15 of the Best Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2020-2021
By: Cole Sandefur | October 22nd, 2020
Making extra money has never been easier than it is today. With the advent of various social platforms, online businesses in need of help, and a plethora of websites dedicated to helping you reach your financial goals, nothing is stopping you from making a decent side income to further your monetary gains. Whether you are looking for a part-time side hustle to cap off your rent for the month, or to make a noticeable increase to your yearly salary, the only thing stopping you is you. These ideas should help you along your path to financial glory.
1. Selling your Unused Possessions/Clothes on eBay or Craigslist
This one may seem like common knowledge to most, but you would be surprised at the amount of easy cash lying around in your drawers and closets. Many things, such as name brand clothing, jewelry, or even collectible items that now may be unobtainable at retailers may have accumulated worth since you originally purchased them. Other items such as well cared for leather goods (everyone loves a good patina!), collectors edition books, and even electronics, such as your last phone or laptop that have been taken care of can be worth a good chunk of change to the right buyer. Make sure to do some research on what you’re selling to get the best value for it, and you’d be surprised how much you can make after a quick dig through your house.
2. Creating Your Own Products to Sell on Etsy
Do you have a knack for being creative? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Or maybe you already have a hobby, such as painting or jewelry crafting, with no financial outlet for it? Then Etsy is the place for you; if you can create it, someone will buy it. Whether you enjoy painting, carpentry, leather working, or anything similar, Etsy is the best place to sell your work. Through Etsy, you can set up your online shop and sell your unique creations at your own price and at your own time. Whatever it is that you enjoy making, rest assured that a buyer is waiting to get their hands on it.
3. Social Media Managing
Most would see spending a lot of time on social media as a bad thing, but you could potentially make a decent amount of money with it if that is something you do regularly. Social media management involves working with a business or person in operating their social media for them. This includes making posts and/or statements to either advertise a product or keep an online presence, as well as general content creation and analyzing trends. Knowledge is key in this position and being savvy with multiple platforms is a must, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Most social media managers are paid monthly, averaging around $500 a month, and usually post two to three posts per day. So if you are able to operate multiple personal or business accounts you could generate a pretty substantial income. So how do you get into this field? Ask. Many companies might have outdated or unused websites or social media, and reaching out to them and presenting your knowledge on various platforms and their benefits could persuade an otherwise oblivious business to hire you.
4. Website Testing
Every good business needs a website, but not all websites are created equal. Many may be unorganized, cluttered, difficult to navigate, or simply buggy. That’s where testers come in. Many companies will pay a decent sum for a second opinion, and there are many ways to do so. Sites like Usertesting, Userfeel, and TryMyUi allow you to test different companies’ websites, with pay usually revolving around the number of tests completed or the time taken to test each website. Many of these websites will email you multiple tests and you will have to claim as many as possible quickly before someone else does. To get started, most companies will require a brief audition to gauge your abilities and allow you to test their clients’ websites. If all goes well, a good computer, stable internet, and a camera and microphone are all that’s required.
5. Searching the Web
Let’s face it, the internet is a part of all of our lives in one way or another, and at the basic level, what do we all have in common using this all-encompassing medium? Searching. Whether you’re catching up on the daily news, looking for your next big purchase, or just browsing through Google, the only way to get there is to click the search bar, type, and hit that enter key. Many different websites, such as Swagbucks, allow you to do your daily searching and get paid for it. Operating on a points system, you accumulate points that you can spend on gift cards or exchange for straight cash whenever you use their search engine. Many websites will also have deals with Swagbucks, allowing you to get coupons and discounts just by visiting the site.
6. Take Part in Focus Groups
A fast and easy way to make some extra money short term is by participating in focus groups where companies gather important marketing data for their products. These usually pay upwards of a couple hundred dollars and last around a couple of hours. There are many types of focus groups aside from product opinions; they can be just about anything, from political analysis to medical research and social sciences. You can find many focus groups online that are taking place in your area and in a variety of formats. From one-on-one to group sessions, online or over the phone, there is a format for everyone.
7. Creating a Blog
Do you love writing? Maybe you are already a freelance writer but want to start something of your own? Then starting a blog might be a good alternative to make a decent amount of money. Blogging is all about passion. So when you are in the beginning stages of your new endeavor, make sure to find something that engages you, and that will keep your future audience engaged as well. One of the best ways that many bloggers monetize this hobby is in affiliate marketing. A lot of different companies such as Amazon have affiliate programs wherein you recommend certain products using specific links and get a commission off of said purchases. So if you blog about something you’ve been enjoying a lot, use an affiliate link to send your readers to the best place to purchase it and make money off the back of their purchase. This isn’t necessarily the fastest way to make money on this list and will take a certain amount of commitment to accomplish. However, if you give it your all and it is something you inherently enjoy, you could end up making a steady and reliable source of income.
8. Creating a YouTube Channel
In the same vein as blogging, a YouTube channel can be a great source of money if you have the passion and commitment. Just like blogging, the key is to pick a subject matter that interests you and revolve your channel around this. Monetizing your channel is also much like blogging; you can use affiliate marketing in the same way, providing links to products you use, as well as potentially gaining sponsorships for your videos. Another fantastic and, arguably the best and most reliable source of income for your channel, is a website called Patreon. Using Patreon, fans can subscribe to your Patreon on a monthly subscription tied to your PayPal, with multiple subscription tiers, each providing different rewards. The rewards they receive are up to you, but a lot of common ones are behind the scenes footage of your videos, special vlogs, and even an early viewing of your videos before they are published to YouTube. However, unlike blogging, you will need a little more to get into this hobby, such as a good camera and decent video editing software. Cameras are available at a great price second hand and some computers like Macbooks come with iMovie for free, so stepping into video creation isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Overall if you love the idea of creating videos and video editing, or maybe you already have experience in both, YouTube could be a great way of bringing in additional income.
