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Need Extra Income? One of These 22 Best Side Hustles Can Help You Out

We put together a huge list that includes the best side hustles for 2021 that can really make you money even if you have a full time job!

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Looking for the best side hustles of 2021?

According to Business Wire, the online outsourcing market is projected to grow to 19.36 Billion by 2027. Millennials, especially those in the age group of 20-25 years, form a large part of this outsourcing market. 1 in 4 side hustlers needs the extra money to make ends meet, according to another report.

It comes as no surprise that nearly 80% of students work part-time and about 30% of working professionals have side hustles.

Freelancing has increasingly become a popular option in the last decade, with students and working professionals alike.

Why do Millennials love Side Hustles?

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Here are a few reasons why side hustles have appeal to Millennials:

  • An opportunity to earn an additional source of income, which can be used to offset the financial pressure due to student loan debt and lifestyle upkeep.
  • Develop and hone a skill set
  • Productive use of time

Having a second job or the “side hustle” is a concept that has been branded by the millennial generation.

Besides the regular 9 to 5 clocked hours, some millennials design websites, some tutor a subject and some others run odd errands to make a few extra bucks on the side.

In fact, gig economy jobs, characterized by independent contract jobs, has been growing at a faster rate than payroll employment.

According to a report by CNBC, the number of independent contractors has increased by 27% more than the traditional clocked-hours employees in the last 2 decades.

If you want to take complete advantage of the opportunities existing in the gig economy, below are some of the best side hustles you can pursue to earn an additional income.

These opportunities are broadly divided into 3 side hustle categories:

1. Side Hustles that Require High Skill Sets and Pay Highly
2. Side Hustles that Require Moderate Skill Sets and Pay Moderately
3. Side Hustles that Require Low Skill Sets and have Low Pay-Offs

Side Hustles that Require High Skill Sets and Pay Highly

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This set of specialized side hustles require a certain level of refined skill set.

Establishing yourself as an independent contractor in this category requires a greater deal of time and effort, but you can be sure of a lucrative payoff.

So what kinds of jobs can you expect in this category?

According to a report published on LinkedIn, here is the list of the most In-demand skills in the market right now:

  • Cloud and distributed computing
  • Statistical analysis and data mining
  • Web architecture and development framework
  • Middleware and integration software
  • User interface design
  • Network and interface security
  • Mobile development
  • UX/UI Design
  • Data Presentation
  • Storage systems and management

So how do you brand yourself in the above fields?

1. Develop and Refine Your Skill Set

Since you will be working on real-time projects, you cannot work with novice skills.

Games that pay you to play. Yes, we're serious.

These 3 apps will pay you to play games on your mobile device:

  1. Mistplay (Android) - If you have an android device, you can download this app and start getting cash rewards for playing new games.
  2. Solitaire Cube (iOS) - Earning money by playing games on your phone sounds like a dream. But this app really pays you for playing solitaire with cash rewards.
  3. Lucktastic (Android) - This free app offers the same daily scratch-off cards that you find at your local convenience store — but here you can play for free and win real money.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an excellent way to strengthen your knowledge on a host of subjects.

These online courses are conducted by tier-1 universities, professional internet groups, and industry experts and are the most cost-effective way to gaining expertise in a particular subject as you get access to industry-best resources and training for a fraction of the cost than what is offered through others sources.

Most of them are for free with a paid option for a verified certificate.

2. Internships

Gaining some level of practical experience in the form of internships is recommended before you start off as a freelancer.

Accept projects/internships even in cases of low or no stipend because having a good mentor in the initial phase of your career can be a really good pay-off.

Apart from the learning curve that an internship provides, there are chances of your internship transitioning into a full-time job.

3. Freelancing

Becoming a freelancer is a great way to gain some practical experience in your interested field.

As a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients at the same time.

Freelancing projects are a great way to build your portfolio and pick up on a multitude of skill sets.

You can take up a few projects for free initially, to get on your references and build work samples for your portfolio.

Once the word is out about your credibility, you can set a price chart and take up projects according to it.

You can find excellent freelancing projects on Fiverr, Upwork, and Craigslist.

