Side hustles are a controversial topic right now. On one side, you’ve got the wheeling and dealing side hustlers who celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. On the other side, the people who see side hustling as a symptom of a sick society that’s too focused on money.
If you’re reading this article, you probably fall into the first side: you want to find ways to boost your income.
And honestly, who can blame you? Everything’s getting more and more expensive – food, entertainment (Well yes, I do need YouTube & Netflix & Spotify & Audible…), rent. On top of that, wages aren’t rising with inflation, and the job market’s going down the pooper.
So yeah, many of us are looking into side hustles to see if we can top up our wages. The ideal result is to create a passive income. But you don’t have to put yourself under excess pressure to find one, which is why the second side worries. You can make extra money in some quite chill ways. It just takes a bit of imagination.
So let’s get on with it…
…what even is a side hustle? Passive income?
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I’d better explain the terminology because some of you will have been lured here by the “make you rich” part of the title, rather than knowing what the title means exactly.
Side hustles defined:
It’s simple. A side hustle is any way of making money outside of your proper employment, or if you’re a student, outside of your part-time job and study.
Passive income defined:
A passive income is an income that you earn from something that doesn’t require any effort beyond setting up.
An example would be YouTube videos. If they’re successful, they sit there just making you money. You don’t need to make new videos or tweak the existing video to make money from it.
Another example would be owning a rental property. You might have to do some landlord duties occasionally, but most of the time, it just sits there earning money.
Which side hustles could make you money in 2021?
Let’s get on to the bit that you’re waiting for: the best side hustles in 2021.
Children need to catch up on the school work they lost this year, and you’ll always find adults that are interested in learning different skills.
After a year of disruptions, many kids will have fallen behind. They’ll need knowledgeable tutors that can help them catch up. That could be you if you have good skills in school subjects, especially maths, science and English.
You get to set your rates but, on average, you can expect to earn £20 to £50 an hour. It does depend on your skill level and your chosen niche.
One way to find students is to contact local schools and see if they will allow you to advertise. You will have to have background checks to make sure that you’re safe to work with young people.
If the idea of teaching children is too much, then don’t worry. You don’t have to limit yourself to academic tutoring. People have taken to tutoring all sorts of skills, from guitar lessons to interview techniques.
Think about the things that you do best and try to find a student or two. As word of mouth passes around, you’ll get more students – providing you’re good.
And with the end of covid insight, you’ll soon be able to do in-person tutoring. It will make it easier to have more than one student per class. Zoom’s been great, but there’s a lot of talking over each other and dropped connections.
Design an online course
If you have a skill that people want to learn about (e.g., front-end web development), you can create and sell online courses. These have been growing in popularity in recent years.
You can sell these courses on platforms like Udemy and Coursera. These can become a source of passive income. You may need to update them now and again if it’s technology-related (because tech changes so fast), but you can leave them running for months and even years.
Again, it’s all about capitalising on your existing knowledge base. Are you considered an expert at anything? Maybe you have a niche hobby that people would enjoy learning?
Most people have something valuable that they can share with the world, even if it’s as simple as teaching people how to look after their chimney place! There are people out there who need your skills – new homeowners, people who’ve never had a chimney before, Charlie’s grandson.
How do you think I make my money? See all this content online? Someone has to write it and, unless you find a way to monetise a blog or website, you’ll usually be working for someone else.
It’s a good gig to get into because of the sheer volume of content needs. Businesses need writers for their websites and social media, blog writers, news sites, people designing courses, scientists, etc., all need writers.
The best way to make money in this field is to capture a niche.
Write about the things you know; if you like cooking, write a cooking blog and sell recipes; if you enjoy Stand-Up paddle boards, review paddles; the only limit is your imagination.
3-d model design
3-d printing is becoming a big thing. One problem that many people are running into is the time it takes to create the models for printing. You have to use specialist software to draw shapes on the x, y, and z-axis, and it takes a lot of time to master these technologies.
If you know how to use software like AutoCAD or Blender, then there’s a market out there for you. People have bought 3-d printers because they’ve got some good ideas about what to print with them (another side hustle, btw) but have since discovered that they don’t have the skills needed to transform 2-d images into 3-d images that are ready for print.
People who can use software like Blender to create 3-d print-ready images are in high demand. The cheapest I’ve seen someone selling these skills for is £150 per image/design. To put this into context: I need 26 2-d designs rendered into 3-d images ready for my 3-d printer. I don’t have the skills to do it yet.
I’m involved with quite a few people who’ve bought 3-d printers, and they’re all furiously trying to learn 3-d modelling so that they can get on with their projects. They know what they want to design. The problem is they don’t know how to create the 3-d models ready for the printers.
Hey, and if you already know how to do this for less than £150, drop us a comment.
Some old-fashioned side hustles that still work
People had side hustles pre-internet, you know? We didn’t invent them. We just came up with a new name for it. Anyway, here are some side hustle ideas straight from the dark ages (pre-00s):
Invest in a power washer and offer to clean people’s pathways.
I would pay someone to come and blast away the grass tufts that grow near the front wall of my house. I know at least one other neighbour who would pay too.
Offer a shoe-shining service.
Now, it’s definitely an old-fashioned thing, but people who work in offices are often more than happy not to do this task themselves. It also seems like a relative novelty these days. It’s a good pocket money earner.
Offer ironing services.
It’s another task that people don’t like to do themselves. There are plenty of ironing services around the UK, but I never get leaflets through the door about this particular service. You can probably find quite a few takers by putting flyers through people’s doors in your local area.
It can be hard to monetise because you need everyone on the street to be on board with it. It works by knocking on doors on your chosen road and offering a litter picking service. Tell people you’ll charge them £2 a week and, as long as the entire street agrees, you’ll do the litter picking. It’s a good earner when everyone agrees. It makes roads look so much better too. It tends to work best on roads with a lot of footfall as they tend to get a lot of litter.
Again, it’s a service I’d pay for, but I’m not sure all of my neighbours would agree. We do live on an incredibly rubbish-filled street, so they’d be nutters not to pay up.
Summing it all up
There are two different approaches to side hustles. The first is to think about what you’re good at and find a way to monetise it. The second is to think about those irritating jobs that you hate doing and realise that other people probably hate them too. People hate chores, so if you can take them off their hands for a reasonable price, they’ll usually agree to pay up. And being paid to do chores makes them much more bearable.
Over to you. Do you have any side hustle ideas you want to share? Leave a comment and bounce your ideas off other people. It’s a great way to fuel your creativity.
Tip: you make money by solving other people’s problems.