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23 July 2022
7 side hustles to keep you busy and earning this summer
Unsplash © Justin Veenema

7 side hustles to keep you busy and earning this summer

As the sun starts to shine more and the days get longer, it's the perfect time to think about ways to make the most out of summer. And what better way to do that than by generating some extra income? If you're looking for a way to earn some extra money or just want something fun to do in your spare time, then a side hustle is the perfect option.

There are loads of different ideas and options to choose from, so there’s sure to be one perfect for your schedule, skillset and preferences. Here are seven side hustles that are perfect for summer.

#1 Offer freelance services, such as writing, design, or programming

If you have an in-demand skill like web or graphic design, copywriting or programming, but your day job prevents you from pursuing a career in it, then your summer vacation is the perfect time to start and use your skills to make some extra money on the side. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as offering your services on sites like Fiverr or Upwork or going directly to clients through personal networking and online job boards.

What you’ll need to set up

When starting a skill-based freelance business, your profile and portfolio are the two most important things to nail. A well-written profile with a well-taken picture can mean the difference between recruiters stopping to take a look or skipping right over you.

The portfolio is where most new freelancers hit a wall. If you’ve never used your skills professionally before, you may not have a list of past successful jobs to show off. However, most people have a lot to show off but don’t realise it. Perhaps you coded a personal website for yourself or a friend, or perhaps you’ve been drawing unique designs on your computer for as long as you can remember. What matters is that you have something you crafted yourself and that you can show to potential clients.

If you don’t have anything to show, don’t worry! You can just whip up something for the occasion. For example, if you’re a copywriter interested in a particular job that requires writing about tech, you can take a couple of hours to write a post on a similar topic to show off your skills. The piece’s relevance could be the tipping point that turns the scale in your favour.

How much can you expect to earn?

Freelancing can be much more than a side hustle. Depending on your skills and experience, you can make anything from a couple of hundred dollars in a month to several thousand.

What’s important is to set your rates based on your level of experience and the type of work you’re offering.

#2 Start a newsletter or a consulting service

If you’re an expert in your field, whether that’s digital marketing, sustainability, investing or anything else, then you can use your knowledge to make some extra money on the side as a consultant or by starting a newsletter where you offer periodic professional advice and insights into different industries. It doesn’t matter what field you specialise in, there will always be someone who has questions and needs answers to become better at what they do, so you’ll always find a market for your advice.

Many businesses use either of these business models, from world-acclaimed investment newsletters to high-level business management consulting firms.

What you’ll need to set up

If you’re offering your services as a consultant, the most important thing you need is a well-crafted pitch. You’ll use this to sell your services to potential clients, so it needs to be clear, concise and persuasive. You should also have a solid understanding of your target market and what they’re looking for in a consultant.

To get started, send out feelers to see if anyone is interested in your services. You can do this by emailing or calling companies in your industry or attending relevant events and seminars.

To start a newsletter, the most important thing you need is a large email list. You can grow your list organically by writing great content and promoting it on social media (Facebook now has over 2.895 billion monthly active users), or you can use paid ads to get a large number of subscribers quickly.

Once you have a sizeable email list, your next step is to set up a system for delivering your content. This can be as simple as using MailChimp or a similar service to send your newsletter weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.

How much can you expect to earn?

If you’re offering your services as a consultant, you can charge anywhere from $50 to $500 per hour, depending on your experience level and the type of client you’re working with.

For newsletters, the amount you can earn will depend on the size of your email list and the type of content you offer.

#3 Provide tech support to seniors and other computer-challenged individuals

If you’re tech-savvy and patient, then providing tech support to seniors and other computer-challenged individuals can be a great way to earn some extra money on the side. Many seniors are using computers more and more to stay connected with family and friends, especially during summer vacation when most people have more free time. However, they often need help setting up new devices or troubleshooting problems. That’s where you come in!

You can offer your services to relatives, neighbours and acquaintances or advertise them in local newspapers or online. You can also approach senior living facilities and offer your services to their residents. They’ll love the extra company!

What you need to set up

To get started, you need a computer and a willingness to help people with whatever tech-related issue they’re having. You can also take online courses to learn how to fix common issues with popular devices like iPhones, laptops and others.

How much can you expect to earn?

You can charge anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour for your services, depending on the type of support you’re offering, on the lower end if it’s only about teaching them how to open a Facebook account or something similar, and on the higher end if it involves updating the device’s OS, installing apps and teaching them how to use them, etc.

