Guide to Starting A Side Hustle and Monetizing Your Passion

With so many different ways to make money online, side hustles are becoming more and more popular and the number of individuals taking up side hustles has been increasing. According to a recent survey, UK’s side hustle economy is worth £346 billion, with nearly 46% of cash-strapped Brits making a second income through side hustles. Nearly 3 million Germans work to supplement their income by working a second or third job. In the Netherlands and Denmark, the rate of employees with more than one job is 8.1% and 7.6%, respectively.  

Side hustles can provide individuals with extra income alongside a full-time job, bridge the gap between jobs or give caregivers an avenue to earn while fulfilling other responsibilities. On average, side hustles added £6,300 to an individual's income last year, equating to around £525 per month.

If you’re curious about what side hustles are, the benefits of having a side hustle, some lucrative side hustle options, and other things you should consider before starting one, then here’s everything you need to know!

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is any type of employment done alongside a full-time job. It’s not the same as a part-time job. A part-time job still involves an employer handing out tasks. In contrast, a side hustle is freelance or project-based work that provides additional income. Side hustlers usually have the freedom to decide how much they want to work and have flexible working hours. Since a side hustle is completed alongside a full-time job, individuals usually complete the work during evenings, weekends, or vacation breaks. 

Side hustles provide individuals who want to benefit from multiple sources of income the opportunity to pursue their passions, test ideas, and explore ways to monetize their passion. The autonomous nature of side-hustling is ideal for those needing additional income and flexibility and for those who want to test entrepreneurial waters. Thinking of starting one but not sure which one? Keep reading to know more about the ten most popular side hustles! 

Benefits of a Side Hustle

Turning your passion into a money-making side hustle has many advantages. Some of the benefits of a side hustle are:

  • Additional passive income
  • Financial security
  • Flexibility in working schedule and style
  • Business and networking opportunities
  • Chance to explore your passions
  • Expansion of knowledge and skills


Providing an extra passive income, side hustles help you save for a rainy day. 

Not only will the side hustle hone your existing skills but also help you learn new skills. The learning curve is steep since you're navigating entrepreneurial opportunities independently. Also, meeting different clients helps you diversify your network leading to new opportunities and growth. 

With a side hustle, you can pursue your passion without sacrificing a full-time job’s steady salary and financial security. Instead, you can dive into projects and explore various passions you’ve always wished to learn more about while earning money. Pursuing your passion can also boost your overall morale and productivity. 

If you take up a side hustle, there are no fixed working hours or workplace. You can work remotely, set your hours, and schedule work around your routine. This allows you to continue your full-time job thanks to the flexibility and freedom associated with side hustles. 

10 Digital Side Hustle Ideas

While many side hustles can give you more financial stability, extra income, and control over your work, digital side hustles can offer you all of the former with more flexibility and freedom. Here is a list of 10 digital side hustles for individuals looking to learn more about their passion and earn a second income:  

Side Hustle #1: How to Kick-Start Your Blogging Side-Hustle

Blogging is one of the most popular side hustles. It is a long-term investment that requires patience, a good monetization strategy, and high-quality content. The starting cost is low since you only need a digital device, internet connection, and a subject you’re passionate about. Bloggers like Peter Rojas ( and  Pete Cashmore ( are the most successful bloggers who turned their blogging into a full-time business (and a booming one at that!).

To start a blog, you must first choose a niche and identify your target audience. Choosing a niche can help you build a personal brand and establish yourself as an expert not only to readers but also to Google!

Once you’ve got this in order, you must choose a domain name and buy a web hosting service. The domain is the website where you will write your blog. Think of your hosting cost as the rent you pay for the internet to keep your domain visible to the millions (or billions, depending on how big you’re thinking) live.

Before starting to write, you can create a content strategy to help you plan your research, writing, and publishing schedule. You must conduct thorough keyword, market, and competitor research to identify gaps that you can fulfill with your content. Once you’ve published your content, you must focus on increasing awareness via avenues like social media promotions and newsletters. You can then monetize your blog through affiliate marketing, display ads, sponsored posts, or subscriptions. 

Side Hustle #2: How To Launch Your Own Podcasting Side-Hustle

If you’re well-versed with a subject and are a great conversationalist, then podcasts are for you. Podcasts have become increasingly popular as a great way to attract audiences and engage with them in ways video and written content can’t. There are over 2 million podcasts worldwide, with over 64% of Europeans stating that they listen to podcasts sometimes. Not only is the number of podcasts and listeners increasing, but also the ad revenues. In Europe, the value of advertising investments in podcasts is expected to reach 207.2 million euros in 2023 compared to the 38.6 million euros spent in 2019.

