19 Side Hustle Ideas and How to Get Started

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Get ready to launch your side hustle with these business ideas and tips for getting started.

[Featured image] A woman in a striped shirt selling clothes as a side hustle prepares a shipment for a customer.

A side hustle is any work undertaken by an individual alongside his or her primary job. Starting a business of any type requires a certain amount of dedication, business know-how, and motivation.

People who start a side hustle are often motivated to make more money or bring a passion into their career trajectory. Some people with entrepreneurial aspirations will plant the seeds for their future full-time business by launching a side hustle. Maintaining a steady job during this transition can offer financial security as they explore what it’s like to become a small business owner.

The Indian side hustle economy is booming, with 62 per cent of Gen Zs in India also having a secondary stream of income [1].

Here are 19 ideas to help you identify the right side hustle.

Launching a side hustle: Where to begin

If you want to start a side hustle, identify your "why". What is it that you hope to achieve? Some examples of achievements may be:

  • Earn more money

  • Express creativity

  • Have more fun

  • Participate in a community

  • Learn about running a business

  • Create a launchpad for full-time self-employment

As you consider your "why", think about ways you’ll be able to measure success. This can be related to finances, feelings, social media metrics, knowledge, or anything that feels right. Remember that with your side hustle, you get to decide what "success" means.

Side hustle ideas

Once you have clarity on your goal (or goals), it’s time to find your idea. With your objective in mind, read through the ideas below and see if anything interests you. Consider whether that interest signifies alignment with your goal or if you’re recognising an additional goal you hadn’t yet considered.

Also, be sure to keep your skill set in mind. A side hustle is a great place to use skills you already possess to guide you toward your goals and a mechanism to practise skills you hope to develop further.

Each of the ideas listed below offers some scheduling flexibility, allowing you to pursue a side hustle while still prioritising a full-time work schedule. Many ideas can also become full-time small business ventures—with the right business plan to back them up.

Lucrative side hustles

Several factors influence how much money you can make from your side hustle—including how much effort you put into creating your business, where you’re located, and market demand.

That being said, people tend to be able to charge more for certain services. Here are some side hustles that tend to be lucrative. The prices per hour listed below are for an Indian market, but if you are working internationally, check the average wage in the country you are working in and adjust your pricing. 

1. Social media management

Social media managers help businesses create and manage their social media presence. This can include tasks like developing strategy, creating content calendars, copywriting, and more. Social media can be a crucial part of a business’s marketing strategy, and they’re often willing to pay for expertise. Depending on experience, social media managers can make between ₹130 and ₹377 per hour.

2. Digital marketing

Digital marketers help businesses create and manage their online presence. They may be responsible for tasks like building Google or Facebook ads, creating SEO content, or developing email marketing campaigns. Digital marketers may charge a range of  ₹120 to ₹483 per hour, depending on experience.

3. Website design

Web designers are responsible for the aesthetic appeal and usability of websites. They’ll often have some design, user experience (UX), user interface (UI) background, and the technical skills required to update a website. Web designers will charge around ₹140 per hour. 

4. Website development

If you are talented in the technical aspects of building and maintaining a website, consider a side hustle as a web developer. Web developers are responsible for coding and configuring websites on the backend and developing functionality on the front end. They may charge an average of ₹305 per hour —and what’s more, after the site is built, clients may maintain a contract with their web developer to cover site maintenance.

5. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping involves balancing chequebooks and reconciling budgets for businesses. It doesn’t require formal education, though you’ll want to be comfortable with basic maths and know how to use bookkeeping software. The median hourly rate for bookkeepers in India is around ₹271 per hour. 

6. Tutoring

You may like tutoring if you enjoy working with kids or teens and learning. There are many ways to personalise your services—for example, you may focus on a specific subject or age group or offer virtual or in-person tutoring. The average rate for a tutor in India is ₹117, but it can be up to ₹1,000 per hour. 

7. Babysitting

Consider babysitting if you’d prefer to play with kids rather than teach them. The average rate for a babysitter in India is ₹500 per hour, and you can adjust your rates depending on factors such as the number of kids or their ages. You may also want to look into becoming a nanny to find a babysitting job with more consistent hours. For this side hustle, you may want to bolster your credentials (and emergency preparedness) by getting certified in first aid and CPR.

