As the cost of living continues to soar, many people have turned to the gig economy for extra cash. In 2023, a Finder study revealed that 44% of Brits had at least one side hustle. The survey also found Generation Z to be the most likely age group to have a side hustle — many Gen Zers have flocked to TikTok to slam the 9 to 5 lifestyle.
Our research found that over 22,000 searches around ‘side hustles’ were conducted monthly on average — a 22% rise from the previous year. Additionally, there were nearly 3,000 online searches for the ‘best side hustles 2023’ each month.
Finder stated that the average earnings from a side hustle are £206 per week or £10,701 per year. Yet, according to the website builder GoDaddy, the average side hustler in the UK makes £18,200 in revenue a year. With the range of part-time work available, the income potentials vary, so what are the most lucrative side hustles?
In this blog post, we’ll reveal the average annual income for 10 lucrative side hustles, based on the UK average of 16 hours per week for part-time workers. The side hustles mentioned consistently receive a high volume of online searches around how to succeed in this field. To help you achieve your financial goals, we’ll also advise on how to grow these side jobs and maximise your earnings.
1) Social media influencer (£97,743)
Our research identified an average of around 1,700 monthly searches relating to becoming a social media influencer – showing that becoming an online content creator was still a common goal. The searches included 590 on making money from TikTok and nearly 500 around monetising Instagram.
In 2022, Adobe’s Future of Creativity study revealed that British influencers earn an average of £117.48 per hour. Of the study’s respondents, 65% were still employed full-time, keeping their content creation as a side hustle. Earning this hourly rate at the average part-time week of 16 hours could result in a staggering £97,743 annually!
How to succeed as an influencer:
- Post consistently.
- Find a niche that you’re passionate about.
- Focus on one or two social media platforms.
- Produce a content strategy (consider post timings, type of content, etc).
- Engage with your audience.
- Invest in equipment (e.g. camera, editing software).
- Research what your target audience wants.
- Network and build relationships with potential clients and collaborators.
This hourly rate is high and not a guarantee, as there is a vast pay range between influencers. A separate study from Maddyness cited that the average monthly earnings for mega-influencers (with over one million followers) are more than ten times that of micro-influencers (with between one and ten thousand followers on Instagram).
2) TaskRabbit Tasker (£21,532)
According to TaskRabbit, their UK taskers earn an average of £25.88 per hour. While this is much lower than the social media earnings, it’s far more attainable. Taskers can offer various services, such as furniture assembly, cleaning, electrical work, queuing and gardening. Whether you’re handy and can help around the house, can drive, or even just strong enough to lift boxes, there’s probably a task you can charge for at the rate of your choice.
To enhance your business as a tasker:
- Invest in quality equipment if your task requires tools.
- Be reliable.
- Deliver good customer service.
- Develop your skills.
- Have a valid UK driving licence and/or a reliable form of transport.
If you get to elite status as a tasker, you’ll also gain access to benefits, such as digital GP appointments. With some taskers claiming to earn six figures, this side hustle can be extremely lucrative if taken seriously.
3) Yoga instructor (£20,592)
If you have a passion or talent for yoga, you could turn your hobby into extra cash by becoming an instructor. Using Indeed’s salary checker tool, we found that yoga instructors can earn £24.75 per hour in the UK. The rates can vary, with the cost likely being higher if you teach private classes or work at an establishment, but you may not be able to work as flexibly. You may also need to charge a lower rate if you have less experience.
Bear in mind that if you aren’t already qualified, you’ll have to spend money to turn a profit. Yoga teaching training courses can reportedly cost between £1,000 and £3,000. If you’re new to the business and work independently, you’ll likely also need to buy yoga equipment and pay for insurance.
To help you succeed as a yoga instructor:
- Continuously improve and expand your skill set.
- Build relationships with class members.
- Focus on your feedback style.
While being a part-time yoga instructor can help you earn extra cash in your spare time, it’ll likely take time and a small investment before you see a profit if you start from scratch.
4) Private tutor (£19,361)
Helping students improve their grades can be a rewarding way to make some extra money. According to Indeed, working as a tutor can earn you around £23 per hour.
You don’t necessarily need teaching qualifications to become a private tutor, but certification in the subject you’re teaching can help your job prospects. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks also aren’t legally required for tutors, but many parents will look for this qualification when hiring.
To get started as a private tutor:
- Choose an area of expertise and study the subject.
- Gain experience working with children.
- Promote your business on social media, in relevant forums and local community centres.
- Seek endorsements and testimonials from clients to build your network.
