Best Side Hustles in 2021

Spread the message

Last Updated on January 12, 2021 by Emma


Side hustles are a great way to make extra money alongside your existing job or business in 2020. I’ve tried many of them over the last two years to varying degrees of success, so here is my assessment of the best sides hustles in 2020.

Best side hustles

Matched betting

Matched betting is something that I initially thought fell into that ‘too good to be true, so it must be a scam’ pot of ways to make money. After doing a ton of research I dipped my toe in and found that it is a genuine way to make a decent amount of cash if you put the time in. What’s more; the money is tax free! So no need to fill in an additional tax form. What you make is what you keep.

Contrary to popular demand, matched betting is not gambling. You place bets in a way that means you are guaranteed to make a profit on every race, due to free bets and offers that you get from bookies.

If you’re anything like me, it can be baffling to know where to start. I signed up with a service specifically for matched betters in the UK called Profit Accumulator and found it a very simple to use system. They give you step by step written and video instructions for each type of bet you will place. As long as you follow those details you can’t go wrong.

So far I’ve earnt just over £2,000 tax free from matched betting doing it every now and again on a very part-time basis, and another £1,000 tax free from risk free casino offers that I initially learned about on Profit Accumulator.

Profit Accumulator Earnings

Become a freelancer

So far my most lucrative side hustle has been freelance projects on Upwork. A freelancer essentially works on a project basis with a range of different clients offering skills that they need.

Some people ask – what would people be willing to pay me for? If you have a job, a hobby or a talent the chances are that you have a skill that you can monetise. Some examples of skills that you can monetise are:

  • Writing
  • Project Management
  • Graphic Design
  • Coding
  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • Consultancy in a specific field
  • Proof Reading
  • Data Entry

There are a number of platforms that you can use to monetise to promote your freelance skills. You simply create a profile and start bidding on jobs. Some of the most popular platforms are:

  • Upwork
  • PeoplePerHour (UK only)
  • Guru (writing)
  • Toptal (for the top talent in the freelance work in specific skill sets)
  • Fiverr (tends to be lower-paying)

At the time of writing this article of have made just over $12,000 through Upwork for various writing projects for clients all over the world. I’ve found it an easy way to find clients and ensure I get paid, though of course Upwork take a cut of my earnings in return for the service they offer me.

Teach online

If you a native speaker of English or other popular languages then chances are you will be able to find an online teaching company that you can work for. These companies are varied in terms of the qualifications they ask for. Some simple want native speakers with passion and raw skill to teach, others ask for qualifications such as a TEFL or TESOL and some teaching experience.

Many of the companies provide materials for you to teach so there is no lesson planning. Alternatively, you can sign up with a provider such as Outschool that lets you create your own classes and markets them for you. That’s more work but the potential earnings are higher, and you don’t need to have specific qualifications. You can find out more about Outschool at the following links:

I personally tested out teaching English as a foreign language during the Covid-19 lockdown, for three months, and I enjoyed trying something completely new. I did it on a part-time basis (lunchtimes and weekends) and in total earned £3,000 during this period.

Create a blog

If you have a passion for writing and want to create content that helps people, then blogging might just be the perfect side hustle for you.

All you need to get started is an idea of what you want to blog about and a website with hosting. I knew that I wanted to help people make and save money so I had the first part all figured out. However, I was clueless on the second part so I signed up with a service that one of my close friends recommended to me; Wealthy Affiliate. They show you how to create a WordPress blog and train you on how to monetise it so it really is a one-stop-shop.

You can read more about blogging in my article How to Make Money Blogging.

Sell on eBay

So far my personal eBay money-making experiences have been limited to selling old mobile phones when I’ve updated and unwanted personal possessions. However, I am in a Facebook group in which many of the members make a nice side income by reselling items on eBay, meaning that they buy items for a lower price and then sell them at a profit once eBay’s fees and postage costs are deducted.

It can be quite time consuming to initially list your items and to post them and it’s important to price your items so that you make a profit once all the fees are deducted.

I ventured into creating my own Amazon store, with the help of a specific Amazon selling provider. My experiences there were less positive due to my store getting suspended by Amazon, and it took me five months to convince them to give me the money for my sales. While this isn’t a side hustle that I can personally recommend based on my own experiences, you can find case studies of others who have had more success.

Take part in research studies

I really enjoy taking part in research studies; it’s a simple way to often have some fun and really make a different to a particular business or charity while getting paid. There are numerous sites that you can use to get these gigs in the UK and at the moment I use a site called, which contains opportunities for both face-to-face and virtual research opportunities.

So far I’ve taken part in two projects, which in total will pay £400. The first related to foreign exchange services that I use and the second, which I am still taking part in, is a study around the impacts of Covid-19 on society.

Mystery shopping

There are numerous sites that will pay you to complete mystery shopping assignments in your local areas, whether that is reviewing displays in shops or giving your opinion about your dining experience at a restaurant.

At the moment my favourite mystery shopping site in the UK is Marketforce. The site connects you with mystery shopping opportunities in your local areas and so far I’ve been paid around £75 to go out for free meals. Not bad!

Side hustles are great additional sources of income

I’ve had a great experience with different side hustles. If you can avoid the scams and procrastination, then they are an excellent way to learn new skills, work with new people and diversify your income.

What have been your experiences with side hustles? Which one do you think is the best? I’d love to read your comments below.


This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links mean that if you click through to a website and register or purchase something from some links on this blog, I may get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. Any commissions I receive help to fund this blog.

