Whether you’re established in a career or not, we all sometimes feel like we could do with a little bit of extra money. Whether it’s to afford that trip abroad, upgrade your flat screen TV or to pay off those student debts, a side gig is a popular option for many looking to maximise their income.
1. Rideshare Driver
Driving is one of the most popular means of generating extra revenue, due mainly to its ease and accessibility. All you need is a driving licence and a vehicle, and ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft do the rest.
As there are no restrictions on your working hours, it’s the perfect tool to make some money on your commute home; alternatively, you can wait until the weekend and benefit from the higher rates – it’s completely up to you. Either way, there’s a considerable amount of earning potential.
Earnings potential: According to The Zebra, the average salary for Uber and Lyft drivers in 2014 was $39,000 (£28,140) and $27,000 (£19,480), respectively.
If you have a passion – and an aptitude – for photography, then why not make a little money from it? As a freelancer, you can set your own rates and build a network of contacts to start attracting work. Be open to every opportunity and focus on developing a professional portfolio – weddings especially are a great source of income.
Alternatively, if you’re not the sociable type and prefer to practise your hobby in solitude, then don’t panic – there’s still cash to be made. You can sell your photographs to private collectors, media agencies or stock photography agencies such as Shutterstock and Getty.
Earnings potential: Full-time freelance photographers can earn as much as $44,000 (£31,750) per year.
In an increasingly globalised world, the ability to speak a second language is hugely sought after; many businesses, therefore, employ third-party agencies to translate all kinds of documents, transcripts and materials.
If you’re multilingual, you can sign up to one of these agencies, especially if you speak an in-demand language such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian or French. The majority of companies allow you to work from home, with projects ranging from anything between a few hundred to tens of thousands of words. As you build up experience and trust, you might even consider joining a professional body and pursuing certification in order to translate official documents.
Earnings potential: A part-time translator charging $0.18 (£0.12) per word can earn a little more than $60,000 (£43,290) a year. This, of course, depends on how often they take on contracts.
Blogging is a hugely popular yet misunderstood way of making money online. Of course, success won’t happen overnight, but if you know how to produce fresh and engaging content that can hold an audience’s interest, then you’re certainly on the right path.
The key is knowing how to monetise your blog once you’ve developed a readership. One popular way is to employ affiliate advertisements tailored to your readers’ tastes; for example, if your blog is about horse racing and you know your audience enjoys betting, join a casino affiliate and place their banner ads above your posts. There are many ways of utilising affiliate marketing techniques to keep your revenue ticking over, so be creative.
Earnings potential: Varies depending on your blog’s size, traffic and overall reputation, as well as the methods you employ for monetisation.
If you possess accounting or bookkeeping qualifications, it’s possible to freelance your services outside of your day job. Many small businesses with little to no bookkeeping experience require the help of professionals, with online tools such as QuickBooks acting as the middle man.
You can take on as much or as little work as you want to, so if balance sheets and cash flows are your idea of fun, then fill your boots.
Earnings potential: If you’re just starting out, you can charge as much $15 (£11) an hour. With experience and a growing client base, you can start charging as much $30 (£22) or more.
If you are noticeably strong at a certain academic subject, then you should consider tutoring – regardless of your age or experience. The only requisite is that you are able to relate the material to the student; a practice that requires patience, creativity and, of course, extensive knowledge of the subject.
If you have knowledge of languages or STEM subjects such as mathematics and chemistry, meanwhile, you may find your services more in demand. You can advertise online through teaching sites like Udemy or at schools, colleges and universities. In some instances, there might even be fixed part-time positions available, so don’t be afraid to put yourself forward.
Earnings potential: Depending on the number of students you have, the hours you work and the particular subject you tutor, you can earn anywhere between $30,000 (£21,640) and $60,000 (£43,290) per year on a part-time basis.
7. Dog Walker
If you’re a dog lover, then this could be the ideal side gig for you. Many people are willing to pay well for their dogs to be taken care of, and companies like Wag and Rover take requests from pet owners who are unable to provide the necessary exercise for their canine companions and then pass them onto walkers who are more than happy to oblige.
Once you’ve built up trust and a rapport with both the animal and the owner, you might even get hired on a regular basis, so if you’re good with dogs and understand their needs, this could be the perfect job for you.
Earnings potential: Varies, though the average dog walker salary is $30,837 (£22,240) – this, of course, depends on a variety of factors, including the number of clients you have.
8. Graphic / Web Designer
If you’ve got a creative flair and a working knowledge of design tools, then you can tender for projects on any number of online freelance platforms as a graphic or web designer. These typically involve small pieces of design work such as company logos or webpage templates – perfect for fitting around your existing work schedule.
At first, focus on developing an eye-catching pitch to your potential clients. Then, scour the web for poorly designed sites and designs; you can then reach out to the owners of these businesses and offer them a much more attractive design at a low cost, allowing you to build up an impressive portfolio.
Earnings potential: Depending on experience and reputation, you can charge anywhere $40-$100 (£29-£72) per hour, sometimes more.
9. Sell Your Stuff
Although this isn’t technically a job, it is still an easy and effective way of making money quickly. There are a multitude of buy-and-sell groups on social media, as well as the traditional peer-to-peer marketplaces such as eBay, Shpock and MusicMagpie. It’s also a handy way of decluttering your domain of unwanted items.
Don’t forget the offline marketplace, either. People are still drawn to yard sales, boot sales and bazaars in the hope of discovering a hidden gem; those Celine Dion LPs might not mean anything to you, but one man’s trash is often another man’s treasure…
Earnings potential: Varies depending on what you sell.
If you enjoy working with children, then babysitting could be a great side earner. Although rates are variable depending on the family, most gigs are generously paid and, if you can build up a regular range of clients, it can become a lucrative endeavour.
In a private capacity, you will likely work for people who already know and trust you (and can subsequently give you a reference), but to branch out and attract more clients, you can join an agency. It will be preferable if you have prior experience of working in a nursery or school, but as long as you pass criminal record checks and can demonstrate an affinity for and patience with children, you should be able to start working.
Earnings potential: The average hourly rate for a babysitter over 21 years old is $12.19 (£8.80).
11. Rent Your Space
If you have a spare room in your home or you’re going to be away for a while, why not turn it into an income source? You can advertise for a housemate or live-in lodger to stay and contribute financially, although if you are renting the property, it’s wise to check your landlord’s policy on subletting first.
Alternatively, if you live in a desirable area, you can advertise your space to tourists, travellers and visitors who are looking for a short-term place to stay. Websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey will list your property for a small commission, so make sure you keep things clean and tidy in the guestroom.
Earnings potential: Varies depending on a variety of factors, including location and property type.
12. Sell Your Hobby
One of the easiest side jobs is to capitalise on an existing hobby such as painting, baking or making jewellery – especially if you have received positive feedback from friends and colleagues. You can sell your products online through hosting marketplaces such as Etsy, as well as offline at the aforementioned yard sales; if you really want to make an impact, you can consider setting up your own small business – complete with your own website and advertising campaign.
You may not make any sales straight away, but the challenge of creating and establishing a business appeals to a lot of people who are attracted to the idea of eventually becoming their own boss. If you have the dedication and the passion to make it work, why not give it a try?
Earnings potential: Varies depending on particular hobby.
Of course, there are infinite ways of making extra money (we’d advise pursuing the legal ones); any of these are a great place to start and many require no skills or experience. Which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments below…