If you want to dive into the world of remote work and learn how to make money at home, there are many ways to do it. From selling your skills as a freelancer, to completing odd jobs and market research surveys, there are lots of options out there.
In fact, ‘side hustle’ freelance roles were a major trend even before the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Henley Business School1, one in four UK adults in full time work had taken on a side hustle as long ago as 2018 - contributing around £72 billion to the economy.
You might not be able to earn a full-time wage from a side hustle. However, you could earn useful extra cash, make important industry contacts, and gain new skills. What’s more, you can trade the office for your spare room or favourite café and maintain a great work-life balance.
Here are some ideas on how to earn money at home - and open doors for yourself as an entrepreneur.
Sell photos online
Can you take a photo that businesses and marketers will love? Have you got the gear and editing software you need to create and edit high-quality images? If so, selling your photos to websites like Adobe Stock is a great way to make money from your photography.
You’ll earn a 33% commission when you sell a photo - which normally adds up to around £1.50 to £3 per sale. Other websites like iStock and Shutterstock offer between 20-40% commission rates too2. Websites and marketing materials across the world all rely heavily on stock images - so if you spot the right trends and take the right snaps, the sales can quickly stack up.
If you can write engaging content and do solid research, copywriting is a relatively easy way to make money at home. Once you get off the ground, you can build client relationships that last for years - and learn key writing skills while you do it. Work can vary between writing news articles, press releases and blogs, to social media and product copy.
There are several third-party websites that connect clients with novice writers and take a cut. The pay is often quite low on these websites - at around £0.02 per word - but they’re useful for getting some experience under your belt. Freelancing boards like People Per Hour and Fiverr allow you more freedom to set your prices and bid for work.
Be a social media influencer
Becoming an influencer is a viable option if you’ve got a knack for all things social and have a sizeable following.
By signing up for influencer marketplaces like Tribe, you can receive briefs from brands to endorse products from fitness equipment to vegan soap.
If you play your cards right, you can charge a reasonable amount of money for a post. According to Tribe3, payment can vary between £50-£350 per post for influencers with followers of 3-100k.
Create branded videos.
Many brands pay video influencers to work with them on branded content. If you make DIY videos, for example, you could promote a certain tool or household product. If you’re in the fashion game, you might be approached to wear a certain designer in a video.
The YouTube partner programme can help you to get started. However, you’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers and be able to meet YouTube’s monetisation criteria with each piece of content. Your pay will vary depending on the size of your following.
Become a graphic designer.
Branding is essential to business - so graphic design is a sought-after skill. Hone your skills in design in design, illustration and typography and put them into practise online. Whether it’s a layout template for an eBook or signage for a shop window, there are clients across the globe willing to pay for great design work.
One way to earn extra money working from home as a graphic designer is to sell templates, stickers and animations to websites like Adobe Stock, which pays a 33% commission for vector art. You could also take individual commissions and short jobs on freelance websites like Upwork.
Do online surveys.
Online surveys help brands and organisations get essential feedback on their products and services - and also how they come across to the public. You don’t need a particular skillset or experience - you just need to voice an opinion. However, you may need to fit a certain demographic.
Join sites like Swagbucks, i-Say and PopulusLive to answer daily, weekly, or monthly surveys on a wide range of topics. One week you might answer a survey on consumer products, the next on politics.
According to MoneySavingExpert4, you can expect to make between £100-£200 every year in cash and vouchers.
Become a dropshipper.
Dropshipping is an ecommerce model that separates retail from delivering. If you’re a dropshipping retailer, you purchase products from a third-party supplier, which handles stock and delivery for you. This means anyone can start an ecommerce business without a warehouse or shop premises.
The global dropshipping market is set to grow to a global value of $557.9 billion by 20255. It’s a scalable business model with low overheads, but you’ll need to find a niche, create a website and find a dropshipping partner first. Find out more about how dropshipping works.
Teach a class.
Teaching a class is a great way to earn extra money working from home. If you’re skilled or qualified in almost any field, you may be able to teach your passion onlines.
It’s good to think outside the box here. You don’t need to teach a traditional subject like maths or English - you can teach social media, yoga, or pottery too.
Skillshare is a great option for teaching creative subjects - paying by referral links and how many minutes people watch of your pre-recorded courses. If you’re looking to pick up regular tutoring by video link, use Revision Centre to advertise your skills and set your hourly rate.
Learn more about how to get creative in the classroom.
If you’re a numbers person, you can handle accounts from home. Bookkeepers is a great place to start and grow your accountancy business. You can also pick up pieces of work through freelance websites to meet new clients and earn some cash. Try Toptal, which provides a platform for expert freelancers across the tech and finance sectors.
Have you got a creative flair, an eye for design, and great commercial acumen? There are several great platforms and marketplaces to help you to sell your crafts and products to the public. Before you start, make sure you have the space and materials you need to produce work. A spare room, shed, or studio space is a great start.
Next, upload your products to marketplaces like Etsy, ArtFire, Big Cartel or Amazon Handmade. Transaction fees can vary from website to website, so make sure you shop around to find the best rates for your business.
