Best Side Jobs Online
We’re living in a golden era for making money online.
Never before has it been more convenient or accessible to find money-making opportunities and home jobs on the internet. All you need is a computer or smartphone, a bit of creativity, and the desire to work.
This post explores some of the most lucrative online side hustles that you can find today.
21 Best Side Jobs for 2021
- Take surveys
- Drive for a delivery service
- Become a virtual assistant
- Work as a social media consultant
- Teach English online
- Sell unwanted tech
- Use Amazon to make money
- Enter data
- Review music
- Become an online personal trainer
- Get paid to lose weight
- Host an online cooking class
- Write dating profiles
- Become a virtual recruiter
- Transcribe Audio
- Become a tasker on TaskRabbit
- Drive for Lyft or Uber
- Put your house on Airbnb
- Put your car on Turo
1. Take surveys
People are often surprised to learn that you can make money online by taking surveys. But take my word for it: You absolutely can.
Granted, there are a lot of scams to watch out for, and you won’t make that much.
Most survey sites pay small amounts of cash, and some only compensate you with gift cards. However, it’s a relatively painless way to make money and something you can do on the sofa while watching Netflix at the end of a long day at your full-time job.
As you explore various survey sites, keep in mind that some companies are going to ask you to navigate away from their site, and visit a partner page. Be very careful when doing so, especially if the site asks you for personal information. Not all survey sites are reputable, and the last thing you want is to have your identity stolen in your pursuit of a few bucks.
Similar to surveys, some sites let you participate in fun focus groups. You can get paid to offer your input on products and services, playing an integral role in helping companies create better and more consumer-friendly products.
For example, an entertainment site may ask you to play a game and then talk about your experience. They want to know what would potentially cause you to come back and play again.
- Check out the 34 Best Survey Apps
2. Drive for a delivery service
You can make decent side hustle money delivering food through sites like Grubhub and DoorDash or snacks and household items through a company like Postmates.
The process to apply is fairly easy and you can get your profile all set up in a matter of hours. All you’ll need is a valid license, insurance card, social security number, and smartphone.
If the idea of shuttling strangers around in your own vehicle doesn’t interest you but you still want to drive, rest assured there are many options available.
For example, did you know that Amazon Prime has vans that deliver products to customers at Amazon speed and precision?
If not, you should look into driving for Amazon. You can earn income by bringing people the various items they order on Prime.
You can also partner directly with businesses in your area, helping them deliver items to customers on demand.
- Here are the Top 11 Delivery App Jobs
3. Become a virtual assistant
Another way to make money online is to become a virtual assistant, helping busy professionals conduct business they either don’t want to perform or don’t have time for.
For example, this may include scheduling meetings, responding to email, writing letters, bookkeeping, and making phone calls.
There are a lot of perks to working as a virtual assistant. If you are reliable and do a good job, it could turn into a steady gig. What’s more, it puts you in a position to network and communicate with a variety of interesting people. In some cases, you may even be able to reach people you would otherwise have difficulty meeting — such as C-level executives, business owners, or sales and marketing leaders.
This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is personable, highly organized, and motivated.
Almost all business is conducted online in some form or another today. As a result, companies need digital content — and lots of it.
If you know how to produce content, you can make a great side hustle online as a freelancer, generating sales and marketing material for businesses by blogging and educating customers about products and services to help businesses rank higher on Google.
If you’re looking for freelance writing gigs, look into sites like Fiverr and Upwork to find opportunities.
Speaking of freelance writing, the most popular way to freelance online is to produce written copy in the form of blogs, articles, and web copy. When freelance writing, bloggers can charge by the word, per project, or by the hour. They can also work on retainers.
This is an excellent option for people who possess a niche area of expertise and an ability to clearly express themselves. For example, if you know a tremendous amount about animals, consider writing for a company that offers animal products or pet services.
Freelance email marketing
Another way to make money freelancing is to combine written content with email marketing expertise. If you know HTML and have strong design skills, you can create email blasts on a freelance basis that retailers can send to their target lists.
Email marketing is a bit more involved than freelance writing; it usually requires tracking performance metrics and generating leads. Explore this opportunity if you are metrics-driven and have a penchant for connecting with people.
Many companies are looking for help with freelance graphic or video design. So if you have the Adobe Suite, a solid eye for detail, and a portfolio of work to share, it’s worth looking into freelance design opportunities — helping businesses create compelling media assets to put on their websites and social channels.
