Are you searching for side hustle ideas with low startup cost?
Well, don’t worry anymore!
Because through this guide, we’ll show you 15 highly profitable side hustle ideas that you can start with little to no startup costs.
1. Starting a Blog
No side hustle beats starting a blog!
This blog you are reading right now brings me a decent passive income every month on auto-pilot.
Why is blogging the most recommended idea?
Because it’s a crazy profitable business.
It’s a passive income idea. You publish a blogpost once and earn from that forever. I’ll earn an income from the ads & affiliate links in this post till the time this website is up and running. It’s a do once earn forever method of making money.
It’s very easy to set-up a blog. Back 2-3 decades ago, setting up a blog was a highly technical job. You had to learn how to code and design. It’s not the case today. Well, most people still feel that making a website or a blog means coding, testing, and stuff.
Well, it’s wrong. You can literally start a blog in 30 minutes and design it using readymade themes and templates in a couple of hours. We have a detailed guide that will handhold you on how to start a successful blog and make money from it. You can read it below:
And coming to the most important part, it’s a highly affordable business idea. It’s hardly a $50 business.
It’s one of a kind business that requires hardly $50 in annual investment and can potentially generate thousands of dollars in monthly income!
If you are looking for side hustles with low startup cost, starting a blog should be your number 1 priority. It’s an affordable, simple, profitable & a highly scalable business idea.
People misunderstand blogging to be a tedious, technical-intensive side hustle, but in reality, it’s the opposite. It’s a simple & highly exciting work.
I highly recommend you to test the blogging waters if you haven’t tried your hand at it. It wouldn’t cost you much, but can literally set you up for life if you succeed!
2. Becoming a Proofreader
Another exciting and low-cost side hustle idea is to become a proofreader.
As a proofreader, your job would be to read text content, identify mistakes in it and correct it. If you are someone who likes finding errors in thing or enjoy reading (or enjoy making a good amount of money doing something simple, haha), you would enjoy being a proofreader.
Another important point is the freedom offered by this side hustle. You’ll get to choose your own work time, you can work from anywhere and be your own boss essentially.
And how low cost a side hustle is proofreading?
All you need to do is to get trained to identify mistakes in writing. From grammatical errors to punctuation mistakes, your job would be to identify and rectify them.
You can also earn north of $20 per hour as a beginner proofreader and above $50 per hour as you start gaining experience.
Wondering where you can learn how to be a proofreader?
The founder of Proofread Anywhere, Caitlin Pyle, used to make more than $40K every year through proofreading alone. She is conducting a free workshop where you’ll be taken through the secrets she learned over the years and learn how to become a successful proofreader.
3. Become a Transcriptionist
Another side hustle idea with low startup cost is to become a transcriptionist.
As a transcriptionist, you will be transcribing audio & video to text content. From transcribing YouTube videos to podcast episodes, there are many avenues to make money from this method.
You can also find legal and medical transcription opportunities as well. This hustle will also offer you time and location freedom, ie, it’s up to you when to work, how much to work, how much to charge for your service, and where to work from. What more does a person need!
Overall, becoming a transcriptionist is one of the best side hustles with low startup cost.
4. Starting a YouTube Channel
One cannot complete a list of side hustles with low startup cost without talking about YouTube.
Well, as you would have guessed, it’s a totally free business to get started with. You can start a YouTube channel for free.
But the competition today is intense. The barriers to entry is quite low in YouTube. There is no budget needed (free means everyone will give a try), there is no technical set-up needed (we can set up a channel in a few minutes), there is less designing skills needed, etc.
In essence, pretty much everyone will give YouTube a try, unlike blogging. You have to build a good quality channel to rank in today’s YouTube ecosystem. But if you can pull that off, crazy riches await you on the other side.
And in reality, YouTube cannot be called a free business as well anymore. Because you need a good quality camera, good editing software (like Adobe Premiere Pro), designing software like Canva, etc. And these cost money.
So, the reality of YouTube ecosystem today is that you’ll have to invest in some good gear and create very high-quality videos to stay competitive.
But it’s still on the top of side hustles with low startup cost. That’s for sure!
5. Starting a Podcast
Another low-cost side hustle idea is to start a podcast.
