21 Best Side Hustles in 2021

Last Updated: December 14, 2020 14 min read
Author: Chelsea L.

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There are so many ways to make money on the side. Here are the 21 Best Side Hustles of 2021.

21 Best Side Hustles in 2021

1. Work as a Virtual Assistant

With everything that has happened in the past year, the number of online business owners is growing at a rapid rate. Along with those businesses is the demand for help through virtual assistants. A virtual assistant has a variety of duties, but overall are responsible for making their boss’s work-life easier. These duties can include inbox management, scheduling, managing social media accounts, data entry, creating content, and managing projects.

No degree is needed to work as a virtual assistant, but having experience and references will make getting the gig a lot easier. What’s great about virtual assisting is that you can work flexible hours at home with as little as a laptop and internet connection. Start marketing yourself today and earn yourself a virtual assistant job where you can learn even more about being an entrepreneur.

2. Deliver Food

A widely popular side hustle that is arguably one of the best ones is delivering food. People are ordering in even more and you can be the one to help deliver while also getting paid and tipped. With UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash you can start choosing your deliveries and earn just above $15 an hour. Make sure to do your due diligence and calculate the wear and tear on your car along with gas to make sure that this pay (along with tips) is worth your time. Many say that it is!

This side hustle is great as you can control how many hours a week you want to work and can take a job when you have some spare time in your day. All you need to get started is an internet connection, drivers license, and a car.

3. Shop for others

Similar to delivering food, you can also work delivering groceries and other items using Instacart or Postmates. And like many of the other side hustles mentioned, the demand for this service is only rising. If you are wanting to earn a little more by working for yourself, you can market your services and find job postings on Facebook for personal shopping gigs. These jobs usually pay over $20 per shopping trip. It's important to spend time marketing yourself though, as you don’t have Postmate or Instacart to get you the jobs.

4. Drive others around

If you are a people person and have a car, you’ll love this side hustle. Using Uber or Lyft you can get paid to meet new people by driving them around town. In the gig, you choose what rides you want to take, and pick up people that would otherwise need a taxi to get around.

What’s nice about this side hustle is that you have the flexibility to accept the rides you want and get to stay in the comfortability of your own car. While you do pay for the wear and tear of your car along with the gas, tips and commission can add up to a pretty penny.

5. Offer Creative Services

There are thousands of different creative services that you can offer to others for a profit. Here are several that I've come up with and seen others doing. Take a skill or hobby that you have and market it as a service. While you might not be the most skilled at these services, by lowering your prices or taking on smaller jobs you can still earn a lot of money doing these things on the side.

  • Photography
  • T-shirt designing
  • Party planning
  • Teaching piano (or another instrument)
  • Baking

One of my favorite creative side hustles that I have seen a lot lately is selling drawings of family portraits. These drawings are easily done online using different drawing apps, and are hugely popular right now.

6. Tutor

With schools going online and parents struggling to keep up, the demand for great tutors is at an all-time high. If you have a school subject that you are really interested in and love to teach, this might be a great option for you! Tutors usually earn over $30 an hour and can earn a lot more than that if doing SAT or ACT test prep. Connect with local schools or advertise your services on social media to get started.

7. Childcare

There are a variety of ways that you can work in childcare. You can babysit for date nights, nanny, or even do your own in-home daycare. Care.com and SitterCity are great websites for getting started. I personally used Care.com for years to find small gigs and even full time jobs when I was going to school. There are a bunch of different job postings and it’s easy to find one that works with your schedule. While these websites worked for me, you can skip the premium fee by marketing yourself through family friends and social media.

This side gig usually needs you to have a car and some experience caring for children, but there is no degree or certification that is required. Depending on your area and your experience, you can charge from $15-$25 per hour for your services.

8. Watch/Walk dog

Dog sitting and walking dogs is another side hustle that I did to earn money while in school. This side gig is when you either walk other people’s dogs for them during the day or care for their dog while they are out of town. While I found my gigs through word of mouth, there is an app now called Rover that help you connect with pet owners that are looking for dog walkers or sitters in their area.

If you love dogs, this side hustle doesn’t even feel like work. You can get paid around $25 a walk or even better $70 for watching their dog overnight. You have some flexibility on when you can walk the dog, and can choose what jobs you want to take. The dog owners will include all supplies you need and you get paid to play with adorable dogs.

9. Clean homes

With people staying home even more these days and cleanliness being even more vital, the demand for house cleaning has risen. This side hustle is very flexible as you can choose how many clients you want and roughly when you want to do those jobs. This job requires marketing your skills as well and networking with others.

Cleaners can get from $20 an hour to $50 an hour depending on the job and client. This side hustle usually requires that you have some cleaning supplies, so make sure that you include those material costs into the total amount that you charge per job.

10. Flipping

When I think of flipping I tend to think of others that buy and flip furniture. And while that is a great avenue to take with flipping, it is not your only option. One thing that Zach and I have done in the past is buy items that are heavily discounted in stores and then list them for sale online at their market value. This takes some research as you don’t want to waste your money on products that no one wants to buy, but we’ve been able to earn hundreds of dollars with only a few hours of work.

A lot of people find success in shopping at thrift stores and liquidation websites to find items that are listed way below their worth. This avenue also takes a lot of knowledge on the products that you are flipping, but with some trial and error, you should have an idea of what the market is looking for and wanting to pay for those items. Make sure you have the space for storing these items and that you calculate the total cost of the product, the possible shipping costs, fees, and your time before setting a price.

