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13 Proven Side Hustles you can start right now to earn extra money

July 22, 2019 18 min read
15 Easy Side Hustles you can start right now to start earning extra money

13 Proven Side Hustles you can start right now to earn extra money

July 22, 2019 18 min read

Get ahead with your finances and take a look at these easy, proven side hustles to help you earn some extra money in your spare time.

Some of the links below are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You won’t be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone!

No matter how good you are at saving, there’s only so much you can cut back on in your budget. If you really want to hit those financial goals and make your dream a reality a good side hustle can help you get there faster.

What is a side hustle?

Side hustle, side gig, second job, moonlighting.

Whatever you want to call it, a side hustle is a way for you to diversify your income and make extra money outside of your 9-5 day job.

It’s a way for you to take your skills and turn them into something profitable.

A side hustle can also be a great way of testing the waters.

If you dream of quitting your corporate job to pursue your passion then starting out on the side offers you a taste of entrepreneurial life. It’s also a a risk free way of building up clients and experience. You can try out different things to find out what works for you before taking the plunge of going self-employed.

Having a side hustle also gives you the opportunity to build some financial security so that you’re in a better position when you’re ready to hand in your notice.

And even if you don’t want to quit your job a side hustle can be a hugely fulfilling way of doing something you love and getting paid for it.

Why you need a side hustle

If you’re working a 9-5 job your earning is capped.

Sure, there might be the occasional bonus. But on the whole you go to work, you get your contracted salary, and that’s about it.

Is that enough for you to achieve your dream life? Maybe, but probably not.

A side hustle is going to open up the ceiling on your earnings.

It’ll allow you to make more money outside of your day job. That can give you the freedom to reach your goals faster, pursue your dreams, and fast track your way to financial independence.

So let’s dive into some clever, proven side hustles that you can start this weekend.

Sell stuff online

Selling things online is probably one of the simplest and most obvious side hustles out there.

It’s also a great way of decluttering after you’ve Kondo’d your house.

You can even sell stuff on behalf of other people for a fee.

My best friend is a master at this. People give her things they want to get rid of, and she photographs and lists them on her ebay account. She gets to keep a portion of the sale proceeds as a fee.

Once you get a good system going you can get things listed pretty quickly!

Places you can sell online

  • ebay – the classic!
  • Amazon marketplace – good all rounder, but you’ll need to register for a seller account. Amazon also doesn’t accept PayPal so you’ll need bank details to get paid
  • Depop – app based, and good for quirky or vintage items
  • Poshmark, Vinted, Shpock, Mercari – great for selling clothes and decluttering your wardrobe
  • classified ads – Craigslist, Preloved and Gumtree are popular options. Selling through classified ads are usually free, but there’s a strong focus on selling in your local area
stack of colourful hardback books

Teach English as a foreign language

Teaching English online can be a great way to make money from the comfort of your own home – or even as you travel!

All you need is a computer with a camera and an internet connection. You’re usually able to set your own schedule, making it a perfect side gig to fit in around your full time job.

And don’t worry, you don’t need to know any foreign languages or create a lesson plan or curriculum. All the lesson materials are done for you, so you can focus your energy on teaching!

Where can you teach online?

EF English First

As well as opportunities for teaching English abroad, EF Education First offers an online teaching program that allows you to teach students from home. Or the beach. Or wherever you happen to be!

You can teach children or adults in a one-on-one setting, and can fit the lessons into your own schedule, including at weekends. This gives you a huge amount of flexibility!

You can also get access to employee benefits such as a company pension and paid training, and can earn up to £12.50 an hour.

You’ll be considered an employee of EF, so there’s no need to register as self-employed, or figure out taxes and National Insurance payments.

To become a teacher with EF Education First you’ll need to live in the UK or US, be a native English speaker, and have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in any field. You’ll also need a TEFL certification.

VIPKid

VIPKid is a leading global online school for teaching English to 4-12 year old children in China. You can earn up to $22 USD an hour for immersive one-on-one lessons, and you get to choose your own schedule.

It has a great reputation, landing a top spot in the FlexJobs Top 100 Remote Work Companies to work for in 2019. Forbes also named VIPKid in their list of The 10 Best Jobs Working From Home, so you know you’re in good hands with them.

To become a VIPKid teacher you need to be eligible to work in the US or Canada (although you don’t need to be based there) and have a bachelor’s degree, or higher.

Become a freelancer

Freelancing can be one of the best ways to make extra money.

Your freelance gig can be related to your day job, but it doesn’t have to be.

This gives you a great opportunity to try out other areas of work. Think about what your hobbies or passions are. Do you love to write? Are you great at graphic design? Editing videos?

Everyone has special skills that someone else will pay for. And almost any job can be turned into a freelance side gig to make some extra cash.

Where can you find freelancing jobs?

