Side hustles have become a huge part of an entrepreneur’s life in 2019 and for many reasons. Often, it’s to pay excess bills, get through college, build a better life for yourself and your family or to find ways to make money to enjoy.
Perhaps you’re looking to start a business on a side that can eventually earn you enough money to leave the job you hate.
Whatever it may be, I think it’s a fantastic way of spending your free time and an initiative a lot of people talk about but never actually bring it into reality.
If you’re here, you most likely don’t want to fall within that category.
You, most likely, want to step out of your comfort zone and make a concerted effort to earn some money on the side.
If that’s the case, then I think I have a few ideas below that are absolutely worth trying, especially if you have very little funds to work with right now.
Just to give you a bit of a rundown of my own story, my father was self-employed his entire life but managed to succeed in ways I could have never imagined if I walked in his shoes.
I think a huge amount of credit has to be given to my mother as well.
The one thing they both shared in common is a desire to achieve what they set out to do at any means necessary.
This meant stepping out of their comfort zone and pursuing work that required a lot of self-discipline, instructing and motivation.
It just so happened that these traits rubbed off on me.
From the age of 12, I remember being on stage during weddings snapping pictures of brides and grooms as they celebrated their special day.
This was one of the very first ways in which I made my own money.
I did everything from selling games to my friends in school, computer repairs, videography, photography, freelance writing, affiliate marketing and book publishing.
Check out my article on 15 productivity for online entrepreneurs.
I did all these things while studying towards my law degree.
When it comes to side hustles, I understand exactly what it takes and what kind of side businesses work for someone who has basically nothing and wants to build something significant.
With that being said, here’s my list of the 10 best side hustles you can start right now without much money.
1. FREELANCE WRITING ONLINE
Take a look at the internet nowadays and you’ll find at least millions of new blogs being started regularly.
Everyone wants to break into the online market, whether it be on a personal scale or a business scale.
There’s an incredibly wide array of topics to be spoken about.
The thing is this, there are not as many quality writers available for businesses and bloggers who are looking for solid content.
And on top of that, you have a massive amount of demand. People don’t just want new content but they want improved versions of older content.
The demand is huge. The supply of quality writers, not so much.
That’s where you come in.
If you can establish yourself as a quality writer from day one, chances are, you can build a nice little freelance writing side hustle for yourself that can bring in anywhere between 400 to 1000+ dollars per month.
When you start off, nobody is just going to hire you and give you a chance if there’s no incentive or anything to convince them with.
So, let me give you a step by step guide on how I started my freelance writing career from scratch that is still applicable today.
- Start A Freelance Writing Blog And Publish 5 – 10 Of The Best Articles I Can Possibly Write In Popular Niches
- Apply To Popular Sites And Submit Free Guest Blog Posts With Your Freelance Writing Tag Line
- Once You Amass Atleast 5 Guest Blog Posts, Start Applying For Freelance Gigs On Job Boards Using Those Guest Posts As References
- Create A Catchy Email Subject Line To Stand Out From The Crowd Of Freelance Writer’s Applying For Jobs
- Keep Your Email Short And Sweet – Make Epic Promises For Quality Content You Can Deliver
- Offer Clients A One-Time Free Article If They Are Hesitant
- When You Get A Few Jobs, Ask These Clients To Write A Short Recommendation And Use This On Your Blog Hire Page
Follow these principles/steps to the tee and I’m quite certain you can start earning money as a freelance writer within a month!
Golden Rule: When you approach anyone for work, they’re not as interested in what you want as they are in what you can provide for them. Sell them on why working with you will benefit them tenfold to what they will pay you.
2. WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY
I mentioned above that at an early age, I was into wedding photography. I’m talking about a time when 4mp and 8mp cameras were considered a big deal.
At the time, we didn’t have a lot of money to invest in equipment so my father would build makeshift lighting equipment, dollies and one-handed stabilizers.
And you know what, it did the trick.
We were covering quite a few weddings at the time, I started to practice the photography aspect of it and he got exceptional at it the intricacies of editing and lighting.
I learned a lot from this experience, especially about marketing oneself through product/service promotion.
No amount of words can convince someone to purchase from or work with you without either reputation, product/service quality and good rates.
We had no reputation at first but we started with good rates.