30 thoughts on “Best Side Hustles in 2021”

  1. Side hustles are a great way of earning extra money. I love the sound of the mystery shopper, I have been looking for such a gig as this for years. It’s exciting that you get paid to do it. Teaching online is a very worthwhile experience to undertake and its very rewarding when your student learns to speak English fluently. Great post thank you for the valuable information.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, for me nothing beats going out for a delicious meal and knowing that I am being paid for the experience! 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed reading your article about the best side hustles in 2020 as you mentioned some really sound and helpful platforms that I think will be especially useful to people who looking to earn money as an alternative source of income which is something that is very important especially in the Times that we are in. Thank you for sharing this. 

  3. Thank you so much for sharing all these here. Honestly,one thing that really makes all these well worthy is the fa t that you need very little or no capital at all to get started with them. I really appreciate all youbshare here. I prefer freelancing because it has so much prospects in it and that makes it very worthy. Thanks

    • Hi Nath, thanks for your message. Yes, freelancing can be a very lucrative way to earn money. I wish you every success.

  4. Oh, this is very good and to see that there is a possibility to be able to earn some extra cash in this year is good. I think that betting thing could have been good if I learnt a long time ago and also knowing that I can make that money without having to think that I should pay some money to anyone for tax. It will be nice if I can try it out myself too. Thanks!

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed the article Suz! It’s never too late to get started with a side hustle. I wish you every success!

  5. I was just looking for something that, in addition to my regular job, would bring me an additional source of income and thus improve our family’s financial situation. Creating a blog is what interested me and I will be working on it right now. Thanks for the wonderful tips.I hope that many like me will be able to find something with which they could earn extra money on the Internet.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my article and reply. I’m really pleased to hear this content helped you.

      Best of luck with your blog and let us know how you get on!

  6. There are many more ways to make money from working rather than our daily job and it’s quite easy for so many people to get involved in it but there is lack of knowledge about these side hustle and that is why they never get involved. I like the idea of freelancing and it should do well with me, I hope to get involved with platform where I can work. 

    • Hi Justin, thanks for your message. I absolutely agree that there are so many options for side hustles now. I’ve had a really great experience with freelancing. I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. I’d love to hear how you get on. Good luck!

  7. There are lots of things you can do aside your normal day job and trust me, hey are as good as you might imagine, side hustles helpsbme better than my salary does and I think it’s very thoughtful of you to share it here. All the jobs you’ve listed here are very Lucrative and nice, thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Bruce, thanks for your for your message. You’re absolutely right – there are so many side hustle options available now. I truly believe that there is something for everyone who would like to build a second or third income stream.

  8. Hello there, I must making money today is not that easy as everyone is holding onto the one they have made. For me, I would go with freelancing as it’s a very lucrative job type in this current time. Matched betting is really nice too but it come with some kind of addiction to it.

    • Hello, thanks for your message. I agree – freelancing can be an excellent side hustle.

      Matched betting is a great way to earn tax-free but only if you can avoid the temptation to actually bet. Matched betting involves making guaranteed profits if you follow the steps properly.

      I wish you every success with your side hustles!

  9. Hey Emma, Great article by the way, you’re giving out valuable information that im positive will benefit a lot of people looking for some extra income on the side. I’ve personally dealt with multiple side hustles on this list and the best that’s ever worked for me at least was freelancing 

    • Hi Sevian, thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes, I love freelancing! Great way to make extra income with lots of flexibility.

  10. I must say i am glad i had to come across such a wonderful article because it makes a meaningful impact being able to really get access to all of this tips on making and earning money with our side hustle. Honestly speaking side hustles are a great option right now because one can’t only depend on a single source of income to make money. If i am to select i would go for freelancing as a good side hustle.

    • Thanks for your message. I agree that side hustles are a great way to build an additional source of income. I have had great experiences freelancing. I wish you every success!

  11. Hi,

    In your article there are different best side hustles in 2020, there are some I have tested and legit, you can be an Affiliate Marketer, sell Goods on eBay, taking Online Surveys, match betting, be a freelancer, teach online, wealthy affiliate, alot more, side hustles is a good way if making money online.

    Thank you.


  12. I love that there are so many ways to make extra money now on the internet, so there is absolutely no excuse if you are unemployed. I prefer to spend my free time building my own business online, but I wouldn’t mind becoming a mystery shopper.

    Do you know of any good sites that offer opportunities like this to South African’s, as so far all the mystery shopper sites cater to Americans and Europeans?

    The other job that is a great money maker is freelance writing, especially if you enjoy writing, so this is a great way to rack up some extra pocket money, and I even know of people who do this full time.

    • Hi Michel,

      Thanks for your message. I’d recommend googling for similar opportunities in South Africa – just be sure to check out the reputation of the company first.

      I’ve gained one mystery shopping opportunity through Upwork which I believe is available in most countries.

      I wish you every success!


  13. Seriously, the beat thing that can give us financial breakthrough is to have side hustle that can help to reside both active and passive income. Though passive is more better too but seeing all that you have shared here, it is both good and great to see all these here and how you have simplified them. Thank you so much for all you have shared here. Thanks

  14. Well, this is some very good stuff that I would be looking to try as part of my side hustles. I like that you can give information on ways that I should be able to make some money through different ways. It’s good to learn about that matched betting and also about selling stuff online too.  Especially because you’ve tried them out and they made good money for you.

    • Thanks for your message Jackie. I wish you every success with finding the side hustle that works best for you.

  15. Having something you can always turn back to aside your normal day to day job is a very good thing, this is because you’ll be able to have extra coming in it’ll definitely help with your finances. These side hustles are very Lucrative and the are nice to do, and they are not time consuming which is interesting.

    • Thanks for your message. Yes some of them can be quite lucrative without taking up too much time at all.


Leave a comment