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Profitable Side Hustles: How to Make Money on the Side

Updated: Apr 27

profitable side hustles, making money in college, profitable hobby businesses, starting a business
College Side Hustles. Potential Ways to Money in College

Side Hustle Ideas

Juggling academics, social life, and the need for some extra cash? Welcome to the world of side hustles, tailor-made for college students looking to make the most out of their time in school. From leveraging your academic skills to exploring the entrepreneurial route, this guide details how you can initiate and succeed in a side hustle.

1. Tutoring

Ask yourself what skills you're good at. Are you a math whiz? A prodigy in coding? A virtuoso on the violin? Use these skills to help others achieve their academic or personal goals.

How to Get Started

  • Online Platforms: Use Chegg Tutors or Wyzant to connect with students.

  • Campus Resources: Colleges often have academic centers looking for tutors.

  • Bulletin Boards & Forums: Advertise on campus or online forums specific to your college.

  • Social Media: Use your networks to spread the word.

  • Community Centers: Libraries and community centers often offer tutoring services.

Earning Potential

Expect to charge anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour.

2. Graphic Design

Creating visual content like logos, social media graphics, or promotional items serves businesses and individual clients alike.

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How to Get Started

  • Software: Master Adobe Illustrator or use free options like Canva.

  • Portfolio: Create a portfolio to showcase your designs.

  • Freelancing Platforms: Sites like 99designs offer numerous opportunities.

Earning Potential

Rates can range from $25 to $150 per design.

3. Drop shipping

Engage in e-commerce by selling products without the need to handle inventory or shipping, which is managed by a third-party supplier.

How to Get Started

  • Platform: Use Shopify or WooCommerce to set up an online store.

  • Market Research: Identify profitable niches and suppliers.

  • Social Media Ads: Use advertising to draw traffic to your store.

Earning Potential

Some successful dropshippers earn $1000+ per month.

4. Social Media Management

With brands and individuals increasingly valuing their online presence, managing social media accounts is more critical than ever.

How to Get Started

  • Portfolio: Start small, managing a friend’s or family member’s business accounts to build a portfolio.

  • Pitching: Directly reach out to local businesses or startups.

  • Freelancing Sites: Use platforms like Upwork to find gigs.

Earning Potential

You can earn between $15 to $50 per hour.

5. Web Development

From small blogs to large-scale e-commerce sites, web development encompasses the creation and maintenance of websites.

How to Get Started

  • Learn Coding: Master languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Templates: Use WordPress or Squarespace for simpler projects.

  • Portfolio: Build a portfolio site to showcase your work.

Earning Potential

Depending on the project, you can make $50 to $200 or more.

6. Selling on eBay

Capitalizing on the online resale market, you can source undervalued items and resell them on eBay for a profit.

How to Get Started

  • Research: Understand what items sell well on eBay.

  • Initial Inventory: Begin by selling unused items around your home.

  • Product Sourcing: Look for inexpensive items to resell at a profit.

Earning Potential

You could make a few hundred to several thousand dollars a month.

7. Amazon FBA

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) allows you to sell products directly to consumers using Amazon's robust distribution network.

How to Get Started

  • Market Research: Identify niche products with high demand and low competition.

  • Supplier Research: Locate reliable suppliers.

  • Amazon Seller Account: Set up your account and send inventory to Amazon.

Earning Potential

Some sellers make thousands per month, and a few even turn it into a full-time business.

8. Freelance Writing (with a Caveat)

Freelance writing covers a spectrum of content creation, including blog posts, essays, research articles, and product descriptions. While AI technologies like GPT-3 and GPT-4 can produce content, human-generated articles are often preferred for their nuanced understanding, creativity, and emotional context.

How to Get Started

  • Freelancing Platforms: Sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are excellent platforms to start.

  • Networking: Don’t overlook the power of networking through social media or academic seminars.

  • Pitching: Directly pitch to digital magazines, blogs, or any platform that needs writers.

Earning Potential

Rates vary from $20 to $200 per article or more based on the complexity and client budget.


Whether you're tutoring, freelancing, or stepping into the e-commerce world, there's a side hustle out there for you. These side gigs offer not just pocket money but valuable life skills and work experience. With proper time management, you can balance academics and a profitable side hustle to make the most of your college experience. Aim high, start small, and who knows? Your side hustle today could be your empire tomorrow.

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