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I’m a huge fan of side hustles and I totally think everyone should have one.
(And apparently, a lot of people agree with me — 37% of Americans have at least one side hustle and the average side hustler earns over $8,000 a year.)
I especially like side hustles as a money-making option for moms.
When I started my freelancing side hustle what seems like forever ago, I was a newly minted stay-at-home-mom. I had my hands full with a toddler and a newborn but I’d never not worked before.
So I decided to look for a way to make some money from home while still being a full-time mom.
For a while, I tinkered with being a virtual assistant. Then I realized there was something else I was better at: writing.
I found a website that would actually pay me to write for them and boom–my side hustle was born.
Now that I’m a single mom, my side hustle has grown into a full-fledged freelance writing business. I work part-time hours, make a killer income and have plenty of time to spend with my kids.
And since I’m all about helping other moms figure out how to make money online, I decided to put together a list of side hustles that are perfect for single moms.
Which Side Hustles Are Best for Single Moms?
As I created this list, I chose side hustles to include based on two things:
- The amount of time they require you to put in
- How much money they have the potential to generate
Why those two things? Two reasons.
First, time is something you don’t always have a lot of as a single mom. Especially if you’re working a full-time job outside the home.
If you’re a single mom whose kids are with you more or less 24/7 (like mine are), then side hustling usually takes a back seat to working, taking care of kids, taking care of the house and (hopefully) taking care of yourself too.
That brings me to the second criteria, which is profit potential. If you have a limited amount of time to pour into a side hustle as a single mom it needs to be worth it financially, right?
So, these side hustles are ones single moms can do in their spare time. And they’re ones that can pay off in a big way.
Ready to dive in to the 12 best side hustles for single moms? Here we go!
1. Freelance Writing
Of course, I’m going to put freelance writing at the top of the list. Because I really believe it’s one of THE best ways for single moms (and not-so-single moms) to earn big.
So what do you need to be a freelance writer? First, let me tell you what you don’t need: a fancy degree in journalism, English or creative writing.
You know what my degrees are in? Political science and criminal justice.
Do I write about those things as a freelancer? Nope.
So if you’re a single mom who’s thinking that freelance writing isn’t for you because you don’t have any writing experience, I can tell you that’s definitely not the case.
Here’s what you do need:
- A niche, or a specific topic you have a sustained interest in
- Basic writing skills (or a willingness to learn them)
- A starter portfolio that has some samples of your writing
- A good laptop and decent internet
- Determination, patience and a little confidence
If you’ve got those things, you can tackle the next step: looking for freelance writing jobs.
That’s where new freelancers usually run into trouble. Because how do you find freelance work when you’re a total noob?
I get it. I’ve been there myself. So to help you, I created a Freelance Writer’s Toolkit that’s packed with useful tools for new freelancers.
It’s a completely free resource that walks you through everything you need to know to start a freelance writing side hustle. Be sure to grab yours if you haven’t yet! 🙂
2. Virtual Assistant
Being a virtual assistant comes in second on the list of side hustles for single moms because they’re in such high demand these days.
During my brief stint as a virtual assistant, I made $10 an hour working a few hours a week. I spent most of my time doing things like creating flyers, formatting newsletters and writing email sequences.
These days, virtual assistants typically make closer to $30-$50 an hour. And there’s a whole laundry list of services single moms can offer as a VA.
For example, you could:
- Specialize in Pinterest management
- Handle social media or blog management
- Be a VA for real estate agents or brokers
- Offer digital marketing services
- Be a virtual administrative assistant
That’s the great thing about starting a VA side hustle–you can tailor the services you offer to fit what you’re good at.
If you don’t know where to start with being a VA, Gina at Horkey Handbook has a great in-depth post you should check out. And if you’re ready to jump in with both feet, she also has a course on how to launch a VA business in 30 days or less.
3. Online Proofreader
Proofreading is a side hustle single moms can do a few hours a week, or more if you’ve got the time. And you can make a pretty decent amount of cash doing it, too.
Being a proofreader means having a great eye for detail but again, it’s not something you need a fancy degree to be good at.
You just need to know the basics of capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar.
General proofreaders get paid to proof blog posts, articles and books for errors; transcript proofreading is a bit more technical. The upside of being a transcript proofreader, however, is that it tends to pay more than general proofreading.
There are tons of courses you can take online to learn proofreading. If you’re looking for one to try, I recommend checking out Caitlyn Pyle’s free workshop. She walks you through the basics of starting a freelance proofreading hustle from home.