People need voiceovers for anything from TV and radio continuity, to e-learning and public service announcements. If you have a resonant voice, a clear delivery, and can take direction and instruction well, voiceover work might be a great move.
According to CV Library6, recommended fees for voiceover work range from £20 for a 30-second radio clip, up to £65-£105 per hour for an audiobook and £300-£600 for an animated episode.
You can get started by recording an audio sample and sending it out to prospective clients. Alternatively, you can use websites like Fiverr to connect with brands and businesses looking for a distinctive voice.
If you have a good command of multiple languages, then you might be able to use your skills to earn money from home. Publishing, media and marketing are just a few areas of business that need people for regular freelance translation work.
Try Lionbridge - a specialist platform for content, AI and translation services - to get started with some real client work. They pay translators between £17-£20 per hour7.
If you’re highly qualified and experienced in this area, you can earn a high wage for your skills. Translation services like Acclaro can pay up to £73,000 per year.
You don’t have to be a computer genius to test apps, games, and websites for cash. In fact, there are several platforms built for this specific purpose. You’ll be assigned a task like searching a website for glitches and broken links or helping UX designers decide how to arrange content on a website.
It’s a useful way to make some extra cash - often between £8 and £20 per hour8 - and it also helps you learn more about how to structure and design a website.
Publish an eBook.
With an eBook, you can publish a full-length book with no publisher or printing costs. If you have the creative vision for a novel or the depth of knowledge for a non-fiction work, eBooks have removed much of the barriers between you and your audience.
After you’ve finished writing and designing your eBook, upload it to the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform. From there, you’ll earn a 70% commission on every sale.
Create an app.
If you’ve got a great idea for an app, you can monetise it with advertising and sales. Many websites can help you to design apps with no need for coding. Once it’s up and running, you can earn money through sales, subscriptions, and in-app purchases.
Record a podcast.
Did you know that there are currently over one million active podcasts and 30 million episodes9? If you have an idea for a podcast that will cut through with an audience, you can make money with brand partnerships and advertising.
You’ll need some equipment and planning to get started. Find out some podcasting tips from the experts.
Make money from a blog.
If you’re a regular blogger with a strong readership and impressive site traffic, why not monetise your website?.
Banner ads, sponsored posts and affiliate marketing links are just a few ways to see some cash come in from your blog. Head to Affiliate Window and Google AdSence to get started with these.
Another way to make money from home and connect with your audience is through a Patreon account. This helps you to set up a subscription service with your readership - earning cash with every reader who subscribes to your blog.
Become a copy editor or proofreader.
Editing and proofreading can be a great way to earn money - but you’ll need a mastery of your language and an eagle-eyed grasp of grammar.
Your clients could work across industries such as marketing, publishing and education, which outsource more work than you might expect10. But you’ll need experience before you pick up work with major clients. You can start by picking up jobs on Fiverr and writing a great freelance proposal to send out to production editors.
Ads, jingles, soundtracks and samples are just a few ways to make money from music. You’ll need instruments, software and strong musical ability to get started - but if you can write a catchy tune, you should be able to find an audience on a freelance or stock audio website.
If you write full-length songs, you can also make money from streams, downloads and album sales.
If you’re organised and competent on a range of common office computer programs, you may be able to pick up work as an administrator on an ad hoc basis. This could involve any task from budgeting and auditing to arranging meetings and creating, sharing and filing invoice PDFs.
Task Rabbit is a great place to pick up remote tasks to get started. You can set your own hourly rate and accept tasks around your other commitments. A common hourly rate for admin on Task Rabbit is between £15-£20.
Mix and match.
If you want to make money at home but aren’t sure how to go about it, signing up to any freelance website listed above is a great way to get started. By trying your hand at several different online tasks, you can quickly get a handle on what you like best.
Remember, much of your earnings will depend on how quickly you can turn work around - so try and pick up as many jobs as you can between your other commitments. They’re a great way to make cash and meet new people.
Frequently asked questions.
It’s always worth thinking about the logistics and practicalities of freelancing before you start your side hustle.
Do I need to pay tax on freelance earnings?
If you earn more than £1,000 from your freelance work, then you’ll need to declare it to HMRC. If you’re self-employed, you’ll have to register for Self Assessment. If you’re on PAYE, you can receive your tax bill by changing your tax code - but you’ll need to match this criteria.
How do I register as self-employed?
To register as self-employed, you’ll need to come up with a trading name, register for tax and take a few more steps. Follow this process on the HMRC website.
How much money will I make from my side hustle?
You can potentially make a few thousand pounds in extra cash every year by picking up freelance work. So at first, you should treat your side-hustle as the name suggests - something on the side of an existing role. But if you play your cards right and build up enough contacts and experience, you may be able to start charging a lot more for your work.
Want to know more about the world of freelancers and side-hustlers? Check out Make Your Move and get inspiration from three entrepreneurs who have turned a lightbulb moment into a successful business.
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