Since you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for ways on how to make a side income in Malaysia.
EDIT: A lot has changed thanks to the pandemic so we’ve updated the page to reflect this better.
If you have a full time job that’s really not helping you achieve the financial situation you want, don’t worry! With more and more startups around the gig economy, side hustle opportunities have never been more abundant.
We hope you’re a HUSTLR because we’ve compiled the most complete list of side hustles in Malaysia that you will find on the internet. In this list, there is something for everyone (even teenagers!), so you can start regardless of your circumstance. No more excuses!
We’ll try to keep it fun for you but brace yourself, because this will be a looooooooooong one!
HUSTLR Tip: Bookmark this page if you can’t finish it in one go.
Side Income Ideas by Skillset Characteristics Personality
To make it easier to get started, we’ve also classified these side hustles into matching characteristics and pre-requisites. Once again, there’s something for everyone!
We also review each side income idea in terms of 3 key metrics that is very important to factor into your decision making. We will judge each side hustle by:
- Earning potential
- Ease of use
- Potential to turn this side hustle into your own business
Let’s get started!
1. Become a Grab Driver
Okay, okay. We know this has been done to death.
Wondering why driving for Grab is on every list of side income? Simple, because it really works.
If you don’t mind driving and are commuting to university or work everyday anyway, consider utilising your free time for a side income. Set a schedule, stick to it, and make more money.
Can’t do it because you have a busy schedule to stick to? Excuses.
Look, even if you only drive for grab during your downtime, as long as you continue doing it consistently for an hour or two per day, you can easily make an extra RM800-2,000 every. single. month.
To help you manage your driving route even more precisely, Grab even launched an app feature called “My Destination”, which gives you jobs that won’t end too far away from your destination. How awesome is that?
If you activate it when you’re ready to complete your last ride, you’ll only get riders traveling along your route.
Perfect solution to gain control over your time when you have somewhere to be, like an appointment, a date, or even going home to rest. To top it off, it’s better for the environment! #GoingGreen
Can’t stand small talk and fetching people around? Consider signing up as a GrabFood (food) or GrabExpress (parcels) driver.
HUSTLR Pro Tip: Check out Grab’s earnings estimator if you want to see if this is worth your time and effort.
2. Be A Pet Caregiver
Do you love animals like we do?
If you do, rejoice because you’re now able to hang out with pets – and getting paid for it!
With pet owners spending more money on their pets, there are many options on how to participate in the gig economy related to pets these days.
For example, you could opt to walk dogs after dinner (which keeps you fit as well), be a pet sitter to keep pets well fed and clean while their owners are away, you could offer your home as a pet hotel, or you could offer a pet taxi service and ferry them kitties and puppies around!
Isn’t that just freaking awesome? We can hear the screams of excitement from here!
Before you get too excited, in order to succeed as a top notch pet carer, you need to be a 100% genuine pet lover and have a strong understanding of animal care.
To get started with your pet caring career, you can sign up for an account on PetBacker or JomPaw.
HUSTLR Pro Tip: You might be tempted to think that this is a job for hobbyists. We would like to prove you wrong, we know of some hustlers making more than RM10,000 per month for being a pet caregiver full time! There are pet caregivers that have started their own online retail store selling healthy homemade pet snacks, pet toys, and one of our friends even started a vacation resort for dogs with swimming pools!
Are you on your mobile phone all the time like the guy in the photo?
Most likely, right?
With companies like Media Prima striving to gain more attention in the digital space, they have acquired 8Coin (previously known as 8Share).
So what is 8Coin?
8Coin is Malaysia’s largest rewards platform that pays you to share content on your social media account. Every time someone clicks on your link, you get paid! It’s as simple as that. It helps immensely if you’re already a social media influencer in your space, which means more people will see your link.
By doing this, you get rewarded in 8Coins, which you can claim vouchers, gadgets, e-wallet credits and cash. 8Coin also pays to promote their website. You’ll also get paid for every friend that creates an account with them through your link.
If you’re really active on social media, you could make an extra RM200-RM300 per month – not too bad at all!
All monetary transactions with 8Coin will be made via online bank transfer upon cash out request.
More information on their FAQ page here.
Get started with 8Coin (psst… they also have mobile app on both iOS and Android so you can make some money on the go).
HUSTLR Pro Tip: If you have a strong following on social media, you might not want to mess up your social media profile by over-sharing content that does not relate to you or your friends, so we suggest doing this sparingly and only share the things that really matter to you.
4. Freelance Writing
Do you have a flair for writing? Is writing something you enjoy doing?
If the answer is yes, we’ve got good news for you!
Marketers all around the world are spending more on content marketing each passing year. Majority of them spends 40% of their total marketing budget on content marketing! And that means for all you wordsmiths out there that enjoys creating powerful written content, there’s opportunity to make more money!
Typically, full time writers in Malaysia can realistically charge about RM0.10 to RM0.40 per word. There’s no upper limit really, we’ve seen people charge RM4 per word written, because it all depends on the quality of your writing and your experience.
Let’s make an assumption that you have the capacity to produce a 2,000 word article a day – that gives you a minimum income of RM200 per article. Check out this infographic about freelance writers pay by Clearvoice to find out more about hiring or becoming a freelance writer.
Pretty awesome, right?
If you’re wondering where you can find writing gigs, a good place to start is Upwork and ProBlogger’s Job Board. We are always looking for great writers . If you’re interested in writing for us, you can send your writing samples and CV to editorial[at]hustlr.com.
Once you’ve established yourself as a freelance writer, you can consider going full time. However, if full time writing is something you want to pursue – you will need to have a passion for writing. It’s not for everyone so you will need to ask yourself some questions and really think it through before doing this.
There are many ways you can turn your writing into a business. For example, you could self-publish books on Amazon during your freelance downtime or whenever you feel the need to take a break. You could start a blog about your hobby and monetize it through affiliate marketing, or launching your own online course.
HUSTLR Pro Tip: Always fact check. Use tools like Hemingway Editor and Grammarly to help you improve with your writing. Editors will appreciate this.
5. Answering Surveys
Corporations are always looking to do research and hear opinions from the general public – and most of them are willing to pay good money for it. This gives you hustlers an opportunity to make money!
For example, companies such as Vase rewards you with cash when you respond to active surveys on their platform. The best part is, upon signing up, you will earn a welcome bonus – free money!
