If you’re a dietitian or other wellness professional, you’ve probably seen this question a million times: “How can I make extra money as a dietitian?” 

Traditional dietetic positions typically don’t pay a ton, so there are a lot of us out there looking to augment our income or start a side hustle.

Thankfully, there are A LOT of ways to bring in some extra cash. To help find the right opportunity for you, I divided this list up into 3 categories:

  • Fast cash opportunities: Products or services you can offer that are relatively quick to set up and start selling. 
  • Leverage your audience: Offers that are a little more work to put together and usually require that you have an engaged audience. 
  • Long-term plays: Things that might take 1 or 2 years to really take off, but that can be built up slowly on the side. 

Let’s start with the fast cash opportunities. 

Prefer to listen? Enjoy the podcast version of this post:

Fast Cash Opportunities

In this category, I’ve got 14 ideas that can help you earn money relatively quickly. 

These ideas involve selling a low-cost product or a valuable service, so they tend to be “easy” sells that don’t require a large audience to get started.

1. Market Research Participant

Did you know that you can get paid to participate in market research?

Yep, that’s right. You, as a dietitian or just as a human in general, have valuable expertise that companies are willing to pay for. 

Simply sign up for a market research platform and receive opportunities to complete surveys or take part in interviews or research studies and get paid.

Some websites that are particularly relevant to wellness professionals and business owners include rarepatientvoices.com and userinterviews.com.

For an extensive list of opportunities, check out these 25 paid research companies.

Getting started: Sign up on various websites to get contacted for opportunities
Time to profit: A few hours
Earning potential: $50+/hour

2. Corporate Wellness Gigs

If you live in a city, you may be able to find freelance work as a corporate wellness dietitian. 

This typically involves contracting with corporate wellness companies to provide your services at corporate wellness events. 

For example, you could be hired to host a booth at a wellness event, develop a nutrition-related activity for people to participate in, or give a nutrition-related talk to employees.

Freelance corporate wellness dietitians are typically paid an hourly or per-event rate, which can be upwards of $100 per hour. 

If you are a dietitian with a local business listing (especially if you have a Google Business Profile), you may receive outreach emails with these types of opportunities. 

When I was a newer RD in the Los Angeles area, I worked with Balance Integration, Health Dimension, and Health Fairs Direct to provide freelance corporate wellness services.

Alternatively, you can pitch yourself directly to companies. This Workplace Wellness Quick Guide has more details on how to get started.

Getting started: Contract with larger companies or pitch yourself
Time to profit: May take a few months, can be inconsistent
Earning potential: $100+/hour

3. Mentoring

Many new dietitians (or dietitians entering a new area of expertise) are actively looking for someone to guide them and help them become more competent practitioners in their field.

If you love teaching and helping people master new skills, mentorship could be a good option for you. 

You can offer one-off or ongoing mentorship calls on your website or connect with peers through professional forums and events.

Mentees can book (and pay for) your time directly on your website, so this is a super easy side hustle to set up!

For example, integrative dietitian Susan Allen offers 1 hour mentorship calls for $297, with discounts if you purchase multiple hours upfront. 

In the past, I have offered one-off mentorship calls for $175 per hour for dietitians looking for personalized feedback on their online business strategies.

If you poke around, I bet you can find similar offers in most nutrition niches. And if you don’t see anything – blaze the trail yourself!

Getting started: Offer on your website and/or within peer groups 
Time to profit: Could be immediate
Earning potential: $150+/hour

4. Virtual Assisting

If you’re looking for extra work you can do on nights or weekends (or while your kids nap), virtual assisting might be the right gig for you.

Many RD entrepreneurs are looking for help in their businesses and love to hire other dietitians on their support team. 

Tasks that can be done virtually include admin work, customer service emails, podcast editing and publishing, creating social media graphics in Canva, writing social media captions, video editing, managing online communities, responding to DMs, publishing website content, and more.

Typically, as a VA, you are not in charge of larger business strategy, but rather executing someone else’s vision.

You can charge hourly for these services or create packages for a flat monthly fee.