You could also sign up with an online tutoring platform, like Fleet Tutors or Tutorful, that connects tutors with students. Working with a trusted company could increase your client base and relieve some of the pressure of finding work and managing payments.
5) Freelance professional services (£15,766)
If you’re already skilled in specific areas because of your education or professional experience, consider offering your expertise as a freelancer. Freelance work can include graphic design, marketing, makeup artist work and much more.
Our research revealed that one of the most popular options, with around 3,600 average monthly searches, was to be a freelance writer, which can earn you nearly £20 per hour. There are many strains of being a writer, from copywriting for websites to news journalism and magazine columns.
Making a living off being a full-time writer can be challenging as salaried positions are rare and self-employed writers often face competitiveness and income instability. However, when you aren’t solely relying on it to pay your bills, freelance writing can be a profitable side hustle.
To get started as a freelancer and enhance your prospects:
- Decide your rates (research standard industry rates).
- Create a portfolio.
- Practice and grow your skills.
- Register with platforms that connect you with businesses.
- Identify your target clients.
The second-most popular freelance gig was to be a voice-over artist, which could involve advertorial, educational, corporate work, and the more competitive entertainment-based jobs. You can earn just over £18 per hour as a voice-over artist.
6) Uber driver (£13,112)
Becoming an Uber driver can be a flexible way to earn extra money. You’ll need a valid UK driving licence, a vehicle that meets Uber’s requirements, and to be over the age of 21. First, sign up online, upload official documents to your profile, complete an onboarding course, and then activate your account.
Each city has a minimum amount that you can earn for any trip. Indeed states that the average earnings are £15.76 per hour. However, there are ways to maximise your income.
How to increase your earnings as an Uber driver
- Work when rider demand and prices are high (e.g. Friday and Saturday nights, after-work rush hour).
- Complete a set number of trips within a certain time frame when the offer is available.
- Maintain a clean and welcoming environment, driving efficiently and smoothly and going the extra mile to encourage tips.
Uber drivers can also deliver Uber Eats orders if the service is available in their city. The average earning for delivery drivers is £12.15 per hour on Indeed. Uber Eats delivery drivers will often have more frequent trips but may earn less per trip than Uber drivers due to them likely being short journeys.
However, Indeed states that the best-paying delivery driver jobs are transporting packages with Deliverwize for £15.48 per hour on average.
7) Babysitter (£11,898)
Our research found an average of 4,400 monthly searches for ‘babysitting jobs’ each month, making it one of the most popular side hustles on this list.
How to become a babysitter:
- Start by approaching your friends and family members for work and ask them to let people in their circle know you’re available for childcare.
- Ask your first clients for references to help you get hired by people you don’t know.
- Join online babysitting groups to get the word out further.
- Consider joining an agency to help find clients.
As a babysitter, you’ll need to go to the child’s home to look after them. It often requires spending a few hours supervising the child(ren), keeping them entertained and then putting them to bed. If you want the children to come to your home, you’ll be classed as a childminder and will need to undergo more stringent training and gain qualifications.
According to Indeed, the average hourly rate for babysitting is £14.30. To help increase your earnings, offer to work on bank holidays and charge for time and a half. You may also earn a tip if you go out of your way to accommodate the parents’ schedule.
8) Dog walker (£9,127)
If you’re an animal lover and like being outdoors, becoming a dog walker could be an enjoyable way to increase your bank balance. Dog walking can earn you £10.97 per hour, compared to £6.70 per hour for pet sitting. Dog walking and dog sitting, however, can coincide.
You don’t need any specific certifications to become a dog walker, but it can help you stand out and warrant a higher demand and fee.
Boost your dog walking CV with:
- Experience working with or being around animals.
- Qualifications from relevant courses in animal care.
- A DBS check.
- A driving licence and access to a suitable vehicle.
- Specialised insurance.
You can set up your own company or register with an established platform. There may be different requirements if working for another business and, perhaps, less freedom but more support than working independently.
As with any self-employed business, you’ll need to handle advertising yourself through online marketing, testimonials and networking.
9) Rent a room (£8,868)
One of the most popular ways to earn extra money is to rent out a spare room in your home. As well as homeowners, tenants can sublet a room with written permission from their landlord. Looking for rooms to rent is also currently in demand, with a 22% increase in searches.
According to the Spareroom Rental Index, the average monthly room rent is £739 in the UK. Due to the ‘Rent a Room Scheme’, you may be able to earn up to £7,500 tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. This amount is, however, halved if you share the income with your partner or someone else. Anything over this amount will be taxed, which is worth considering when setting your rate.
