Technology has truly transformed the world of business. It has enabled a new generation of online entrepreneurs who are tapping into the vast number of opportunities that cyberspace has to offer. And they’re changing the world with their innovative ideas.

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019, we’ve highlighted some of the world’s most popular platforms for online side hustles, from which the online entrepreneurs of the future are launching their careers.


Brand marketing is probably the most lucrative way people can make money on the Instagram app. However, you need a large following – perhaps around 10k as a starting point – to begin bringing in the pounds. Kylie Jenner and Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, earn millions through this app. The Juventus forward reportedly earns more through social media than he does playing football!

Affiliate marketing is another tactic that people on Instagram use to earn money. It’s all about making sales: you are paid a percentage, if your followers buy the product.


This is one of the most popular online side hustles among the student population in the UK to earn money. Depop is a combination of eBay and Instagram. It’s aesthetically pleasing and straightforward to use. Whether you’re a thrifty shopper, a designer lover, a fan of all things vintage, or even want to buy new pieces of clothing or accessories, Depop has it all. It’s also a very sustainable way to shop, so it’s only likely to get bigger, and more popular.

There are several ways to earn money on Depop, but reselling is one of the most popular. Some people will troll charity shops to find the waviest vintage garments (often designer), then sell them on for a profit. Some shoppers even sign up to get exclusive access to ‘drops’ from much-hyped brands like Supreme. It may involve queuing for hours – if you’re even lucky enough to get a place – but once you’re in the store, you’re able to buy some exclusive clothes and resell them at a mark-up on Depop.


There is serious money to be made from gaming, and winning tournaments online. And while the competition is fierce, the rewards can be substantial for simply playing your favourite video game. Competitions take place across the world, so there can be an excessive cost in terms of travel and accommodation. However, no risk, no reward, and winners can get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds!

Taking your gaming to platforms such as YouTube is one of the top online side hustles. The market for this is incredibly saturated, so it’s crucial to find a niche or have something about you that people love and embrace. The more viewers you get, the higher your earning potential – YouTube pays out a share of the money it collects from advertising and you can also benefit from lucrative sponsorship deals.


Anybody can now build a website and instantly start selling a product online. There are tons of web building apps out there to get you started, and with the likes of Alibaba, for instance, you can find new suppliers and products continuously. There are a variety of models you can use to automate and manage your e-commerce business, as well as numerous platforms to sell your goods and services. With drop shipping models and third-party logistics options, you can set up an entire business at home. You don’t have to worry about storage, or to ship any of your products to your customers.


This app is primarily aimed at a younger demographic. It enables people to watch short videos that feature people lip-syncing to songs, comedy routines, and other moments from pop culture — including TV shows and movies. People also film themselves doing stupid, funny, or cool things from dance routines to trick shots. You can’t make money from TikTok directly, but once you amass a following, you can migrate them to other sites like YouTube and make sponsorship deals.


There’s a variety of different survey sites that will pay you to fill in and submit questionnaires. Populus is one of the more popular websites, paying around £2-£5 per survey depending on the length of time it takes to complete. It’s not the most lucrative of the online side hustles, but it is consistent. All you have to do is enter a few personal details, and the company will email you as and when surveys are available. Sometimes you may get multiple surveys in a matter of days, while other times you might only get a few each week – it all depends.


One of the more innovative concepts, OnlyFans bills itself as a ‘subscription content service’ that allows users to pay a monthly fee to view exclusive pictures, videos or tutorials from their favourite creators. The creator gets 80 percent and OnlyFans gets 20 percent, and people can earn hundreds of thousands a year from it. Jem Wolfie, for example, is an influencer who has loads of followers on Instagram, and she currently has around 10,000 fans paying $15 every month to view her content. The content is exclusive compared to that on her Instagram profile, and she has already earned over £2 million.


If you enjoy following forex or stock markets, then you might have what it takes to trade. You’ll need to know how to use a broker platform to place your trades. After that, you’ll have to spend some time trading with a demo account where you don’t risk any real money. You can then progress from there. The beauty of this side hustle is that the markets are open in FX, so you can trade whenever from wherever. There is no cap on earnings either, and the spoils are huge. All you need is a mobile phone or laptop and an internet connection to get underway, meaning you can work from many different places around the world.

Running online courses

If you’re an experienced professional looking to teach your skills and share your expertise to the masses, you’re in luck – it can be one of the most valuable online side hustles. For example, one of author Suzy Ashworth’s online courses – The Limitless Life Experience, which helped business owners to thrive at home and work – generated £261,000 in sales in 2018. The success of the course prompted Suzy to move to Mexico with her husband and their three kids.

Travel blog/writing

Most people love travelling and exploring new places, so why not turn this hobby/passion into an income-generating lifestyle? Writing your stories and experiences can be rather enjoyable, plus you’ll be able to travel far and wide while potentially earning really good money. That said, it isn’t easy, as competition is fierce, and you’ll have to be able to sell your articles or run a revenue-generating blog.

When it comes to running an online business, there are a lot of moving pieces to think about. But if you want to succeed and create a sustainable business for years to come, you need to become a master at something. And once you’ve found that niche, cyberspace becomes infinite.

If you’re thinking about going beyond online side hustles, check out our list of 10 vibrant tech start-ups to get some inspiration