5 unusual ways to make money as a student

With rising unemployment in the UK and people struggling to make ends meet, the number of people with a side income is rising too. To help people discover smart ways to earn some extra cash, OddsMonkey have made a list of potential side hustles. Here, Peter Watton, the company’s spokesperson, takes us through the extra earners that will work best for students.

Whether you’re looking to turn your passion into a small business, or you just want to find something easy that you can do to bring in some extra money each month, there is a side hustle idea waiting for you. There are so many possibilities when starting your own side hustle, that you should be able to choose a project that works around both your studies and your social life, but still brings in that bit of extra cash!

1.    Try taking photos for money

Recently, we conducted a survey of 2,000 British adults to find out about the side hustles they are using. Our research found that photography was actually the side business that earned the most monthly income, bringing in an average £389 every month. It does take some time to develop your photography skills to a level where you can charge for them, but if you have the time, it can really pay off once you’re confident in your snapping.

People who enjoy taking photographs could find that this is an opportunity to improve their skills and enjoy their hobby while getting paid for it. Stock photo websites like Fotolia will buy anything from photos of your food and pets, to scenic travel shots. So, there’s bound to be inspiration all around you!

2.    Get blogging for small businesses

The second most lucrative side hustle from our survey was blogging, earning people an impressive average of £333 per month. Like photography, it can take some effort to develop your skill set to the point where you can look for business. However, once you upskill, it can be a great extra earner, especially as you can do it from home and fit it around your studies.

To make a start on blogging, try answering adverts put out by small businesses for blogging services, as well as asking around friends and family. Before you know it, you could end up with a few different clients, and once you get going, you’ll have plenty of experience to improve.

3.    Become a subject for scientific studies

Lots of PhD students will give out cash rewards or vouchers to people who take part in scientific studies for their research. It can be as simple as answering some questions in a survey, or doing a sleep study, and it could bring you £20 for half an hour’s work.

This side hustle works particularly well in university cities, as there are lots of students doing research. Check the website of your university’s science department, and look through student newsletters to see if there are any calls sent out for research subjects. There will also be screening questions prior to the study, and you should answer truthfully as these questions establish whether you are well-suited to this particular study.

4.    Matched betting

If you haven’t heard of matched betting, it is a specific form of betting that you can use as a side hustle. Matched betting is a form of betting where you use free promotions offered by betting providers to place bets on both outcomes on an event.

Bookmakers will have free offers to encourage people to join and bet with them, and matched betting uses these offers to place both lay bets and a back bets. This way, you’re  guaranteed to make a profit or at least get your money back.

Winnings from matched betting are also not taxed, so you don’t need to worry about filling out a tax return. Using a calculation website for matched betting allows you to find great strategies for making a bit of spare cash, and can be a smart way of earning on the side.

5.    Find a product you like and try dropshipping

Dropshipping is an increasingly popular way to make money online. It’s used by everyone from Amazon to those running small businesses. The idea of this business is that the dropshipper works with a third-party supplier, without physically handling the product themselves. Instead, they work out a deal with the supplier, and sell the product at a higher price than they paid for it, making a profit.

Then, once a customer makes an order, the third-party supplier will ship the product directly to them. The supplier then ships the product to the customer without dealing with them directly.

While the supplier handles the fulfilment of the order, the dropshipper is responsible for all the public-facing aspects, such as marketing and building a website. If you have some time to set up a website, find a product you like, and market it, this is a versatile side hustle idea. It’s also a good business type for students, who don’t have space to store the stock they’re selling.

It can be a bit overwhelming to choose a side hustle as there are so many ideas, especially online. But with these tips, you can find a side project that will both help you out financially, and fit around your university commitments. You might also find something that you find fun, or turn your hobby into an earner, which could be the start of a bigger business plan.