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Side Hustle Ideas You Can Do From Home to Earn Extra Money in 2021

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Looking for fun side hustle ideas that can help you earn extra income in your spare time? This post is for you! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite ideas, their income potential and resources to help you get started.

With increasing student and consumer debt, it comes as no surprise that over one-third of American workers have a side hustle to help them stay afloat.

These side gigs can be ride-sharing or delivery for companies like Uber or DoorDash.

You could earn a side income and receive tips from things like delivery and driving, but at what cost?

  • Spending hours commuting each day
  • Putting hundreds, if not thousands of extra miles on your car
  • Having to put more money into car maintenance

I don’t mean to discourage you from doing these side hustles if you do enjoy driving and being out and about.

But I do want to introduce you to some solid side hustle ideas you can do from home. In case you’re a homebody, or an introvert, or a full-time student, or a stay at home mom who has to take care of little ones with little time to spare each day.

Two types of income

I want to take a minute to clarify what passive and active income entail and the difference between them.

Passive income is a type of income stream where you create something once that can you money over and over again. So for example, a book you write once can earn you a royalty every time it’s sold. Popular ways of creating passive income online include creating monetized content like blog posts, courses, or ebooks.

One thing to keep in mind with this income type is that it can take much more time than active income to build and scale. So if you know you’ll be needing a solid side income within the next month or two, I’d start with an active income business model.

Active income is a type of income stream that requires you to trade hours for dollars. Typically this will look like offering a freelance service where you share your expertise for a set hourly rate.

With this income model, the only way to earn is to show up and put in the hours to complete your work.

One of the best things about active income is that you can build a profitable business within a month or less. One where your income can grow as your skills and experience do.

Pretty sweet, right?

Aside from being able to earn quickly, you’ll also develop skills you can later use to create passive income products of your own down the line.

1. Freelance Writing

Do you have a knack for writing? 

Offering freelance writing services to companies, businesses, or other bloggers could be a great side hustle idea for you.

I’ve seen a few people recommend content mill sites to build up your portfolio. These are sites where writers compete for a writing gig with ridiculously low rates. I know many writers who’ve started on these sites, but I haven’t seen anyone gain real monetary success from them.

That’s why I’d suggest avoiding content mills and instead create a freelance business of your own. One where you control your rates and writing specialty. Doing this will give you a lot more room for future growth.

If getting paid to write sounds like a dream come true, but you’re unsure of where or how to start, I’d recommend checking out Elna Cain’s comprehensive course: Write Your Way to Your First 1K.

In her course she teaches you:

  • How to find a profitable niche
  • Copywriting tactics to use on your website and social media copy that can help you land more clients
  • How to attract high paying clients with your blog posts and author bio
  • 95+ ways you can land clients
  • How to cold pitch potential clients like a pro
  • The process of writing engaging posts for your clients

When you enroll, you’ll also have access to a private Facebook community where you can ask Elna and other freelance writers in the group your questions.

More on freelance writing

Prerequisites: No college degree or previous experience is required, but you should have a good grasp of basic grammar and the English language if you want to target clients in an English speaking country.

Income potential: $1,000+ per month

Income type: Active

Resources to help you get started:

2. Virtual Assistant

Do people usually come to you for advice or when they need help with something? Becoming a VA (short for virtual assistant) can be a profitable way to monetize your natural gifts, skills, and talents.

For example, if you’re super organized, extraverted and like to be in control, you could offer project management services. And if you’re more introverted, you could offer social media or email management services.

Here are several high paying virtual assistant services you could offer in your VA side business:

  • Pinterest management
  • Facebook ad management
  • Podcast management
  • Project management
  • Email management

If you’d like to learn more about each of these services, check out my post titled: 8 In Demand Services You Can Offer as a Virtual Assistant.

If you feel you could use more guidance on starting a VA business, you could benefit from the course: 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. It’s the course I took to begin my freelance journey and one of my favorites to date!

The course taught me how to:

  • Launch my virtual assistant business and website
  • Find and pitch potential clients
  • Calculate a fair hourly rate to charge
  • Smoothly transition into offering packages to increase my income
  • Onboard new clients in 3 simple steps
  • Break up with a client when the time comes

It covers so many important topics that are especially helpful for a beginner just starting their own freelance business.

More on becoming a virtual assistant

Prerequisites: No college degree or previous experience is required, but you should enjoy learning new things and working with others.

Income potential: $25 to $50 per hour

Income type: Active

Resources to help you get started:

3. Dog Sitting

If you love dogs, this side hustle idea will be right up your alley!

I don’t have any personal experience as a dog sitter, but I recently came across a post on The Money Gal blog and had to add this idea to the list. 

She was able to earn a total of $7,000 dog sitting in her spare time, using the website Rover.

Rover connects dog owners with people who can do take care of things like dog walking, boarding, sitting and daycare.

Here are a few benefits this side hustle has to offer:

  • You can keep 80% of your earnings when you sign up with Rover
  • You’re free to set your own rates and work schedule
  • Repeat customers are very common in this line of work
  • You can get paid to spend time with dogs!!

If you’d like to learn more about this side gig and tips for getting started, be sure to check out the Millennial Money Man’s post titled: Rover App Review: Get Paid to Walk Dogs.

It’s a great read, and if you’re at all interested in this side hustle idea, it’ll be worth your while.

