It’s no secret that with the cost of living going up while wages remain the same, many of us are feeling the squeeze. In fact, a recent report has revealed that two-thirds of UK adults are worried about their finances.

Whether you’re one of these people or you just want to earn a little bit of extra cash on top of what you make doing your full-time job, you might be thinking about starting a side hustle. And while this will involve a fair amount of work outside your usual hours, it can provide lucrative returns. 

If a side hustle is something you’re considering, but you’re struggling to come up with a good idea, you may find this article helpful. In it, we’ll list our top ten side hustle ideas, which we hope will inspire you.

What are the best side hustles ideas?

Some of the best ways to make money on the side are by selling items online, pet sitting, driving passengers or delivering items, housekeeping and posting on social media.

Other lucrative side hustles include freelancing your services, letting out your property, transcribing, proofreading and teaching English online.

Read on to find out more about these side hustles and for tips on making sure your venture is as successful as possible.

Ten of the best side hustles

1. Online selling

If you’re creative, you might be able to make money from selling your own handmade goods on an online store like Etsy or Not on the High Street. People love buying gifts on sites like these as the products have a more personal touch than something that’s been mass-produced in a factory. This means you can often sell your creations at a higher price point.

Even if you’re not a creative type, you can still make money in this way by selling unwanted clothes and other items on sites like eBay, Vinted and Gumtree.

2. Pet-sitting

Pet owners love their animals like they are a part of the family. This means they will be prepared to pay good money to ensure their beloved pet is looked after while they’re away on holiday.

If you have a passion for animals and a basic knowledge of pet care, you can sign up for a website like Cat in a Flat, BorrowMyDoggie and Rover, where you will be able to offer your services to those who need them. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly so you’re not stung by any unexpected fees.

Even just dog walking can be a profitable side hustle. If you can build up a name for yourself and you (and the owners) are happy to walk multiple dogs at once, you could soon be raking it in. 

3. Driving

If you drive, you have plenty of side hustle options. 

One is to become a rideshare driver on an app like Uber or Lyft. You don’t need to have any previous experience, and you don’t even need to have your own car, as you can rent one from them. All you need is a driving license and one year’s worth of driving experience. Then, you simply sign up to the platform of your choice, and once you’ve passed the checks, you can start taking passengers. The wages may not be life-changing, but you can top your earnings up with tips, and the hours are completely flexible.

If you’d prefer not to have strangers in your car, another option is to deliver packages with a company like Evri (formerly Hermes) or Amazon Flex. Again, you can choose your own hours, as you sign up to work a particular time slot and accept as many parcels as you have time for.

Finally, you can use your vehicle to deliver food or groceries for an app like Deliveroo, Uber Eats or Just Eat.

4. Housekeeping

One of the best things about housekeeping is that you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to do it. Other benefits of this side hustle idea are that you can work independently and you aren’t required to spend much time talking to clients.

If this sounds like something you would like to do, it’s worth taking some time to consider exactly what type of work you want to do. There are many different types of housekeeping jobs out there, from cleaning offices to managing wealthy people’s houses and one-off deep cleaning services to regular visits. Once you’ve decided on which type of housekeeping suits you, you can buy some cleaning products and then advertise your services with flyers, on social media and by word-of-mouth. 

5. Social media posting

If you love posting photos and videos online, why not get paid to do it? More and more people are starting to realise that they can earn money from their social media accounts — and there are different ways you can do this.

The first is affiliate marketing. This is where you advertise a brand’s products or services on your page and get a commission from the sales that come from your referral. To make money from your social media pages this way, though, you need to make sure you have at least 10,000 followers. Brands want to reach as many people as possible and will pay more for the privilege. This means this side hustle will be more profitable if you are a social media influencer or an already established blogger.

Another way to make money through social media is from your followers. You can either sell merchandise and keep the profit or offer your fans exclusive content in exchange for a subscription fee or one-off payment.

6. Freelancing

If you have a natural talent, one of the best ways to earn some extra income is by freelancing. Selling your services as a web designer will make the most money, but you can build a successful side business in music, art, illustration or photography too.

To become a professional web designer, you will need to be both technical and creative, as you must have knowledge of user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and scripting languages like HTML and CSS, as well as graphic design. If this sounds like you, you should think about creating your own business website and getting a portfolio together before marketing your services on a site like Upwork or Fiverr.

Those who are gifted in music, art, illustration or photography may be able to generate a decent passive income from selling their creations on third-party websites, such as Getty Images, Shutterstock or, again, Fiverr.

7. Letting

Many people make extra money on the side by listing their spare room or holiday home on a site like Airbnb. 

With more people now holidaying at home rather than abroad, the staycation market is reaping the rewards. And with quirky properties like shepherds’ huts, boats and even garden sheds in high demand, there’s even more money to be made as they can be listed at a higher price point.

Even if you don’t have a spare room or holiday home, you can still make money from renting out your driveway, garage or any other unused space you may have. 

8. Transcribing

This is an easy side hustle for those who have a good ear and can type quickly.

As a transcriptionist, you will receive audio files from your clients, which you will then need to listen to and type out. The types of files you’ll receive could be videos, phone calls, audio notes or other recordings.

A big advantage of transcribing as a side hustle is that you can work from home. To get started, simply sign up for a transcription service like Rev or Scribie, complete the application process and — if successful — you can then start accepting jobs.

9. Proof-reading

If you’re good at English, but you don’t have the time to become a part-time copywriter, proofreading is a way you can make money from your talent.

To be a successful proofreader, you must have a passion for reading and great attention to detail. If you believe you would make a good proofreader, you can put yourself out there on a site like Fiverr or Upwork, where your profile can be viewed by thousands of clients who are looking to have their work checked by a grammatical expert.

10. Teaching English

Native English speakers can make money by teaching English as a foreign language. While this was traditionally done abroad by backpackers wanting to make some cash to fund their travels, teaching English can now be done online from anywhere in the world.

The great thing is you don’t need to have previous teaching experience, however, you will be at an advantage if you have a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification or a bachelor’s degree.

It’s probably best to start with TEFL’s job board, but you’ll find plenty of job listings on other sites too. The majority of these jobs involve teaching Asian children, which means hours can be unsociable, but this may be helpful for fitting your side hustle around your main work schedule. 

Tips for running a successful side hustle

When done right, a side hustle can turn from something you do in your spare time to a successful business. But whether you want to eventually quit your regular job to become your own boss or you’re happy to spend just a few hours on a fun side hustle every now and then, there are some things you can do to ensure your time isn’t wasted and your returns are maximised:

  • Draw up a work schedule — Anyone who’s ever worked two jobs will tell you how exhausting it can be if you don’t manage your time well. While it’s important to put in the right amount of time and effort into ensuring your side hustle is as effective as it can be, try to resist the temptation to spend all your spare time working on it. The last thing you want is for your full-time job to suffer as a result of your side hustle. So, when drawing up your work schedule, make sure you build in enough time to relax and socialise too.
  • Educate yourself — As well as honing your skills, don’t be afraid to learn new things too. If you’re starting a business, learning about accounting and marketing will be hugely beneficial.
  • Research your market — Whatever industry your side hustle is in, it’s important to read the industry news and keep on top of market trends.
  • Be patient — Unless you’re extremely fortunate, it’s unlikely that your side hustle will see you hitting the big time straight away. So, have patience, don’t take unnecessary risks and focus on building a stable, profitable venture that will grow over time.

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