The Side Hustles With The Most Opportunity In 2022

Having a side hustle is becoming as common as having a 9-5. With the pandemic facilitating the near-crash of the UK’s economy and the cost of living crisis continuing to worsen, Gen Z entrepreneurs are taking things into their own hands and turning their passions into profit. 

For those wondering what a side hustle is, it’s essentially a way of making extra money on top of the salary you receive from your existing job. It can be anything from selling your clothes online to a handmade jewellery business that you work on in your spare time. 

To start a successful side hustle, you need to consider a number of factors including what people want, whilst ensuring the market isn’t already oversaturated. That’s why we have compiled a list of lucrative side hustle business ideas that have the most opportunity in 2022, taking into account all the necessary factors for success. So whether you’re a beginner looking to make money online, or have dabbled with a side hustle in the past and are looking for your next venture, this is for you…

The top 10 e-commerce side hustles, according to Etsy 

If you’re someone who loves to get crafty and creative and are looking for a side hustle business idea, the e-commerce route is usually a great fit.

To find out which e-commerce side hustles had the most opportunities, we analysed data from Etsy. Surprisingly, candles and brownies haven’t bagged the top spot, despite their popularity throughout 2020 and 2021. 

Slime and foam take the throne 

All smiles for slime as the new popular kid’s toy takes the top spot..

Believe it or not, our data has found that a side hustle selling slime will have the biggest success opportunity in 2022. With an average selling price of £8.55 per unit and the ingredients for slime costing very little, it’s clear to see how quickly you can make money with this product.

The competition for this product is low on Etsy, with only 8,082 sellers in total, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash with this fun job that pays well.

Drink and barware just miss out on the top spot 

From mugs with your face on them, to personalised glassware perfect for gifting, this has been named one of the best side hustles with the largest amounts of opportunity. 

With the average price for a product listing selling at just over £22, there is an opportunity for a lot of extra cash to be made with this venture. 

However, despite the demand surging by 22% in the last year, there are already over 2 million sellers for this side job, which is something to take into consideration if you were to pursue the competitive world of barware.  

Gift hampers are the new brownie boxes 

Throughout the pandemic we saw a huge rise in bakers selling letterbox brownies, and whilst this side hustle still remains popular today, it has been overtaken by gift hampers fit for foodies. 

From savoury cheese boxes to traditional sweet hampers, hustlers in the UK are making extra cash with food- so long as you make sure to get your level 2 food hygiene certificate! 

The competition for this category is relatively low on Etsy, with just over 14,000 sellers, and each unit can sell for an average of just under £18. With the cost of food rising, the profit for this one may be slightly lower than for slime, however, if you’re looking for a creative way to make money, then this is the side hustle for you. 

Candles and jewellery complete the top five 

According to data from Businesscoot, the candle business market grew by 48.6% in 2021 with many turning their newfound lockdown hobby into a successful business venture. Our data shows that this side hustle is still very much viable in 2022. However, demand for the product has decreased by 18% in the last year, suggesting that the longevity of this business may be brought into question. 

Jewellery is another side hustle with potential, with online sales growing at a steady 3.9% year on year*. However, this market is the most saturated of all analysed, with over 12 million sellers already on Etsy competing in the same space. So, to be a top-selling jeweller you may need to create some unique wearable products not yet on the market.

RankProductNumber Of sellers on EtsyAverage Cost Of ProductGoogle SV eBay SV Amazon SV 
1Slime & Foam8,082£8.553600169000325000
2Personalised drink and Barware2,206,334£22.088804150079900
3Food gift hampers 14,261£17.838801520029300
4Candles and Holders556,641£19.901810092600178000
5Jewellery12,238,134£77.5749500206000398000
6Baked Goods31,456£17.0821013002500
7Pet Collars and Leashes187,267£14.0210003400065400
8Sweets45,919£11.2188092600178000
9Soap and Bath Bombs147,513£10.338802780053500
10Baking and Cake Decoration146,932£8.1181003400065400

The top 10 digital service side hustles, according to Fiverr 

Website design is going to make you the most money

According to our study, those with experience in designing websites will have the most chance of success with a digital services side hustle. The average starting selling price for a basic website is £179, meaning that you’d only need to be doing a couple of these on the side to make some decent extra cash each month. 

