People today understand more than ever the importance of diversifying when it comes to your source of income. After decades of financial crisis’ and global pandemics, younger generations are acutely aware of how risky it is to put all your eggs in one employment basket.
This has always been the case for YouTubers, of course. Since the beginning of YouTubers making money from their content, it has always been the advice for smart YouTubers not to rely solely on YouTube to pay their bills. Adpocalypses, changes to personal situations, and much more can make YouTube earnings evaporate in no time.
Of course, telling you that it’s important to spread your wings a bit financially is all well and good, but we want to go that extra step and give you a few ideas on where you can spread your wings!
With that in mind, we’ve put together our top 10 side hustles for YouTubers to dip their toes into (click here for side hustles for students). Never heard of a “side hustle” before? Don’t worry…
What is a “Side Hustle”?
A side hustle is defined as any job or occupation that is not your main job or occupation. In a traditional sense, an example of this might be someone working in a factory through the week and then doing a few shifts tending bar on the weekend. In this case, the bar work would be a side hustle.
Of course, things are a little more fluid these days, with the lines between side hustles and a “main job” being a little blurrier, but there is an emotional component that is strong these days than it once was. It is not uncommon for people who make their money online to have something that they consider a side hustle actually be their primary source of income!
Still, whether you classify something as a side hustle based on the money it makes you or how important that activity is to you, the basic premise remains the same; it’s a way of earning money that you consider secondary to another way of earning money.
How Much Money Can You Make With a Side Hustle?
The amount of money you can make with a side hustle will, of course, vary tremendously depending on several factors, such as what the side hustle is, how good you are at it, how much time you put into it, and more.
As mentioned above, how much money it makes does not necessarily affect its status as a side hustle. If you consider YouTube your “primary” hustle, you may well find one of your side hustles overtaking as your largest source of income. Our advice would be to not think too much about things like the exact amounts. As long as you’re making enough (whatever “enough” means to you), it doesn’t matter which hustle is making the most money.
Don’t Think of it as a Side Hustle!
While you should get too hung up on the specific amount being made by any form of hustle, it’s important not to think of things as secondary, or unimportant. If your job involves making money on the Internet, you should consider all of it your job, whether it’s making the most or not.
If you start thinking of legitimate income sources as unimportant, you run the risk of letting them slip until they stop being legitimate income sources. You may think of yourself as a YouTuber, but if you have half a dozen side hustles, they will quickly amount to a significant portion of your income, so you probably literally can’t afford to neglect them.
Top 10 Side Hustles for YouTubers
That’s enough about what side hustles are, it’s time to get to our top ten side hustles for YouTubers. Of course, if you simply searched for side hustles and found this post, you aren’t a YouTuber, don’t stop reading. We’ve picked these ten side hustles because they work well with YouTubing, but they are perfectly viable side hustles for other walks of life, too.
In fact, if you see your main hustle on here (blog writer, or podcaster, for example), just swap that one out for “YouTuber” and keep on reading!
Oh, and a little side note about the YouTube Partner Programme, we haven’t included that in this list because we assume that if you’re looking to add side hustles to your resume, you’re already making money from YouTube.
#1 Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate marketing is perhaps one of the most well-established means of making money on the side for YouTubers. This is the process of promoting something in the course of your usual content and making a little money on the actions taken by your viewers.
The most well-known example of this is, of course, Amazon’s affiliate program. When enrolled as an Amazon affiliate, you will be able to get a personal affiliate link from any Amazon product. Viewers who happen to buy that product will not pay any extra—indeed, they wouldn’t even know it was an affiliate link if you didn’t tell them (more on that in a second)—but you will make a small commission on anything they buy through your links.
There are many forms of affiliate marketing available, as well as services designed specifically to facilitate linking companies with people like you. It should be noted, however, that you should always give some sort of indication to your viewers that a link you have put in the description or a product you are promoting in your video is something you are promoting as an affiliate. It’s not hard to find out, and viewers will be turned off by this kind of dishonesty. It could also get you in trouble with YouTube.
#2 Merchandise Seller
Whether you have some kind of merchandise that exists independent of your YouTube channel, or you start releasing merchandise that ties directly in with your YouTube channel, having that channel can be a great way to promote it.
