Let's face it, we'd all like to make a little bit of extra money on the side. Side hustles have become infamous over the years as serious money-making schemes. Some of the biggest, most successful companies in the world started as side hustles in someone's garage or spare room.
Side hustles are also well known because they begin as a passion project. For many, earning a living doing something we enjoy is a dream. Doing something we genuinely love and ending up making a lot of cash is something many people never achieve.
Side hustles tend to be the thing we love but aren't ready to risk everything for or stake our entire future career on. This can prevent us from putting in the effort and giving them the attention they need to get off the ground and start making money. How many times have you heard the story that sometimes side hustle took off and allowed them to quit their job and make a six-figure income out of something they love? I'd bet you hear it a lot. It might be cliched, but it's true.
The passion we put into our side projects is often the magic ingredient needed to turn a good idea into a great business. However, passion isn't the only thing you need. Side hustles take hard work, constant attention, and determination, as well as lots of your free time.
So if you're serious about taking something you are passionate about or good at and turning it into a genuine way to make money outside of your regular job, this guide is for you.
Is it worth it?
The thing about good side hustle ideas is that most people just don't see them as seriously worth the work. Aren't side hustles supposed to be a little hobby on the side that makes you a small amount of money?
For example, successful online side hustles can add over £1,000 a month to your bank accounts. That's a good start. And if your side hustle takes off, you seriously can make a six-figure salary out of it. Of course, then it might no longer be a side hustle but a part of your full-time job or business empire.
As well as giving you financial freedom, side hustles can give you freedom from the standard 9 to 5 job, freedom from commuting, and the freedom to be your own boss. Many side hustles from home offer as much in terms of lifestyle changes as they do financial benefits.
So, financial freedom, the chance to work from home, be your own boss, take time off whenever you want, and live the life you've dreamed, I'd say a successful side hustle is worth it!
Famous side hustle ideas
To give you some motivation and so you can clearly see how successful a side hustle can become, these are my favourite brands that started as side hustles and have become full-blown empires.
- Steve Jobs' side hustle, Apple, took up all his free time while working at his regular job for Atari.
- We all know that Mark Zuckerberg and his buddies created Facebook as a passion project while at college.
- Yankee Candle was the side hustle of a 16-year-old boy who made the first candles in his parents' garage. He sold the company in the 1990s for $500 million.
- The created of mega shapewear brand Spanx was actually working for an office supply company when she made her first pair of patented underwear. She is now worth $1.1billion.
- Craigslist (one of the most famous online side hustles) started with just 10 people on an email chain while the founder (named Craig!) worked as a programmer.
- Cosmetics giant Glossier started as a blog, Into The Gloss, while the founder worked full-time at Vogue Magazine.
That's the beautiful thing about good side hustles; they can either stay your side hustle and help you have fun and make some extra cash when you aren't at work. Or, with a little bit of determination, okay, with a LOT of determination, they can become a life-changing adventure which might just give you everything you've ever wanted.
Things to consider before starting your side hustle
A side hustle might sound like a dream, but before you dive in head first, there are some things you should know before you start. Of course, a successful side hustle is actually a small business, so you should treat it as such. If you need to, seek professional advice on properly setting up and running your side hustle. However, to get you started, here are something to think about.
- Side hustle's take time. If you have a full-time job and a busy social life, you might want a side hustle, but do you have the time for one? You can't turn your hobby or skill into an overnight success, so you need to be prepared that this could take time.
- It's hard work. Successful offline or online side hustles don't just take time. They take work. Lots of it. If you aren't prepared to work for it, keep it as a hobby.
- Evaluate if you can actually make money. You might have a hobby that people think is super cool and interesting, but you can't make it a successful business unless they are willing to pay for it. Check with people you trust how much they would be willing to pay and do some sums before committing.
- Prepare for success. While caution is always advisable, if your business does become a sudden success, you will need to do all sorts of things. Not only in terms of logistics for meeting increased demand but also, do you know how your side hustle will affect your taxes? What do you have to declare, and how do you do it? How will increased demand impact your day job?
- Are you ready to give up your day job? The answer may be an obvious yes for some people. But having a successful side hustle doesn't mean it has to be anything more than that. Are you prepared to give up your current career? What would that mean for your future?
- When will you walk away? If your side hustle is not a success and no matter how much you give, it just won't get off the ground, when will you call it quits? It's easy to get carried away chasing a dream. Set goals and limits before you start.
