10 Side Hustles That Are Not Worth Your Time

I’m a big fan of side hustles because I see them as one of the few ways to escape the rat race and achieve financial independence, but not all of them are worth it.
In many cases, you would earn more by working overtime at work.

1. Sell crafts

Selling handicrafts may seem like a nice side job, but it is difficult to make decent money. People are used to low prices and often don’t pay enough to cover your time and materials.

Handmade items on sites like Etsy are available for very low prices, sometimes as low as $5. It’s hard to compete with that, especially when you consider the hours you put into making something.

A personal example: my sister-in-law made and sold handbags. As soon as one of her designs became popular, knockoffs began appearing at much lower prices, often falsely advertised as handmade.

This competition, especially from mass-produced items, makes it very difficult to earn a fair wage selling handicrafts.

2. Amazon Mechanical Turk

MTurk, may sound like a good deal at first: make money by completing simple tasks online. But let’s be honest about what it is like.

You may spend hours completing tasks that cost just a few cents each. It’s like being offered pennies for professional level work, and sometimes your work is even rejected.

Imagine being asked to paint a complex picture for just 2 cents, and you have to get every detail perfect. Or transcribe a super long receipt with dozens of items on it for just 3 cents.

IMO you would be better off with surveys. You might make $50 a month if you spend your free time doing it.

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3. YouTube

Do you want to enter YouTube with the aim of making money quickly? Think again. It takes a huge amount of time – we’re talking hundreds of hours spent creating content. And let’s face it, it can be downright exhausting.

The advantage of YouTube is that you have to build an audience before you even start making money. You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of video views.

For many, by the time they achieve these goals, the fun is long gone, replaced by the grind. And what do you get when you finally start earning? Maybe as much as $0.05 a day.

My opinion? If you’re going to use YouTube, start it as a hobby and keep it fun. Don’t count on it for serious money unless, and that’s a big unless, it really takes off.

And even then, making more than what you put in is a pretty big ‘if’.

4. Writing

Unless you have specialized knowledge that allows you to charge a lot of money (think $200+ for a 1,000-word article), you’re in a tough situation.

The market is incredibly competitive and without a unique perspective or expertise it is difficult to stand out.

Nowadays there are ChatGPT and writers from abroad who can afford to work for much less.

If a person can survive on a monthly salary of $200 to $300, he can afford to write an article for $10 a day and make ends meet while working from the comfort of his home.

5. Blogging

Blogging, especially for the purpose of making money through Google ads, is a tough job. I have a few websites myself, including a blog that generates passive income, so I’ve seen what it’s like firsthand.

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When I first tried this, I quickly realized that the competition is fierce. You’ll be competing against countless others around the world, many of whom are willing to put in a lot of work for relatively little pay.

And let me clear up a common misconception: the idea that you can just set up a site, take care of the SEO, and then sit back and passively collect ad revenue is far from the truth.

Ensuring that your site ranks high in search results and maintains traffic requires ongoing work. It’s not just a set-it-and-forget-it deal.

6. Owning a bar

Are you thinking about opening a bar? Sure, the idea sounds cool and the money may be good, but let’s talk about reality. I’ve been there, done that, and I can tell you it’s not all cheers and big wins.

Running a bar is a completely different story. It’s not just about serving drinks and having fun.

You’ll face all kinds of challenges: late nights, managing staff, dealing with difficult customers, and let’s not forget constant maintenance and regulatory compliance.

And while the income may look great on paper, the stress and endless to-do list can really take its toll on you.

7. Uber

It’s not as easy as it seems.

You often work late at night or at times when you are more likely to have difficult passengers, such as people who might be drunk and even get sick in your car.

8. Guidance

It often takes more time than you might think. For every one-hour session with a student, you actually spend more than two hours of work. This includes finding students, coordinating schedules and travel to meet them.

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There’s the stress of managing an irregular schedule. If you could organize several sessions in a row, it could be worth it.

But that is rarely the case.

9. Drop shipping

The reality is that you will probably lose money, especially if you are just starting out.

The most important costs? Advertisement.

Many people end up spending hundreds of dollars on Facebook ads in an attempt to drive sales to their dropshipping store.

But more often than not, the sales don’t cover the advertising costs, leaving you out of pocket.

10. Retail Arbitration

Today, it’s harder to break into this space than it used to be, especially if you’re starting from scratch.

The main difficulty? Build relationships with stores.

Without these connections, it becomes almost impossible to flip profitable items.

Starting a side hustle

Don’t get me wrong: some of these side hustles, like YouTube and blogging, are scalable.

If you do them right and invest a lot of effort, time and some money, you can even set up your own location independent business.

But if you need money fast, like I said, pick up a second shift at your 9-5 or try temp agencies.

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