July 27, 2020

21 Best ONLINE Side Hustle Ideas for 2020 (Ranked)

by Hanson Cheng

What is a Side Hustle and Why Does Everyone Need One??

A side hustle is an activity or business you do to earn extra money – on the side – while working a full-time job.


You can start a side hustle from home or offline, and ranges from driving for Uber to creating and selling courses online.  (two examples I've done myself)

In this post, I will be sharing the top ONLINE side hustles ranked by 3 factors:

Scalability.

The potential for you to REMOVE yourself from the day to day.  Whether it's hiring a team of people or using technology, we always want to see how quickly we can automate our side hustles.  

Barterability

This measures how in demand your skill is and how willing other people are to trade services.  When you first start, you will be cash tight.  Strategically trading what you do for what someone else does is my favorite strategy early onto grow fast. 

Barrier to Entry

Once you find the winning blueprint, how easy is it for someone else to come in and copy you?  We don't want to build castles on top of sand.  Make sure any business you build has a competitive edge OR a very deep moat that discourages other people from copying what you've accomplished.

Use this list of side hustles as a guide to see where you are exposed.  


2020 is the perfect year to start a side hustle.


Having an extra income stream diversifies your risk and allows you to pivot if something unforseen (like a pandemic) disurpts your plans.

If you have a full time job where you need to work in an office, find an online side hustle to start.  If you are making the majority of your income by selling your time, start a side hustle that will provide a passive income stream.


If you don't have ANY money now, pick a Starter Funds Side Hustle to turn to whenever you need seed money starting a longer term side hustle. 

The Best Online Side Hustles


Build Conversion Focused Websites

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

Helping people create and update their websites, landing pages, or sales pages are still a very lucrative side business.  This side hustle also some complementary benefits other than money.  


Once you're proficient with this skill, you can test different variations of sales pages and landing pages FAST which makes you highly sought after advantage in the online business arena.


This is also a VERY scalable model. With cost efficient labor in India, Russia, Philippines, etc you can find capable people anywhere in the world to help you deliver while you keep bringing in new clients.


Overall Rating: 
4.3 / 5 stars

Scalability

barterability

barrier to entry

Pros

  • Can Work Remotely
  • Extremely scalable with low cost labor
  • Can use your own team for your own projects

Cons

  • This may be subjective, but it's HELLA boring.
  • A lot of competition
  • Software companies are adding templates and automation to replace this side hustle.  Need to add services to stay competitive.

Run Facebook Ads for Businesses

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

This is a very lucrative side hustle and a great skill to have because marketing is something you need to learn REGARDLESS of the platform. The strategies you learn running ads will require you to learn how to write ads, find the right target of people to show the ads to and to analyze your results and improve consistently.


Ads used to be in newspapers, then radio, then TV, now it's on social media. The platform will always change, but the strategies have remained consistent for over 70 years.

Overall Rating: 
4.3 / 5 stars

Scalability

barterability

barrier to entry

Pros

  • Can Work Remotely
  • You learn a skill that is highly transferrable. You will take this skill with you for the rest of your life.
  • It's massively scalable. You can hire a team and rely on the automation of other softwares and Facebook's algorithm to do the heavy lifting for you ONCE you find the winning formula.

Cons

  • You can waste a lot of money if you are inexperienced.
  • You need to be good at several skills: copywriting, Facebook tech, numbers, digital marketing. This can get overwhelming.

Create an Online Course

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

This is one of the most obvious and popular side hustles now. I would only recommend doing this once you've had some success and testimonials from consulting. Consulting is the perfect validation test on your ability to deliver a transformation for people.

If you are able to deliver a transformation to multiple people, then that's your course.

My only advice now is to PRE-SELL your course before you create it. Take the testimonials you already have and your process and tell people about it. See if you can get 10 people to pay you to join the course. If you can get 10 paying clients, then make the course.

Overall Rating: 
4.1 / 5 stars

Scalability

barterability

barrier to entry

Pros

  • Can Work Remotely 
  • Digital Products have the highest scalability factor.
  • You become an authority in your field
  • You can build a following
  • Can be automated

Cons

  • Overwhelming if you've never created a course before.
  • Need MORE skills than just knowing the subject matter. Need to know how to plan out the course, teach, use a camera, edit, manage a course website, and sell the course too.
  • Automating it into a passive income stream takes a lot of testing and improving the course.  Not a quick process.

Consulting

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

Consulting is where people pay you for your professional advice and support.  For example, if you are really good at creating engagement through Instagram, you could become a social media consultant and advise businesses and individuals how to maximize their efforts on Instagram.  In exchange for your advice, you would be paid the fee you charge.

I love this side hustle because you have MORE knowledge than you think you do. 

And there are many people who know LESS about this knowledge that would pay to learn it from you.

Overall Rating: 
3.8 / 5 stars

Scalability

barterability

barrier to entry

Pros

  • Can Work Remotely 
  • You can start charging for the knowledge you ALREADY HAVE.
  • The most successful online courses come from helping people 1 on 1 as a consultant.
  • The more you give advice in one niche, the more you will become known as an expert. 

Cons

  • Impostor syndrome is prevalent in this side hustle
  • Takes some time to learn how to sell online if you don't have experience. (apporximately 1 month if you focus)
  • If you don't have any skills, it will take you time to learn a new skill to consult about. (1-3 months)

Accounting & Bookkeeping for Entrepreneurs

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

Online entrepreneurship is taking off right now. Along with that, these online companies need the SAME services as traditional businesses. If you have experience with accounting or you're good with numbers, this is a VERY high demand field that a lot of online businesses need.