Have you gotten frustrated when you sign up for supposed “free cash online” and find out later that you need to maintain a minimum balance in your account! With Vase, there are no such limitations and you can just zero out your account.
All you need to get started is a local Malaysian number. Once you’ve verified yourself, you will fill in your profile information. After that, surveys targeted at your demographics will be sent to your account. Generally, it will only take 5 to 10 minutes to complete a survey – and you’ll get paid in between RM1 – RM100+ per survey depending on the complexity. Rewards will be indicated upfront before you answer the survey.
When it comes to payment, you will get paid in 2 methods: bank transfer or product rewards. Product rewards will be normally discounted coupons for products or services such as AEON vouchers. Vase processes withdrawals on a weekly basis, if you opt for bank transfer, the payment will be done within a week after completing the survey!
You also earn while referring your friends to the platform. You will get paid RM1 for the first 5 friends that you have referred under your referral link.
Even when you get disqualified from the survey, you will still be rewarded for your time and effort! You can always find more information from their FAQ section.
Get started right away by signing up at https://getvase.com/
(They also have mobile apps on both IOS and Android)
6. Become A GoGetter and Do Side Gigs
If you are open to doing some odd side jobs and can’t stand the thought of driving around all day like Grab drivers do, good news! You can check out GoGet.
GoGet is a platform to help businesses run errands ranging from dispatch, delivery job, grocery shopping, food delivery, cleaning, office tasks, furniture assembly, pamphlets distribution and so much more! We’ve even used GoGetters to help stick stickers on some of our marketing materials!
Wondering how much you can earn from being a GoGetter? Well, it really depends on the number of jobs you take up per month. Just like Grab, the more jobs you take, the more you earn. Normally, GoGetters earn between RM500 to RM6,000 a month. Pretty cool for a side hustle, right?
Ready to start?
Start by going to the Be A GoGetter page or download the app (iOS / Android).
You can log in with either your Facebook account or email. After that, you will be required to join an on-boarding training before you are able to take jobs.
According to their website, they have training centres all over Malaysia. Here’s the complete list:
Once you are approved as a GoGetter, you can select a list of jobs based on your input of drop off location. Once you claim a job, you can proceed to carry out the task happily and get paid by GoGet when you have completed your work.
Simple, right? The catch is, you’ll probably need your own mode of transportation going around when GoGetting.
7. Rent and Host Travelers With Airbnb
Do you live in or own an underutilized residential real estate?
Consider mobilizing these assets to earn extra income with Airbnb. According to a report by New Strait Times, Malaysia is Airbnb’s fastest growing market in South East Asia. There are many ways you can offer your services or space with Airbnb! For starters, you could rent out an empty room in your house or an investment property that you own.
Don’t have a property to start off with? That’s no reason to not hustle – Airbnb are also looking for co-hosts to help out other hosts! More on that here.
If you’re a good cook, you can add value by providing local dining experiences to travelers by cooking meals for them. You might be wondering who would want to eat your homemade Nasi Goreng that only your brother likes. Travelers are an experiential bunch who is willing to pay good money to sample local homemade cuisine! Malaysia is famous for our local delicious delicacies like Nasi Lemak, Tosai, Chicken Rice, Baba Nyonya food, you name it!
There’s a saying that relationships are forged over meals. By cooking traveler meals, you can foster stronger friendships with your travelers (if that’s your thing) and earn better reviews as a host.
If cooking is not your thing, you can also be a tour guide for your guests by bringing them to the tourist location. You can introduce your travelers to the activities and places that you are most passionate about. Make your travelers feel welcome and help connect them to the community if they’re staying with you long term. They will help you with establishing yourself as an Airbnb superhost.
Thus, you are no longer just providing accommodation for them. But precisely, you are providing them a unique experience by staying with you. To do this profitably you should be a people person, treat your guests like how you would treat a friend staying with you. A good host makes sure that their guests needs are always met.
You can get started by registering on Airbnb’s website.
HUSTLR Pro Tip: Don’t have an underutilized space of your own but know someone who does? Strike a rental share deal with that person! It’s a win-win situation.
8. Start A Blog
Are you surprised that you can earn a living from blogging?
Don’t be. Blogs are slowly but surely taking over newspapers as the preferred medium for reading.
Who even reads newspapers anymore?!
Few years ago, being a blogger used to be trendy. Unfortunately, the hype around being a blogger has died down, but more and more people are reading blogs! For example, you could start a blog to review beauty products, or if you’re into cats, you could start a blog around raising kittens.
The general idea here is when you’re just starting out, you want to brand yourself as an expert in one niche or industry. If you like gardening, you might consider starting a blog around gardening so that gardening enthusiasts can discover your blog through Google on tips about gardening.
There are a ton of ways to make money from blogging, here are some examples of making money with a gardening blog.
1) Affiliate Marketing
Put an Amazon affiliate link when you review gardening tools, Amazon gives you a cut for every single sale made through your website.
2) Sell Your Own Product
You might want to sell seed packets, gardening tools or produce an eBook / Online Course to teach people how to grow a specific high difficulty plant for example.
3) Sell Gardening Services
If you produce a lot of valuable blog posts, people WILL trust you as an authority in gardening. You can then provide premium gardening services to manage other people’s lawns. Of course, you may not be interested in gardening – blog about your interest or you’ll suffer burn out.
To get started, all it takes is a website (our favourite blog platform is WordPress), a passion to learn to be an expert in your field and be savvy on branding your blog.
So, you can first start by getting a domain from a domain provider like Namecheap (always get your own domain). Then, make the design of the page look presentable with a free WordPress theme (we suggest a combination of tools Astra (theme) and Elementor (page builder)). Most importantly, make sure you have your social media accounts set up and linking back to your blog URL (https://www.yourblog.com)!
We understand that initially, it is hard to get people to notice you. You can start leaving comments on blogging sites or connect with other bloggers in your industry via social media so people start noticing you and the content you produce.
Once you get enough subscribers or followers, you need to ensure you have a regular posting schedule and get them engaged with email newsletters. Of course, a great image tells a thousand words. Invest some time into Pinterest (bloggers’ secret weapon) and focus on creating pin-worthy images to attract a larger audience.
