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“It takes money to make money.” Everyone, roll your eyes with me…
While there is truth to that statement, it’s not encouraging if you’re broke AF.
You may not have a large chunk of money to invest into a side hustle right now. Or you may have a large chunk of money that you just don’t want to pour into a side hustle right now.
Today, I bring you good tidings: There are plenty of opportunities out there that don’t require you to drop a dime. For example, I made $1500 in my first 3 months on Upwork and didn’t have to pay to play.
You can literally get started with a side hustle today with no money in your pocket.
Here’s a list of side hustles that don’t require any startup capital at all!
12 Ways to start a side hustle with no money
1. Test apps and websites
How does $10 for 10-20 minutes of your time sound? Pretty good, right?
Until several years ago, I had no idea you could actually get paid to give user feedback to website and app developers.
It kinda seems too good to be true considering this is basically what you do on a daily basis anyway! But alas, it IS true.
2. Become a proofreader
If you have a good grasp on spelling and grammar, proofreading could be right up your alley! And of course, spelling and grammar skills won’t cost you anything (unless you totally zoned out during K-12).
With that being said, if someone’s going to trust you to proofread their work, it makes sense that they’ll need proof of your skills. Caitlin Pyle runs one of the most successful online proofreading training programs there is, and you can get a bunch of info you need to get started from her free webinar.
To build your portfolio, you could start by soliciting people your know or college students to proofread their work. Then once you build up your samples, you’ll be ready for bigger clients!
3. Freelance your skills
Oftentimes, people automatically think of freelance writing, not realizing that you can basically freelance any skill! Writing, graphic design, website-building, photography…you name it! And within each of those broad skills, you can specialize.
I started out as a freelance medical writer and now run a healthcare copywriting business full-time! Other people may do sports, entertainment, or technology freelance writing.
How can you start freelancing?
1) Start with your personal network, friends, parents’ friends, LinkedIn, etc. to attract clients!
2) Some people are going to throw tomatoes at me for saying this, but….Upwork, the freelance bidding site, is not the end of the world.
Here’s the riveting story of how I made $1500 in my 1st 3 months on Upwork.
Yes, there are people who may try to lowball you for your services, but it’s ultimately up to you whether or not you want to accept painfully low rates. If you hold onto your standards, you will eventually attract clients who are willing to pay what you’re worth.
4. Teach what you know
Sharing knowledge and information is what life is all about. If you have expertise to share, you can profit from that!
Teaching, tutoring, coaching, mentoring, and consulting are all ways to share your expertise, but there are slight differences.
For example, the difference between teaching and coaching is described below:
The best thing about sharing your expertise with others is that you can do it in person or from the comfort of your own bed – I mean, home. 🙂 Isn’t the Internet a beautiful thing?
5. speak at events
If you’re that ONE of every four who isn’t afraid of public speaking AND you’re actually good at it, you could get paid for your skills.
Here’s some insight on how you can start charging for your valuable time and insight.
8. write an ebook
You can write your own ebook and sell it on Amazon or your own personal website for no upfront costs!
9. Set up professional online profiles
LinkedIn is a growing online professional network, and people are finally starting to realize how much of an asset it can be.
With that being said, sometimes people don’t have time or know how to build a LinkedIn profile that will get them results.
If you know or are willing to learn how to optimize LinkedIn profiles, you could make a nice amount of side cash!
Babysit, pet-sit, house-sit, that is.
Do you know people with kids, pets, or houses who have busy schedules? They could probably use some help with caring for those things/people while they’re away now and again?
Who better to help but you? Sites like care.com aren’t just for childcare. You can also sign up for housesitting or petsitting.
Or just skip the middleman & ask your friends and neighbors!
11. build websites
There’s a second part to this though. A website is also beneficial for your own side hustle promotion.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had an online portfolio where potential clients can get a sense of your personality and what value you can provide for them?
12. Launch a blog
Going right along with the website, blogging can be a side hustle in and of itself. It’s a specific type of freelance writing.
Small businesses are often good to target because they may not have the time or resources to hire their own writing staff, but they may have enough money to pay you to write for them.
Also, launching your own professionally-branded blog can draw traffic to your professionally-branded website where you can sell more of your freelancing services!!
why should you start a side hustle?
In case you’re just not convinced yet, I have to tell you: side hustles are God’s gift to millennials. (And indecisive Libras like me, haha!)
They’re great for soooo many reasons:
- You can get money out without putting money in.
- You can scale up or down as much as you want.
- You can get your feet wet in different areas without taking the plunge.
- You can dabble in different areas while still getting a part-time or full-time check.
- You can start it or walk away from it whenever you want.
- You can run your hustle however you want.
- You can network and make lasting connections.
- You can eventually make it your full-time gig if you get good enough!
- You learn different aspects of business.
- You get to spend time doing what you (hopefully) love AND getting paid for it.
- You inspire others who are thinking about side hustling too.
- You improve your time management skills, though it may take some trial and error.
I think you get the point. And now, thanks to this post, having no money won’t stop you from making money!
If you’d like to check out even more side hustles you can start today, head over to Their Money Goals to see what suggestions my good blogger friend J has for you!