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Top 10 Side Gigs According to Ask Men

The Ask Men magazine recently published an article on the top 10 side gigs for men.  They suggested some pretty good stuff, though I think a lot of it can also be worked by women.

The article was inspired by a Man’s needs to have fun spending a night out with the boys and finding the extra cash to do so.  Not all the side gigs they recommended are something one would want to brag about or casually bring up in a conversation, but are very good ways to generate some quick spending cash.

The article is likely not relevant for most of this blog’s readers because the average reader of my blog is relatively well off and successful in their corporate careers or running their own business.  That said, I didn’t want to leave the fresh, young and single bachelor hanging either.

So cheers to all the young single lads out there.  I hope you find this list of top 10 side gigs (highlighted in red) and my comments helpful.

# 10

Affiliate marketer

This is probably one of the side gigs that you’ve heard of at least once a week, if not more. And you’re probably familiar with the little spam e-mails that you get about making $5,000 a week.

True, the majority of them are scams, but there are some good ones around if you do a little research. One in particular is at where you can make money simply by joining an e-mail list. There’s no buying or selling, and there’s no need to bug friends for referrals.

I cannot speak to who Michael Badger is and what his website is all about because I really don’t know or care about it.  But I 100% agree that affiliate marketing can make you a ton of money on the side.

Affiliate commissions, in other words commissions I have received from promoting products and services owned by other companies has been one of my biggest sources of income in the years I have made money online.

Affiliate marketing works like sales.  You are essentially a sales rep for the company, who’s products and services you market. Each time someone purchases from your referral, you cash in.  You can read my detailed thoughts on affiliate marketing referral here.

# 9

Become an eBay power seller

You know how easy it is to use eBay, whether you’re buying or selling stuff. Heck, you probably buy loads from there as it is. So why not make your casual internet surfing pay off a little?

Open up a store and become a power seller a la 40 Year Old Virgin. Sure, you might start off small, but once you get established you can start buying cheap products like a PlayStation 2 with controllers and games, and sell them individually.

I have a slight problem with this one.  The issue is not that you cannot make money on Ebay. Sure you can, but I don’t think the author understands the nuances and complexities involved in turning a profit with this side gig.

Ebay is not what it once was.  It is not easy to become a PowerSeller overnight as this article suggests.  You need to make thousands of sales (with positive feedback from buyers) to get to that level.  So what are you going to sell one thousand times?

Where will you get the product?  How will you beat the cheap Chinese manufacturers who are all over Ebay and already priced 100x below the market? What about shipping?

In my opinion, Ebay is more headache than warranted, and is a super saturated marketplace that I only visit when I am in the market for significantly discounted items that I can live without.  It’s likely one of my least favorite side gigs.

You can read my detailed thoughts on Ebay here.

# 8

Join a focus group

You may or may not have heard about these, but they’re an excellent way to make some decent money. A focus group is a gathering of consumers, usually brought together by a specific company, to discuss a manufacturer’s products and give their opinion. The pay is not bad either — for an hour of your time, you can expect compensation between $40 and $60 on average.

Now this is a good one. In fact, some specialty focus groups pay up to $150 for 45 minutes to an hour or even more.  I once was sought out to participate in a frequent fliers survey group.  I was traveling heavily at the time and had the highest status on several airlines.

So I showed up for the event, which took up about an hour of my time.  In return I was paid $150 for my time and gas. The place was not far from me at all.  I have been to several other similar focus groups in past years.  The more specialized the audience they are looking for, the higher the pay you can expect.  This is up there in one of my favorite side gigs.

# 7

Sign up for a medical trial

Pharmaceutical companies are constantly coming up with new drugs to bring to the market, but they need to be tested first. This is where you come in. If you agree to test out the drug, you can receive up to $3,000 per study.

Of course, there is the chance of side effects, and you’d have to pick a study that is accommodating to your day job — no week-long trials for you — but $3,000 for lying on your back for a couple of days? Even Paris Hilton would jump at that.

My health and well being is too important to me for Scientists to mess around with.  True, there is a lot of money in this kind of thing, but there are certain boundaries I am not willing to cross.

There are other Get Paid To type activities out there that are much safer and can be done at your convenience from home.  You can see a list of them here.

# 6

Sperm donor

The very fact that sperm donors are needed is usually down to the sad fact that certain couples can never have children, due to the guy being infertile.

But this is where you can do your good deed — simply pop over to your local sperm donor center, and once you’re accepted you can make up to $100 per sample ($500 if you don’t mind your identity being open to potential takers). And can you really consider this side gig work?

Nice!  That’s all I will say about this one :)

# 5

Become a dog walker

This is really becoming a lot more popular, as many pet owners have so little time to devote to their furry little friends after they come home from a long day at work. So offer them a solution and become their dog walker.

It’s a win-win-win situation: their pets are exercised, the owners get to relax and you’re making money. This can bring in $10 per hour, and if you walk two to three dogs at the same time, it can earn you quite a bit.

Decent paying task if you enjoy the outdoors and don’t mind the dogs.  I probably wouldn’t do it if I had to walk a Pitbull.  You might score an extra bonus if the owner is a hot one of the opposite sex.  Just be careful and don’t get your hand bitten off in the process.

# 4

Write a blog

Sure, this might not sound like the best way to make money, but websites like and now offer good money for simply writing about stuff.

