Starting a side hustle can be a great idea to pay the bills every month. It can make life easier for your family and potentially help you deal with unexpected expenses.
Maybe you'll be able to afford a nice holiday thanks to your side gig. Or you can go to this fancy restaurant down the road where you've always wanted to eat.
It's never been easier to earn a secondary income with a side hustle, and you should do it too! We asked several experts for their opinion on what is the best side hustle you can start with no money. Here we go!
The Best Side Hustles You Can Start With No Money
#1 Writing podcast show notes
A side hustle is a really amazing way to build skills, especially in the online space. My advice is to get a piece of paper out and make three columns with the following: My Skills, What I Enjoy and My Network. Fill out every column with your answers, and then look for a side hustle that would combine the three and you think could make money. Keep experimenting and testing, validate your idea and then get started. Apply the Lean Startup methodology to your side hustle to make sure you're going the right path.
An example: my skill is writing, I enjoy listening to podcasts and my network is the online blogger community. My side hustle is writing podcast show notes for fellow bloggers who have podcasts!
#2 Combine Pinterest with Affiliate Marketing
If you don’t have a budget but are looking to earn money on the side, then learn all you can about Pinterest. While blogging might be costly for newbies, a Pinterest side hustle can be started with $0. You can create a business account, design beautiful images using Canva, and even schedule Pins with Tailwind for free. If you join good affiliate programs and are consistent with pinning, you can soon make your first affiliate sale without even having a blog.
And here’s my list of the best side hustle ideas that pay $1000/month: https://letsreachsuccess.com/best-side-hustle-ideas/
#3 If you can drive, you can make money
My friend delivers takeaway. He works 3 nights per week from 5 to midnight. A combination of a fixed hourly rate, an extra payment per delivery and tips, means he comes out with £90 per night, PLUS a free supper.
So that’s £270 extra per week for 21 hours work (and let’s not forget that free supper!)
Put some/all of that in your pension and you can reclaim all the tax.
- Perry Wilson, Editor, Stupidisthenorm.co.uk
#4 I love mystery shopping!
There are side hustles out there with no upfront costs; which is why I love mystery shopping. You do have to pick the jobs that don’t require you to purchase an item first, however they do reimburse you later but there are always plenty of jobs to pick from. An up and coming side hustle in the UK is selling your smartphone photos via certain apps, no financial outlay, you choose which photos to sell and hope someone buys!
#5 Hosting foreign students is a great idea
One of the best ways I have found to make extra money with the most minimal outlay is to host foreign language students. If you have a spare room with a desk and are prepared to share meals with your guests, you can make around £150 extra a week, depending on where you live. It is a real family event too.
My teenage daughter made such great friends with one of our Italian students, that five years on they have met up several times and message each other regularly. It gives you the opportunity to meet interesting young people from all over the world and learn about their culture, whilst they immerse themselves in yours. There are various organisations looking for host families if you look online and locally for language schools. You can find my top tips for hosting language students here: https://www.shoestringcottage.com/ten-tips-hosting-foreign-students/
- Jane, Shoestringcottage.com
#6 Create small affiliate websites to earn a side income
There are countless “offline” ways to earn a side income without spending money, from dog walking to pizza delivery and selling stuff people give away for free in the classifieds. However, you can’t match the mobility and potential of earning a side income “online”.
You could start with simple surveys for pocket money or apply for online jobs such as transcription or ESL tutoring. The way I did it though, was a little different. I used free online resources like Wealthy Affiliate and in my spare time created simple websites that cost next to nothing to build, generated free traffic from search engines and social media, then monetized with things like Ad revenue, affiliate sales and CPA (cost per action) offers. It’s a slower approach but the end result is a significantly larger income that comes in even if you take weeks off or make up your own schedule and do what I love doing… driving my kids to school every day.
- Jay Petrie, gighustlers.com
#7 You should try online tutoring!
One of my favourite no-cost side hustles is online tutoring. If you’ve
got a skill that you can share, then it is worth looking into.
There are several companies out there recruiting tutors and they will
provide all the software you need to connect with your students.
The reason that I love this side hustle is that it is completely flexible.
You can do it in your free time, after the kids have gone to bed, in your
lunch break or before work.
