Are you searching for your next money-making side hustle? You’re not alone.
Over 45% of U.S. workers are working a side gig in their spare time, and they are earning on average an extra $1,100 every month.
Keep reading to learn about the best side hustles that you can start doing right away to improve your personal finance situation.
Who knows? You might even make enough to be able to quit your day job and start your own business.
For starters, let’s take a look at today’s best side hustle opportunities.
35 Best Side Hustles for 2021
Here are 35 great side hustles you can start today to earn more money:
- Social Media Manager
- Delivery Driver
- Rideshare Driving
- Freelance Writing
- Virtual Assistant
- Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
- Create an Online Course
- Tasker with TaskRabbit
- Flip Cars
- Play Music
- Start a Blog
- Sell Art on Etsy
- Rent Your Place with AirBnb
- Teach English
- Sell Digital Marketing Services
- Sell Stuff Online
- Become a Private Tutor
- Become a Freelancer
- Take Online Surveys
- Invest in Real Estate
- Monetize Your Car
- Mystery Shopper
- Work in a Restaurant, Bar or Cafe
- Social Media Influencer
- Answer Questions on JustAnswer
- Complete Microjobs on Mechanical Turk
- Write an ebook
- Have a Garage Sale
- Be a House Sitter
- Become a Notary
1. Social Media Manager
Every business needs a presence on social media. However, most small business owners simply don’t have the time to manage their own pages. This has created a growing demand for social media managers.
As a social media manager, you can get paid to publish content across popular social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest.
You may also have to create product tutorials and monitor pages to interact with customers asking questions.
You can either charge hourly for this service ($15 to $100 or more per hour depending on the client’s budget and your level of experience) or, you can set a weekly or monthly fee for a fixed amount of posts (e.g., $500 per month for 20 posts).
If you land a few clients, you can easily earn a few thousand dollars per month from the comfort of your own home or favorite coffee shop.
Best Places to Find Social Media Jobs
Look for social media gigs on:
But you may already have a few clients in your personal network. Do you have one or two friends that run a restaurant or other small business?
If so, check out their pages, and if it looks like they are falling behind, ask them if they would like some extra support.
Best Tools For Social Media Managers
Once you’re up and running, you’ll need to be at the top of your game to be able to manage the workload and keep your clients happy.
With that in mind, here are a few helpful tools to check out:
- Buffer allows you to post on most social networks at once, so you don’t have to manually log into each account and create one post at a time. There are free and paid plans available.
- Spokal is a more advanced service that offers keyword recommendations, image editing, and more. Pricing starts at $29 monthly.
- Hootsuite is one of the leading social media management tools. The platform makes it easy to publish across several platforms and even allows you to run contests and specialized campaigns to improve engagement.
Learn More: Read our post on How To Make Money From Home
2. Be a Delivery Driver
Almost every popular restaurant and grocery store works with one or more delivery services. As a result, being a delivery driver is one of the most common part-time jobs.
The flexibility of being a delivery driver is one of its most appealing features. For example, you can easily work for just a couple of hours in the evenings after getting home from your other job.
With an average earning of $15 to $20 per hour, your cash can add up quickly — especially if you do a good job and receive generous tips.
Top Delivery Driver Apps
- Package delivery with Amazon Flex
- Food delivery with Doordash, Postmates, UberEats, and Grubhub
- Grocery delivery with Instacart
- Moving with Dolly
- Dry cleaning and laundry delivery with Rinse
3. Rideshare Driving
If you enjoy driving and chatting with others, being a rideshare driver is a no-brainer. You can set your own hours and get paid automatically through the app for each trip you take.
You can also earn tips from customers if they are happy with your service.
There are a couple of requirements you’ll have to meet to qualify, as follows:
- You must have a clean driving record and criminal history.
- Your car must be, on average, 12 years old or newer. Some markets allow the vehicle to be 15 years old.
- You must have had a valid driver’s license for at least one year.
According to Salary.com, the median earnings for Uber drivers is around $36,000 annually, which is a nice chunk of change on top of your other income streams.
4. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible side hustles out there, and it doesn’t require a college degree. All you need to do is communicate effectively, work hard, and find the right gigs.
