In this post, we will discuss 19 side hustle ideas that you can start this year. With these side hustles, you can hold a full-time job and be able to make money on the side.
No matter how much money you make, you always need 30% more. We’ve all been there, you start a new job or get a promotion. Your salary is raised, you are happy for a month or a few weeks and suddenly you find yourself needing a raise again.
It does not have to be that you are bad with money, things are just getting more expensive. Also, the economy is developing very quickly, there are no certainties anymore. Times, when your father or grandfather worked for one company for his whole life and paid out a mortgage, are gone.
Money can be accumulated by either saving more or earning more. In this post we will be concentrating on:
- Earning More
- Leveraging Your Skills
- Creating a Side Income
You may be thinking that it can not be done, or that you have no marketable skills – after reading this post you will find that it is not true.
So, introductions are behind us, let’s get to it.
Yeah, we are casting a wide net here. Freelancing is a great side income source as it is very flexible. You can freelance after work, on the weekends, during holidays. It is impossible to cover all the niches in which you can freelance, but if you are looking for a skill of yours that you can leverage here is what you can try.
Upwork is one of the biggest platforms connecting freelancers and employers (be it, individuals, or teams). Why are we starting with that? Because you can use it as a tool to help you figure out some of your marketable skills.
This is a list of basic categories that Upwork has:
Let’s assume that we Admin support, just to see what choices there are:
Notice that each has a subcategory. Now let’s continue to project management – here are the results:
It took us 5 minutes and we know that there are project management jobs available that pay $20-$40 per hour that you can do in your free time.
Imagine all the possibilities that you would discover if you went through other categories. So if you are not sure what your strengths are – check out Upwork (or another freelance platform to consider is Fiverr).
But this is just a starting point to get your feet wet. You will make more money by going directly after clients and offering them your services (when you will know what they actually are). If you are worried about how to get paid and handle the accounting, don’t be. Writing invoice letters will soon become a second nature when you have the right system in place.
Become a Transcriptionist
There are some interesting online jobs that fly under the radar, being a transcriptionist is one of those.
What will you do? You will be given an audio file and you will type down (transcribe) what you will hear in the audio. Mostly you will be transcribing legal and medical texts while being paid $10-$30 per hour.
In some cases, you will receive a course on how to transcribe, or you will have to get to know the terms a bit. If you want to “step up” your transcription game, there is some equipment that will make your job easier. Quality headphones are one thing, but the essential one is a transcription foot pedal, which will allow you to pause and play the audio while keeping your hands on the keyboard.
Become an Affiliate Marketer
Google “best laptops”. Go ahead, we will wait. Were you expecting dell.com, lenovo.com, amazon.com to pop up? Well…they didn’t. These are the results you will get:
All of those sites are so-called “affiliate marketing” sites. They write content on various topics, promote it with a wide choice of tactics, and if you buy something through their link – they get a small commission.
It works for everybody. One party is making a laptop, the other party sells it, and the third party (affiliate marketer) gets traffic to the product to help it sell. The market is growing:
The possibilities of promotion in affiliate marketing go beyond the scope of this article. As does the list of profitable niches. This is a great monetization tool for many of the side hustle ideas that we will be sharing in this post.
Webinars were here for some time, but in the last couple of months, they quickly became a household name. Those who are not organizing a webinar are attending one.
What is the webinar? It is an event that is held online. You can invite as many people as you want, from all the parts of the world. They connect from the comfort of their homes and listen to what you have to say while looking at you or a presentation.
Costs of webinar software have decreased drastically, as did the overall costs for holding a webinar. But how do you profit from it?
Identify an interesting topic that you are confident to speak about, and sell tickets to it. When we are talking about webinars you do not have to imagine that has to be on “Global Outlook for 2021”.