- Charlotte, lookingafteryourpennies.com
#8 Follow your wildest dreams
Creating a side hustle is an interesting proposition. You’re in effect looking at making some extra money on the side and if you were really honest about it, you’re probably hoping this side hustle grows to something much larger, so you can quit your day job and have the freedom to do something you love.
So, if you’re going to spend your weekends and evenings side hustling, why not try and follow your wildest dreams? What have you always wanted to do?
- Debbie Clarke, debbiedooodah.co.uk
#9 Explore multiple revenue streams to maximise income
If you’re interested in starting a blog and earning money from sponsored features, don’t just stop there.
As well as being paid for writing articles, I also work on affiliate marketing, and I’m currently writing a book, with a starter course (which I intend to sell as part of the book package) to increase my passive income. Diversifying your income streams mean that if one dies out, you still have access to another revenue path.
Try to make as many of your income streams as passive as possible, so you can concentrate on the areas of your business that really need your attention – for me, it’s my article writing for my parenting magazine. Creating a book and a course on my niche allows me the opportunity to continue earning income without neglecting other important areas of the business.
- Leyla, motherhooddiaries.com
#10 Offer a service or a solution to a problem
One of my least favourite sayings is ‘You need to spend money to make money’ it’s simply not true!
The best business to get into is offering a service or a solution to a problem.
Take cleaning as an example, you can start out by simply offering your services for ironing or weekly house cleans, chances are you have your own iron at home and the people that would like their house cleaned already have a hoover and supplies you can use - they just don’t want to do it themselves and you are the solution to that problem!
Or lawn mowing, a lot of elderly people have a lawnmower sitting in the shed but their problem is that they aren’t able to get out and mow the lawn themselves, solve their problem by going to them and using their tools to do the job for them!
- Charlotte Musha, charlottemusha.co.uk
#11 Learn a skill you can monetise
The best way to start a side hustle without any money is by learning a skill you can monetize. With free resources like Google, YouTube, and Udemy you can easily learn a new skill you can make money with.
Some of the easiest skills to learn in today's digital society are virtual assistant work, social media management, graphics design, freelance writing, and even proofreading. Once you learn the skills you need to start networking like crazy and land your first client. Show them the value you can provide by taking things off their plate so they have more time to focus on bigger projects within their business.
The best part of all of these side hustles is that you can start earning money online right from the comfort of your home!
-Kelan & Brittany Kline, thesavvycouple.com
#12 Selling on Ebay is a very good idea
Too many people believe creating a side hustle has to be hard or time consuming. Honestly that is not the case nowadays especially with technology. One of the easiest ways to dip your toes into making money online for free is by selling stuff… eBay is one of the simplest ways to make money and has been around forever!
Even better you can start making money on eBay for free by starting to sell items around your house. From there you can begin to scale up your online business by using your profits to buy items from flea markets, yard sales or craigslist.
#13 Sell your possessions
I love this side hustle because it not only makes you money, you get to declutter your home! I find selling online is more profitable than selling in person e.g. at a flea market. I use online marketplaces like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. I've also had good results from selling in online niche groups like buy/sell Facebook groups dedicated to a specific brand. If you have antiques, collectors or unique items, I highly recommend researching price points.
-Jacqueline Gilchrist, mommoneymap.com
#14 Have multiple income streams
Having multiple income streams is important so you are not constantly relying on one area for extra cash, my favourites are matched betting and eBay selling. If you are just starting out on eBay, take a look at what you have around your own house to sell before investing in any stock.
People are always amazed just what will sell and often it can be things you would
have just thrown away or recycled. Empty liquor bottles, empty perfume bottles, designer gift bags – these are all items I have sold to willing buyers on eBay!
#15 Create a YouTube channel around your niche
One of the best side hustles that anyone can start with little to no money is a YouTube channel. With so many people "hanging out" on YouTube on a daily basis, it provides an immense amount of opportunity for any aspiring entrepreneur. You really don't need any fancy equipment either, your smartphone will work just fine.
Make sure you create your YouTube channel around a niche that you have experience in or know a lot about. Once you build up a bit of authority and establish yourself as a leader on YouTube, you can begin selling affiliate products or even your own products. Don't be afraid to get started and get your feet wet!
