You know what’s great?
Having a job that allows you to use your skills, pursue your passions, and make money on your own terms.
Whether you’re a dreamer looking to build a career off your skillset or an entrepreneur searching for a new side hustle, a self-employed job can get you to your goals.
Part-time, full-time, remote, or in person, creative or not, I’ve got you covered.
Below is a list of the top 23 low-cost and skill-based self-employed jobs you can start earning with today.
Side Hustles You Can Start Today
- Drive with Uber
- Deliver Groceries
- Light Hauling
- Social Media Consultant
- Video Production
- Web Design
- Interior Decorating
- Resume Writing
- Freelance Writing
- Life Coaching
- Event Coordinating
- Professional Speaking
- Repair Work
- Academic Tutoring
- Music Tutoring
- ESL Tutoring
- Selling Royalties
One more thing – even though the side hustles (or full-time hustles) on this list are numbered, it’s not a ranking – that’s just for easy organization. What will determine the value of a self-employed job is whether or not it’s right for you. So take a look.
Utilize Your Resources
1. Drive with Uber
Uber has become a work-on-your-own-time sensation. Their requirements are pretty mild and you can get started right away by going to their website, filling out the online application, and getting your background check going.
You can expect to make anywhere from $13 to $25 per hour with Uber.
A lot of that variance has to do with where you live and how many Uber riders are in the area. Also, if you have a nice vehicle, you may qualify for some upgraded Uber services that charge a premium price.
2. Deliver Groceries
There are people who spend so much time on their jobs that they have little time to perform even necessary chores, such as grocery shopping. You can make money in a business that handles that job for them.
And with the Internet, it’s pretty easy to automate that business. People can simply email or text their orders to you, then you can arrange delivery. You can even set up an online payment arrangement, such as PayPal.
Once you get large enough to have multiple customers, you could probably even combine shopping trips, by shopping for several customers at the same store and time frame. You can charge a flat fee, or one based on a percentage of the grocery order.
3. Light Hauling
If you have a sturdy pickup truck or van, you may have all you need to operate services for light hauling. People need a service like this for jobs that fall short of a full-scale household move.
For example, they may need delivery of a large item that they purchased at a store. Or they may need a large item that they sold to people moved to the buyer’s home. It could even be a situation in which an adult child is moving out on their own.
With so many people working outside the home, child care is becoming a critical household need. The demand for childcare has grown now that most households feature either a single working parent or two parents both holding full-time jobs outside the home.
You can provide care for children in their own home, or you can care for the children of several families in your own home. While the second option will obviously allow you to scale up your business, it is a highly regulated business, likely to require state licensure.
If you want to take it up to the next level, you can even open up your own daycare center.
You can also opt to do it as a full-time program, an after-school only program or even seasonally to cover summer vacations and the various school vacations during the school year.
Do Creative Work
5. Social Media Consultant
If you’re under the age of 30, you probably have a built-in advantage for a business like this. If you spend a lot of time on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or other outlets – you may be able to find some clients who are in need of a social media consultant.
If you know how to promote events, products, and even concepts, using social media, then this can be the perfect business for you. What started out as a social game just a few years ago, is rapidly becoming important in the business community.
Social media is an important way for businesses to connect with ordinary people, without having to go through all channels. It’s also a way to market businesses, products, and services.
6. Video Production
An entire closet industry in the video space has developed with the arrival of YouTube. If you have been creating your own videos, such as music videos, how-to videos, or just-for-fun videos, you may be able to sell your services to the general public.
Small businesses are looking for custom videos put on their websites, to broadcast through the social media, and even to include in emails. Videos provide a better way to reach prospective customers who are either primarily visual learners, or people who simply don’t have time to read a lengthy article or webpage.
7. Web Design
Almost everybody wants to start a website of some type, but most people lack the skills to make it happen.
If you know how to build even simple websites, you can turn that into a full-fledged business.
If nothing else, you can prepare simple websites for upstart businesses that have limited budgets. But as your business grows and your skill level and your client base increases, you can begin doing more complicated websites for higher fees.
Whether you’re a video producer, web designer, or social media consultant, you may be able to sell your freelancing skills on a site like Fiverr, where people hire talented professionals like yourself for their creative needs.
8. Interior Decorating
If you have an eye for design and the drive to turn it into a business, interior decorating can be a lucrative (and fun) career. Lots of people know what style they want for their home but may not have the vision or skill to bring it all together.