Making your side hustle a success
So, a side hustle can be worth it. But how do you make your side hustle successful? Firstly, it depends on what you want from your side hustle. What is a successful side hustle to you? For some people, a successful side hustle simply means you enjoy doing it, and it makes a small amount of money. As little as £200 a month can be enough for some. However, others might want their side hustle to provide some serious cash. In this case, success will come much later when you are more established. Success is different for everyone, and you shouldn't compare your side hustle to someone else's.
The one thing that prevents most side hustles from becoming a success is simply failing to start. Many people either don't have faith in their abilities/ideas or do not think it is worth it. We've already shown that it can be worth it, and I'm here to tell you that you can do it; you just need to start.
Successful side hustles are the ones that people give time and attention to. You need to take it seriously if you want any sort of return on your investment, even if the only investment you're making is your time. See my Side Hustle page for more help getting starting or turning your existing side hustle into a viable business.
20 top offline and online side hustles for 2021
Feeling inspired? If you've already got your idea, then there's nothing stopping you. If you need a little bit more inspiration, I've narrowed down the top side hustle ideas that could make you a millionaire. At the very least, they'll give your bank account a good boost.
Pet sitting as a side hustle is a more profound way to earn money. Unlike other jobs that can be picked up and dropped, animals require constant attention and have needs that must be met. However, if you are committed, it is a great side hustle that lets you spend time with animals! People love their pets and are willing to pay a large amount of money to have someone take them out for a walk, feed them play with them, and pet them. If you enjoy spending time with animals, perhaps you have your own pet, or just wish you did, pet sitting could be great for you. It's also great because it isn't an online side hustle that requires time on a computer. If you've spent all day working on a computer, this is a great way to make money that gets you outside. If you live in an area where lots of people own pets, you may find yourself with more work than you can handle.
If you want to have a business side hustle but don't want to make or store your own products, dropshipping is a great way to get into the business world on the wide of your current job. Dropshipping is a business model where you take orders for customers and then pass the order onto a third-party supplier; it's a totally online side hustle. Think of online stores like Etsy or Not On The Highstreet. These stores facilitate purchases between small sellers and the customer. This can be a fantastic business model as you don't need to make your own products, but you still get a percentage of the sale. Of course, the downside is most of the profits go to the actual supplier, but if you want a side hustle that isn't too time-consuming and can make you money without much input from you, dropshipping is the way to go.
Teach an online course
If you're an expert in something specific, why not help educate others. Create an online course, including visual clues, homework tasks, and lectures. While this requires a fair amount of start-up effort, you can just deliver the same lessons repeatedly once the course is up and running. Of course, you might need to give it a few tweaks as you get feedback.
Online courses are excellent digital side hustle ideas for 2021, as many people are looking to improve their knowledge during the lockdown. The demand for digital lessons and courses has increased massively. Whether you want to lecture on ancient Greek architecture, how to file taxes, flower arranging, or the difference between Pokémon's, I can promise you that if you are passionate and knowledgeable, others will want to hear what you have to say.
Become an influencer
This side hustle is the one everybody knows about and may wish was their reality. Social media stars from Instagram and TikTok make millions from brand deals and product placement while living a life that many are envious of. To become an influencer, you need to commit lots of time and effort into growing your following. You can't just start posting nice images or learning a new TikTok dance. You need to interact with followers, promote your account, connect with others and build up a network based on trust. This side hustle is not one for the faint-hearted as it takes time. Very few people become stars overnight. However, it can be very lucrative and often turns into a full-time career.
Start a blog
If becoming a full-time influencer doesn't appeal to you, you could start a blog. Blogs have been popular for years and are well-known online side hustles. If you have passion and knowledge, then you have something to share. Start small and aim for one post a week. Interact with other bloggers and create a network to help promote your site. Websites can be built for free, and a host of platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace can provide professional-looking sites that will attract advertisements and sponsorship opportunities. The best about blogging is that it can literally be about anything. Whatever you're passionate about, you can blog about.
If you're constantly snapping photos and then never doing anything with them, you should consider setting up a website to sell them. Of course, an iPhone camera won't be enough here, so you will probably need to invest in a decent camera, but that's the only real cost you'll have. You can offer portrait photography, cover events such as weddings, shoot landscapes, or even shoot stock images and sell them. Stock image companies like Getty, Shutterstock, and Alamy are always looking for new photos. You'll get a commission any time one of your photos is used, so you'll earn money in the future with no additional work!