Best Side Hustles that Require Moderate Skill Sets and Pay Moderately

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In case you do not have the time to invest in learning a specialization, you can opt for generalized job-roles.

The payoff is comparatively lower than those found for specialized profiles, but the skill-set can be developed pretty quickly.

Here are a few alternatives that you can explore:

4. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is a self-employed professional who is hired to provide administrative, technical or creative help to clients through online mediums.

Companies generally outsource virtual assistants, so this is a sector where the demand for freelancers is extremely high.

You can pick up projects from sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.

5. Online Surveys

Yes, you do get paid to give your opinion!

However, your feedback should be detailed and honest as you are judged by your content quality here.

You can earn anything from $1-$100 per survey.

Here are some trusted survey companies that pay you in cash via PayPal:

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    6. User Testing

    User-testing is a research conducted by firms to improve their customer experience.

    Businesses are willing to shell out quite a few bucks to understand if their product/service effectively satisfies the customer demand before officially introducing it in the market.

    You can register yourself as a user tester and pick up projects through these websites:

    7. Online Tutoring

    If you were the go-to person in college for doubt-clearing, you might have an excellent side-career as a tutor.

    Due to the competition level, tutors are high in demand for STEM subjects. Subject knowledge, a desire to teach and working internet connection is all you need to establish yourself as a tutor. If you are a college student or just someone looking to make an extra few bucks a week, being a tutor is great.

    8. Blogging

    Blogging is a great way to make extra money as your side hustle. In fact, full time bloggers are known to earn as high as a 6 figure income with a single blog.

    Blogging is the top choice on the best side hustles list for millennials because it looks deceptively simple.

    However, that is far from the truth.

    Maintaining a successful blog is a very scientific process which requires content writing and marketing skills of the highest order.

    Here are a few actionable tips to create a revenue-rich blog: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

    Don’t already have a blog set up? You can start-up in a matter of minutes:

    If you want to get started on your blog now, check out this blog starter guide to get your site set up in less than 15 minutes.

    9. Translation

    The current market size of the global languages industry is around $40 billion and it is expected to keep growing cumulatively every year.

    The best part is, although there are various translation-related applications, automated translation is not considered to be completely reliable by publishers. There is a continued demand for translators especially in the areas of website translation, transcripts and foreign language education.

    Here is a list of the most in-demand translation languages:

    1. Chinese
    2. Spanish
    3. Japanese
    4. Portuguese
    5. German
    6. Arabic
    7. French
    8. Russian
    9. Korean
    10. Swedish

    10. Referral Programs

    According to research by the research company Neilson Holdings, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product/service when it is referred by a friend.

    Now, that is a statistic that companies like and this is precisely why companies across all sectors and sizes have been implementing referral programs.

    From an organization’s perspective, the ROI of referral programs is lucrative and hence they are willing to invest in a decent incentive plan for the referring sources.

    If you wanted to make money out of referral programs, you’ll first want to find which companies have referral programs in place.

    11. Stock Photography

    The growth of E-commerce and E-learning industries has been a catalyst in the transition of photography from a hobby occupation to an off-beat profession.

    Almost every company has an account on stock photography sites like Shutter Stock, Getty Images, etc. to fulfill their imaging needs. There is a high demand for HD images to support E-commerce products, blog posts, articles, and E-learning modules.

    If you have always pursued photography as a hobby, maybe it is time to start thinking about it commercially.

    12. Editor

    Believe it or not, companies and people are willing to pay huge bucks for proof-reading and editing reports, proposals, advertising copies, and other such documents.

    In fact, certain freelance proof-reading is known to pay $17 per hour!

    If you happen to have a background in human resources, you have an added leverage.

    You can take up a resume and cover-letter editing projects as there is a huge job-seekers’ market out there.

    Best Side Hustles That Require Low Skill Sets and have Low Pay-Offs

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    This is a set of offline jobs that do not require formal or corporate skill sets. Rather, it is more dependent on time commitment, soft skills and the resources available to the student.

    Here are a few options that you can check out:

    13. Renting Out a Spare Room

    Becoming an Airbnb host is an awesome side hustle opportunity to earn a little extra income from your extra space.

    There is enough profit in renting out a spare room to help you cover a quarter of your monthly costs.