If you’re interested in finding a virtual assistant position, keep an eye on the postings in The Unconventional RD Community on Facebook – new opportunities are posted all the time!

Getting started: Offer this service on your website and/or in peer groups 
Time to profit: A few weeks after starting
Earning potential: $30 – $50+/hour 

5. Social Media Manager

If you’re really good at social media content creation and strategy, then you might consider becoming a social media manager. 

As a social media manager, you will be responsible for coming up with, executing, and evaluating the social media strategy for someone else’s business.

You may also be asked to do paid advertising campaigns on social media as well.

This is a large task and specialized skill, so you can definitely charge more for this than typical VA work. 

Most social media managers offer monthly packages based on deliverables, rather than charging by the hour.

If you’re interested in learning more about social media strategy, you might enjoy the content from Social Media Examiner, but nothing beats hands-on experience!

Getting started: Offer this service on your website and in peer groups 
Time to profit: Could be immediate
Earning potential: $50 – $100+/hour (usually offered as packages)

6. Freelance Writing

If you hate client work and want the flexibility to set your own work hours, freelance writing may be a good fit for you. 

Lots of businesses, big and small, are looking for freelance writers to create content for their websites, and they may be willing to pay more to have a credentialed expert write for them.

You can find entry-level freelance writing jobs on platforms like Upwork or ProBlogger, in Facebook communities like The Unconventional RD Community on Facebook, or even on traditional job platforms like Indeed.

If you have some solid writing samples, you can also pitch yourself directly to companies – especially those in the food and wellness space. 

Pro tip – you can charge more for your services if you understand SEO!

Grab my free SEO Roadmap to learn what SEO is and how it fits into your online marketing strategy.

Getting started: Join Upwork, ProBlogger, or pitch yourself
Time to profit: A few weeks after your first assignment
Earning potential: .05 to $1+ per word (often paid by estimated article length/difficulty, not literally per word)

7. Medical Reviewer

If you are a dietitian or other licensed healthcare professional, you can also work as a medical reviewer for websites like Healthline, WebMD, or niche-specific sites in your industry. 

Many of these companies hire less-expensive freelance writers to create the articles on their websites and then pay experts an hourly rate to fact-check and sign off on the accuracy of the content. 

If you’ve ever seen the byline “Medically reviewed by _______” on an article, that’s what we’re talking about here.

Medical reviewing often pays more than freelance writing, so it can be a great side gig to augment your income.

You may occasionally see job postings for medical reviewers, but you can also find these opportunities by networking, pitching your services directly, or by offering it as an upgraded service to clients you have formerly written for.

Getting started: Pitch yourself and watch for job listings
Time to profit: A few weeks after your first assignment
Earning potential: $80+/hour

8. Freelance Recipe Development & Food Photography or Videography

If you’re talented at developing, photographing, and/or filming recipes, you can offer that as a paid service to both food bloggers and food brands!

You can find these opportunities in Facebook groups like Food Bloggers Central and/or by pitching yourself to companies directly.

Ideally, you can develop long-term relationships with companies and create ongoing content for them each month.

Alternatively, you can create recipes with photos and sell them to blogger groups as exclusives (meaning only one person can purchase them) or semi-exclusive (meaning multiple people can use the photos) as well.

Also – don’t forget to factor in the cost of ingredients in your contracts. Sometimes food costs are reimbursed separately, but sometimes they are baked into the per-recipe pricing.

Getting started: Pitch yourself and watch for job listings
Time to profit: A few weeks after your first assignment
Earning potential: $100+ per recipe tested, $200+ per recipe developed, $400+ per recipe w. photos, $700+ per recipe w. video

9. Freelance SEO services

If you’ve taken my course, SEO Made Simple, and have had some success growing your own blog traffic, you can offer SEO services to other people (or companies) as well!

You can get paid to update old content so that it is SEO optimized, do keyword research, develop a content plan, build backlinks for people, or even do the smaller, annoying tech tasks like adding alt-text to images.

If you’re interested in offering these types of services, create a services page on your website, keep an eye out for people looking for help inside Facebook groups or other forums, email your network to let them know about your new offer, and try pitching companies as well.