Starting your podcast as a side-hustle offers many rewards, including creating new revenue streams, becoming an industry thought-leader, and building awareness for world-changing businesses. Before investing in audio recording and editing tools, you need to decide your niche, goal for the podcast, desired audience, and topics that you will cover. Once ready, you’re off to the races…gather your equipment and editing software to start recording your podcast!

Once you’re well-versed with the process and have a growing audience, you can start monetizing your podcast. 32% of marketers state that advertising on podcasts is effective. This can be done through ads, affiliate marketing, selling a product/service, sponsorships, or crowdfunding. For those looking to start a podcasting side-hustle, create engaging content and stay consistent, and you’re sure to have a profitable podcast with thousands of listeners. 

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Side Hustle #3: How To Start a Photography Side Hustle

Even if you aren’t a professional photographer and love clicking photos, you can still make a decent amount of money if you start photography as a side hustle. Although fun and lucrative, this side hustle can be expensive to start with. If you’re already good at clicking photos, you may not need to take a course in photography or editing. However, if you’re serious about your photography side hustle but not so good at it, you could take a course on lighting, editing, and framing. Depending on your budget and preferences, you will need to invest in high-quality cameras, lenses, and accessories. And you must have your website and social media pages that showcase and promote your work to potential clients.

There are multiple ways to monetize your photography side hustle. You could start by charging clients for private photoshoots and events. You can also sell stock photos online on websites like Dreamstime or Shutterstock. They are much cheaper than custom-made designs and are high in demand. In addition, many photographers host training workshops for amateurs interested in learning more about the profession. Photographers also collaborate with brands that fit their niche and area of expertise as a powerful tool to build a reputation. And lastly, you can spread your knowledge and expertise by starting a blog, podcast, or creating an online photography course that can earn you some extra money over time. 

Side Hustle #4: How To Launch Your Freelance Graphic Design Side Hustle 

Do you want to take your interest in design a step further? Are you someone with an inclination towards creativity? Then you should explore graphic design as a side hustle. A graphic designer creates engaging, meaningful, and functional visuals using technology. You must understand your client's needs and target audience to create appealing and compelling visuals. For example, you would create social media visuals, design websites, create logos and brand design briefs, etc., for clients. 

To start your side hustle as a graphic designer, you can either complete a course in graphic designing or a related field or start winging it! Due to the fragmented nature of the market, you can start with a few part-time or freelance gigs and keep pestering your clients for feedback. This way, although, likely to be a bit slower than taking a course, ensures you save that much money.

Understanding software like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, is critical since it will help you create the desired visuals. You also need basic marketing and communication skills to understand the audience you’re designing for and to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

You can monetize this side hustle by creating digital and physical products for businesses, taking on freelance projects, or being a design consultant for projects. You can also teach an online course that gives back and helps others make meaningful progress in their designing careers. Designers that enjoy writing can also blog and earn money. This will help boost traffic to their website and build their personal brand. 

Side Hustle #5: How To Build a Virtual Assistant Side Hustle

Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the easiest and most profitable side hustles. You don’t need specialized training or formal qualifications to become a virtual assistant. You can offer services based on your interests, skills, and experience. Being a virtual assistant can be an ideal side hustle if you have excellent communication skills and are reliable and organized. Beginners earn anywhere from $10 - $25 per hour, but experienced virtual assistants earn around $50 to $100 per hour or more.

Those interested must first start by determining what service they’re offering clients. It could be content writing, data processing, or general administrative duties. Next, identify your strengths and specialized skills when looking for the role — the more specialized your offering, the better your earnings. You can then decide who you want to work for, your working schedule, and pricing. Finally, to reach a wider audience, you can market your services on social media platforms, create your website, and reach out to various headhunters to find the best fit for your services. It’s also worth cold emailing or LinkedIn messaging various CEOs and other c-suite executives who are likely to be busy. This side hustle can help you build experience, network, and marketing skills while you earn the extra buck! 

Side Hustle #6: How To Turn Online Tutoring into a Side Hustle

The job of an online tutor is demanding, but also very lucrative. The online tutoring market is expected to grow by $182 billion from 2021 to 2026. Due to the flexibility and convenience of online coaching, many individuals have started online tutoring as a side hustle. 