-Evan Hoeflich, evanhoeflichmarketing.com
#16 I blog my recipes and kitchen tips
I work as a holistic personal chef in my community which I love. One downside is that I only get to share my knowledge with just a few people. I started sharing my daily work on Instagram which got people from all over asking me questions so starting a blog seemed like a natural step. Blogging my recipes and kitchen tips has really helped me reach a bigger audience and over time has allowed me to make a side income from home that I hope to grow over time.
I started small and just kept investing any extra income I received from my personal chef job and with a lot of hard work and research on how to optimize SEO in a saturated market, I was able to go from making $7.24 a month to an average of $1200 per month gaining amazing opportunities along the way.
-Valerie Skinner, Thymeandjoy.com
#17 Find that one thing you’d do even if you didn’t get paid
Find a unique skill that you have and enjoy - then trade your time for money.
I know a friend who does graphic design for local companies. Another started an afterwork bootcamp that is now a gym earning 6-figures in revenue. Personally, I do financial coaching/counseling. The important thing is to find that one thing you’d do even if you didn’t get paid - then find one client. Do a good job, then you’ve got yourself a sustainable side income.
-Mike Monfredi, Mikedupblog.com
#18 Ask yourself, What am I good at?
Creating a secondary income has to be centred around something that you have a passion for. This side business will demand hours of focused work when most people are relaxing. It has to be something that you truly enjoy and will then be motivated towards making the project a success.
Start with these two questions: What am I good at? What do I already do in my daily life that is unique and can be monetized?
With Stratosphere Investing, I created a a flat-fee membership platform for Canadian investors to gain the tools they need to manage their own portfolio and have their returns compound faster as a result of saving on high management fees traditionally paid to institutions.
-Braden Dennis, Stratosphereinvesting.com
#19 You should sell your things on eBay
There are lots of ways to earn an income on the side, but to do it without spending ANY money to get started takes a little creativity. I think one of the easiest side jobs you can start is flipping products on eBay. In order to do it without any money, I'd first start by selling stuff around your house that you no longer need.
I think anyone could make a few hundred dollars just by doing that. Once you have a bit of money stashed away, shop garage sales, thrift stores, and the Facebook marketplace for good deals on items you can resell for more on eBay. You can do this with almost anything, but clothing and electronics are popular items for people just getting started.
I have a friend who made an extra $2,000 over a period of a few months just by spending a few hours a week scavenging for great deals and listing them on eBay!
-Andrew Herrig, Wealthynickel.com
#20 Become a freelancer
In my business, I rely on an incredible team of freelancers from around the world some of whom have other jobs or work for multiple agencies. I would recommend this approach to making a significant side income without spending any money. If you like to write, edit, do graphic design, do voiceover work, or even develop an app, then there is a large global market of opportunity.
Join sites like Indeed, Guru, Pangian, and Upwork for free and create a freelancer profile. Prospects can find you or you actively pursue projects listed on these virtual job marketplaces.
-Brad Anderson, Readwrite.com
#21 Start several side hustles
Some of my favorite ways to earn side income is with my online blog, flipping stuff on eBay and freelancing. These are all ventures I can do easily during the evenings and the weekends and decide when I work.
The best side income opportunities are those that you can set your own schedule so you don't feel too overwhelmed with the multiple commitments.
-Discover Daniella's favorite ways to earn a side income
#22 Earn money by watching videos on your phone
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a college student, or merely working part-time, you can leverage even the smallest window of opportunity to earn a side income. My favorite way to earn money online without spending money is through earning money by watching videos on your phone.
Swagbucks lets you get paid for watching short videos in whatever category you choose, like entertainment, fashion or food (my favorite). You can watch from the comfort of your laptop, mobile device, or tablet. It's such an easy way to make some easy wins without spending a dime.
-Brian Meiggs, mymillennialguide.com
#23 List an experience on AirBnb or Funzing
A great way to create some extra income is to list an experience on AirBnb or Funzing. Gone are the days of having to rent out your room, everyone can now get in on the action. These pay well and you get to meet awesome people from around the world.