If you can help people understand how improving their SEO (and getting more organic traffic) can improve their business and bottom line, that will probably help you gain more work!

Intrigued? Check out these 6 ways you can make money by understanding SEO.

Getting started: Pitch yourself and watch for job listings
Time to profit: When you land your first project
Earning potential: $50+ per hour (project-based work is more common than hourly)

10. Tutor

If you’re skilled at teaching, consider offering tutoring services! 

You can get paid to tutor dietetic students in tough subjects like biochemistry, help them with the internship application process, create an RD exam prep service, or even help dietitians pass specialized certification exams. 

You could offer hourly services in person or on Zoom or you could grow this into a full-fledged business like Inman Review, All Access Dietetics, or RD Exam One & Done

Don’t be afraid to tutor on non-nutrition-related topics as well. I worked as a high school math and science tutor on nights and weekends (charging $100+/hour) while starting my businesses. 

It was a great way to earn enough money to pay the bills while also leaving lots of time during the day to work on my own projects.

Getting started: Create the service and offer within your network
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first customer
Earning potential: $50+ per hour 

11. Digital Goods

Do you have handouts, presentations, templates, forms, meal plans, or protocols you’ve created for yourself that are just hanging out on your hard drive?

Why not sell those digital goods so that others can benefit from your hard work as well?

The easiest way to get started selling digital goods is on RD2RD.com – simply create an account and start selling to the audience of RDs who are looking for helpful resources. 

If you are interested in selling digital goods (like ebooks) to your own audience, rather than to your peers, check out tools like E-Junkie, GumRoad, or SendOwl to quickly and easily sell digital downloads on your website.

Once you have your store up and running, you can earn a few hundred extra dollars (or more) each month, depending on your price point and marketing strategies! 

Getting started: Create the digital goods and make them available online
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first purchase
Earning potential: $$$+ per month

12. Self-Publishing 

You can also earn money by self-publishing ebooks or workbooks via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. 

For the quickest payoff and return on your investment, try publishing low-content books, like workbooks, coloring books, planners, etc.

That way you can test some ideas before spending months and months writing a lengthy book that may only sell a few copies.

You can learn more about self-publishing low content books on Amazon from The Dietitian Editor.

Getting started: Create an ebook and self-publish using Amazon KDP
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first purchase
Earning potential: $$+ per month

13. Sell Physical Goods

If you’ve got a knack for design, you can sell things like coffee mugs, t-shirts, and tote bags featuring your trendy images. 

The easiest way to get started is by using print-on-demand services, like Printiful, so that you don’t have to maintain any inventory but can still earn a percentage from each sale.

You can even connect Printiful to e-commerce platforms like Etsy or Shopify so that you can sell without having to worry about setting anything up on your own website.

The profit margins are typically lower on physical goods than digital goods, but it can still be a really fun side gig that plays to your creative strengths.

If this type of monetization stream piques your interest, check out my podcast interview with Kristi Coughlin or visit Lisa Cicciarello Andrews’ food pun shop or the shop from Dietitians on Demand.

Getting started: Create your designs and set up a print-on-demand service
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first purchase
Earning potential: $$$+ per month

14. Virtual Private Practice

Of course, we couldn’t forget to mention seeing clients as a potential way to earn extra money as a dietitian.

You can start working with people 1:1 on the side, virtually, with very low start-up expenses. 

(Here’s a breakdown of exactly what it took to start my own private practice, back in the day.)

If you enjoy nutrition counseling and behavioral change, this could be a great fit for you.

Many people find it challenging to get new clients, but having a clear niche and problem that you help people solve can make it a bit easier. 

Once you can fill in this statement: “I help ________ do/achieve ________ so that _______.” you’re ready to start networking and spreading the word about your services.

Getting started: Determine what you want to help people with and start offering services
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first client
Earning potential: $$$+ per month

Leveraging Your Audience

Next, we are going to talk about 10 ways to make money after you have built up a bit of an audience online. 