Disclaimer: When you freelance, you often get paid as a 1099 contractor, meaning taxes aren’t withheld from your checks. It is your responsibility to pay the taxes on your freelance income that you owe in an accurate and timely manner.
5. Work as a social media consultant
Social media is another major focal point for companies today. Across all industries, businesses are looking to partner with millennials who know how to create engaging posts, attract followers, and spearhead viral content.
Add it all up, and it’s a great opportunity for people who know their way around platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re a social media guru, consider contacting small businesses and asking about their social media strategy. You can work part-time or hourly auditing social media accounts and providing social overhauls, and you can also market yourself as a social media manager.
One of the best parts about working as a social media consultant is that it’s something you can typically do as a part-time job in your free time from home. In the digital age, you don’t need to be on-site to be a social media consultant or strategist.
6. Teach English online
People across the world are trying to learn English to further their education and careers. As a result, there is a strong demand for qualified instructors who are well versed in English and have the patience and skillset to work with others.
The requirements for teaching online courses in English tend to vary depending on which site you use. However, as a rule of thumb, you should have teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) certification, a bachelor’s degree, and a fast computer with a reliable internet connection for video chatting and exchanging media with students.
If this sounds up your alley, look into a site like VIPKid, Preply, or English First. Or, consider launching your own business by starting a website, launching a YouTube channel, or connecting with people on social media.
- Read our full review of VIPKid.
7. Sell unwanted tech
When is the last time you swept through your house and cleaned out your unwanted technical devices? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been a while.
Take a look around your house and round up all of your unwanted smartphones, DVDs, laptops, CDs, televisions, tablets, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, cameras — the list goes on. Then head over to a site like Decluttr and consider selling your unwanted items.
Decluttr will pay you money for your unwanted devices and media. They’ll even pay for shipping and send you a box, which makes it incredibly easy.
As an added bonus, Decluttr also takes unwanted toys and games, too. You should also look into selling items on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or LetGo. If you’ve got a lot of stuff to get rid of, there are many other selling apps to explore.
Once you sell your unwanted materials, you can put your money in the bank to save or invest. You can also consider looking for bargain items or junk online that you can potentially flip for a profit.
8. Use Amazon to make money
Prime is just one of the many services that Amazon is known for. As it turns out, the company has a variety of business services that you can use to bring in extra income on the side.
Amazon Handmade is a service that lets you sell handmade items like potholders, t-shirts, drawings, and hats. If you’re creative and enjoy making items in your spare time, consider selling them on Amazon Handmade. It’s sort of like Etsy. Just on Amazon.
Merch by Amazon
If you like working as a graphic designer but don’t want to deal with the pain of managing and selling inventory, check out Merch by Amazon. This service lets you upload your own unique design, add a product description, and connect with buyers. When someone buys your design, you can receive a cut of the sale. It’s that simple.
Organizations of all sizes are moving to the cloud these days. However, many lack the experience managing Amazon Web Services, which is Amazon’s flagship cloud offering.
If you’re a tech whiz, consider offering AWS consulting services through this program by helping organizations migrate to the cloud efficiently and securely.
- Read our in-depth article on the 10 Ways to Make Money on Amazon
If you enjoy reading and learning about new things, imagine if you could get paid to do both?
Truth be told, you can. You just need to get a proofreading job.
Companies that produce a lot of content are often looking for freelance proofreaders and will pay people like you to read and edit material before it goes to print.
You can get paid to look for spelling and grammar mistakes, to check for accuracy, or check whether content aligns with corporate style guides and policies, among other things.
Proofreading is a fun and flexible job. And if you’re good at it — meaning nothing gets by you and you can turn around copy fast — it can lead to more work, in other fields even.
10. Enter data
Can you sit in front of a computer for hours on end and enter data into spreadsheets? If that sounds like your idea of fun, data entry may just be for you.
Despite all of the advancements in workflow automation, data entry remains a top demand for companies of all sizes. You can get paid to transcribe information from invoices, field reports, customer reviews, and countless other documents.
Just like with proofreading, data entry requires patience and an impeccable eye for detail.
One of the great things about data entry is that companies who hire for this position typically have a steady need for it. For example, think of a busy healthcare company that needs to quickly process patient assessments or a busy product manufacturer that needs to fill orders and transmit them for billing.
