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5 Best and Profitable Side Hustles for Extra Money in 2021

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If you’re looking for a way to earn extra money this year, a side job is a great solution to bring in a few hundred extra dollars a month. This list contains 5 profitable side hustles that are proven to make money and they are fun to do!

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Have you ever found yourself short on cash? If you’re like most people, there comes a time in life when the bills rack up or thoughts about money keep you up at night.

That’s no fun.

It doesn’t help that the solution to solving money worries is to make more money. Unless you’re up for a raise, or you’re willing to get a new job, it can be a challenge to earn extra money.

This dilemma is why side hustles are so popular. Having a side job is a guaranteed way to bring in some extra money to help cover additional expenses you may have.

Or, if you’re like me, a side hustle is a great way to build a business on the side while continuing to work at a steady paying job.

There is no right or wrong way to side hustle. Pretty cool, huh.

Let’s talk about the top 5 profitable side hustles that are proven to be successful money-making side jobs.

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1. Blogging/Websites

A few years ago, I started this blog. Now, I have 3 websites (and counting).

I’m sure you’ll see lots of conflicting arguments when it comes to blogging, but let me reassure you that BLOGGING IS NOT DEAD.

The reason this is such a debated topic is because there is a lot of confusion between blogging as a HOBBY and blogging for an INCOME.

If you want to blog for fun without a business approach, chances are you won’t make any money. But, if you start a blog to earn an income, it can be extremely profitable.

But there’s something else I want to address.

For some reason, people react negatively to the work BLOG. Blogging has a reputation for being an internet diary. That is NOT blogging, at least not anymore.

Nowadays, blogging is a full-time career that can earn 6-figures. And, for many uber-successful bloggers, 7-figures.

If the word ‘blog’ still doesn’t sound exciting, swap it out for ‘website creator’ or ‘content creator’. basically, it doesn’t really matter what you call it. What matters is that blogging is a proven and profitable side hustle.

The following article goes in-depth on deciding if blogging is right for you and how to start a blog: Blogging Quick Start Guide.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been around for decades, however, it’s popularity really spiked with the rise of social media.

If you aren’t sure what affiliate marketing is, it’s a way to advertise other people’s products and then earn a commission anytime someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link.

It’s a genius business model, which is why Instagrammers, YouTubers, and Bloggers are able to diversify their income and make so much money.

But, you don’t need to have tons of followers on Instagram or YouTube to make money with affiliate marketing.

I’ve seen numerous people make a decent side income just by advertising to friends and family on their Facebook pages and modest Instagram accounts.

Additionally, even though I’m new at affiliate marketing, I’ve made a good chunk of change just by adding affiliate links to my blog posts and my blog emails.

If I could start my entrepreneur journey all over again, I’d start a blog while in college and I’d start affiliate marketing while in college.

Since affiliate marketing revolves around strategically selling to people, I recommend getting an online course to learn how to do it RIGHT.

While there are tons of courses out there, below are the two online courses I’ve personally taken.

  1. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – Michelle, the creator of this course, makes over $50k a month just on affiliate marketing. Yes, $50,000. I don’t make that much money (yet), but her course definitely kickstarted my earnings.
  2. Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers – As a blogger, I recommend this shorter, yet more straightforward approach to affiliate marketing. However, if you are not a blogger, I’d stick to the first course option.

3. Influencer

There is no doubt that influencers make crazy amounts of money.

10 years ago, if someone would have told me that a regular person could post a picture of themselves holding a product and get paid thousands of dollars, I would have laughed.

It seemed impossible. It isn’t!

An influencer is a legitimate and profitable side hustle that has the potential to make some serious cash.

Where is the best platform to start your influencer gig? Anywhere there are people consuming content such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, etc.

As long as it’s a social platform, you can successfully build your influencer empire.

I’m not an influencer, so I’ve added this helpful article to get you started.

Recommended: 10 Legitimate Side Hustle From Home Ideas

4. Etsy Shop

You’ll need some creative chops for this one.

The Etsy marketplace is THE GO-TO for handmade, unique products.