Side hustles from home

If you have the suitable skill set, you can launch many of the listed side hustles right from home—no formal office space is needed. In many cases, if you have an internet connection, you can get started. Here are a few additional side hustles you can start from home:

- Proofreading or copyediting

- Transcription service

- Virtual assistant

- Dropshipping business

- Audiobook narrator


Creative side hustles

You can translate that passion into a side hustle with a creative mind. Many people start a side hustle to monetise a hobby or add that specialised skill set to their CV in a more formal capacity.

You’ll likely want to factor upfront costs for materials and the amount of time you spend creating into the overall cost you’ll charge for your products to make this side hustles financially worth the effort—but if creativity is a priority for you, here are some ideas to consider:

8. Crafting

Sites like Etsy and Shopify make it easy for casual crafters to turn their hobby into a business, whether you make jewellery, pottery, cards, or anything else.

9. Flipping furniture

If you prefer large-scale projects, you can make a business by repurposing second-hand furniture.

10. Photography

Since many people schedule weddings and birthday parties on weekends, you could run an entire photography business while maintaining a full-time job on weekdays.

11. Graphic design

If you are skilled in digital design, consider a side hustle as a graphic designer. You can find gigs on websites like Fiverr or Upwork or have your designs printed on apparel, stickers, and other products and sent directly to customers using services such as Redbubble. You can learn graphic design fundamentals with the Graphic Design Specialisation from CalArts.

12. Writing

There are plenty of ways to make money as a writer for the editorially inclined. You can write for traditional publications, create copy for marketing agencies, help job seekers hone their CVs, or start your affiliate marketing blog or newsletter.

13. Creating content

If community building excites you, consider becoming a content creator. It can take some time before your audience is large enough to monetise, but the payoff for creating a successful podcast, YouTube channel, or Instagram account can be huge.

14. Baking

You may need to navigate Indian laws regarding the sale of food, but if you enjoy baking, it may be worth bringing your kitchen up to code to start this side hustle.

15. Reselling vintage clothing

You can turn shopping into a side hustle by reselling the clothes and accessories you find while browsing your local thrift shops. To reach a wider audience, some people with an eye for fashion will open online vintage shops through sites like Instagram, Etsy, eBay, or Shopify.

Active side hustles

Incorporate movement and physical activity into your side hustle with these ideas:

16. Fitness instructor

In becoming a fitness instructor, you’ll find many specialisations you can pursue, from yoga to spin to strength training. However, you will likely need to attain specific qualifications or complete certain training programs to begin this side hustle.

17. Dog walking and pet-sitting

Dog walking is one way to turn a profit while taking a daily walk in or around your neighbourhood. Plus, when your regular clients go on holiday, you may have a built-in opportunity to boost your earnings by pet-sitting for extended periods.

18. Referee or coach local sports

If you played a sport in school or college, you can pass down your love of the game as a referee or coach for your local sports teams. Check with your town’s parks and recreation department to learn about opportunities.

19. Party entertainer

People hire party entertainers to do magic, dress in costume, or perform at parties—often children’s birthday parties. You may be a natural entertainer if you do well with a crowd or have many party tricks up your sleeve.

Passive side hustles

Passive income is money you make without having to put in repeated, active efforts. Often, with passive income, you can make an effort one time and see frequent returns on that one-time effort. One common example of passive income would be earning interest on your savings accounts—but some people build a side hustle out of passive income.

Some passive income businesses include:

- Writing an ebook

- Selling worksheets

- Selling stock photos

- Creating an online course


Next steps

Whatever side hustle you start, you can hone your skills to launch and maintain your business with Coursera. Learn social media marketing, bookkeeping, project management, and more with a Professional Certificate from top companies like Meta, Intuit, and Google. Get organised with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint using the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals Specialisation.

Article sources

  1. Deloitte. "Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey identifies flexible and remote working as an opportunity to improve work/life balance, https://www2.deloitte.com/in/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/Deloitte-GenZ-and-Millennial-Survey-2022.html." Accessed November 24, 2023.

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