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Whether you’re trying to get out of debt, increase your income, or lay the foundations for a career change, there are several options available to you to earn additional income. Here are my top 17 best side hustle ideas you can start in the UK in 2023 with little or no money (some may require a small investment).
Table of Contents
What is a Good Side Hustle?
A side hustle is a way of earning money alongside your main occupation. It could be a part-time job or a business, which you run alongside your full-time job. Whether you work for someone else, or are a homemaker/stay-at-home mum, the most important thing to consider is whether you can realistically make it work.
And whether you want to earn extra money to pay off debt, bring in some extra cash to help cover the ever-increasing bills, or want to save for something, making sure you don’t overcommit and risk burnout is essential.
The great thing about a side hustle is that it’s entirely your choice, and you can commit as much, or as little as you like! For example, if you want to start freelance writing, you might only be able to commit to writing one blog post a week.
When I first began freelance writing, I earned about £50-£100 per blog and did around 1 a week. It wasn’t much, but it was something I could do to earn some pennies alongside looking after my youngest, who was still in preschool. I now write during school hours and balance my copywriting business with this blog.
Blogging is another great side hustle, which you can develop by committing to just 30 minutes a day. It’s not an instant earner, but once you gain traction, you can start charging to write sponsored blog posts for brands. Alternatively, you could create sponsored social media content, such as Instagram reels, posts, or stories.
What are Some Passive Income Ideas?
Blogging can also be a great passive income earner once you’re established, with ads, affiliate marketing, and selling your own products.
You could also write and sell ebooks. Whether that be fiction or non-fiction, self-publishing has never been more accessible with the likes of Amazon KDP. Unless you’re already an established, published author, I highly recommend getting anything you create edited by a professional editor, as they will be able to spot any issues with continuity or structure.
Other things you could look into include creating digital products such as printables or spreadsheets, or you might want to look into print-on-demand. With print-on-demand, you create a design for something like a mug, a t-shirt, or other merchandise, and use a print-on-demand company to print and deliver the goods for you.
A side hustle is what you make it. What you put in, you get out. As long as you’re consistent with your efforts, you can make money doing whatever side hustle or business idea you choose. You might be out and about making deliveries, or you might choose a side hustle you can do from home.
And who knows? It might turn into something that can become your full-time occupation! Here are some of my top ideas for 2022.
UK Side Hustle Ideas 2023
1. Make Money Writing (Best Business Side Hustle Idea IMHO!)
Freelance copywriting is my main occupation and can be a very lucrative career choice!
You can start freelance writing pretty much with no start-up costs if you have a computer and an internet connection, but you’ll likely need a starting point.
If you’re like me and gave up your career to look after your kids, you’ll know how hard it is to get started and put yourself out there. For months I was floundering, struggling with confidence since being a stay-at-home mum, and not knowing where to start to get clients who would pay fairly for my skills.
Towards the end of last year, I discovered the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy (CCA), which gave me exactly what I needed to move forward. I LOVE writing for a living. It’s in my soul, I was born for it. Now I get to be creative and earn good money for doing so.
For years, I struggled with the idea of investing in myself, even though I think the course itself is extremely fairly priced. (Since taking that leap, I now know it’s the only way to move forward). If you’re interested to know more, you can read about my review of the Filthy Rich Writer copywriting course (home of the CCA).
The course instructor, Nikki Krawzyk, is from the US. But the concepts and tactics apply just as much here in the UK and make it the perfect side hustle idea if it’s something you want to look at doing part-time.
If you love writing and want a side hustle idea you can grow into a flourishing business, this is definitely something you should consider.
Freelancing isn’t just for writers. If you have a skill and a service that you can package and sell, you can charge for it and can be a great side hustle idea. Using marketplaces like those listed above can be a great starting point to get set up and build experience. They do however take a commission from the sale so you need to consider this when bidding and pricing jobs.
Alternatively, try reaching out to friends, family, acquaintances, local businesses, etc., and tell them what you can offer and how you can help them.
You’ll need a laptop/desktop or at least a tablet to be able to work on projects.
For more information on freelancing, see this article here.
3. Start a Blog
Blogging is an extremely rewarding side hustle idea or full-time business opportunity. This blog costs £1.15 a week for UK hosting and includes the cost of the domain name.
If you love writing and want somewhere to showcase your work, a blog is a perfect place to build up your experience and present your portfolio. Within the first 3 months of going self-hosted with this blog, I earned £300 through collaborations and sponsorships with brands. It’s also a fantastic foundation to learn about more aspects of digital marketing if that’s something you want to get into. It’s a steep learning curve but lots of fun!
Before launching into setting up just any blog, consider what it is you want to write about. Find a niche. It’s important to blog about something that matters to you. If you’re passionate about your subject, that passion will shine through in your writing, and inspire you to commit to developing your blog.