You can create and design an experience on whatever you’re interested in or love about your city - such as taking tourists to your favourite pubs, or giving tours of your favourite areas, a cooking class in your house, or a jewellery making or yoga class.
There are so many different experiences out there. I was in Osaka, Japan recently and my ‘local host’ took to me to some cute little bars I never would have found. It was fun, I learnt about the culture but it was really very simple.
-Molly Benjamin, shesonthemoney.com
#24 Use your writing skills
If you don't mind writing and typing, a great way to find work right now online is via Textbroker.com or Rev.com. Textbroker focuses more on content writing using your creative side, whereas Rev is more along the lines of transcription, wherein you type what you hear.
Both companies have a fantastic reputation and you could be making money in as little as 24 hours. Don't expect to get rich, but once you get the hang of things, $10-$15 per hour is very doable!
-Tom Nathaniel, lushdollar.com
#25 Leverage your digital skills
The easiest way to earn a side income without spending money is by leveraging your digital skills. You can work from the comfort of your own home and utilize the skills that you already have. You can do freelance writing, content marketing, graphic designing, blogging, proofreading and much more.
There are many sites to help you get started in these fields, such as UpWork.com and Freelancer.com. These sites usually pay you on an hourly basis so the total money you earn depends on the number of hours you've worked in a month.
-Hamna Amjad, gigworker.com
#26 I earn money with my travel blog
When I started my travel blog, Migrating Miss, almost 4 years ago I didn’t think it would turn into a money-earner. Few people were making decent money blogging at the time, but that’s all changed now! I’ve now managed to take my blog from hobby, to side-hustle, to full-time job, and I’m not the only one.
There are so many ways for bloggers to make money, from display advertising, to affiliate links, partnerships with various brands or tourism boards, selling photography or freelance writing, and more!
-Sonja Bolger, migratingmiss.com
#27 Become an influencer on Instagram
I'm a social media influencer with over 70k followers on instagram, including a few well known celebrities. I've managed to build a small business off $0, a lot of time and hard work. Creating the following I have on instagram has taken me roughly around 2 years and I mainly did it through networking with other influencers and getting my content posted on other large pages such as some of the companies I have worked for. Other ways I've used to grow my page is through using basic techniques like commenting on similar accounts within my niche, liking their content, engaging back with my audience and just trying to remain active on the platform as much as possible.
The way I make income through all this is that I create specific content for brands to show to my audience and in return I get paid either in cash or product. Doing all this has built me a genuine and honest connection with my followers and I view them not only as friends or followers but more of a small family. I have their best interest and would never promote something that I don't wholeheartedly agree with. I believe that is what I owe the success of my small business and online presence to.
-Dustin Tyler, Instagram account: iamdustintyler
#28 You have to do something that you love
My favourite side-hustle has got to be selling hand embroidered personalised tshirts through my Etsy store - in my opinion the best way to earn extra money on the side is to turn a hobby or craft that you love into a small business.
That way, when you get home in the evening, you are happy to work on something that you love instead of slogging away at a task when you’d really rather be doing something else!
#29 Blogging, blogging, blogging!
My favourite way of earning money is going to be blogging. There is a small investment so that you can then monetise using affiliate links, or sponsored content. If you do it the smart way and launch with a lot of content, you can see the return on investment much faster.
I’m a chronically ill disabled woman. Due to my conditions, if I didn’t have blogging, I wouldn’t be able to hold down a job of any kind. I would be reliant on government assistance, instead of supporting my family. It’s an incredible way to earn a living!
#30 Register on freelance marketplaces
If you don't want to or can't spend any money on generating a side income you will need to use your human capital as investment instead. This includes your time and your expertise. A lot of freelancers and digital nomads started by simply thinking about their skill set and what they like to do or what they're good at. Once you've figured this out you can either decide to set up your own website or join one of the many freelance marketplaces. You can find a list of over 100 freelance marketplaces here. Always make sure to completely fill out your profile and add some work samples to your portfolio. Then offer reduced rates for the first few customers in exchange for positive reviews. This will help you build a raving profile in no time.
#31 Sitting on the Toilet....
Yeah, I am serious as I've made £5,000 profit from nothing sitting on the toilet trading shares. I took the risk with ZERO interest on bank credit cards and started trading safe stocks in the bull market. The most valuable lessons were the fact that I have practical experience in stocks and shares investments which led me to blog, podcasting and product launching afterwards. Read my blog here.
