Thinking about side hustles? There has never been a better time to start a side hustle that can earn you extra apart from your nine-to-five job. And who knows, you might as well make a lucrative career out of it someday.

Having side hustles is synonymous with being your own boss. If you want to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, this is the best route to take while testing the waters. If you have a profitable hobby or are tempted to try your hands at a business idea you have been holding onto for a long time, it is time to pull out all the stops and get going.

Check out these 10 side hustles you take up while keeping your day job and make money on the go.

Start a podcast

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Podcasts are the new ‘it’ thing and have exploded in the past couple of years. A podcast is simply an audio recording available on the internet that focuses on certain topics varying from news, business, true crime to relationships and career advice.

Why are podcasts mainstream?

With smartphones and subscription-based services, podcasts have gained popularity, with listeners growing exponentially every year.

According to Podcast Insights, there are over 48 million podcast episodes (as of April 2021), and the numbers continue to climb rapidly. The same report states that South Korea recorded the largest percentage of podcast listeners in a month at 58 percent.

About 84 percent of the podcast audience is under the age of 55, research shows. The favourite genre of podcast listeners is comedy, followed by education and news.

What do you need to start a podcast?

You will need a working microphone, a computer and a distraction-free space to record your podcast. Once you have the basics, you can choose a trending or a niche topic, and get creative with the style, length, recording and editing to create an engaging podcast and earn side income.

How to get started?

You can start your podcast on sites like Spotify, Shopify, Apple, Anchor and YouTube. As the popularity of your podcast grows, you can also monetise it using ads or affiliate services.

Become a rideshare driver

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Ridesharing refers to the arrangement of transportation where passengers book a ride using a mobile app. As part of the sharing economy trend, ridesharing is one of the fastest and most successful growing sectors.

Why are rideshare drivers in demand?

According to Business Traveller, the rideshare industry stands at a staggering US$ 61 billion and is heavily influenced by increased traffic and industrialisation. Uber is one of the leading players in rideshare along with Didi and Lyft.

How to get started?

You will need a car to work as a rideshare driver and make an extra income through this side hustle. The best thing is that you can set your own schedule and be your own boss. You can pursue it part-time or full-time by signing up with companies like Grab and MyCar.

Teach online

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Becoming a tutor is one of the most lucrative online businesses of 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, education services have shifted to virtual learning, and it is gaining traction worldwide.

If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can tutor others via online modes. You can earn hourly, weekly or monthly, depending on the number of sessions or tuitions you provide and earn extra cash.

Are online tutors in demand?

The online teaching sector has shown exponential growth since the 2000s. According to forecasts by Research and Markets cited in Forbes, the e-learning market will witness skyrocketing growth of US$ 350 billion by 2025.

Additionally, e-learning is also great for the environment.

How to get started?

You can start teaching in your local area or find learners worldwide through online platforms such as Udemy,, TutorMe, TakeLessons, Varsity Tutors, and more. You can choose to teach English, which is in high demand currently.

Host With Airbnb

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Turning your home into an Airbnb to serve as a vacation rental is a great way to earn a passive income and meet interesting people from around the world. It doesn’t cost a dime to list your real estate, and you can choose to host guests whenever you want.

Airbnb hosting stats

Currently, Airbnb has over 5.6 million listings in over 220 countries. Moreover, 60 percent of its users are millennials, with everything from cabins, farms, boats, treehouses, igloos, lighthouses and private houses being listed as property.

How to get started?

You can start by setting up your account with Airbnb and list the details along with pictures of your space — apartment, room or property. You can also set prices and rules for your space as you please.

Sell items online

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Create an online store where you can sell new products or even flip the old or gently used items to make extra money. Many individuals start small-scale businesses before pivoting into a full-blown entrepreneurial mode. Alternatively, you can also organise a yard sale in your vicinity to earn from unused items.

How to get started?

You can sign up as a seller with online platforms such as Amazon Marketplace, Shopify, eBay and Etsy. Shopify has also come up with its own unique dropshipping model, which does not require sellers to have an inventory.

