The best side hustle ideas are flexible and pay well for the work you’re doing. It’s because of those kinds of side hustles that I was able to pay off nearly $40,000 of student loan debt in 18 months, quit my day job, and grow a 7-figure business.
Maybe those aren’t your goals, but all of the side hustle ideas on this list will help you make extra money to pay off debt, save for emergencies, or supplement your income if you’ve lost your job.
I’m going to explain the best side hustles of 2021 (including ones I worked!), and how to get started with each.
15 Best Side Hustle Ideas for 2021 – Make $1000 a Month
1. Manage Facebook ads for small businesses
Managing Facebook ads is a digital marketing service where you create ads, determine the best audience targeting, test your ads, and generally help business owners grow their business via Facebook.
I started running Facebook ads after I quit my job to blog full time. I was looking for side hustle ideas to help me supplement my income, and I learned about Facebook ads when I was looking for ways to grow my blog.
I learned as much as I could about Facebook ads, and then I landed my first client – the jeweler who sold me my wife’s engagement ring.
From there, I landed another client and then another, and pretty soon I was making more running Facebook ads each week than I did working as a full-time high school band director.
See, you can earn $1,000-$1,500/month per client with Facebook ads. One of the reasons this is one of the best side hustle ideas is because it only takes around 2-3 hours a week to manage their ads once you have their system up and running. That means you can stack clients and scale this side hustle.
My buddy Mike Yanda experienced even more success running Facebook ads. He started running ads for clients while he was still in law school, and eventually quit his job as a lawyer as his digital marketing agency grew – he now makes around $30,000/month with his Facebook agency.
We pooled our knowledge to create the Facebook Side Hustle Course to teach other people how to start and run this in-demand side hustle. Businesses, more than ever, need help growing their revenue, and digital marketers can help them leverage Facebook’s massive reach.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Facebook Side Hustle Course.
It’s been a lot of fun to watch our students scale their side hustle, and we have several who have hit the $5,000 to $10,000/month mark.
2. Start a blog
Blogging is my main business these days, but it started on the side of my full-time teaching job. I had just paid off a lot of student loan debt relatively quickly, and I became passionate about helping other people do the same kind of thing.
I was already familiar with blogs when I started mine, and reading personal finances blogs was part of my motivation for paying off debt. Seeing people make money on the side, pay off debt, live on a sailboat, retire early etc.
It looked like a dream in a lot of ways, but I realized that finding the right side hustle idea could turn that dream into a realistic idea.
What I learned is that blogging is a lot of work. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It can literally take months to earn anything from your site – it took me months to earn $3.
But here’s why blogging is one of the best side hustle ideas of 2021: you can grow your blog in your own time and it’s extremely affordable to start a blog. Using our exclusive Bluehost link, you can start your blog for less than $3/month.
You can learn how to start a blog, from choosing the right niche to monetization options in this comprehensive guide: How to Start a Blog in 2021.
3. Work a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants (or VAs) can be a huge help to business owners and professionals because they can take over a lot of tasks that keep the business owner from higher value work. This is work that needs to be done for the business to operate but doesn’t need to be done by the business owner.
Virtual assistant work varies from client to client, but here’s an idea of the most common tasks:
- Email inbox management
- Social media management
- Scheduling appointments, travel, etc.
- Making phone calls
- Publishing blog posts
- Assemble reports
- Running personal errands
- Taking notes
- Converting files
The work virtual assistants do is all online, which makes this one of the side hustle ideas that is 100% remote work. As long as you have a laptop and internet connection, you can work.
If you have a background in human resource management, executive assistance, administrative support, or office management, you have a lot of the skills you need to work as a VA. However, you can start without any experience and still learn how to build a VA business in the course Fully Booked VA.
4. Become a Pinterest virtual assistant
Pinterest virtual assistance is a niche side hustle idea where focus specifically on helping business owners grow their business using Pinterest. This side hustle isn’t just getting paid to pin, but it could be a lot of fun for anyone who already enjoys using Pinterest.
Pinterest VAs design pins, create boards, schedule pins using Tailwind, run promoted pins, and more. Common clients are bloggers, online shop owners, YouTubers, course creators, and any other entrepreneur who can benefit from the kind of audience that uses Pinterest.
You can learn more about how this side hustle works in the course Become a Pinterest VA Today. Here’s our full review of this course.
5. Flip things for sale
Flipping things is buying things for cheap or free and then selling them for a profit. Melissa and Rob of Flea Market Flipper started doing this as a side hustle, and they’ve grown it into a full-time business. In one year, they made over $133,000 from flips.
An example of a recent flip was a stroller they bought for $20 and then resold online for $230. They’ve even flipped things they found in the dumpster.
You need to have a good sense of what things are really worth when you go out shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets. Melissa and Rob have a free flipping workshop to help you get started.
6. Sell stuff online
Selling stuff online is one of the fastest side hustle ideas to get up and running, so it’s great if you need to make money fast.
Look around your house and see what’s sitting around that you’re not using or don’t really need. Old workout equipment, gently used clothes, your old cell phone, kitchen gadgets, baby gear, etc. Take that clutter and do something with it – use it to make extra money.
Facebook Marketplace is generally a good place to sell things because you are probably already familiar with how Facebook works, and it’s also 100% free to sell. You can also sell in local buy/sell groups on Facebook.
