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Last Updated on December 2, 2020 by Yovana
“Side hustle” has become quite the buzzword which makes sense when 45% of working Americans report having a side hustle.
A side hustle in addition to your full-time job is one of the quickest ways to better your financial situation. You can use that extra income to build an emergency fund, pay off debt such as student loans, or if you want to think bigger picture, start a new career and life.
However, working a side hustle you hate just for the sake of more money isn’t going to get you anywhere but burnt out. You have to start by looking at what skills you can transfer into creating another income stream and it has to be something you enjoy doing.
Don’t settle for something that sucks the life out of you, no matter the number of dollar signs it could bring. And more importantly, watch out for scams.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is anything you do for money on the side of your day job or other part-time jobs. This could include active income from actual side jobs or a project you set up to generate passive income down the line.
They can also be entrepreneurial ventures started on the side of your day job with the intention of building a full-time business (or keep it on the side).
How much money can you make with your side hustle?
How much dough your side hustle is willing to bring in depends on a variety of factors:
- Is the pay limited to hourly pay?
- Can you set your own pay?
- Are you able to make tips?
- Is there a way you can build it up over time as a passive income source?
- Do you want to end up scaling it into a business?
If you are looking to do a side hustle for a limited amount of time and don’t want to commit long term to it, that is perfectly fine. Find something that you are willing to squeeze a lot of cash out of in a short amount of time like a part-time job. Bartending is great for this because you can easily make $300 in tips from one night.
You could even do it on and off as my wife does with her eBay guitar flipping side gig. Some months she puts a lot more effort into it than others.
Or build up an income source on the side that takes longer to grow, like blogging. This is done more on your own time and you won’t be making $1,000 a month right away but it is definitely possible a few months down the road.
The Best Side Hustles to Create Multiple Income Streams in 2021
There are a number of reasons why side gigs can benefit you in addition to bringing in extra cash flow.
With a side hustle or project, you can build on existing skill sets (free courses are a great tool to aid you in your venture), develop new ones, include it all on your resume as experience for future job applications, or work on building it into a full-time business for yourself.
Some of the side hustle ideas listed below are easier to start than others and some require a specific skill set to pull off. All are also scam-free.
Let’s discuss each one a little deeper, shall we? Who knows, by the end of this article you might have a groundbreaking idea (with a little motivation) for your next venture.
1. Sell items on eBay, Craigslist, and SidelineSwap.
Selling items online is one of the easiest side hustles you will see on this list which is why it’s listed first. It requires little investment and is low risk – especially if you already have some to sell items or can find them for cheap to resell.
Items that sell easily on eBay include collectibles, brand name clothing, and accessories, electronics, computers and accessories, antiques, etc.
Things that do well on Craigslist include larger things like car parts, fish tanks, gaming consoles, etc.
SidelineSwap is specifically for selling sporting goods so this app is perfect for selling old athletic equipment, jerseys, things like basketballs or volleyballs, accessories and more. Read our full review on SidelineSwap here.
Honorable mention: If you have a lot of electronics you need to get rid of (including phones, tablets, DVDs, video games, etc), maybe try out Decluttr. On Decluttr you can easily sell tech and ship to Decluttr for free. Read our full Declutter review here!
Sign up to get your FREE list of items to flip and resell!
Get your list of over 30 ideas for items to flip and resell for a profit!
2. Walk dogs or pet sit.
If you are an animal lover, getting paid for dog walking or pet sitting might be the perfect side hustle for you.
Apps like Rover allow anyone to apply to be a dog walker, a daily pet sitter, provide overnight boarding for dogs, and a wide variety of other pet-related services.
You can set your own rate and availability in the app. I have seen some dog walkers listed for as much as $20 per half-hour walk.
——> Check out my review of working for Rover in this Rover Sitter Review of how I made money doing what I do best, rolling around with cats.
3. Freelance skills you already have on Fiverr.
Let’s say you have experience with web design, web development, copywriting, PR, etc. You could freelance your skills on Fiverr and set your own rate for each project.
For example: If you enjoy writing and can show some sample work on your Fiverr profile, you could easily sell your freelance writing skills on Fiverr.
4. Become a local travel guide in your area.
Did you know that you can also become a travel guide through Airbnb? Just create an Airbnb ‘Experience’ to list on the app in your local area and you are in business.
Searching through tour guide associations through the different city, state or national levels can get you some good job prospects as well. You can look for tour guide associations here.
5. Deliver for DoorDash.
A reliable source of transportation, a valid driver’s license, and car insurance are all you need to pull off this side gig.