Ready to get started? Here are the most popular websites for finding freelance writing jobs.
Top Freelance Writing Apps
- Fiverr is a gig-working website where you can offer writing services to others for a fee that you decide. Popular gigs include blog writing, social media copy creation, ghostwriting, and more.
- Upwork is similar to Fiverr but is for more long-term work as opposed to one-off tasks. As a member, you can apply for jobs that meet your criteria.
- ProBlogger is a job board packed with high-quality freelance writing jobs, including long-term recurring work.
- Craigslist has a “writing/editing” section that lists local writing jobs in your area. These may not pay the best but are a great way to get some experience.
5. Become A Virtual Assistant
The demand for virtual assistants is also growing each day as more and more tasks transition online.
As a virtual assistant, you can get paid for helping busy people with a wide variety of tasks, including appointment setting, accounting, marketing, writing emails, bookkeeping, and more.
To get started, all you need is a computer with a reliable internet connection.
Top Places to Find VA Jobs
According to Payscale, the average hourly rate for this line of work ranges from $15 to $28 per hour.
6. Be a Dogwalker or Pet Sitter
For animal lovers, dog walking and pet sitting are the best side hustles you can ask for.
Pet owners love their furry friends like their own family, so they need to have a caretaker that they trust.
If you hit it off with your first few clients, the chances are that they will refer you to their friends, and your business will expand.
7. Create An Online Course
Do you have a particular passion or specialized knowledge that others might want to learn? If so, put your skills to good use by creating an online course.
Best Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses:
Here are some platforms that let you create online courses and sell them directly to students:
- Thinkific is one of the largest online course platforms, with over 40,000-course creators in over 160 countries. It’s an all-in-one solution that lets you build, market, and sell your course online. Course creation is free, and there’s a limited free edition. Paid plans start at $39 monthly.
- Udemy is a massive online course platform with over 40 million students and over 480 million course enrollments. Teachers that create and promote their own courses on the platform are eligible to receive 97% of the revenue generated. The payout is 37% of revenue from purchases that Udemy Learn more about Udemy’s revenue share agreement.
- Teachable is a professional website builder for online courses Using the platform, you can upload your own video course and create interactive exams and quizzes. A Basic plan starts at $29 per month, but most users will want the additional features included in the Pro plan, which costs $99 per month.
Dropshipping is a form of e-commerce in which you sell items directly to customers without having to maintain products in stock.
In other words, if you are successful at dropshipping, you can earn money from selling other people’s stuff — without having to invest a large sum upfront to buy those items.
Top Three Dropshipping Websites:
- AliExpress is a dropshipping powerhouse owned by the online Chinese retail giant Alibaba. It is free to join, and you can sell products in over 220 different regions and in 51 local currencies.
- SaleHoo is a powerful dropshipping service that allows Shopify merchants to seamlessly sell thousands of products from AliExpress (in their own Shopify stores). A Basic plan costs $27 per month, and a Teams plan costs $97 per month.
- Doba is a dropshipping service that allows online merchants to sell millions of different products from Doba’s network of suppliers. A Start-up plan costs $14.99 monthly and covers just one store. A Business plan runs $29.99 monthly and offers support of five stores. An Enterprise plan allows for an unlimited number of online stores for $249 per month.
9. Be a Tasker for TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is a fast-growing website where you can get paid to help people with random tasks. As a Tasker, you can earn money for doing jobs like moving furniture, mounting a TV, or running errands.
Enter your location and the type of job that you want to do to get started. You can then get an idea of how much you can earn.
For example, in the Chicago area, furniture movers can earn $57 per hour.
10. Offer Consulting Services
Executives, startups, and small business owners are all paying top dollar for consulting services. If you have an area of expertise, you can get paid for offering advice to these entrepreneurs.
Clarity is a leading marketplace in this area that connects business owners with knowledgeable consultants, which are called Experts.
There’s a huge list of topics available, from general business strategy to fundraising to information technology. As a consulting expert, it’s not uncommon to earn $60 per hour or more.
