8 Side Hustles That Work If You Do (#5 Is INSANE!)

Side hustles are fast becoming preferred over traditional jobs, and as the gig economy is booming now more than ever more people are looking to hop aboard the side hustle train.

Whether you’re financially strained and find yourself looking to make some extra cash, unemployed and looking for a placeholder until you land your next job, or are a stay-at-home parent who is looking for something to do while your little one naps, side hustles offer something for everyone.   

My first Momma’s Money post is probably the most successful of all the blog posts I’ve written, and given the current situation of the world, I figured it’s only fair to update this post for 2021.

Before we get started, it’s important to me that you know straight off the bat that I haven’t been asked to write this article by any of the companies mentioned in it. Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at 8 side hustles that work if you do. 

1. Take Care of Dogs 

Those who know me personally will know that I’m a borderline crazy cat lady, but DANG is a love for dogs something of a moneymaker. It was only when I was researching side hustle ideas for this post did I come to learn that dog-related tasks are highly profitable. 

So if you’re a dog lover with some time on your hands, you should offer that time to fellow dog lovers who don’t. You can become a pet sitter, dog walker, groomer, or even provide boarding facilities, doggy daycare, or pet taxi services for these time-strapped pet owners. 

There are two ways in which you can go about this. You can either start your own pet care business or join someone else’s. Here’s the low down on these two options.

Start Your Own Pet Care Business… 

Starting your own pet care business is surprisingly simple. Especially with companies like Pet Sitters Cape Town at your service. This business provides you with two different ways to set up shop: full-time or part-time. 

For R 400.00 a month, those who opt to go full-time will receive full training, manuals, certificates, and leads, leads, leads — all of this is in addition to having the full support of the PSCT team. 

The cool thing is that many of the people who go full-time end up with far too much work, which is where the part-time peeps come in. For R 120.00 a month, you can become a part-time professional pet sitter and act as a sort of overflow assistant to the full-time guys.  

Because you pay a monthly membership fee, you keep 100% of your earnings:

  • You’ll earn from R 119.00 per visit for day visits 
  • For overnight pet sitting, you’ll take home upwards of R 270.00 per night 
  • Hourly care starts at R 30.00 per hour   

Joburg peeps, fret not. I’m already searching for a business like this in our urban jungle. Should I find it I will update this post faster than you can say ohmygoshimgonnabeaprofessionalpetsitter. 

If you don’t want to start your own legitimate business, but don’t want to join someone else’s, all is not lost. You can easily set up a cost-free freelance profile on a site like PetBacker, which is essentially the Uber of pet care businesses.

Because you set your own rates, it’s difficult to gauge what the earning potential is. From what I’ve seen on active listings, South African pet sitters on PetBacker earn between R 70.00 to R 150.00 per dog walk, between R 100.00 and R 350.00 per dog for doggy daycare, and between R 50.00 and R 350.00 for pet taxi services.

…Or Join An Established Pet Care Business 

While you can totally start up your own business in your area or set up a freelance profile on a site like the one mentioned above, sometimes that’s a little too much admin for some people.

Plus, at the end of the day, not everyone can abide by the age-old saying

“You have to spend money to make money.”

A great way to avoid the admin AND get some professional pet-related experience behind your name is to sign up with either of the following proudly South African companies.

  • Paws N Claws: With Paws N Claws you’ll earn R 160.00 per night for overnight pet sitting, and R 85.00 per visit which works out very well for people who manage to bag multiple clients in one area. You can sign up here.
  • YourHound: With YourHound you’ll earn R 145.00 per night for overnight pet sitting, R 60.00 for one 30-minute daily visit, R 110.00 for two 30-minute daily visits, and R 55.00 for one 45-minute dog walk per customer. You can sign up here.   

I was lucky enough to bag a quick conversation with the lovely Karen from Paws N Claws and she indicated that their already large team is always looking to welcome new members, specifically to provide relief to their long-term pet pals over weekends and during the festive season. 

