Online Side Hustles That Actually Work In 2023

Online side hustles that actually work world wide web sign with green dollar symbols

Yes, it is possible to make real money with side hustles in 2023. With the increasing popularity of the gig economy and the rise of remote work, there are more opportunities than ever to earn money outside of a traditional job. Some of the most popular online side hustles that actually work can generate significant income, including freelance writing, virtual assisting, online tutoring, dropshipping, affiliate marketing, and creating and selling digital products.

8 Online Side Hustles That Actually Work

It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of money you can make with a side hustle will vary based on factors such as your skill level, the time and effort you put into it, and the demand for your services or products. To be successful in making money with side hustles, it’s important to identify a niche.

Identify a niche that aligns with your skills and interests. Set clear goals, and invest time and effort in building your brand and marketing your services or products. With the right strategy, dedication, and hard work, you can generate real income from side hustles in 2023.

Top 8 online side hustles:

  1. Freelance writing: If you have a talent for writing, you can earn money by writing articles, blog posts, and other content for websites and businesses.
  2. Online tutoring: If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can offer your services as an online tutor. There are many online tutoring platforms where you can find clients.
  3. Virtual Assistant: Many businesses and entrepreneurs need help with administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, responding to emails, and managing social media accounts. You can offer your services as a virtual assistant and work from home.
  4. Dropshipping: With dropshipping, you can start an online store without having to buy inventory upfront. You simply list products for sale on your website and when a customer places an order, the supplier ships the product directly to the customer.
  5. Affiliate marketing: You can earn commissions by promoting products on your website or social media channels. When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you earn a percentage of the sale.
  6. Online surveys: You can earn money by taking online surveys for market research companies. While this won’t make you rich, it can be a good way to earn a little extra cash in your spare time.
  7. Online marketplaces: There are many online marketplaces where you can sell handmade goods, vintage items, and other unique products. Some popular platforms include Etsy and eBay.
  8. Online course creation: If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can create and sell online courses. Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare allow you to create and sell courses on a variety of topics.

These are just a few ideas for online side hustles that can actually work. The key is to find something that you enjoy and are passionate about, as this will make it easier to stay motivated and succeed.

Freelance Writing

Becoming a freelance writer online can be a great way to earn money while pursuing your passion for writing. Becoming a Freelance Writer online can be an easy side hustle that actually works. Since the Coronavirus pandemic online work, in general, has skyrocketed.

Consider the type of writing you enjoy and are good at. This could be anything from blogging to copywriting to technical writing and even social media posting. Once you have identified your niche, you can start building your portfolio and marketing yourself accordingly.

To attract clients, you will need to have a portfolio of writing samples that showcase your skills. You can start by writing articles or blog posts for your own website or for free on other websites by guest posting. As you gain more experience, you can start charging for your services and using those pieces as part of your portfolio.

Determine how much you want to charge for your services. You can charge by the hour, by the word, or by the project. Research what other freelance writers in your niche are charging to get an idea of what rates are reasonable.

Marketing And Promotions

To attract clients, you will need to market yourself online. This can include creating a website, setting up social media profiles, and networking with other writers and potential clients. There are many ways to find clients as a freelance writer, including job boards, social media, forums, cold emailing and marketplaces such as Fiverr and Upwork. You can also reach out to businesses and offer your services directly.

Once you have landed clients, focus on building long-term relationships with them. This can lead to repeat business and referrals which ultimately will lead to a steady source of income. As a freelancer, it’s important to stay organized and keep track of your projects, deadlines, and invoices. Consider using project management tools and invoicing software to make the process easier.

Becoming a successful freelance writer takes time and effort, but with dedication and persistence, you can build a successful career writing online.

Girl on her computer with an Online Tutor.

Online Tutor

Teaching others as an online tutor can be a rewarding way to share your expertise and help others while earning money. Determine what subjects or skills you are knowledgeable in and passionate about. This could include anything from math to writing to coding.

There are many online tutoring platforms to choose from, including TutorMe, Chegg, and Skooli. Each platform has its own requirements and payment structure, so do your research to find the best fit for you. Once you have chosen your platform, create a profile that highlights your experience, qualifications, and teaching style. Consider including a video introduction to make your profile stand out.

Determine when you are available to tutor and set your schedule accordingly. Consider offering flexible scheduling to accommodate different time zones and student needs. To attract students, you will need to promote yourself online. This can include creating a website, setting up social media profiles, and networking with other tutors and potential clients.

