An increasing number of South Africans are looking for ways to make a little extra cash on top of the salary from their day job – preferably by doing something they love so much that they would be doing it in their spare time, anyway. The side hustle can be a great way to supplement your income or to save money to fund your dream business venture of the future.
Here are some examples of hobbies and interests that you can turn into a potential revenue stream:
- Freelance writing
- Graphic design
- Buying and selling
- Dog walking
- Social media management
- Making crafts and cuisine
Do any of these ideas pique your interest? If they do, you might have a new, money-making venture on your hands.
1. Freelance writing
Do you have a flair for words and an eye for detail? You could find paying work as a freelance writer. Though the competition can be fierce, quality writers who find a niche in the market can earn quite nicely.
Your options are not restricted to traditional corporate press release and copywriting gigs or working for publications.
There are people who will pay you to finesse their CV or their LinkedIn profile; you can also offer your writing services to smaller businesses who can’t afford the cost of a traditional agency.
Are you already writing for fun on a personal blog with a loyal and engaged following? Explore monetising it through ad placements, affiliate marketing, or asking people to back you via a vehicle such as Patreon.
2. Graphic design
From logo designers, to infographic designers, to freelance web designers, there is a demand for quality work at an affordable price point. Not every small business owner can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of rand on a logo and brand identity package, which makes a quality freelancer very appealing. The start-up cost is minimal as most qualified designers will already have the necessary hardware and software.
You can target people in your existing business network, and you can also target a global market through online marketplaces like upwork.com. As with the other side hustles listed here, you can also promote yourself through social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn.
3. Buying and selling
There is a wonderful opportunity to make money on the side simply by buying and selling second-hand items or importing goods, then flipping them on markets such as bidorbuy.co.za, or, if you have your eye on the international market, eBay. This might be a great hustle for you if you’re an avid collector with an interest in collectable goods, be they retro videogames, first-edition books or antiques.
Editor’s note: If you’re not partial to eBay or other marketplace options, you can always start your own online store to sell goods. An easy platform, such as GoDaddy Website Builder Online Store, can have you up and running in no time.
There’s burgeoning demand for house-sitting services in most urban South African centres. Some homeowners are simply looking for someone to drop in to let the domestic worker in and check on their mail while they’re away; others want a trustworthy person to live in their home, look after their pets, and make sure that everything runs smoothly in their absence. It’s an interesting way to make some money if you’re a people person or if you’re window-shopping for the home of your dreams.
Coders are in high demand, as every business has a website, and many have standalone mobile apps – both of which need constant updating. Those looking to code on the side should consider platforms like Freelancer to start to build a customer base.
6. Dog walking
Suburban South Africans love their dogs, so canine care is a booming industry. From grooming, to doggy day care, to selling quality pet food and toys, there are numerous ways to make money from your interest in humanity’s best friend.
One of the most enjoyable dog-related side hustles is becoming a dog walker – especially if you’d love a mutt of your own but they are not allowed in your complex. There are many people who are too busy or who are not well enough to take their dog for a regular walk. They’ll happily pay you to do it for them.
7. Social media management
Every small business needs an active social media presence, but not all small business owners understand social media or have the budget to hire a full-time social media manager. This presents an opportunity to turn a hobby into a profitable side hustle.
Cost-wise, nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection is needed to get started, and the software to schedule posts and deliver client reports can be purchased once the first client is signed.
There is very little resistance from business owners from older generations. They understand Millennials are knee deep in social media daily, around the clock, and their experience and knowledge are invaluable.
8. Making crafts and cuisine
Do you enjoy making crafts in your spare time? Or you have a talent for making hand-crafted bread or cooking up traditional Thai dishes? Perhaps you grow organic produce for your own consumption and have enough left over to sell?
If so, why not look at taking your wares to one of the thriving farmer’s markets or weekend neighbourhood markets that have popped up all over South Africa. If you’re doing well with real-world sales, consider putting up a web storefront to extend your reach and keep in touch with customers on the days your stall is not open.
Do you enjoy shooting pictures and editing them? If so, a photography side hustle can be started with almost zero cost. There are so many different angles – e-commerce websites need product images, business professionals need headshots, and millions of people get married every year and hire freelance photographers to capture the special moment.
If you are highly knowledgeable about one of your hobbies, then it’s possible to turn that information into a teachable online course and sell it through platforms such as Teachable or Udemy.
The nice thing about creating online courses is once you are done recording the course videos and creating the materials, it can be sold repeatedly – and through multiple distributions channels.
Hobbies that make money can be fully-fledged businesses or fund business growth. All the side hustles listed above can be turned into full-time business ventures, or they can remain side hobbies that make money, which can be used to fund the growth of another business. Tools such as GoDaddy’s Website Builder can help you to get online and turn your hobby into a booming business.
Have fun while making money – what could be a better way to spend your free time?
This article has been adapted from an original piece by Jonathan Long.