COVID-19 has shown that life can change in the blink of an eye.
When some states started imposing lockdown, the American economy was in shambles. The stock market plunged deep in the throes of a downturn. Work hours got cut and people lost their jobs.
Americans realized that relying on one source of income can be risky. Many started looking for side gigs to boost savings and cover unexpected expenses.
2020 is a prime example of why it’s vital to have multiple income streams.
How will your life change when you earn an extra couple hundred dollars? An extra thousand? More? A little bit of extra dough can go a long way.
With only 2 months left to 2021, I thought this is a great time to discuss 10 side hustles that could be big in 2021. You can start them with little money, time and training.
Whether you want some extra cash to save for a major expense, finance a dream vacation, pay off student loans– ugh, will they ever go away? – or accelerate your 401(k), one of the side hustles below will help you progress toward your financial goal.
Sound good? Let’s dive right in!
- Renting out Spaces With Airbnb
The gig economy is always developing creative side hustle ideas for regular people to earn some extra money.
Think about it. Uber, Lyft, and now Airbnb?
With Airbnb, you can rent out your house or apartment to traveling guests and make some extra cash on the side.
While it may need some upfront costs to furnish the property, buy extra toiletries, do repairs, etc., listing it on Airbnb can be lucrative in the long run.
If you don’t have a room or house to rent out, you could rent out your backyard or garage. How cool is that?
- Delivering Stuff
Restaurants and bars were ordered to close to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. With movement restrictions, many people had to rely on delivery services for groceries, food and even booze.
Retailers, grocery stores and restaurants have adopted online ordering and takeout systems. Delivery is a hot industry that will only continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.
The average hourly rate for a delivery driver is $14-$17. The actual amount varies from state to state.
To work as a delivery driver, you need to be at least 18 years old, pass a background test, own an iPhone or Android phone, have a valid driving license and access to a reliable vehicle.
- Online Tutoring and Teaching
Schools and colleges were closed early in the year due to the pandemic. Many institutions took their learning online.
This made many parents realize that education doesn’t only happen in a school building.
Be part of this growing trend by becoming an online teacher or tutor. A master’s or college degree may be needed but is not a must. Sometimes all that’s required is to be knowledgeable in your field.
If you’re in a bind for some quick cash, start by checking the local schools in your area. If they don’t have a need for a part-time tutor, you can advertise your services on social media.
- Selling Online Courses
Have you been to Udemy, Teachable or Coursera lately? People are making a kill selling online courses!
People love to learn new things. There are Americans out there hungry for skills and knowledge who don’t want to go deep into college debt to get them.
Projections show that the global e-learning market will grow at a compounded yearly growth rate of 7.2 percent until 2027. That’s where you come in. Don’t underrate the value of what you already know.
As a course creator, you can make good money marketing your know-how and skills. You’d be stunned how valuable your knowledge on certain topics can be. People will come flocking to drink from your cup of knowledge.
You don’t have to create a full-fledged online course complete with modules and assignments. You can try different formats like email drip campaigns and webinars.
To bring in a solid income, you need to sell your online courses to many people. You can market your courses on the sites mentioned above or your own website.
Okay, so you won’t make money that fast with this side hustle. The good thing is that you get to set your own premium prices.
- Creating and Selling Digital Products
Here’s something for creatives!
Creating digital products that can be downloaded is a side hustle that could be big in 2021.
Popular ideas for digital products include printables, stickers, birthday cards, wedding invites, postcards, digital art prints and coloring books.
eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Etsy make it very easy to start this business. You can also use WooCommerce to sell your digital products on your own website and make money on your own terms.
To generate a decent cash flow, consider opening a Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram business page to advertise your products.
- Virtual Assistant
Not interested in creating and selling digital products? Don’t fret!
Many business owners, executives, managers and other busy professionals need someone to execute an ever-growing list of duties remotely. They would gladly pay someone a retainer.
Being an online personal assistant will be one of the best side hustles in 2021. You can offer your services from the comfort of your couch.
As a VA, you’d be expected to perform day-to-day tasks, including email management and marketing, proofreading and editing, bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, offering customer service, and running social media pages.
Start by sending pitches to companies and blogs you’re familiar with. Ask if they need help.
Sites like Fiverr and UpWork have made it easy to find clients seeking out virtual assistants. Create a great gig or proposal to attract prospective clients.
According to Payscale.com, the average hourly rate of a virtual assistant is $15.79. Not bad!
- Virtual Fitness Trainer
Here’s something for fitness buffs.
Due to hygiene worries and fear of catching coronavirus and other reasons, many people are uncomfortable going to an actual gym.
How about helping people get healthier and improving their self-esteem while making some extra cash?
As a virtual fitness trainer, you can help them train at home by offering one-on-one fitness classes. From yoga to spinning to Zumba, you can train individuals or larger groups.
Consider starting a website and posting about fitness reports, different exercises, and success stories to advertise your business. A YouTube channel is another great strategy to post some free content and land new clients.
The popularity of blogging is showing no signs of slowing down. There are still millions of people searching for content online.
If you want to share your knowledge with the world, there’s no better way than starting a personal blog. According to Business Wire, the projected growth rate for digital content from 2019-2023 is 10 percent.
While blogging isn’t a fast route to wealth, there is some serious cash that could be made. You can earn through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, advertising and selling physical/digital goods.
Start your blog by buying a domain name and looking for a company to host your website for you.
Niches make riches. Pick a niche you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in, and give your audience engaging and useful content.
With just a laptop and a stable internet connection, you can turn any location into your personal publishing den.
- Creating a YouTube Channel
It’s no secret that YouTube is big. According to Oberlo, almost 80 percent of internet users have their own YouTube account. The video-sharing platform has over 2 billion users who watch hours of videos each day.
Top YouTubers are raking in the big bucks. There are many self-made millionaires on YouTube, and they all started with one video.
But just like blogging and selling online courses, YouTube is more of a long-term side hustle idea. To attain success, you have to be patient and persistent.
You earn money on YouTube through ad revenue. You’ll start noticing a significant surge in AdSense revenue after 1-2 years of being on the platform.
Subscribers, views, likes and audience engagement contribute to your channel’s growth.
- Starting a Podcast
There’s a new wave of audio: Podcasting.
Listenership for podcasts has been growing steadily year after year.
Starting a podcast is free, easy and fun. You can fit around your other obligations and start it with your friends or co-workers.
There are podcasts on virtually every topic – personal finance, fitness, politics, religion, fashion, sports, etc. Some podcasters repurpose content from a previously written blog or eBook. Imagine getting paid to share your thoughts or opinions loud. Exciting, right?
Podcasts are no longer untried monetization channels. You can promote your new podcast on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Music and earn money from sponsorships and advertising deals.
Your audience will grow as long as you’re consistent.
If you have a soothing, NPR-quality voice, narrating articles and audiobooks is another side hustle to consider.
Which is the Best Side Hustle Idea?
When it comes to side hustle ideas, there is no one size fits all idea.
We all have something that we excel in.
But remember, your side gig doesn’t have to feel like work.
When brainstorming side hustle ideas, think about the things you enjoy doing. Monetize a hobby. If, for instance, you play the piano, consider offering music lessons.
Also, be open to trying different things before settling on the best one.
2021 is the year of finding yourself an extra source of income.
All the 10 side hustles that could be big in 2021 have a high earning potential and you can start most of them with minimal capital or investment.
If you find a side hustle that makes you happy, it could cushion you during less-precarious times. Who knows? You can turn it into a lucrative career or a full-time business.
What are you waiting for?