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5 side hustle ideas that can help boost your income

By Fi Darby

Full-time earnings are increasing  in Australia with the average full-time weekly wage now at just over $1,604. During this time, ACT and WA topped the earnings scale. The thought of having more available income has to be tempting and with today’s online technology and training options, it is easier to earn that little bit extra. 

We look at five side hustle ideas and how you can make these work for you. Whether you decide to spend your additional money on a lifestyle boost or save it for a dream holiday, a side hustle will give you a whole new set of personal skills and ideas, as well as the self-confidence to perhaps one day take on a brand new career.

5 side hustle ideas to get you started

  1. Virtual assistant.
  2. Social media marketing.
  3. Web design.
  4. Events management.
  5. Holistic therapy.

1. Virtual assistant.

Make yourself useful as a virtual assistant.

In today’s fast-paced business world, many business owners who wouldn’t previously have required a traditional administrator or personal assistant, find themselves in need of help to manage a whole range of business-related activities. 

This is where a virtual assistant can step up to the mark, and the good news is that you won’t have to limit your clients to those in Australia. With time zone differences, you will be able to work whenever it suits you.

You will need:
  • A computer with solid broadband speed and connection.
  • Word processing and spreadsheet software (and the skills to use them).
  • A business email address (and the ability to regularly check this).
  • Cloud storage (for example Dropbox).
  • A calendar app to help you keep yourself (and your clients) organised.
  • A website and social media network to market your skills.
  • A willingness to learn, particularly with regard to business administration skills.
Virtual assistant work can be found on a range of online jobs boards including Upwork, FlexJobs and Fiverr.

2. Social media marketing.

social media concept

Get social with a few marketing skills.

With social media management tools such as Hootsuite, Sendible and Social Sprout, you don’t necessarily need to be available during business hours to manage a range of social media accounts. This means that if you’ve already experienced success with personal social media tools, you can offer the same service to businesses.

You will need:
  • A computer with solid broadband speed and connection.
  • A social media management platform (and the skills to use it).
  • Some basic training in marketing and communication.
  • A business email address (and regular access to it).
  • A decent camera to capture inspirational shots.
  • An eye for a great story.
  • An understanding of how to build solid, organic social media followings.
Some marketing companies employ part-time or freelance social media marketers but work can also be found on online jobs boards such as Upwork and Guru.

3. Web design.

Utilise your flair for web design.

It is pretty impossible to imagine a business that does not need a website. We live and work in a digital world and marketing success depends on having a successful web presence. 

This is where learning a few web design skills might become useful. A website needs to function and look great and, with tools such as WordPress, Wix and Weebly available, learning how to achieve this is the first step to turning your love of design in a successful side hustle.

You will need:
  • A computer with solid broadband speed and connection.
  • A working knowledge of website design software.
  • Website development skills (some knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript is useful).
  • A flair for design (and the know-how to apply this to digital media).
  • A decent camera (to enhance website visuals).
  • An understanding of inbound marketing (in particular SEO).
  • Your own stand-out website and the beginnings of a portfolio.
Sometimes the best way to get yourself known as a website developer is to offer your services for free in return for a bit of promotion. A quality job will sell itself, so don’t be afraid to approach businesses with design ideas if you can see where improvement is needed. 

A portfolio and strong social media presence including a LinkedIn profile are going to be important here but it is also worth searching online job boards such as Guru and Upwork to get yourself started.

4. Events management.

red chairs in large hall

Become an expert in events management.

Many of the events that require an event manager happen on the weekend, which means that if you already have some hospitality or project management skills, you will be well-placed to give part-time event management a go. 

If you have organised your own event and feel that this went really well, have a think about whether or not you could fit a bit of event management in around your day job.

You will need:
  • A problem-solving approach.
  • An up-to-date and useful set of contacts (caterers, venues, equipment etc.).
  • An event portfolio (get involved with events and start to showcase your work).
  • Training in event coordination and operations management.
  • The freedom to respond to enquiries as necessary.
  • An excellent set of organisation and communication skills.
By far the best way to get started as an events manager is to work alongside an experienced one. Offer your services and explain that you want to learn more about the role. 

Start small and plan events for family and friends and start building your portfolio and promote it on social media and your website.

5. Holistic therapy.

Help others with a bit of holistic therapy.

As the pressures of modern life increase, more and more people are turning to holistic or complementary therapies to help them manage their mental, emotional and physical health. 

If you have an interest in alternative remedies or maybe have helped friends with them, you might be pleased to find out that this could turn into a lucrative side hustle and boost your income.

You will need:
  • Specific holistic therapy qualifications (herbal medicine, naturopathy, nutritional medicine etc.).
  • Appropriate certification for certain therapies (including acupuncture and Chinese medicine).
  • Membership of a recognised Australian professional association (for example ANTA).
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • A calm and methodical approach.
  • An understanding of the human body and mind.
  • The ability to organise appointments.
  • A premises from which to operate or a mobile set up.
Once you have gained appropriate qualifications and joined a complementary therapies professional association, your name can be added to a database of practitioners in your area but this needs to be supported by a website that demonstrates your offering and experience. 

Ask friends and family to give you positive reviews as you help them, and start to build your experience and reach.

Need to expand your skills to grow your income?

If you’re looking to expand your skillset and want to grow your income, the best way to do it is by studying a course that can help you gain the qualifications you need to get a move along with your passion project or freelance career.

Upskilled offers plenty of courses in marketing, business and information technology, and most of them are self-paced and delivered online. This means you can gain a qualification without compromising your current schedule of work and other personal life commitments. 

Most courses can be completed within 12 months, giving you ample time to kickstart your career as soon as possible. Start your course search today and discover how online studying can help you grow your side hustle effectively. 
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