One of my main missions on this site is to help people figure out how to create successful side hustles that will help them get ahead financially. After starting my own side hustle (this site) and having it turn into my full-time job, I want to help other people do the same.
In this past year, I’ve heard a lot of you share some great side hustle stories, so I've updated this list to reflect what I think are the best side hustles to start in 2020!
For a lot of people, the beginning of the new year is a great time to start new things. Whether you're trying to pay off debt, add to your savings account, or invest a little more every month – a side hustle could be a great vehicle to hit your financial goals.
Before I get to the list, I want to make sure one thing is VERY clear. Side hustles aren't easy. Anyone who tells you that making money on the side is simple is either lying or shadily trying to sell you something. Any business (regardless of size) takes organization and hard work, but it is possible to do well with a side hustle.
7 legitimate side hustles you can start in 2020:
1. Create and manage Facebook ads for local businesses ($1,000 – $2,000/month per client)
One of the biggest ways that I was able to earn some extra money to put towards my student loan debt was by running Facebook ads for local businesses. This side hustle has become an even higher demand than it was when I started doing it a few years ago.
Larger companies and brands advertise on Facebook, but it’s only been in the last few years that smaller businesses have realized that Facebook ads could play a major role in helping them gain new customers.
Facebook ads management is probably the most requested service I’m seeing right now, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
Every small business owner sees Facebook ads on their personal Facebook page but many of them don’t know how to run them effectively.
The crazy thing? They really aren't that difficult to manage in a way that sees real results.
Knowing that there is a market for people to help small business owners with Facebook ads management, and knowing this can be a great side hustle, I decided to create an affordable course for my readers to learn how to start their own Facebook ad agency. The industry standard is to charge anywhere from $1,000-$2,000/month per client, and you don't need any website or marketing experience to get started.
I started running this course in early 2018, and I’ve been hearing from some really happy students. I even have a few who are making around $5,000 per month running Facebook ads.
I was a band director before I started providing this service. If I can figure it out, you can too.
This 2020 side hustle also doesn't take very much time either. After you onboard a client and do the initial ad creation and audience testing (only takes a few hours), the ads essentially run on autopilot from then on.
Go here to learn more about the course. If you've been thinking about making extra money to pay off debt or invest a little more every month, the Facebook Side Hustle Course is definitely for you.
2. Teach English from home through VIPKid ($1,000+/month)
VIPKid is something I stumbled upon a little over a year ago after hearing several of my readers talk about how they are doing it as a side hustle. When I finally started talking about it on M$M, it turned out that there were hundreds of you who have been swearing by this side hustle for a while.
The premise for this side hustle is actually pretty simple: You use your spare time to teach English online to Chinese children.
You do not have to be a certified teacher to do this side hustle either! All you need is experience working with children. That could include any of the following:
- Raising your own children
- Working at a daycare
- Basically, anything that constitutes as working with children
That’s a pretty broad range of work experience, so I would be surprised if it wasn’t something you were qualified to do. It’s also a 100% work from side hustle.
With VIPKid, you spend time either in the mornings or at night (most of my readers do it before or after work) teaching English lessons to students overseas. There is no lesson planning as VIPKid gives you everything you need to start this side hustle in 2020. VIPKid walks you through the entire process.
You can learn more about VIPKid here.
3. Become a virtual assistant ($3-$7 per task)
With more and more people working online, the demand for virtual assistants is probably only going to grow. There are also a lot of different types of virtual assistants and a variety of tasks for them to manage.
If you’re interested in this side hustle in 2020, there are a couple of routes you can go, but the most successful one I've seen is helping bloggers and small businesses complete online tasks.
A virtual assistant could do any jobs or tasks that don’t require your full attention, like scheduling posts, managing your email list, managing your calendar, those sorts of things.
One of the easiest ways to market this service is to create your own blog, and then offer your virtual assistant services on your website!
There are also services that you can apply to work for like Fancy Hands, which allows you to make your own schedule and get paid $3.00-$7.00 per online per task that you complete. Fancy Hands finds virtual assistants to do all sorts of things, and they even list calling to cancel cable as a possible virtual assistant task.
4. Start a pet sitting or dog walking business ($1,000+/month)
I'm a pet lover, so this one is probably one of my favorites to talk about.
If you legitimately care about animals and enjoy caring for them, you can start a pet sitting business in 2020. I bet it’s a pretty fulfilling side hustle too. I’d be okay petting good doggos all day long.
