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7 side hustle ideas to start in 2021

By Fi Darby

There are no two ways about it, 2020 has been a strange year. The global pandemic has resulted in restricted travel and economic downturn. It has also created a rather volatile job market. For some of us, the prospect of a new career has become a necessity instead of a dream. Changes may turn out to be easier for those who already have a side hustle. Having more than one string to your bow has always been an advantage. Over the next few years, it could be vital. 

Have you thought about launching a side hustle to kick off the new year? SkillsTalk share our top 7 side-hustle ideas for 2021.

Top 7 side hustle ideas for 2021

  1. Creating and selling digital products.
  2. Online business.
  3. At-home fitness training.
  4. App development.
  5. Virtual Assistant.
  6. Local travel expert.
  7. Affliate Marketing.

1. Creating and selling digital products.

High quality digital downloads, on a subject of your choice, could be a great way to make money on the side. Consider infographics, e-books and even digital art. Topic examples include gardening, baking or crafting.

As work patterns flex, people are finding more time for hobbies. This side hustle is a great way to share and profit from your existing knowledge.

By honing your digital and social media techniques, you could find yourself with a new career in marketing or even online training. Marketing managers currently earn an average annual salary of $99,474 and work in a wide variety of industries. Marketing is one of Australia’s largest occupations (Source: JobOutlook).

The BSB40820 - Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication can complement your existing knowledge and assist you in doing your research and finding out what the competition looks like.  

2. Online business.

man smiling at smart phone

Selling your own or third-party products through an online business has never been easier. Opportunities to sell in this way have grown because more Australians are shopping online than ever before.

This is a side hustle that can effortlessly fit into your busy lifestyle. To make the most of your existing expertise, choose products or services to sell that you already understand.

There are so many options for online selling now available; you’re bound to find one that suits you. 

Many business managers develop their skills from the bottom up. As you grow your online business, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable business management skills. Business manager salaries vary but in Australia the average is $81,149 (Source: PayScale).

As your business develops, the BSB30120 - Certificate III in Business can help you define your target audience and sharpen your communication skills. It can also help you attract new customers and provide top-notch service.

3. At-home fitness training.

Charismatic at-home fitness training can take the form of online workouts, exercise advice or even one-to-one sessions. Think outside the box and don’t forget to consider general wellbeing and mental health as well.

This is a side hustle for our times. We still have limits imposed on our gyms and fitness classes. For many people, at-home fitness training continues to provide a great alternative.

As you'll be working with other people, you’ll have the opportunity to gain useful transferable skills. These include communication, organisation and motivational skills. All of which can look great on your resume.

To advertise your fitness training, you’ll need to develop your social media skills, as well as set up a website and blog. An online course in social media marketing help with this, and could lead to a marketing career. Demand for advertising and marketing professionals across Australia is predicted to have very strong future growth, so now would be a great time to get started.

4. App development. 

app development concept

When was the last time you did anything without an app?

People are always looking for the next motivating tech to brighten up their day. It would be great if you could use your own great app ideas to get your foot in the door for this exciting industry.

Whether you want to provide advice, products or even entertainment, developing an app is the perfect way to tap into new ideas and consumer desires.

Before you start developing your own app, you need to do some research. Find out what apps are already on the market and decide how you’re going to make yours stand out from the crowd.

To help you understand the processes involved in creating an app, it would be a good idea to hone your own programming and computer design skills via an online course.

Software and application developers are in high demand at the moment. With an average salary of $69,414 (Source: PayScale), who knows where success with your own app might take you.

5. Virtual Assistant. 

Virtual assistants do exactly what the title says. From appointments and emails to customer service and marketing. If you can do it well, someone will pay for your skills. Virtual assistants even complete specialist tasks such as advanced data entry, website administration and online research.

Organisations are currently open to the idea of remote workforces and online collaborations. Now is the perfect time to start selling your administrative skills. Virtual assistants in Australia earn between $20.43 and $41.37 an hour. 

To be a successful virtual assistant, you’ll need some top-notch administrative skills. One of the best ways to find out more is to visit a few online jobs boards and see which skills are most in demand.

As this side hustle expands, you could find yourself managing a successful small business. An online small business course can help you prepare for this.

Once you’ve seen success in your own small business, you might want to have a go at managing a larger one as a business manager. This is a well-paid role with an average salary of $110,496 a year (Source: Indeed).

6. Local travel expert.

Local travel experts create tourism resources and experiences for people who want to visit their local area. These could be anything from bespoke in-person tours to digital media resources.

With international travel still restricted, there’s bound to be a continued interest in discovering Australia. The local travel market offers fantastic opportunities if you enjoy exploring and are great at selling.

Before you start, you’ll need to check out a few key tourism statistics and review the competition. Try to work out what information is missing or how you can create your own niche. It would also be really advantageous to learn how to reach new audiences via an online communication and marketing skills course.

Once you’ve cut your teeth on your own local area, you could move on to helping other regional organisations promote themselves. This could lead to an exciting career in travel marketing. Marketing assistants earn an average salary of $58,828 a year in an industry that is predicted to have very strong future growth (Source: Indeed).

7. Affiliate Marketing. 

Affiliate marketing is simpler than it sounds. It’s a way of earning commission by promoting goods or services via links on your own website or social media.

This is an easy way to make money from your existing website or social following. Before you start, you’ll need to build your personal brand through regular blog posts and standout social media. One great way to learn how to do this is through an online social media marketing course.

This side hustle offers many opportunities for learning. For example, successful affiliate marketing relies on great content. You could opt for writing, video, podcasts or even all three. Learning how to create fantastic digital media is a great step into a rewarding career as a content strategist. 

Australia’s advertising and marketing industry has been predicted to have very strong growth. From this, the role of advertising and marketing professional attracts a great average salary of $81,099 (Source: GlassDoor).

Kickstart your new side hustle for 2021

By the end of 2020, you might be thinking of replacing your day job with a business that’s grown from your very own successful side-hustle. Upskilled offers a fantastic range of online training courses that are flexible and can be fit into an already busy lifestyle.

The world of work is emerging as a new and exciting place. We’re all changing the ways we spend our time and money. This may well be your greatest opportunity yet to take action on new ideas. Study hard, research hard, work hard, do whatever it takes.
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