If you’re a single mom or any mom for that matter who’s helped their kids with their homework lately, you know what a hair-pulling experience that can be. To quote Bob Parr from The Incredibles, “Why would they change math? Math is math!”
But if you’ve got a knack for guiding your kids through tricky math problems or anything else school-related, tutoring might be your side hustle of choice.
There are two ways to tutor: online or in-person. For single moms, online usually offers the most flexibility.
You can pick which subjects you want to tutor students in, set your own hours and choose your rates. As side hustles go, tutoring is pretty low-hassle, low-stress.
If you need a nudge on where to find tutoring jobs, check out these websites to get started:
Most of these sites are geared toward entry-level tutors. Make sure you read the fine print, though, so you know what qualifications are needed to offer services through the site.
5. Graphic Design
I love art and anything that’s visually appealing — like a great-looking Pinterest pin, for example — but design is definitely NOT my thing.
But the opposite might be true for you. And if it is, that could be a great jumping off-point for launching a side hustle as a graphic designer.
How you choose to put those skills to work is totally up to you. For example, you could:
- Design logos, freebie templates or Pinterest templates for bloggers
- Offer website design services
- Design and well WordPress themes
- Start a t-shirt business
- Sell digital products, like planners or printables
- Offer graphic design consulting services
But don’t overlook the possibilities of starting a blog about graphic design or looking for gigs on job boards that cater to freelancers, like Virtual Vocations or We Work Remotely. The wider you cast the net, the more leads you’re likely to turn up for work.
6. Create and Sell Online Courses
We all have something we know a lot about, either because we went to school for it or it’s what we do for a living or it’s a favorite hobby.
I’m a huge history nerd, for example. Other people read novels; I read history books and biographies.
You might have something you’re just as interested in or passionate about. And you can channel it into a side hustle by creating and selling courses online.
There are three main platforms you can use to create and sell courses: Udemy, Teachable and Thinkific.
All three work along the same lines: you create a course, then list it on the platform at the price you want to charge. Students sign up for your course and you get paid.
It’s free to set up a course through Udemy and Thinkific. Free access gets you the basic features you need to get your course up and running. But if you want to eventually offer multiple courses, you can upgrade to higher account tier for a fee.
Teachable doesn’t have a free sign up option; the basic plan is $29/month. The upside is that you can create unlimited courses that support unlimited students at that price.
7. Selling on eBay or Etsy
I have a friend who used to make extra cash by buying things from yard sales and junk stores and selling them on eBay. And if you’re a single mom with an interest in picking, you could do the same.
There’s not much you can’t sell on eBay these days so you could sell a mix of different finds you come across or specialize in one type of product, like used books.
If you’re a maker, you could always try your hand at selling homemade products on Etsy. And trust me, there’s just as much variety in what you can sell there as there is on eBay.
Need a primer? These blog posts can help you get started with selling on Etsy or eBay:
- How to Start an Etsy Shop (Posh Patterns)
- What to Sell on Etsy in 2019 (Nancy Badillo)
- How to Start Selling on eBay (Exploring Life’s Beauty)
- 8 Steps to Get Started Selling on eBay (Passion, Purpose and Debt)
8. Fulfillment by Amazon
If you’ve ever sold anything on eBay or Etsy, using fulfillment by Amazon to sell may not be much of a leap.
The idea is simple: you buy items at discounted prices, then resell them through the Amazon marketplace.
Next time you’re shopping on the site, check out the buying options. If you see one that says “Available from third-party sellers”, odds are that’s a Fulfillment by Amazon seller.
The Selling Family is making a healthy income with FBA — you can read more about how they do it in this in-depth post.
One thing that makes this idea different from some of the other side hustles mentioned here is that you’ll need some cash to buy your first products to sell.
Starting a freelance writing or virtual assistant hustle, on the other hand, are things you can do with just an internet connection and a computer. So, if you’re considering FBA, think about how much cash you’ll need up front to get started.
9. Blog Flipping
Blog flipping can be one of the more lucrative side hustles for single moms.
Flipping blogs is kind of like flipping houses. You buy a domain at a discount, then resell it at a profit.
It sounds simple enough. But there’s something of an art to it.
Because you have to be able to spot those domains that have the best potential resale value. And you’re not just buying them, you sometimes have to spruce them up a little. That might mean:
- Adding plugins
- Installing a new theme
- Adding some content
- Promoting the site on social media or flipping marketplaces
So there’s some work that goes into it if you want to be successful. It can be a real money-maker, though.
