Top 10 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money in a Recession [2023]

A side hustle is more than just a source of extra income; it's your financial anchor when the economic seas get rough. In times of recession, having multiple income streams can provide the stability and security you need. It's your shield against financial stress, a generator of extra income, and a way to diversify your earnings. This article presents the top 10 side hustle ideas; each selected not only to boost your finances but also to equip you with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the ever-changing economic landscape. Let’s explore these recession-proof side hustles to earn extra cash when you need them the most. 

Top 10 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money in a Recession - A side hustle is more than just a source of extra income; it's your financial anchor when the economic seas get rough. In times of recession, having multiple income streams can provide the stability and security you need. It's your shield against financial stress, a generator of extra income, and a way to diversify your earnings. This article presents the top 10 side hustle ideas; each selected not only to boost your finances but also to equip you with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the ever-changing economic landscape. Let’s explore these recession-proof side hustles to earn extra cash when you need them the most.

Top 10 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money in a Recession [2023]

1. Freelance Writing: Crafting Words into Income

If you have a knack for words and a passion for writing, freelance writing can be a rewarding and potentially lucrative side hustle. As a freelance writer, you can write blog posts, articles, or website content for clients across various niches. This versatile gig can be found on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, which connect writers with clients needing content. Here's how to make the most of your freelance writing hustle:

1. Niche Specialization: Consider specializing in a specific niche to build your authority and attract clients looking for industry experts. Whether it's technology, health, or travel, becoming an expert in a particular field can increase your earning potential.

2. SEO Expertise: Understand search engine optimization (SEO) to write content that ranks well on search engines, making it more valuable to your clients. Incorporating relevant keywords, optimizing meta descriptions, and creating high-quality, informative content will set you apart.

3. Building a Strong Portfolio: Create an impressive portfolio that showcases your best work. It not only demonstrates your expertise but also helps you attract clients seeking your specific writing style or skills.

Related: How to Become a Freelance Writer?

2. Online Tutoring: Sharing Knowledge for Profit

If you excel in a particular subject or skill, online tutoring is an excellent way to share your expertise and earn extra income. Subjects like mathematics, science, languages, and even music are in high demand. You can register on websites like Preply and Chegg Tutors to connect with students. Here's how to succeed as an online tutor:

1. Interactive Teaching: Engage your students with interactive and engaging lessons to ensure they learn effectively. Use multimedia resources, real-world examples, and practice exercises to keep the learning experience dynamic.

2. Positive Reviews: Encourage satisfied students to leave positive reviews, which can help attract more students. Building a strong online reputation is essential in the world of online tutoring. Your past students' endorsements can be your best marketing tool.

3. Effective Communication: Maintain clear and transparent communication with your students. Make sure they understand the learning objectives and have a way to reach out for questions or additional support. Effective communication builds trust and encourages repeat business.

Related: Best Online Teaching Websites

3. Virtual Assistance: Streamlining Work for Busy Entrepreneurs

Virtual assistance is a versatile side hustle where you offer administrative skills to businesses and entrepreneurs who need help with tasks like email management, appointment scheduling, and social media management. Platforms like Time Etc and Belay can help you find potential clients requiring your virtual assistance service. Let’s also understand how to succeed as a virtual assistant:

1. Time Management: Properly manage tasks and prioritize them to increase productivity. Employ time management tools, calendars, and to-do lists to stay organized and ensure you meet deadlines consistently.

2. Communication Skills: Effective communication with your clients is key to understanding their needs and delivering quality results. Regular updates, clear instructions, and responsiveness to client inquiries are crucial for success.

3. Building Client Relationships: Establish strong working relationships with your clients. Understand their business goals and objectives, and tailor your support to help them achieve success. Happy clients are more likely to provide repeat business and referrals.

Related: How to Become a Virtual Assistant?

4. E-commerce: Your Online Retail Empire

Starting an e-commerce store can be a profitable side hustle, especially if you are passionate about selling. Platforms like Shopify and Etsy make it relatively easy to set up your online shop. You can sell handmade crafts and vintage items or opt for dropshipping products. Additionally, you can also launch an affiliate marketing website to earn commission on each sale. Here's how to shine in the e-commerce world:

1. Market Research: Identify a niche that interests you and has a potential customer base. Research your competition to understand your market better. Conduct keyword research to discover what potential customers are searching for online, and use this insight to tailor your product listings.

2. Online Marketing: Utilize social media and email marketing to promote your products effectively. Create engaging content, run targeted advertising campaigns, and maintain an active presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to reach your target audience. Email marketing can help you retain existing customers and attract new ones through newsletters, promotions, and updates.

3. Customer Service Excellence: When your online store grows, offer exceptional customer service. Respond promptly to customer inquiries and address any issues or concerns promptly and professionally. Satisfied customers are more likely to return and recommend your store to others.

Related: How to Make Money on Etsy?

5. Remote Consulting: Monetizing Your Expertise

If you have specialized knowledge in marketing, finance, or technology, consider offering remote consulting services. Websites like can help you connect with potential clients. To excel as a remote consultant:

1. Build Your Brand: Establish yourself as an expert in your field through a professional website and active participation in industry-related forums. Share your knowledge through blog posts, whitepapers, or webinars. This positions you as a thought leader and attracts clients seeking your expertise.