To become an online tutor, you must first zero in on the subject you’re interested in teaching. Once you’ve identified the subject, you must choose the age bracket of students you’d like to specialize in. Whether you're interested in teaching elementary, high school, or college students, identifying this age group is essential in narrowing your scope. In addition, showcasing your credentials and qualifications through your resume will make your profile more attractive to prospective clients. 

Once you’ve decided how you’d like to tutor them, you can advertise your offerings. You can either create your website, sign up via online tutoring platforms (Preply, Mathnasium) or reach out to students directly and teach them via Zoom or Skype. Always make sure you’re collecting feedback from your students to tailor your teaching method to each student to make learning effective for them. 

Side Hustle #7: How To Start a Translation Side Hustle

49.33% of the global language services market is based in Europe. If you’re bilingual or multilingual, translation is a great opportunity for a side hustle. While legal fields and medical fields have always needed translation services, more and more companies that want to tap into new markets are now looking for translators. 

To become a translator, you must first identify which languages you want to work with. Then, you must get certified as a translator in those languages. While in some places you will be able to work without training or certification, completing a program or course from a reputed institute or college will help you monetize your translation business quickly. With several people offering translation services, having the right credentials will make your profile stand out.

After that, you can start looking for translation jobs or advertising your services. You can either apply to translation agencies or find clients through marketplaces like TranslatorsCafé.com, ProZ, Upwork, or Fiverr.

Side Hustle #8: How To Start a Youtube Side Hustle 

Ever dreamed of becoming a YouTuber but are nervous to pursue it as a full-time career? Then you can run your own YouTube channel as a side hustle. Video marketing is a popular tool used by various industries to entertain and educate users. With YouTube, your content has the potential to reach over 2 billion people. The platform can be leveraged as a significant revenue source for those looking to start an online side hustle. 

To start, you must first create your own YouTube channel, have a content strategy, and start posting engaging videos. You can monetize your content in multiple ways once you have a large enough audience base. The monetization process begins with an application to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). YPP allows you to earn money from your content (ads and subscribers) and grants exclusive access to resources like AdSense. Once accepted, you can activate features like ad revenue and charge for channel memberships. Brands might also want to partner with you for paid sponsorship opportunities and affiliate partnerships if you have a large subscriber base. If you’re passionate about making video content, starting a YouTube channel might be your best side hustle.

Side Hustle #9: How To Set Up Your Recruitment Side Hustle

If you enjoy networking with individuals, making connections, and helping people, freelance recruiting might be a cool side hustle. As a freelance recruiter, you find employees that are a good fit for a company. You need basic academic qualifications and practical experience to persuade businesses to trust you with their hiring process. The commission for a freelance recruiter is between 15% and 25% of the annual salary of the successful candidate. 

As a freelance recruiter, you’ll be helping clients through their hiring process. This might also include the pre-recruitment tasks like creating a fitting job description and profile for candidates. In addition, you may need to benchmark the role against industry standards by researching the salary, benefits, and other requirements for the role to be competitive. To find the right candidate, you must build a network of potential candidates and understand where to post job advertisements. After that, you must review the applications received, organize interviews, and shortlist the most suitable candidates. This side hustle can be extremely rewarding since you get to help someone in need while adding value to a company!

Side Hustle #10: How To Launch a Profitable Digital Marketing Side Hustle

If you love storytelling, technology, market research, and understanding consumer psychology, you must consider a side hustle in digital marketing. Individuals can offer overall marketing support or specialize in SEO, content creation, influencer marketing, or social media. Although there are no specific qualifications required to become a freelance digital marketer, it is always recommended to demonstrate your skills through online courses, certifications, and prior experience. This will help attract clients, build credibility, and help with better pay. 

To pursue this side hustle, you must first identify your niche and expertise and showcase it through a portfolio. You can then network with fellow marketers and businesses to promote your expertise and find work. For example, some of your daily tasks will include:

  • Creating a digital marketing strategy 
  • Setting KPIs 
  • Building a marketing funnel
  • Working on content strategy and writing 
  • Email marketing, and 
  • Creating a social media calendar. 


Most importantly, you should be curious and dedicated to identifying new trends, testing new ideas, and constantly working to solve problems. 


How to Track Expenses and Income for Your Side Hustle?

If you have a side hustle, you need to manage and track your expenses and income to ensure the side hustle is making financial sense for you. Understanding where you stand will help you make better financial and business decisions. Who knows, if your side hustle is doing really well, it may be time to quit your full-time job.