What I love about this side hustle is that it's completely online and it's scalable once you set up your processes.

If you're interested in learning more about accounting, you can watch a few of videos from the Youtuber: Accounting Stuff to see if it's something you want to dive into.

In my opinion,the two best accounting softwares you should become an expert in are either Quickbooks or Xero. Once you gain expertise in either of these softwares, you will be ready to start taking on your very first clients.

Overall Rating: 
3.6 / 5 stars

Scalability

barterability

barrier to entry

Pros

  • Can Work Remotely 
  • Every Business Needs This
  • Accounting Software is making this job easier with automation and auto reconciliations

Cons

  • You need to understand accounting principles and tax laws based on where businesses are registered.
  • Now that businesses are all over the world, this adds another level of complexity to accounting standards reporting.

Investing

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

Disclaimer: This side hustle is ONLY for sophisticated investors OR if you're working with a proven mentor with a good track record.

Right now, I am learning how to trade options with one of my investment mentors. I'm only investing a small amount to learn ($200). But with experience, comes greater gains and greater risk.

This is a great sidehustle if you understand money is a TOOL and you're not emotionally attached to money. If you're scared to lose the money you're investing, you're investing too much or you're not emotionally fit enough to get into this sidehustle.

Overall Rating: 
3.6 / 5 stars

Scalability

barterability

barrier to entry

Pros

  • Can Work Remotely 
  • The most Independent side hustle there is. No clients, no bosses, no products, no team.  
  • Opportunities for Large gains or moderate ones. 
  • Many Passive Income opportunities once you have enouough capital built up. 

Cons

  • The riskiest side hustle in this list.
  • Need to be intelligent enough to understand the financial world. 
  • Very steep learning curve.  I would not recommend going into this without a mentor with a proven track record.  
  • This is NOT for people who need a big win.  

Copywriting

Location Independent Side Hustle

Description

Copywriting is a skill where you write something in order to promote ideas or opinions or even a person or business activity.

The goal of Copywriting is to get the reader's attention and persuade them to take a desired action like buying a product, clicking a link, watching a video, etc.

This skill is highly sought after. It's easily one of the best skills you can acquire if you don't already have it because EVERY business needs it and you can use this skill in any of your future businesses.

Some examples of how people use copywriting :

  • Sales pages for websites
  • Email marketing
  • Facebook Ads and other paid ads
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Overall Rating: 
    3.5 / 5 stars

    Scalability

    barterability

    barrier to entry

    Pros

    • Can Work Remotely
    • Very useful skill. you can use with clients or your own business.
    • Highly Barterable: You can use this skill to exchange for other skills. Barter

    Cons

    • Takes some time to become GOOD.
    • You need to enjoy writing. If you don't like to read and write, please don't pick this side hustle.

    Graphic Design Service

    Location Independent Side Hustle

    Description

    If you're talented here, you're safe from losing your job from AI and the robots.

    Creativity is a large moat and companies will have difficulty replacing human creativity with machines.

    IG stories, FB ads, posters and commercials. Every successful business is online now. This is a skill that is growing in demand every year.

    Overall Rating: 
    3.5 / 5 stars

    Scalability

    barterability

    barrier to entry

    Pros

    • Can Work Remotely 
    • Very high demand skill
    • Extremely barterable

    Cons

    • You need to learn this skill. Can take months to years.
    • All creative jobs are very labor intensive.  Each job is custom, and this can be a big bottleneck if you're trying to build any sort of passive income machine.

    Photographer / Videographer / Editor

    Location Independent Side Hustle

    Description

    I did this for a few years traveling around the world from Bali. I learned each of these skills in a month. If you have an interest and a passion for this, it will serve you forever. You can use it to create your own content, other people's content, or barter.

    In my experience, this is one of the best skills to barter. I've learned digital marketing, copywriting, paid ads, and introductions to some of my best mentors just because I knew how to use a camera. I never paid for the mentorships or business opportunities. I got my foot in the door by offering free work and showed them what I could do.

    Overall Rating: 
    3.5 / 5 stars

    Scalability

    barterability

    barrier to entry

    Pros

    • Somewhat Location independent because you can get clients anywhere in the world. But not completely online.
    • VERY high demand for video. Less for photos. Even less for editing.
    • Just really fun. this is subjective
    • Combine this with digital marketing skills, and you're every online entrepreneur's dream partner.
    • Very Barterable Skill

    Cons

    • Time and labor intensive to learn the skills
    • Pretty expensive to get started because of the gear. You need a fast computer, a good camera, lenses, sound equipment, etc.

    Building an Authority Website / Blogging

    Location Independent Side Hustle

    Description

    I'm doing this right now. This website will eventually become an authority website about creating a successful income online.

    I'm using the strategies my friend Adam Enfroy used to build his website into a machine that generates over 80k per month in about a year.

    Now his case study is NOT normal one. If you plan on building a blog to generate an income, plan on it being a LONG TERM play. Most likely 1-3 years. If you'd like to learn more about the strategies Adam taught me, you can sign up for his free email course here.

    Overall Rating: 
    3.3 / 5 stars

    Scalability

    barterability

    barrier to entry