If you get your foot in the door, it could lead to steady income.
11. Review music
What’s better than getting paid to listen to new music and write about it?
If you have an ear for music like P. Diddy or Taylor Swift and you’re good at writing, check out sites like Music Xray. It’s a site that lets emerging singers and songwriters submit their songs for review, and earn cash rewards for listening to music.
As a user, you can get paid to listen to new music from amateurs. Clips are half a minute in length and you can cash out when your account reaches $20 via PayPal.
Music aficionados are hard-pressed to find a better gig.
12. Become an online personal trainer
The pandemic has taken its toll on global waistlines.
According to one study by WebMD, 47% of women said they gained weight due to COVID-19 restrictions, while 22% of men packed on pounds, too.
If you’re a fitness guru, why not capitalize on this demand and host an online fitness class? You might want to teach yoga or stretching exercises. You can also host a live cardio event or virtual spin class for attendees — charging them a fee and collecting payments through a service like Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal.
In addition to making some extra money, this is a great way to stay in shape and encourage others to be healthier and shake off their pandemic rut.
13. Get paid to lose weight
If you’re the one who is looking to shed a few pounds, here’s some incredible news: You can actually get paid to lose weight.
Don’t believe me? Head over to HealthyWage and check out their weight-loss competitions.
This site basically lets you bet against yourself and set target weight loss goals. You can do it solo, with a group, and even with coworkers.
14. Host an online cooking class
If English journalist James May taught us one thing in his hit cooking show “Oh Cook,” it’s that you don’t have to be a professional chef to be great in the kitchen — or on camera.
All you need to do is have some personality and a genuine curiosity about how to make different recipes.
Bust out your cooking supplies, dig up some fun recipes (or make some up), and start a YouTube channel. Before you know it, you could be the next James May.
As a side note, this could be a fun activity for people who are home alone during the pandemic with nobody to cook for — especially if you turn into a live stream.
If you do a few episodes and they’re a hit, ask for donations or consider working with a local restaurant or food provider who may want to sponsor the series.
15. Write dating profiles
Ask anyone who’s ever done it and they’ll tell you the same thing: Spend some time swiping through online dating profiles, and you’re bound to cringe on more than one occasion.
The truth is there are a lot of bad dating profiles out there. And there’s an art to crafting the perfect dating profile, and some people are willing to pay for it. If you’re good at this type of activity, why not take a stab at it?
One way to make money writing dating profiles is to go through a company like Vida, which hires remote workers for this specific activity. Another option is to advertise your services on message boards or by word of mouth.
If you are effective at this type of writing, you could potentially help someone find true love and start a family. It’s work that you can feel good about doing.
16. Be a virtual recruiter
Let’s say you have a knack for striking up a conversation and a deep network of connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Put these skills to use and launch a side gig as a virtual recruiter.
Virtual recruiters connect talented individuals with corporations — posting jobs, screening workers, and passing talented matches along to hiring managers for further interviewing.
And the best part?
You don’t have to be an industry expert in a particular topic. All you have to do is have an eye for talent and an ability to ask the right questions.
This can be a great way to make money on your own time while also helping others by further their careers.
17. Transcribe audio
Recent advancements in audio transcription technology make it much faster and easier to transcribe audio. However, they are not 100% effective yet. The technology still struggles with spelling and grammar — and with voice recognition, too.
As such, there is still strong demand for audio transcription support. You can get paid to either transcribe audio from a recording or to run through transcriptions and edit them for proper formatting, accuracy, style, and clarity.
This job requires patience and above-average listening skills. It also helps if you are good at understanding different accents and dialects.
Fortunately, you don’t need much to get started transcribing audio. In most cases, all that’s required is a laptop with an internet connection and either Microsoft Word or Google Docs. It also helps if you have experience using a transcription service like Descript.
18. Be a Tasker on TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is a website that connects people with freelance workers in their local communities. The workers performing the jobs are called Taskers, who can earn from $15 to $60 an hour depending on the gig and geographical location.
For example, in the New York City area, you can earn $56 per hour by helping people move. In the Houston area, assembling furniture pays around $32 per hour.
Perhaps the best part is that you get to keep 100% of your earnings. You also get to set your own hours and rates.
As the gig economy continues to grow, it’s no surprise that TaskRabbit has been blowing up in recent years. An interesting side note is that the business was purchased by IKEA in 2017.