Rather think in niches. Leatherworking, miniature painting, etc. Check Eventbrite to get the feel of it and you will find that it is full of various webinars selling tickets online:
Teach a Language
Are you reading this article with no problems? Done. You got one of those side hustle ideas. It may be hard to imagine that there are millions (maybe more) people out there that want to learn English. But of course Mandarin, German, Spanish, etc. are very popular languages that are constantly looking for new teachers.
You can market yourself and start taking your students or use a platform that will connect you with their student base. On such platforms, you may expect to earn $20-$25 per hour.
There is one important note. Teaching somebody a language usually breaks into two categories.
The first one is teaching it. Meaning that you have a learning plan, and you are going through the material. You are explaining how the sentences are formed, how verbs work in that language and talking about grammar.
The second one is easier – conversation. Many people know the language but have no opportunity to practice it. So they need a native speaker to train and work on their pronunciation.
Launch an Online Course
Let’s continue on the topic of teaching but give it some volume. Why teach one on one and spend time with each student when you can create an online course and let it run while creating you a passive income?
It is estimated that the online learning market size reached $171bn in 2019, and will grow 10,85% in the following years. Joining this growing market segment seems like a logical thing to do and now it is easier than ever.
Online learning has gone a long way since the first launch of Khan’s Academy (old-timers will know). Now you can choose from a wide variety of online course platforms that will support you every step of your way.
You do not need any kind of technical or coding skills. Just follow the steps on the platform, fill your course with lessons and videos, provide materials and tasks and that is it. You just need to provide the skill and knowledge that you have and that’s all – your online course is done.
This is just a small taste of courses that are popular on Udemy. Do you see the number of reviews? Now imagine that most of the people do not leave any reviews.
Important note – Udemy has a commission system that may not be ideal for everyone. Creating your online course might be more profitable in the long run.
Manage Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Linked-in, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google For Business, and the list goes on to various niche platforms.
Do you have experience with any of the ones listed above? Great, while the way they work may seem obvious to you, there are many businesses out there who lack this knowledge.
There are two types of clients that you would target. The ones who are already active on those platforms, but do not have time to manage them properly and the ones who do not even know that it may bring value to them.
You can find plenty of social media managers work on Upwork, but let’s treat is a side-hustle that could grow to potential business.
Let’s assume you live in Rochester, USA. You check your map and see this:
Since you see Cafe Steam on Google, their business is already listed there. Check. They also have a Facebook page. Check. But, on Yelp their business is not claimed.
94 reviews and unmanaged Yelp? That is an opportunity right there. Managing the community, adding details, adding professional photos – there is already work here. Let’s proceed.
TripAdvisor, the Cafe Steam is there, with lots of good ratings, but looks unmanaged. This is the only photo that Cafe Steam submitted… in 2016. Moving on. Twitter – 1010 followers, last update? Nearly a year ago.
This is just one example. It is a small cafe so maybe Twitter, Yelp, and TripAdvisor were not worth their time, but you will not know until you ask. Small businesses do not need you full time, they just need a couple of hours a week to update the social media.
Compile a list of such businesses, find emails (on their social pages, or their websites) outreach to them. Collect leads, have a call with them, and keep building your customers’ portfolio and move to bigger clients.
Expanding on our previous point. Many contractors and businesses do not have a webpage, or they have but it is a horrible one. A person who does plumbing does not have time to sit down and build a good web presence.
That is when you come in. You research the clients in the same manner as in point 7 and you offer them to build a simple webpage. You do not need to know all the intricacies of HTML, CSS, and PHP, you can use a landing page builder that will do all the heavy lifting for you.
In this scenario you are just adding your feel for design, basic user interface and that is it. If you can educate yourself and do basic tasks with web hosting, as uploading that said page – you are good to go.
Add to your offer all that we talked about in point 7 (Social Media Management) and you are making your first steps in digital marketing. The digital marketing market size was around $310bn in 2019 and is growing 12.8% each year leading us to two conclusions.
There is a niche for you, and it is a good company to be in.