If you already keep a MySpace blog or something similar, why not make money from it instead? And if you win one of the ongoing Best Blog competitions, you can make an easy $100 or more for a mere 30 minutes of your time.

I don’t like the way this one started.  Who says blogging is not the best way to make money? I challenge you to propose another way that is better?  How else can you make a wonderful living today working part time from the comfort of your own home? I personally make thousands of dollars each month from my online activities.

You can too.  Blogging is by far one of the best ways to generate solid passive and residual income on the side.  Several other successful bloggers are enjoying the money, freedom and flexibility.

Have a look at Yaro’s Blog Mastermind program here (2012 Update: Program has been discontinued).  The last I checked Yaro rakes in north of $350,000 annually working a couple hours a day at best.

# 3

Personal selling schemes

OK, so you might hear the terms “personal selling scheme” and think something along the lines of Avon cosmetics or an Ann Summers house party. And while this is often true, there’s also timeshare selling or heavily discounted vacation bargains.

These can pay a hefty commission — and even get you cheap vacations in the mix. Just be wary of the fact that there are a lot of scam companies that take advantage in this market — do a little research first.

Someone PLEASE help me understand how this side gig is any different from #1 Affiliate Marketing?  To me, it sounds like you refer someone to something, they pay for it and then you get paid.  That is affiliate marketing to me.

# 2

Airport shuttle service

You know how convenient a taxi can be when you go on vacation — it saves you from having to worry about long-term parking costs and you can simply relax and settle into your holiday.

If you have a car, why not use it to your advantage and set yourself up as an airport shuttle service? The pay is good, you don’t have to pay too much extra insurance and there will always be business.

This is a decent one.  A smart way to go about this is to post flyers in your community to make neighbors aware of the services you offer.  Since you all live in the same community, the inherent trust and convenience factor should be enough to get you some business.  It can work even better if you have a larger vehicle like a van or SUV.

Give out your phone number and email addresses and schedule trips at your convenience.  This is a brilliant one and I like it a lot.   I’ve always wanted to drive a cab early morning 4am-7am before sun rise (wife thinks I’ve gone MAD).

I find early morning driving with smooth jazz or something light playing in the background very relaxing.  I know, I might change my mind when I actually start doing it.  But I’ve already told my wife that when I grow up I really want to do this.

# 1

Visit websites for fun

With companies now looking outside the box for ways to get sales, there are now numerous opportunities for the everyday Joe to benefit. One such way is to join one of the many paid website-view schemes, like

All you have to do is sign up for an account and then you’re paid to surf the web. Adverts are loaded onto your screen, which you must leave there for at least 15 seconds, but after that you’re paid for viewing that site and you move onto the next.

Think about what you do everyday on the internet, then imagine seeing cash in your pocket for it — not bad at all.

Noble attempt, but the author clearly doesn’t realize the true potential of this activity, which is close to none.  It can be somewhat worthwhile for those who have referred several others to do the same because the companies pay you a percentage of your referrals’ earnings as well.  I have written about Scour, a company that does the same on my website.  You can access the review here.

Conclusion on These Side Gigs

Some of these side gigs are worthwhile while others are not.  I can guarantee this article was written by a novice, someone who may not be fully familiar with each of the 10 side gigs recommended.  Regardless, the attempt was decent and the readers of my blog are savvy enough to navigate through the minutiae and determine what’s best for them.

So to all the males AND FEMALES out there, of the top 10 side gigs that Ask Men recommends, which one floats your boat best?  Do you have a better one that is not on this list?  Let’s hear it and how you are making it work out for you?

Here are some of my thoughts on the evolution of side gigs from part time to full time ventures.

Not Asking Men

Previous: The Progression from a JOB to Financial Freedom and Flexibility in Life

Next: Don’t Even Think About Making Money on the Side. Your Friends and Family Will Resent You

4 Responses to “Top 10 Side Gigs According to Ask Men”

  1. JasonW says:


    This post seems to contradict your philosophy about making passive income. Some of these activities are far from passive. They involve a lot of time and work and are not passive by any means. I work a full time job and my understanding is that you come from the same background and are trying to help those like me who are in the same situation you were in. But let me ask you, would you have been able to do some of these top 10 businesses when you were working and traveling?

  2. Sunil says:

    Jason – welcome and thank you for your observation. While I am a very big advocate of passive income, the 10 side gigs according to Ask Men certainly don’t all revolve around the passive model. However, there is much more to picking a side gig than just choosing one that is passive in nature. It comes down to personal preference and what one derives enjoyment from.

    You are right – I do come from the same background and that is why I am able to relate well – at least I’d like to think so.

    I would have been able to do some of these, and some not given my unpredictable and crazy traveling schedule back when I was a consultant. That said, there is something for everyone, and anything worthwhile is worth mentioning on this blog. You never know who is reading and can benefit from the message.

  3. Neil says:


    What would you say is the best side gig from the 10 itmes you listed and why?

  4. Sunil says:

    Neil – it’s a matter of personal preference. Best is a relative word.

    I can tell you what I personally like best of the 10.

    #4 & #10 – I have implemented these and have had great success over the years. Both are scalable, and provide the opportunity to generate passive and residual income.

    #2 – would love to do it someday

    what about you?

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