Your ultimate guide to starting a profitable side hustle

Your ultimate guide to starting a profitable side hustle

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

Ever thought about starting a side hustle? It can be a lot easier than you think. From making money through a hobby to easy-peasy tasks you hadn't thought of, we look into the best side hustles this summer.

Let’s be honest, not a single one of us doesn’t want to line our pockets with a little extra cash each month. That much we know is true.

So, we’ve cut through the riff-raff to bring you 10 sideline activities that could actually help you top up your disposable - safely, legally, and legitimately.

1. Fill out some surveys 

Businesses left, right, and centre are willing to pay good money to get into the minds of the public. It’s helpful to them because it helps them shape their product or service into something more successful, and it’s beneficial to you because you can cash in on the demand.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few reputable sites to start with:

- i-Say

- Swagbucks

- GlobalTestMarket

- PopulusLive

- Crowdology.

2. Sell your stuff online

If you’re hoarding a heap of old toys, clothes, furniture, decor, or utensils, etc. that haven’t seen the light of day for as long as you can remember, create some space and make some money by selling them off to a new home.

The most obvious outlet is probably eBay, but if you want to cut out the cost of fees it might be worth giving Facebook Marketplace a go - all the more profit for you!

You can use selling sites such as Depop (for fashion)and Toy Hunter to shift old stuff, and it won’t just fatten your pockets but also help others pick up a bargain. Here are ten tips on how to turn your clutter into cash and look out for these things in your attic that could be worth £1000s.

3. Get rid of old discs

If you don’t want the hassle of pitching your items and messaging potential buyers, there are lots of sites that trade your old CDs, DVDs, and computer games for cold hard cash.

Selling this way is simple too. All you need is the product’s barcode, ISBN (this one only applies to books) or product name and you can get an instant quote.

Now the fine print will vary from site-to-site, but some of the best trade-in companies out there are:

-     WeBuyBooks

-     CeX

-     GameXchange

-     musicMagpie

-     Momox.

4. Cash in on your trash

This one might sound like a ‘rubbish’ idea, but you could actually make money off your waste. From loo roll tubes and jam jars to wine corks and empty perfume bottles, there’s not much people who’re into arts and crafts will snub their nose at.

Don’t believe us? Find out more on it here.

5. Re-home your wedding dress

Okay ladies. Brace yourself for this one. But, your wedding dress is a material goldmine. If you’ve got yourself a lavish-looking dress stitched together by a well-known designer, it could earn you a few hundred quid - yes, even secondhand.

We get it’s sentimental, but be honest, how often do you wade through your wardrobe to catch a peek anyway? If you’re prepared to part with your wedding dress, these are some of the better-known sites to sell it on:

-     Preloved (free)

-     Gumtree (free)

-     The Dressmarket (free)

-     Sell My Wedding Dress

-     Still White.

6. Rent out your parking space

City centre parking is extortionate. So, if you live right in the thick of it and have a parking space going spare, put out the feelers and see if anyone you know, or a friend of a friend, is interested in renting it.

They’ll benefit from cheaper parking and you’ll benefit from a regular side income. Now that’s what we call a win, win.

7. Sign up to focus groups

Get your name on the radar of some market research companies and attend some face-to-face focus groups.

The opportunities won’t be bottomless as there’ll be certain criteria to meet - like age, gender, occupation, location, education status, etc., but if you manage to get yourself into just a few a year, that alone could line your pockets with a few hundred pounds.

8. Promote products 

On social media? Instead of just being, well, social on it, start turning it into a money-making platform too. All you have to do is promote products to your network and, if someone clicks on your links and goes through with a purchase, you’ll receive a cut of the profit. Simple!

If you’re interested in giving it a go, ClickBank and Amazon Associates are good starting points.

9. Or get paid for sharing online deals

Are you a keen bargain spotter? You can get rewarded for sharing voucher codes and special offers at Latest Deals. If you’ve got an opinion on music, Slice the Pie is a great place to share it and reap the rewards.

Also look out for customer referral deals, where you invite friends to try a product in return for cash or discounts. If you get enough of your friends to click on these offers, then you can be rewarded. Just make sure the offers are of interest, so you don’t annoy them all!

10. Switch bank accounts

The banking industry is a competitive one. Everyone’s competing for your custom, and in a bid to convert you, many offer some pretty attractive sign-up bonuses - literally into the £100s.

Admittedly there’s probably a cap on how much you can earn with this one, but if you switch just a few times you could bag yourself a healthy sum.

11. Spy on some shops

Retailers up and down the high-street are dying to know how their in-store customer service fairs, and a lot of them will be signed up to some sort of mystery shopping agency to get the answers they need.

This is where you can step in – the stores need a bank of people they can rely on to check out specific pubs or shops, and you could be next in line.

It’s worth noting not all agencies pay you in cash though. Some certainly will, but others might work in gift vouchers or free items instead. Some of the most popular sites for this money-making method are:

-     Grass Roots

-     GBW

-     Retail Maxim.

12. Start transcribing

Transcribing is merely turning an audio recording into a text document. It’s a decent way of earning money anywhere between £6-16 per hour, depending on your typing speed. All you generally need is a laptop and a good pair of headphones.

13. Share your skills with instructional videos

Are you a subject matter expert? You can earn money from sharing information on a variety of topics through online videos and courses - from car maintenance to cooking or plumbing.

To get views, you’ll need to create useful content that's easy to find through online searches. Although it’s not an instant source of revenue, the best ways are making money off YouTube, building a social media channel or starting your own blog.

14. Upcycle (and flip) furtnitue

If you're crafty with creative flair (and an empty workshop or garage!) you could try your hand at flipping furniture through upcycling. Get your hands on a shabby old desk, chest of drawers or even an old ladder from charity shops, then create a bespoke, creative new project for sale. See our full guide on how to upcycle furniture.

15. Get freelance work online

Are you a skilled wordsmith? A keen designer who can whip up a logo in no time? Whatever your skill, you can look to make extra money by freelancing remotely. Create a profile on sites like Upwork or Freelancer and browse for jobs. Some are on a per project/piece basis, and some are per hour. There are also different skill levels, so you can find something suitable, even if you're just starting out. The more experienced you are, the more you can charge for your skills. 

We're serious when we say you can do this whatever your skill, we've seen listings on Upwork asking for freelance Animators, Bookkeepers, Virtual Assistants and Developers - plus many more.

16. Make money from your home

From getting a lodger to listing your spare room as a holiday rental - find out the many ways to make money from your home.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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