A side hustle or a side gig is essentially a part-time job we are passionate about. Part-time tasks that we enjoy doing, or find challenging in a positive way and that help us grow (including financially), can be considered side hustles.
Coined in the western part of the world, and facilitated big time by freelancing websites, a lot of millennials and even older people are pursuing a side gig for reasons more than just money or finances.
Why You Need a Side Hustle
For a lot of us born on the other side of the 80s in India, life became easier but busier.
There were more choices, but less time to pursue those choices. Often a side hustle becomes our go-to remedy to keep sane from the ever-increasing pressures of job, family and life at large.
Today, we bring to you 7 top-rated side hustles that you can pursue if you still aren’t pursuing one already! Apart from being related to something you love, a side hustle gives you money.
And what can be better than being paid for doing something you love!
The Best Side hustles to Make Money Online in India
A side hustle can begin two ways
– you think of earning some more money and therefore take up a side gig to help you financially.
– you are interested in learning a skill, and once you learn that you put it to use by helping people with your skill, and earning out of it.
Whichever way you start with a side hustle, one thing is very important – it must be a work that satiates your creative side. Imagine pairing a 12-hour shift work with an equally rigorous side hustle just for a few thousand bucks. Not worth it, right?
When choosing a side hustle, consider and think about the following:
- What is a skill you like?
- What are some of the skills you possess?
- What are the job opportunities for that skill?
- How will you make time for your side hustle without affecting too much the quality of your life (spending time with loved ones, your me-time for exercises, yoga or meditation, or just your leisure time)?
So all sorted with the above questions? Now let’s see what are the hottest side hustles that will help pay your bills and probably help you invest in your future too.
I only have good things to say about this side hustle. After all, content writing has been the most benefitting side gig for me. And guess what, it helps me more than pay off my bills. It helps me invest and take care fo my future.
Content writing is essentially writing for online websites, blogs, web forums and social media websites.
While most suitable for people who have a flair for writing, content writing is, like most other skills, not an “inborn” skill. It is largely an acquired one, a self-taught one. If you can develop a passion for writing, content writing can be a very profitable side gig for you.
You can consider content writing if you :
- love to share your ideas, views, or expertise with people.
- have a good grammatical and syntactical sense (can be acquired).
- are versatile i.e you are willing to write on numerous topics and look forward to taking up challenges on writing about varied subject-matter.
There is a saying that is very popular in the internet world – Content is King.
Everything we read and see in the internet world is content. Content comes in the form of written stuff and media – photos and videos. Every day we read up on stuff on the internet.
Right from how to make a special dish to how to install some software to looking up to the meaning of words, we are reading up on the internet voraciously.
And thousands of people are engaged in writing the stuff that we read. Content writing is going to be an on-demand career path as long as the internet is out there. And no, I don’t think AI (Artificial intelligence) is ever going to put in as much emotion in writing as we, flesh and blood humans, do.
So, yes, in terms of job opportunities, there are tonnes of content writing side hustles available for you to take up. You can even take up content writing as a mainstream job if you start liking it enough to ditch your current job.
Where to find content writing side gigs
Look for content writing jobs in websites like Freelancer, Upwork, Guru and People Per Hour. There are several other agencies as well. You can also look for local companies that provide part-time content writing work. Payment is mostly on a per-word or per-article basis.
Content writing is not for you if you
- dislike reading. What we read we assimilate and then produce it back, adding to it the flavors of our own understanding and perceiving. So, if you are not ready to read up on a regular or constant basis, content writing will be tough for you.
- wait for your muse to inspire you to write, or have regular “writer’s block”. You will need to either train your muse to appear at will or become your own muse. This is because your muse might not understand deadlines, but you need to understand that your writing is due in a matter of time.
Just like content writing, the skill of an accountant is always in demand. With the recent changes in how companies are conducting work from home, we can safely predict that the skill of bookkeeping will have higher demands.
While most suitable for someone who has an accountancy background, in this age of free webinars and free learning sites, anyone can become an accountant.
For those of you who think bookkeeping and accounts to be a poor man’s job, get ready to change your perspective. Even if you engage in a side-hustle as an accountant, you can probably earn twice the money your main-stream job pays.
But how? There are two ways :
- By outsourcing your bookkeeping skills
- By taking up bookkeeping with your local businesses on a part-time basis.
Let’s understand how accounts and bookkeeping have become one of the most sought-after skills in recent years.
A lot of startups and new companies have evolved in the last decade. Every organization needs an accountant for maintaining company accounts, company taxation and yearly audits.
A lot of bookkeeping apps have come up in the market that still needs basic knowledge of bookkeeping to be operated smoothly. This has made bookkeeping a globally sought after skill.
How to take up accounting as a side hustle
You can consider taking accounting as a side hustle to make money online if you
- have a degree, diploma in accounts maintenance.
- have done a crash course or online course – self-taught or teacher-taught – on bookkeeping and accountancy.
Courses on accounts and bookkeeping
You can find tonnes of courses on Udemy, Coursera, and similar such online learning sites. You can also refer to YouTube videos on the basics of accounting.
If you are looking for outsourcing your skill, getting a certification from Intuit or Xero Accounting can be very helpful. As a freelancer, you can earn quite well in your accounting side gig.
Photography and Videography
Not every side hustle has to be an online job, some can be offline too. And photography and Videography are two of them.
Unlike content writing and accounting, I would strongly suggest photography to be taken up as a side gig only if you are passionate about telling stories through pictures. The art can be learned, but the passion has to come from within.
You can take up photography as a side hustle as an event photographer or as an online contributor to stock photo sites.
