By now you’re probably pretty familiar with all the mainstream side hustles out there, like becoming a delivery-partner with Uber or delivering food with DoorDash. But if you’re looking at how to make money and none of the usual suspects for side gigs sound appealing, worry not. The gig industry is gi-normous (yes, that’s a word) and fortunately for you we’ve got all the details on a few of the best side hustles you’ve probably never heard of.
So whether you love spending time with dogs, have a sweet ride you wouldn’t mind sharing, or have some other bizarre marketable skill-set your 9-5 boss doesn’t know about (don’t we all?), keep reading to learn more about these obscure side hustles that you can start today to earn some extra cash.
Wrap your car in ads
What if we told you it’s possible to get paid just for driving your car around — no strangers in the back seat, no stinky take-out food in the front? Just you, making your normal rounds.
It might sound too good to be true, but if you’re down to put a few ads on your car that’s exactly what you’ll be getting paid to do. Sites like Carvertise and Wrapify will pay you to drive around with branded wraps on your ride. Best of all? You can pick which campaigns you want to opt in for, and the wraps won’t damage your car or paint job.
There isn’t much standing in the way of you and your passive-driving income, but some sites (like Carvertise) do require you to drive a minimum distance per day (in this case 30 miles) — making this gig best for people with commutes.
Rent out your car
Another great side gig for car owners, this one also doesn’t force you to drive anyone around. In fact, it doesn’t even involve you driving at all.
If you have a car but don’t need it all the time, then you might consider renting it out to someone who does. Services like GetAround allow you to put your car up for short-term rental when you’re not using it. Especially convenient for city dwellers who don’t have cars of their own, this app has gained in popularity over the last few years by allowing people to rent cars when they need them — whether that’s for a few hours to run errands or for a weekend getaway.
Check out our guide on how to get the most out of GetAround and start earning cash on your parked car.
Ever wondered how those crazy things get charged up? It’s not a scooter fairy, that’s for sure.
You can actually work with sites such as Lime to help them keep their fleet of eScooters charged up and ready to go. This gig involves going out into your local community, finding scooters, charging them at your place, then releasing them back out into the wild.
Since the pay tends to be by scooter, this gig makes the most sense for someone who lives in a community with lots of these scooters, and who has a large vehicle for packing them in to transport to a charging location.
Hang out with dogs (or cats)
Remember when we called out the dog lovers? Well this one’s for you. Whether you like to walk dogs, visit them, or even want to try your hand as a doggy daycare host — Rover has a ton of ways for pet lovers to earn extra cash.
You can sign up on the Rover app to find clients nearby and learn what kind of pet service they need. Depending on what you decide to offer, you may need more than healthy love for animals — like a space where they can hang indoors and a car to get back and forth to clients. Keep these factors in mind and peep our guide to earning with Rover to make the most of this side gig.
Much like the pizza delivery guy, everyone’s happy when the alcohol delivery person arrives — and spreading all that joy could be your next side gig.
Companies like Saucey allow you to deliver beer, wine, and spirits around your city. And while you will need a new-ish car to get around (2007 models and later), the company prides itself on offering courier opportunities that don’t have you driving crazy mileage during shifts.
You do need to be 21+ for this gig and have a working smartphone that allows you to connect with their app.
Help people move with Dolly
Ever spent an afternoon helping a friend move? Then you might be interested in doing it again, and getting paid this time. Dolly is a company that connects people who need help moving with savvy movers like you.
Whether you have a car to contribute to the process (or better yet a truck) or just your two hands and a good attitude, you can earn extra cash by helping other people get all their stuff from point A to B. To get started with Dolly you’ll need to be 21+ with a valid driver’s license.
Rent a friend
Although you can’t buy friends, you can (apparently) rent them. If you enjoy meeting new people and mingling in social settings, you might consider becoming someone’s (rented) friend for a day.
Let’s be clear, though, Rent A Friend isn’t a dating site— but rather a way for people to connect based on common interests (like cooking or playing sports) or to have a wingman or woman around they can trust at a party. Some people might even rent a friend to have someone more spontaneous on their side who can help them network and break the ice.
If any of these sounds like you, check out the local listings on Rent A Friend to find social opportunities in your city.
Become an online juror
If you like watching daytime television court cases (because who doesn’t?) then why not get paid to be part of one instead? Sites like OnlineVerdict and eJury allow you to be part of a jury and get paid to do it — all while helping lawyers prepare for their actual trials.
This side gig is for US Citizens only, and although you won’t be delivering any real verdicts that affect innocents or criminals, your input will help lawyers make a stronger case for the actual day of judgment. The best part? Since this all happens remotely, you can 100% rock that Judge Judy wig and mallet while working.
Sell your photos
Whether you’re trying to launch a career in photography or just love snapping photos with the latest iPhone, you could be getting paid for all that creative content. Sites like EyeEm and Shutterstock allow content creators to buy your contributed photos — paying you each time they’re downloaded.
Based on this, it’s best to contribute as many quality photos as you can in order to make the most money. And, hey, it's pretty cool to watch brands using your photos for their content too!
Write for Hubpages
Whether you dally in poetry, fiction, or even nonfiction writing, you can be getting paid for your writing on sites like Hubpages.
Hubpages won’t make you rich, but it will help you get some published writing samples and earn a bit of cash along the way. It will also teach you a little something about how the blogging industry works — since you’ll be doing what other bloggers do and making money on the ads placed in and around your posts, and earning even more as traffic increases to your pages.
Become a user tester
Ever wonder how all the people working in tech get their websites and apps to work so well? The answer is testing of course!
If you have some free time to kill on your laptop, you could get paid to test apps and websites simply by using them. Whether it’s on your lunch break or even for a few minutes after work, User Testing can earn you a bit of extra cash — and all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to get started.
Become a (professional) cuddler
This is for all the people who like to wear “free hug” t-shirts. And although it’s definitely not for everyone, there are sites like Cuddlist that allow you to offer paid “cuddling” sessions— as long as you’re 18+ years old.
This might sound creepy, but the site emphasizes that cuddling sessions are meant to be therapeutic (and that’s it). We’re a wee bit skeptical, but hey — we’re guessing you’ve definitely never heard of this one before.
Give local tours
Love your neighborhood and want to show it off? Then you might consider becoming a local tour guide with ToursByLocals. Spend your free time showing tourists around the city, using your insider knowledge to take them to all the best places.
This gig is best for people who know their city well, and have a few hours to spare during peak travel seasons — like during summer and on weekends. Get started on the site and build up your tour guide profile to help travelers find you!
The final word
No matter what your hidden talents and interests, there are ways to make money for everyone. But the best way to succeed at a new side gig is to pick the one that works best for you. Whether that means working odd hours or odd jobs, in-person or online — it’s important to take the time to pick the work you’ll actually want to do outside of your day job. Check out our mega list of side hustles for plenty of ideas.
Hustling for a side gig is hard work, but if you take the time to choose something you enjoy, even something you’ve never heard of before today, then it will make it feel a lot less like work — and possibly even turn into something you’re able to continue for years to come.