Last updated Feb. 3, 2024 by Jessica Green
What’s stopping you from starting a side hustle? High startup costs? If so, here are eighteen side hustles with low start-up costs. For most of them, you’ll need less than $100.
Going on a vacation or buying that dream house or car won’t be possible until you have something to boost your income. And if you’re waiting to save a huge amount before starting up something, you’ll miss out on a lot.
To help you out, here are eighteen businesses you can start. They require a low start-up cost but come with good returns.
Selling digital products is a very lucrative side hustle to start. It has no inventory costs and when you create a product once, you can sell it repeatedly, which leads to a high profit margin.
A digital product can include an online course, eBooks, fonts, documents, apps, illustrations, photography, and any digital format goods.
Once you create a product, you can sell it on platforms like Etsy, Envato Market, Shutterstock, Creative Fabrica, and more. These platforms are popular and come with their market, hence, you can save on marketing costs.
The amount you earn selling digital products depends on the price of your goods and how in-demand it is. To be successful as a digital product seller, you have to be creative. A creative digital product makes you stand out from the competition in the industry.
Creating a YouTube channel may seem overrated, but it is still a lucrative business to consider. It is flexible and allows you to engage in something you love.
If you’re passionate about a topic, there’s a high chance there are people who are interested in watching and supporting you.
To make money on YouTube, you need to be consistent. YouTube allows its users to monetize videos once the users reach 1000 subscribers and 4000 video watch hour milestone.
To begin your side hustle as a YouTuber, get a smartphone with a good camera, and learn video editing with free apps like Canva, Adobe Spark, iMovie, and more.
Freelancing is one of the best ways to earn extra money. Oftentimes, freelancing lets you earn more than your full-time work income.
So if can edit videos, write, design, or develop websites, consider becoming a freelancer. As a freelancer, you can take on payment per project gigs and earn money once you complete a gig. Freelancing also allows you to decide when and how much to get paid.
Aside from the skills mentioned, there are other in-demand skills that let you earn high as a freelancer. Regardless of your skill set, you are sure to earn as a freelancer once you market your skills on the right platform.
Some platforms to find freelancing jobs include Upwork, Freelancing.com, and Fiverr.
Tutoring jobs still pay. If you have expert-level experience or skill in catering, fine arts, sports, academics, or musicals, you can begin a tutoring class. Online platforms like Skooli, Wyzant, and YouTube allow you to get paid for tutoring students.
If you have an academic certificate, you can apply on online tutoring platforms. Most of the online platforms allow you to set teaching time that is convenient for you.
However, it is important to note that tutoring requires you to be patient, attentive to details, communicative, and a good listener.
Another Interesting Article: 15 Legit Ways To Make Money Tutoring Online (Up to $60 Per Hour)
Pet sitting and dog walking jobs are only ideal for pet lovers. So, if you don’t have the patience and love needed to care for a pet, skip this side hustle.
As a pet sitter, you can earn an average of $16 per hour. Online platforms like Rover allow you to register and find pet-sitting jobs around your local area. To find pet-sitting gigs on Rover, you need to register and create an interesting profile that looks trustworthy to clients.
Most pet owners find it difficult to entrust their pets to anyone. So getting a referral and review from past clients can help you seem trustworthy.
Like YouTube, a podcast allows you to earn money from talking about topics you have an interest in. It’s an easy side hustle to start that requires less than $100.
A podcast is pre-recorded audio content on an interesting topic, that is uploaded on podcasting platforms.
Once you record and edit an audio discussion, you can choose to make the content available to people for a fee. To be successful, you can make your content available for free at the initial stage, but once you garner an audience, you can monetize your content or make money with advertisement and sponsorship.
Some platforms to start your podcasting journey include Spotify, Buzzsprout, iTunes, Anchor, and more.
Another Interesting Article: 25 Best Podcast Hosting Platforms (Plus Free Options)
If you own a car, you can earn cool money from rideshare driving.
A rideshare driver is a freelance driver. Once you register with a company, you can earn from driving people from one place to another. The cool aspect is that you’re free to decide on your work schedule.
Rideshare drivers can earn between $19 and $30 per hour. However, it all depends on the city you reside in and the trip distance.
To become a rideshare, register under a company like Uber or Lyft. Or find a popular rideshare company in your city.
If you live alone and have an unoccupied room, you can rent it out to make extra money.
Airbnb is a popular platform that allows you to rent out your vacant room. Other platforms include VRBO, 9flats, Expedia, Sonder, Plum Guide, and more.
Create an account on any of the platforms, and provide information on your location and the type of space you want to rent out. Pictures of the place will also be needed. Once you complete the registration process and put up your room for rent, it’ll be booked by tourists or day travelers.
Affiliate marketing involves promoting someone else’s product or service and receiving a commission from each sale made as a result of your referral.
To become a successful affiliate marketer, you need to have a social media platform with a good following base. Most successful affiliate marketers own a blog, YouTube channel, Podcast channel, TikTok, or Instagram account with lots of followers. If you don’t have any of this, you can start creating content that attracts followers.