DoorDash is one of the easiest food delivery services you can work for. Earn more money in your spare time delivering food with your car, scooter or bicycle. DoorDash pays fast and you can get your first check-in your first week.
6. Write an eBook.
Do you have an awesome idea for an eBook or an e cookbook?
Maybe you have a success story about your life or a specific skill set you want to share with others to improve their own lives or careers?
Write an eBook about it and self publish it on Amazon! Don’t stress out about it and try to tackle it in one night either. You could use this online side hustle idea and work on your writing on nights and weekends gradually towards your goal.
Read how this guy was able to become a millionaire from his book idea.
7. Start a blog.
Are you passionate about something that you can write at least 100 articles on it? That’s blogging in a nutshell.
I make over $2,000 a month (and that continues to grow) with my blog as a successful side hustle (this blog right here) and it has been such an amazing experience. Because of this blog, I have been able to work with big-name publications, amazing brands and have been able to meet some amazing people along the way.
Start a Money Making Blog Free Email Course
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Sign up for the newsletter to receive regular updates and get instant access to the free course.
8. Create a course.
Do you love to paint in your spare time and have a unique way of painting that people love? Create a course on it.
You could sell that course for around $200 (this depends on what the course entails). Sell it to 50 people and you will be $10,000 richer.
Platforms like Teachable make online course creation idiot-proof and offer tons of tips, guides, etc to help you through the entire process.
9. Make money answering other people’s questions on JustAnswer.
Justanswer.com is a site where you can get paid for answering other people’s questions.
People come to this site to ask questions to a variety of different categories of experts. How much you can make per answer you provide as an expert depends on the amount that the person is willing to pay for the answer.
Related: 28 Ways to Make an Extra $100 a Day
10. Teach English online.
If you have a bachelor’s degree, high-speed internet connection, and a headset, then you could make up to $26 teaching English online as a side hustle idea.
Companies like Qkids and VIPKID allow you to work remote as little or as often as you like as an online teacher. Check out these VIPKID reviews for a better idea of what is required of you when working as an online teacher.
11. Rent out your car.
This is another one of those ideas that if you have the luxury of having a car or not having to use your car, you can get paid to rent it out to others.
You can literally get paid now for renting out your car in a similar way to renting out space in your home on Airbnb.
Turo is an amazing app that is basically the Airbnb of cars.
The basic idea is getting paid for other people to rent your car instead of renting cars from services like Enterprise or Hertz. What you can make in a month with your car depends on its market value.
If the market value of your car is low to average you can easily make $300-$600 or more a month renting out your car. If you have a car with a somewhat-high market value, you can easily make $1,000 or more.
12. Rent out extra space on Airbnb.
Not everyone has the luxury of doing this, and if this isn’t for you – skip to the next one.
If you have extra space to rent out in your house or on your property, Airbnb is for you. Depending on where you are located, you can easily make an extra $2,000 a month from renting out your space.
If you can outsource the cleaning and maintenance of the rental space, you can turn your Airbnb side hustle profits into passive income!
13. Review books online.
Another way to earn extra money as a freelance writer is by reviewing books online. The U.S. Review of Books pays people to write book reviews for their site.
The average review range from 250-300 words and should summarize the book. Book reviews should also include insights drawn from the reading.
Book reviewers that are accepted by the U.S. Review of Books are paid monthly.
14. Part-time jobs are the original side hustle.
You can get a part-time job as a bartender, cutting grass, cleaning houses, doing front desk work, catering, etc.
I once had a part-time job (mainly on the weekends) as a brand ambassador for Bacardi. It paid $25 an hour to give out free samples of Bacardi at liquor stores, grocery stores, and bars. It was a fun time and a great side hustle for extra cash.
15. Become a social media manager or virtual assistant.
If you are great with social media and know how to reach people on various platforms, you could start your own social media management side business.
Virtual assistants can also be social media managers or they can just be used to complete admin tasks such as email and customer service.
You can start out by joining Facebook groups aimed at website owners, bloggers, and other small business owners. Go through them looking for people that might need social media management or virtual assistant services.
16. Sell your designs on Threadless.
Threadless is a site where you place current designs and artwork of yours on a variety of products including clothing, home decor, mugs, etc.
After you get your shop set up, all you have to do is submit your design and what you want to sell with your design on it. Threadless takes care of all the marketing, packaging, shipping, and even customer support.
Related: How to Make Money as an Artist
17. Sell your handcrafted items on Etsy.
So many people now utilize Etsy to sell their uniquely crafted goods and digital products.
Are you aware of something in high demand within a certain niche?
Let’s say you know how to make gorgeous costumes and see that the certain costumes you make aren’t yet listed for sale on Etsy by other sellers. There is a gap you can fill and thus be able to really stand out on Etsy.
