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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!

Prefer video? Watch now for 10 side hustle ideas you can start with NO money. (2021 friendly!)

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.

In fact, I signed up with while I was in pharmacy school. There are other sites out there but UserTesting is the one I have personal experience with.

Testing websites and apps doesn’t require any upfront costs or special equipment. If you have a phone, tablet, or computer, you’re pretty much good to go!

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:

TEACHING is helping one person or a group of people learn specific concepts and points.
COACHING is helping someone work towards improving a set of skills, usually for a defined goal.
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

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking.

THREE of every FOUR Americans are glossophobes…sheesh.

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.

6. Sell stock photos

Good with a camera?

Put that camera to work. Take photos, lightly edit them if needed, and sell those bad boys! People are always in search of high-quality, unique stock photos. 

For a complete stock photo-selling guide, check out this site.

7. Drive for Lyft

Does this one even require an explanation? Here’s where you sign up.

8. Write an ebook

Ready to write a book but have no idea what the process is like? Well, one more direct way people are going about getting their work to the masses is by self-publishing online.

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!

10. Sit…

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 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

If you have a knack for building websites, there are people who will pay you to do it. Although I’m partial to WordPress, other sites like Squarespace, and can also be easy ways to learn to build professional-looking websites.

There’s a second part to this though. A website is also beneficial for your own side hustle promotion.

What’s the first thing you do when you consider using a new company? You Google them. So you can expect that people will Google you, especially if you’re selling your services.

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!!

which side hustles have you tried before? which ones are you interested in trying out?