As an affiliate marketer, you can earn about 5 to 50% cut of the sales you make – this could be between $3,000 to $5,000 monthly depending on your ability to make sales on your platform.
Starting photography as a side hustle can lead you to more money-making opportunities than you think. As a photographer, you can make money by attending events and offering your service. During this, you can build up your connection and get gigs relating to photography and other side hustles you participate in.
Becoming a freelance photographer is also lucrative. Sites like Shutterstock, Alamy, Burst, Getty Images, and 500px are sites to sell your photographs.
Printing your photographs on mugs and clothes can also earn you money.
Transcription, writing, and translation gigs are some of the most in-demand freelance skills.
If you’re fluent in more than one language, you can create a profile on Fiverr or Upwork to find gigs that pay well. Translators earn an average of $22 per hour.
As a transcriptionist, your job description involves listening to audio or video files and writing them out in readable and written text. The audio files could be voice recordings, legal proceedings, podcasts, and more.
Sites to find transcribing job opportunities are TranscribeMe and GoTranscript.
Blogging is another flexible side hustle to consider. It is fun and opens you to tons of money-making opportunities.
As a blogger, you can earn from promoting a company’s product or service on your blog. Each time a visitor clicks on the referral link on your blog, you’ll receive a commission.
You can also earn from ads monetization, selling spaces on your website, sponsored product reviews, paid subscriptions, and more.
To get started as a blogger, create a website. It cost less than. $100 to start and build a blog. Decide on a niche you find interesting and make SEO content on them.
There are tons of crafts you can make and market in your free time. Some of these include painting, knitting, and jewelry making.
Connect with your friends and work colleagues to let them know about your craft. Your social media handle is also a good platform to market your crafts.
If you can also make cake and other baked goods, connect with the people around and let them know you’re available to bake during events like graduation and weddings.
Dropshipping is a form of retail business that allows you to sell products without incurring inventory costs and shipping responsibilities. It’s a low-risk but very profitable business.
Becoming a drop shipper is easy. All you have to do is contact a manufacturer or wholesaler supplier and make a deal with them. Some of the popular wholesalers are AliExpress, Alibaba, Doba, and SaleHoo.
Once you make a deal, create an online platform (could e-commerce website) and market the product you want to sell. If a customer places an order and pays the retail price you set, you pay the wholesale supplier their wholesale price and keep the rest as profit. The wholesaler supplier will go ahead to supervise the shipping process.
Some marketplaces to start your dropshipping journey are eBay, Shopify, and Amazon.
Another Interesting Article: Dropshipping 101: How to Start a Dropshipping Business
If you’re good at fixing and repairing home appliances, you can make it a side hustle. A local Handyman earns between $30,000 to $60,000 annually. So rather than let your handyman skills rot, turn it into a side hustle that brings in cash.
Get started by advertising yourself to your friends, neighbours, and work colleagues. If you have a social media handle, post about your skills regularly.
Some handyman platforms to check out include TaskRabbit, Angi, and Thumbtack. These apps allow you to connect with people in need of your skills. You can decide on your price and working hours.
Providing home cleaning services is a good way to earn money. The job market is unsaturated making it easy for you to gain clients and gigs.
However, there are certain skills you must possess before venturing into this market. You must know the different cleaning equipment, cheats to remove stains in appliances, and must be fit to carry out cleaning tasks.
To build a client base, advertise yourself to friends, work colleagues, and family. Print out fliers advertising your service and place them around your local area. Register on platforms like TaskRabbit to gain more clients.
Participating in online surveys is a legitimate way to earn quick income. If you’re consistent, it can become a side hustle.
Online survey sites pay users to participate in surveys. Once you register and provide your personal information, you’ll be given survey questions that relate to fields you have interests in. Upon completion of a survey, you’ll receive reward points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.
Another way to earn money from giving opinions is by joining focus groups. Focus groups pay more than survey sites, however, they require that you possess certain academic qualifications.
Another Interesting Article: 21 best paid focus groups online in 2022
A virtual assistant is a remote worker providing administrative and technical services to clients and companies. If you have administrative skills, you can apply to be a virtual assistant.
As a virtual assistant, your job can include video editing, event planning, making travel bookings, marketing, graphics design, scheduling meetings, opening emails, and more.
Some sites to find virtual assistance gigs are LinkedIn, Wing Assitant, Upwork, Belay, Fiverr, Zirtual, Wishup, and more.
Although countless side hustles require low startup costs, it is important to consider your interests and skills when picking a business to start. Pick a side hustle you find interesting and be committed to it.
Some profitable side hustles that require no startup costs include freelance writing, online tutoring, pet sitting, virtual assistant, graphic designs, food delivery, babysitting, event planning, YouTube content creation, and a lot more.
Yes! You can start a profitable side hustle with no money. Most of the side hustles in this article require little or no money. All you need is your skill and a bit of self-marketing.
If you’re considering starting a high-paying side hustle, consider dropshipping, digital marketing, personal tutoring, affiliate marketing, freelance web development, and a lot more.