#32 Earn money from your smartphone
If you have a smartphone and some spare time there are tons of apps you can download to make some extra cash.
I’ve earned £100’s using mystery shopping, tasks and audit apps, completing surveys, uploading receipts, watching videos, taking pictures of job adverts, and blogging from my phone. These apps can all be used from the comfort of your own home, during your daily commute, or when visiting your local store.
While these apps aren’t going to earn you enough to quit your job, they are super convenient side hustle options for when you have a spare 5 minutes here and there.
#33 Find your niche and monetize it through your own website
Anyone can do this, as long as you have something you are passionate about. It can be a hobby, some health issue, parenting, gadgets, basically anything under the sun.
You build a website, which is the easy part with technology these days, and populate it with content around your chosen niche. You then learn to get free targeted traffic to land on your site. You choose great niche-related products or services to recommend, from which you earn a commission when your website visitors click through your affiliate links to purchase them.
This is a neat way of hustling, as you do not have to own any products, do any face-to-face selling, or handle complaints from customers, since you are simply bringing customers to the virtual doorstep of those companies and businesses. All the work can be done from the comforts of home, and this can even be built into a passive income stream.
#34 Look in your wardrobe
One of the easiest ways to start making money at home is to look in your wardrobe. Nearly everyone has clothes with the tags still on them, purses that were hardly used, or shoes that were worn just once. These are perfect to sell on clothing apps like DePop. All you need to do is download the app, take photos on your phone, and list your items for sale. Some people have even found success buying gently used items at charity shops and flipping them for a profit, as well.
#35 Writing, tutoring and selling old clothing
In today's world, finding a side hustle with little to no start-up cost is easy. There are many online sites that allow you to offer up your services including freelance writing, computer skills, mystery shopping, babysitting, dog walking, and tutoring. And all of these are free to get started.My personal favorites are writing, tutoring, and selling my old clothing on sites such as Poshmark, eBay, and Facebook Groups. The key is to find something you enjoy and use it to make extra money. If you are successful, maybe you can quit your day job and turn your side hustle into a full time gig.
#36 Have you thought about freelance proofreading?
One of our favorite side hustles is freelance proofreading. You can literally make money by spotting
mistakes in any online document or blog post. As the volume of online content increases, there is a
growing demand for proofreaders to polish the content before publication. Experienced proofreaders
can charge as much as $100 per hour and work from anywhere in the world!
We love freelance proofreading as a side hustle because you can work from the comfort of your home.
#37 We love selling digital products on Etsy
One of our favorite side hustles is selling digital products on Etsy. If you have some graphic design skills and a program like GIMP or Photoshop, you can create planner pages, home decor, quotes, books, and more that are entirely digital. Because Etsy is such a large marketplace, you're exposed to a huge audience to make income passively.
We love this side hustle because it allows us to be creative and to set our own schedule.
#38 Deliver food in your city
There are so many ways to make money without putting any of your money down. In fact, you can see a list of 40 passive income ideas here. One of my favorites, if you’re free nights and weekends, is earning extra money delivering food for fellow citizens around your city. It’s easy to delivery food with Uber Eats or DoorDash – if you have a car, it’s a perfect way to make a good amount of extra cash whenever it’s convenient for you. A lot of people do this full time, so you can imagine that’s it definitely possible to do this as a side gig and make extra money by delivering food with, and be on your own schedule.
#39 Match betting can be great to earn money
I believe that matched betting can be quite a nice side hustle. I know people can gain a regular side income from it.
I tried it and earned about £705 the first time and £1000 later on when I resumed this activity after some small break.
#40 Find a good idea, and scale it
There are dozens of ways to make money with affiliate marketing. But a high paying affiliate model is difficult to find. We built this website as a means to help users find out if a website is using WordPress or other Content Management System. We then scaled it into an affiliate model for promoting great Themes, Plugins, Web Hosting and everything part of the WordPress eco-system.Starting such a side hustle will require time and effort. But one thing that is certain, this is hard work and serious money.
- M. Farasat Khan, IsItWP.com