However, there are some sacrifices to make for this money, including an aspect of your privacy and space. Not only can living with a stranger be inconvenient, but it can also be difficult if disagreements erupt or your new roommate is unreliable with payments and other obligations.
To minimise the risk of these disadvantages:
- Test the waters with a rolling contract before committing to a long-term tenancy.
- Get the potential tenant’s proof of income, references and identity verification.
- Ensure you and the tenant sign a written tenancy agreement if you commit.
- Allow the tenant the same respect and space you expect.
While this option isn’t as lucrative as the other side hustles on the list, renting out a room doesn’t require any labour. Aside from the initial advertisement, interviewing potential roommates and cleaning the room for viewings, there isn’t any additional work required.
So, when purely looking at the return on investment, renting out a room can be the most worthwhile, and if you’re lucky, it could also introduce you to a new friend.
10) Sell used clothing (£1,800)
In 2023, a Trustpilot report revealed sales of second-hand goods in the UK had soared by 15% compared to the prior year. With six in 10 consumers now buying pre-loved items, the cost of living crisis was cited as the biggest reason for the second-hand shopping spike.
Selling used items is nothing new, but it has never been so accessible with various apps and websites available, such as eBay, Depop, and Facebook Marketplace. Our analysis discovered 4,400 average monthly searches to ‘sell clothing online’. We also found that searches around selling on Vinted had increased by 53% in the last year.
The popular resale platform Vinted previously claimed sellers can earn £150 per month on average selling clothes. Of the Vinted members who transfer their earnings from selling items to their bank, 43% said in a report that they use this money to fund everyday household expenses.
How to maximise your earnings from selling used clothing:
- Time your posts for relevant seasonal occasions (e.g. wedding season, Christmas party season).
- Post clear photos of the item well-presented, in good lighting and with a plain background.
- Include popular and relevant search terms in your listing.
- Set an appropriate price (if using a platform that doesn’t allow bids).
- Send your sold items quickly to encourage good reviews.
The earning potential varies across apps, but as Vinted sales don’t come with seller fees, instead charging the buyer, the platform allows for higher potential earnings.
What do you need to grow a lucrative side hustle?
Across many types of side hustles, there are consistent requirements that will enhance your success and help you stand out among competitors.
Invest in equipment
Most side jobs require equipment, from cameras and laptops to ladders and toolboxes. While you can start with the basics to help you get the business off the ground, investing in higher quality and a wider variety of equipment will help you expand your services once you’ve started turning a profit.
Expand your space
Most side hustles start at home, but if they become successful, often require another space to expand the business. It’s likely not worth renting an entire office for part-time work, but you could work in a communal workspace.
If you’re a yoga instructor, used clothing seller, or even an influencer, you may need to rent a business storage unit to keep your tools and stock if your collection becomes too large to keep in your home. If you’re renting a room out, you may find it most cost-effective to store some of your belongings in a self-storage unit to make the space available for charging rent.
Network and promote
Many types of freelance and independent work require you to self-promote your services. Depending on the type of work, this could mean joining and posting in online groups or growing your own social media accounts/pages. Alternatively, you could try more traditional advertising methods, such as placing leaflets and posters in local areas where your target audience may frequent.
If you’re looking to break into a particular industry, you may also benefit from attending professional events, reaching out to potential employers and taking people out for coffee to introduce yourself.
Monitor tax requirements
From the start of 2024, digital platforms often used for side hustles, such as Vinted, Uber, Deliveroo, and Airbnb, will automatically pass your information to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This information will include your number of sales and how much income you’ve generated.
However, don’t let this tax requirement stop you from following your passions or meeting your financial goals. This new rule doesn’t change who pays tax on earnings from digital platforms, but it does mean that HMRC has more visibility about who owes tax.
Side hustlers have a £1,000 trading allowance, meaning anything you can earn below this amount is tax-free. If you earn more than £1,000 through online sales or property-related services, you’ll need to declare your income to HMRC and complete a self-assessment tax return. So, it’s important to closely monitor your earnings so you don’t unknowingly exceed the tax-free amount.
You can learn more about whether you owe tax in HMRC’s online guide and the gov.uk tool. If you’re still unsure about your tax requirements and earn over the income tax rate, seek professional advice from an accountant.
A lucrative side hustle can help pay your bills, boost your savings and provide some extra cash to improve your quality of life. Although it often requires longer work days, it can also be creatively fulfilling if this isn’t something you’re achieving through your day job. If you invest money and time into your side hustle, it could also one day become your primary job.