What Are the Most Profitable Side Hustles of 2020?

Most millennials are already aware that a side hustle in the 21st century is sometimes a necessity. The bills keep piling up, and credit cards are almost always maxed out. Even worse, most of them don’t even have time to think about investments or making their dollar work for them — their student loans might as well move in with them because they don’t seem like they’re going away any time soon.

Yet even though a side hustle means that an individual will have to devote the little free time they have each day to earning more money, this sort of endeavor could actually set them free in the long run. Despite appearances, most of the popular side hustles today offer a chance to turn a quick profit without breaking a sweat. What’s more, some of them are quite enjoyable, don’t involve any special skills, and most importantly, they don’t require a huge prior investment.

Teaching English Online

A few years ago, the world exploded with an abundance of opportunities to teach complete strangers English online. Marketed as a great way to actually earn a full income, this is a side hustle some may not want to miss out on.

For one, there’s the benefit of working from home. Even though that too has its pros and cons, no one can argue against the fact that most online teachers don’t have to get all dressed up for work. The students can see only about 25% of their teacher’s body on camera, i.e., head and shoulders. They might as well wear pajama bottoms all day long!

Another good thing about teaching English online is that, in most companies, it’s possible to have a flexible schedule. By getting to work when and for however long one wants, online teachers have time during the day to unwind. Want to catch a yoga class or see that new movie at the cinema? How about going out in the middle of the workweek? With online English teaching, the limit may not even exist.

Profit Potential

But the best part is that this side hustle pays rather well. Granted, that will depend on where in the world the teacher is. Teaching during peak hours is also recommended, and since China is the main client here, that might involve teaching at night. However, experience has shown that qualified teachers earn about $19 an hour, with some going up to $26. They could easily earn anywhere from $76 up to $104 a day (four hours of teaching).

Renting Real Estate on Airbnb

In the world of side hustles, becoming an Airbnb host is the ultimate dream. Real estate is always attractive, and since traveling is on every millennial’s mind, most of them are looking to cut the costs by opting to live in someone else’s abode for a while.

That goes well with most serious Airbnb hosts who know the value of their dollar and are willing to make an upfront investment to spruce up their property. Switching out some of the older pieces of furniture or appliances isn’t a must for everyone. Nevertheless, it’s definitely going to make this side hustle a lot more profitable.

Profit Potential

A beautifully decorated loft for two guests in Chicago could easily earn someone up to $200/day. Even better, renting out a whole house for a bank holiday could get them as much as $500 (depending on the size, of course). And there’s always the possibility of earning more by introducing new amenities. Even better, Airbnb hosts like renting their properties for movies, videos, etc. — just imagine how much money that could bring!

Of course, marketing is everything here, and one shouldn’t expect that the profit will start turning immediately. Still, with a well-furnished property that just oozes comfort and calm, guests are bound to start fighting for it soon. At some point, the host may even get an opportunity to join the Superhost program. That would let them enjoy various perks that could boost the occupancy rate and, consequently, revenue.

Dog Walking and Pet-Sitting

As many successful side-hustlers would say, the best side hustle is the one that’s scalable. That’s why dog walking and pet-sitting are the favorite side jobs of many people today; they combine a love for animals with a healthy income, and there’s a chance of growing the business further.

Now, dog walking isn’t as easy as it sounds. Dog walkers are, by definition, animal lovers who already have a few years of pet parenting behind them. Thus, it is a lot easier for them to adjust to different characters dogs have; they’ve likely seen and heard it all. 

But even if one hasn’t walked dogs before, there’s no reason not to try it out. It’s possible to start by charging $10 for half-hour walks of smaller dogs until the walker is confident enough to handle bigger breeds. And all the benefits are already there; dog walkers can set their own schedule, decide which dogs they can or cannot walk, and determine when they can go on vacation. 

Profit Potential

After a while, it’s also entirely possible to grow dog walking into a full-fledged business with six-figure yearly earnings. Most people go into pet-sitting as well at that point, given that such perks can be priced differently. 

Some people may charge up to $20 per day if they’re just starting out and have only a few references. In contrast, as seen in the example above, overnight stays at clients’ houses can even cost $85 if the pet-sitter in question has proven time and time again their reliability and knows how to use word-of-mouth marketing to their advantage.

Freelance Writing

If someone is blessed with incredible writing skills and wants a side hustle that’ll let them sort out their personal finance issues this year with ease, freelance writing might be right up their alley. Freelance writers today can expect to earn up to $3,000 for some detailed projects, such as writing whitepapers, and around $2,000 for crafting e-books.

But that’s not the only way someone could earn money in this extensive niche. Since it has been split up into copywriting, blog writing, article writing, etc., it’s easy to see that practically anyone could find a profitable side hustle that lets them hone their craft without disturbing their day-to-day lives. Even if some subjects may not be one’s forte, they can easily find a client whose topics speak to them through websites such as Fiverr and Upwork.

Profit Potential

The main benefit, however, doesn’t have much to do with money here. Of course, a side hustle should let one earn enough to put into savings or accomplish some long-term goals. Freelance writing can help side-hustlers achieve that for sure. But what’s actually incredible about it is that it costs next to nothing to start doing it. All one would really need is some talent and a good laptop.

Don’t think that freelance writing is always easy, though. It’s in high demand right now, so there may not be dry spells any time soon. Nevertheless, it does require some particular skills, such as attention to detail. A freelance writer usually doesn’t have editors or proofreaders around them. Thus, it’s often expected of them to ensure the end product is perfect. If it’s not, the client may complain, and given that this is another side hustle that requires at least some human contact, it can get stressful over time.

