Need a little extra money? You’re not alone. 34% of Americans have a side hustle, and another 61.1 million plan to start one in 2021. Some do it as a passion, but most (46%) do it to earn additional income.
There’s no shame in chasing the green. However, money as a sole motivator makes for a world of opportunity, making it hard to narrow down your options. That’s why we’re here to help.
If you’re curious about how to make extra money on the side with gig work, a part-time job, or something more creative, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re going to go over 13+ tried-and-true side hustles that are bound to help you rake in some extra dough.
Why so many options? Well, there are many ways you can make money on the side in 2021—we want to give you plenty of opportunities to consider. No, not every side hustle is going to be right for you. And that’s OK. You don’t need 3, 4, or 5 side hustles—you just need 1 profitable one.
Before we get into the opportunities, let’s quickly cover how the whole side hustle thing works.
How to Make Extra Money on the Side (Online or Offline)
Starting a side hustle is pretty straightforward. You find a need and charge a price to solve the problem. It’s as simple as that.
If a company needs someone to compose blog posts, you can be their part-time writer. If people need to get around town but don’t have a car, you can be their rideshare driver. And if a brand-new business needs a flashy new website, you can be their digital builder.
Not all side hustles are created equal, though. From a high level, you have a few considerations before you narrow down your options. You could:
- Chase money: Choose the most lucrative side hustles, regardless of your likes or dislikes.
- Pursue a passion: Do something you care about that just so happens to earn you money along the way.
- Monetize a skill: Put your talent to work for you, even if it’s not your favorite activity.
Ideally, you can combine all those bullet points into 1 super side hustle—but that’s not always an option. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you. Knowing your focus will help you zero in on the perfect opportunity.
You’ll also need to decide if you’re going to limit your side hustle to online or offline. If you’re a parent and can’t leave the house after putting the kiddos to bed, then you’ll likely need an online-only gig. However, if you’re not bound to a physical location, you can open yourself to offline opportunities, too.
Is a Side Hustle Right for You?
Let’s get something straight from the get-go—side hustles aren’t for everyone. While more and more people are adding gig work to their lives, that doesn’t mean it’s the end-all-be-all solution.
If you’re just doing gig work to make extra money, remember there are other ways to make money. You could campaign for a promotion at your 9 to 5 or invest your money. You might even consider quitting your job and launching a startup. Or you may even be able to cut non-essential costs and keep more of every dollar you earn.
All that’s to say: you have options.
Curious if a side hustle is right for you? We can’t make that decision for you, but here are a few considerations to give you a healthy reality check:
- Time commitment: There are only so many hours in the day. Are you willing to get up early or stay up late to fit in extra work?
- Motivation and energy: A full-time job is hard enough. Are you physically and mentally prepared to add to that workload?
- Learning curve: It can take time to get a side hustle up and running. You might not make as much as you’d like on day 1.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO): Sometimes, you’re going to have to say “no” to things you want to do to complete your full-time job and gig work.
13+ Tried-and-True Side Hustles
1. Freelance Writer
Love to write? Turn your words into income with a part-time career as a freelance writer. Every business needs professional writing, whether that’s content, grant proposals, marketing plans, or social media posts. Offer your services as a writer to capitalize on the opportunity.
Many people will recommend Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, or Guru as platforms to get started with freelance work. While these services are great for helping you find clients, keep in mind that they’re taking a percentage of your wages—it’s the same thing as hiring a professional to help you score freelance gigs.
If you want to make more from every gig, avoid these platforms and market yourself. That means reaching out to your network, sharing your status on LinkedIn, searching for referrals, creating a professional website, and more. It’ll take a bit more work, but it’ll set you up for success in the long run (whereas freelance platforms will forever eat your profits).
If you need a little help getting started, take advantage of our free copywriter training.
The app market is hot right now, meaning you can make a lot of money helping businesses go mobile. Since software developers are in demand, you can be pretty flexible with your terms. When the next recruiter reaches out to try and steal you from your company, don’t shoot them down right away—there may be an opportunity for you to work with them on a part-time or contract basis.
3. Website Builder
Every enterprise company and mom-and-pop shop needs a website. Website building platforms like Squarespace and WordPress make it easy for just about anyone to build a beautiful site, but there’s a lot more to a website than meets the eye.
Some clients need robust integrations or backend API calls that only an expert can tailor for them. If you know how to build websites, then you have a limitless market.
