4 Easy Side Hustles for Writers

Jackie Pearce

Recently, I did a long post about 11 different side hustles for writers. While the ultimate goal is to make your full-time income as a writer, what happens if you can’t make ends meet with your writing?

Most of us writers know that our careers go through high and low periods, and every now and then you’ll need other ways to make money.

Alternatively, maybe you want to make money in different ways so you can save your creative writing time for your own passion projects. If you’re trying to write a book but all of your side hustles are dedicated to writing, it can be hard to have the energy to be creative with your own work. That’s an easy recipe for burnout.

We’re going to dive into some side hustles for writers that can help make ends meet and still give you enough time and mental energy for your own writing projects.

Side hustles for writers — How to choose?

If you want to create a side hustle so you have more time for writing, there are a few criteria you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. You don’t want a side hustle that’s too exhausting. If it’s too tiring, you’re not going to have the time for being creative writing.
  2. You’ll want to pick a side hustle that lets you write at your best time. If you write your best work in the mornings, you don’t want to pick a side hustle where you only work mornings or where you stay up too late and sleep through your mornings.
  3. Picking a side hustle that can give you inspiration for your writing might be something to consider. For example, if you have a character in a book you’re writing doing a certain type of job, doing it as a side hustle can give you writing ideas.
  4. It brings in decent income. While it’s hard to guarantee that you’ll make a ton of money from any side hustle, you don’t want to work endless hours and still barely have enough money or time for writing. Don’t be afraid to quit one if you decide it’s not working for you.

Side hustles for writers — Ideas to choose from

Keeping all of the above in mind, there are a few potential great fits out there for writers to choose from.

Let’s dive into a few different side hustle ideas and go over the pros and cons of each one, along with how you can get started with it.

Sell extra items you own

Most of us need a good Marie Kondo decluttering session where we go through our spaces and only keep the things we love.

One of the fastest ways to make extra money is to go around your space and put your extra belongings you don’t love anymore up on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, etc.

You can even dive all-in and do a Gary Vaynerchuk-style and start to find things to sell from garage sales to sell for more of a profit.

Pros:

  • Easy to start since you don’t need to apply for a job, you simply need to take a few pictures and get started
  • Helps you declutter your own space
  • Can fit in around a busy writing schedule

Cons:

  • If you start taking in inventory to sell, you’ll need the space to hold the items
  • Will need to answer questions, ship items, or meet with people to sell what you own

How to get started:

Take a weekend to simply go around your place and figure out what you are more than happy to part with.

If you have a Facebook account, you simply go to the Marketplace, fill out a few things about your product, and boom it’s now for sale.

Depending on how much you own, it could be a nice boost of income over the next few weeks or few months. Plus, you’d have the added benefit of less items to manage in your space.

Pet sitting and walking

Apps like Wag! and Rover give people the ability to watch pets. It’s fully customizable to your own schedule, so you’re able to take jobs on as they fit within your schedule.

You need to like animals to get involved in this, but it’s a great way to make extra money on the side.

Pros:

  • Get to hang out with pets and take care of them
  • Good exercise if you choose to walk them
  • Could write at someone’s house if you’re not just walking them

Cons:

  • Not as consistent as an actual job, since they’re individual gigs
  • If you don’t like pets, this is probably not a good option

How to get started:

Download one of the dog walking apps, fill out the forms, and get started. You could also ask friends or family if they have any current pet sitting needs.

You’ll want to learn some of the ins and outs of basic animal care before you are responsible for someone’s pet, but once you do you’ll be good to go.

Bartending or barista

Bartending will give you a ton of good stories to pull from for your creative writing. Imagine how many people we’ll meet and the stories you’ll hear.

Bartending isn’t as flexible as some other types of gig-type jobs, but it will depend on how much money you need and what works better for your schedule. It might also depend on if you have any bars in your local area that are hiring.

Alternatively, if you’re more of a night writer you might choose to become a barista. Some coffee shops are open late, but for the most part, they’re open earlier in the day than bars. You could pick the option that’s a better fit for your creativity.

Pros:

  • Great stories to hear from other people
  • Would get you out of the house
  • More time flexibility for writing compared to a standard 9-to-5

Cons:

  • Doesn’t always pay well, depending on the popularity of the bar
  • Requires you to be social and might require late hours

How to get started:

Take a look around your local area and see if anyone is hiring a bartender or barista. You might have to start on the waitstaff and move your way up, but some places might be willing to teach you.

side hustles for writers

Freelance editing

This might be too close to writing for some of you, but if you want to mix it up, freelance editing might be a good side hustle.

You’d spend time looking for grammar mistakes or helping people navigate how to steer the direction of their writing. It would help sharpen your writing and editing skills, which would in turn improve your own written works.

Pros:

  • Easier to do at home than some other types of side hustles out there
  • Would help improve your writing skills

Cons:

  • Might be more mentally taxing than other types of jobs
  • You might prefer to just write and not edit writing

How to get started:

Some of the easiest ways to get started as a freelance editor is to look at job boards or reach out to fellow writers in your network to see if any of them need help.

You could also join LinkedIn or other business networking platforms to advertise that you’re looking for work.

Next Step

Ready to find a community that can support and encourage you as a freelancer? Ready to increase your freelancing income?

Writing tools: Community -- Freelance Writers Den

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Sicard

    Hi Jackie, I like the idea of walking a do since I walk my dog and I love the fresh air. Oftentimes that is when I come up with my best ideas for new blog posts. Editing would be my 2nd choice.

    Reply

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