Prepare materials and lesson plans for your students based on their needs and learning styles. Consider using video conferencing tools and interactive whiteboards to make the online learning experience engaging and effective.

Once you have students, focus on building a strong rapport with them. This can lead to repeat business and positive referrals. Don’t forget to keep track of your tutoring sessions, student progress, and payments using tools like scheduling software and invoicing tools.

Virtual Assistant

One of the most in-demand online side hustles that actually work. Working as a Virtual Assistant can be a rewarding career choice. There are many freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer that connect virtual assistants with clients. Create a strong profile highlighting your skills, experience, and qualifications. Bid on relevant projects, and maintain positive ratings and feedback to build a solid reputation.

Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to showcase your skills and network with potential clients. Post regularly about your services, and engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages promptly.

Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients can be an effective way to get new virtual assistant gigs. Encourage your clients to leave positive reviews and to refer you to others who may need your services. Reach out to businesses or individuals who may need virtual assistant services via email.

Introduce yourself, highlight your skills and experience, and provide specific examples of how you can help them achieve their goals. Attend virtual events, webinars, and conferences related to your niche or industry. Use these events as an opportunity to connect with potential clients and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Look for virtual assistant job openings on job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and Apply to relevant positions that match your skills and experience. Build a professional website showcasing your services, skills, experience, and testimonials. Optimize your website for search engines, and use it to attract potential clients.


Dropshipping can be an attractive option because it allows you to start an e-commerce business without the need for upfront capital or inventory. Instead, you set up an online store, find products to sell, and then work with a supplier who handles the inventory and shipping. This can be a low-risk way to test the waters of entrepreneurship and potentially earn some extra income.

Here are some steps to get started with dropshipping:

  • Research and Choose a Niche: Research and choose a niche that you are interested in and has a demand in the market. Look for products that are unique and have a potential audience.
  • Choose a Platform: There are several platforms you can use for dropshipping, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce. Choose a platform that suits your needs and is easy to use.
  • Find a Reliable Supplier: Find a supplier that offers quality products and has a reliable shipping system. Here’s an all-in-one supplier that will make it easy for you to succeed!
  • Set up Your Online Store: Once you have chosen your platform and supplier, set up your online store. Customize your store to match your brand, and make it user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Add Products: Add the products you want to sell to your store. Ensure that the product descriptions are accurate, and the images are high-quality.
  • Marketing: Use social media, email marketing, and paid advertising to promote your store and products. Focus on building a strong brand, engaging with your audience, and offering valuable content.
  • Manage Your Inventory: Keep track of your inventory levels, and ensure that you have enough stock to meet demand. Use tools like inventory management software to make this process easier.
  • Fulfill Orders: When an order is placed, forward it to your supplier, who will ship the product directly to the customer. Ensure that the product is delivered on time and in good condition.

By following these steps and continuously learning and improving your strategies, you can build a successful dropshipping business.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be a good side hustle for some people, but whether it’s right for you depends on your interests, skills, and willingness to put in the time and effort required to make it one of the best online side hustles that actually work. With enough proactive work, it can turn into an exciting career.

In affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products or services and earn a commission on any sales that result from your efforts. This can be an attractive option for people who enjoy writing or creating content, as it allows them to monetize their skills and expertise.

Choose affiliate programs that align with your niche, have a good reputation, and offer high commissions. Consider the product’s demand and whether it offers value to your niche audience. A great place to get started with that I recommend is with ShareASale. It’s easy to sign up, and they have a wide selection of products and services for affiliates to promote.

Build a strong following

Build a strong following on your website or social media channels. Create quality content that offers value to your audience and builds trust. Use various channels to promote your affiliate products, such as email marketing, social media, and paid advertising.

Utilize different strategies to reach a broader audience. Be transparent with your audience about your affiliate links. Disclose that you are promoting an affiliate product and why you believe it offers value to your audience.

Use data to optimize your marketing efforts. Track your affiliate links’ performance, analyze your audience’s behavior, and adjust your strategies accordingly. Offer value FIRST beyond just promoting products. Provide your audience with valuable content, tips, and insights that make them want to come back for more.

Build relationships with your audience and the affiliate programs you promote. Respond to comments, engage with your audience, and provide feedback to your affiliate partners. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends, tools, and techniques in affiliate marketing. Attend conferences, webinars, and forums related to your niche.