And if you live in a large urban area, you could use your decorating skills as a home stager for real estate agencies, removing clutter, rearranging furniture, and even adding helpful touches here and there.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, it could involve putting a tasteful amount of furniture and decorations in an unoccupied home. As an interior decorating professional, you could market your business with an online portfolio showing off your work and by encouraging clients to leave reviews for you on freelance sites
Offer Your Writing Services
9. Resume Writing Service
If you can put together a pretty resume, this could be a good business for you. And even if you can’t, there are online sources where you can learn how to do it quite easily. The secret is knowing how to write effective resumes for specific careers – which again, is a skill you can learn quickly.
Resumes are typically written off of templates, and when you have access to those templates – which you can often get free – all you need to do is customize the details.
The built-in advantage that you have here is most people either lack the ability to construct a coherent resume or have no desire to do so. You’d be filling a valuable niche by stepping in and doing it for them.
10. Freelance Writer
The Internet has opened up all kinds of opportunities to write on a freelance basis. There are millions of websites and blogs, and many of them need content to drive traffic. If you have solid writing skills and can write intelligently on several topic areas, you can quickly earn a living as a freelancer.
Beyond blogs and websites, you may also step into marketing type emails, advertising copy, and even ghostwriting ebooks. This is the kind of business venture that can start small, and grow into a six-figure income as you get better at it.
Much like freelance web design, freelance writing can be done on a remote basis. That means you can run your business completely from your own home.
Do you have a topic area that you are passionate about? If you do, you could turn that into a business by starting your own blog. Thousands of blogs come and go each year, but the ones that offer topics in information that adds value to the readers tend to stick around. And they also tend to be profitable.
The way to make money blogging comes from advertising revenue. Advertisers love to place ads on specialized blogs, and those ads generate revenue, either as one-time payments or ongoing cash flows provided by pay-per-click advertising. You can also add affiliate programs to your blog (more on that in a minute).
You can also sell your own products and services from your blog. E-books are especially popular offerings from blogs, as long as they provide valuable information your readers would be willing to pay for.
The best blogging niches are in areas like investments, credit cards, autos and auto repair, computers, real estate, travel, fashion, or even entertainment. Any topic area that is relevant to a large number of people can turn into a profit generating blog.I recommend using a site like Bluehost for your blog. It’s simple to set up and gives you access to excellent features.
Sell Your Skills
12. Life Coach
A life coach offers advice and planning in the areas of motivation, finances, social activity, and even hobbies. Your job will be to create a successful and well-balanced life for your clients.People do pay for these services. After all, if your job is dominating your life, you might consider paying someone – an outsider – to help focus you on improving other areas of your life, including your career.
You can also create specialized niches here too. For example, you can specialize in being a life coach for people who are coming out of a divorce. Or, you can work with people who are undergoing career transitions, or even people who are new in town and are looking for connections and meaning in a strange place. You can take this self-employed job in any direction you like!
13. Event Coordinator
Properly executed events are expensive, which is good news if you are the one coordinating them.
If you’re a gifted communicator, have the eye for design I mentioned earlier, and are organizationally skilled, you could make money as an event coordinator.
While your mind may have immediately gone to weddings (which is a profitable line of event planning) you can craft your business around other specialties, such as parades, birthdays, graduation, political events, fashion shows, corporate events, the list goes on and on.
The success of your event coordinating, much like interior decorating, will hinge on your ability to show prospective clients what you can do. An online portfolio, social media presence, and word of mouth from former clients go a long way and can help you build your clientele in no time.
14. Professional Speaker
Are you comfortable speaking in front of large groups? That’s a potential business right there. And again, there’s a lot of flexibility with this type of business. You can give specialized talks to businesses and industry groups, talking about specific topics, or even just providing motivation. You can even become a pitch man for certain products.
A lot of businesses are looking at presentations as a way to market their businesses. But if business owners don’t have the ability or courage to do so, they may a hire a professional speaker to do it for them. You could be that speaker. All it takes is a few clients, and you’ll be on your way.
With millions of people now living into their 80s and 90s, and with the cost of institutional living arrangements skyrocketing, many elderly and their families are opting instead for at-home companions. It not only keeps the cost of care low, but it also enables the elderly to continue living in their own homes.
If you have patience and skill to work with the elderly directly, you can become a companion.
However, if you want to scale it up into a full-scale business, you can instead start a service that provides care providers for the elderly. As the owner of the business, you would arrange and manage the care engagements which are provided by others.
Sooner or later every business needs specific help either with an established area of the business, or in taking on an entirely new function. As a consultant, you can come in and help them do just that. The advantage is that you will be coming in as a fee based independent contractor, rather than as an employee in need of a permanent salary and benefits.
One of the best ways to do this is by offering related services. For example, if you have significant marketing experience, you can act as a marketing consultant for a retail operation, a computer software company, or an ecommerce business.