11. Flipping Cars
If you have a knack for fixing up cars and finding good deals, flipping cars is a great way to earn a few hundred or even a few thousand extra bucks per month.
The trick is finding a good quality car for less than its market value. Or, you can find a car that needs some inexpensive repairs, do the repairs yourself, and sell it for a profit once it’s running smoothly again.
Craigslist is by far the best place to find cheap car deals and also to sell your car when it’s time. You should also keep an eye out in your local newspaper and as you drive around town. Often, the best deals are the ones that are not publicly listed.
However, the only way to get ahead flipping cars is by getting a good deal on both the buying and selling end of each transaction — and this requires firm negotiation skills and patience.
The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if it doesn’t add up.
Babysitting is one of the oldest side hustles in the book. If you’re responsible and enjoy spending time with kids, this is one of the best ways to bring in extra cash.
Start by browsing your personal network. Most likely, you know a few sets of parents who would be more than willing to pay you in exchange for a night out.
13. Play Music
While most of the above side hustle ideas require internet access, you don’t need wifi to play live music.
As society opens back up after the pandemic, suffice it to say that people across the globe are eager to hear live music again. They are also eager to learn new instruments.
For teaching gigs, start by looking for students in your local community and in your personal network. Beyond that, Lessonface is a popular online music teaching platform.
If your performance skills are up to par, drop into your favorite local cafes and restaurants to see if they might be hiring live performers. Most of them probably are.
14. Start A Blog
As a blogger, you can get paid from ad revenue and affiliate marketing links that you promote on your website.
But to make money you need to get traffic, meaning thousands of people need to visit your website and engage with it. And for that to happen, you need to have unique, engaging content, which takes a lot of time and money to produce.
If you aren’t scared away yet, think about a unique niche that you are passionate about. It is critical that you would enjoy spending many hours per week and many years to come focusing on this topic.
Steps to Starting a Blog:
- Find Your Niche. Pick an interesting topic that millions of people are going to be excited about
- Pick Your Domain Name. Keep it short and easy to remember. GoDaddy and Namecheap are two popular domain platforms.
- Set-up Web Hosting. You can do this through your domain provider, or through a directing hosting provider such as Bluehost.
- Build Your Blog. This is the tricky part. Most people run their blogs on org. If you are looking for something that is easier to use, check out Squarespace or Wix.
- Write A Post. Welcome to blogging! Remember that your content has to be unique and engaging. It also helps to know a bit about SEO blogging strategies.
- Get Paid. To earn money, you’ll have to integrate with Google AdSense or other affiliate programs, such as Commission Junction.
15. Sell Art on Etsy
Etsy is the number one destination for arts and crafts online, with millions of buyers on the platform and billions in annual revenue.
For graphic designers, in particular, there many different ways to make extra money. For example, you can create and sell calendars, business cards, stickers, and more.
The best part about selling on Etsy is that you can sell unlimited amounts of your product with minimal overhead. No longer do you have to spend countless hours handcrafting something for one in-person art show.
Etsy can earn you hundreds or even thousands in extra cash each month with the right product and workflow.
Learn More: Read our post on How To Make Money on Etsy
16. Rent Your Place on Airbnb
Hosting with Airbnb is a great way to bring in supplemental income if your living arrangements are flexible.
While the thought of renting out your home to strangers might be intimidating, keep in mind that you have total control over who gets to stay at your place and for how long. You also get to set the pricing.
Last but not least, hosts are protected by Airbnb’s $1 million Host Guarantee, which covers any damages to your property that guests cause.
17. Teach English
As the most widely-used language globally, there are literally billions of students who need help learning English.
As an English tutor, you get to set your own schedule and interact with kids from around the world. Not only can you earn extra cash, but you will also broaden your cultural horizons.
Best Platforms to Teach English Online:
18. Sell Digital Marketing Services
Small businesses everywhere are looking for ways to increase their site traffic and online visibility.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are excellent platforms for promoting small business ads. However, most small business owners don’t have the time to manage their own campaigns. This is where you can step in.
In a few simple steps, you could be earning thousands in extra cash per month. Here is the basic structure:
- Locate and acquire clients. Find a business that needs ad services, and that appears to have a marketing budget. If they don’t have a website, they probably don’t have money to spend on ads.