HUSTLR Pro Tip: Not confident with your writing? Use tools that pro bloggers use like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor to help you improve your writing.
P/S: We’re always looking for great writers to help us out. Submit writing samples and expected rates to editorial[at]hustlr.com.
9. Become an Influencer
Do you enjoy talking? Do you enjoy posting stuff about yourself on social media? Are you an expert on a specific topic?
Not everyone can do it, but if you enjoy the attention and like posting stuff on social media – you may want to consider being an influencer on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. The best part is, you can make good money doing it if you do it right! Do note that this is better if you already have a significant following on your social media accounts. It’s possible to build your audience from ground up, but we’ll be honest – it’s not going to be easy.
To get started as an influencer, you want to be focused on creating content on a topic that you are passionate about – just like blogging. The best kind of influencers are niche/industry experts that only post about one topic in the beginning. You can be an influencer in many industries like pet, fashion, travel and lifestyle.
Depending on what you want to achieve, if you’re physically attractive, most of the time you can even talk about your life! Just take note that this route will probably be less profitable as a business, because you’re relying on your personal brand.
If you post consistently over time, you will attract a large fan base that is interested in what you have to say. When you’re just starting out you need to engage with your followers, listen to their feedback and improve on the content you post by being more mindful of what your audience wants to see.
When you have a larger fan base, you will be able attract offers from businesses that want to capitalize on the reach of your influence through promoting their products.
Don’t trust us? No worries, we have data to back it up!
A report by Influencer Marketing Hub shows that the Influencer Marketing industry has grown from $3 billion to $4.6 billion from 2017 to 2018.
We want to reiterate that to get started fast, you’d probably need to have a significant follower base before you approach these agencies though. Once that’s sorted, you can monetize your audience by signing up with influencer networks like SushiVid, BigCast and Iris 247.
Also, check out this article on how to make money on Instagram to get yourself a headstart!
HUSTLR Pro Tip: Be very careful with posting other brands’ content, because you don’t want to get paid to give a positive review to a product that you don’t believe in and risk losing your audience’s trust. Be picky with the brands you work with, be 100% sure the product or service aligns with your brand.
10. Turn Your Car Into A Moving Billboard
If you live in KL, Penang or Johor, chances are you’ve seen cars with colourful stickers like these moving around.
Traditionally, mobile billboards were only implemented on trucks, buses, LRT and lorries. Now, if you own a car, you can have a piece of the mobile billboard advertising pie!
Companies like Moola, MyBump, Rodeo and Grab offer advertising to companies. You can join any one of these platforms to get an advert wrapped around your car and get paid for it! Generally speaking – you will get paid between RM200-RM1,000, depending on the company advertising and the distance you’re driving on the road every day.
If you don’t own a car and use a motorcycle or bicycles to commute, Rodeo is the only one that supports non-car vehicles so check them out. If you’re already a ride-sharing driver on Riding Pink or Grab, this is an opportunity to make additional income without putting in additional effort. You have to do what you’re doing anyway!
Ready to get started? Before you jump straight in, there are some caveats in this space.
Firstly, take note that submitting an application doesn’t always mean you’ll get picked. Advertisers pick based on your vehicle model, vehicle age and distance traveled per day.
Secondly, not all apps mentioned are available on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store smartphones yet. It’s best if you check out which ones fit you the best.
11. Rent Your Car When It’s Not Being Used
If you’re heading on your next long vacation, you might want to think about renting out your car to earn you a little cash on the side. Before you protest – we know you’re protective of your ride! But what use is it to you lying around the house?
Think about it this way. You’re going on a 2-week trip around Europe, or a week long road trip with your friends over a long holiday. Meanwhile, your car is at home, offering NO value for the monthly loan that you’d be paying the bank. It’s a total waste of time and resources.
Renting out your car isn’t as daunting of an option, although it might initially seem that way. For many Malaysian car rental services, they actually insure the safekeeping of your baby by offering to pay for maintenance and if any damages were to occur.
Besides, you’ll be able to stack up cold, hard cash at the end of month by doing literally nothing.
So where do you start? We compiled a little list of two major platforms to rent out your car. These are 100% verified! Here it is:
Kwikcar brands themselves as a car-sharing platform; particularly for the reason that they don’t charge massive overheads like car rental services.
At the moment, they only accept cars that are manufactured from 2010 onwards that span from 25+ different brands and makes. If you need a rough estimate of how much you can earn renting out your car with their platform; Kwikcar breaks it down for you with their own little earnings calculator.
For instance, renting out your Myvi would earn you anywhere around RM428/week whilst your Almera would dish out RM720/week!
**Note that Kwikcar is yet to share the cut they take from your earnings – but you can always reach them here if you’re seriously keen.
Moovby is by far the largest peer-to-peer car rental platform in Malaysia. They’ve been featured in a number of publications (including Vulcan Post and The Edge Markets) that have sung high praises about the platform as one of the first to break new ground in the country.
You’ll only really know the rates of potential income once you register your car on the Moovby app –where they would give you a breakdown immediately. One thing that really sets us on Moovby however; is the fact that they’ve partnered with Allianz Insurance in order to cover minor roadside repair, towing services and plenty more if you may need it.
We hope it doesn’t come to that. But, it certainly helps a lot if your car incurs any damages throughout the renting process!
Although their potential income for car owners is yet to publicly listed, Moovby announces that they only take 25% of each transaction made via the app.
12. Playing Tour Guide for Travelers in Your Area!
Sometimes, it pays to have an intimate knowledge of your surroundings. How? By becoming the modern-day version of a tour guide, of course.
Now when we say tour guide, we don’t want you to visualize that guy standing on top of a double-decker bus mindlessly mouthing off ex-celebrity houses through a megaphone. Yeah, you know the one.
Instead, becoming a tour in this context would just mean you’re spending a little bit of your free time showing tourists around the hotspots of your area – while also having a gala time! Show them around notable famous hawker stalls, bring hikers to the best-looking spots in town, or organize a pub crawl with nightlife-crazy travelers while you party hard yourself.
The opportunities are quite literally, endless.
So how do you reach a group of interested tourists?
For starters, there are many aggregator platforms that prompt you to advertise your “experience” listing there (Airbnb is a fantastic place to start). Make your listing look really pretty (with pictures and videos!) and start narrowing down why you’re the best person for the job. Once someone has booked your ‘experience’ and successfully completes the tour; you usually get paid 3-5 working days from the occasion.