Becoming successful in affiliate marketing takes time and effort, but by implementing these strategies and continuously learning and improving, you can build a profitable and sustainable affiliate business. I highly recommend my affiliate marketing course if you’re serious in creating a successful career in online marketing.

Online Surveys

While you won’t get rich from taking online surveys, it can be a good way to earn some extra cash. The following are some tips for making money with online surveys.

  • Sign up for Multiple Survey Sites: Sign up for multiple survey sites to increase your chances of receiving surveys. Some popular survey sites include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Toluna.
  • Complete Your Profile: Complete your profile to help match you with surveys that are relevant to you. This will increase your chances of receiving surveys that you are eligible for.
  • Check for Daily Surveys: Check for daily surveys on your preferred survey sites. These surveys often have a higher payout and are available for a limited time.
  • Refer Friends: Refer friends to the survey sites you use to earn additional points or cash rewards.
  • Be Consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to taking online surveys. Set aside time each day or week to complete surveys and earn rewards.
  • Cash Out Rewards: Once you have earned enough points or cash rewards, cash them out to your preferred payment method.
  • Use a Dedicated Email: Create a dedicated email account for survey invitations to avoid cluttering your personal inbox.

computer on a table with a mini shopping cart.

Online Marketplaces

One potential advantage of selling handmade goods online is that you can often command higher prices than you would if you were selling mass-produced items. This is because customers are often willing to pay a premium for handmade goods that are unique, high-quality, and crafted with care.

However, in order to be successful in selling handmade goods online, you’ll need to invest time and effort in marketing and promoting your products. Marketing and promotion is necessary to make this one of the top online side hustles that actually work. This may involve creating a website or online store, building a social media following, and developing relationships with customers and other Creators in your niche.

Top 4 online marketplaces to sell handmade goods:

  1. Etsy: Etsy is a popular marketplace for handmade and vintage items. It has a large audience of buyers looking for unique and personalized products.
  2. Amazon Handmade: Amazon Handmade is a newer platform for handmade items. It offers a vast customer base, and products are integrated with the larger Amazon marketplace.
  3. Folksy: Folksy is a UK-based marketplace for handmade items, art, and supplies. It offers a friendly and supportive community of sellers and buyers.
  4. Bonanza: Bonanza is an online marketplace that offers a wide variety of products, including handmade goods.

When choosing a platform to sell your handmade goods, consider the fees, audience, and features offered by each platform. It’s also important to create high-quality product listings, optimize your keywords, and promote your products to increase your sales.

Online Course Creation

Online course creation can be one of the most profitable online side hustles that actually work. But it depends on a number of factors. Including the demand for your course topic, the quality of your course content, and your ability to market and sell your course effectively.

One advantage of creating online courses is that they can generate passive income over time, as students continue to enroll and pay for access to your content. Additionally, online courses can be sold at higher price points than other types of digital products, such as ebooks or software.

Here are some ways to make money with online courses:

  1. Sell Your Course: The most obvious way to make money with online courses is to sell them. You can create and sell courses on platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, or Coursera.
  2. Create a Membership Site: You can create a membership site that provides exclusive access to your courses, along with additional resources and support. Members pay a recurring fee for access to your content and community.
  3. Offer Coaching and Consulting: You can offer coaching or consulting services alongside your course. This can be a way to provide additional value to your students and charge a premium for your time.
  4. Affiliate Marketing: You can partner with other course creators or companies in your niche and promote their courses to your audience. You’ll earn a commission on any sales made through your unique referral link.
  5. Webinars and Workshops: You can offer live webinars and workshops that teach a specific topic or skill. These can be sold as standalone products or used as a lead magnet to promote your course or coaching services.
  6. Bundle Products: You can bundle your courses with other related products like eBooks, workbooks, or templates, and sell them at a higher price point.
  7. Create Digital Products: You can create and sell digital products like templates, cheat sheets, or worksheets, to supplement your courses and provide additional value to your audience.

When creating and selling online courses, it’s important to choose a profitable niche, create high-quality content, and promote your courses effectively. By building a strong brand, providing value to your audience, and continuously improving your courses, you can make a sustainable income from online courses.

Final Words

Identify a niche that aligns with your skills and interests. Set clear goals, and invest time and effort in building your brand and marketing your services or products. With the right strategy, dedication, and hard work, you can generate real income from these online side hustles that actually work.


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