Photography can be an amazing way to make some good money, especially if it is already something you enjoy doing in your free time. Selling stock photos is one of the quickest and easiest methods of generating passive income for your work. Many websites such as Shutterstock will pay you every time one of your photographs is downloaded through their website. You could also dip your toes into freelance photography for individuals or companies, whether that be photos for someone’s blog, website, or even their social media. If this is an interest of yours, the first step would be to purchase a good camera. As previously stated, cameras can be found second hand for relatively cheap, either just the body or even with an included lens! Suppose purchasing a camera is out of your budget, or you aren’t entirely sure photography is your cup of tea. In that case, newer generation smartphones have reasonably impressive photographic capabilities and are a great start if you want to test the waters.
10. Website Building
One of the best ways to make extra income is freelance website building. While it may appear daunting at first, creating a website has never been easier. With proper marketing techniques and a good skill set, your potential income as a website builder is massive, and the cost of entry is exceptionally minimal. Starting out in this field is much easier than it has ever been before, with plenty of tools such as Squarespace and Wix that are dedicated to creating websites quickly and simply, with basic drag and drop usability. If you want to take it to the next level, there are many online or offline courses dedicated to learning web design, as well as getting acquainted with HTML and CSS. With the combination of working remotely, great financial potential, and ease of entry, website creation is definitely one of the best ways to make a lot of money on the side.
11. UberEats/Postmates Delivery
Food delivery for either of these companies could be a great supplement to your current income and could potentially be very lucrative for the amount of time invested. As one of these drivers, you are paid for each pickup, drop off, as well as time spent waiting for an order to be ready and occasionally a small bonus for working during peak business hours. As a driver, you work within your own schedule, so if waking up early to head to work isn’t your cup of tea, this could be an amazing opportunity to make some good money in your spare time. The entry requirements for new drivers are not terribly involved and vary slightly per company. Be over 18 years of age, drive with a valid license for at least one year with a clean driving record, have an insured vehicle, and pass a background check are some of the basic requirements. This is a great option for those who prefer to make their own hours or are looking for a short term hustle to make some easy money on the side during their daily commute.
12. Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping is another fantastic way to make some easy money, while also being incredibly flexible to your schedule. In a nutshell, you are paid to shop or dine at specific establishments and report your experience to the company that you are working for. Typically, you will earn a varying payment as well as a reimbursement for the product or food you are purchasing. You could mystery shop at a local clothing retailer and be given a $50 reimbursement to shop there, as well as $20 for a review of the experience. Restaurants are also an option for mystery shopping, following the same ruleset as above. One such company to begin mystery shopping for is Bestmark. They are well known for fair rates and quick payments, but make sure to do some quality research into the companies you want to mystery shop for, as not all of them are created equally.
13. Become a Virtual Assistant
If working at home online is paramount to you then becoming a virtual assistant might just be the side job you’re looking for. As a VA you are essentially assisting someone, possibly multiple people, on whatever it is they need. Some examples being: email management, word editing or ghostwriting, customer support, bookkeeping, and much more. Evaluating your skill set is key in making sure that you can provide whatever it is your employer needs. Becoming a freelancer in this field is as easy as asking people you know if they need help, or reaching out to a small business to see if your abilities could be of use to them. Your rate is up to whatever you and your client agree upon so to have immense financial growth. Overall this job position is very flexible and diverse; a great opportunity for someone looking to make a steady side income, part or full-time.
14. Online Data Entry
One of the easiest ways to make money online is through data entry. With very minimal requirements to get started, this position is quite possibly the easiest on this list to make some cash on the side. If you have decent computer and typing abilities, as well as good communication and organization skills, then you have all that is needed to get started in this field of work. However, because the barrier to entry is so small, the competition is steep. Many people look to these gigs to earn some easy money, so applying to as many places as possible is key here. It should be noted that the work isn’t the most glamorous, as you will be doing many of the same things day in and day out. If repetitious work isn’t an issue for you though, this may be the perfect boost to your earnings.
15. Personal Tutoring
Tutoring can be a great way to make money on the side while teaching someone about something you love. Whether that be an instrument you play, an academic field you are skilled in, or even a specific talent like healthy cooking or exercise, if you can teach it, someone will want to learn it. With your schedule being solely dictated by the clients you have and your rate being entirely self-determined, tutoring can be a fantastic way to earn money, either through an online course or an offline session. For those looking to get into this field, the biggest hurdle will be finding clients. However, there are many different avenues you can take to find fantastic students. Simply asking your friends, family or even coworkers is a great start and if you want to take it further, websites like Nextdoor are amazing at advertising your tutoring skills to people near you. You can also extend your mentoring reach to other websites like Craigslist to inform people on a more broad scale. If you teach what you love and love to teach, the money will make itself, and who knows, maybe you could learn a thing or two as well!
We’ve gone over a lot, I know, so do your own research into the topics that interest you the most to make sure they’re the best fit for you. Never before has making money been easier, from freelance writing, photography, video editing and more, there is a gig for everyone. Online or offline, part or full-time, never again will you have to ask yourself how to make money on the side, all that’s left is to get out there and try it for yourself. The world is your oyster, so make the most of it!
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