Most of the time, tourists aren’t asking for someone with lots of experience or flashy certifications. They just want to know they’re in good hands – and in the company of warm, friendly individuals. If you’re really interested in becoming a tour this way; we recommend being really sure of your people skills. Patience and a positive attitude is key! It also helps to be slightly more of an extrovert.
Once you’re confident this is right up your alley – here’s how you can sign up for your first ever gig:
The majority of experiences here are motivated by culture, art and family-friendly tours! So if you’re big on adventure (and outdoor activity) this would be the perfect place for you to host your experience.
Calling all foodies! LokaLocal is big on their food-based experiences. If you have a knack for finding hole-in-the-wall eateries, know an age-old recipe you can teach others or even taking tourists café-hopping; this platform is for you.
Alternatively, the Airbnb “Experience” category is also an option! Since Airbnb is a worldwide, renowned platform – you can definitely bring a lot of attention to yourself here. You’ll notice that they have a myriad of different tours from ‘Cooking Malaysian food with a local’, ‘Hiking Bukit Gasing’ and a lot more.
13. Get into Babysitting
There are tons of Malaysian parents who are in dire need of babysitters. Factor in modern, working professional parents – and it’s no wonder that the demand for reliable babysitters are in evergreen demand.
On average, the rate for becoming a babysitter in Malaysia is around RM23/hour. Naturally, you could also tweak your pricing structure according to each kid, or additional requirements of cooking and cleaning up after the kids. Or even if they might need transportation to and from school!
You’re probably wondering how you’re going to make it as a babysitter without experience.
Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Not at all. After all, doesn’t everyone need to start somewhere?
If you need help gaining solid experience – consider signing up on online platforms that would set you up with everything you need. This includes adequate training, background checks, psychological checks and other intensive vetting tests that would allow you to prove your worth as a budding sitter.
Kiddocare is honestly the fastest growing online community there is right now. Malaysia Tatler even did a review of them right here! Their small platform was founded by two moms who had hoped to connect parents-in-need to qualified babysitters – which then grew into a nationwide community since.
Kiddocare is divided into 4 phases:
- Phase 1: Baby-sitter
- Phase 2: Professional caregiver
- Phase 3: Professional nanny
- Phase 4: Opportunity to become a JKM certified facility professional
Or maybe you’d want to start a little small! Start sending out some feelers to family and friends – to see if there are parents in your area desperately in need for someone to watch over their kids. Join your WhatsApp community group, a Facebook page with a large family community; or anything along those lines to get your foot in the industry.
Once you’ve gotten the basics of babysitting down to a tee, you can start building an online platform for yourself. Create your own Instagram or Facebook business profile advertising your experience and services – it’s one of the fastest ways to grow your client following!
14. Start Online Tutoring
It’s no secret that Malaysians put emphasis on extra classes and tuition on top of regular studies. So why not start exploring options as a tuition teacher?
But here’s the twist though. With more and more students turning to digital guides instead of referring to hardcover textbooks, and just generally becoming more tech-savvy; it’s not a half bad idea to start looking at becoming an online tutor.
An online tutor is a brand new, unique opportunity in the market of digital education. There’s no doubting the boom of this specific industry; with online-tutored students showing a two year gain in math and greater performances in exams!
Becoming an online tutor would present an upper hand – compared to a traditional tutoring position. For starters, there’s a whole lot of freedom with your hours/arrangements, without stringent rules binding you to only one time slot. Of course, the obvious bonus would be the fact that you get to work absolutely anywhere of your convenience.
Is working from home your thing? You’ll want to check out our very own curated list of side hustles to bring in another form of income. Most of them are totally location-flexible!
Circling back to online tutoring – where exactly should you start?
Platforms like ChampionTutor and TeachMe are fantastic places to dive straight into online tutoring. Just like we mentioned, these two platforms allow you to arrange your timetable and subject category, set your desired rate – and wait for your students to pour in!
Naturally, they would also need you to have some basic requirements before you start; like a decent SPM results, a recognized degree certification, etc. Best part? You could even charge a little extra hourly if you’ve got post-graduate/higher education experience to show for.
ChampionTutor lists subjects like Science, Geography, English and Chemistry as some of their most in-demand subject lists.
Now whilst ChampionTutor and TeachMe would guarantee a steady stream of students that need your help, you can also opt for something like a little quicker and side hustle friendly. Like Snapask.
Its app adopts a pretty unique take on the world of online tutoring and getting paid for lessons! The easiest way we can breakdown Snapask is to describe it as some sort of mobile crowdsourcing/e-learning platform that allows students to upload any questions they might have on the app to be answered by professionals.
Once that’s done, you (as an online tutor) would be paid for each question you answer – and receive a lump sum whenever you choose to withdraw. How cool is that?
You can check out SAYS’ review of Snapask for more information. Or just head on over to their official webpage.
15. Start A Virtual Assistant Business
If you know any growing entrepreneurs or budding Internet influencers, they’d probably have the same woes to air about time management. There just simply isn’t any!
The demand for virtual assistants is forecasted to give birth to 8 billion active consumers in the year 2021 alone. The logic is simple, really. Those in the business of growing their own brand or managing a startup need people with the skillset of handling day-to-day administrative tasks – which is where you come in!
The road to becoming a virtual assistant would not only give you autonomy and flexible working hours + location; but act as an excellent way to build a lucrative career. Even if you just begin with a side hustle! A good chunk of clients out there don’t necessarily need a full-time VA, which is why if you’re serious about getting down and dirty – you can take on more than one client at a time.
Although you’ll find a great deal of virtual assistant matching platforms in the US, Malaysia is still relatively new to the industry. That doesn’t mean you won’t find an abundance of hungry clients though!
We recommend getting started on advertising your listing, job skills and any relevant experience (it could be from previous full-time jobs as well) on Truelancer or Upwork – so that already hiring clients can easily find you. Take a look at some already existing profiles that you can refer to and get a feel of what you’re dealing with.
A quick scroll through Truelancer would also tell you that the rates for virtual assistants range anywhere from $10 to $50/hour! But of course, the best part of working for yourself is the fact that you can always start small…and give yourself a raise when you level up your skills and experience in the future.