2. Continuous Learning: Stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices to provide cutting-edge advice to your clients. Attend webinars, conferences, and online courses to enhance your skills and keep your knowledge current.

3. Effective Consultation: Be a problem solver to succeed as a remote consultant. Listen attentively to your clients, understand their unique challenges, and personalize your advice to address their needs. Clients value actionable solutions and a consultant who can guide them to success.

6. Content Creation on YouTube: Video Monetization

For those comfortable in front of the camera, starting a YouTube channel can be a profitable side hustle. You can earn money through ad revenue, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing. To grow your YouTube presence:

1. Engaging Content: Create content that resonates with your target audience, encourages subscribers, and promotes sharing. Make your videos informative, entertaining, and visually appealing. Consistency in video quality and content style is key to building a loyal following.

2. SEO Optimization: Optimize video titles, descriptions, and tags for search engines to reach a wider audience. Research relevant keywords and trends in your niche to tailor your content and attract viewers interested in your topics. You can use Google Keyword Planner, WordStream, VidIQ, SEMRush, or Ahrefs for keyword research.

3. Community Engagement: Foster a sense of community among your viewers. Respond to comments, engage with your audience through social media, and create a space where viewers feel heard and valued. A strong community can increase viewership and support through crowdfunding platforms like Patreon.

Related: How to Create a YouTube Channel?

7. Online Surveys and Market Research: Quick Income on the Web

While not a path to wealth, participating in online surveys and market research studies on platforms like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie can be an easy and flexible way to make extra money in your spare time. To maximize your earnings:

1. Consistency: Dedicate time daily or weekly to participate in surveys and market research. Consistency is key to accumulating rewards and payments over time.

2. Profile Completion: Fill out your profile thoroughly for more survey opportunities tailored to your interests. Surveys matching your profile are more likely to offer higher payouts.

3. Refer Friends: Many survey platforms offer referral bonuses. Invite friends and family to join, and earn additional rewards when they complete surveys. Sharing your positive experience can encourage others to sign up.

Related: Best Paid Survey Websites

8. Gig Economy Jobs: Driving and Delivering for Cash

If you have a vehicle and some spare time, signing up for gig economy apps like Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash can provide an on-demand income source. To succeed in the gig economy:

1. Customer Service: Provide excellent service to earn positive reviews and tips. Friendly and professional interactions can result in higher earnings, as satisfied customers are likely to tip generously.

2. Time Management: Plan your routes and deliveries efficiently to maximize earnings. Utilize the app's features to minimize downtime between rides or deliveries and stay active during peak hours for increased earning potential.

3. Safety First: Prioritize safety while working in the gig economy. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, follow traffic rules, and use personal safety measures, like carrying a charged phone and sharing your location with a trusted contact.

Related: How to Become an Uber Driver?

9. Freelancing: Leveraging Skills for Global Clients

Offer your skills in graphic design, web development, or digital marketing on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer, or Toptal. These platforms connect you with clients from around the world. To thrive as a remote freelancer:

1. Portfolio Development: Create a strong portfolio showcasing your skills and previous work. Your portfolio is a visual resume, demonstrating your capabilities and attracting clients looking for specific skills.

2. Client Communication: Establish clear communication with clients to understand their needs and deliver exceptional results. Regular updates, project timelines, and addressing client feedback are essential for client satisfaction and repeat business.

3. Bid Strategically: When bidding on projects, be mindful of your pricing. Consider the project's scope, your skills, and the current market rates. Competitive pricing can help you win more projects.

Related: How to Earn Money from Fiverr?

10. Affiliate Marketing: Promoting for Profit

Affiliate marketing allows you to promote products or services from other companies through your website or social media. When someone purchases through your affiliate link, you earn a commission. Popular affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Associates and ShareASale can be lucrative. Here's how to succeed in affiliate marketing:

1. Content Integration: Seamlessly integrate affiliate products into your content, making it relevant and valuable to your audience. Write reviews, guides, or tutorials incorporating affiliate products, showcasing their benefits.

2. Disclosure: Be transparent with your audience about your affiliate relationships to build trust. Disclose your affiliate status in your content and provide honest reviews and recommendations. Transparency fosters credibility.

3. Tracking and Analytics: Use tracking tools and analytics to monitor the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts. Understand which products and strategies generate the most revenue, and refine your approach accordingly.

Related: Nike Affiliate Program Review


In a recession, having a side hustle is not just a way to make extra money but also a strategy for financial security. The side hustles discussed in this article provide diverse opportunities for individuals with varying skill sets. Whether using your skills, selling products, or providing services, following these detailed insights can help you attract clients, customers, or opportunities and navigate the challenging economic times more successfully. 

Remember, the key to making a side hustle profitable lies in your dedication and consistency. As you embark on your side hustle journey, understand that results may not be immediate, but your determination and ongoing effort will pave the way for financial stability and personal growth. Now is the perfect time to take action and start your side hustle. Don't hesitate; the opportunities are out there waiting for you to seize them. Start today with an appropriate side hustle idea and secure your financial future!

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