Virtual Assistant

Working as an assistant at an office can be an excellent option if a person is into the corporate world. However, the job itself comes with many cons, such as having to go to work each day, mingling with all sorts of characters there, and taking a real breather only during lunchtime.

But that doesn’t mean someone cannot cash in on their organizational skills and savvy email writing. Working as a virtual assistant has become extremely popular nowadays, mostly because regular assistants cannot handle the workload and people are drawn to the idea of working from home.

Profit Potential

In essence, a virtual assistant is supposed to make someone’s life easier by either helping manage a real business or by being their PA. Many entrepreneurs who are always on the go have one, and the job itself includes a variety of tasks. One day, a VA will have to create spreadsheets upon spreadsheets and handle their boss’s budget. Other days, they might be setting up meetings in lands far far away, managing multiple schedules of all sorts of people at the same time, and making them all work together.

The job does require someone to be quick on their feet and handle a range of low- and high-focus tasks. It may not offer a flexible schedule as some other side hustles out there. However, the benefits are still numerous. 

A VA can essentially work from anywhere in the world — virtual nomads love that option. Additionally, the pay goes up with the more experience one gets. The position allows someone to hone their skills and get new ones due to the variety of tasks. Hence, some expert VAs earn upwards of $35 an hour without ever leaving their home.


Even though it’s often underestimated because of some homeowners not wanting to pay for the job but would instead like to count it as a “free holiday,” house-sitting can actually be quite profitable if one knows how to use it to their advantage.

A house-sitter is, in essence, a house minder; their job is to take care of an empty home and/or pets while the owners are away. That can include a variety of tasks that ought to keep the house or apartment in top-notch condition, such as watering the plants, cleaning, and taking care of any emergencies that may arise. But the main idea is making the property look occupied to fend off intruders.

Burglaries are a dime a dozen these days, and most of them actually happen around holidays. Since many homeowners may decide to go on a vacation then, they might want to supplement their security system with a real person. 

The house-sitter won’t necessarily have to fight intruders to keep them from stealing anything. They should have enough protection themselves! However, just knowing that someone is in the house is likely to discourage burglaries anyway.

More often than not, though, people also employ house-sitters because they aren’t able to travel with their pets and need someone to take care of them. Nevertheless, some may only need a person to be there while their home is renovating, for example, or when they’re away for business.

Profit Potential

But how profitable is house-sitting really? On average, a person will be paid anywhere from $25 to $45 per day. If someone is away on a rather long trip, those costs may add up. That could make them market their home as a free holiday for anyone who’s looking to spend time in an entirely new setting. However, there are short house-sitting jobs too, and some may even pay up to $200 for looking after a luxurious property.

Yet that’s not where the real profit is. The main benefit of house-sitting and the reason so many people are looking into it is that they can have another side hustle to supplement their income at the same time. It is almost as if they have just one side job while living at home. This time, though, someone is actually paying them to live there.

Imagine that someone is a graphic artist who has to work a fixed schedule from home. They can easily do that while house-sitting for as many hours as they need to. But when they’re done and after they’ve taken care of the house, they can work on another side job of their choice. The other side hustle could be something they do for fun, like writing, and could score them at least $20 for an hour or two of work. Those are three streams of income — what more could anyone want?

Online Courses

Despite Google giving quick answers to all their burning questions, human beings are still eager to delve deep into a subject they’re passionate about. Because of that, the online course market has blossomed in recent years. Now, it is a viable side hustle option for anyone willing to share their knowledge.

What’s great about creating online courses is that someone would virtually only need to make one for some passive income. There are plenty of factors that go into it, like marketing the course and making sure it’s up to standard. But really, it only takes one to get the ball rolling. It could earn an individual enough passive money each month never to live paycheck-by-paycheck again. 

There are platforms where people can share their courses and offer them for free or choose a suitable price. This option means that the platform will take its share of the revenue. Udemy, for example, takes 50% of the net revenue on organic sales. Because of that, it’s best to take full control of the side hustle after a while by creating a website to keep all of the profit.

As far as the topics go, there are online courses about practically everything and anything. Some teach others how to cook Indian food with roaring success. Others, on the other hand, specialize in more sought-after fields, such as graphic design. These may cost a pretty penny, but they deliver incredible value in the comfort of one’s home. 

Profit Potential

What’s even better is that online courses offer someone an opportunity to boost their own brand over time. A makeup artist, for example, could charge about $40–$75 for hair and/or makeup; that’s in and of itself an excellent side hustle option. However, the job is scalable and could earn them even more. So after a while, they can try sharing their knowledge online with people who only need a few guidelines to get them going. 

They can easily charge $70–$100 for the course so that most people can afford it. With proper marketing, it will keep delivering passive income for months to come. Even better, they will attract more clients through their online presence, thus, giving their brand a significant boost.

And again, it doesn’t end there. Once the makeup artist starts selling courses online and builds a rather large following, they could offer exclusive workshops for those willing to pay top dollar. In the end, such a side hustle could slowly turn into a full-time job.

Earning Extra Money in 2020

If one is creative enough and eager to make their side hustle an escape from the 9-to-5 grind, it can actually be anything they want it to be. Some people decide to start doing YouTube as a side hustle; if they’re lucky enough, they go viral within a year. Others, on the other hand, may have some other hidden talents, such as baking. They can easily do that part-time for an additional stream of income with a little bit of help from social media.

If someone is passionate about a particular subject or skill and they believe they could translate it into a good side hustle, they should at least try it. Even if it fails, there is a massive variety of other side jobs they can take on. What’s more, new ones are popping up every single day!

Yet if it works, a side hustle could even become a full-time job and a resounding success story — and who wouldn’t want to do something they love for the rest of their lives?

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