    If you are not looking for a full-time room-mate, you can list out your house on Airbnb for specific time-periods.

    Fun-Fact: In Washington, the average home rental rates for December touched $1,576 per week!

    14. Find Gig Economy Jobs

    A while ago during the Great Recession, there were huge numbers of layoffs across all types of jobs.

    People were being fired from jobs they’ve held for a better part of their lives. This prompted the market to shift to freelancers and independent contractors to take their place in an unsteady economy.

    While many people predicted that this would be a short-lived phenomenon, that hasn’t been the case at all. In fact, 57 US Million Workers are part of the gig economy according to Forbes.

    Many people have flourished being freelance writers, online tutors, or even home flippers and they feel that it is the way forward. Clocking in and out of work has seen to be less desirable these days compared to earlier with an influx of gig economy jobs.

    So how can you profit in the gig economy? There are more than a few of the best gig economy jobs to try to earn extra money on the side:

    • This list of gig economy jobs is curated by us to maximize your profit for the effort you put in and over a wide variety of different things you can get done.

    15. Get Paid to Watch Videos

    Wouldn’t it be nice if you got paid for doing something that you do daily — watching videos on your phone?

    Instead of feeling guilty for enjoying your free time, you can get paid to watch videos and movie previews. It can be tough to know which sites will pay you for your binge-watching — so we did the research for you.

    Believe it or not, some companies like InboxDollars and Swagbucks will actually pay you for these simple tasks that you do daily. By spending just 30 minutes per day watching videos (either on your lunch break or during TV commercial breaks) you can earn and earn an extra $100-200/month.

    16. Ride-sharing

    Lyft is an excellent opportunity to put your driving license to use, especially in 2020.

    It is an ideal gig on our best side hustles list for full-time students as Lyft allows you to set your own working hours and get paid instantly.

    According to a blog post in The Finance Guy, full-time drivers can make as much as $24.25 per hour!

    17. Handyman Services

    A handyman is someone who is skilled in tackling “fix-up tasks” like repairs and maintenance work.

    Handyman work includes gardening, plumbing, electric and mechanical repairs, etc.

    Apart from making a few extra bucks, you also save on taxes.

    Fun fact: The Penny Hoarder recently covered a story on a self-employed handyman who earns $30,000 a week!

    18. Dog Walking

    This one is for all the animal-lovers out there!

    Dog-walking has 3 lucrative benefits; You get to spend time with your four-legged friends, you yourself get some exercise, and you don’t have to pay taxes!

    Here’s how to find dog-walking gigs:

    • You can find dog-walking gigs on Rover, Job Monkey and We Love Pets (UK).

    19. Find Ways to Get Free Money

    Free money? Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

    Every year businesses give away thousands of dollars in free money and free gift cards as a way of promoting their websites or products.

    Some of them only require filling out a form or downloading a free money app. Some of them take a bit more effort, but you can easily knock out all of these in a weekend to get free money online.

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    20. Get Paid to Read Books

    Another great side hustle is getting paid to read books and it is an opportunity to put your reading skills to use.

    Getting paid to read books sounds like a dream, but in fact, you could make $1,857 a month by reading and writing books online, according to Forbes.

    21. Brand Ambassador

    This is suited to students with people, sales and marketing skills in 2020.

    A brand ambassador is an incentive-based program, where students are paid to promote a particular brand on campus.

    Tasks can range from wearing company merchandise, getting registrations or social media promotions.

    Campus ambassador opportunities are posted on job and internship sites like LinkedIn and

    22. Hosting a Meet-Up

    Organizing meet-ups are a great of meeting new people and earning money on the side.

    The task is simple: Create a community of like-minded people and charge them a membership fee for each community event. is globally the most popular website for finding & creating meet-ups.

    Ready to Choose Your Side Hustle?

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    The best passive income ideas are not limited to just making extra money.

    In the current skill economy, they are a great asset to your resume!

    In fact, you might actually find your career calling and there is a possibility of your side hustle turning into a full-time job.

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    Have you tried any of these best side hustles in 2021? Tell us in the comments section below!

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    Abhyank Srinet
    Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control. His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online start up for Masters in Management application consulting (, focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company.

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