11. Sell stuff on Etsy

If you have a creative side and like to be crafty you can start making and listing things to sell on Etsy. There is a wide variety of things that people sell. Simply searching on Etsy you can find anything from wood carved items, customized jewelry, vintage items, party supplies, and much more!

While it might be overwhelming looking at the intricate items that are posting, there are a bunch of simpler products that I promise you can create yourself and sell. I’ve seen sellers that takel normal items that they’ve purchased themselves, and provide custom labeling as their way to make it a self made product. Etsy does take a cut of the profits, 5% transaction fee plus a 3% = $0.25 payment processing fee. Make sure to calculate your materials, time, and fees before setting prices.

12. Yardwork

There are lots of people out there that care about their yards and will pay good money to maintain them. While this job is very physical, you can usually charge more for it as not everyone is willing to do these tasks. These tasks include:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Trimming bushes
  • Pulling weeds
  • Raking leaves
  • Cleaning gutters
  • Cleaning debris from turf
  • Shoveling snow

This side hustle takes a little more to get started as you need to advertise your services and gather all of the tools that you need, but it can be a great side business if you make sure to charge what you're worth and market yourself well.

13. Transcribe

Transcriptionists take audio files and convert them to text. Legal and Medical transcription is popular, while other jobs can include transcribing lectures, podcasts, interviews, or other instructional videos. This job requires accuracy and pays around $20 per hour.

14. Start a Blog

A great side hustle that I’m doing right now is writing a blog. There is so much creativity and flexibility in creating content for others to enjoy. You ultimately get to choose what you write, when you write, and how much you write. The one downside to blogging is that the earnings are not guaranteed. You need to connect with an audience and build relationships in order to be able to monetize any of your hard work. The great thing about blogging is that you can write about what you are genuinely interested in, which makes it a fun pastime and less like working. If you want to learn how to start a blog check out our guide here.

15. Teach English Online

One way that you can earn money online and not have to market your services is through teaching english on a website called VIPKids. For this gig you get to work with children in China teaching them how to speak English. This job is very flexible and can pay up to $22 an hour!

One thing to keep in mind is that your hours will need to match China’s time zone which could mean you have very early mornings or late nights. This can work perfectly however for those that have a full time job and are looking for more working hours in their day. To apply for VIPKIDs you do need a Bachelors degree and experience taking care of or teaching kids.

16. Rent Your Car

If you’ve got a cool car that you don't drive often, a great way to earn some side cash is to rent it out. Turo is a website, similar to AirBnB, where you can list your car and rent it out for a day or more. Turo does take a percentage of your earning (15% - 35%) but also insures up to 1 Million in your car if there are any damages or left. Right now, Tesla’s are really popular to rent on Turo and can earn you over $100 a day.

17. Earn Money as You Shop

It may seem too good to be true, but yes you can earn money just by shopping. There is an app called Ibotta that connects you with offers from different brands that pay you through PayPal and/or Venmo. They work with over 1,500 different brands, so the odds are you are already purchasing items that you could be getting cash back from.

After you download the app and create your account, make sure you follow the in-store or online instructions. While the earnings are small, this takes very little time and effort on your part and can lead to a free date night or pay a bill.

18. Sell an Ebook

If you already have the education and skill that others are looking to learn, a great way to market that skill is to share it with others for a profit. This can be by writing and selling an ebook. What’s great about this side hustle is it doesn’t take any investment besides your time and involves something you are already passionate about.

While some of you might think that you don't have any skills to share, I bet once you really think about it you could come up with a couple. Just last week I paid for an ebook that gave me house cleaning tips and formulas for cleaning supplies. While the course was only $10, the ebook was only 30 pages and probably didn’t take the author long to put together. Plus $10 can add up pretty fast if you are able to get the word out.

19. Become a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers record daily financial transactions for businesses and accountants. Some of their tasks include:

  • Collecting payments
  • Updating financial records
  • Paying bills
  • Managing payroll
  • Keeping financial records accurate

Many bookkeepers are able to work for themselves at home and just need their computers and the internet. This side hustle is one of the harder ones as it does require a lot of knowledge on your part and for you to find businesses to hire you. However, every business needs a bookkeeper and if you do a great job you’ll be sure to have others asking you for your services. Plus, freelance bookkeepers are able to earn $30 to $40 an hour.

20. Take Surveys

While this side hustle isn't as lucrative as many of the others listed, it is fairly simple to do and start. Companies want to learn about their customers and a way for them to do that is for them to send out surveys.

There are a bunch of apps that you can download that will give you surveys based on if you are the demographic they are looking for. I personally have used Pinecone Research and Swagbucks. Most surveys take a few minutes to complete and are usually paid out in GiftCards. This can be done anywhere and anytime which makes this a super easy side hustle to start.

21. Invest in Real Estate

Investing in real estate doesn’t have the same low barrier of entry like the other side hustles above. However, it can have a serious payout if you are willing to put in the work to get there. This is a side hustle Zach and I have dabbled in a little bit, and are looking to focus on this year.

If you buy and rent another home or multi-family unit you can easily increase the amount of money you have coming in each month. The beauty of real estate is that you don’t have just one way to grow your money. While you are looking at cash on cash returns solely based on rental income, there is also equity growth, tax advantages, and mortgage paydown to include in your calculations.

A lot of people that we know have done well with real estate. There is definitely a lot of risk involved, so it is very important to study up and become well versed with the industry.