Help With Resumes
People are now searching for jobs more than ever, so this had to make my list of side hustle ideas. Many of them are great professionals but they do not know how to present themselves. They know how to sell themselves even less.
Maybe you have a background in HR, maybe you just managed to create a CV that worked for you well. You will be surprised how many people want professional help with their presentation towards potential employers.
A place to start getting clients for your services in developing their profile can be Fiverr:
Sure, there are a lot of services offered, but also notice that there are hundreds of reviews. This will not be the million-dollar business but it might be a start towards your HR agency.
Dropshipping is when you sell products while not keeping any inventory. Do you start to see the magic of this formula? You get an order, submit the order to the manufacturer and they send the product to your customer.
No need to keep inventory, just get the orders and take the profit. Of course, it is more difficult than it sounds, but there is a huge market potential to be tapped. Dropshipping alone is estimated to be at a size of $102.2bn in 2018 growing at a rate of 28.8%.
The concept is pretty simple. You build an online store with Shopify or another ecommerce service. Get traffic to it from Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. send orders to AliExpress. Each step has a lot of intricacies to consider, but that is pretty much it.
Start a Theme Page
This is a project for a longer run, but it may well be worth it. Heard of Instagram page Daquan? Well, it was sold for $85ml. to Warner. Got your interest?
Instagram and TikTok are full of theme pages. What are they? They are accounts that do not represent an individual but rather an interest, hobby a niche, etc. It might be cars, fashion, fishing, memes…
The same goes for TikTok. But before you reach the huge exit and millions of followers, how can you profit on that? Drumroll…Shoutouts.
A shoutout is a paid ad that you put on your account for a limited amount of time, like the one above. For accounts with up to 100 000 followers, you can get $25-$100 per shoutout. After that, it depends on the engagement of the account but it can go into four and five figures per a 24h post or a story.
You start an Instagram or a TikTok page, whenever you get the time you post content or repost from other accounts (aways credit the original account) and slowly grow your followers base. This can be both a good side hustle idea, a bit of fun, and something that you can do when commuting to work.
Provide SEO Content Writing Services
It is no secret that there is money to be made online by writing, but even more money is to be made with “SEO Content Writing”. Why?
Do you know what is the main difference between Lamborghini Urus and Audi RSQ8 is? Price. Urus is around 4x more expensive. Otherwise, it is pretty much the same car, from the same automotive holding, with the same engine, and similar speed parameters.
But one is Audi and the other one is Lambo. Same here. Everyone can write an article, there are fewer who can write a good article and there are even fewer who can write a search engine optimized content for websites.
Start learning the basics of SEO, get yourself one of the SEO tools, analyze the content that will be the best fit for the site, and use your knowledge to present a pitch to a potential client on Upwork or elsewhere. There are various niche and new sites that will pay for your articles and you will progress as you build your portfolio. This makes a great side hustle as it will also help you with other side hustle ideas.
Become a Youtuber
This is one of those longer goals, but with enough commitment, it might be the one that will turn one of these side hustle ideas into a full-time thing. Many YouTubers started uploading while still working a full-time job, jumping the ship only when it started to become obvious that they can make a living out of it.
Youtube will pay your roughly $3-$5 for 1,000 views. So yes it is a long road, but 10,000 views a day will make you $30-$50 a day. Considering that you can do it in your free time that is a goal worth fighting for.
Your income is not limited to this. When your account will grow, you can expand to affiliate sales, your merchandise, or sponsored ads.
Get Into Print-On-Demand
Remember when we talked about dropshipping and you thought that there is nothing easier than that? There is.
Go on a print on demand service, like Teespring. Create a shirt with your text or design, set price, drive traffic to it. That is it. No forwarding orders, creating online stores, searching for suppliers.
These are some of the top sellers. You might be wondering how to drive traffic to your t-shirt or your hoodie? Contests, paid ads, shoutouts, and other digital marketing strategies.
Run PPC Ads
PPC stands for pay per click. You can join Google Adwords, choose keywords that you want to bid on, and drive the search traffic from Google to a webpage. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest – they all run ads.
