Last Updated on Apr 8, 2020 by James W

Need to top up your income? We’ve all heard the bedroom millionaire success stories: Facebook was set up by university students, and Netmums was started by three playgroup mothers.

And it’s not only the digital entrepreneurs who successfully start something up on the side.

Innocent smoothie makers famously made their own fresh smoothies, selling them at festivals whilst juggling a day job. Things went so well they quit their jobs to set up Innocent, later purchased by Coca-Cola.

For many people with that entrepreneurial urge, it’s a dream to earn an income from a few different sources. Whether you’ve also got a full-time job, or are looking to build an income from scratch, having a profit-making side hustle puts you in a great position.

Here are six top ways to grow income on the side by setting up your own side hustle:

  1. Turn A Hobby Into An Income

When your work is so fun that it doesn’t feel like work, you’re doing something right. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs base their work around an existing hobby or passion.

There might be an obvious side hustle already in your mind. Otherwise, think about how your different hobbies and interests could be turned into profit-making gigs.

Consider taking a course in order to turn your hobby into a professional dream. A pottery course or learning how to make stained glass designs could be the start of a small business making and selling your own artwork.

If you’re a little less arty, and a little more into the academic side of life, how about turning that passion for numbers into bookkeeping for small businesses on the side? There are plenty of part-time business admin qualifications and classes you can take — businesses are always looking for talented organizers and virtual assistants; nowadays you can easily work part-time or from home.

Consider your hobbies and identify any potential commercial opportunities. Investigate local courses that might inspire you and give you the tools you need to turn your passion into a business.

  1. Make A Talent Pay

Think critically about your talents and how they could be developed into an income. Again, as with a hobby, it won’t feel like work if you naturally enjoy what you do.

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If you are a fantastic driver, why not consider becoming a driving instructor? There are franchise opportunities with both national and local driving schools, or you could set up on your own with minimal investment, working when you felt like it.

Always the one taking photos at family events? Have a look at photography courses, either locally or online, and explore the idea of a photography business. You can even make money selling stock photos!

Naturally talented at playing sports? Speaking French? Doing yoga? These are all talents that could be turned into a side hustle. You could teach others your talent, sell products related to it, or set up an inspirational blog exploring its many facets. Explore your niche interests and capitalize on your innate talents — our best career and business opportunities are often aligned with who we really are.

  1. Run An eBay Store

eBay needs no introduction. So whilst it is popular and competition for selling on there is high, you might find an untapped niche of products to sell on eBay if you do your homework!

Do you want to target a mass market by undercutting competitors on one product niche, and sell lots of items at a small margin? Or do you want to sell a higher value product to a more discerning, smaller audience?

An example of the former might be sourcing a cheap supplier of wooden watches. On the other hand, you could offer up-market traditional canvas sailing smocks, sourced directly from local smock makers at a higher price. Think about which products are going to bet easiest for you to source, ship, and market.

You can think outside the box with eBay – you don’t just have to sell products in a shop.

If you’ve always been into cars, and have made a few good deals in the past, you could consider setting up a car buying and selling business. You only need to start with one car, and eBay’s classified car section is the perfect marketplace for beginners. You could also get into selling collectibles in a big way — flipping memorabilia on eBay can be very lucrative.

  1. Investigate Drop-Shipping

If the idea of running an online shop appeals to you, whether through eBay or via your own ecommerce website, drop-shipping is a game changer that allows you to leverage the booming manufacturing industry in Asia.

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What does it mean for you? Drop-shipping is not a new concept in the world of business and supply chain management. In a nutshell: retailers sell products directly to consumers, but the product is shipped directly from the manufacturer or drop-shipper. The retailer essentially becomes a middleman, making a profit on the margin between wholesale and retail price without having to become involved in the stock or fulfilment process.

If you’re interested in a drop-shipping side hustle, there are many things you could sell using this method. Consider popular products such as gadgets, kitchenware, backpacks and tools.

You could also use drop-shipping to sell photograph canvases, t-shirts, and other customized items. Your customers order from you, whether that be through eBay or your own ecommerce site, you send their order to be printed, and the printer ships it straight to the customer.

  1. Online Hustles – Take Your Work Anywhere

The ultimate entrepreneurial dream is for a hustle that works from anywhere. By running a website, selling goods via drop-shipping, or taking your digital talent with you, you can earn a living remotely.

Within a matter of days, you could open shop with a fully-featured ecommerce machinery in place. There are many ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, that will allow you to set up your own remote business out-of-the-box with very little web experience. Another great ecommerce platform for beginners to sell products through is Etsy. The online marketplace for creative designers and makers, selling on Etsy provides direct access to an audience of keen buyers and Etsy advocates.

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Other ideas for online side hustles include profiting from social media. If you have an interesting lifestyle and a knack for presenting videos, you could aim to earn money from YouTube videos. Similarly, if you have thousands of Instagram followers or blog readers, you could approach brands for product sponsorship deals, which can be a great way to pay your way online.

  1. Go Old School Bricks And Mortar

With all this excitement about digital ventures, let’s not forget the potential of bricks and mortar side hustles either!

Make use of any existing assets you have: rent out a spare room, explore AirBnB, or host language students.

If you’ve got a hobby or talent you want to turn into a side hustle, but need extra space to do it, there are always options. Ideas include finding a small studio to create your art in, joining a local co-working office space, or renting a chair in a barbershop to get going as a part-time barber. A physical space to do business in is extremely important, and may start you on an exciting entrepreneurial journey as you rub shoulders with other likeminded inviduals.

Whether you want to go freelance or set up a standalone business, work online or from a premises, there are many ways to set up a side hustle.

Start with your hobbies and talents, and think about how you can monetize them using both online and offline channels. The ultimate dream is to start a side hustle, build income, and transform your whole lifestyle and mindset. It’s 100% possible, but only with the right attitude!

Victoria Greene: Content Marketer & Ecommerce Entrepreneur

I love to work with brands and business owners, sharing my contenbt top tips, and helping them solve their business challenges. I am a big advocate of storytelling (who isn’t these days) and I love to kick back with my dogs when I’m not working on my dropshipping stores.


Founder and chief editor of Blogger, Affiliate Marketer, Tech and SEO geek. Started this blog in 2011 to help others learn how to work from home, make money online or anything related to business and finances. You can contact me at