Our work was excellent and unique at the time, especially when we added videography to the equation.
Part of our service was to integrate ourselves with the family so that our editing reflected that personal feel which people thoroughly loved.
Nowadays, there’s so much at your disposal. You can start a photography and videography business with relative ease.
And in this current age of social media, if you start a page for your service, upload amazing shots and market yourself correctly, work will find you!
I would recommend starting off by mastering as much information about photography and videography through Youtube videos and practice.
Take the time to understand the fundamentals so that you can progress and develop to the point of creating a unique and top-rated service.
3. TUITION (ONLINE & OFFLINE)
You’d be surprised at how much you can make teaching people, especially online.
If you have something that can be taught and you’ve mastered it to an extent that you can teach others to develop from a noob to competent, tuition is at your disposal.
Personally, I know a few friends who teach maths, science and languages to a lot of younger students on the side and make a good amount of side income.
For a few hours a month, you can put some good money in your pocket given the type of work.
I would suggest isolating a topic or niche you can target, create a content plan around that topic (a syllabus) and a platform to teach.
If you’re interested in working online, skype or facetime is your go-to platform for one-on-one video lessons. Or, you can prerecord lessons and sell them as a package.
The choice is completely yours.
I just find it better when you offer actual tuition because there’s a demand for that.
If the person enjoys the first lesson, chances are, they’ll return for more and recommend you to others.
4. AFFILIATE MARKETING
When it comes to affiliate marketing, it is a weirdly marketed side hustle. For some reason, there’s this notion that you don’t have to do much work and make great money through affiliate marketing.
That isn’t true at all.
Affiliate marketing applies both online and offline.
In terms of offline, this entails signing up as an affiliate with companies such as Avon or Herbalife and repping their products to people.
Essentially, as an affiliate marketer, you exist under the banner of these bigger companies and people make some good money from it.
But, it requires some great social skills and the ability to sell in person.
If that is something that excites you, I highly recommend it.
However, if that doesn’t float your boat, there is an alternative option which is the online sphere.
You don’t have to be tied down to one brand and there’s more than one platform for marketing products as an affiliate.
You can work on Youtube, other social media sites or create your own blog/niche website, or all of them at the same time.
As you create content that enables you to push these products, your readers and/viewers who take interest in these offers can redirect to the product/service page and make a purchase.
In the end, you’ll make a commission from every sale you make in this fashion.
I prefer using this online system. In fact, what you’ll find is that I’ve included a few products in this post that redirect to Amazon. If you make a purchase, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
That’s how affiliate marketing works online.
The ‘problem’ is that it requires a lot of hard work and high quality content to establish yourself as authoritative and trustworthy.
When working on affiliate marketing, you have to ask yourself this question, why should anyone trust my word? After all, you’re making recommendations.
You have to embark on a journey to establish yourself as an authoritative and trustworthy person. That’s not difficult to do if you obviously possess those traits.
What’s truly difficult is persevering and showing up when nobody is around at first.
If you can do that much, you’ll find affiliate marketing to be a fruitful side hustle.
5. DESIGN BOOK COVERS
If you’re any good at graphic design, I mean more than being able to slap together an easy to design cover, there’s a huge scope for book cover designs just waiting for you.
Here’s the thing – independent publishing has exploded since Amazon Kindle took the world by storm.
Hundreds of thousands of people who want to be authors have entered the field.
The problem is, most of these writers are subpar at design.
There’s a demand for high-quality book covers, it’s a necessity for any author.
But, it costs a lot of money to hire professional graphic designers to design a cover specifically for you.
So, you could enter that space and design individual covers for private clients. There’s a great scope for that, you just need to do some networking with authors and show them that you’re the real deal.
Alternately, you can predesign a batch of covers around popular niches on Amazon Kindle Books, put the samples up on your website and sell them at a definite price.
Authors can visit your site every few weeks and browse through your new designs, choose one they like, purchase it from you and get exclusive rights to that cover.
This saves you from having to deal with the long process of finding clients and only then designing a cover per their specifications until they’re satisfied.
Also, you can reach out to a larger audience in a certain price bracket.
I think this is a great niche-specific graphic design side hustle worth pursuing!
6. CONDUCT APPLIANCE REPAIRS
The thing with appliances and electronics is that they get more expensive as technology improves.