It doesn’t necessarily matter where that audience is (social media, blog, podcast, YouTube, email list, etc.), but the main idea is that you need at least a few hundred people in your sphere who know what you specialize in and who trust your recommendations.

Once you have that circle of influence, even if it’s relatively small, you can start creating leveraged income streams from that trust you’ve built.

15. Affiliate Links

One of the simplest ways to start earning side money is via affiliate marketing – where instead of selling your own products or services, you simply recommend other people’s.

You can do affiliate marketing on your blog by creating product reviews or on social media where you can recommend products you use and love.

One of the easiest ways to get started is by signing up as an Amazon Associate (for blogging) and/or an Amazon Influencer (for social media). 

Once you’re enrolled, you will be able to create shareable affiliate links to any product sold on Amazon and earn a commission for anything someone buys on Amazon within 24 hours of clicking your affiliate link. 

If you are tuned into other products or services within your niche, investigate whether those companies have their own affiliate programs you can register for as well. 

Commissions range anywhere from 1% to 50% of the purchase price, so affiliate marketing can really add up. 

If you’re curious, here are the top 3 affiliate income streams in my business.

Getting started: Find affiliate programs in your niche and then promote using your links
Time to profit: As soon as you receive your first affiliate sale
Earning potential: $$+ per month

16. Brand Work

If you have gained a following online and have some authority in your niche, your trusted recommendations have value!

As an expert, you can team up with brands that you love and create content featuring their products in exchange for monetary compensation. 

This could mean creating recipes featuring a food product that you love, hosting a workshop about a new health product you recommend, or even organizing and hosting an in-person event for a brand.

Of course, you must always disclose any financial relationships you have with any brands, but working with brands can be a fun (and lucrative) way to earn extra money as a dietitian. 

The RD Link is a great space to connect with brands and pitch yourself (free to join for dietitians). Learn more about this platform in my interview with founder Jenna Gorham.

Getting started: Build relationships with brands and then pitch your services
Time to profit: As soon as you receive your brand deal
Earning potential: $$$+ per month

17. Online Courses

If you’ve created a tried and true system for getting people results, why not package that system into an online course that you can sell again and again?

Online courses are an amazing way to leverage your expertise and create a scalable, evergreen asset in your business. 

They work great in the wellness space as well, especially if you have a large and engaged audience. 

For example, The Women’s Health Dietitian made over $100k in a day with the launch of her PCOS courses and The Hormone Dietitian had a $60k course launch after building her audience on Instagram. 

You can create and sell online courses using platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, or Kajabi, but if you’re looking for more guidance and support with the entire process, check out The Leveraged Practice podcast with Stephanie Clairmont. 

Creating a course is a lot of work, so I highly recommend validating your idea before creating all the content!

Getting started: Validate your course idea, then create and sell your offer
Time to profit: If you pre-sell your course, you can make money before creating it
Earning potential: Several hundred to several thousand dollars per sale

18. Group Classes

If you love interacting with people, either online or in person, hosting classes may be a great fit for you!

From cooking classes, to gardening workshops, to grocery store tours – think about ways you can share your skills in a group setting with others. 

For example, dietitian Fallon Bader offers in-person and virtual cooking classes as part of her business, The Sprouting Kitchen. She even offers them as corporate team-building events, which is such a great idea!

You can sell tickets to events like these using any e-commerce platform and then send out the Zoom link via email to everyone who registered.

Getting started: Set up the technology to accept payment, then market your idea 
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first registration
Earning potential: Several hundred to several thousand dollars per class

19. Online Events

You can also create side income by hosting an online event that brings together lots of experts in your space.

For example, Heather Neal holds the RD Entrepreneur Symposium twice a year where over 20 dietitian entrepreneurs give presentations on various business-related and attendees earn a bunch of CEUs.

EDRDPro also hosts online summits, such as the recent EveryBODY Athlete summit that focused on sports nutrition and eating disorders.

You can run online summits through platforms like Teachable or create them on your own website using a plugin like Memberpress. 

They can be a lot of work to set up, but can be really popular, especially if each speaker promotes the event to their own audience.