Fiverr and Upwork are great places to get started.

But Fiverr is probably the easiest to begin with.

All you need to do is set up your account. Then you can start listing your gig so that clients can buy your services.

Fiverr does have a slight reputation for cheap labour – pricing generally starts at $5 USD. But this can increase as you gain experience and become a higher lever seller. Some people, like Joel Young, have even made 7 figures from their Fiverr gig!

clothes hanging on a rail

Get paid to shop

It almost sounds too good to be true, but cashback sites will actually pay you to shop. And they’re completely free to use!

Popular cashback sites

TopCashback is the UK’s highest paying cashback site. It’s free to join, but you can pay to upgrade your account to a Plus membership for extra benefits.

It has over 4,700 retailers, including supermarkets, insurance providers and mobile phone contracts.

It can take up to 90 days to get paid because it takes time for them to receive their commission from the retailer and pass it on to you. And you can withdraw your cashback via BACS transfer, PayPal or through gift cards. You can also donate your funds to charity.

Quidco is another popular UK cashback site, with over 4,500 retailers. Basic membership is free, but like TopCashback you can pay to upgrade to a Premium account for added rewards and benefits.

Payments can take around 3 months for general retail purchases, and up to 6 months for financial products. You can withdraw your cashback via BACS transfer, PayPal or through gift cards.

Swagbucks is free to join. It offers cashback and lets you earn money for filling in surveys, watching videos, playing games and more.

Payments can take 3 to 4 months, and you can withdraw your cashback via PayPal or retailer gift cards.

Mr. Rebates is a US cashback site, with over 3,000 retailers. It’s been around since 2002 so it’s well established, and is free to join.

Cashback can take up to 30 days to be credited to your account. There’s a minimum payout of $10, and you can withdraw your cashback via cheque, gift card or PayPal .

It’s worth checking your bank account as well. We get cashback on bills with our Santander 123 account, but they also have Retailer Offers. These can give you cashback for things like supermarket trips, cinema tickets, coffee and restaurants. They switch them up every so often, so make sure you check regularly for the latest offers.

So how does cashback work?

Cashback sites get a commission from the retailer for directing you to their website. They then pass a percentage of that commission on to you.

How cashback works

All you have to do is sign into your cashback site account and search for the retailer or service provider you want to buy from. Click the link to go from the cashback site to the retailer, and shop away. Registered purchases will be tracked to your cashback account. After a bit of time the money will be added to your cashback account.

What can I earn cashback on?

You can get cashback on pretty much anything – beauty boxes, phones, clothes, holidays. You could be surprised by the retailers and service providers that offer cashback.

While the rates might not always be huge, it’s free money for purchases that you would have made anyway so it’s always worth having a quick look before you buy.

woman hold a sleeping puppy

Dogsitting

If you’re an animal lover, how about earning money to hang out with puppies?

Rover is a great place to get started with this.

It connects pet owners with pet sitters and walkers who can offer a variety of services, including:

  • Dog walking: you can fit in dog walks around your own schedule
  • Drop in visits: visit dogs in their own home to feed them, give them some company and have a bit of a play
  • Dog boarding: look after a dog overnight in the comfort of your own home
  • Doggy day care: if you prefer to stay at home and have a dog friendly house then you can bring a dog home to care for
  • House sitting: so you can stay with pets in their own home

And if you prefer cats, that’s an option too! You can do drop in visit, house sitting or cat boarding.

All you need to do it sign up for a profile and tell Rover the services that you can offer. You get to choose a schedule that works for you – it’s completely flexible.

Airbnb

If you have a spare room in your house, who not try getting in on the sharing economy and renting it out on Airbnb.

This is a great side hustle because you don’t need experience or much upfront investment to start.

And it’s perfect if you’re short on time because unlike most other side hustles you’re exchanging your extra space for money instead of your time.

Give your space a bit of a spruce up, take some great photos and list it on Airbnb for free.

You have complete control over your availability and pricing. You can even set rules like the minimum or maximum amount of nights that guests can stay.

It can be a great way to share your local area and learn about the experiences of other travellers from all over the world. It’s a pretty fun way to connect with people and make some extra money while you do it!

Why not check out the Airbnb site to find out how much you could earn in your location.

How much does it cost?

Listing with Airbnb is free, but once you receive a reservation there is a service fee which is usually 3%.

That’s a very fair fee considering that they take care of all the marketing for you, provide free liability and property damage insurance, and offer 24/7 global customer support.

They even have a Community Centre where you can speak to other hosts, get advice and share stories.

Upselling

Upselling, or flipping, is the art of buying things for a low price and selling them on for a profit.

So what kind of things can you sell? That’s the beauty of this side hustle. You can sell pretty much anything! Clothes, furniture, cars, vintage items, even houses! If you’ve got a good eye for picking things out and don’t mind sprucing them up a little then you have the potential to make a full time wage from flipping.

