For many people these days, having a side hustle is what keeps them inspired, able to express themselves creatively AND opens multiple doors for a future that goes beyond the regular 9-5 lifestyle.
With the internet making it easier than ever to teach yourself a new skill, develop an area you already have expertise in, or give you the knowledge to follow in the steps of those who inspire you most, now is literally the best time to refocus and develop a side hustle that excites you.
Plus, it could earn you an additional income that could pay your rent, cover your monthly takeaways (unlimited Oowee for life…), or even allow you to justify building that pub at the bottom of the garden.
I recently became obsessed with the podcast: Side Hustle School – by Chris Guillebeau. I honestly cannot recommend this podcast enough if you’re looking for something to motivate or inspire you when it comes to deciding on your own side hustle. I listen to it on Spotify most mornings, as it gets me really motivated and ready for the day. The good thing is, it actually explains the logistics behind each idea, how each person started with a simple idea and developed that into something that earned them a considerable side income, all without having to leave their main jobs (unless they wanted to, of course!).
Chris Guillebeau has also written a number of books that are on my reading list:
- The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More = £7.55 (Paperback)
- Side Hustle: Build a Side Business and Make Extra Money – Without Quitting Your Day Job = £6.99 (Paperback)
- The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune In Your Own Backyard = £21.99 (Hardcover)
My main problem with building and developing my own side hustle ideas is that I have a lot of different interests and hobbies and I sometimes struggle with the fact that there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to DO IT ALL. Does anyone else know the feeling when you literally have too many ideas, and then end up feeling overwhelmed and end up doing f*** all? You are not alone.
However, this is actually one of the things I’ve been learning about recently. I’m currently studying an online course called NLP: The Psychology of Success, with the International Open Academy. For those who aren’t familiar, NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and one of the early modules basically explains that once you know what it is that you want, it becomes immediately easier to get organised and plan how it is you can get there.
I think it’s the same principle for side hustles, once you decide what it is you want to do, there’s little else stopping you – apart from yourself.
This blog post isn’t about the things I’ve learnt from the NLP course, but here are a few different books that are good, if you want to learn a bit more about it:
- NLP 2.0: The Ultimate Guide to Neuro Linguistic Programming: How to Rewire Your Brain and Create the Life You Want And Become The Person You Were Meant to Be = £10.97 (Paperback)
- The Ultimate Introduction to NLP: How to Build a Successful Life = £8.63 (Paperback)
- How to Take Charge of Your Life: The User’s Guide to NLP = £8.34 (Paperback)
ANYWAY. I DIGRESS.
I wanted to write a piece about side hustle ideas, because I know the feeling when you know you want something new to put your energy into, but can’t quite work out what. If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, and know you want to create an extra stream of income, but are maybe in need that lightening bolt moment, hopefully this could be it!
If I could even help one person come up with an idea for a side hustle or project, I’d be well happy.
(Under some of the points, I’ve tried to linked a relevant book that could be a good starting point, or another relevant tool to help get you started!)
I recently started selling art prints and it’s been the most therapeutic thing to put my energy into.
I’ve always been into painting and art in general, but recently I decided to do a figurative watercolour art series and created some A4 prints of my favourite pieces. I print onto 260gsm matte photo paper, and the print below is available to buy if anyone’s interested! (Email me on email@example.com to order, or feel free to DM me on Instagram!)
The art community are so lovely and friendly as well, every time I go on my art Instagram account it’s like therapy. Everyone just telling each other how amazing and inspiring they are – it’s just lush.
As I’m technically a backpacker, or at least I live 17,058 km away from my home city of Bristol, the whole art-prints side hustle idea was made slightly awkward, as most of the interest I’ve received has been from UK peeps and the postage costs £20 to send one print from Aus to the UK… (and the global postage hold ups at the moment brought me to a bit of a stand still with orders which was annoying).
Still, it’s something I’m going to put a bit more time in to when I’m finally back living in the UK for the foreseeable future! (Prints are also now available as digital downloads for you to print yourself for £10, if you want to avoid pricey postage costs.)