Down the line, you could turn your Etsy side business into your full-time day job.
18. Narrate audiobooks.
If you love to read books and have a voice that people love listening to, try audiobook narration.
To get started narrating, you will need:
- A mic
- Pop screen
- Recording and editing software
- A quiet space and a computer
With the rise of Audible, the demand for audiobook narrators is climbing so it will be fairly easy to find work. To start looking for work, you should start networking in Facebook groups and online forums where people are audiobook narrators.
19. Get paid to listen to music in your spare time.
Musicxray.com is a site that pays users $12 per hour to listen to music online.
After you sign up, they send music straight to your inbox. You get 10 cents for every 30-second audio. This adds up to $12 an hour if you consistently go through the audio they send you, without interruptions.
20. Complete tasks for others on TaskRabbit.
If you are handy and can fix things easily or can perform manual labor without complaining too much, TaskRabbit will pay you for it!
On TaskRabbit, people list the chores or tasks they need to be completed and you sign up for the ones you want. You can set your own rates and your own hours.
21. Make videos on YouTube.
You can literally make MILLIONS on YouTube. Not from day 1, but eventually.
Currently a 7 year old is the highest-paid YouTuber at $22 million dollars. Seriously. He does toy reviews.
Take a page from that playbook. If there is something you have an interest in whether it be makeup, movies, fashion, cars, etc and start recording reviews of products.
Out of all the side hustle ideas, this one (along with blogging) takes a while to build up.
22. Sell stuff on Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook Marketplace is like the upgraded version of Craigslist. It makes it possible for you to list and sell items in your local area and keep all the communication within Facebook so you feel safer when going to meet up for the exchange.
We recently sold a bass amp on Facebook because it was too large to sell on eBay that the shipping costs would have been astronomical. We made $300 off the sale.
23. Earn money off of your photography skills.
Shutterstock will pay you up to $120 per image download of your photos. Over time, the more you earn increases how much you earn per image.
If you are a seasoned photographer, this is a great way to earn extra income passively. Take a photo once, earn from it multiple times.
Shutterstock will also pay you for referring other photographers to the site.
24. Resell brand name clothing on Poshmark.
You can buy designer brands for cheap from stores like Clothes Mentor and resell them on Poshmark for full price.
Brands that do well on Poshmark are Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, and Coach.
25. Resell electronics on Gazelle.
You can instantly sell your mobile device, tablet or laptop on Gazelle. Enter what you want to sell on the site and Gazelle will give an offer in less than a minute.
After that, you ship it to them for free and wait for your payment.
26. Create a smartphone app.
If you have mobile development experience and knowledge of a current gap in the mobile app market, create your own smartphone app.
When it is completed you can bring it in front of companies that purchase apps to see if they might want to purchase yours.
27. Invent something new.
Are you an idea person? If so, you could come up with an idea for an invention and then apply for a patent on the idea.
You can either go through with creating a prototype and selling that invention or sell the patent itself.
28. Sell your travel videos.
This idea for side income might make a suitable supplement for the digital nomad. If you are often traveling with a camera handy suitable for taking high-quality videos, you can get paid for those videos.
You can create video ads for hotels, attractions and restaurants or sell your travel videos to tourism companies.
29. Sell your recipes to food magazines.
Did you know you can use your recipes as an income generator? Sites like Cuisine at Home will pay you for your recipe if chosen to be published.
Submit to Cuisine at Home and make up to $100 for published cooking tips.
Related: 26 Cheap Crock Pot Meals
30. Become a bookkeeper.
Bookkeepers perform a verity of tasks such as payroll and keeping track of spending. Being a bookkeeper can be rewarding as you can handle bookkeeping tasks remotely part-time.
You do not need a degree to be a bookkeeper but you need to be familiar with accounting software and be certified.
Online remote bookkeeper jobs can be found on job boards such as FlexJobs.
31. Invest in real estate.
Roofstock is where you can buy investment properties that you can start earning rent on as soon as you close on the property.
The property manager does the day to day operations of your property so you can sit back and watch the money roll in.
When signing up for Roofstock you get a $500 credit towards your investments.
32. Promote items and brands on social media.
You can get paid in multiple ways by promoting your favorite stuff on social media. A Brand can pay you to post the content due to your following or hire you as a brand ambassador.
Affiliate links are the most common way to get paid for product promotion. This is when someone clicks your links and makes a purchase, you receive a percentage.
To explore how you can make the most money using affiliate links, I suggest this course on affiliate marketing from someone who makes more than $50,000 monthly.