#4 Develop an online course teaching a skill you have mastered

If you’re an expert in a particular subject or skill, why not share your knowledge with the world by developing an online course? You may have enough time during the summer to write down and plan your lessons. Perhaps you can even record some of the videos in the open, in a park or anywhere you can take advantage of the beautiful weather and sunny days.

With the rise of online learning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare, developing and selling courses on a wide range of topics has never been easier. Some ideas of things you could teach that are particularly popular during the summer are:

  • Latin dancing
  • Courses on fitness and exercise
  • Barbecue and grilling
  • Gardening
  • Summer fashion
  • Travel hacking

The best thing about this idea is that, once you finish your course and you publish it, it becomes a source of passive income.

What you need to set up

To get started, you only need a computer and an internet connection. You’ll also need to create some instructional materials, which can be as simple as PowerPoint presentations, screencasts and documents like PDFs with the course material, or as complex as full-fledged video courses. Once your course material is ready, you can sign up for a platform like Udemy or Skillshare and start marketing your course.

How much can you expect to earn?

As a course creator on platforms like Skillshare, you get paid per minute your students watch your course material. Rates vary from $0.05 to around $0.10 per minute, meaning that if you create a 1-hour long course and manage to sell it to 100 people during the summer, you can stand to earn anywhere from $300 to $600.

#5 Become a tourist guide in your city

If you’re outgoing and love meeting new people, becoming a tourist guide in your city can be a great way to earn extra cash during the summer. Tourist season is usually when cities are bustling with visitors, so there’ll be plenty of work around. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to show off your city and share your favourite places with others.

What you need to set up

To get started, you only need a good knowledge of your city and its attractions. You can also sign up for a tour guide certification program many tourist boards or organisations offer. Once certified, you can start marketing your services to tourists and tour operators.

How much can you expect to earn?

This depends on many factors, but the most important one is location. If you live in a tourist hot spot close to great beaches and other attractions, you can usually negotiate a much better rate than in smaller towns that receive fewer visitors. Tour guides usually charge per day or person, and rates can range from around $50 to $200 per day.

#6 Teach primitive survival skills

If you’re the outdoorsy type and have a knack for primitive survival skills, you can share your knowledge with others by teaching them how to build a shelter, find food and water in the wild, and start a fire without matches. This is the perfect summer side hustle for those who love spending time in nature.

What you need to set up

To get started, all you need is basic camping gear and a good knowledge of survival skills. Becoming familiar with the surroundings where you plan to take your students is very important to ensure everyone is safe and you can evacuate them if necessary, even during the night. You could also sign up for a wilderness survival certification program to make your services more credible.

How much can you expect to earn?

This depends on the course length and the number of students, but you could be looking at anywhere from $100 to $300 per day.

Bonus idea: Set the foundations for a remote business

There are many different types of businesses that you can run remotely even if you’re working a normal nine-to-five job. However, even if you can easily manage a remote business that is already up and running in parallel to your regular job, setting up a business for success requires more time than you’ll probably have at your disposal when you have to go to work every day.

Consequently, summer vacation can be the perfect time to start working on your business foundation, developing your product or service, creating a marketing strategy or putting together a business plan. While this isn’t exactly a side hustle and won’t bring you some extra income right away, it has the potential to become a steady source of income all year round if you do things right.

Some businesses that you can easily run remotely include:

  • Dropshipping services
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content creation services
  • Travel planning
  • Personal shopping
  • IT and web development
  • Social media consulting, and more.

What you need to set up

To get started, you first need a clear idea of what business you want to start and what type of foundations you need to put in place. This will vary depending on the business but could include things like market research, financial projections and a marketing plan. Many online businesses also benefit from hiring or setting up a virtual mailbox like iPostal1 that provides a professional-looking business address where they can receive incoming physical mail. This increases potential clients’ confidence and removes the hassle and stress of receiving your business mail at home.

How much can you expect to earn?

There’s no clear way to answer this question because it clearly depends on the type of business you’re starting and how much time you dedicate to it. We can say, though, that if you can get your business off the ground by the end of summer, you could be looking at a very healthy return that increases over time. Eventually, it may become your main source of income, allowing you to quit your day job.

The bottom line

Summer is the perfect time to take on a side hustle – you have more free time and plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash. We’ve listed six different side hustles that are perfect for summer and also gave you a bonus tip on how you can make the most out of your summer vacation. Not only will you earn some extra money, but you’ll also gain valuable experience and skills that can help you grow your regular income stream. Whether you’re interested in teaching primitive survival skills or starting a remote business, what’s important is that you start taking action towards your goal.  And if those weren’t enough ideas for you, here are even more side hustle ideas to make extra money.  So, no excuses!

So what are you waiting for? Pick a side hustle and get started today!