In many cases PPC is the backbone of the business, in other cases, companies or contractors do not know that they can get sales or leads from the use of these services. That is where your value would be at.
But how do you get your first client? While it is always a great idea to educate yourself, PPC is a result-driven business. The best way to attract interest would be to show that you had successfully built several PPC campaigns.
Best way to show it? On your side hustle projects of course. That would be your start. If you will be able to prove that you were successful on your own with PPC, you have a better chance of getting clients.
Get Into Email Marketing
The money is in the email list. That is a mantra that you will hear many digital marketers saying and it is true. When a visitor has left their email, no matter if Google or Facebook bans you, the email list is still there.
Here is the main idea – you grow your email list and send affiliate links to that list. While the second part is simple, the first part is not.
Email list building is a challenge and is usually a part of your overall marketing strategy. There are many ways to approach it:
- PPC traffic
- Social Media Traffic
- Contests and Giveaways
- Organic Traffic
To name a few. Your drive traffic to your landing page, on that page there is a subscription form from one of the email marketing services. Your present value for your visitors (the reason why they should subscribe) and they give you their email.
For instance, you can offer that you will teach them how to do something in 7 days through a free email course. When the list is thousands of subscribers you can start carefully injecting affiliate links that are relevant to your list. This combines well with other side hustle ideas.
Become a Virtual Assistant
In any business there is a task that is not possible to automate (or too expensive to do so), that is repetitive and just needs that professional human touch. This is when the VA comes in.
The job that virtual assistants vary a lot, you do data entry, keep up the CRM, sort emails, schedule content, filter candidates, and so on.
The great part about this is that the client teaches you what they do and how they need it to be done and then you start working. When you get a bit of experience you start to specialize in a particular field, for example:
- Facebook VA – reacting to comments, upkeep of the page.
- Pinterest / Instagram VA – scheduling pictures, updating and rolling out new content.
- PPC VA – keyword research, keyword data analysis.
The main requirement for the job is to be reliable and submit work on deadline. You can find a lot of job postings for VA on Upwork.
You can get experience through this platform, but of course, more money is to be made if you will be looking for your clients yourself.
Sell Your DIYs Online
Like crafting, designing, or taking photos? Great, all of it can be monetized. For example on sites like Etsy, you can sell a lot of interesting stuff and crafts:
This is just the tip of the iceberg, the categories in which you can list items is huge. Etsy is well known, you just create your shop and make sure to fill it with various items.
A similar approach applies to photography. Sites like Adobe Stock or Shutterstock are well known in the digital marketing and designers world. They are also very popular amongst the creators (photographers) who upload a stream of pictures on every possible topic. These websites share their profit when somebody pays for the use of the picture.
Or, you can sell your work on your website. Sure there will be more with setting it all up and getting the clients in, but all the profit will be yours to take. There are many great examples of such sites, for instance, LittleKingGoods:
The owner also has a Youtube channel where he teaches leatherworking. In his shop, he sells the final products as well as tools and patterns so you can recreate everything yourself. A great example of side hustle ideas as you can do what you enjoy while also monetizing and growing it.
You might also want to check out:
This concludes our list of 19 side hustle ideas. How to choose the one for you?
There was a Youtube video discussing which of the wide variety of fitness programs to choose from. The coach said “Write them all down, close your eyes, and put your finger on the paper. Stick for 6 months to whatever program under your finger.”
If you think failing is bad, you are wrong. Doing nothing is what is bad. If you are reading this, you went through 19 side hustle ideas. In very rare cases some people instantly know what to do. In the vast majority of cases, we just do not know. There are so many choices.
Analysis-paralysis is the killer of progress. You analyze so long that the time goes by and you did not start anything. So just choose anything from this list, and keep at it for 6 months. If it fails, just pick another one and try again. We all fail, but not everyone has the will to keep moving forward.