33. Deliver groceries for Instacart.
Get paid to grocery shop for others with Instacart. The job is pretty simple and all you need is spare time and a car. Even if you don’t have a car, you can sign up as a “shopper”.
You can set your own hours and make tips.
34. Test websites for UserTesting.com.
Test websites and apps online and get paid for it on UserTesting.com. If you pass their application process you can get paid up to $60 per test.
UserTesting will pay you via PayPal 7 days after the date of your completed test or tests.
35. Participate in focus groups and research studies.
Participating in online research studies, surveys and focus groups can be easy money if you can qualify. Earn up to $150 an hour by participating in clinical studies with Cashback Research.
36. Become a proofreader.
Do you have a passion for words and reading? You could become an online proofreader and make money with that passion.
Caitlin the creator of the course Proofread Anywhere after she was able to create a living proofreading. She helps others create a remote lifestyle proofreading online and if you want to get started with this side hustle, I recommend her resources. This free workshop of hers is phenomenal!
37. Clean houses.
If you are a neat freak and have extra time to put those skills to use, you can clean houses and businesses as a side gig.
The apps Steady and AppJobs list a variety of gigs based on your location looking for workers, including cleaning gigs. After you submit your location, browse for cleaning jobs you can get started with.
Or get with a couple of friends who also enjoy cleaning and see about creating your own side business.
38. Get handy.
Have you heard of the app called Handy? Handy is an app that connects people that need jobs done like carpentry, furniture assembly, cleaning, etc with workers who can fulfill those jobs.
You can sign up on the app as Handy Pro and apply to jobs in your area.
39. Write resumes.
Resume writers do exactly that. They write, review, and edit resumes for others looking for assistance because of their specific insight into what companies look for on a resume.
The demand for this specific service is high especially with the number of online job boards that resumes tend to fall into a black hole on.
If you possess this specific skill and insight, you can find jobs by looking at various sites like:
- Virtual Vocations (read our review)
- Google “resume writing jobs”
- Join freelance writing Facebook groups
40. Become a personal chef.
I love to cook but my skillset is nowhere near the level to become a personal chef. However, I know many that could make a killing at this hustle.
The only downside to becoming a personal chef as a side job is that you can’t necessarily do it remotely. But it is a fun and immersive way to express your creativity making dishes for unique tastes.
Check out this article for more on becoming a personal chef if this idea sparks your interest.
41. Develop a physical product to sell.
Developing physical products to market and sell is not as easy as it sounds. There is a lot of research involved in this side hustle idea.
But if you create the perfect product your audience needs to solve a problem, that is all you need – for it to solve their problem.
Think of something that frustrates you and invent something new to solve that frustration (or modify and existing concept). Then work with others who specialize in marketing, etc to get the word out about your product.
42. Create a comic.
This is something I have always wanted to do. From my days of writing Sailor Moon fanfiction manga, I dreamed of growing up to become an illustrator but other things in life got in the way.
I suggest you start with pure creativity mind dumps on this one and just get to drawing. See what you can come up with.
43. Become a personal shopper or mystery shopper.
Personal shopping is a little different than mystery shopping, even though they both basically allow you to get paid to shop.
Personal shopping is when you help others shop by giving advice and making suggestions. Mystery shopping is when you complete tasks at stores for companies for market research.
I’ve done a few mystery shopping jobs through BestMark before and apps like EasyShift.
They don’t pay great but don’t take much time to complete either. I say they are at least worth the extra cash. Personal shopping, however, has the potential to shift into your own business if you play your cards right.
44. Create websites for small businesses.
After I left my first job out of college at a startup out of complete misery, I found a sweet gig freelancing for small businesses developing and supporting WordPress sites. I still waited tables during the day because I didn’t have enough work to support the bills I had at the time but that money helped for sure.
45. Flip houses.
Flipping houses has a lot of risk that comes with it and is also one of the more expensive ideas on this list. Proceed with caution.
Flipping houses is something I’ve always wanted to try but saw too much risk in it. But if you have the knowledge of who to hire to get these jobs done and the skills to do it successfully, I say go for it.
A friend of ours Rachel of Flip Chick flips houses in St. Louis, MO and does pretty well. She is also an artist and a well-known painter.
I love it when I come across the perfect side hustle idea that lets your creativity flow freely!
46. Coach others in an area of expertise.
Let’s say you are really good at money and want to help others do the same. Or you work in the financial industry and want to say “peace out” to your job. Then maybe you might want to look into becoming a financial coach if that is something you enjoy.
You can do this with any area of expertise – career coaching, business coaching, blog coaching, etc. Coaches can easily bring in six figures a year and diversify their income streams with courses, books, websites, and more.