What Do You Need to Start a Blog?
Essentially, you need to decide on a name for your blog, and you’ll need to check to see if that domain name is available. Once you’ve chosen your domain name, you’ll need to register and purchase it, which you can do either through a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy.com, or through the same company you use for hosting (which makes things easier in my opinion).
When it comes to building your website, there are a number of website builders to choose from, including WordPress, Blogger, Weebly and Wix. WordPress is a firm favourite among bloggers, and there are plenty of free themes to choose from which you can tweak yourself.
If you want to purchase a theme, there are several options out there. Some popular theme providers include Blossom Themes and BluChic.com. BlueChic.com also offer a free email course on creating your dream website in 5 days.
Ways to monetise your blog include affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and adverts.
You’ll need to market your blog, too, so it’s a good idea to set up your social media channels as well. The social channels you choose will depend on where you and your readers tend to hang out, such as Instagram. To make things easy, you can use an Instagram name generator like Nitreo, to set up your usernames on each of the channels you want to promote your blog on.
I use HostPresto for my website hosting, and I highly recommend them. I certainly wasn’t an expert when I set up this blog, and they’ve always been really helpful with any questions I’ve had. Click here to start your blog by purchasing your web hosting.
4. Selling on eBay
eBay can be a great way to earn some extra money simply by selling things from around the home. It doesn’t have to stop there, though, and many people are taking the ‘reseller’ approach, by purchasing low-cost items, or acquiring unwanted goods and then selling on for a profit.
In addition to being a savvy way to earn some extra money, it’s also good for the environment by promoting the resale of preloved goods rather than contributing to the mass production of fast fashion.
If you have an eye for a bargain, you could turn your purchases into extra income for you. Places you could visit to find items for resale include car boot sales, charity shops, online marketplaces such as Facebook.
You need a phone/tablet for taking photos and uploading your listings, and a PayPal account for transactions to protect yourself and the buyer.
For some top tips on making the most of your eBay sales, check out these tips here.
5. Become a Virtual Assistant
Do you have administration and organisational skills that you’ve not tapped into for a while due to being a stay-at-home parent?
In addition to being able to earn around £25 an hour, working from home as a virtual assistant can help to keep your skills fresh while being on maternity leave/a career break.
You can update your CV with your latest projects to prove that you’re keeping your working knowledge up-to-date for when you’re ready to return to work. Of course, once the children go back to school, you might decide that self-employment is the way forward and go on to develop a flourishing VA business!
There’s no initial outlay necessarily when first setting up as a VA. You could advertise on Facebook and Twitter to begin with, although it’s a good idea to think about getting a website set up at a later date. It might also be a good idea to set up a UK or US business account if US based and you are taking on clients to facilitate easier payment records and to keep your finances separate.
Marketplaces like Peopleperhour.com and Upwork.com are good places to find virtual assistant work. There are lots and lots of entrepreneurs out there looking for your super skills and support!
For more information about becoming a VA, including informative blog articles and training programmes, check out Jet Virtual Assistant.
6. Be a Social Media Manager
If you live and breathe social media, this is a perfect job for you. If a company wants to get noticed, they need to have a web presence, and that includes social media because it’s where their customers hang out.
Not only that but managing social media can be a very time-consuming business. A company needs someone to be the face of their business, update their posts, respond to comments and deal with or escalate any arising issues.
Social media management is a service you could offer as a virtual assistant, or even a standalone service in itself. Again, you could market your services on places like People Per Hour and Upwork. LinkedIn is another great place to promote yourself and your business.
7. Dog Walking
Cute little face!
This may seem a little strange as the first business idea, but it’s a great one for a number of reasons. You don’t necessarily need to own a dog. If your circumstances permit, a dog walking business offers several benefits.
You might be a stay-at-home parent with a dog or two of your own and want to socialise more. Perhaps you’re a student looking to earn some extra money between lectures and study sessions.
Dog walking is a great way to combine earning extra income with fresh air, exercise and socialising. Costs to set up might include dog first aid training and any materials you need to purchase. You can read more about what you might need to consider for dog walking in this post here.
8. Babysitting and Childcare
Babysitting is often a service that school-aged students tend to offer, however, that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider it. If you already have children of your own then you’ve already got experience. You could start by asking around friends and offering babysitting as a service.
Although there are no necessary qualifications required for babysitting, it would certainly be advantageous for you to have basic first aid training. A DBS (disclosure and barring service) certificate will be required if you are considering babysitting work through an agency. A standard check is £26, although this may be covered by the company. Some parents may require you to have a DBS check, too. For more information, see this article from sitters.co.uk on How to Become a Babysitter.
Working with children can be extremely rewarding. You could use babysitting as a stepping stone to starting your own childcare business. If you already have children at home, this could be a fantastic opportunity to combine being a stay-at-home parent with growing a business.