Again, podcasting can also be free, but in order to be a successful podcaster, you’ll have to invest in a good microphone. That’s a key thing most people forget.
Whether you wish to be a YouTuber or a Podcaster, do not forget to invest in good gear. If your video doesn’t have good clarity, people are going to skip it.
If people can’t hear what you are saying clearly, no one’s gonna listen in. And even if they do, they will not understand what you’re saying clearly.
So, these side hustle ideas are definitely low-cost and needs a small starting capital only, but the fact is that, they do need a very small starting capital so that you can do better than the competition.
If you ask, don’t people build successful podcasts recording from their mobile phones, the answer is, yes, some people do succeed. But that’s a small proportion of the total list of successful podcasters. A majority of them succeeded because they did what many others were reluctant to do.
I’m sorry if I went off topic a bit, but the goal was to convey the idea that low cost side hustles and no cost side hustles are different. The barrier set by low cost (could be a couple of dollars even) is huge. People at heart are reluctant to invest in an idea (or even in themselves). A majority of people look for free avenues and things just don’t work that way. At least anymore.
Coming back to podcasting, it’s an excellent way to brand yourself and make money online. And is definitely one of the best side hustles with low startup costs.
You can listen to podcasts from
and others to understand the structure of successful podcasts.
6. Becoming a Freelancer
If you have an innate skill that you feel can be monetized, you can work as a freelancer. Be it copywriting, designing, video editing, content writing, drawing, singing, dancing, speaking, or whatever skill that you possess, you can sell it to earn money.
You can sell your services on platforms like
Businesses nowadays are hunting for experienced freelancers like crazy. In a world where anyone can be a freelancer and sell anything, the way to stand out is by offering high-quality service.
It’s an amazing side hustle idea that you can take up part-time. You can decide to provide the freelance service at night or in your free time. The freedom and flexibility offered by freelancing is highly attractive!
7. Publishing an E-Book (or a Paperback)
20 years back, could you even imagine publishing a book being a side hsutle idea?
And that too a side hustle idea with low startup cost?
What if I told you, it can even be a no-cost side hustle idea if are willing to put in some time?
In today’s world, publishing a book and bringing it to the eyeballs of thousands of customers have become quite an easy task. Kudos to Amazon for bringing in Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and changing the entire e-book landscape.
Through Amazon KDP, anyone can publish a book and sell it through Amazon with just a few clicks. All you have to do is to write that book. You can even convert e-books into paperbacks and sell through Amazon as well. If you have some expertise or experience that you want to share with the world in the form of a book, now’s the time.
It’s easy, affordable, and profitable.
Again, just like most ideas mentioned above, the competition in the publishing industry today is cutthroat. Now that anyone and everyone can write and publish a book, a lot of people started entering this industry. From low-content books to children’s books and short fictions, people are publishing a ton of highly niche books to get a small share of the e-book market (which is a lot of money actually!)
So, if you enjoy writing and have something to share with the world, do give it a try. You can really make money selling your own books and it’s not as hard as you would have thought!
8. Filling Surveys
You can make money by filling out surveys. As simple as that!
And this is a truly no-cost side hustle idea.
The income potential is less (you could probably make an extra $100 a month from this), but it’s a simple and easy way to make money online.
Who wouldn’t want an extra $100 every month on their pockets.
Especially if you are a student or teenager looking for side hustles with low startup cost, surveys are a perfect method for you.
You can make use of below services to earn money from surveys:
9. Become a Virtual Assistant
How about assisting someone or a business as a side hustle?
If you are up for it, you can become a virtual assistant.
Virtual Assistants (VAs) provide virtual support to businesses and individuals. From bookkeeping and administrative tasks to social media management, there are numerous services that you can provide as a VA.
And it doesn’t cost you any money to become a VA. Your key job would be to find high-paying clients for your services.
If you are wondering how to do that, Gina Horkey from the Horkey Handbook has a free workbook that’ll teach you the insider secrets of the VA industry. She used to earn more than $48,000 in side income as a virtual assistant while holding a full-time job. Her workbook will give you a good insight of the VA space.
10. Make Money From MIcro Jobs
If you wanna do something simple and make a couple hundred dollars every month, then you can perform micro jobs in Amazon Mechanical Turf and make money.