Here are some more item-specific places to sell things online:
- Poshmark and ThredUp for selling gently used, on-trend clothes and accessories
- Decluttr for cell phones, video game consoles, DVDs, laptops, tablets, and other old tech
- eBay for collectibles and hard to find items
- Amazon for books
- Etsy for vintage goods
7. Start an Etsy side hustle
I mentioned Etsy in the last side hustle idea as a place to sell vintage goods, but you can also start a passive side hustle selling Etsy printables.
Printables are digital products that you design and sell as PDFs. Think calendars, planner pages, to-do lists, meal planning sheets, decorative prints to hang in your house, game sheets, invitations, thank you cards, and more.
The passive part of this side hustle idea is because once you have created the digital file and listed it on Etsy, there’s minimal work for you. Etsy handles the payment processing and delivery of digital files you sell, and you can sell a virtually infinite number of digital products.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the E-Printable Course from Gold City Ventures.
Proofreaders take written content and check for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. Basically, they take unpolished work and turn it into something that look highly professional.
Anyone with a natural ability to spot error would make a good proofreader. You probably know if that’s you or not. Maybe you’ve corrected your friends’ grammar, spotted spelling errors in menus, or have even been tempted to email a website about a misplaced comma.
You can learn how to start your own proofreading side hustle in the in-depth Proofread Anywhere Course.
9. Create an online course
Selling online courses has been part of our business model for several years now, but you don’t need to have an existing website, blog, or business to sell courses online.
Anyone with a marketable skill can build a course and sell it online. One of my readers took what she knows about graphic design and created a series of successful courses that she sells on Udemy and Skillshare.
Her courses sell for around $20 each, and three years after creating her first course, she now brings in around $60,000/month from course sales.
Related: How to Create a Course: Your Step-by-Step Guide
10. Deliver food
As far as side hustle ideas go, delivering food has been one of the most popular ideas in the past year. Food delivery is extremely convenient for customers, which creates a need. And it’s super flexible for side hustlers because you can open an app and deliver in your spare time.
Postmates is a really popular service, and they’re known for delivering anything, anywhere, anytime. DoorDash is another customer favorite, and they specialize in restaurant takeout.
You can expect to make around $12-$20/hour delivering food, and the most successful drivers deliver for more than one company and toggle between two delivery apps to find orders.
11. Deliver groceries
Sticking with the food delivery theme, delivering grocery has been another one of the side hustle ideas that’s seen a lot of growth recently.
You can make around $12-$20/hour delivering for services like Instacart and Shipt. You take orders in the app, which tells you exactly what to shop for, even acceptable substitute.
12. Take online surveys
No one gets rich taking online surveys, but this is one of the easiest side hustle of 2021, so a good way to put a little extra money in your pocket.
I actually took surveys for extra money when I was in college and later when I was paying off my student loan debt. I knew any extra money would help me reach my financial goal.
Some of the best survey sites – pay well for your time and not scammy – are Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, Inbox Dollar, and MyPoints.
Most survey companies pay you in points that convert to cash. For example, Survey Junkie points are worth $0.01 and you might make 50-200 points for completing a survey. That’s $0.50-$2. I told you they don’t pay much.
Each company varies, but there’s typically a minimum cash out amount, and you can get paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or gift cards.
13. Freelance writer
Freelance writers write the vast majority of online content right now. They write everything from ad copy, sales page, blog posts, white pages, resumes, product descriptions, promotional copy, how-to guide, technical manuals, and more.
Freelance writing is one of the side hustle ideas on this list that can turn into a full-time job. One of our freelance writers, Ariel, wrote this article that explains how to start a freelancing writing without any experience. She started writing and editing as a side hustle five years ago, and she’s since left her day job to work as a full-time writer.
14. Web developer
Web developers are responsible for building and maintaining the sites and apps that we use every day. Think about how much work, learning, and shopping you’ve done online in the past year. A web developer is responsible for keeping all of that technology running properly.
Because of how necessary these skills are, this is one of the side hustle idea I expect to continue growing in the future.
Surprisingly, you no longer need a degree in computer science to work as web developer, and many get their start in month long coding boot camps. You learn real world skills that help you build a portfolio.
15. One-time gigs
Making money from one-time gigs is one of the most low commitment side hustle ideas, and what I mean by that is you’re not trying to become an online entrepreneur. You’re just trying to find quick, one-off jobs to make extra cash.
This is work like helping people move furniture, doing snow removal, running errands, etc. Creating an account on TaskRabbit is one way to find one-time gig.
You create a profile – there’s a $25 registration fee – and then you list what services you offer and how much you charge. Here’s an idea of some of the gigs you can list on TaskRabbit:
- Putting together Ikea furniture
- Waiting in line (people will seriously pay for this)
- Mounting a flat screen TV
- Deep cleaning a kitchen or house
- Hanging pictures
Another idea is to search the “Gigs” section on Craigslist. I did a quick search where I live in TX and found listings for day laborers, one-time event staffing, and movers.
The final word on side hustle ideas
Finding a side hustle might be what you need at the moment to help pay off debt or replace your income if you’ve lost your job, but a side hustle can turn into your full-time job. That’s if you want it to and find the right side hustle.
Ideas like running Facebook ads or starting a blog are two very scalable options. And what’s great about any of the side hustle ideas on this list is that they’re all flexible. You can start a blog and deliver for Postmates on the side and take surveys while you’re relaxing at the end of the day and watching Netflix.
The ultimate goal here is making more money, and any of these ideas can help. Get creative with your time, find something that appeals to you, and think about your long-term goals.
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