How to start upselling

Not sure how to begin?

Start with what you’re familiar with.

So if you’re good at sewing maybe you could look out for clothes that are missing buttons, or have a seam that needs stitching. Clothes in less than perfect condition are usually incredibly cheap. If you have the skills to repair them you could sell them on for a decent profit, particularly if they’re vintage or quirky. Ever read #Girlboss? Upselling vintage clothes on eBay is how Sophia Amoruso started Nasty Gal.

Start small. Set yourself a low budget and look around flea markets, thrift stores and car boot sales for things that you know you can spruce up.

Then take some good pictures. Try and use natural lighting and clear out any clutter from your background. This will allow your handiwork to really shine, and then list them on ebay.

Hopefully you’ll make a profit! Then you can start to funnel some of that money back into buying more things to upsell. And once you know what kind of things sell well you can start to keep an eye out for similar items.

If you want more guidance then you can check out Rob and Melissa‘s Flipper University course. They’ve been flipping for a long time, and went from earning $42,000 in 2015 to $133,000 in 2016! Their course takes you the process they used to grow their flipping side hustle into a six-figure business.

Remote Tutoring

Online tutoring can be an excellent way to make extra money from home.

There’s a growing market for online education. If you have experience with teaching or know a lot about a specific subject then you could make a good side hustle income by sharing that knowledge.

Online tutoring opens you up to an international audience. You get to set your own schedule which makes it very flexible.

Remote tutoring generally takes place through video calls. All you’ll need is your computer, a fast internet connection, a webcam and Skype, or some other video conferencing software.

While some tutoring sites need you to have certain qualifications and experience, others might only want you to pass an assessment test to make sure you have the right skills to share your knowledge. It’s worth shopping around to see what fits you and your skills the best.

How much can you earn as a remote tutor?

This is going to be heavily dependent on your experience and area of expertise. Rates can also vary a lot between different tutoring sites.

A lot of US tutoring sites average $10 – $40 per hour, but some can be much higher.

In the UK hourly rates start at £15. This can go up to £35 – £60 if you’re a qualified teacher or a highly experienced tutor.

Where to find tutoring jobs

There are so many sites where you can list your tutoring services. Here are just a few of them to get you started:

  • Tutorful is a UK based site which offers tutoring in over 300 different subjects. You don’t need a formal teaching qualification to get started, and can set your own rates and availability
  • MyTutor is another UK based site that pays up to £24 an hour.
  • Tutorme pays at least $16 USD an hour. They require previous tutoring or teaching experience, mastery of subjects tutored and be enrolled in or have graduated from an accredited university
  • Tutor.com recruits tutors who are teachers, professors, adjuncts, PhD students, and industry professionals, who are all passionate about their areas of expertise. The application process is quite detailed. You have to sit a subject exam, complete a mock session and pass a background test. Hourly rates are between $10 – $50 USD depending on your tutoring subject.

Once you’ve gained some experience and built up a reputation for your skills you might prefer to set up your own website. Take a look at Trevor at JustAddTutor for more information about how to start tutoring on your own. He’s a part time test-prep tutor who earns $8,000 a month through his website.

macbook on a desk with tulips and a glass of orange juice

Create an online course

The e-learning market is set to grow to $325 Billion by 2025. Creating your own online course is a great way to get a slice of that.

And unlike remote tutoring where you’re exchanging time for money, creating an online course can turn into a really good passive income stream. Put in the hard work when you first create the course, and you can sell it over and over again.

How much can you earn?

The beauty of online courses is that there’s no cap on the amount you can earn.

When you exchange time for money there can come a point where you can’t increase your earnings any more. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day!

But put in the time to create one online course and you can keep selling that course to different people. Sure, you might want to tweak and update it over time, but most of the hard work is in setting it up.

And if you can market your course well that course has the potential to earn you a pretty hefty full time income. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income has made millions of dollars from his online courses!

He clearly knows what he’s doing, so take a look at his top 3 tips for selling online courses:

So where can you sell your courses?

An online course platform will allow to add things like videos, audio and PDF downloads to your course to make it more engaging for your students.

Some of the most popular online course platforms are:

Dropshipping

If you want to scratch that entrepreneurial itch but don’t want to deal the logistics of selling products, why not try a dropshipping business?

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping essentially lets you to sell products to your customers without having to buy and store any inventory.

This saves you money and time since you don’t need to worry about investing in a huge amount of inventory up front, or pay for the warehousing costs to store it all. And that means low set up costs and low risk.

Instead, you can pair up with a manufacturer. They’ll store all the inventory, and even ship the product directly to your customer. This leaves you free to focus on deciding what you want to sell and marketing it to your customer.