4. Blogging

Do you have a hobby you’d love to share with others? Or maybe a broad knowledge on a topic you think others could benefit from or find helpful?

Blogging can be an awesome side gig you use to monetize your writing and natural interests.

Here are a few general niches I’ve seen more dozens of bloggers become successful in:

  • Mom and parenting
  • Dating and relationships
  • Health and wellness
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Working from home
  • Personal finance and frugal living

I have to warn you though, blogging isn’t easy or something you do to get rich quick

There’s a lot to learn and do if you want to see monetary success. For example, content creation, search engine optimization, social media marketing, graphic design, email marketing, etc.

But with hard work, persistence, and some guidance along the way, you could create a blog that makes you money for years to come.

3 ways you can make money with a blog

There are so many different ways you can monetize a blog, but I’m going to share three ways you can make money with your blog even as a beginner blogger.

1. Join an advertising network like

  • AdSense: No pageview requirement
  • Monumetric: 10,000 monthly pageviews required
  • Mediavine: 30,000 monthly pageviews required
  • AdThrive: 100,000 monthly pageviews required

In the beginning, most bloggers start with AdSense and then apply to the other networks as soon as they can.

One thing I love about this monetization method is that it’s completely passive! After adding your custom ad code to your blog, you can start making money while you sleep. It’s common to earn very little when you just start your blog, but as your traffic grows, your ad income should too.

A major downside (in my opinion) to using ads on your site is that they’re usually not easy on the eyes. But also if a visitor on your blog clicks on an ad they’ll be redirected to the advertiser’s site and spend less time reading your content.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Did you know that you could earn a commission when you share products you’ve found helpful with your audience if they purchase through your custom affiliate link?

This is a great monetization method for bloggers who want to start building up passive income streams. 

One of the most popular affiliate programs bloggers can join is Amazon Associates. Their program is wonderful for beginners because they have a huge selection of products to choose from, and they don’t have any pageview requirements to sign up. 

If you’re serious about earning with the Amazon Associates program, you might want to check out Dale’s book on growing her Amazon affiliate income here. She goes over the exact strategies she used to go from $2.54 to over $1,000 in a month with a small blog.

And if you’re not sure what affiliate programs you could join for your niche, Ana from The She Approach spent hours compiling this list of 500+ affiliate programs across 17 different niches that could help you save time finding programs to join.

3. Promote Your ‘Hire Me’ Page

If you run a freelance business on the side, you could use a blog as a virtual billboard for your services.

Here’s a quick example of how you could do this if you’re a virtual assistant that offers email management services. 

You could write a post on how to organize a messy inbox, or how to get to inbox zero, then a couple of times in your post you could mention what you offer and how you’re taking on new clients, then link to your Hire Me page.

Sharing tips and advice on a blog can be a great way to show potential clients your expertise and knowledge of your skillset. And who knows, it could just help land a client or two!

More on becoming a blogger

Income potential: $1,000+ per month

Income type: Passive

Resources to help you get started:

5. Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

Do you love spending time on Pinterest? What if I told you that you could earn passive income pinning on the side?

In my post, How I Made My First Affiliate Sale on Pinterest, I share the exact steps I took to do just that.

It took me about 2 weeks to make my first sale back in 2017 when I was a complete newbie on Pinterest. After my first few sales, I knew this was something I wanted to spend more time on.

Pinterest has changed some over the last few years, but I’ve recently gone through the steps I mention in the post above and found that the method still works for me.

How quickly you’re able to make your first affiliate sale will depend on a few things, but once you start gaining momentum with sales, you’ll be motivated to keep on creating new affiliate pins!

Here are a few things that can influence how much you can earn with this side hustle:

  • What niche you choose to promote products in
  • How much the products you promote cost
  • If your Pinterest profile has been optimized with niche keywords
  • The number of optimized personal and group boards you have on Pinterest and the quality of Tailwind Tribes you’re a member of
  • How attention-grabbing your pin design and descriptions are

One of my favorite things about Pinterest affiliate marketing is that you can make money while you sleep. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up to affiliate sales just days after promoting a product on Pinterest.

More on using affiliate links on Pinterest

Income potential: $500+ per month

Income type: Passive

Resources to help you get started:

Which side hustle ideas are you excited to try?

Did any of the ideas above pique your interest?

There are so many ways you can make money online these days, but above are the side hustle ideas I’ve tried or have found interesting.

Each has its pros and cons, but they’re all doable with time and effort. You’ll find that some of these side businesses will suit your personality and natural talents more than others.

For example, if you’re very introverted, you might lean more towards freelance writing, blogging or Pinterest affiliate marketing. 

So whether you want to:

  • Pay off student loans or credit card debt
  • Create a rainy day fund
  • Save up for your dream vacation
  • Add money to your retirement account
  • Stop living paycheck to paycheck

Know that it’s possible to make extra cash from home, even with little previous experience or time.

Something important to keep in mind is that all side hustle ideas above require self-initiative, persistence and consistency to make them work. 

You won’t have a boss assigning deadlines, you’ll have to make goals and deadlines for yourself if you want to make progress with the path you choose.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments, how do you plan to earn more money from home this year?

This blog post is for informational purposes only. For more information and disclaimers, please visit my Terms and Conditions page.

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  1. Such great ideas!!! I’ve heard about VA recently, I want to look into it more because it seems like a great opportunity!

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