If you want a free and easy option, you can use Google or Excel spreadsheets to track your income streams and expenses. You can manually type in every transaction, create various formulae and manage multiple spreadsheets to handle your finances. 

Some individuals also choose to invest in accounting and finance software that automate the management of their expenses. Keeping a meticulous record will also help you understand how much money you can re-invest in your side hustle. 

How to Create Invoices for Your Side Hustle?

If you have started a side hustle and are getting paid for your service, you’ll need to submit an invoice to your client. Besides the most obvious tax purposes, an invoice helps you keep a record of the money you’re receiving and gives you a better understanding of your cash flow. Most freelancers create their invoices using online templates or software like Xolo Go. Depending on the volume and type of work, your invoice may include:

  • Your name, businesses name, address, and contact information
  • Invoice number and date
  • Client name and address 
  • Items/services carried out for the client
  • Price, additional fees, and taxes
  • Payment terms
  • Business Logo

You can enlist the features of Xolo Go which can help you legally invoice clients from 150+ countries through an instant invoice generator. Xolo Go can also help you track your expenses and make a business bank account so you can operate your side hustle in a hassle-free manner.

How to Pay Taxes for Your Side Hustle?

No matter the nature of your side hustle, once you earn a certain amount of income, you are liable to pay self-employment taxes. As a side hustler, it’s essential to figure out how to manage your taxes, so you don’t end up with messy books before the deadline. 

First and foremost, you must keep track of your income and expenses since the amount you pay in taxes boils down to the former. Further, depending on the country you’re working in and its tax laws, you must set aside a certain percentage of your profits for taxes (self-employment tax, federal tax). You can start filing your taxes using tax software or even outsource the work entirely to solutions like Xolo Leap. With Xolo Leap, you’ll have an Estonian business-of-one registered and we’ll take care of everything from bookkeeping to compiling and submitting your company's tax reports.

What Tools Will You Need To Start and Run a Side Hustle?

No matter what side hustle you take up, being organized is imperative. Using certain tools will help you manage your time and projects well and keep your side hustle fun and stress-free.

1. Project management tools 

Side hustlers need to keep track of their clients and organize workflows and daily tasks while keeping all stakeholders on the same page. Project management tools help you stay on top of your tasks and deliver projects on time. Asana and Trello are two project management software that side hustlers can use:

  • Asana is online cloud software that helps you visualize your workflow, schedule tasks and meetings, and keeps all the projects organized and on track. It also integrates with other top productivity tools, making it easier to use. 
  • Trello is the most user-friendly project management solution. These visual tools make it easier for teams to manage projects and tasks. It helps you organize your tasks into lists, boards, and cards, and you can move these cards as you complete tasks.

2. Time management tools

Are you a side hustler juggling a full-time role and your freelancing gig? If yes, there are so many time management softwares that can help you manage tasks and allocate your time efficiently. Check out Toggl if you need a time-tracking tool: 

  • Toggl is a time tracking application that tracks your daily activities across various platforms, providing you with insights to optimize your workflow by highlighting areas that need improvement. In addition, Toggl gives you access to tracking reminders and one-click timers that integrate with multiple applications. 


3. Invoicing and Accounting Tools

Investing in the right invoicing and accounting software can help you get you far with your freelance work. Xolo Go is an invoicing solution that will take care of your expenses, legal invoicing, business bank account, and more. With Xolo Go, you can:

  • Invoice clients in 150+ countries without registering a company
  • Manage business expenses and get yourself reimbursed
  • Agree and sign project terms with your customers
  • Receive payments in different currencies


Xolo Go simplifies the otherwise complicated accounting and invoicing process, allowing you to focus on your expertise and get paid effortlessly.

Managing Your Side Hustle Payments with Xolo Go

With Xolo, individuals can start their side hustle journey without worrying about setting up a company from scratch. Xolo Go enables freelancers to easily invoice international clients in less than 10 minutes without worrying about accounting or banking formalities. 

Xolo Go eliminates the need to hire accounting and admin professionals and enables individuals to track their expenses and create invoices all on one platform. There is no setup or ongoing fees other than a 5% fee on each invoice you submit through the platform, which is only payable when you withdraw from your Xolo Go account. Starting a side hustle and managing several hustles at the same time can cause lots of headaches with compliance and legal challenges. To save your time and steer your focus to your main business, Xolo Go is here to help!

Start your side hustles and send your first invoice today!

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