Courses to look into: 924 Beauty Courses on Reed.co.uk
There are a number of different skills you can learn in the beauty realm that can earn you a little money on the side. Obviously it’s crucial you do a course or take some sort of training ideally, rather than just watching a Youtube video and hoping for the best.
Whether that’s nails, eyebrows, hair or facials/other skincare, there’s a lot of money to be made if you teach yourself a new skill and find a hidden talent in beauty. There are loads of courses available to get certified, and it’s a skill you then hold for life. Your friends might appreciate having their own personal eyebrow threader on hand!
Book to read: ETSY: Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start an Etsy Business for Beginners = £11.62
Etsy is a really good place to look for inspiration, as there are thousands of ideas out there and plenty of opportunity to create your own unique product. If you’re into crafts and want to spend more time making things, there is a huge opportunity in Etsy. You could make candles, artwork, digital printables, stickers – the list is endless!
Another good thing about Etsy is that you can look on other people’s profiles and see which of their products sold last, and how many sales they’ve had of each product/piece. That can help you build an idea of what there’s a market for, and how to direct your creativity. Obviously you don’t want to copy other people’s work, but it’s helpful to understand what products sell well. Unless you’re making something totally new, and in that case that’ll be your USP anyway!
If you’re an animal lover, dog walking is a great way to make some money on the side. I signed up as a dog sitter/walker during Uni, and it was the best thing ever to fund our weekly takeaways, and take away some of the coursework stress by chilling with a friendly pooch all day.
There are loads of sites now where you can make a profile, but they are pretty saturated so I think to stand out it’s best to get a couple of regulars and let word-of-mouth take the reins. It’s also worth making some flyers and business cards and spreading the word that way, so it’s more of a natural progression.
You could write an eBook on an area you have expertise in and share using email marketing or social media. These days so many bloggers seem to have these about getting started with your ‘blogging career’, and I’ve read a few free ones before that were pretty good, and lots of people charge anything from £5 upwards for them, and it’s a good way of earning money continually for something you’ve already created!
If you love to cook, there are huge opportunities to set yourself up as a foodie, just make sure you do the specific research and get a food hygiene rating so you don’t poison anyone.
Whether it’s via a pop up, a food truck or baking cookies and cakes and selling them from your home, there are loads of ways to make money from food. It’s also easier than ever to promote using good photography on social media.
I personally don’t know much about this one as I’m not a big gamer myself, but I know there are thousands of influencers who make a considerable income from creating tutorials and filming themselves gaming. If you type in ‘Sims’ on Youtube for example, there are loads of videos created by players simply for entertainment for their subscribers.
YouTube creators earn money through Google Adsense, so there’s a good amount to be paid if your videos become popular and they fall within a certain niche area. You have to have 1,000 subscribers and have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months in order to qualify, but if you love making videos then it can be worth it – and massively profitable!
If you enjoy cleaning, you could set yourself up as a part-time cleaner on the side and make a considerable income. With everything that’s been going on recently, people are more concerned with hygiene than ever before and as long as you market yourself well, the opportunities are endless!
I recently bought an online interior design course from reed.co.uk, as it’s always been an area that I’ve worked in and done PR for interiors & homewares brands. So I thought it would be good to invest in myself, and improve my knowledge and expertise to allow me to know what I’m talking about when I speak with interiors journos.
I’m not suggesting that becoming an interior designer is easy, (quite the opposite!) but if you’re passionate about something there’s no reason you can’t build it into a side hustle as long as you market yourself well and remain consistent.
Another lovely craftsty one! Making jewellery is an incredible skill to master, and with social media these days and the rise in people wanting to support small businesses now more than ever, there’s huge opportunities here. There are thousands of Youtube videos and other courses you can take to learn a new technique and constantly develop your collections.
Okay this might not be everyone’s first thought – but knitwear is never not going to be loved by the nation!! I used to love knitting when I was younger, but I don’t think I’ve ever finished a single thing. If you have more skill and commitment than me; this could be your ideal million pound idea.
