Side Hustles with Zero Starting Capital — 2022 Edition (Part 1)
Side hustles can be a great way to:
- Develop an alternate income stream
- Expand your savings (or build an emergency fund[VR1] )
- Explore areas that you’re passionate about (but are too scared to dive all the way in)
- And if there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, having financial security in times of emergency can be a huge stress reliever.
With remote and/or hybrid working models increasingly becoming the norm, all you need is a laptop, desk, and a stable internet connection to give life to your next big idea and increase your bank balance! We’re not saying you should, but we’re saying you can!
So here is a list of side hustles that you start without needing to make a huge monetary investment up front… with a pinch of salt (pun intended)!
Do you like writing? Are there niche areas you really care about? Then take up blogging!
Sign up with a free blogging service like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, Squarespace, and Gator. There’s even Ghost, Medium, Substack, and Exposure if you want to create visually stunning experiences. And if you’re super enthusiastic, you can even buy a domain for cheap to run ads from GoDaddy. Despite what many will have you believe, blogging is still relevant even if social media has taken a little bit of sting away. Many bloggers provide advice and commentary on several subjects such as marketing, gardening, and cooking and make a living out of it.
- Find your niche. No, really! Pick a topic you’re passionate about and draw from your experiences. This will help you stand out. It could be as specific as your experience in switching to a career in product management.
- Know the basics of SEO. This will give you an advantage in making your blog a profitable source of income.
- Scan the FAQs on blogging platforms (listed above) and Google AdSense for more info. on monetization before you decide to jump in the pool!
- Don’t expect to make money right off the bat. Returns from blogging are usually based on several factors. Building up a loyal reader base and popularity can take time.
Freelance content writing
Freelance content work can provide faster returns if you want to write for others. For starters, reach out to brands and publications in your areas of interest that may need content. Then pitch your ideas by starting with topics you’re already familiar with. You could even connect with digital marketing agencies through LinkedIn to see if they’re on the lookout for content writers!
If you’re a university student, for example, find student columns. Write on topics related to student life such as budgeting, internships, or nightlife! Even skills like gardening, cooking, bartending, and consulting have dedicated publications and brands with a sizable following and on the lookout for quality content.
- Build a personal brand. This can make all the difference! Start by blogging on Medium, LinkedIn, or Instagram and make yourself known. Unless you put yourself out there, brands will struggle to see what you bring to the table.
Selling stock images and videos
If you have an eye for aesthetics and enjoy taking pictures (yes, your shiny new Android counts!), think about putting them up for sale on stock image websites!
Design and sell print-on-demand collectibles (Dropshipping)
Ever wondered how college departments got custom-branded hoodies and cool everyday items to give away? Say hello to dropshipping.
Here’s how it works:
- You develop the designs and find customers. You can do this by listing your products on marketplaces or your own website.
- You collect the orders and let a dropshipping company i.e., a third party vendor take care of order processing from end-to-end. This means they manage inventory, shipping, and delivery of your orders.
- Obviously, they take a % of what you earn to cover the cost of their services.
You can design and sell smartphone cases, laptop covers, sleeves, tote bags, hoodies, posters, greeting cards, prints, and much more. If you’ve got an aesthetic sense, dropshipping will help you make a quick buck on the side. A good list of websites to get started with are Baapstore, JimTrade, IndiaMart, Hothaat, TradeIndia, and Snazzyway.
Social media management
Do you spend much of your time scrolling social media? Think you have a sense for what makes content shareable? Turn that intuition into a money-making skill with social media management.
Small businesses usually lack in-house expertise to leverage the power of social media. This is where people like you come in. Reach out to companies whose work you find exciting and want to help. Not only would you be able to develop something you’re proud of but also be a part of another company’s growth story!
- Social media management may seem easy but it’s no joke. Use free resources on Youtube, Coursera, Udemy etc. to learn more about the profession and upskill as you go.
It’s 2022 and there are SO many side hustles you can take up. We’re only getting started. Check out Part 2 of our list of side hustles you can start with zero capital right here.
In the meantime, if you already have a side hustle and are ready to start growing that extra income, check out our Test Drive, SALT’s app that helps you test investment tools and strategies to make sure your money grows while you sleep!