This obviously isn’t a work from home or online side hustle, but there are some places on the internet, like Rover, that make it easy to connect with potential clients. Rover allows you to list your services and get clients, all while letting you keep 80% of the revenue that you earn through the app.
If you want to keep even more of your earnings, you can find other ways to start a dog walking or pet sitting side hustle.
One way is to start volunteering at local pet shelters to build a reputation. You'd be shocked how much business you can get through referrals from volunteers and veterinarians!
*Pro tip*: Create business cards and ask if you can leave them at your vet's office.
Probably one of the best ways to start the pet sitting part of this side hustle is by using word of mouth to advertise your services. Facebook would be great for this, and I’d probably start talking it up before some of the busier travel times, like summer or winter break.
If this side hustle is something you are interested in, take a look at this article to find more pet care services that you can work with.
5. Start a blog (earnings vary greatly, but some bloggers top $100,000/month)
I'm obviously a little biased when it comes to blogging, but it really has the potential to open some doors for you. I started my blog back in 2015, and it’s been what has allowed me to create a great income and lifestyle that I would never have thought was possible.
I get to spend more time with my wife. I’ve used my blog as a platform to build a couple of other businesses. And, I’m just getting started.
It's important to understand that blogging is not a get rich quick business model. It's actually fairly slow as far as side hustle income goes. It's completely reasonable to blog for 6+ months before you see any income from your blog.
But with that being said, it is possible to have success with a blog if you understand monetization, building an audience, and finding your “voice” in the niche that you choose to focus on.
If you're interested in blogging, I released Launch That Blog in late 2018, and it’s a free service that takes all of the work out of installing and setting up a WordPress blog.
I’m really excited to see how this helps my readers in 2020!
6. Manage Pinterest accounts for business owners ($500/month per client)
There are plenty of online business owners out there just like me that need help getting visibility on Pinterest. It's a great platform, but can be difficult for a business owner to tackle themselves.
Running Pinterest accounts for business owners is something you can do in your spare time from home, and you can charge $500/month per client!
My friend Kristin Larsen (the go-to side hustle expert on CBS) has an incredible Pinterest Virtual Assistant course that will teach you how to make extra money managing Pinterest accounts.
This is a service I have used before, and I actually hired one of Kristin's students. If you already enjoy scrolling through Pinterest, you will enjoy her course and learn about this great way to make money online.
7. Make money by flipping furniture ($50 – $500+ per flip)
Any time a reader asks me for an accessible side hustle, I like to bring up flipping furniture. In my opinion, it's probably one of the easiest side hustles to get started with because the cost of inventory is so low.
I don’t know if a day goes by that I don’t see some type of furniture put out the curb, and there are many communities that have “big trash days,” which are perfect for finding a bunch of stuff all at once.
The stuff that people put out (chairs, side tables, dressers, etc.) are usually in decent shape structurally. They’re probably just getting rid of these things because they don’t want to deal with donating or selling it. The surprising thing is that a lot of furniture only needs a few coats of fresh paint before it can be sold again to a willing buyer.
Like any side hustle, there are different levels of skill and niches that you can dive into. Antique furniture and retro-modern stuff tends to be an area where the prices and the amount of expertise required to flip inventory are much higher.
As far as sourcing your inventory, Facebook groups and neighborhood forums are excellent places to find and sell furniture. You can even charge more for delivering furniture to customers or for custom work.
I recently interviewed a professional furniture flipper and discussed the ins and outs of growing a furniture flipping side hustle here.
Look around you and find a need
That's really the key to ANY business. I started M$M because I felt like young people needed a place to come to learn more about personal finance, student loans, and now entrepreneurship. I’ve adjusted my side hustle (well, it’s a full-time job now) to what the market wants, and that’s a good way to find and grow a side hustle.
If you have a skill that you think could fill a need for someone else, you can start a side hustle. It's really that simple sometimes.
Be aware of the market when considering side hustles
When you start your side hustle, you need to understand this above all else: The market doesn't give a damn about what you want. The market only cares if you can produce. Period.
If you can't put in the time to produce a great product or service, you'll probably want to avoid starting your own small business! I’m not saying that to be mean. You just need to manage your expectations before you get started. If you’re not willing to put in the time, it’s going to be really hard to make extra money on the side.
But, if you can prioritize some time in your day, then you can definitely build a successful side hustle!