47. Sell your art on Redbubble.
If you are an artist or creative in any way, you can make extra money selling your digital art and designs on Redbubble. Redbubble is a print on demand platform that will print your designs on products and do all the shipping and handling of those products for you so you never have to commit to any inventory upfront.
Read our full review of Redbubble for more information.
48. Sell printables online.
If you have any design skills, you can use free software like Canva to create printables to either sell on your website or create an Etsy shop to sell them on.
I currently sell printables on my website and on Etsy and make anywhere from an extra $100 a month to as much as $300 a month from them. This is a great course to get you started.
49. Create exclusive content on Patreon or OnlyFans.
If you have a following on social media, from a website, or other (or want to create a small following), you can sell them who want to support you exclusive content on a subscription basis using platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans.
This is a popular way for creators on YouTube, models, photographers, and designers to make side cash.
Quick Ways to Make Side Cash
If you want to try a couple of quick ways to get some cash from signups, mobile apps, and other programs, these could help you out:
- Nielsen is a company that will pay you for your internet usage. All you have to do is download their app and register your devices. Check it out here.
- HealthyWage is where you can participate in individual weight loss challenges and get paid for hitting weight loss goals.
- Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars will pay you to read emails, take surveys, play games, complete offers, and more. You basically get paid to play around on your phone to pass the time when you are bored. Did I mention they pay you an additional $5 just for signing up for each.
- Sign up for Rakuten and Ibotta to get a $10 welcome bonus on each. Then earn cash back and more bonuses on the purchases you already make online and in-store. (Check out our Rakuten review before you sign up!)
- Download Mistplay to get paid to play games on your phone (read our Mistplay review).
- Deliver for Amazon Flex and make up to $25 an hour (or more with tips).
What to Do With That Extra Cash
If you’re looking for ways to make extra money, chances are you already have a reason for it. Well, you should also be tracking that money. Track what exactly comes in and where it goes.
You don’t want to lose out on that extra cash after all the bills are done.
Stay on track with your finances with Personal Capital, a completely free tool that connects all your accounts in one place so you can track where everything is going, your net worth, and towards whatever financial goal you are on track towards.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a side hustle?
The easiest way to start a side hustle is to start with an idea and then think of the cheapest way to get that idea rolling. Keep upfront costs and investments low until you build up a client base for feedback and later adjustment. Refer to the full list of side hustle ideas to get your gears turning.
What are the most popular side hustles?
Some of the most popular side hustles include freelancing, virtual consulting and assistant work, digital marketing, investing and participating in the “gig-economy” through apps like DoorDash, Instacart, Airbnb and Lyft. Check out our full list of ideas for which one might work best for you.
What are the most profitable side hustles?
Real estate investing seems to be the most lucrative and long term profitable side hustle, earning an estimated $90 an hour of passive income. Read our full list of side hustle ideas to find other profitable side hustles.
What’s the best side hustle for me?
When thinking about the best side hustle for you, first think about what skills and experience you already currently possess that you can monetize. Think of what your interests are, what you enjoy doing, how much time you are willing to devote to it, your overall goals and what kind of side hustle can help serve those goals. Check out our full list to see which one grabs your attention.
Do you have to pay taxes on side hustles?
You will need to pay a self-employment tax rate of 15.3% on any side hustle income earnings if you are expecting to make more than $400 in a given year. This is in addition to income tax. In total, you are looking at around 25%-30% of taxes that you will be expected to pay. You can opt at your current employer to take out these extra taxes for you or pay estimated quarterly taxes to the IRS.
Sign up to get your FREE Side Hustle Idea Mind Map Template
This mind map template will help you decide everything you need to do to get your idea up and running + see if it is the right idea for you.
Whether you are starting a side hustle for extra needed money or to start a passionate venture of yours, try to balance your time as much as possible. In the past I let my side hustles take up a bit too much of my life and burnt out quickly. I don’t want the same to happen to you.
Your health is always #1.
Don’t cling on to one for the money if you end up hating it. Drop it and try something else until you find what clicks. That is how we figuring out what we like, by trying different things.
If you know exactly what you want and are looking to start your own side business, that is awesome! But be sure to do a lot of research.
You don’t want to commit to something that you aren’t fully versed in the expectations. I suggest consulting a business coach or someone to help you get together a business plan.
There is no limit to what you can do!
What other side hustle ideas have you thought of or done? Tell us in the comments below!
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Daniella is the creator and author of iliketodabble.com. When her wife Alexandra and her aren’t globetrotting or playing with their 7+ animals, they are hustling and working towards a future of financial freedom.