It is worth noting that companies like Paws N Claws don’t just hire anybody and that your love for dogs should outweigh your desire to make some extra rands. 

As far as side hustles go, one that is tied to the world of pets is potentially one of the most rewarding — in terms of much more than just finances.

2. Take Part in Market Research Studies 

Market research is something I’ll never stop recommending, simply because it is so easy to make extra cash in this arena. I reckon it to be one of the easiest side hustles out there. There are two ways you can make money with market research and they are in-person and online sessions. 

In-Person Market Research 

An in-person market research session is conducted through a market research company, like the incredible Indigo Focus. Through companies like Indigo, you will be sent to market research studies that range from focus groups to one-on-one interviews and from mystery shopping to long-term online studies. 

Sessions can range from 30 minutes to 3 hours, and the minimum incentive offered by most companies is R 300.00. Every now and again, a voucher is offered as the incentive to participate instead of cold hard cash. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to take part in those types of projects. 

Online Market Research 

While you won’t make nearly as much money doing online studies as you would if you did an in-person one, the benefits speak for themselves. For starters, there’s no cap on how many studies you can take part in and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.

Unfortunately, since it’s a relatively unregulated area there are numerous online survey sites that are as scammy as can be. I’m testing what feels like 20 million sites at the moment and I will NEVER recommend a site unless I have successfully made money with them. 

So far, I have a few solid favourites which I’ll list in order of preference and frequency of cashouts. I’ve safely cashed out of:

  • MOBROG
  • Toluna
  • Valued Opinions
  • The Panel Station (Use code 5BNHLE when signing up to get 500 points credited to your account — that’s 500 points closer to a cash-out– and the moment you’ve created your profile you get your own little code to share with your friends and fam. Cool, eh?) 

At some point in the near future, I’ll be writing a whole post about making money with online surveys and I’ll also be listing ALL of the credible sites I know of — as well as those that are complete scams. If that’s something you’re interested in be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.     

3. Become a Virtual Assistant 

We’re living in a virtual era where online fatigue is — unfortunately — a very real thing that most struggle with. Many busy business owners have a mindset of “Why should I do it myself when I can pay someone else to do it for me?” 

That’s where virtual assistants swoop in to save the day. 

Virtual assistants simply do the things that other people cannot, or do not have the time, to do themselves. This can be anything from managing someone’s Facebook page to responding to emails and from generating new business to answering calls. 

The average salary of a virtual assistant in South Africa is R 8,299.00 — with some VAs charging up to R 300.00 an hour! The beauty of becoming a virtual assistant is that you don’t need any qualifications or previous experience, just certain skills and some free time. 

If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant, Talia from AdminLink has a fantastic guide that will talk you through the step-by-step process of becoming a virtual assistant. This guide is also full of incredible (and most of the time, free!) resources that you can use to become the best VA you can be, and before you know it you’ll have landed your first client. 

Because Talia knows the struggle first hand, this guide is available for just R 50.00. You can get yours by sending an email to talia@adminlink.co.za   

4. Turn Your Hobby Into a Career 

Do you have a natural talent for cooking or baking? Are you a seasoned knitter with a stash full of patterns you’ve always wanted to try? Can you turn a bunch of flowers from your garden into a beautiful bouquet? Is your Kukkutasana comparable to that of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya?

If you have a hobby that you’re good at and are passionate about, why not attempt to make a bit of money from it? I know that this side hustle suggestion may seem a little broad, but there are many people out there who simply don’t have the time or skill to pursue their own hobbies and would love to help support yours. 

I’m a member of a RIDICULOUS amount of Facebook Groups. As a result, I’m constantly seeing posts looking for people who can offer a handmade product or personalised service of some type. These posts are typically looking for people who can:

  • Bake birthday or celebratory cakes 
  • Knit blankets 
  • Crochet animal toys
  • Create custom dresses 
  • Assist with screen repairs 
  • Offer photoshoots
  • Build wooden chopping boards, desks, or side tables.