- Create engaging ads and split test them to find what works best.
- Retain clients through successful campaigns. Once you dial in the right ads for your clients, you will be in a position to earn with them for years to come (so long as you responsibly manage the ads).
As for earning potential, you can typically charge from 10% to 15% of the client’s ad spend as your fee. At that point, it’s all about profitably scaling the ads.
19. Sell Stuff Online
Do you have a shoebox full of old baseball and basketball cards? How about a drawer full of old video games?
Believe it or not, you might be able to earn thousands of dollars in extra income by selling your old stuff on eBay. You can also sell new (or slightly used) items on Amazon.
The trick is finding the most cost-effective way to get started. For example, if you spend too much on your product or packing materials, you’ll eat into your profits.
Another route for eBay and Amazon selling is creating your own gadget, or buying items in bulk and then reselling them to individual customers.
For example, you could buy 1,000 iPhone cases from a wholesale site like Alibaba and then resell them. You just have to do some research to ensure you’ll be able to offer a quality product at a competitive price.
Learn More: Read our post on How To Make Money on Amazon
20. Become a Private Tutor
Are you an academic with deep knowledge of a particular subject, such as math, science, or a foreign language? If so, being a private tutor is a great way to monetize those skills.
From grade school to high school, parents are paying top dollar to help their kids advance in school.
The hourly rate for a private tutor is usually from $30 to 60 per hour, depending on where you live.
Helping students prepare for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT are strong opportunities for private tutors as well.
Sites You Can Tutor Online With:
21. Become a Freelancer
Freelancing includes a wide variety of opportunities for side hustlers, including film editing, photography, web development, blogging, graphic design, and more.
From there, browse the different gigs that are available or publish your services for sale.
For example, if you want to offer graphic design services, you can create a listing for that on Fiverr, based on what other people are charging for similar services.
Trust us, once you have a taste of the freelance life, you’ll never want to go back.
22. Take Online Surveys
You won’t make a ton of money, but taking online surveys can be a good side hustle because they’re so easy to do in your spare time.
For example, Survey Junkie is a top survey side job to look into. It’s free to join, and the survey opportunities are relatively easy to get through.
You can also look into joining a focus group, where you can get paid to share your opinions and feedback about products and services.
Learn More: Read our post on the Best Survey Apps
23. Real Estate Investing
If you have a passion for real estate and want to pursue a long-term form of side hustling, this is a business idea you should consider.
In fact, real estate investing is one of the top ways to earn passive income.
To be clear, it’s not easy, and there’s risk involved. But if you make the right moves, this can be a tremendously profitable side hustle for years to come.
Learn More: Read our post on the Best Real Estate Investing Apps
24. Monetize Your Car
Consider monetizing your car that’s sitting around all day by renting it to others.
Turo is the world’s largest car-sharing marketplace. All you have to do is create a listing for your car, set the price, and exchange the keys once a renter books your listing.
According to its website, the average annual earnings for one car on Turo is $10,516. That number jumps up to $94,000 if you are managing a fleet of 10 vehicles.
Proofreading is a great side hustle for bookworms and curious people alike. You can get paid to correct grammar and punctuation for a variety of different topics.
With the explosion of food, travel, and lifestyle blogs, good proofreaders will always be in demand. There are even free online workshops you can take that teach you how to create your own proofreading business.
Best Sites to Find Proofreading Gigs:
Podcasts are quickly replacing traditional network television as a platform for entertainment, and the scaling potential is enormous if you can connect with the right audience.
Many people think that you have to be in show business or own a fancy studio to podcast, but that’s not the case. If you have a laptop or even a smartphone, you’re already halfway there.
The trick is creating captivating content. For example, if you have expertise in a growing niche topic like cryptocurrency or online gaming, this could be an excellent place to start.
27. Mystery Shopper
Every major retailer is eager to gather feedback from its customers, both online and in-person. As a result, there is a growing demand for mystery shoppers.
As a mystery shopper, you can get paid for providing feedback about your shopping experience.
Field Agent is a great place to find gigs.