4. Website Flipper
Just because you know how to build websites doesn’t mean you have to sell your services to someone else. Another option is to become a website flipper. Website flippers buy domains for sale, polish them up, and resell them for a profit.
Use an auction site like Flippa to find domains for sale. You can find ugly-looking sites with loads of potential that just need a little bit of love. Work your magic and resell them to other buyers.
5. Virtual Assistant
Everyone from executives to small business owners could use a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, you’ll do everything from answering emails to managing calendars to handling invoices. Most virtual assistant jobs don’t require any technical know-how—you’ll just need to be prompt, responsive, and responsible.
Have a thing for numbers and organization? Bookkeeping might be the right gig opportunity for you. You’ll likely need to learn how to use a few different bookkeeping software platforms, but they’re all pretty similar. Help clients with everything from categorizing revenue and expenses to producing monthly financial reports.
7. Course Creator
Online instructors can make a healthy income from creating digital courses. If you have a skill, chances are someone is willing to pay to learn it. You can teach anything and everything: from surviving a zombie apocalypse to learning Python. Of course, you’ll need to find a market and a need—and that’s what platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare can help you with.
P.S. If you want to launch a profitable course, check out our free online course training program.
8. Social Media Specialist
Yes, you can turn your passion for Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok into income. Businesses continue to boost their social media investments, but they often need experts to run their programs—and many of these companies can’t afford to hire a full-time social media expert.
That’s where you come in.
Use your knowledge and love of social media to create content and engage with followers. Some businesses will just want you to keep the lights on with regular updates and engagement, while others will want to see active growth and progress. The former is more chill, but the latter usually pays better.
9. Online Reseller
If you love bargain hunting at flea markets and thrift shops, then this is the side hustle for you. As an online reseller, you’ll find deals locally (or even online) and resell them for a profit on popular platforms like eBay and Amazon.
This gig has incredible financial potential, but it requires a considerable time investment. You’ll need to do research into popular trending items, find them, and then learn how to market them competitively while also taking home a profit—that’s all easier said than done.
Turn your extra bedroom into monthly income as a landlord. You could list your property for short-term rent on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. Short-term rentals are the best way to maximize your revenue, but they often require a lot of work for managing the property and guests. You can hire a property management company to handle all the logistics for you, but they’ll take a significant chunk out of your profits.
Another option is to list your property for long-term rent. Long-term rentals still require a bit of work, but it’s a lot less than short-term options. Once you find a top-notch tenant, you’ll start raking in the monthly income—all you have to worry about is keeping them happy and under contract (on top of rental maintenance).
11. Storage Renter
Don’t want to rent out your guest bedroom? That’s just fine. Instead, consider renting out part of your garage or empty shed. Not to people, of course—but for storage items.
Neighbor is a peer-to-peer storage platform (think of it as Airbnb for storage space) that allows you to rent your extra space for storage. Someone with limited real estate may pay you good money to keep their boat or RV at your house, or they might need somewhere to store their things while going home for summer break or extended vacation.
12. Rideshare Driver
Give rides for dollars. Drivers for popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft can make a healthy side hustle income. Plus, you get to choose your own hours. If you have some free time in the evening, go drive around and make some money. If you don’t, stay home and relax.
You can find gig work as a driver for other services, too. There’s food, grocery, and package delivery (and plenty of others).
13. Mobile Mechanic
Not everyone shops at IKEA—people need help building and fixing things. If you’re a handy person with skills with the wrench, screwdriver, and hammer, many people need your help.
Getting started as a mobile mechanic doesn’t take too much investment. You don’t need a van or pickup truck just yet. You can start with your toolbox and your sedan.
Platforms like Thumbtack can help you market your services to your community.
Get Started With Your Side Hustle
Don’t make starting a side hustle harder than it needs to be. Most of the side hustles we mentioned above require little-to-no investment. Commit, get started, and see how it pans out. If you don’t like it, you can always quit and try a new gig—that’s the beauty of side hustles.
Still, we understand that starting your side hustle can be a bit intimidating. Let us help.
Join our free masterclass to learn how to start an online side hustle in 30 days or less. We’ll provide you with a proven roadmap for how to make extra money on the side without quitting your 9-to-5. Consider this your no-risk litmus test for practically any gig.
Need even more gig ideas? Sign up for the masterclass and receive your free “100 Side Hustle Ideas” ebook. It’s chock-full of even more opportunities to launch your side hustle business.