16. Start A Podcast Channel
If you’re not subscribed and regularly listening to podcasts yet, what’s the hold up? On a global scale, podcast ads generated a revenue of close to $650 million in 2018 alone; and expected to grow close to $1.6 billion in the year 2022!
Although these figures come from the US alone, and given the fact that the art of podcasting is still new in Malaysia – there’s no doubt about it breaking major ground in the years to come.
So once you’re done just being a passive listener, why not start exploring your options as an earning podcaster? Whilst we understand that this line of side income isn’t for everybody; it could prove crazy successful for those with an already established product or service that needs a loyal fan base.
There are absolutely no limits to the topics you could start a podcast on! Business tips, culture and art, dating advice, mindful practices, personal finance management (that you can totally find over at HUSTLR’s own channel btw), and just generally anything that you know your fair share in.
And yes, we know you’re eager to get to the “earning” part of starting a podcast. Which is pretty simple actually – and essentially involves ads as forms of sponsorships and paid recommendations. This of course works best when you have a decent following of listeners on your podcast!
Basically, all you need to do is set a charge rate for mentioning several businesses / products / services on your episode to increase awareness for said brand. That’s it! Once you already have an a-okay following, you could in fact pitch sponsors you think suit your niche or even just focus on earning more traction (and listeners) to let your awesome ratings do the talking for you.
This might sound like it needs a lot of effort and work channeled in before you start seeing results. You’d be right.
Nonetheless, starting a podcast is a great way of getting your brand some recognition + getting paid to establish yourself in the niche that you love! Even if you don’t have something you’re selling, a podcast channel could be one of those things that could help get your personal YouTube, Instagram or Facebook page off the ground.
Check out these helpful guides on Best Podcast Hosting and Best Podcast Equipment to help you get started.
17. Graphic Designing
If you have expertise in graphic design, be it from an accredited college or self learnt, doing freelance graphic design can be a lucrative side income if you’re able to command top dollar for your work.
Chances are, there are a ton of businesses that need to outsource graphic design, especially in the digital marketing space. Almost everything posted online such as social media posts, Facebook banners, Pinterest infographics, logos and other forms of visual content can benefit from superior graphic design, which is where you come in.
Graphic design isn’t the easiest skill to pick up, especially if you’ve never been to a proper art school. The majority of higher-paid graphic designers are definitely skilled with the Adobe Creative Suite, which does have a rather steep learning curve. If you’re not a graphic designer but aspiring to be one, you should first develop the following characteristics / skills :
- Have an eye for details
- Understand basic fundamentals of graphic design
- Understand color combinations and color harmonies
- Good in typography
- Have an idea of what makes a good layout
Don’t be disheartened though! Being a self learned expert on graphic design is totally possible with enough dedication and effort, especially with the arsenal of design eBooks, online courses and PDF visual aids at your disposal on the glorious, worldwide web just waiting to be discovered.
Some good places to check out are:
• Adobe InDesign CC – Essentials Training Course (Udemy course)
• Illustrator CC 2019 Masterclass (Udemy course)
• Everything There Is to Know About Logo Design (Free E-book)
• Flat Design & Colors (Free E-book)
• Jesse Showalter (Check out his YouTube channel – he teaches a great deal to beginner graphic designers!)
If you’re already a graphic designer, or have self learnt to become fairly competent at it, the first step in starting your freelancing career is to compile your best work, categorize them by types of project (eg. logos / print / web) and get them featured in an online portfolio.
An impressive portfolio is by far the best endorsement for your work, and if you’re serious about earning more from freelance graphic design, you should definitely invest your effort and time to spice up your portfolio, even if it means working for free in the beginning.
Here are some great sites to consider in building your portfolio:
Once your portfolio is polished and ready, it’s entirely up to you to get the word out about your services.
Some sites to consider listing your services are:
If you’re just starting out, don’t expect to earn as much as other professional designers, but just know that you’ll be able to increase your rate over time. Your priority at the beginning should be to build up your portfolio, and once you have a strong portfolio, you’re on your way to charging more for your work.
When working with clients, you can charge them an hourly rate or by project basis. Designing fees by project basis can vary from hundreds to thousands depending on the scale of a project. The fee for a logo design would be generally be higher than designing a business card, for an example.
When it comes to deciding on how much you would want to charge, it’s important to realistically gauge how much do you feel your work is worth and decide what figure would you be happy or satisfied with. Be realistic when deciding these factors, and do some market research to get a ballpark figure on what the market rate is.
Don’t be discouraged if your rate isn’t ideal at the beginning, as there’s an unlimited potential to jump wayyyyy past that once you’ve got several notches in your belt. Some of the best graphic designers can charge clients up RM3,500 for 30 social media posts, or RM1,000 for 5 full-fledged Facebook promotional banners for a sales campaign.
It’s up to you to put in the work to perfect your craft, and it will certainly pay off once you’ve established your worth in your work.
18. Become a Dropshipper
You knew this was coming didn’t you? And for good reason, of course! We hope by now you’re familiar with the crazy beautiful world of dropshipping; but if you’re not – here’s what you need to know. Like, yesterday.
Dropshipping has become a brand new online marketplace trend, mutating wildly on its own and practically engulfing the modern eCommerce world as we know it. It’s one of the most viral, downright simple ways of making money on the side – that essentially only needs you (specifically your eCommerce/Shopify store) to play middle man and process orders straight to your supplier, which will then it turn deliver products to your consumers. No inventory needed.
That’s the essentials of it; but here’s a total breakdown on how you can start your own million-dollar idea with little to no capital following this business model.
You’d also want to read our piece on Top 5 Questions I Received About Dropshipping followed by Top 8 Ways to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Shopify Store.
The hardest part about starting a dropshipping business is, perhaps, attempting to find a product that would actually sell. However, Shopify themselves regularly come up with analysis reports on this (you can check out a sample here). Once you’ve done that, immediately start searching for your suppliers on Aliexpress or Wish. Check and check!
19. Writing and Selling an eBook
No doubt about it, the ideal side income situation would be if you were rewarded simply by already doing what you love. If you’re someone already pretty knowledgeable about your niche –why not start getting into the business of selling eBooks?