28. Working In a Restaurant, Bar, or Cafe
Working in a food-service job can be a fun and steady side hustle. If you enjoy the energy of working in a busy, customer-facing establishment, start by visiting your favorite local spots and ask if they are hiring.
Don’t let a lack of experience hold you back. Restaurants are often willing to train the right person who is ready to work.
For most restaurant positions, you will earn a small base salary plus tips. But it’s all about the tips.
29. Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers can earn big, but it takes a lot of time and networking to get to that point.
For example, if you build up a large following with a fashion or pet-focused Instagram profile, you can earn a few grand just for promoting a brand that you enjoy using.
Best Social Media Influencer Opportunites
30. Answer Questions on JustAnswer
JustAnswer is an online question-and-answer forum where people can ask questions about almost any topic. As an Expert, you can get paid to answer those very questions.
According to the website, top experts can earn anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 each month. To apply, simply fill out the application.
The company then performs a basic identity and background check to ensure your information is accurate.
If everything looks good, you’ll be able to answer questions for money within a few days.
31. Complete Microjobs on Mechanical Turk
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is an online marketplace where you can get paid to complete remote microtasks (e.g., validating data, moderating content, and taking short surveys).
As a Mechanical Turk worker, you can also earn money for translating content, transcribing audio, and doing thousands of other random tasks.
Seeing that Amazon backs this platform, it’s definitely worth looking into if you might enjoy doing these types of jobs.
32. Write an ebook
If you have a passion for writing and an idea for a book, consider writing an ebook and publishing it on Kindle Direct Publishing.
Once you do the legwork (writing the book and uploading it into the platform) Amazon platform helps with the selling and marketing side.
It also pays a royalty of up to 70% of every ebook sold.
33. Have a Garage Sale
What’s better than getting paid to clear out all the random stuff you have sitting around your house?
Having a garage sale will help you accomplish just that. You can also monetize other people’s stuff.
If you decide to throw a garage sale, you can attract more visitors by putting up signs around your town.
You can also promote the sale in your local newspaper, Craigslist page, and on Facebook Marketplace.
Keep in mind that some of your niche items and memorabilia may be valuable, so be sure to do some research before you stick on the price tags.
34. Be a House Sitter
Housesitting is an easy way to earn extra cash while also getting a free place to stay.
35. Notary Work
A notary is someone who serves as an impartial witness to people signing documents. Notary work can also include administering oaths, protecting against fraud, and witnessing signatures.
If you have any experience in the legal field or enjoy doing administrative work, being a notary might be your next best side hustle.
You may need to pass an exam and pay an application fee depending on your state’s requirements.
Check out NationalNotary.org for more info.
Learn More: Read our post on the Best Side Hustle Apps
What is a Side Hustle?
A side hustle is work you do in addition to your full-time job to make extra money.
A side hustle can directly relate to what you do for your normal job, or, it can be completely different.
It all depends on what you want to do, how much extra time you have, and how much extra money you want to earn.
Are Side Hustles Legal?
Yes, so long as you aren’t breaking any laws, it’s completely legal to have more than one source of income.
However, some employers have employment contract clauses that prevent employees from taking on additional work outside of their primary job.
So, before you start a side hustle — especially if that side hustle completes or is in the same category as your full-time job — carefully review your employment contract.
If you have any doubts, hire an attorney to review the situation. You may have to spend a few hundred bucks for this attorney’s advice, but it can potentially save you thousands of dollars in legal fees.
With all of that said, most people with full-time jobs should have no problem moving forward with a side hustle.
Learn More: How to Make Extra Income with a Full-Time Job
Benefits of Having a Side Hustle
We are big advocates of side hustles. If you are working hard to reach financial freedom, finding a great side hustle is beneficial to reaching your goals sooner.
1. Get Out of Debt
Being in debt is stressful no matter how you look at it. This is a top reason why people take on side hustles.
Whether you have piles of credit card debt, a student loan, or an auto loan, side hustles can wipe all those bills clean — but only if you save and spend your extra income wisely.
Learn More: Read our post on How To Get Out of Debt
2. Save More Money
The sooner you start saving money, the more your future self will thank you later.
