9 Profitable Side Hustles
for College Students
Being a college student is hard. When I was in school, I didn’t have any scholarships and dreaded the idea of going into more student loan dept. I wasn’t able to pay my rent, car payment, insurances, gas, food, and tuition without working 45+ hours at a minimum wage job while being a full time student. So, I had to come up with a way to make enough money while having time to study and have a social life. My answer: side hustles.
Several years later, I turned my side hustle into a full-time job and content marketing agency! Here are a few side hustles I did as a full-time college student. You may be able to make money right away with some of them, but you will have to put in the time to market yourself with others. These are not “get rich quick” schemes; they’re a marathon!
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This is a great way to make money if you need some immediately. Be prepared that if you’re living in a busy area, you most likely won’t make any money! Food delivery services like Doordash will have a $3 delivery base for every order, plus you get to keep 100% of the tips! Doordash also offers promotions up to an extra $8/delivery ($3 base pay + $4 tip + $8 promotion = $15 for that one delivery!) during busy times, so you can definitely make over $400/week with only 15 hours of work.
You can work around your schedule, choose the orders you deliver, listen to music, and bring whoever you want with you!
However, you have to take gas and mileage into consideration. You may only earn $6 for 2 hours of work, or you could earn $100+. Nothing is guaranteed, so keep that in mind. Also, if you’re a woman, be aware of your surroundings. Change your name to a male or unisex name, and always have someone with you in the car! Be safe out there! If you wonder if food delivery is worth it, read this article!
Resell Unwanted Items
Another excellent side hustle for college students is to resell items! Have clothes that don’t fit anymore? What about random household items that are just taking up space? Consider reselling them on second-hand stores like Poshmark or Depop! This is an introvert’s dream because you barely have to communicate with anyone! Just ensure you describe your item accurately, price it truthfully, and package it nicely. Some people make this their full-time job, so it’s possible to make some good money from it! My biggest tip is to engage often.
Babysitting and nannying are great ways to have a consistent income with a rate that you set yourself. Check out local Facebook groups in your area and search for the word “babysitter” or “nanny.” Doing this will allow you to see who needs help! Send them a message or email them with your experience/desire to help them,
I was a babysitter and nanny as a teenager, and my biggest tip is always to clean up before the parents come home! If the parents walk into their house and see that their home is even cleaner than before they left, that’s almost a guarantee that they’ll hire you again (of course, ensuring their child is safe is important too).
I also recommend that before you start with them, the parent gets a camera inside the house so they can watch their child. This is for them and you. Sometimes, kids can be…well, kids. They lie and make up stupid things. This camera is a witness to everything that happens, so you can refer the parent to any footage that the child is claiming. It also allows the parents to feel more comfortable with you as their babysitter, as they can also ensure you’re not being dishonest.
You can set your own rates, work around your schedule, and even network for future job opportunities!
If you’re really good at a subject, tutoring is a great way to earn money as a college student. Join local Facebook groups and mention your services. Reach out to your professors and let them know that if anyone’s struggling, they can contact you. Set your own rates and schedule!
If you don’t have the time and energy to put into your side hustle as a college student, you can always join agencies and websites that allow you to offer your services with them, and they do the marketing for you. Most of these platforms either have a membership fee or will take a percentage out of your earnings. However, you can save a lot of time from marketing! Here is a list of 15 best online tutoring platforms you can consider joining.
Being a freelance writer means you write website content, blogs and articles, and sometimes even ads. You can join freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr. These will take a percentage out of your earnings, and there is very high competition. I recommend joining Facebook groups, reaching out to local businesses around you, and even joining writing agencies.
This is a great way to build up your resume and experience while making enough money to sustain you through college. If you join an agency, you most likely won’t be able to choose your own rate, but if you find your own clients, you certainly will! Choose how many projects you take on while studying full-time.
This was what I did when I was a college student! It’s grown into an agency, and I absolutely love what I do. If you love organizing, have a “learn on the go” attitude, and love helping people, becoming a virtual assistant is a great side hustle for college students.
A virtual assistant is someone who helps small business owners who have too many tasks on their plate. If their email inbox is overwhelming, you can organize and answer it for them. If they need to create email templates to send to their clients, that’s something a virtual assistant would do.
Charge your own rate and work with as many clients as you want. I started charging $35/hour because you have to pay your own taxes and own software, so really it came out to about $20/hour. The only downside is that you have to invest a lot of time into marketing your services.
Reaching out to people via Facebook groups, local businesses, and friends and family can take a lot of time. You can always join an agency and be a subcontractor. If you don’t have any experience whatsoever, an agency is a great place to start, but they won’t pay you as much. If you’re serious about virtual assisting and considering growing into an agency, invest in a course. I took The Virtual Savvy System course and signed with my first client within a week of buying it!
Sell Digital Products
If you’re creative or tech-savvy, creating and selling digital products is a great way to build passive income as a college student. Create a digital planner, maybe a study excel sheet for other college students, or even sell your own artwork!
You can use platforms like Etsy to sell your products. Set your own price, don’t pay for shipping, and only handle customer service! Be prepared that Etsy takes $0.20 for each item you list, and a 6.5% transaction fee for every sale. You can also create your own website and sell on Shopify, but you have to pay for a monthly plan and your own marketing.
If you want to do really well, make sure you use relevant keywords on Etsy and/or your own website. Social media marketing is also recommended to get the reach, target audience, and gain customers’ trust! It is possible to do this as a side hustle in college, but this is not a “get rich quick” scheme. Be prepared to invest your time and energy into this!
Social Media Management
Becoming a social media manager is much like becoming a virtual assistant. You will need to invest your time into learning these skills and becoming confident in it! There are tons of free content out there on YouTube. You can also invest in a course as well, but I only recommend you do this if you’re serious about becoming a social media manager.
The Virtual Savvy offers a tech course with 50+ mini-courses from experts who break down high-end skills so you can offer them to your clients. I learned how to build a website, do Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook management and marketing, how to do SEO, and even how to become a better copywriter! It was definitely worth my investment, but only because I knew I would make this my full-time job. If you only want to become a social media manager to get through school, I recommend sticking with free content on YouTube.
Marketing your social media management skills is much like marketing as a virtual assistant. Join Facebook groups, contact family and friends, look into agencies, and even reach out to small businesses.
Photography is another great side hustle for college students if you already have the equipment you need! Scale your skills by following YouTube tutorials, and even offer to shadow a few successful local photographers if you don’t have the skills already.
Set your own rates and schedule, but be prepared that there is a lot of marketing involved. You most likely won’t have a lot of high-paying opportunities when you start, but by the time you’re about to finish school, you could be earning several thousand dollars a month!
Reach out to friends and family to take their photos, join local Facebook groups and offer your services, post and engage on social media, and make sure you give an incentive for your clients to refer you! That’s the best way to grow by word of mouth.
Everybody’s skills and goals are different, so be sure to choose a side hustle you love! And remember, this isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.
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