Jenn Leach makes thousands of dollars a year flipping blogs part-time. Alexis at FITnancials posted a great interview with Jenn about how she makes her money-making strategy work.
If you want to learn the basics, check out Jenn’s course on Teachable, “Website Flippers University”.
10. Write and Sell eBooks
I didn’t know what writing an ebook would be like, until I actually did it.
In my Freelance Writer’s Toolkit, I include an ebook that outlines how to start a freelance writing career. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
Writing and selling ebooks can be a great side hustle choice for single moms because it’s something you can do in your spare time. An ebook doesn’t necessarily have to be long — the one I wrote about freelancing is 40 pages.
It just needs to be well-written, cover a topic that people want to read about and be formatted properly.
Hubspot has a great how-to guide on creating ebooks. If you’re not sure what to write about, ask yourself four questions:
- What topics are you most knowledgeable about?
- Which problems can you solve?
- Are there people out there who would want this knowledge or have those problems?
- And most importantly, would they pay for it?
If you can work out the answers to those questions, the actual writing of an ebook becomes a lot less intimidating.
From there, you can figure out where you want to sell your ebook.
Amazon is an obvious choice but Blurb, Payhip and Selz are other options. Just take a sec to read the fine print on the fees different platforms charge so you know what you’re paying to host your ebook on their site.
11. Sell Stock Photographs
I love, love, love stock photographs. Like I could literally just look at them all day and appreciate how pretty they are.
Because remember what I said earlier about design? I can admire something that’s visually appealing but I have a tough time creating it myself.
Stock photos can be a wildly profitable side hustle for single moms if you know your way around a camera. You can sell your photos online through a stock photo marketplace or set up your own blog and website.
To see what I mean check out these stock photo queens who are killing with their sites:
Their sites are beautiful, as are their stock photos and that’s why people are willing to pay their membership fees to use them.
So far, all of the side hustles I’ve talked about are ones you can do online. As a single mom who homeschools, I couldn’t imagine earning an income any other way.
But if you’re looking for an analog side hustle option, pet and/or baby-sitting could be right up your alley.
With pet-sitting, you could host pets in your home or offer a check-in service that allows pets to stay in their homes while their owners away. The same goes for baby-sitting.
You can advertise your services as a sitter locally but there are plenty of online platforms you can use to grow your hustle.
Rover, for example, lets you start and manage your pet-sitting business right from your mobile phone. Sittercity lets you do the same thing if you’d rather sit for human clients instead of the four-legged variety.
What About Blogging as a Side Hustle?
You’ll notice that I didn’t include blogging as a side hustle option.
Why not? I mean, everybody and their dog has a blog these days right?
Here’s why. Blogging is more of a long game than something you can do to start making money fairly quickly, at least that’s what I’ve heard from most of the other mom bloggers I’ve connected with.
And I truly believe that if you’re going to start a blog, you should do it with the intention of turning it into a full-scale business at some point.
All those bloggers who are making $30,000, $50,000, $100,000+ a month? They treat their blogs like businesses, not something they do in their spare time to make a few bucks.
Approaching blogging like a business requires time and at least a little bit of money if you want to do it right. And it can take months or even years for your blogging efforts to pay off.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that single moms (or any moms) should skip starting a blog.
What I am saying is that if you’re going to do it, you’ll have to work at it. And work at it. And probably work at it some more to see real results.
I’ve learned a lot as a beginning blogger and I still have a long way to go before I’d call myself a blogging expert. So if you want to start a blog, then definitely give it a try.
Just be prepared to spend a lot of time learning about the different aspects of blogging and how to do it right. If you need some blogging mentors to learn from, here are my personal faves:
- Elna at Twins Mommy
- McKinzie at Moms Make Cents
- Latasha at Arts and Budgets
- Melissa at Blog Clarity
- Meera Kothand
There are wayyy more I could include here but those are the bloggers I go back to again and again for blogging tips and advice. They’ve got the experience and the know-how, and it shows in how successful their blogs are.
Which Side Hustle Will You Start?
Side hustles are awesome, especially if you’re a single mom trying to make some extra money while working full-time.
I can’t imagine where I’d be now if I hadn’t started my freelancing side hustle all those years ago. So if you’re thinking of starting a hustle of your own, I highly encourage you to go for it!
If you’ve got a great idea for a side hustle that’s perfect for single moms or you’re a single mom who’s working a successful side gig, hit the comments and tell me about it.
And before you go, grab my FREE Start a Side Hustle Checklist if you need a little help figuring out which kind of side hustle to start!