7 Best Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money in 2021
No hype or false promises, these side hustle ideas mean fast cash!
Hey Bow Tie Nation, Joseph Hogue here with the Let’s Talk Money channel and I’ll be the first to admit…for the most part, side hustle videos SUCK!
You see side gig ideas like walking dogs or blogging or…even rent out your pool! Between crap pay and just plain bizarre, most aren’t going to make you any money!
So in this video, I’m highlighting the 7 best side hustle ideas worth your time and that actually work to make extra cash. I’ll show you how to start on each, how much you can make and towards the end of the video, I’ll show you a step-by-step strategy to combine these with passive income sources to keep making money even when you stop working, so make sure you stick around for that!
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What Makes for a Good Side Hustle?
Before we get to the list, I wanted to share some criteria I used for these side hustle ideas. Because I think one of the biggest problems with all the side gig or work from home videos is there’s no definition so people just spam out any idea they’ve seen online.
For legit side hustles though, I looked for jobs that would make money immediately. I love my online business but it was almost a year before I made any money and two years before it was a full-time income. Building a business or passive income stream is totally different than needing cash right now and it’s going to be different jobs.
Legit side hustles shouldn’t require special skills or experience. Honestly, the idea that the average person can just flip on their computer and design an app for quick cash is ridiculous.
I also looked for ideas that are recurring, things you can do every week to make extra cash. We’re not talking about recycling your smartphone because…yeah, how many smartphones do you have?
These are side jobs you can do in your free-time and on any schedule. If you wanted a part-time job, you would have searched for that on YouTube. These are ideas you can take, hustle when you can and make that money!
And finally, these side hustle ideas are more than just manual work. Now, nothing against getting my hands dirty for some extra cash…but do you really need me to tell you, you can mow lawns to make money?
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Online Side Hustles for Quick Cash
This first side hustle idea is totally digital and really easy to set up, becoming an online investigator.
As an online private detective, you’ll research people on the web and across social media. You’ll set up dummy accounts on Facebook to ‘friend’ people and track what they post. You might research a client to see what comes up in a Google search and help them manage their online reputation.
Online detectives make an average of $51,000 a year or about $35 an hour and this is one you can easily do five or ten hours a week in your free-time. You can set up a simple website to advertise your side hustle and be ready to go within half an hour.
Like most side hustle jobs, your best clients will be from word of mouth but until that starts picking up, you can get customers by posting on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social platforms.
Weird Side Hustles Anyone can Do
Our next side hustle idea is one of the weirder ones but so works, getting ordained and conducting wedding ceremonies.
There are more than 2.4 million weddings every year in the U.S. alone and at an average $22,000 spent on each…that’s a $52 billion market with fees for officiating starting at $300!
And even better with this one, you can bundle services, so offer to provide multiple services like DJ which starts at $1,000 or catering. The money is there…you just need to know how to get it.
Getting started means checking with your local county clerk for rules on officiating ceremonies. In some states, you’ll need to register, some will recognize online ordained certificates while others you might need to take a local course.
Remember, you’re performing a legal marriage and that’s going to affect a couple’s insurance, home ownership, taxes…a lot of things in their life so take the time to do this right!
For example, New York recognizes online ordained officials though you still have to register with the New York Marriage Bureau and pay the $15 filing fee.
Marketing for this one is the easiest of the side hustles in the list because it’s all local which means you can really dominate on Google for those local searches. You’ll learn how to conduct a wedding, meet with couples to plan and rehearse.
The average fee for a wedding official is between $300 to $500 and takes around five hours for planning and the ceremony. Offer a few other services though and this can easily be a few grand a month.
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Side Hustles on YouTube
This next side hustle idea, I didn’t even know was legal at first but, creating a clips channel on YouTube.
If you spend any time on YouTube, you see your share of videos that are just a collection of video clips. Search for anything like animal videos and you see these get millions of views and the channels have millions of subscribers.
So while the rest of us yahoos are busting our butts, spending hours creating videos and editing, these channels are proving the rule of working smarter not harder.
You look at this Tiger Productions which looks like just a bunch of kid and pet videos, they’ve got over 2.8 MILLION subscribers and over a billion views so even at the low end, we’re probably talking around three million dollars in ads on the channel. And you can see some of these videos are just insane, 22 million, 52 million, 134 MILLION VIEWS!
I actually thought these compilation videos were against YouTube rules at first because all they’re doing is copying other videos. Turns out this is a legit strategy called creative commons. When you upload a video to YouTube it can either be restricted usage or creative commons which means other people can use it. So these compilation channels are just repackaging other videos for their own, getting millions of views and making boatloads of money in the process.