If you want to earn even more money from photography, you could give lessons on how to take good photos. In an increasingly digital world, creating good online content is a skill. Hire yourself out as a photograph for an influence aro content creator. Even marketing companies need fresh images regularly, and product photography can pay very well if you work with big brands. Of course, if you also provide videography, you can double your earnings.
If you're bilingual or speak multiple languages fluently, you'll find a vast market for your services. As the world becoming increasingly connected and businesses target world domination, accurate, concise translations are crucial. You'll find plenty of jobs advertised online looking for part-time translators. You can also advertise your skills online and let people come to you. Specific niches such as engineering, legal and technical translation commands, an even higher price point, meaning a few hours of work can make you a lot of money. Online platforms such as Fiverr and People Per Hour can make finding work easy and straightforward. If you only have a small amount of free time and want to make money quickly, this side hustle is perfect for you.
If foreign languages aren't your strength, then you can just teach your own. Online teaching qualifications are reasonably easy to obtain. You will have to spend some time training, but once you've got your qualification, you can easily teach foreigners to read, write and speak in English. This is a good side hustle idea as the work is consistent and well-paid. You can provide online group classes and offer more expensive one-on-one calls if you want to pick up extra money. The more you teach, the more experience you gain, the more you can charge, and the more you earn. This means the earning potential here is high if you have the time. The hours are flexible as most people want to learn English in the evenings and on the weekends; they have jobs too!
If you enjoy your job but just wish it paid a bit better, consider freelancing in your spare time. There are so many fantastic freelance side hustle ideas. If you are qualified to do your job, you can offer this same qualification on a smaller basis as a freelancer. Online platforms act as hosts for freelancers advertising their skills, and you might find yourself in high demand. From writers to computer programmers, social media experts, accountants, and digital designers, freelancers' demand is growing and the side hustle ideas are endless. With businesses concerned about costs, more and more choose to hire freelancers as temporary staff members than hiring someone permanent for the post. A few hours at the weekend can make a big difference to your bank balance, and you don't need anything more than the skills you already have.
Task rabbit is a mobile app that allows people to request things. Everything from grocery shopping, collecting post, fixing furniture, or sourcing a specific lightbulb to returning library books, help moving house, or waiting in line at an event. Sign up as a "tasker" to help people out when they need you. You can do as much or as little work as you like, and it's great if you want a little variety. Some tasks are digital and can be accomplished at home, some involve going out and about in your local area, and some might need you to go to someone else's home. The average pay on TaskRabbit is around £25 per hour, but you can earn upwards of £50 per hour depending on the tasks.
One of the biggest side-hustle to success stories comes from the owner of online clothing boutique Nasty Gal. Nasty Gal's owner started by hitting charity and second-hand stores to look for bargains and then sold them at a marked-up price online. If you've got old clothes to sell or love hunting through stores, you could make a fortune merely selling clothes online. This is an especially good side hustle ideas for 2021 as people are looking to be more eco-friendly in their fashion choices. Second-hand clothing is experiencing a comeback, and a little bit of time and effort could see you placed to take advantage of this growing trend.
Why stick to selling clothing? If you've got old electrical equipment, Christmas presents you never used, furniture or anything else lying around, you can sell it. If you want this side hustle to be successful, you will need more items to sell, so you'll have to reinvest some of the profits back into buying things on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace even from second-hand stores. Purchasing something, repairing or fixing it, and then selling it for a higher price is known as flipping it. This takes time and investment, but it can make some serious cash. Some people have successful careers as professional flippers. The most profitable flippers often buy things in bulk or at heavily discounted prices if broken. They then repair, clean, or fix the item to sell it for a higher price. The more you can fix something up, the more you can profit.
Whether you can cater for a large event, bake cupcakes or specialise in soup, offering edible delights is a fantastic side hustle. More and more people want the convenience of buying ready-made meals and snacks. This is a side hustle you can set up at home without much trouble as you only need your kitchen and ingredients. The business model here is also great because it can expand slowly as your business grows. Invest in one thing at a time as you need it—for example, a better mixer or a larger fridge. If you have space, bulk buying ingredients can keep costs down. If you genuinely enjoy cooking, a catering side hustle is easy to set up, and the potential is limitless.