The demand for this service is much higher on Google than on Amazon or on eBay which is expected, but overall the demand is high with 368,000 people looking for this service on average each month. 

Demand for mobile app creators is increasing 

The demand for mobile app creation is up 50%, according to our data- which is unsurprising considering the majority of our life nowadays is spent behind a phone screen. 

With just 756 sellers on Fiverr so far for this service, there has been no better time to begin this side hustle if you possess these skills. 

There is opportunity in building websites as well as designing them 

Website builders are high in demand, with over 820,000 people on average looking for this service each month. In addition to this, the demand has surged by 22% over the last year, suggesting that this side job is a viable long-term solution for making some extra cash. 

Document translation is needed by over 400 million people a month 

Studying languages at University? Document translation is the perfect way for you to utilise your linguistic skills and make some extra money online. With over 400 million searches on average each month for this service, and only 1,684 people offering it, there is no better time to make use of this opportunity.

RankProduct Number Of SellersAverage Starting Cost Of ServiceGoogle SV For ServiceeBay SV for ServiceAmazon SV for Service
1Website Design570£179368,00018,60035,800
2Mobile Apps Creation756£124301,0003,7007,100
3Website Builders & CMS874£68823,0001053,500
4Document Translation1,684£8414,000,0006,270,00012,080,000
5Project Management3,766£33550,00022,70043,700
6SEO3,593£261,500,00027,80053,500
7Game Development458£115246,0003,7007,100
8Influencer Marketing477£18135,0003,0005,800
9NFT Animation1,492£743,600120230
10WordPress Website Creation3,520£433,350,00075,500145,000

E-commerce vs digital services — which has the biggest opportunity in 2022? 

There is a much higher demand for digital services in comparison to e-commerce which is unsurprising with the digital sector growing at such a rapid rate. But, how do they really rank next to each other? 

NFT animation is outranked by personalised drink and barware 

Interestingly, our study found that personalised drink and barware is a better way of making money online in comparison to the newly found NFT animation with 100,000 people looking for this type of product each month. 

However, NFT animation has seen a 650% surge in demand in the last year alone, suggesting that it has the potential to move much higher up the rankings in the future. 

Slime vs influencer marketing 

Influencer marketing is huge, but not bigger than slime (seriously, who knew slime would be so successful?), according to our data. Whilst this is still a strong side hustle to pursue, slime has ranked higher for having a stronger potential of making you money in 2022. The demand for slime is ever-increasing, even Kim Kardashian’s kids have been raving about the sticky substance across social media.

Upcoming side hustles that will make you the most money in 2022 

Whilst it’s important for a venture to have high demand, finding a side hustle where demand for the product or service is beginning to incline can be more important to ensure longevity and be ahead of the competition.

Is NFT animation just a trend? We’re not too sure 

NFT animation has seen a demand increase of 650% in the last year, however, searches remain low (less than 2,000 on average a month). Although, with huge brands such as Gucci and Boohoo creating their own NFT portfolios, we think that this one is going to be a good side hustle to start getting into ASAP. 

Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon

According to Statista, the influencer market is worth almost $14 billion, with this being predicted to continue growing. Therefore it’s no surprise that influencer marketing has ranked so highly as the most in-demand side hustles for 2022. 

Brownies are back

With demand continuing to surge by 88% in the last year, selling baked goods such as brownies, cookies, and doughnuts make up the last of the top three for emerging side hustles. 

With the market growing by just over 30% in 3 years, from £2.3 billion to £3 billion, Mary Berry wannabes can be confident in making some extra cash with this fun job that can pay very well. 

Where the UK’s biggest hustlers are located 

As a part of the study, we analysed where the most Etsy sellers were located across the UK.  

The capital takes the crown 

An impressive 37.5% of UK sellers on Etsy are located in London, making them the biggest hustlers in the UK overall. Arguably, this is unsurprising with the cost of living increasing and London being the most expensive city to live in in the UK, and the fourth most expensive city in the world overall.

Manchester and Glasgow have a bit of catching up to do

Manchester takes the second spot, with 9.56% of sellers being located in the Northwest. Following shortly behind is Scotland’s very own, Glasgow, home to 5.15% of British Etsy sellers.

Alternative ways to make a bit of extra cash 

OnlyFans vs traditional side hustles- which really makes the most money? 