So let’s run through an example to show just how easy it can be to do one of these videos and make money this way. Say you want to do a funny cat video, because if there’s one thing that always goes viral…it’s funny cat videos. So you type in your search, you see some videos pop up and then you go to filter and click on that creative commons under features. Now you can click through to any of these videos and if you look in the description, you’ll see creative commons reuse allowed.
The process for grabbing some of these videos for your channel is super easy. One thing though is that you want to create compilations, so clips from different videos. You don’t want to just grab videos and upload them as your own. You’re going to be putting several clips together all in the same topic to make your own super-video that will get those millions of views.
After you do a search for the videos you want, and you want to copy down the URL address for each. Then you can do a Google search for YouTube to MP4 converter which is going to snatch the video file and download it to your computer.
With these full videos, you can use any editing software to cut the clips and put them together. I use Camtasia but there are a lot of free video editing programs you can use as well. You want to cut the clips out, maybe add some graphics like a countdown.
And that’s it. It takes all of a couple hours to download, edit and then reupload videos and you’ll start making money on each. For reference, I made just over $106,000 over the last year on YouTube ads and that’s on just 8.5 million views…something you can do with a single video for these clip channels!
We’ve still got seven more side hustle ideas to go including two of my favorite but while you’re here, head on over and join the Let’s Talk Money community on Instagram. I’m sharing motivational quotes, investing advice and a personal side I don’t get to show here on the channel. I appreciate it and hope to see you there.
Social Media Side Hustles
This next side gig is also completely online and even easier to get clients, being an online agent for influencers and bloggers.
There are more than 31 million YouTube channels and at least 500 million blogs and that doesn’t even count all the Instagram influencers, the Tik-Toks and…well everyone’s trying to make money on social these days!
And all those people, they’re even worse at business than they are at making asses out of themselves online. They have no idea when it comes to connecting with sponsors or affiliate deals or how influencers actually make money.
Your job then as the digital agent is to connect them with those deals, be the middle-man for sponsorships and collect your ten-percent.
And this is easier than you might think to get started. First you put together your list of sponsors and affiliates other influencers are promoting. Usually this works best if you focus on one specific group like beauty or fashion or personal finance, that makes it easier to start those connections with the businesses and influencers in the niche.
So you visit blogs and YouTube channels in the niche and see what products people are promoting. You can also go to affiliate networks like CJ Affiliate for businesses willing to work with influencers on a commission basis.
Once you’ve got this list down, then you make another list of influencers, so all the bloggers and YouTubers, Instagrammers in that niche. With your two lists, it’s just a matter of reaching out to each, making those connections and signing influencers to the deals.
You’ll make the standard 10% commission and sponsorships can range anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands which means you only need a few clients to make very good money at this.
Probably the easiest side hustle in the list and and I was surprised how much I made when trying it out. Testing websites and apps through sites like UserTesting and WhatUsersDo.
So companies need to make sure their websites and apps are doing exactly what they should. They need to test out the look, all the pages and the forms. They contract with these testing sites to have people go to the website or the app and basically just use it like a regular visitor.
After signing up on a testing site as a user, which takes all of about five minutes, you download their software so it tracks which tasks you do and records your feedback. Then you get these tasks, whether it’s to go to a website or watch a video or try out an app.
After that, you just talk about the experience, leaving your feedback through voice-recording so there’s very little typing needed here. It’s just giving your opinion on the site or the app.
Requirements are pretty easy here. You need to be 18 years old, have an internet connection and a microphone and the ability to download the usertest software on your computer.
What I love about these sites, UsterTesting and WhatUsersDo, is they are really transparent about how much you can make. We’ve all seen the vague promises with online surveys about making lots of money and then it comes out to like $3 an hour. UserTesting pays you $10 for every 20-minute video you complete and it ends up being about another 10 minutes to complete the tasks and give your feedback. But that’s still around $20 an hour you can make on these which is really good for something that requires no experience or skills.
WhatUsersDo pays $5 per test which generally takes 10-15 minutes so it comes out about the same on a per hour basis. Both sites pay by PayPal for each task and you usually get paid around seven days after completing each test case.
I love this next hustle idea because is such a new side gig that the competition is much easier, being a social media manager.
A social media manager is someone that helps businesses, bloggers, anyone that wants to be a social media influencer, helps them manage their accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or wherever. That’s going to include things like writing out and scheduling posts, finding graphics or creating questions to engage with the community.