It’s a 24×7 on-demand platform where you can earn money doing simple tasks. It’s another simple side hustle with zero startup costs.
11. Teaching Online
If you are an expert in something (could be a subject like maths, physics, politics, etc, or a skill like photography, arts, dance, sports, etc), you can make money teaching online.
It’s another low-cost side hustle idea with immense earning potential. In this side hustle as well, you dictate how much you work, when you work and how much to charge.
There are two ways you can make money teaching, the first is to create and sell your own courses. You can do this through course marketplaces like Udemy, Skillshare, etc or by hosting your own courses (ie, building your own online school) through Teachable, Podia, etc.
Otherwise, you can teach directly through platforms like Chegg, Tutor.com, etc.
Either way, it’s a highly rewarding side hustle idea with minimum startup costs.
12. Flipping Flea Market Items
How about buying rare products from dollar stores and flipping it online for a decent income?
Sounds interesting to you?
If so, you can become a flea market flipper.
You will essentially be searching for flippable items in flea markets and dollar stores, buy them and sell them for a good profit.
Another one of the best side hustles with low startup cost, right!
And wondering where to learn the art of flea market flipping?
Rob Stephenson at Flea Market Flipper makes over $100,000 annually flipping flea market products. He has created a free workshop where he’ll teach you the A-Z of flea market flipping and how to become a successful flipper.
13. Selling Printables
Are you an artistic person or do you feel that you would make a good graphic designer?
If so, you could make money selling printables on platforms like Etsy and Amazon.
It might not sound lucrative, but printables are actually a highly profitable niche. From journals, diaries, and planners (could be for any niche – finance journal, budget planner, meal plan, personal diary, business diary, training journal, etc), printables are a highly lucrative yet low-cost side hustle idea.
It’s also a do once, earn forever model of business idea. Once you make a printable, you can sell it for as long as you want. And since printables are low content items (it’s mostly well designed book templates), it’s easy to create them as well.
14. Web and App Development
I know it sounds complex, but you must admit to the fact that web development and app development are two of the highest-paid jobs currently.
Almost every business needs a website. And quite a large chunk of them needs an app as well. If not for creation, but atleast for maintenance.
Let’s say you have a WordPress website that needs some customization, but you have no idea how to do it. What would you do?
You would go to some gig marketplace and find someone who can help you out right?
Or you would hire a proper agency. Or ask some friends who have a handle of WordPress. And this is just WordPress I talked about.
Now, think of your opportunities if you have a handle on HTML, CSS, PHP, Java, C, Python, and all. You would be in great demand.
And another great thing about development work is the location and time freedom it offers. You can provide some web development support at night as a side hustle apart from your regular full-time job. Your work, pay, timings, everything is under your control.
And wanna know something even more powerful?
Once you have done enough projects for different clients, you would have a great handle on some development space. And you can actually come up with your own products. It could be as simple as a WordPress plugin or theme or as complex as a full-fledged Content Management System. Your opportunities for starting something of your own skyrocket once you start working on multiple projects.
And what’s the best part about this side hustle?
It’s one of the best side hustles with low startup cost (or no startup costs maybe). Because coding information is pretty much free in today’s world. There are numerous blogs and YouTube channels from which you can learn nearly everything for free. It’s all about how much you practice, information is in your fingertips, for free.
15. Rent Your Things Online
From your rooms to cars to cameras, you can pretty much rent everything today. And earn a decent side income too.
If you are looking for low cost side hustle ideas, this is a powerful way to earn money. Airbnb offers you the platform to rent your rooms, HyreCar lets you rent your car, and Outdoorsy even lets you rent an RV!
And there are no costs involved here right?
You are renting things you already own but were not using. That’s a real example of smart thinking!
These are 15 side hustle ideas with low startup cost that you must definitely consider!
What’s our #1 recommendation?
It’s definitely to start a blog. It’s low-cost, exciting, simple and highly profitable.
or you can take up part-time freelancing, like becoming a proofreader. It offers you with time and location freedom and lets you be your own boss!
Have more low-cost side hustle ideas in mind?
Do let us know in the comment box below!