As a part of the study, we thought it would be interesting to look into whether OnlyFans does in fact make more money than a more traditional side job. 

35% of the UK would make more from selling three personalised glassware sets than on OnlyFans 

According to data using the OnlyFans earnings calculator, and data from mention.com, 35% of the UK would make more selling barware on Etsy than running their own OnlyFans account. 

This is because success on the app often relies on a strong social media following for promotion, and according to the source, 35% of the UK have less than 1,000 followers on Instagram which according to the OnlyFans calculator, would make someone between £50 to £250 a month. Therefore, with there being over a million users on the platform already, it’s likely you’re going to make more extra money with a digital service or e-commerce side hustle. 

Additionally, we found that to make the big money that OnlyFans is infamous for, you will need an excess of 1 million followers on social media, which only 0.18% of the UK currently has. 

With a subscription price of £5, creators can make anywhere between £50,156- £250,778 per month but with the small catch of needing 1 million followers on Instagram…easy, right?

Whilst there is definitely a lot of money in this popular content platform, competition is very high and only a minority of the UK will make some serious cash with this as a side hustle. In comparison to what most probably believe, making slime or personalised mugs is much more profitable for most- albeit not as sexy! 

The best side hustles to start with zero money 

Searches for ‘side hustles that you can start with no money’ have risen by 200% in the last month alone, likely as a result of the cost of living crisis. So if you’re wondering how you can make money online without paying anything, we’ve got you covered…

Clear out your wardrobe 

The majority of us have an unbelievable amount of clothes that we wear once and probably never touch again- in fact, 24% of the average wardrobe is made of clothes not worn in the last year! 

Clear out your wardrobe and make some extra money online at the same time by selling on platforms such as eBay, Vinted, and Depop.

Have a bike or a car? Then you can make some extra money 

With the usage of food delivery services ever-increasing, there is a huge demand for delivery drivers across the country. If you possess a car or bike and can spare a couple of hours in the evening, this is a great way to make some extra money.

Participate in online surveys

Another great way to make some extra cash is by filling in online surveys. Whilst this side job won’t make you a livable wage, it’s completely free to do and anyone can do it, making it a great starting point for those wanting to start making money online without paying anything. 

Gen-Z and side hustle culture

Our study found that 18% of Gen-Z already have a side hustle, with a further 28% planning on starting one in the near future. 

Unsurprisingly, a huge 61% of those who have started or are interested in starting a side job, are doing so due to the cost of living crisis and effects of the pandemic. This is expected to further rise with over half of the respondents (53%) citing that they’re desperate for better access to financial support. 

The impact of side hustle culture 

Side hustle culture can often be negative, with 46% of those surveyed finding it makes them feel as though they aren’t doing enough just working a 9-5 job and 79% arguing that social media increases the pressures of hustle culture. Respondents went on to explain the harsh reality of why the new working culture is emerging:

“With the rise in the cost of living, more people are becoming overwhelmed, and most people my age are helping out around the home by getting part-time jobs as parents/carers may not earn enough. I think the promotion of side hustle culture just goes to show how younger and older people are having to give more time to work in order to afford basic things in life.” 

Contrastingly, almost a quarter of respondents (23%)  find hustle culture motivating to start their own business, which is the positive side of this emerging new way of working. Additionally, 46% have also cited that for a job on the side to be worth it, they would need to be making at least £200+ a month, which is why our list of the best side hustles to start in 2022 is perfect for those looking to make some extra money on the side. 

Not ready to start a side hustle but looking for ways to save money? 

If you’re not quite ready to get started with a side hustle but are feeling the squeeze from everything going up, there are plenty of other ways you can start to cut down on spending

Additionally, make sure you’re saving on purchases where you can by taking advantage of Student Beans’ discounts, from your next meal out to a new pair of shoes, there are plenty of amazing brands offering exclusive discounts for students.

Sources*: 

www.matterofform.com

Methodology 

  • To rank the top digital service side hustles, we scraped Fiverr to look at the number of services in the category, and the average starting cost for each service.
  • To rank the top e-commerce side hustles, we scraped Etsy to look at the number of produtcs in the category, and the average starting cost for each product.
  • The search volume data was collected using keywordtoolio
  • A small focus group of 300 16-24-year-olds were surveyed to find out the attitudes towards side hustles among Gen-Z.

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