19. Drive for Lyft or Uber
You have a car in good standing, a clean driving record, and time on your hands — it’s time to start making money.
Download the Uber or Lyft app, and start a side hustle driving local people in your community to and from their destinations.
It’s not passive income, but driving for a rideshare service is an excellent way to make money from the comfort of your own vehicle. You can set your own hours and work as little or as often as you like.
People who start driving for a rideshare provider often find that it’s so easy and lucrative that they want to do it full-time. It’s more fun and adventurous than sitting behind a desk all day, and if you hustle you can bring in decent money.
20. Put your house on Airbnb
If you have room to spare or own an investment property, it might be time to consider making some of it available on a rental site like Airbnb.
Using Airbnb, you can offer short-term rentals to people who are passing through your area. This is a fantastic way to bring in extra household income, which you can use to pay down your rent or mortgage, cover utility bills, or pad your emergency savings account.
Airbnb is generally safe to use and gives you visibility into who is staying in your place. It’s also a great way to meet new people and form friendships with travelers.
21. Put your car on Turo
Your car that sits unused in your parking lot all day can possibly turn into a money-making machine. At the very least, that’s better than letting it collect dust.
If you like the idea of making money renting your car, consider putting on the Turo app when it’s not in use, allowing people in your area to rent it for short trips around town. For example, someone may need a car to get to a job interview or to pick up a friend.
Turo offers insurance to protect your car. As such, you shouldn’t have to worry about running into any trouble in the event something bad happens.
This is a way to make extra money to pay for car payments, auto repairs, gas, and maintenance on your vehicle. It’s also a way to generate some extra cash.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most common questions I get asked about side jobs.
What is a side job?
A side job (or side hustle) is any type of work that you take on in addition to your full-time gig. All of the above-mentioned items can be treated as side jobs, helping you generate extra monthly income.
By working a side job, you can create more financial security for yourself by bringing in extra cash each month to pay rent, buy groceries, invest and plan for retirement, pay down debt, or save up for a house, among countless other things.
Is it hard to make money online?
Take my word for it: Making money online is absolutely not hard. At the same time, doing it consistently and at a high volume can be difficult.
Part of the challenge about working online is that you’re up against a global network of workers. For example, if you apply for a job in your town, you may face 10 to 20 applicants. When you apply to a gig online, you may face hundreds or even thousands of competitors.
It’s not impossible to find work online, but it can take some time to land steady gigs that pay well. Spend some time thinking about what it is you do best and market yourself accordingly. Build up your LinkedIn account, spend time networking, and put your best foot forward. You never know when the next game-changing opportunity might come along.
What should I do with my side hustle money?
When you start bringing in more money, it’s going to be very tempting to spend it on luxury items.
Instead, try not to spend it frivolously (or even touch it!). If your goal is to build a strong financial future, invest your money and watch it grow so that you can retire earlier.
Above all else, remember that your time is valuable because it’s limited. You only have a certain amount of hours and energy during the week, and it’s vital to maximize both.
Don’t waste your time by flushing your money down the drain. Invest the money you make and make it work for you.
Is a side job legal?
There is no law prohibiting working side jobs in the United States. However, certain employees may face restrictions limiting what they are allowed to do for monetary gain in their free time.
For example, if you are privy to sensitive market data or intelligence, or you are bound by a noncompete clause, your employer may not like you doing something similar to your full-time job on the side — especially if you have any crossover with your market.
Your best bet is to contact a lawyer if you think there could be any potential issues that could get you fired or sued by your employer.
Should I quit my day job to work for myself?
Working for yourself is great when times are good and the money is flowing and you can meet your financial goals. Unfortunately, when things slow down and the money dries up, it can be very difficult.
If you decide to work for yourself, make sure that you can consistently bring in money over a period of at least a year or more. It’s a good idea to have several months of savings in the bank to cover unexpected emergencies, too. For the best results, you should also have a highly marketable skill and a strong network that you can rely on to attract new business.
Keep in mind that working for yourself will come with new tax implications. Consult with a financial advisor to make sure you’re maximizing taxes to avoid getting slammed by the IRS.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many different ways to bring in extra cash online. The ideas listed here are just a few of the countless opportunities that exist.
As a young person, the best thing you can do is to open as many monetary spigots as you can. The more lines of revenue you have, the easier it will be to take hold of your financial future and work toward true financial freedom.
So, what’s your side job going to be?