Companies need to know who likes their products/services. That means they want your opinion. Specific demographics may be targeted to participate in surveys, experiments, or focus groups. If you fit into the demographic, a few hours of your time giving your opinion can be well rewarded. As an extra way to make money, this is great because some surveys take just a few minutes and can be done online. This means you can make money super quickly and easily on your laptop. If you are short on time, this can be fantastic, but some projects are ongoing and will require future feedback sessions to make sure you can commit to this or won't get paid.
If you're reading this and you hate cleaning, I bet you've thought about hiring a cleaner. If you're reading this and you enjoy cleaning, I promise you that everyone else reading this would pay you to clean their home. Cleaning seems to be pretty decisive. People love it or hate it. If you enjoy it, find it therapeutic, and just don't mind it, you can use this to your advantage. Friends, family members, neighbours, and strangers will pay you good money to spend a small out of time sorting, tidying, and cleaning.
As a side hustle, cleaning businesses grow through word of mouth. A good cleaner is talked about and shared between friends over coffee. This is fantastic for a side project because it means you don't even have to market your services. It also requires very little in terms of start-up investment as most people have their own products. Don't forget that small businesses, offices, and shops are also on the lookout for cleaners.
As lots of products and services move online thanks to COVID, the need for virtual assistants is on the rise. A virtual assistant is someone who handles everything digital for someone who may not have the time or skills. You'll do everything from booking hotels and flights to order takeout, drafting and sending emails, responding to wedding invites, bookkeeping, designing, and even managing social media. This is something that can be done on the move on your phone so you can even side hustle on the way to work, in your lunch break, or taking a breather in the gym. If you are super organised, you can be a virtual assistant for more than one person at a time, bringing in double the income.
Another side hustle that has taken off over the past few years is Airbnb. If you have a spare room in your house, you can advertise on Airbnb. There are plenty of sites that allow you to rent your space to others. This can be a great way to help cover mortgage payments for your property, and it requires minimal effort from you. Once your advert is online, all you have to do is wait, collect the money and ensure your home is welcoming. This is a great way to earn a bit of extra cash if you are pushed for time. However, unless you have multiple properties, it won't make you a millionaire.
Every radio or a TV advert, TV show voiceover, and online video needs a voiceover. The demand for voice artists is consistently high. Unlike modelling or acting, voice work doesn't depend on appearance, and it is a very lucrative side hustle. You can create a home studio without spending too much money, so the start-up investment isn't large. But you will need a decent microphone, headphones and a quiet area (inside a wardrobe will do!). From video game characters, terms and conditions, and adverts to online courses, cartoon TV shows, and radio dramas, you may find yourself earning a huge amount of money. A national TV advert for a big brand can pay up to £10,000 for only a few hours of work.
If your side hustle becomes very successful, you might even get an agent who will find work for you, leaving you with even more free time. Successful voiceover artists can keep their day jobs and still earn a six-figure salary in their free time – That's one hell of a lucrative side hustle!
Another super-cliched idea that you might think is so 2010. But it's really not. Did you know that the highest-paid YouTube star made $29.5 million in 2020? And they're only 9 years old, so this is their side hustle while they go to school! There is still a significant amount of cash to made from putting up YouTube videos. Of course, Most of the money doesn't come from YouTube itself but from sponsored content, brand partners, and advertising. But getting YouTube likes is an excellent way to start an online side hustle at home.
When it comes to YouTube, you have to make sure you're genuinely passionate about your content and committed to regular posting. Passion comes across well on video and is more appealing than just presenting knowledge. The audience needs to see your love for your subject. Start by committing to one video a week and make sure you are interacting with your commenters and subscribers.
Uber launched in San Francisco in 2011 and has since taken over the world. And they are still looking for drivers as more and more people, particularly in big cities, don't' want to commit to a car. Demand for private car services has grown recently as public transport has become restricted, and people fear for its cleanliness. This means more and more people rely on clean, safe cars to travel around, but many people don't have their own car. If you've got a vehicle, you can get in on the action and earn some extra cash immediately. It's easy to start, and you can work as much or as little as you like, and the hours are flexible to suit you. Of course, the downside is you have to pay a commission to Uber. But you can still earn some decent money driving for private car services like Uber and Lyft.
Get started today
So, if you've got an idea, an existing side hustle, or even a successful small business, nothing is stopping you from taking it to the next level. If you need help or guidance, get in touch, and I'll help you work out a plan to get your side hustle off the ground and bringing in consistent revenue. A successful side hustle can change your life, but only if you approach with caution and take the right steps to make it possible.
Your hobby can change your life. Let's talk about it.