I've Tried 8 Popular Side Hustles and This One Is by Far the Best
Got some spare time? Here's how to turn it into cash.
Who couldn't use a little extra cash these days? According to recent reports, 70 percent of Americans are experiencing financial stress and nearly 8.4 million of us hold more than one job—a testament to rising inflation, sky-high housing prices, and astronomical borrowing rates for loans and debts.
The good news? Though you can't out-hustle a broken financial system, you may be able to generate some extra cash in the meantime. That's where Abby Conway comes in. A digital content creator who covers "all things money making," she says she's tried eight different side hustles and has found one that pays off in spades. Read on to see how she ranks eight popular side gigs from worst to best, and to find out why one is by far the most lucrative.
User-generated content, also known as UGC, is a facet of online marketing in which independent creators make promotional content on behalf of brands. In a recent TikTok post, Conway shared that she tried this but found it difficult to find clients and struggled to make content that felt authentic.
"I felt like my videos were so forced and the only brand that ever reached out to work with me was 'jewelry brand.' I'm pretty sure they just scammed me for feet pictures," she says.
You may be able to earn extra money by flipping furniture—buying pieces at low cost and fixing them up to resell at a higher price. Conway says she tried this once by refurbishing and reselling a desk: "I did make good profit off of it, but it was not perfect at all."
She adds that out of all of the side hustles she tried, this one would require the most time and energy investment up front. "It was a skill that you would have to learn and it does take tools. I think if what I'm doing now didn't work I would have tried a lot harder at this," she notes.
Doordash and Uber Eats
Conway also periodically delivers food using the Doordash and Uber Eats apps, though she admits she hasn't done this in over a month.
"I love Doordashing and Ubering," the content creator says. "I definitely prefer Doordash over Uber Eats just because the navigation is so much easier and you can actually see where the houses are."
Conway also recommends trying survey apps, which will pay you to take surveys or promote them on social media for others to fill out.
"They are literally one of the first side hustles I tried and the first videos that actually went viral. Now that I've paired that with affiliate marketing, I've made a lot of money off of my survey apps," she says.
Asked how much she's made using surveys, Conway shared in the comments section that she's raked in a total of over $10,000 with this particular side hustle.
Coming in at number four is email marketing through Cliqly—an app that helps businesses collect email subscribers. Conway says this is one of the easiest side hustles she's ever done: "All you do is click a few buttons, you make a few videos about Cliqly—I love it."
If you enjoy being outdoors and you love animals, Conway says there may be no better side hustle than dog walking. In fact, The New York Times recently reported that some full-time dog walkers make over $100,000 per year.
Conway uses the app Rover to find new clients. "I love any animals, and to get paid to watch animals doesn't feel like a real job to me," she says.
Next, the content creator says she loves doing digital marketing—in particular, creating her own digital products such as Purely Passive Profits, a guide to making passive income through affiliate, digital, and email marketing.
"I do digital marketing with master resell rights, and then I also sell my own digital products. Both are so fulfilling, and both are very, very profitable. Honestly, it just feels good because it's your own products," she says.
Finally, Conway says the side hustle that is by far the best is affiliate marketing—the practice of promoting or marketing a brand's products in exchange for a per-click commission.
"I know that I love digital marketing but I just have this soft spot for affiliate marketing. There are so many ways that you can do it, there are so many companies that you can be an affiliate for, literally the possibilities are endless," she says. "I don't think I'll ever stop doing affiliate marketing and I'm always trying to find new ways to do it."
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