Naturally, if your merchandise is tied to the channel (for example, t-shirts with the channel logo on them), you’re going to want to promote it from that channel. Alternatively, if you want to start (or already have) a small clothing line, you sell artwork, or you sell pretty much anything on a site like Etsy, you can leverage the popularity of your YouTube channel to give that side hustle a bit of a kickstart.
#3 Course Instructor
Many YouTubers have some area of expertise, even if their channel is not about imparting that expertise. These days, the administrative side of creating and hosting an online course to teach other people things is relatively painless. There’s still a lot of work in putting the course together, of course, but there’s a lot of work in running a YouTube channel, as well, and you’re not letting that stop you… are you?
Of course, if your channel is centred around educating, such as a DIY channel, or tutorials on coding, it will be much easier to translate that audience into an online course. But even channels that are not about teaching viewers something can take advantage of this side hustle, as long as the course is teaching a skill that is on display when you make your videos.
#4 Channel Manager
If you have a particular flair for handling YouTube channels, you might consider turning your attention to becoming a channel manager. Essentially, you would take on the management of other people’s channels, and handle almost everything except for the content itself.
Many people don’t have the time or desire to effectively manage their channel themselves, but proper channel management can make an enormous difference. As you will no doubt be aware of this is a side hustle you are considering.
The main thing to beware of here is letting this side hustle take over. A good channel manager will typically have several clients. And, while managing a channel doesn’t take nearly as much time as making content for it, it all adds up if you keep adding clients to your roster.
Bloggers may resent seeing their profession listed as a side hustle on a YouTube blog—especially since blogging was a viable source of income before YouTube—but don’t be mad; YouTube can just as rightly be called a side hustle for bloggers. And the good news is this makes sense whichever way round you look at it.
Essentially, you have something to share with an audience, and you are currently doing it in video form. By translating that content to written form, you can reach a whole new audience. Or you can make it supplemental, giving your YouTube audience something else to consume.
In a very similar vein to being a blogger, you can get more of your message out in audio-only form through podcasts. And, again, if you are a podcast, you can easily look at this suggestion in reverse, with YouTube being the side hustle.
This suggestion works best for channels that already have a podcast-like feel, such as panel show channels, or interview channels. If you regularly put out hour-long videos that are mostly talking, you’re going to miss out on a lot of viewers purely because of the time requirements. Not everyone has that much free time to sit and watch YouTube.
Those same people might have an hour’s worth of commuting to do every day, or regularly go for a job and like to listen to something while they do. They might just want something to put on while they do a bit of cleaning around the home. If your content is already podcast-like, putting it out as a podcast will involve negligible work. And, if it succeeds, it could drive more traffic to your YouTube channel.
Of course, you can still make a podcast if your channel isn’t the kind of channel described above. As long as you have something interesting to talk about, you can find an audience.
#7 Produce Video Content
This one is a little trickier. As we mentioned above in the channel manager section, creating content for a channel is the most time-consuming part, so the idea of producing video content for others might not seem like the best plan.
While you could certainly produce video content for other YouTube channels, we’re suggesting something more specialist, such as making animations idents, or infographic clips. If you have a skill for this kind of thing, there will undoubtedly be plenty of people and companies that are happy to pay for your services.
#8 Stock Trader
This one doesn’t really tie in to you being a YouTuber unless your YouTube channel revolves around you being a stock trader, or talking about stock trading in some form. If this isn’t you, you can still get into stock trading (or currency trading), to earn a little (or a lot) extra on the side, just be sure you know what you’re doing. We categorically do not recommend anyone dabbling in the stock market without knowing what they’re doing beforehand.
#9 Become a Consultant
You don’t have to make content to take advantage of your expertise. Consultancy work is a great way for you to exploit your own knowledge while helping others. One example of this could be helping other YouTubers grow their channel (assuming you have proven yourself able to do this in the first place of course!), but it could just as easily be any other area of expertise you have.
#10 Champion a Cause
This one is kind of cheating. You won’t necessarily make any money from championing a good cause, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Whether it’s planting trees or donating to charities, you have the power to make an impact.
YouTube is undoubtedly a great platform for launching other projects, whether they are passion projects, side hustles, or even new careers. The list above is a relatively small selection of the possibilities for adding new hustles to your game, so don’t worry if none of the above work for you.
Of course, if all else fails, your side hustle could always be other YouTube channels.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.