Getting started: Collect presentations from speakers and sell them as an event
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first registration
Earning potential: Several hundred dollars per ticket sold

20. Group Programs

Rather than working with people 1:1, you can offer group programs in your business, where you guide people through a process together, with group coaching sessions and support.

This model allows you to serve way more people than only working 1:1 and can be a very effective way to earn more money as a dietitian.

These types of programs typically have a start and stop date, but may involve more active coaching and support than online courses. 

Because of this, they are usually offered at a higher price point than courses as well.

If you already have experience with counseling, a group program could be a good intermediate way to start expanding beyond 1:1 work without having to learn a whole new skill set.

Getting started: Create the group program structure and collect sign-ups on a sales page
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first registration
Earning potential: $1k+ per enrollment

21. Paid Speaking

If you love to speak, you might want to pitch yourself as a paid public speaker!

Yep, you can get paid to speak at conferences, events, online summits, inside people’s courses or membership sites, and more.

Plus, speaking at events tends to increase your visibility and connections and may lead to even more paid opportunities down the road. You just never know!

Landing speaking gigs can become easier once you have established yourself as an authority on a certain topic, which is why I placed it in the “leverage your audience” category.

Check out my podcast interview with Sonja Stetzler for a deep dive into ways to find paid speaking gigs as a dietitian. There are tons of actionable tips in that episode.

Getting started: Pitch yourself to speak – focusing on what problems you can solve with your presentation
Time to profit: Payment may come after the event
Earning potential: $$$+ per event

22. Paid Newsletter

If you have valuable expertise, experience, or insights to share, consider starting a paid newsletter!

This is where people pay a monthly fee for access to your written content.

Paid newsletters can sometimes be a tough sell since there is so much free content already available online, but if you have built up a lot of trust with your audience, they may be willing to pay for a special connection with you.

For example, Anjali Prasertong offers a free Antiracist Dietitian newsletter on substack, but you can choose to become a paid subscriber as well to support her work. (Highly recommended!)

If you’re truly providing value, a certain percentage of your subscribers will want to support you monetarily. 

Check out a platform like substack or an email marketing platform like ConvertKit to set up paid subscriptions.

If you have a large audience (>10k email subscribers, emailing at least once per week), you can also apply to be in the ConvertKit Sponsor Network and earn revenue from sponsors placing ads within your newsletter.

Getting started: Create a newsletter sign-up form and start writing
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first paid subscriber or sponsor
Earning potential: $5+ per monthly subscriber

23. Business Coaching

If you’ve had a lot of business or marketing success, you can coach others entrepreneurs on the skills you’ve learned. 

Most business coaching is premium priced and involves working closely with people for 3 to 12+ months, so this definitely isn’t a side hustle to take lightly. 

I definitely recommend getting clear on the specific type of entrepreneur you want to work with and exactly how you will help them with your coaching.

It’s your choice whether you want to work with beginners or more established business owners wanting to level up.

Looking for some inspiration from others in our field? Check out this list of 35+ dietitian business coaches.

(Personally, I identify as a teacher/mentor, not a coach, since I run online courses and do not currently work with people 1:1 or in small groups.)

Getting started: Create your offer on your website and allow people to sign up
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first paying client
Earning potential: Often $5k+ per coaching client

24. Creator Funds

If you have an audience on one of the major social media networks, you may be able to earn money by creating certain types of content. 

Many of these platforms have “Creator Funds” with money dedicated to compensating creators for their work. 

Some of these programs are invite-only, but others you can apply to participate in. Most of them have requirements based on audience size or views. 

For example, if you have at least 100k TikTok video views in the last 30 days and have at least 10k followers, you can apply to their creator fund and be eligible to earn money for the content you create.

Payouts are typically lower than you would receive from other avenues (like putting ads on a blog or podcast) and can range anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars per 1,000 views.

The platforms that currently have creator funds or other rewards programs include TikTok, YouTube shorts, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat

Pinterest previously had a creator rewards program, but they shut it down in late 2022.  

Getting started: Grow your audience to meet the eligibility requirements, then apply
Time to profit: As soon as you are accepted into the program
Earning potential: $$+ per month

Long Term Plays

And finally, let’s review 3 ways to make money that might take a few years to really pay off. 