So basically, a customers places an order with you at a retail cost, you pass the order on to your supplier and pay them the wholesale cost, and they ship the product directly to the customer.

What can you sell?

Dropshipping businesses typically fall into two camps – general product dropshipping and print on demand (POD).

General product dropshipping

With general product dropshipping you can sell pretty much anything!

Fashion, makeup, home decor… almost anything can be sold through dropshipping. This can be a little overwhelming so it’s a good idea to use a service like Niche Scraper or Jungle Scout to research products that have been successful with other sellers.

Or if you have a particular interest you might prefer to focus on selling things that do well in that niche. Concentrating on a niche market can be very profitable. There’s often less competition, but you’ll need to understand your market very well to successfully target those customers.

So now that you’ve decided on your products you need to look for a supplier. Sites like Oberlo can make this easy for you. Using their platform you can search for products and suppliers all in one place.

Once you’ve chosen the right supplier you can set up your store on Shopify and start promoting your new business!

Print on demand

If you have a flair for design or want a bit more creativity in your business you might prefer to focus on a print on demand (POD) business.

POD lets you sell your own custom designs on various products. Some typical products are t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, tote bags, yoga mats, notebooks, posters, art print and phone cases. And that’s not a comprehensive list! There are a ton of different things that you can have your designs printed on to.

A lot of companies offer print on demand services, and some of these include:

You create your own designs and add the products you want to print them on to your store. The POD service will usually let you generate mock-ups so that customers can see what the finished design’ll look like.

Once your customer buys one of your products the POD service will print it and ship it off to your customer.

The great thing about this is that you can experiment with different designs until you hit on what works. Since everything is printed on demand you don’t have to worry about having a bunch of printed stock that no-one wants!

POD dropshipping gives you much more control over the final product. It also gives you more opportunities to start building a brand if that’s what you want.

laptop, pen and a notebook
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistants (VAs) are in high demand these days.

Essentially, they support business owners by providing administrative tasks from a remote location.

You can be a general all rounder in the VA world, but there are also countless areas that you can specialise in. This can be useful if you have a certain set of skills or enjoy working in a particular niche. There’s also the potential to make more money if you choose to specialise in a particular area.

Some typical VA services include things like:

  • managing email
  • scheduling appointments and itineraries
  • running social media accounts
  • customer service
  • marketing
  • bookkeeping
  • content creation
  • copy-editing
  • general admin

How much can you earn as a VA?

Starting rates average around £25 / $30 an hour, depending on your skills and experience.

So a couple of hours each evening could soon add up to £1,000 / $1,200 a month.

How to find work as a VA

There are a few places where you can look for VA opportunities and land your first client:

It can also be a good idea to look in dedicated Facebook groups for networking opportunities and to get support from fellow VAs.

Proofreading

If you have a good eye for detail then proofreading could be the perfect side hustle for you!

Proofreaders help others by checking over their written material for inconsistencies and errors.

There’s a good chance you’ve been proofreading for friends and family for years, so why not get paid for it?

Start up costs are low. In face, you probably have all that you need right now – an internet connection, computer, and word processing software.

And you might be surprised to hear that you don’t need an English degree or any special qualifications to get started.

What you do need are excellent English language skills so that you can recognise spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.

You’ll also need an eagle eye for detail so that you can spot any inconsistencies in the writing. These could be missing words or things that are capitalised in one paragraph but not in the next.

How much can you earn?

Proofreading rates typically start at £25 per hour in the UK and $20 to $40 per hour in the US, and this can go up with experience.

Caitlin from Proofread Anywhere was able to earn $43,000 in one year working 20-25 hours a week AND travelling!

How you can start proofreading

You can set yourself up as a freelance proofreader right now and start looking for work on Upwork or listing your services on Fiverr.

If you want a bit more guidance before starting out then check out Phon’s free masterclass webinar. Phon blogs over at Art of Proofreading and has over 16 years experience in publishing. Her webinar outlines the 4-step framework to show you how to start your own freelance proofreading business with no prior experience.

Start a blog

Blogging is of the most fun and accessible side hustles you can start.

You can blog from anywhere that has an internet connection – home, the beach, while you’re on the road… And you can write about your passions while building connections with people who have the same interests as you. It’s a pretty fulfilling way of making some extra money.

It’s true, blogging is probably not going to give you instant results. But if you’re interested in being in it for the long game and building a brand that delivers value to your readers then a blog has the potential to set you up for a pretty lucrative passive income through affiliate marketing and ad revenue.

If this sounds good to you then check out my post on how you can start your own blog in three easy steps.

13 proven side hustles you can start right now to earn extra money
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What could you achieve with a couple of extra hours in the evening?

These 13 ideas are a great starting place if you’re looking to make some extra money.

Who knows, that side hustle could be the start of something big!

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