How to Start a Creative Side Hustle in 2023: From Starting a YouTube Channel to Designing Logos

Want to make money doing what you love? Here are the top creative side hustles to try in 2023, as well as the risks and rewards of starting a successful side hustle.

Creative Side Hustle
Portrait for EnvatoBy Envato  |  Updated August 25, 2023

Nowadays, many people are looking for new and improved ways to supplement their income. Setting up a creative side hustle alongside your primary employment is an excellent way to make more money and turn an enjoyable hobby into a job. In fact, 49% of Americans under the age of 35 now report having a side hustle.

Whether you want to start a small business, produce art and homewares, provide creative services, or all three – now’s the time to get your creative side hustle off the ground and start making money from what you love.

Top Creative Side Hustles to Try in 2023

While starting a creative side hustle sounds like a great idea, where do you start, and how do you choose the right one for you? Here are some popular creative side hustles to try in 2023.

1. Start a YouTube Channel

Running your own YouTube channel is one of the most lucrative – and accessible – creative side hustles out there. Provided you can gather enough interest, you’ll be able to earn money through display advertising, brand sponsorships, and Patreon donations.

It makes sense to base the subject matter around your talents and interests. If you’re an artist, you could create videos showing people how to master basic drawing or painting skills. Crafters could demonstrate embroidery, knitting, or origami, and DIY gurus could help people save money by recycling their clothing or upcycling old furniture.

It’s increasingly difficult to find a niche nobody else has exploited, so focus on finding a unique perspective or showcasing an unusual craft or skill.

2. Design Business Logos

When a business is about to launch or rebrand, it will need an eye-catching logo. But most people find it surprisingly difficult to develop a creative idea highlighting what their company represents – which is where a skilled logo creator comes in. 

You can sell your design services to businesses and help them create the perfect logo. With an average of 4 million new businesses launching annually in the US, logo creation can prove a great side hustle for artists. Read up on how to get more graphic design clients to keep business rolling in. 

3. Sell Graphic Design Templates

With more small businesses launching daily, companies and individuals are looking for simple ways to create graphic artwork – especially those short on time and design skills. From social media and website layouts to marketing materials like posters and flyers, creatives can make a pretty penny from selling design templates. As a matter of fact, there is an entire category of startups like Thrasio and Opontia that specialize in buying existing eCommerce businesses and growing them. You can partner with such companies to help them redesign their acquired websites. 

Alternative to hiring a graphic designer, a pre-built template is an easy, cost-effective way to create content customized for the user’s needs. You can design these templates around in-demand trends and then sell them through your own website or a creative marketplace like Envato.

4. Try Freelance Photography

If you love photography, you likely already have the necessary skills and equipment. So why not make some money from it? You may not even need an expensive camera, as today’s smartphones produce outstanding results.

With a freelance photography side hustle, you can choose your own subjects (such as wildlife or landscapes) and sell prints or greeting cards through Etsy, or take commissions for portraits, weddings, and corporate events. Another option is to sell your work to stock photography sites such as Envato Elements. 

5. Edit Videos and Graphics

If you’re skilled at editing videos, photos, and graphics, you can make money by editing other people’s visual assets. This might involve helping others improve their YouTube or TikTok content or even editing footage for corporate videos. For example, businesses can hire you to add closed captions to videos, promoting inclusivity and benefits to the many people who watch videos with the sound off.

6. Sell Tutorials and Guides

How often have you asked somebody how they learned something, and they’ve replied, “I watched an online tutorial.” Apart from creating free how-to guides on YouTube, you can make more money by selling online courses on your specialist subject, such as cooking classes or language lessons.

Once you’ve recorded the tutorials, market them on your website or socials or sell them to a course provider to start earning passive income. You could also offer live sessions like 1:1 tutoring or a webinar. As you become more well-known, you’ll command a higher price.

7. Start a Podcast

Enjoy talking? You can get paid for doing so by starting a podcast. This could be a solo effort, an interview format, or simply you and your friends having a chat. Choose a subject that’s sustainable for at least 25 episodes.

You can make money through advertising, sponsorships, or offering premium content for a fee. Make sure you market the podcast widely, publish on a consistent schedule, and use quality recording and editing equipment.

8. Start an Email Newsletter

When starting an email newsletter, choose a topic you know about and are interested in. For example, if you’re a photographer, write about the latest trends, equipment, and inspiration, as well as your top tips and tricks. Your newsletter must also be something your target audience will want to read, so it’s worth doing keyword research.

You can monetize your newsletter by selling paid subscriptions with access to premium content or affiliate marketing, including links to other brands’ products. Once you have many engaged subscribers, you can seek partnerships with sponsors. 

The Risks of Creative Side Hustles 

graphic designer sitting at his workplace

We never said creative side hustles were easy! Here are some things to consider before you start.

Increased Taxes 

The more you earn, the more tax you pay. You have to report all your self-employed income, no matter how small your side hustle might be. If you have more than one side hustle, you’ll have to file separate tax forms for all of them. 

Meanwhile, if you also have a day job, tax is deducted from your wages at the source. You can keep track of your taxes with software, such as self-assessment software for individuals. This will help you to pay the correct amount every tax season.


Try to find a way to earn passive income; otherwise, you’ll need to spend a lot of time making your creative side hustle successful. If you’re also holding down a day job (and managing all your other commitments), it can be easy to become burnt out. To maintain a good work-life balance, set realistic expectations and not overcommit.

Hard to Track Income Sources 

A creative side hustle often involves working with several clients simultaneously – and that goes double if you’re running multiple side hustles. Unless you’re super-organized, keeping track of all your projects and income sources (and expenses) can be challenging.

Less Focus on Primary Income

It can be a balancing act when your side hustle is taking off, but you don’t yet earn enough to quit your primary employment. You want to avoid annoying your boss by slacking off or checking the number of likes on your latest video when you’re in a meeting. Ensure you set aside ample time outside your day job to focus on your side hustle. 

Rewards of Side Hustles for Creatives

Passive Income, Side Hustle Ideas to Earn at Home. Young woman speaking in front of camera for vlog as blogger, recording video tutorial or training course. Earn extra money, money making.

Creative side hustles are not without their challenges – but they also come with many benefits.

Offers a Creative Outlet

Finding projects you’re excited to work on in your spare time is essential. If you’re a naturally creative person, you may become frustrated if you don’t have an outlet for your talents. Artistic side hustles enable you to spend time doing the things you enjoy – and get paid! 

Provides Financial Stability

In an uncertain financial climate, it’s reassuring to know that you have more than one source of income. Conversely, your main job gives you the stability to start a side hustle in the first place. Use accounting software to manage your finances and determine how much you need to earn from your side hustle for added stability.

Increased Connections

Creative side hustles enable you to become part of an online community, like Indy; the more you create, the more connections you’ll make. People will recommend you to others, and you’ll also meet like-minded creative people with whom you could team up to promote each other’s businesses.

Great for Upskilling and Career Development

Running your own business is a great skill to put on your resume; it demonstrates passion, determination, and the ability to manage time and finances. It’s also a chance to hone your existing skills or learn new ones to boost your freelance business and pick up extra work. As time goes on and you acquire experience, you can recruit a remote team and delegate some tasks to them. This will give you more time to strategize and plan for growth.

To Wrap Up…

Creative side hustles are a great way to supplement your income and provide an outlet for your passions. Some even generate passive income for artists and other creatives, but to make your side hustle successful, you’ll need to be determined enough to put in the hard work. Choose something that excites and motivates you for your creative side hustle – if you do what you enjoy, you won’t work another day.

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