Some of you guys might prefer the hardcopy / paperback idea of publishing content. While that’s commendable and all, it’s important to notice that eBooks are extremely high in-demand because of how platform friendly it is! You have many more chances here to promote your eBook via digital media and reach ten times the audiences, which equals more sales sold eventually.
We covered this a little in “#8: Start A Blog” – but you can write an eBook spanning across soooo many topics! This includes how-to DIY’s, social media marketing, graphic design, and literally every other service you can think of.
Here are some ways a published and bestselling eBook promotion would look like:
All caught up? Good.
The sky’s the limit with the number of ways you can publish an eBook. However, we recommend probably starting out with Amazon’s own publishing services if you’re just a beginner to the game. Amazon provides you with 100% free publishing options and the ability to even be up for sale in less than 2 days.
You can even build up to the launch of your eBook with pre-launch sales, reaching out to affiliate marketers and offering snippets of your eBook via a subscribed email newsletter. It’s totally simple, lucrative and extremely rewarding to get paid for compiling together something you already know!
20. Try Mystery Shopping
Don’t say we never gave you anything fun! In fact, mystery shopping on the side is perhaps one of our many faves from this list – particularly for how easy it is to start and maintain.
In a very simplified nutshell, mystery shopping is up for anyone to start. Go to malls once in a while? Duh. Prioritize product quality and customer satisfaction out of every shopping experience? Of course. Well, what do you know – you’re ready to become a mystery shopper!
Mystery shopping is exactly what it sounds; discreet shopping to evaluate the customer experience you have in any branch or outlet you’re assigned to. This would include monitoring how efficient salespeople are in handling your needs, feedback from how the store is organised and other things observed during your time there.
You don’t have to worry about being inexperienced as a mystery shopper. It’s literally just jotting your own feelings and opinions! Of course, you’ll be provided with a guideline of what to look by the franchise you’re being employed by; but that’s about it. It’s that easy to get paid just doing what you’re going to be doing anyways.
In Malaysia, Popular bookstores is infamous for their mystery shopping programs. Anyone above the age of 21 can apply – as long as you’re not affiliated as a friend or family of a Popular staff member (naturally). After your feedback is sent off through their feedback form, you’d automatically receive a generous RM50 Popular voucher.
It’s not cold, hard cash we know. But it helps a great deal of students, lecturers or just working professionals looking to save an extra 50 ringgit spent on books/stationery. If you insist on the green, look to Neway’s Karaoke for a fantastic mystery shopping deal promotion. On estimate, they compensate anywhere from RM40-75/session if you’re chosen!
All you need to do is register as a member, before anything. Once you’re contacted, you’d receive an email from Neway with the information of which branches to visit, questions to ask the staff and basic quality checks to conduct. Note that you need to be 18 years old and above to qualify for Neway’s mystery shopper program.
Growing towards becoming a social media influencer would help leaps and bounds towards your personal brand. However, adopting the lifestyle of a public influencer isn’t for everyone!
You can still channel your social media powers somewhere else. So why not start tackling multiple accounts and helping brands improve instead? We don’t even need to go into the dirty deets of social media engagement and how important it is – because it’s become all but a necessity for brands to stay alive.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (our personal favorite btw!), Pinterest and YouTube. The 5 platforms you absolutely need to have a strong presence in order to reach loyal consumers. If you know a thing or two about maneuvering through these five sites, what’s stopping you from building a profitable side business from the ground up?
This would include you managing ads, scheduling posts, increasing engagement, responding to direct messages and keeping up with every trend that you could get your hands on.
To kick things off – you’d want to have a kickass online portfolio / blog that documents your skills + added valuable content!
Whether it may be through best blogging platforms to start a blog in 2023, or the best blogging tools EVER; it’d be a good idea to brush up on proper ways to optimize your online portfolio to really rake in those high-rolling clients.
One-off clients that reach you through word of mouth are cool, but the idea here (and the best way to earn consistent income) is to find clients who keep coming back for more.
Done? Move forward and start redirecting your clients from your actual social media pages to your website.
Create a Facebook + Instagram business page – and provide your potential consumers a sneak peek of what crazy engagement levels they could achieve by hiring you.
Once again with reference to Truelancer, social media management freelancers make anywhere from RM12 and above per hour. Totally normal to find more qualified ones that even charge up to RM32!
22. Personal Shopping When Abroad
Not to be confused with mystery shopping – becoming a personal shopper is a tad different.
So if you’re a total travel bug, listen up! Personal shopping essentially requires you to do some retail therapy on vacation; but with a twist. It’s for other people.
How does this work? Think about it this way. There are thousands of brands specific to each country that you simply will not be able to get anywhere else.
Maybe it’s some one-in-a-million Japanese candy, or Australian whisky that doesn’t offer worldwide shipping. It doesn’t matter! Point being is, there needs to be someone to get said product from Point A (its origin country) to Point B (the person from your country who wants it).
We know what you’re thinking. Are people really willing to pay someone else to do nothing else but transport an item back to them? The answer is a big, fat YES.
As a personal shopper, you might even come across transporting premium objects worth thousands of ringgit!
If you’re only just starting out as a personal shopper, you’ll find a big pool of customers through platforms like Jetspree. On the customer end, Jetspree allows for individuals to place a request / browse their platform for desired items. Once an order is completed – it’s up to you (the personal shopper) to source for the said item and confirm the payment. You’ll get paid 3-5 working days from dropping off the item.
Of course, Jetspree readily provides you with a handsome commission that’s worth your time and effort. They don’t specify their slice of the pie or what’s the cash out. But from what we understand, you can grab as much stuff as luggage would allow you to; in order to be compensated higher.
If you in fact get much more comfortable with personal shopping, you can start advertising your services across social media! That way, you’re automatically the go-to man or woman for bringing back one of a kind goods from various countries.
23. Referring Jobs to Your Friends
More and more businesses are starting to realize the true loss of hiring the wrong people. From this driving logic, intensive job matchmaking platforms are becoming increasingly popular – and now there are even options to connect your friends with a profession that suits them!
Now it’s a little unrealistic to place high such high expectations in the perfect candidate for the job. The next best thing however? Is to have you recommend the person best suited for the job; based on experience, skills and just a general understanding of whether of their credibility.
Oh, and of course, you get a cut from every successful referral that is made! Which basically means that each friend hired would let you walk away with some side income at the end of the day. Plus, you get to pat yourself on the back after doing a pretty good deed. Always worth it.