If you have the creative bug, it could potentially make you some side money.

The great thing about Etsy is that it’s something most people start on the side anyway. You don’t hear of a lot of people quitting their full-time jobs to open an Etsy site.

Most sites are started in people’s spare time after they get home from work.

Basically, Etsy is a proven profitable side hustle that many people find success with.

Recommended: 7 Easy Side Hustles You Can Start Right Now

5. Sell Digital Products

In a society where almost everything is online, it just makes sense to sell digital products.

If you’re not familiar with what a digital product is, it’s anything that can be purchased online and then downloaded immediately to your computer or accessed immediately through an online platform.

Some examples of digital products include printables, online courses, and e-books. In fact, digital products are so popular, chances are you’ve purchased one (or many) previously.

The great thing about selling digital products as a profitable side hustle is the low overhead costs. There’s no shipping, handling, or physical product, which saves YOU tons of money.

The one downside is that you need some sort of platform to sell your product. This could be a website (I have digital products for sale on my blog), or Etsy.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is an additional job that is often some form of an entrepreneurial or creative venture to bring in more money.

A lot of times, a side hustle is someone’s unique idea or perspective that helps an audience or consumer in some way.

For example, websites, e-commerce stores, photography/video services, freelance work, babysitting, tutoring, and so on are examples of popular side hustles.

People start side hustles for all sorts of reasons, but mainly it’s to make extra money in a creative or flexible environment.

However, a side hustles doesn’t have to be creative.

Companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Task Rabbit, and so on make it easy for people to join an already existing profitable side hustle venture.

Related: What is a Side Hustle? And Why You Should Start One Asap

How do I start a side hustle?

The best answer to this is to JUST START.

But first, you’ll need a niche or an area of focus.

For example, if you want to do something creative, you’ll need a platform. That can be a website, YouTube, Fivver, etc.

Then, you need to be able to turn your creativity into PROFIT! That’s right, if there is NO MONEY, then it’s just a HOBBY. Hobby’s are fun, but they don’t make money.

The profit part isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s hard work. My blog didn’t start making money for almost 3 years. 3 YEARS!

There are many people who are able to make money relatively quickly with their side hustles but beware, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Often, it’s a lot of work.

Then, there are the none creative (but easier to make money) options such as food delivery apps, grocery shopping sites, and rideshare apps.

By doing one of those programs as part of a side hustle, it’s a guaranteed way to make money fast, much faster than if you do something creative.

However, in the long run, chances are you’ll make far more money with your creative side gig than with an already existing company.

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What are the most profitable side hustles?

The answer to this questions is…. it depends.

It depends on a lot of factors:

  • How hard are you willing to work?
  • How many hours per week can you dedicate to your side hustle?
  • Is your content unique and engaging?
  • What platform will you use and how will you grow an audience?
  • What are your end goals?
  • How much money do you NEED to make?

In my biased (but also research) opinion, a website/blog is one of the most profitable side hustles because the internet is something just about everyone uses multiple times a day.

If you have good content and good strategies for people to find your website, your income will steadily increase over time.

The same thing goes for YouTube, which is another widely profitable side hustle that is almost guaranteed to make you money.

With consistency and good content, people will eventually find you and your income will grow.

So, to answer the question, the most profitable side hustles have room for financial growth.

Side hustles like PostMates, DoorDash, and Uber don’t offer the opportunity to earn a massive amount of money. No matter how hard you work and how nice you are to customers, the most you’ll get is a few extra bucks in tips.

It’s a great way to make money fast, but it’s not a great way to really scale your net worth.

Recommended: An Epic List of Side Hustles to Perfectly Fit Your Lifestyle

Final Thoughts

It’s never too late to start a side hustle. In fact, if you can, START ONE TODAY!

Seriously. TODAY!

I started THIS BLOG at 11:00pm one night in 2017 sort of on a whim. You don’t need to have tons of planning or preparation to get started.

A profitable side hustle is whatever YOU make it. You just have to get started and you HAVE to stick to it.

You got this!

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