And if you think about this for a second, you’ll see why this is such an amazing opportunity. First, nearly everyone has some experience on social media. This isn’t like saying become a computer programmer when many people would have no idea what a programmer does. Even Betty White has 1.5 million followers to her Instagram account!
So this is something truly anyone can do, there are no educational requirements, but it’s also one of the fastest growing jobs out there. Now the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports social managers make an average of $56,000 a year and tag the job with a growth rate of 8% a year, but that’s just because they lump it in with the traditional marketing managers.
As an online entrepreneur for the last six years, I can tell you this hustle is growing a hell of a lot faster than that. Why? Because with every report of some Kardashian or PiediePie making half a million on a single post, more people start looking at social media influencer as a legit career. In a recent Harris Poll, American and British kids said they wanted to be a YouTube star more than anything else, not astronauts, not teachers…social media stars!
Combine this with all the online and offline businesses that need a social media presence but just don’t have the time to manage multiple social media accounts…and the business of managing all this is huge!
Getting started is really easy here. You’re going to need a website to show off your work and get potential customers through Google traffic. You’ll first have to decide if you want to manage accounts across a group of platforms; so Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, of if you want to specialize and just work on one platform.
Now this business can be as complex as any other but honestly, you can pick up 90% of how to do it in less than a week. Learn how to use some of the social media management tools out there like Buffer or Tailwind that let you schedule posts and manage accounts. Within a week, you can easily have enough knowledge to start your own social management business.
You’ll want to get a few initial clients at a discount so you can prove your experience. Find bloggers groups on Facebook or conferences to look for people that need help with their social accounts. Then you just start posting your experience and articles to your blog, getting that traffic from Google for people searching for how to grow on social media and looking for someone to help.
Traditional Side Hustles
Our next side hustle is a new one I’ve heard a lot about but hadn’t tried it yet, making money through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
Mechanical Turk is a website for jobs that require human intelligence, things AI and computers can’t do like identifying objects in a picture, transcribing and researching details.
Companies sign up and request tasks and most of these take less than five minutes. You sign up to the site and get qualified to do different task categories. Requesters usually have an allotted time frame they need tasks done so you can check the website once a day, get a few tasks for a couple hours a day.
Companies pay for the tasks completed on a monthly basis and submit the payments to Amazon. Amazon takes a percentage from what the company pays and passes the rest on to your account.
Now this one isn’t going to make you rich. Most of the tasks are really basic and the pay is just above online surveys so maybe you make $5 an hour or a little more. Still it’s something you can do an hour or two when you aren’t doing anything and want to make extra cash.
How to Use Side Hustle Income to Create Passive Income
Now you’ve got those 7 side hustle ideas but the question you’ve got to ask yourself is do you want to be working the rest of your life? I mean, these are some great side gigs and will make you that fast cash but you have to constantly work for it.
So I want to share a three-step strategy for combining these extra income ideas with some of the passive income streams we talked about recently, income sources that will pay you even when you stop working on them.
And I love this strategy. We’ve never talked about it on the channel but this is really life-changing because it combines that immediate cash from the side hustles with the longer-term income streams.
The first step here is to watch the passive income video here. Then with those 7 income ideas, you’re going to pick one that combines naturally with your side hustle.
For example, passive income streams like selling bundle deals or a virtual conference work great along with the social media manager hustle or the Etsy collective because you’re already creating that network of influencers and creators. From there, it’s just a matter of pitching them to join your bundle deal or conference idea for that passive income.
The next step is going to be using some of your side hustle income to invest in freelancers to help set up your passive income streams.
We talked in our passive income video about how the downside to most passive income sources is they take time to set up, to get that cash flow going, and there’s a learning curve to getting started. Well the side hustles in this video take no special skills, so you can get started making money now and use that for the courses you need or just the set up help on the passive sources. You’re effectively turning your side hustle into a long-term stream of passive income!
Third here is to use both at the same time to save money on taxes. Since that money is coming in immediately on the side hustles, you’re going to be paying more taxes this year but you can offset that with the money you spend to launch your passive income sources.
Make sure you keep all your receipts including all the equipment you buy or software or whatever. With a little planning, you can pay no taxes on your side hustle income and have a passive source of cash ready to go!
Most side hustles aren’t going to make you rich but it means immediate cash to get back on your feet or get ahead. Plan it right and you can use that fast cash to build the passive income that will last forever. What’s your favorite side hustle idea?
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