To name a few, some online recruitment portals in Malaysia that offer up such services include Seekers and Jobsco. Both of them have the same end goal in mind – and that is to refer as many vetted and skilled candidates to an organization that’s hiring. Seekers is a little more in-depth with their rewards though; even offering RM30 for interviews attended by a candidate.
There’s a pretty inclusive list up on the Seekers’ official website about the different ways you can get paid. However, since the peer-to-peer job matchmaking platforms are only in its early stages of gaining recognition; there’s no solid way to tell just how much you can be making per month by referring positions.
You can get a rough idea of how much you’d be compensated per referral though. This is generally calculated by the median salary your friend ends up getting. The higher the salary = the higher the rewards.
24. Transcribing Audio Files
Notice how subtitles and visual aids are practically included in every single video you watch? That’s because it’s become such an integral part in video sharing – and no longer JUST exclusively used for hearing impaired audiences anymore.
Transcribing these audio files into text / subtitle is actually a much more renowned industry than you think!
We have to warn you though, if you’re keen.
This is not a task for the easily bored, or ones that don’t possess patience as a virtue. Transcription is a highly repetitive and painstaking task to carry out!
Sometimes a video would take minutes. Others would take hours.
A good transcriptionist needs to consistently be on top of their game by making sure that all the seconds are in sync with the text, subtitles in line with lip movements and video timestamps. Yep – more work than it looks sunny boy.
It doesn’t have to be all that scary though. We did put this on the list for a reason! After a couple of weeks getting used to the controls and basic tricks of the trade, we guarantee that you’d be up and running this side hustle in no time. With experience would also come with the natural ability to understand various accents, or have your ears accustomed to scratchy background noise and feedback.
If you need to get paid for your transcription services in Malaysia – here are some options to check out!
And… yes. They pay in USD! All 3 of these platforms however require you to take on a quite vigorous entry test that assesses your transcription skills though.
Just know that if you pass, it’s already a pretty big deal as this little side hustle is a high-paying one.
25. Opening Up A Tech Fixing Business
Nothing comes close to that “sinking gut” feeling you get when your computer dies on you or goes haywire. Same goes for one day accidentally cracking your phone screen, or dropping it into the pool… We’re getting shivers just writing about it.
Human mistakes (and occasional faulty devices) are going to happen one way or another – which is why tech repair businesses will remain relevant, literally ALWAYS.
There’s a reason you see 3 of them in the same shop row sometimes. They’re all making a pretty penny off the kindness of clumsy people.
Of course in this context, we’re not asking you to up and build a tech repair shop just anywhere! But if you have a technical background, or if you’ve simply always been the go-to guy/gal in fixing stuff around the house; this step should resonate with you.
You can start operating your tech fixing business straight out of a home workshop, or even from a little workspace in your room.
Here are a few tips you can carry out to get your side hustle off the ground:
It is a small business, but it’ll help a lot if you’re registered and SSM certified by the Malaysian government. You can learn more about making it official right here.
Market, market, market. Invest in a strong digital presence by building a blog (see #8), stepping up your social media game (business pages, always!) and maybe even getting a good designer on board to help you out with business cards, logos, social media posts and other branding opportunities. Don’t worry about not having the creative flair yourself – just find the right flexible freelancer on Fiverr.
Start networking. You need to know your way around the industry with reliable suppliers, product manufacturers, software vendors and everyone else in order to survive.
Sometimes, brushing shoulders with competitors in your niche is good too – as it helps you figure out what drives their business and their own ways of reaching customers.
Keeping in tune with the latest happenings in the world of tech and gadgets is also an important quality to have! Personally, YouTube is our holy grail for new trends and fads explained; and you can easily find tens of influencers to follow there. For instance, if your niche is repairing Apple products, iFixit is an excellent channel to subscribe to. A general tech fix channel that’s also seriously awesome is Overkill Computers! Both are good to give you an idea of what you’re about to be dealing with in the industry, and the best way to go around it.
Starting a tech fix business all but guarantees a steady stream of customers at your door – if marketed properly, of course. Your already large market gives you a large step ahead in the right direction, and so does the ability to turn into a full-blown career option if you’re devoted enough.
26. Start Selling Personal Photographs as Stock Photos
HUSTLR believes in every opportunity to do what you love. But if you’re good at what you do and know your shit by default – why do it for free?
This side hustle idea involves you transforming your photography pastime or hobby into a growing, profitable business! More specifically, through the art of selling stock photos online for a tiny fee you can take home.
To kick things off, you’ll want to make a profile on several stock image platforms. As many as you can find; who said anything about just one? Now you can of course get your pictures displayed on any one that you like – but you want to build your business on a platform that already comes equipped with a large following. Some of our personal favorites are of course Shutterstock, 123RF, iStock and Alamy!
Now that’s settled. How do you jump into starting a viable side hustle this way?
You’ll want to invest in a decent camera, above anything else. The Sony a6000 is an absolute classic that you can’t go wrong with! Sometimes, a really solid smartphone with high specs will do the trick just fine as well. You can take a look at the list here.
If you want to get started right away - here are a few tips to follow through with:
TRY TO BE AS VERSATILE AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN
We know how comfortable it can be to stick to one niche, but you won’t see much traction if you limit yourself this way. Only taking pictures of landscapes, or just food will constrain your creative freedom – and only drive a limited number of people your way.
INVEST IN A PHOTO-EDITING SOFTWARE
Try to avoid app-based filters as they somewhat diminish the resolution of the photos you take. Personally, we find Adobe’s Creative Suite to have literally everything you need. Their Lightroom software, to be specific!
THE TINY LITTLE DETAILS MATTER
Some photos won’t sell at certain periods of time, whilst others skyrocket above the rest. Be observant of trends like holiday seasons, celebrations, social issues and everything else that’s happening around you to segment your photos. Oh, and don’t forget to label them with the correct keywords to let your customers find you easily.
27. Becoming A Personal Assistant to Senior Citizens
With the help of medicine and overall good quality of life, more and more Malaysians are living longer. In fact, ten years from now – there would be a staggering 15% of the population already 60 years old and above.
