side income malaysia
Earning Money

Side Income Malaysia: 4 Ways to Earn Extra Income in 2021

Before we start with this article, know this: there is SO MUCH abundance in this world. Money and opportunities are EVERYWHERE. All you have to do to claim some of that for yourself is clear the obstacles that block those rewards from reaching you*.

*Granted, some people have more obstacles than others

Note: trying to earn side income is not the only way to make extra money in Malaysia, but it is the most practical starting point, because most of us don’t have the capital to start leveraged businesses or earn high 4, 5 figures (tips to increase your salary).

How can I make an extra RM1000 a month in 2021

Here are 4 ways to earn an extra RM1000 a month or even more. Many of these are also great side income ideas for students, or those looking for part time income in Malaysia. Let’s go over them:

Method #1 – Sell first, fulfil later

The basic idea of sell first, fulfil later is:

  1. Identify an area where there is a lot of demand
  2. Make sure there are no/very few competitors
  3. Negotiate to supply the product/service
  4. Get upfront deposit (this is important)
  5. Create or secure the order (now only you buy the stock)
  6. Fulfil the order and collect your remaining payment

It sounds simple, but many people don’t do #1-4 – they buy the stock first THEN look for buyers. If they’re lucky, the product sells itself. If they’re not… that’s pure loss.

Here’s an example of capitalising on an opportunity where demand was high and there were no competitor.

@surayaror

Business 101: finding opportunities to make money #malaysiatiktok #businesshack #makingmoney

♬ Aesthetic Girl – Yusei

Method #2 – Follow a practical course

Take one course, then implement the strategies. Do NOT look out for other options before you finish the course, do NOT take two at the same time. Just one.

Make sure it’s a PAID course, because psychologically speaking, the human brain appreciates something that you paid more than something you get for free. Use your psychology to your advantage, skin-in-the-game style. 

As for which course to take – whichever is action-oriented, preferably one which has clear timelines. Avoid ‘do at your own pace’ courses if you are really serious about it.

Because I am team #BuyMalaysian, here I’d like to promote two Malaysian course creators who I’ve followed for a while – their free content is already great, so the structured content is even better.

1) How to Become a Freelance Writer (in 60 Days) course by Aisha of OutandBeyond.com; $45 (~RM200)

You get:

  • 110+ page ebook
  • Pitching templates (I spent years learning this)
  • SEO training (this is the moneymaker guys. Everyone can write but not everyone can optimise for search engine)
  • writing opportunities,
  • and more

2) 21 Days to Ecommerce Dropshipping course by Hafiz of DropshipKartel.com – RM397; intake is open only a few times per year

You get:

  • 21 x step-by-step videos to learn ecommerce dropshipping
  • Email marketing guide
  • Facebook ads guide
  • 1-year support and guidance on running your ecommerce dropshipping business (important for motivation and accountability!)
  • And more

Both courses are suitable for complete beginners. Most importantly, these courses are very affordable – the information is worth thousands but only cost a couple of hundred.

Method #3 – Monetise your hobby

…Monetising your hobby could be the best idea ever (profit from something you love? Wowowoww), OR the worst idea ever (your hobby may not bring you joy anymore).

My personal take is: it’s worth trying to monetise your hobby. It may not work, but… what if it does? The potential upside is worth the trouble.

Personally, this is what I did. Personal finance blogging is a hobby of mine and I now earn a good income as a blogger. Best. Decision. Ever.

Method #4 – Explore your curiosity

Have you always wanted to try something? Now’s your chance to figure out how to do it while ALSO thinking of monetary compensation!

I’ve brainstormed and compiled some side income ideas that I personally think seems fun. This list is NOT exhaustive – these ideas are mostly my personal interests (internet culture, ecommerce, organisation porn).

  • Internet tutor for adults. Help adults (and by adults here I really mean technologically-challenged people) make email accounts, create social media accounts, open blogs/Tumblr/websites, suggest best websites to visit, etc. I think many elderly people would really enjoy getting this lesson from patient youngsters.
  • Collect and sell recyclables. This might work well for apartments/flats/condominiums because you can get a lot in one shot. Get permission to install recycling bins, then promote recycling via flyers etc. Collect and sell them. Aside from the usual recyclables, you can also collect other ‘junk’ – IT junk, home knick-knacks – and recycle/sell those online.
  • HALAL CHINESE FOOD. Do you have any IDEA how big the demand for halal Chinese food is in Malaysia??
  • Chef/Baker specialising in Pinterest/Buzzfeed/YouTube recipes. Send them the link, ask them to make it. I mean, I’ve scrolled my Facebook a few times and saw the recipes and went, ‘yum’ but have no interest in making them myself. Related: Sell frozen cookie dough that people can buy so they can make freshly baked cookies in their homes.
  • Offer virtual tours in your neighbourhood. Food tours. Graffiti tours. Temple tours. Just because we can’t travel don’t people don’t want to experience new locations. Get some ideas (and list your virtual tour) at AirBnB experiences.
  • Offer KonMari services. Help people to declutter their shit. Great for natural organisers among you (you know who you are!). Even better if you can take and sell the stuff they no longer want!