5. Sell Photos of Your Feet

I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. If you’ve got a pretty pair of feet, you stand to make a pretty penny. While we live in a really weird world where these photos will be used for unsavory purposes, most of the time foot photos are simply used to sell foot-related products or for usage in blog posts. Kinda like this one!

While this is not something I personally do (#fionafeet) I’ve heard that it can be quite a lucrative side hustle with some people making thousands of rand a month. According to my research, and the inside scoop of an acquaintance who swore me to secrecy, the best sites to sell photos of your feet on are Instafeet and FeetFinder

Whackadoodles indeed, my friends, whackadoodles indeed.

6. Offer Translation Services 

Kan jy lekker Afrikaans praat? Uyasithetha isiXhosa? Spreek jij Nederlands? Then this one’s for YOU. There is a surprising demand for translators of all languages — and of all levels of experience. 

To be a translator, you need to be fluent in English as well as another language. Of course, having a Bachelor’s Degree in one of those languages helps you land better-paying gigs but the only real requirement is that you can read, write, and speak at least two languages. 

A quick Google search will reveal a bunch of open translator job opportunities in your area, but I have noticed that most of the vacancies are either full-time positions (which doesn’t really make for the best side hustle) or for those with qualifications. 

Because of the above, I recommend joining any or all of the following platforms and listing your services here:

7. Become a Freelancer

Do you have a knack for writing or some serious graphic designing skills? Are you an Adobe Photoshop expert or someone who knows their way around Asana? Have you ever been told you have a voice for radio? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, I’ve got news for you. Your unused marketable skill is a potential goldmine on a platform like Upwork. How it works is simple: you join the site, create your profile, begin applying for jobs that suit your skillset, and start making money. 

Simple pimple. 

Unlike almost all of the other side hustle options on this list, using Upwork is not totally free. While it costs nothing to sign up, once your initial batch of free credits runs out you do have to purchase more to continue applying for jobs, and Upwork takes a commission from every successful job you complete.  

While Upwork’s fee can be frustrating, as well as the fact that you pay in USD when purchasing credits, you stand to make the most money on this platform. It is well worth it. I know someone whose entire business runs exclusively on Upwork and I can guarantee you that — dodgy exchange rate or not — he smiles his way to the bank every two weeks.  

8. Sell Your Shizz  

If you know what I’ve been up to lately, you’ll know that the pandemic hit my family particularly hard and we found ourselves having to move to a more affordable home. 

As we were packing, we realised that we would need to get rid of stuff around the house for two reasons: 1) we needed to make money to pay for the moving company and 2) we wouldn’t have enough space for all of our stuff in our new garden cottage. 

While we donated a bunch of stuff to underprivileged mothers and their kids, we knew we had to make some cash back to help us move. Guys, in just one week we made just over R 7,000.00 almost exclusively through Facebook Marketplace.

A big chunk of the moola we made came from selling “big” items including our lounge suite, TV, and Arabella’s compactum. The rest of it was made up of selling mine and Arabella’s shoes and clothes that we no longer wear, baby gear, receiving blankets (I had about 1,000 to spare), and random household things like photo frames and candles. 

Join Facebook Community Groups and post your offering to locals in your area who won’t have a problem collecting. If you’re in the Johannesburg area and have baby goods you want to part with, you should look at joining Gauteng Baby and Toddler Seconds as that’s where most of ‘my buyers’ came from.    

Ready To Make Moola? 

And there you have it: 8 side hustles that work if you do. Now, none of these side hustles are going to make you a millionaire overnight. But they WILL provide you with an opportunity to make some much-needed extra ching.

If you know of any profitable side hustles that I haven’t included in today’s post, please get in touch with me so I can check them out and include them in my next Momma’s Money post. 

I’ll be back with a brand new post next Wednesday, so please consider subscribing if you aren’t already.

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