The growing rate of more senior citizens in the country has also given rise to the number of elderly people in need of personal care to carry out the things they no longer are able to anymore. This includes some housekeeping, maintaining personal hygiene, going to the grocers, cooking, driving to medical appointments and other basic activities!
As a personal assistant or caregiver to these senior citizens, you can choose to either operate a more flexible, freelance basis or to commit part time. With freelancing of course, there would have to be significant work that has to go into building your reputation + networking; but with more autonomy over your hours and rates. As a part-time supplement for your income, you can choose to enroll under various organisations that would do the matching for you.
In Malaysia, the two that stand out are Homage and Cality Care. The common goal here is to provide caregivers to elderly citizens across the country; according to each individual’s needs. Both of these platforms have already existing part time positions that you can apply to on their “careers” page.
Note that some positions might require a bachelor’s in nursing or similar qualifications. However, if you’re just starting out on your own, confident in your skills and ultimate patience – you can start out by offering the very basics of care and emotional support, minus the fancy MBA.
Of course, this would work best if you start out small with friends and family you know of before offering your services to strangers.
29. Generating Income Through A High-Savings Account
If you devoutly follow HUSTLR’s advice blogs, you’re going to notice that we’re huge on making/keeping money through the power of automation and ease. As such, compound interest is in its essence – your money making MORE money for you.
Generating compound interest requires you to do absolutely nothing besides moving your money to a high-yield savings account. This form of a savings account slowly builds up on your existing deposit amount – to give you anywhere from 3% to 5% in interest each year.
The best savings account in Malaysia are…. *drum roll*
- Maybank2u Savers: 2% per annum
- OCBC Booster: 3.25% per annum
- OCBC Smart Saver: 2.25% per annum
This could mean an extra RM500, RM1,000 or even more depending on how much you choose to save! We’re talking about free money awarded to you for being wise about your finances. Although it’s not technically a side hustle that requires you to work, generating compound interest is honestly some thing you need to consider if you haven’t already.
Banks in Malaysia are brimming with savings account options that give you high interest rates. There’s no excuse to not sign up – you can literally get started within minutes.
30. Getting Into Online Coaching/Consulting
We covered ways to make income off selling eBooks, starting a YouTube channel and high-traffic advice blog. Even listed down several ways an influencer side hustle would work in your favor to earn extra cash.
All of the above boils down to you sharing content and valuable insight in order to advance your brand; albeit in a more aggressive way. But we understand that sometimes putting your life on hold to build a fan base isn’t exactly an option. Or maybe you’re just much more of an introvert who prefers to keep up a silent hustle – and that’s okay!
If that’s the case, start looking at options to become a professional online consultant and coach.
We really love the concept of JustAnswer for this. Applying as an “Expert” consultant here would give you options to earn up to $1,000 by just answering questions from concerned netizens around the world!
Of course, this goes without saying that you have to be a total master at your niche (with the qualifications to prove it). You can choose to consult from thousands of different topics ranging from computers, animal behaviors, finance, homework and even law! It’s up to you which topics you’re comfortable answering – and the more you answer, the higher your earnings stack up at the end of the month.
JustAnswer requires 5-20 business days for your application to be reviewed and confirmed. You can start by registering here.
31. Creating and Selling Handmade Goods
Last but certainly not least – this one’s for all y’all creative spirits! We love browsing through DIY projects, handmade clothes and accessories as much as the next guy; but do you realize how much money these little shops make a month?!
This Malaysian housewife made close to RM30k handbag sales on Etsy ALONE, with most of her bags ranging anywhere from RM35-RM300 per handbag. She recorded a million-ringgit revenue across the past ten years; and still rakes in more sales each month.
So if you have a natural flair for making pretty little things from scratch, or any other forms of handiwork – Etsy is a platform you need to be on! They are home to thousands of handmade mugs, embroidered posters, customizable t-shirts, bridal party favors and everything else under the vast umbrella of homemade craft.
As an Etsy seller on the other hand, you’ll be able to list your product for around RM0.80 for a period of 4 months until the first sale. From that point onwards, a minimal fee of 3.5% plus PayPal processing fees are incurred from your sale – and the rest is yours to keep.
Probably the best part about selling with Etsy is the fact that you’ll be able to reach audiences from all across the globe. If most of your customers come from overseas (especially from Australia, the States, New Zealand, etc) you’ll be able to charge an amount comfortable with your desired income and not have to worry about under-charging to generate sales.
Customers that shop on Etsy already understand that they’re paying a higher premium price to get quality, gorgeous handmade products – so you’ll always be able to earn a handsome amount once you’re recognized.
Pheeeww…was that a list! We warned you it was going to be long, but we’re so happy you go to the end of it!
As you can probably tell by now, there are sooooo many viable forms of side income that you can do in Malaysia that breaks the boundaries of just getting a part-time salesperson or barista job.
A huge chunk of the above can be done totally online; complemented by those that would still pay big bucks for a couple of hours out of your regular day. Regardless, we hope that this listicle would do more than just sit in your Bookmarks tab!
Narrow down two options that you love. Look through the links provided. Then whip out that go-getter attitude and start hustling on the side to build something you can be really proud of.
13 thoughts on “31 Side Income Ideas You Can Start in Malaysia (Updated 2023)”
that's great information !
Am so glad I don't need to pay for it.
Thanks guys you are Awesome !
no problem Gabriel! 😀
Sir after reading this post. All my confusions have gone away. I am so benefited by visiting your site. Thanks sir share this information.He has really sweet responses to basically all of these- Thank you very much.
This is very helpful but would you possibly have the same info but for COVID-19 situation? Thank you!
So for COVID, there are 3 sectors that are growing exponentially. Healthcare/IT and eCommerce. So maybe you can start looking there. You can try freelancing or look to provide services to these companies because they are fast growing if you're not into starting a business.
Nice post thanks post share
Great listing! This is the most honest "how to make money" writeup ever and the review's stars is quite accurate as well.
can you help me to get a job that can be done at home and have a stable income?
sir, I need the job I am no there any city but I am here Somali so I finish university I don't have the job I am finishing university accounting so plz plz I need some job like online please thanks sir very much
Have a look at this article - 5 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs That Pays The Bills in 2020
thank you! glad it helped
Hi Jeremy Ong
Any hands on workable workshop fast easy. Not one that needs to pay for a lot of subscription. For me Usd 500 per month is a great way to start. Passive income