These types of revenue streams take time to get up and running, but they tend to have excellent long-term payoffs.

25. Ad Revenue

If you create evergreen content (like on your blog, podcast, or YouTube channel), you can join ad networks that will pay you money per 1,000 sessions/downloads/views your content receives each month. 

Most of the premium ad networks have minimum audience sizes you must meet in order to apply. Growing your audience to a large enough size to be eligible is what makes these income streams longer-term goals. 

For example, to join Mediavine (a blogging ad network), you’ll need 50,000 sessions on your website in the last 28 days. But once you’re in, you can earn ~$30+ per 1,000 monthly visitors. 

So if your blog is getting 200k monthly sessions, you can expect to earn around $6,000 per month in ad revenue. (This will fluctuate throughout the year and varies depending on your niche and the type of content you create.)

To join Libsyn’s podcasting ad network, you’ll need at least 10,000 downloads per episode. But once you’re accepted, you can earn around $18 per 1,000 listens for placing an ad in your show.

So if each podcast episode you release gets 20k listens in the first month, you can earn ~$350 per episode in ad revenue. If you publish episodes twice per week, that’s ~$3,000 in monthly ad revenue.

To join YouTube’s advertising network, you’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months. Once accepted, you can earn around $18 per 1,000 views. 

So if you publish 3 videos per week and each one receives 10,000 views, you will earn a little over $2,000 per month in ad revenue. 

PS – If you’re interested in growing your blog traffic so that you can be eligible for a blogging ad network, I highly recommend checking out my signature course, which gives you the exact strategy and skills you need to grow to 50k+ monthly sessions in the next few years.

Getting started: Grow your audience to meet the eligibility requirements, then apply
Time to profit: One month after you place ads on your content
Earning potential: $1k+ per month

26. Membership Site

If you have cultivated a strong community online and have ongoing value to provide, a membership site may be a good fit for you. 

Running a membership site involves cultivating a community and providing something of value in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. 

I got my start in the online business world with an educational membership site – The Functional Nutrition Library.

I published two educational pieces of content per month (clinical tips, lab interpretation, etc.) and subscribers paid $14.99 per month for access. 

I grew that site to 284 paying members over the course of three and a half years (earning ~$50k/year in revenue) before shutting it down to focus on The Unconventional RD.

Other successful membership sites run by dietitians include The Autism Nutrition Library, ($19.99/month), EDRDPro ($35/month), and Bariatric Meal Prep Academy ($39/month).

If you’re interested in learning more about starting a membership site, I highly highly recommend joining The Membership Geeks membership program.

Getting started: Create a membership site offer and start selling
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first sign up
Earning potential: Limitless, but will likely start with a few hundred dollars per month

27. Automated Sales Systems

If you currently run a successful online business and are looking for some relatively simple ways to generate extra income, setting up automated selling systems may be your answer. 

It’s easy to get caught up in always creating something new, new, new… but what have you already created that could be optimized?

Do you have offers sitting around that no one buys anymore, simply because you stopped promoting them?

If so, setting up a few simple email funnels could add hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars to your bottom line every month. 

Because people won’t buy if you never give them the opportunity! 

By taking yourself out of the equation and creating sales pitches that run automatically when new people join your email list, you’re almost guaranteed to see a bump in sales from that bit of work on the front end. Totally worth it.

If you want to know how I set up my automated sales system, check out this podcast episode: How I Built My Evergreen Sales Funnel {Tech, Costs, & More!}

Getting started: Sit down and write your sales emails, including a pitch, then set them up to send out automatically
Time to profit: As soon as you get your first sale
Earning potential: $$$+ per month

The Bottom Line

As you can see, if you’re a dietitian looking for ways to make extra money, there are tons of options to explore. 

From freelancing, to seeing clients, to selling products and services online — you’re only limited by your own imagination

Take the time to think about your personal business goals and find the income stream that works best for you. 

With some time, dedication, and strategic action, you could be well on your way to becoming an even more successful dietitian!

Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.