficial, since they could provide you with a financial net, you can’t ignore that there are some considerations before pursuing a side hustle.
The Path to Profit
You have to look at the path to profit to see how difficult it is to earn your first dollar from the side gig. There are side hustles like Rover, where it’s reasonably easy to get started, and there are gigs like freelance work, where you have to take the time to establish yourself.
Here are some tips that will help you navigate side gigs:
- If you just want to bring in some extra money with a side hustle, you’re better off turning to the gig economy, because jobs like food delivery or pet sitting will pay you fairly quickly.
- You can turn a passion into a profitable hobby by offering freelance services in that field.
Your Financial Goals
“Depending on what you are looking for, whether personal development or financial gain… set clear goals, and this will give you a clear perspective on how to achieve them,” commented Jackson-Ryan, who initially wanted to find a way to spend more time around dogs and to become better with her puppy.
If your financial goal is to bring in some extra money to pay down debt or build an emergency fund, then a side gig like dog walking will be worth it.
There’s a side hustle out there for everyone. You can turn your spare time into some extra dollars to help you pay off debt, build an emergency fund or treat yourself. It’s important to do your due diligence before focusing on an income stream, though, so that you understand what you’re getting involved in.
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