How to earn a side income: 13 proven ways to make money on the side!

At this current moment in America more people than ever are looking for ways to make extra income on the side. Whether you are looking for a legitimate income source or just a few extra bucks per week for gas money, you are in luck! A combination of unique economic factors, dramatic shifts in industries employment models and a worldwide pandemic have created a plethora of money-making opportunities.

According to a survey, 30% of working Americans use a side source of income to meet their financial obligations. These side hustles are also proving to bring in more considerable amounts of income. In a recent DollarSprout survey, 73% of people with a side hustle reported saying they earn $500 or more per month.

The average cost of living in America has increased considerably and consistently over the last decade. Meanwhile, employee wages have almost stagnated. The fact that so many people are engaging in extra ways to make income is not surprising. Knowing that it is very possible to make more than $500 per month with a side hustle, let’s analyze 13 of the best ways to make money on the side in 2021. 

If you have a reliable mode of transportation, enjoy meeting new people, and do not hate driving, Uber could be for you. Uber is a platform that allows contracted drivers to connect with riders and take them to their destinations. Basically, anyone with a clean driving record and a qualifying vehicle can give Uber a try. One of Ubers upsides is you have no schedule. An Uber driver can decide how many hours they would like to work per week with no minimum or maximum limitations. Uber can also be a viable way to earn a great side income. According to Uber, a driver’s estimated earnings for just 20 hours per week can be $549 (including $42 in tips).

When looking for guaranteed and reliable side income opportunities Uber tops many lists. According to more than 3 million people drive Uber in the United States with average earnings around $400.

#2 - Online tutoring

n 2020 America experienced a resurgence in online tutoring. Most public schools that closed moved to online classes only. Although, many parents found that the curriculum and style of teaching was not successful for their child. In 2021, with more schools reopening, school districts across the country are experiencing less student enrolment. In Washington state alone there is a 14% drop in kindergarten enrollment, as reported by NPR news.

All this schooling enrollment flux opened the door for online tutoring opportunities. Parents who have moved to home schooling actively supplement their child’s home curriculum with various online tutors. Becoming an online tutor is great for a side income because you only need to be an expert in teaching one subject. Companies like VIPkid is a platform that connects English tutors to kids all over the country. You can earn between $14 to $18 per hour tutoring on their platform

#3 - Start your own e-commerce business

“The sooner we drop the ‘e’ out of ‘e-commerce’ and just call it commerce, the better.”

Earning money online with your own e-commerce business is probably the most effective way to earn a side income. For most people, earning what you want is directly correlated to the drive and passion you have for what you are selling. The beauty of starting your own business is that you can monetize and sell exactly what you want, where you want and when you want. Not to mention, e-commerce is the most profitable method of commerce in the entire world.

According to, e-commerce sales in 2021 are predicted to surpass $4.5 trillion.

If you are not sure where to start with e-commerce there are several companies that have platforms dedicated to helping you with your business. Here are a few e-commerce platforms to consider:

eMerchantClub – Founded in 1999, eMerchantClub specializes in connecting customers with dropshipping websites. eMerchantClub provides customers with an incredible white glove e-commerce experience. They offer domains, online hosting, and e-commerce web development services, along with building web stores for members that can be stocked with thousands of wholesale products. eMerchantClub is the best e-commerce option for someone who wants to get started quickly at a very reasonable price. Making this company one of the leaders of side income opportunities.

Shopify – Shopify is a subscription-based software that give customers the ability to build their own websites. They specialize in e-commerce websites for small and large companies alike. Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce software options on the planet and a viable side income opportunity for someone with more web developing experience and time on their hands.

Amazon – Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world generating over $380 billion dollars in e-commerce revenue in 2020. If you have products that you would like to sell to earn side income, Amazon can easily support your needs. Amazon allows you to create an individual seller account or you can create your own Amazon store and sell to the world.

#4 - Sell your food

If you have a knack for making incredible tasting food, try selling it locally or online to supplement your income. Even now in 2021 many people are opting to stay inside as much as possible. Everyone needs to eat, so naturally there has been a spike in home-based food businesses to meet the increasing demand.

You can make side income cooking for just your neighbors and local community, or you can create an eCommerce store to sell your food online. Whether you are cooking a one-off dish or creating entire meal plans, there are seemingly endless consumers who are looking for trusted food options.

#5 - Take up photography

Photography is quickly becoming a great way to make a reasonable side income. All you need to be a photographer is a quality camera, some experience, and photo editing software. Most people do not have the means to pay for expensive photographers for weddings, events, and family photos. This has opened the door for tens of thousands of professional freelance photographers.

As a photographer there are many ways to get paid. You can take private photos for individuals, take photos or videos at events, and even provide publishers with quality stock footage. What is great is that the camera does most of the work for you. So, if you can afford a decent entry level camera half the battle is already won.

#6 - Help local businesses with social media

If you grew up in the social media age and have an understanding on how to connect brands to people through social media, you may want to consider making money as a freelance social media coordinator. These social media positions are rarely held by a full-time, in-house employee unless the company is rather large. Because of this, many smaller companies and startups are looking for people to propel their social media footprint.

If you are familiar with best social media practices on the most trending social accounts and are creative, you can earn money with these brands. Some freelance social media workers charge by the hour while others will sign companies to monthly contracts.

#7 - DoorDash

Doordash is a food delivery service that has exploded recently. As a DoorDash driver, you will drive your car to pick up and deliver food orders. Almost every major food chain is contracted with DoorDash and with so many people enjoying the convenience of DoorDash you are sure to be busy. DoorDash claims that base pay for Dashers (drivers) is between $2-$10 per delivery. Much like Uber, you can set your own schedule and work whenever you want. An advantage over Uber is that as a DoorDash Dasher you can use your own vehicle but don’t have to pick up strangers in it.

Here is a great breakdown from the YouTube Channel Rockstar Eater on how much a DoorDasher can make: 

#8 - Rent your home with Trulia

Blessed enough to have extra space in your home to sublet to the right person? Do it!