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5 unexpected ways to make money as a student

Brits are turning to side hustles more than ever as the coronavirus pandemic has left many of us short of cash. If you're a student, there are lots of useful ways to earn money that you might not have heard of. Here, Peter Watton, spokesperson for OddsMonkey, picks out the best side hustles for students.

There are many ways to supplement your income or maintenance loan as a student, and you might already have skills that could earn you money. If you enjoy photography or writing for example, these could both become your side hustle. In fact, some research we conducted at OddsMonkey found that photography and blogging are the biggest extra earners for those with a side income.

Here, we'll go through your options for grabbing some extra cash, and what you'll have to do to set yourself up and go into business.

 

1. Get snapping with your camera

Our research found that photography was the most lucrative side business, with people earning an average of £389 per month from it. If you have a camera and some enthusiasm, you should get practicing taking the perfect shots. Once you've built up your skills, ask around your family, friends and co-workers to see if anyone has a wedding, party, or other special occasion that they want documented.

While it does take some dedication to improve your photography skills enough to charge for them, once you're confident enough it can be a great earner. Plus, you can sell your travel snaps on stock photo sites like Fotolia to bring in more cash.

2. Try out your blogging skills

From our research, the second most lucrative side hustle was blogging, with people who run blogs bringing in an average of £333 every month. This is a good way to make money from home, and an easy side hustle to fit around your studies. If you enjoy writing, contact small businesses, family, and friends, and check job sites for adverts wanting blogging services.

Similar to taking photos, you will need to put in some initial dedication to master the skill set needed. But, once you do, you could be able to earn a decent bit of extra income.

3. Start drop shipping and see how much you make

You might have heard of drop shipping, but you might not know how it works, or how you could start doing it. Drop shipping is a type of online selling used by everyone from small businesses to Amazon. Drop shippers order products from suppliers on behalf of customers, and charge the customer a higher price than the supplier charges them. This allows them to make a profit from the margin.

So, a customer will order something from a drop shipper, the drop shipper will order from the supplier, and the supplier will ship to the customer without dealing with them directly. While the fulfilment of orders is handled by the supplier, the drop shipper completes the public-facing business aspects, such as marketing, selling, social media and running a website.

To get a drop shipping business up and running, you will need to dedicate some time to finding a product you want to sell, setting up an e-commerce website, and doing your own marketing. There is potential to earn some great extra income in drop shipping, if you have the time to devote to setting it up and marketing your products consistently.

4. Doing scientific studies for money

It's very possible to supplement your income by participating in scientific studies and surveys. Many PhD students will offer payment to participate in their research, doing things as simple as answering questions or doing sleep studies. This could be as much as £20 for only half an hour's work.

There will be a questionnaire to fill out every time you want to be a subject in a study — your answers determine your suitability and safety for that particular survey, so it's important to answer accurately. If you don’t have time for in-person studies, you can sign up to online focus group websites like Focus Groups UK or i-Say.  You can get paid to answer questions on everything from food to video games.

5. Testing products for money and freebies

Another fun way to make extra money is to sign up for product testing. You can test food, electronics, beauty products, video games and more. Some companies will offer money (such as £10 or £25 per product), and some will offer vouchers.

It's important to be aware that there are lots of product testing scams out there, so be careful who you give your information out to. It's best to deal directly with the brand that makes the products, as then you can be sure you're getting products from a legitimate source, and your details are protected. If you do find a third-party testing website that you want to try, contact the brand of the products they are testing — the brand will be able to clarify whether the site is genuine, and that they are indeed using the business in question for testing customer feedback.

 

There are so many ways to supplement your income, but it can be a bit overwhelming finding the side hustle that's right for you, let alone learning how to set it up and get going. With these tips, you should be able to find something that works for you.

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