These days, it seems like everyone’s playing the side hustle game. According to Bankrate, over 44 million Americans are making money outside their normal 9 to 5 jobs.
If you’re looking for unconventional ways to make money, check out these seven strange (but totally legit) side hustle ideas.
1. Be a professional friend
We all need somebody to lean on, which is why RentAFriend.com has become a global phenomenon. This social marketplace connects people around the world seeking platonic companionship.
As a friend for hire, you might join someone for a movie or become their workout buddy. Whatever activities you choose, you can set your own rates — typically between $20 and $50 per hour — and keep 100 percent of the profits.
2. Snuggle a stranger
If you’re ready to get even more up close and personal with people, you might enjoy a side gig as a professional cuddler. Sites like Cuddlist and The Snuggle Buddies consider snuggling to be a form of alternative therapy, and they hire cuddlers to provide therapeutic touch to people in need.
Work requirements vary, with Cuddlist requiring an online certification course and Snuggle Buddies exclusively hiring female cuddlers. Once you get started, you could make $40 per hour or more.
3. Cast judgment as an online juror
Instead of watching courtroom dramas on TV, experience them live by working as an online juror. Through sites like OnlineVerdict.com and eJury.com, you can sit on a mock trial as lawyers prepare their arguments for real cases.
To qualify, most sites require that you’re at least 18 and have never been convicted of a felony. They tend to pay between $20 and $60 per case.
4. Work as a human billboard
Whether for opening day or a blowout sale, stores often hire sign spinners to attract crowds. You can find gigs on Craigslist or on local sites like the Atlanta-based SpinnerDudes.com.
Pay for sign spinners varies, but Glassdoor estimates the average salary at $10 per hour. If you get hired, be prepared to stand on your feet all day while holding a big sign.
If you learn fancy sign spinning moves, you could even compete in the Sign Spinning World Championship for a grand prize of $5,000.
5. Turn your car into a moving ad
Not everyone’s arms are up to the challenge of sign spinning, so consider using your car to advertise instead. Companies like Carvertise and Wrapify will wrap a banner ad around your car and pay you for the publicity.
You could make between $100 and $460 per month, depending on how much you drive every day. Remember that reputable companies won’t charge you anything up front. They should also cover any costs for putting on and removing the ad.
6. Sell your hair
Are you itching to chop off your long locks? Before heading to the salon, think about selling your hair on a site like HairSellon.com.
As long as you’ve got more than six inches to sell, you can offer it on this hair marketplace. Use HairSellon.com’s pricing tool to set a price based on factors like how thick your hair is and whether it’s been dyed before.
Although this side hustle might only work once every few years, you could make several hundred dollars per transaction.
7. Win an eating contest
In 2017, the male reigning champion of Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest ate 72 hot dogs. He also won $10,000. Plus, four runners-up won prizes between $1,000 and $5,000.
Although this national hot dog eating contest comes but once per year, you can find other contests around the country through EatFeats.com. If you beat out the competition, you’ll see your wallet expand along with your stomach.
Get creative with your side hustle ideas
Thanks to the connecting power of the internet, the sky’s the limit when it comes to money-making opportunities.
From working as a professional snuggler to selling long locks of hair, you can find an opportunity to turn your downtime into extra income.
Along with making extra money to build your emergency fund or pay down debt, you might just create the next big thing in the side hustle world.
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