You aren’t getting any younger, and most likely, your expenses will go up over time.
So, capitalize on your ambition by picking up a side hustle. Once you build momentum, you can reshape your whole financial situation.
Learn More: Read our post on Easy Ways To Save Money
3. Learn New Skills
When you learn new skills, you increase your earning potential. Better yet, side hustles give you the chance to explore something you’re passionate about while also putting extra money into your pocket.
Whether you want to start a blog, teach music, or sell art, you can explore this through a side hustle with minimal overhead.
Often, people start side hustles just to make extra money, only to end up loving it more than their regular job.
And with the new skills you learn, you may be able to transition careers completely. You never know what will become of your side hustle until you dive in.
Tips For Maximizing Side Hustle Earnings
Just taking the first side gig that comes your way may not be your best option. Make sure to review all options on the table and figure out what will be the most beneficial for you.
1. Keep Your Full-Time Job, For Now
It’s essential to have a clear plan when money starts coming in from your side hustle. You may be tempted to leave your full-time job too soon, but that can backfire if you’re not careful.
Before you leap, take a close look at your finances and consider the following things:
- Does your side hustle have stable income throughout the year?
- Is it reliant on just a handful of clients?
- Is there a slow period depending on the season?
Make sure your side-hustle has enough business prospects available to you before you leave your full-time job behind. It’s that simple.
2. Find Something You Like
For many, the standard full-time job gets stale after a few years, especially if your heart’s not in it. One of the main attractions of side hustles is getting to pursue something you enjoy doing.
That’s why it’s important to pursue a side hustle that you’re passionate about — or at least something that won’t drive you crazy.
The more you enjoy the work, the more productive you can be pursuing it.
3. Avoid Lifestyle Creep
You may be surprised to find you’re making more than you anticipated once the money starts rolling in.
When this happens, there will be a temptation to start spending that extra money on things you don’t need. It’s a natural progression to tell yourself that you earned this through your hard work and deserve the spoils.
But this is a dangerous mindset. Remember why you started a side hustle in the first place. It probably wasn’t so that you could eat at high-end restaurants or buy a Tesla.
Keep your ultimate goals in mind when you start making more money. Financial freedom is only achievable when your priorities are set.
Side Hustle FAQs
What are the most profitable side hustles?
The most profitable side hustles can be real estate investing, consulting, web design, and freelance writing.
However, it all comes down to your experience and the quality of work you output.
If you aren’t careful, you can also lose money doing any of the above tasks, or you can wind up getting paid far less than the going rate.
To maximize profits, the first step is dialing in what you’re good at and perfecting your craft. Once you are an expert in your field, not only does the work come easier to you, but you can also charge a higher rate.
How do I make an extra $1,000 a month?
Any of the side hustles listed above can bring in an extra $1,000 each month, but the money won’t come easy.
Suppose you charge $20 per hour for babysitting or dog walking. At that rate, you’d need to work 50 hours per month, or roughly 12.5 hours each week to bring in $1,000.
Better yet, suppose you’re a pro at graphic design and can charge clients $200 per hour for your services. You’d then only need to find one client each month and do only five hours of work to rack up a grand.
At the same time, if you have $100,000 saved in an investment account, you might be able to earn $1,000 each month, or more, without lifting a finger.
How can I make $1,000 a month online?
There are tons of ways to earn $1,000 a month online, including all of the ideas mentioned above.
If you are looking for a short-list, some of the most popular and fastest ways to earn $1,000 per month include:
- SEO consulting
- Website development
- Graphic design
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media management
What’s Your Next Great Side Hustle?
In today’s digital age, there are countless ways to earn extra cash on the side.
Whatever your motivation might be (e.g., paying off your credit card or student loan debt, or boosting your earnings), it’s all about determining what you’re passionate about and finding ways to monetize it.
If this is your first time exploring this realm, consider what skills you have that might be in high demand and start from there.
Do some research into what your local businesses are looking for and think about how you can help them.
People who know how to make money online are seeing the results pay off. So whether it’s through freelancing gigs, driving for a ridesharing app, or being a Tasker, if you are willing to do the hard work, the sky is the limit.