If you speak another language, tutoring can be a hugely profitable side income! There are loads of online teaching resources you can download, and again, social media is your best friend when it comes to marketing yourself with things like this. You can create a simple website using Wix, WordPress or Squarespace to go the extra mile and make your business look legit and push ahead of the competition.
Monetise your Instagram
This is something that a lot of people are starting to turn to, and it’s an insanely profitable channel for earning money.
In my current role as a PR and Influencer Manager, I oversee influencer marketing campaigns where some well known individuals charge $5,000 AUD for one Instagram post. (That’s approx £2.7k.) FOR ONE POST. The same influencers are charging $1,200 for an Instagram Story.
I’m not suggesting that anyone can create this sort of money overnight, but with consistency and a clear niche, plus tonnes of engagement with a loyal audience built over time (ok not exactly a walk in the park), it’s possible to create a social media side hustle using Instagram that eventually can turn into a full-time career in content creation.
Nannying can be an amazing side hustle, and there are so many great websites to sign up to on a casual basis. If you have a skill such as speaking another language or are particularly arty, some families will be even more keen to hire you. On Canva, you can create a visual CV that illustrates all your interests and skills, so even if you don’t have all the qualifications, you can add a personal touch and show why you’d be great for the job.
You could design and write an online course and sell it online! This one is great for teachers or existing tutors, as it offers the chance to sell your knowledge to people all over the world, not just in your immediate vicinity.
Using online presentation creation software such as Prezi can help you create beautiful presentations without needing to be a skilled Graphic Designer!
(‘O’ is a tricky letter, so it was either this or Only Fans… ha!)
This is one that I learnt a lot about while listening to Chris Guillibeau’s podcast ‘Side Hustle School’.
Private labelling is when you work with a third-party supplier who physically create the product, and then you can sell it under your brand name. As the retailer, you can specify everything about the product for you to then sell on, including the branding, packaging, colours etc.
A lot of Instagram Influencers and reality TV stars do this, for example when a fitness influencer brings out their own gym water bottle and resistance bands. They often sell well purely because it’s got their name on it. Consumerism is a funny one!
However, you definitely don’t have to be a fitness influencer to make the most of private labelling. All you have to do is choose a product or line of products that provide the solution to a common problem or that there is a high demand for and that you’re passionate enough about to commit to, then work out who your target audience is and go for it, basically.
There are ENDLESS options when it comes to private labelling, if you can make the time for it. One good website to look on for product inspiration is Alibaba.com. Plus, it’s a reeeeeeally fun website to lose yourself down an internet hole, as it sparks so many hilarious hypothetical business ideas… E.g. should I release a new Polly-Snell-branded butt enlargement cream for $2.99 a unit?? Potentially. I mean, stranger things have happened in 2020.
Quiz print outs
This sounds like a bit of a shit one at first, but hear me out. (Yes, I did just kind of need an answer for the letter ‘Q’, but I heard about this idea recently and I actually think it’s quite smart.)
I heard this story about a lady who was super arty and creative, who created an illustrated quiz sheet designed for hen parties. Basically like a print out quiz that everyone has with them, to tick off each embarrassing drunken challenge one by one. The same could be created for birthdays, kids parties, stag dos etc! If you’re into art or graphic design, this could be an easy thing to create and build upon over time, and things that tie in with occasions like weddings/birthdays etc will always be searched for online.
If you aim to distribute to friends and family first, and build up some good 5 star reviews, you stand a better chance of beating the competition when people search for similar quizzes and print outs!
Rent Out Your Car
Renting out your car when you’re not using it is an easy way to make money on something you already own. I’ve used Car Next Door a few times here in Australia, when we’ve needed a van to pick up furniture and stuff. It’s so useful!
Ideal for people who perhaps have a work van they don’t always use, or just don’t need their car every day for work. I’ve heard of people making an extra £2,000 a month just from renting out an unused car, so it could be an easy extra money maker.
There are loads of easy ways to sell stuff online these days, including eBay, Depop and Facebook Marketplace.