Conclusion

So which of the above do you want to take action on, so you get to earn extra income in Malaysia? If you have no idea, then Method #2 is for you. Get the skills then find the passion for it later.

Ultimately, don’t take too long to decide. Just pick one and roll with it, because inaction is the problem. Not only you won’t earn anything, but inaction also won’t make you learn anything.

Do you have any other ideas for businesses, part-time jobs or side income ideas in Malaysia that have high demand nowadays? Please share in the comment section 🙂 And if you’re already hustling, I want to know about it – share in the comments section too!

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36 Comments

  1. “A website that people can put baju kurung/baju melayu measurements and you sew and deliver to them. They can send the fabric, or you can have some pre-selected fabric options. Related: offer on-demand alteration services at home/office. Related: Service that can create the exact same copy of a well-loved but old piece of clothing.”

    I’ve been thinking about the same idea before,back on those days when i was selling ‘kain pasang’ to my colleague…Think its time to give it a go. Also thinking about giving mobile service where the measurement can be taken anytime and anywhere.

    1. A service selling kain pasang (and its combos) would work too, I think! For example, sort by colour, style, event, etc.

      I imagine the measurement part must be really clear, because then you’ll end up with customers who accidentally measured wrong.

      Look forward to see your business Anep!

  2. Those are a very brialliant & practical idea in Malaysia. Couldn’t agree more the demand of Halal Chinese food ! because me my self love Chinese food & it is very hard to get it !

    1. I love Chinese food too! It’s hard not to, it’s so delicious. Can anyone reading this make halal Hokkien Mee please? I’ve always wanted to try!

      Thanks for stopping by Ora 🙂

  3. Hey Sue – go look for Old Town Halal Hokkian Mee in PJ state area – I heard its good – I Juz got back from your old haunt – Ipoh – had a blast at all the halal Chinese places you recommended – especially New Hollywood – didn’t like Vegas that much though. Hope you get to taste the Hokkian mee !

    1. There is halal hokkien mee?? Thanks for tip Mamabugz, I’ve always wanted to try 😀 Glad you enjoyed the Ipoh trip 🙂

  4. Not too bad for a Malaysian touch kind of a blog about types of part time income besides those available now were mostly from USA. Cool tips, keep it up.

    p/s: By the way, do you practice minimalism? I have just become aware of the concept of living as a minimalist.

    1. Thanks, am keeping it up

      I do try to incorporate minimalism into my life, yes. I think I’m alright with this, but definitely not on the extreme end.

  5. Hi, i got an idea to start e commerce business sth like tailor made curtain and blinds. Client can choose fabrics and key in their requIred sizes, and we will sew and deliver to them. We provide optional installation too. What do you all think ? Will it work ? Actually i am a soft furnishing specialist.

    1. Hey Jace, ‘

      I’m not from the industry, so I can’t comment much about how it’ll do.

      I will say, though, there is demand for ready-made curtains, the pinterest styles one. With nice pictures, I think it has potential definitely. This one, for example, is very pretty. https://www.etsy.com/listing/536060060/custom-color-block-curtains-six-styles?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=curtains&ref=sr_gallery_14

  6. #15 Omg! Wish I could hire someone like Sheldon Cooper from BigBangTheory to do this. It’ll be worth every penny.
    Btw, a very informative blog this is! Subcribing 🙂

    1. Hey Lili,
      No dice, you need someone with good social skills for that :p
      Thanks for stopping by and subscribing! That makes me happy 🙂

  7. Honestly a great idea about the frozen cookie dough! I bake alot and also have been looking for a way to earn some money. Will definitely attempt this. Thanks!!

  8. Malay translators/proofreaders.

    I’m very interested with this. Where to find it? My BM is really good since primary school. Got As in BM for UPSR, PMR and SPM haha

  9. Hi Suraya

    Try trading the forex market which require relatively small investment capital, and not much overheads & expenses. Trade as one would with the stock & bond market but only at a much faster pace. Treat the forex market like gambling and you will wipe out the trading account in no time.
    Like every investments, the key to success is to take the time to study, research, and understand what you are going to venture into before jumping in.

    There are just too many misconception from people who got “burned” by leaping in without checking or they have absolutely no idea what the forex market is all about in the first place and just heard what their friends/relatives have told them. That really pisses me off!

    Okay…that’s my two-bits on alternative investment ideas!

    Cheers & all the best!

    1. Hi Liew@ Rahman,

      I did dabble in forex. It’s not for me, and I find the practices commonly in the forex industry used exceptionally misleading.

  10. Knowing there’s demand for halal chinese food, why there aren’t many halal chinese restaurants or food stalls around? Just curious, is it difficult to get the halal certification especially if the business owner is a chinese?

    1. Hi Boon Tatt,

      That’s a good question. Need a f&b owner to answer. But I think, based on what little I know about the halal certification process, it’s quite mafan to do. Maybe another reason is pork or pork products is a non-negotiable aspect of the recipe too.

      Maybe there are other reasons. Inviting others to chime in

  11. Renting out rented properties by the hour for meetings, gathering, parties & film production shoot would be a great one too. Instead of renting out extra room for travellers (which most lower income groups don’t have), renting out living room, nap place, bbq spots by the hour will serve the group with one property & even rented properties.

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