Identify your specialization, then figure out ways that you can help various businesses move forward, and you will have created a consulting niche for yourself.
17. Repair Work
If you can repair just about anything – cars, computers, furniture, appliances, or homes/buildings – you can start a repair business.
There’ll be some investment of capital needed for tools, and perhaps even a vehicle. But once you get your name and reputation established, you’ll probably have more work than you can handle.
If repair work represents a viable business idea, then mobile repair is potentially even more lucrative. If you are a person who makes house calls, you will likely be in demand in short order. In that way, you will not only be providing much-needed repairs, but they’ll be delivered directly to the customer’s door – which is made to order for today’s market.
One prominent example of this are mobile mechanics. Rather than having the customer bring their vehicle to a repair shop, the mobile mechanic instead goes to the customer’s home. It’s easy to see how this will be a valuable service for the customer whose vehicle won’t start.
Teach Your Skills
18. Academic Tutor
This can be a natural business for you if you are at least above average in one or more academic subjects. English, science and mathematics are prime subjects for tutors. Since they are required course curriculum in virtually every school, and many students struggle with them, you can create a business out of helping kids improve in these subjects.
You can market your tutoring business just by creating a professional looking flyer, and distributing it to the local schools.
19. Music Tutor
Academic courses aren’t the only subjects were tutors are in demand. If you can play an instrument, and are reasonably good at it, you can create a business teaching kids – or even adults – how to play.
A lot of people just learn better in a one-on-one environment, rather than in a classroom. You don’t have to be an accomplished musician either. If you know the basics, and you have the patience to teach them to students, this can work very well for you.
20. English-as-a-Second-Language Tutor
You can make a business out of teaching people how to speak English, or how to speak it better.
The market is also wide open here for tutoring the children of immigrants, who may need help with English because the family’s native language is spoken in the home. But whether you are teaching first-generation immigrants or their children, this can be a rich business opportunity.
Buy + Sell
If you have ever sold anything on eBay or related sites, this could be a business option for you. It’s simply a matter of developing low-cost product sources of items to sell. eBay even allows you to create an online store that enables you to sell your products and services on a regular basis.
As you might imagine, an eBay business is not quite as simple as many of the proponents claim. It is a business in the true sense, and that means you’ll have to provide products that offer some type of advantage over to what’s out there right now.
For example, products need to be either unique, low-cost, or have certain valuable features that make them stand out.
Competition is heavy, especially with Amazon.com slowly gobbling up the retail world. And speaking of Amazon.com, it’s another outstanding site to consider running your e-commerce business on.
If you are good at locating bargains at places like thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, or even online, you can start a business buying and selling. The basic idea is to buy items on the cheap, and sell them at a healthy profit.
This is something like running a pawn shop in your home and online. You can sell your merchandise on websites such as eBay, Amazon.com, and Craigslist. You can also opt to sell them at garage sales from your home, or even at flea markets and swap meets.
The basic idea is to sell an item for $100 that you purchased for $10. If you have a skill like that – and some people actually do – it could turn into a lucrative business.
23. Sell Royalties
Are you an artist? If so, you can use online platforms to sell royalties on your work. Whether you’re a photographer, musician, author, or graphic designer, chances are there are people willing to pay to use your photos, music, books, fonts, or logos.
Shutterstock, for instance, lets you contribute images, videos, illustrations, and music, then get paid every time someone downloads your content.
You can sign up with Shutterstock today to start listing your work, creating a nice source of passive income. The more content you contribute, the more you make, so this self-employed job can be as extensive and lucrative as you decide.
Advice to Get Started
Each idea on this list will cost you very little to enter, and the rewards could reach way further than you can imagine. As a send-off into your exciting new venture, I have a few tips for you:
- Dream Big: Maybe you’re starting down this path as a part-time way to make money fast. But perhaps it could grow into the career you’ve been looking for all your life, allowing you to not only have money but also have enough money to save and eventually create passive income.
- Be Persistent: Getting to that point is the gift that keeps on giving. Some of the ideas on this list can earn for you while you’re sleeping, traveling, reading, you get the idea. But it could take years of hard work and perseverance. Put in the work to make it happen.
- Fix your finances: If you want to keep your personal and business finances separate, I recommend getting a separate business credit card and opening a separate checking account. This will allow you to keep business money by itself and then pay yourself a “salary” into your personal account.
- Keep hustling: Whether you’re looking for a long-term career or a side hustle to get you through the semester, I salute your initiative! The next step is getting out there and making it happen. Look at your skills, check your interests, and give one of the ideas on the list a try. It’s worth it!