I personally LOVE selling stuff on Facebook Marketplace, as it’s just so quick and easy and genuinely effective. I’ve had stuff sit on Depop collecting dust while my FB marketplace items always seem to fly off the shelves. Whether it’s clothes or homewares, FB marketplace is such an easy way to make extra money. One tip is to join loads of Facebook groups for locals trying to sell stuff, and reshare your posts in there, rather than just doing on basic Facebook marketplace. It always seems to work for me!
It’s only Wednesday and I’ve already made $60 this week just from having a clear out on the weekend.
Tutoring / Teaching
I know quite a few people who did some tutoring throughout Uni, for younger college students or even younger kids studying for their GCSEs.
Although to be fair, age is irrelevant, as there’s a number of people who could use help with tutoring in a variety of subjects. Whether that’s maths, english, science, languages, or something more specialised – marine biology, baking cakes, grammar, poetry, IT, coding, design – the possibilities are unlimited.
Whatever thing you’re good at, there will be someone who’s willing to pay to learn more about it. It could be that you’re really clued up about personal finance and saving money, and this is something a lot of people would pay to learn how to be more organised about.
Or maybe you have a passion for yoga, and you decide you want to take a 200-hour or 500-hour course to become a certified yoga instructor! There’s no reason you can’t develop a teaching business using the thing you love most. If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome and don’t feel like you have the right or are enough of an expert in the field, become an expert. Read the book, take the course, invest in your time and invest in yourself. It’s arguably the most valuable thing you can do with your time!
Upwork is a great platform for connecting freelancers with upcoming projects, in everything from marketing, web development, writing, design, admin support etc!
Creating a profile literally takes less than 2 minutes, and it can be a great thing to build into your routine for an extra few hours a week to make some extra money alongside your regular job.
Conveniently, following on from the point above, there’s actually loads of voiceover work listed on Upwork. I just love the fact that you can literally make money online by recording yourself speaking, or reading out pieces of copy on behalf of different companies. The internet is a wonderful thing!
Write a novel
Ok maybe not exactly a way to make a quick buck, but if you’re committed and it’s something you want to do, writing a book can be an amazing way to generate a side income over time! Look at the 50 Shades of Grey lady.
These days you can self publish, so gone are the days of aimlessly pitching your manuscript to editors and praying someone else likes your work. Lulu.com is one website for self publishing books, and Amazon also has self publishing services which are worth looking in to!
Right – if anyone can think of a side hustle beginning with ‘X’ I’ll buy you a pint.
I kind of spoke about this briefly above, but successful Youtubers can make a very good income. One thing I find at work (currently as a PR and Influencer Manager) is that it’s the Youtubers who always seem to have way more Instagram followers than the other blog/Instagram influencers, so this opens a lot more doors for paid social media collaborations and brand deals just from having that channel. People are nosy, and they like to feel like they know someone, and Youtube is arguably the best platform for that!
Youtubers can make money through Youtube in two main ways:
- Through Google Adsense
- Through paid brand collaborations and sponsored videos
To initially monetise your channel, (basically add adverts throughout your videos to earn money) you need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers, and you must have generated 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months, and have a Google Adsense account set up. You can then place ads throughout your videos, and you basically earn money every time someone views each ad. The actual rates an advertiser pays varies, usually between $0.10 to $0.30 per view, but averages out at $0.18 per view. The average YouTube channel can receive $18 USD per 1,000 ad views, which is pretty good side income if you’re creating these videos anyway!
Typically, there are thousands of Youtube videos where creators explain how much money they make and the process they took to get there, so if you’re interested I’d highly recommend getting lost down this Youtube hole. It’s fascinating!
Z …is also a hard letter for a side hustle name so unless you want to open a zoo I don’t know what to tell you
Thanks so much for reading my quite-long blog post about side hustles!
I hope there are elements of it you found useful or at least interesting!
Please feel free to leave me a comment below with your side hustle idea or project you’re currently working on. I’m such a geek for this stuff and I could quite happily talk about it all day.