Work Culture

Side Hustles Are Here to Stay — Here’s What They Are

Let’s talk side hustles for those who work in tech and beyond.

The gig economy continues to grow with more new skilled workers taking on side hustles to diversify their streams of income and tap into their unique skills. If you’re looking to earn extra money in 2022, you may already have considered using your skills to make extra income with a side hustle. 2021 consumer research reported by Abacus Data reports that three out of every five Canadians are already looking to make extra income, pay down debt and ensure financial security through a side hustle.

Those in the tech world are no exception – in fact, some of the most in-demand side hustles leverage specialized technology skills (from mobile app development to affiliate marketing). On the other hand, a side hustle also allows individuals to tap into other areas of interest outside of the tech world (like a side hobby crafting artisan goods to sell online) or even engage in just the occasional cash-earning hustle like completing surveys online. With the global gig economy projected to hit 78 million in 2023 (according to a report from Mastercard), it’s clear that side hustles are here to stay. 

So, what is a side hustle?

Side hustles are exactly as they sound – any income earned on the side of full-time employment. Most people who engage in the gig economy (AKA side hustles) do so to earn extra income on top of their regular pay cheques. Multiple streams of income can be beneficial in lowering financial anxiety. The gig economy varies from part-time jobs like dog-walking to earning passive income through investment properties or even crypto mining. With benefits like setting your own schedule (and choosing if you want to work just a few hours a week, or many) and the ability to work remotely, it’s no wonder that many are looking outside their day jobs to earn money.

Here’s why side hustles are appealing in 2022

Side hustles are appealing as they can be suited to your skills, interests, and the level of time investment you are willing to put into them. For most side hustles, you can set your own schedule, determine the amount of investment you want to put into it, and often work remotely. In some cases, a side hustle idea can even turn into full-time employment (think: highly successful online businesses). In 2022, how can marketers take advantage of this? Read on to see our list of side hustle ideas for those in tech.  

Black man wearing glasses with illustrations of side hustle options around him including bikes, dogs and other abstract options

Here's how much you can earn from a side hustle

Of course, the amount earned from a side hustle can vary drastically based on the job, the market and clients and the investment needed for that job. The investment needed for any given side hustles can be anything from the training required to skillfully execute the job, to the initial equipment investment, to the amount of time an individual is willing to invest outside their day job into growing their business. On average, Canadians earn $1,285.85 per month from their small businesses and side hustles (according to a study by Vistaprint).

Related: Busting the most common myths about affiliate marketing.

The top side hustles for those working in tech

Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant is someone who, remote to the client’s office, provides administrative assistance to businesses. This can range from bookkeeping, scheduling, answering emails and completing any other administrative tasks that help keep that client’s business functioning smoothly (not dissimilar to the way PRMs help partners automate what they hate!). Virtual assistants in Canada make an average of $21.59 per hour, according to Indeed. This side hustle idea is great for those looking to use their administrative skills in a part-time capacity and it can be completed from nearly anywhere with a stable WIFI connection. 

Affiliate marketing

If you have a large social media following, you can tap into your network and make passive income with this relatively easy and fun side hustle as an influencer. The key here is trust – whether an individual marketing candles or clothing, or a B2B company marketing SaaS. While many side hustles are strictly B2C, B2B business owners and marketers can take advantage and increase their revenue streams as well through effective affiliate marketing by leveraging partners through tracked links to drive sales conversions. PartnerStack’s Marketplace can help businesses explore and promote new partner programs. PartnerStack affiliate programs range in commissions from 5-50% (with the majority earning between 15-30%).

Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Here we break down affiliate marketing, as well as the most common types of affiliate partners.

piggy bank with illustrated coins with arrows heading towards the opening with the word affiliate repeated on the side

Reselling goods

Flipping can be an effective way to earn money and tap into an area of interest. From vintage furniture and highly sought-after collectibles to big-ticket items like cars and real estate, skilled resellers can earn big profits on items. This side gig may be harder to earn consistent extra cash from as it relies on time spent sourcing versus an hourly rate per gig. You’ll also need to have a good grasp on your market, and it may not always be quick to find your ideal customer willing to spend top dollar on your wares. However, this can be a rewarding passion project that earns extra money. 

Ridesharing and food delivery

If you have a car and the extra time, one of the most popular gigs is becoming a rideshare driver for individuals. You can also provide grocery shopping and delivery services, or food delivery services if you prefer to leverage your car for your side gig but aren’t interested in coming into contact with the general public as a driver for rideshare apps like Uber, Lyft or Bolt (for the European market). While not a specialized skill (though it does require a license and a car), rideshare apps occupy a huge portion of the global gig economy from ridesharing apps (88% in 2019 according to the same report from Mastercard), so there certainly is a market for it. And with a recent new legislation introduced in Ontario, rideshare workers have now been included in $15/hour minimum wage laws.

Freelancing or consulting

Those in the tech world may want to consider freelancing or consulting in the areas of specialization According to Upwork, 50% of the global freelance economy is specialized skilled work so there is high demand for freelance projects from mobile app development to SEO optimization. Or if you have a specialized skill outside the tech world like writing (maybe you want to start a money blog), photography (hello, profitable wedding world), pet grooming or providing aesthetician services, you can expand your services to beyond those tapped into in your full-time employment. Depending on the trade, it may require equipment (and certainly a refined skill set) but the most difficult part of this side hustle will likely be finding clients through marketing efforts, word of mouth through social media marketing. For freelancing and consulting, you may want to charge either hourly or project-based rates. 

E-commerce and dropshipping

Put those marketing skills to use by starting an e-commerce shop or dropshipping business as a side hustle. It’s easy to get started using common dropshipping platforms and the start-up investment is low. If you’re already working in B2B SaaS ecommerce, you’ll be familiar with lead generation and integrating in an ecosystem, which will be key to the marketing and success of your own B2C e-commerce side hustle. The most successful dropshipping stores can make upwards six figures a year, per Shopify data

As an individual or business, diversifying income streams and partners can help the scale and growth of your personal or company’s revenue, so there’s no time like the present to start side hustling. Already have a small business? Learn more about marketing vs sales in our comprehensive guide for 2022.

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