You can also start your website to sell products without worrying about paying commission to the third-party website. The excess of online marketplaces has made it easier to sell without a website. You can list your products on Facebook groups or pages as well with zero investment.

Start a YouTube channel

side hustles
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YouTube is dynamic, competitive and one of the best side hustles to pursue. The popularity of YouTube is growing by leaps and bounds because of its monetisation potential. You can start your channel on the video-sharing social media platform with minimal investment, and before you know it, you have added another mode of income to your financial portfolio.

Why should you have a YouTube channel in 2021?

People across the globe are making extra cash from YouTube using various ways, such as ad revenue, channel membership, crowdfunding, affiliate marketing and selling their merchandise.
According to Forbes, nine-year-old YouTuber Ryan Kaji is the highest earner in the world, making US$ 29.5 million.

How to get started?

You will need a creative and interesting topic along with a good quality camera, microphone and video editing software to start with your first video. The next step is to reach a milestone with a certain number of views on the video for your channel to be eligible for monetisation. Once your channel is up and running, you will keep getting regular income as your views and subscribers increase.


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It wouldn’t hurt to earn money in your spare time, will it? That’s basically how must side hustles begin.

Freelancing is an umbrella term that lets you earn by selling your services or skills in the area of your expertise. You may work as an independent contractor, client or as a self-employed consultant to earn money online on an hourly, weekly, monthly or project basis.

Why should you work as a Freelancer?

According to Fiverr’s fourth annual Freelance Economic Impact Report cited in Business Wire, more than 6 million skilled freelancers in the US, holding positions in creative, technical or professional fields, have registered revenues of about $234 billion in 2020.

This shows that freelancing is the most sought-after side hustle that people can even pursue full-time.

How to get started?

You can start by searching for paid gigs and find clients on sites such as Upwork and Fiverr. Depending on the type of gig, you can earn anywhere between US$ 50 to US$ 500 or even more.

You can also choose to work as a freelance writer, website designer, marketing manager, social media manager, and product photographer, among other professions.

Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing
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If you are someone people depend on for opinions or advice, then affiliate marketing is one of the great side hustles out there for you. If you are already running a successful social media account on Instagram or Facebook, then you can utilise it to become an affiliate marketer. Alternatively, you can also start a blog.

Why should you be an affiliate marketer?

In 2018, the affiliate marketing industry was worth US$ 12 billion and revenue from affiliate programmes has been growing at an impressively 10 percent annually since 2015.

How to get started?

The idea is to collaborate with companies for their products and services, and encourage your audience on social media to buy them. You will be paid a commission which is usually a percentage of the total earnings or profit. You can share affiliate links of your favourite products on Amazon and recommend them to your followers to get regular commissions.

Become a virtual assistant

virtual assistants
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Among lucrative side hustles, the job of a virtual assistant entails offering online consultations, assisting influencers on virtual campaigns, helping small businesses connect with their audiences and providing assistance to customers.

This side hustle offers the flexibility to set your working hours and work from anywhere in your spare time.

Why should you be a virtual assistant?

Most companies hire virtual assistants (VA) from the Philippines, followed by India. Out of 8 million virtual assistants at Upwork, about 1 million are from the Philippines.

How to get started?

All you need is a stable internet connection and a computer or laptop to begin with. You can find virtual assistant jobs or gigs with high earning potential on platforms like Upwork and LinkedIn.

Provide pet care services

pet care services
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This side hustle could help you make extra money by simply offering pet care services, such as day boarding, overnight stays, dog walking and grooming, in your area. It is a fun job and later, you can even scale it to a full-time job or run a proper business.

How to get started?

You can start pet services with zero to little investment. However, you will need extra space to accommodate pets and might need a trainer or helper as well if the business goes well.

(Hero image credit: Garrhet Sampson/Unsplash; Featured image credit: Krakenimages/Unsplash)

written by.
Akriti Sharma
Full-time writer, part-time science nerd, Akriti switched gears to writing when she was at the precipice of her scientific career as a biotechnologist and never looked back. She loves to write every day and believes in pursuing stories with moral force. She is an enthusiastic traveller, photographer, chai aficionado, aspiring minimalist and a strong proponent of the Multiverse Theory.

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