People aren’t as willing to pull the trigger on purchasing new appliances when they have to fork out 100’s if not 1000’s of dollars.
And repairs with big companies aren’t cheap either. Which is where you can come in.
If you have a good understanding of appliances and studied enough to fix them, it could be a fruitful side hustle to get into.
Basically, any electronic device that can be repaired is a viable option to look into.
What’s important to note is that this is an actual service. You may end up having to visit people’s home to repair their appliances and electronic devices.
If you’re okay with that, this is an awesome side hustle/business to start.
7. BUY AND SELL GOODS ON EBAY
As a kid, I always had a fascination with garage sales. You could find the weirdest or rarest of items at a good price.
Unfortunately, those days of visiting someone’s garage sale are over. Enter eBay. The one-stop destination for all goods.
If you have something to sell, chances are, it will get bought on eBay from someone in the world.
I know of a few people who have turned this into a solid gig.
Not only do they sell second-hand goods but they pick up new items, reduce the price enough to be competitive with regular retailers and they make a killing.
I would suggest using a good reputable shipping company that provides regular updates to avoid losing money to scammers.
8. WEIGHTLOSS/DATING COACH
I’ll tell you what, two things that will most likely always be a factor in life is weight and relationships.
There’s no magic pill for either, despite what people try to sell you.
With that being said, not everyone has figured out how to handle weightloss and coaching.
If they could help it, they would pay money to be guided and coached into achieving the body or the relationship of their dreams.
I don’t really advocate coaching ordinarily because I find some people make money from coaching others without even having success at what they coach.
They may be good at making money coaching someone to write a book but they’ve never actually written a book in their life. It’s just weird.
However, if you have personally succeeded at these things, then you may have the ability to coach others either online or offline.
Trust me, when it comes to looking good and feeling good, people will happily part with their money because the results outweigh the cost.
9. PUBLISH BOOKS ONLINE
This is something I can attest to because I’ve written books and published them online.
What I’ve personally experienced is that even someone without much of a name can make money from publishing books, especially on kindle.
However, if you approach this with the mindset of churning out a haphazard book of little value, you’ll reap no rewards.
The average book is around 25000 words and the pricing is between $2.99 to $12.99. You will make 70% profit on each sale if I’m not mistaken.
When it comes to publishing books on Amazon, you want to focus on what genre sells the best.
You may need to have a bit of money to invest in a properly designed cover and some personal time to spend marketing your book on different forums, groups and pages across social media sites.
What I like about Kindle publishing is the longevity of income. If you write a book that sells well, chances are, it can bring you passive income for a long time.
The last book I published was years ago and I still get the odd royalty cheque every couple of months.
Think of this as a side hustle that has the potential to become a fully-fledged author career.
Depending on how you approach this, there’s an audience you can build who can become loyal fans who await your books.
That’s not something to take lightly. It’s pretty amazing if you have the work ethic and a passion for writing.
10. HENNA AND MAKEUP
If you’re in the west, I’m unsure if you’re familiar with henna artists but it’s an extremely popular trend for brides in Indian communities all over the world.
It’s like a temporary tattoo and it’s particularly popular during wedding season.
Henna doesn’t cost much money but it requires an ability to creatively design patterns on people’s hands, arms and/or feet.
You can easily make some good side income over the weekends with henna artistry.
The same could be said for makeup artistry. If you cater for events, chances are, you’ll get some good clients over time and make a good amount of money.
My only issue with this idea is that makeup can be pricey.
So, if you don’t have the supply, perhaps this is a side hustle you can start once you’ve built up some income.
Instagram is a fantastic platform for structuring this side hustle.
WRAPPING IT UP
These side hustle ideas are some of the best things you could try on a very low to no budget.
Just remember, the key to success in any business is effort, hard work, quality and consistency.
If you can make even a dollar, then there’s an opportunity for you to scale that into something that earns you 10, 100 and even 1000 dollars in a relatively short space of time.
It all boils down to how committed and passionate you are to start something and stick with it until you’ve given it everything you have in terms of effort.
With that being said, I hope you found this collection of side hustle business ideas to be of some benefit to you.
If so, please feel free to let me know in the comment section or email me directly to talk about it more.