As an event photographer/videographer, you can conveniently cover photoshoot sessions for weddings, baby shower, corporate photography and other events. You can pick and choose as per your work schedule, choosing as much or as little. You can also focus on specific seasons of the year or work year-round.
Apart from event photography, you can also be an online photo and video contributor to popular stock images websites like iStock, Adobe Stock Photos and others.
For most sites, you get paid when your photos sell. It is a good source of passive income if you create a large library of images. Every time your photo or video sells, you get paid a percentage of the price.
Shopping has taken a complete u-turn with online shops. What’s even more fascinating is that you can even sell from a virtual shop, without owning the products, but directly selling them through other merchants. This is called Dropshipping.
Some of the products that sell comparatively easily online are clothing items, wallets and purses, and accessories like jewelry, belts, scarves, etc. With dropshipping, you can focus on a whole lot of other products right from electronics to home appliances to apparel. All you need is a virtual shop. Even one on Facebook would do.
Who can become an online seller
Anyone with sound knowledge of the line of products they want to sell online can become an online seller.
If you are specifically looking at the apparel and accessories-selling business, a general sense of fashion will help you sell well.
If you can create combos of clothing and apparel for your buyers, and it appeals to most of them, you can create a successful side hustle as a seller within a short span of time.
To start a dropshipping side hustle, you would need tie-ups with sellers who allow dropshipping of their products.
If you have knowledge of online marketing, it will help you in your seller business. Otherwise, good networking skills pay off when selling through social media like Facebook and Instagram.
Do not consider being a seller if you
- are not ready to invest in the basic minimums of an online store or organic.paid marketing
- does not have the scope to provide excellent customer service in terms of delivery, returns, and exchanges. Applies to dropshipping business too.
Cooking / Baking
Not just shopping, eating out too has taken a new dimension with home delivery of food items.
Home delivery of food isn’t a new concept. However, with the onset of e-commerce that focuses on providing manpower and delivery agents like Amazon and Uber, the food industry has seen a revolution in terms of reaching out to customers with their favorite food right at their doorstep.
And with door-step delivery, there have sprung up eateries that cater just to the home-delivery sector. So, if you are passionate about cooking or baking, bingo! You can now earn out of cooking and serving to customers looking for the delicacies you serve.
Food-service providers like Zomato and Swiggy partner with eating joints and provide delivery services. If your passion is cooking, but you do not have space for customers to sit and eat, nor can you afford a website, marketing, and all the internet paraphernalia of food business, you can simply partner with these food delivery services. They will help you sell across the city for a fee.
You can start selling food online right from your kitchen. You can focus on only one kind of cuisine or even narrow down to only a few items of a cuisine.
Online food business as a side hustle to make money is not for you if:
- your passion for cooking is only limited to cooking for a family.
- you are a beginner, not a pro, at the dishes you want to sell.
Another extremely well-paying and self-satiating side hustles that help make money online is that of a front end designer or a back end coder/developer.
Again, you can learn coding and designing, but only learning for the sake of how much you can earn out of this will not help you become a pro. Growing a natural interest goes a long way in successfully establishing yourself as a designer or coder.
Often a mainstream job, designing, and coding are for many the topmost choice for a side hustle. Apart from the fact that it pays really well, there is a shortage of such skills in the internet marketplace, and a huge demand at the same time.
Where can you learn designing/coding/programming as a side hustle to make money online?
There are scores of free and paid online websites for learning programming languages. Some of the best are :
- Khan academy
If you are planning to focus only on creating great designs, you can look for courses on Photoshop and Illustrator.
Once you finish your course you can look for work at Upwork, freelancer, Guru.Com, People Per Hour and other such freelancing websites. Start small and weave your way up with more interesting projects.
Coding and Designing are not for you if
- researching and solving program errors is not your cup of tea.
- you are not ready to constantly upgrade your programming skills.
Social Media Manager/SEO
Closely linked to content writing and website coding and designing is the role of a Search Engine Optimizer and Social Media Manager.
With new startups springing up every day, and millions of existing ones growing in sales and volume, the need for digital marketing and search optimization becomes a top priority for companies.
Visibility in the internet world is based on parameters set by the search engine giants like Google and Bing. An optimizer studies those trends and applies those to the online business sites for them to be visible to the right category of customers.
You can learn SEO online and for free from some of the best contributors in the industry –
- Neil Patel
- Search Engine Land
- Google Webmaster Blog
While SEO looks easy to learn and perform, it is in reality vast and needs a thorough understanding of the concepts that go into making a website reach its target customers.
Do not try to pass off as an optimizer if you have only functional knowledge of SEO. If you are really keen to be a search engine optimizer and social media manager, you must gather as much knowledge about the platforms and the algorithms and methods of successful optimization.
Also, keep in mind that SEO is not one size fits all. Each business that needs optimization will have its target customers who need to be reached out to. Points like global/local, demographics and demand/supply need to be considered while framing an SEO strategy for a business.
SEO is for you if
- you have a passion to make businesses successful by reaching out to potential customers
- you are ready to immerse yourself in the crazy flux of google algorithms, new tools and the changing SEO norms and methods.
Do you have a property in a remote area surrounded by hills or in a serene village? Well, put it to use for a passive source of income by renting it out to Airbnb guests. If you love hosting and meeting new people, this is one of the perfect side hustles for you.
YouTube Content Creator
Do you have a natural ease in front of the camera? Consider becoming a YouTuber. Video content has huge potential. You can earn from your most-w atched videos.
eCommerce Delivery Partner
Got spare time on the weekends and aft er work? Sign up as a freelancing delivery agent with giant eCommerce delivery services, and earn some bucks roaming around the city, delivering parcels of happiness.
Do you have a side hustle to add? Or do you have an offbeat side hustle that helped you made loads of cash? Let us know.