9. Be a Professional Organiser
Are you a meticulous organiser? Do you have everyone’s birthday presents purchased and wrapped 3 months in advance? If you get a kick out of being in control and on top of everything, why not consider becoming a professional organiser for people who need your help?
There’s even an association – The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, who provide highly acclaimed 2-day training courses for people looking to start a professional organising business for around £300.
Alternatively, Reed.co.uk also offer an online diploma course for a more reasonable fee of £49 including VAT.
When starting out you could offer your organising services to friends and family and ask them for testimonials to add to your website or Facebook page. Then when you’re ready to take your business to the next level you might consider investing in a course for accreditation.
10. Be an Events Planner
Another business option you might consider is becoming an events planner. If you love planning birthday parties or social events, could you offer it as a professional service?
The coordination and organisation required when planning an event isn’t something just anyone can manage. If you’re skilled in this area, are sociable, personable, great at communication and getting things done, this could be right up your street.
It could pave the way for a career change or even a successful Events Organisation business.
11. Offer Domestic Services
Domestic services such as cleaning and ironing are a brilliant way to earn extra money, and more so if you have a love for cleaning. With so many people working such busy lives, especially working parents who don’t have the time or energy to clean AND sort the kids out after a long day at work, there’s certainly space in the market.
If this is something you want to offer, think about your unique selling point (or USP). What makes you stand out above everyone else? Are you passionate about shiny taps and hunting out those cobwebs? Are you super-reliable and fast? Whatever your strength, focus on that when reaching out to new clients.
The best thing is, if you’re self-employed, you can choose your own hours. So if you have children in school or pre-school/nursery, you can do these jobs during school hours and still be there for them at home time.
12. Become a Tutor
As outlined on a guest post by The Frugal Frenchie, you could try tutoring as a side hustle, which looks into what you can do, what you need, and how much you might be able to earn.
13. Love Driving? Deliver Parcels for Amazon
Yes, it is possible to get paid for delivering parcels for Amazon. The best part? You get to choose which hours/jobs you do. As an Amazon Flex driver, you work as a self-employed contractor. You will need a separate bank account for your payments to be paid into, and you will need to pay tax on your earnings (assuming you already have a job, or earn over £12,570).
14. Become a Food Delivery Driver
With such high demand for food delivery since the rise of Just Eat and Uber Eats, delivering food in the UK could be a great side hustle for earning extra money. According to Glass Door, Just Eat Takeaway delivery drivers earn an average of around £15 per hour.
As you’ll be working in the food industry, you will need to arrange business use insurance to cover the use of food delivery, and ‘hire and reward’ insurance which allows you to carry and deliver goods in return for payment.
15. Become a Mystery Shopper
When I first started my journey to become debt-free, mystery shopping was one of my favourite ways to make extra money. From posing as a potential mobile phone customer to trying on clothes at Bicester retail village, that was a lot of fun. For more information on mystery shopping, check out the post on How to Become a Mystery Shopper.
16. Sell Crafts to Make Money and Profit From Your Creativity
If you love to be creative, one of the best things you can do to earn a little money on the side is to sell the things you love to make. Etsy is a brilliant platform for this, with lots of people running a proper business from the site.
From downloads and printables to keepsakes and hand-crafted items, the only limit is your imagination.
17. Matched Betting – TAX FREE
One final option you might have heard of as a side hustle is matched betting. It’s completely legal and is tax-free, and is NOT gambling. This also used to be one of my favourite ways to make money, and I wish I still had time to do it. You can read my matched betting story and Outplayed review here.
(NB: I would NEVER recommend anyone take up matched betting if they are tempted by gambling simply because of the access to other betting and gaming features.)
Final Points to Consider
One thing to remember when pursuing any side hustle or business ideas in the UK is that if you are going self-employed and trading, you will need to register for self-assessment for tax purposes. Any additional income over your personal tax allowance will need to be taxed, so it’s worth bearing that in mind if you are already employed.
If you are working from home and have children at home, I’d recommend working in the evenings when they’re in bed or when they’re at nursery/preschool. Don’t forget you will be entitled to 15 hours of free childcare once your child turns 3, which provides even more potential earning power! If you are on certain benefits you may be eligible for childcare if your child is 2 years old.
A Note on Investing in Yourself
One thing I would say is that if you want to move forward, I really recommend investing in yourself to improve your prospects and rebuild your confidence, especially if you’ve been out of the workplace for a while.
While it may seem scary to spend money at the outset, it’s an investment to help you to earn more in the future.
You could purchase an online course, or study for a new qualification. The option to study is always there, with many reasons to pursue further education whatever your age!
I hope this post has given you something to think about. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mum wanting to make your own income around your kids, or just need a little extra money, I hope this post has given you some of your own side hustle ideas. And who knows? What starts as a side income gig might just grow into a flourishing business.
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