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Feb 22

Best Side Hustles in 2021

Reading Time: 4 mins

There has been an incremental rise in the UK’s appetite to find some ‘additional income’ in recent months, this is represented below in rise of people searching for the term ‘side hustle’ on Google within the UK.

Best Side Hustles in 2021

January 2021 saw peak search levels for the term, almost double that of any previous peak in the last 5 years! If this is taken to be an indication of the interest, then we are at an all time high for people looking for a side hustle!

Increased time at home, over 10m people furloughed and redundancies rising has led to a ‘perfect storm’ for people seeking some security in extra money they can make in their spare time.

We put together a summary of some of the ways you can make money online.


Matched betting

In terms of time for profit to hit your bank account from a side hustle there are few if any that can rival matched betting! With a few clicks you will be in profit and withdrawing it back to your bank account from the platforms ready for you to spend or save.

So what is it? Let OddsMonkey spokesperson Peter Watton explain:

“In short matched betting is the process of extracting real profit from the free bets that bookmakers offer to people that sign up.

A typical offer might be “Bet £10 Get a £30 Free Bet” – matched betting shows you how to place the £10 bet so you make little or no loss and then how to turn that £30 into real profit.

So you can walk away from this offer with around £24 in profit! Obviously there are hundreds of bookmakers in the UK with similar offers so imagine the amount of profit that can be made.”

One of the only things you need to be cautious of is checking the odds for the bets to make sure it all matches up with the instructions on OddsMonkey, so pay attention and reduce the risk of human error.

The obvious upsides to matched betting make it a very accessible starting place for additional income.



Dropshipping went through a real ‘golden era’ around 2016-2018 when many savvy online entrepreneurs figured out that they could purchase items from online platforms such as aliexpress and ask the supplier to ship them straight to the customer – but of course marking up the product in the selling process.

As this mirco industry exploded so did certain ecommerce platforms and tools such as shopify and Orbelo that made becoming a dropshipping entrepreneur much easier and much more streamlined.

The barriers to entry for dropshipping are an obvious time investment in building a website, learning the processes, fulfilment platforms and costs to set up.

If you do manage to find a ‘hit product’, expect the sales to come in fairly quickly if you get your marketing efforts right but success can be shortlived as others start selling the product and creep in on the same marketing channels.

One line summary – there is a steep learning curve but if you are early on a product you can make decent profit, just fully expect others to saturate the market quickly.



We all know the score with paid surveys through a vendor like Swagbucks or Google rewards. Answer a survey for a certain number of questions to completion and get paid either in cash, points or vouchers.

Building up profit can be slow for the amount of time invested, the monetary reward is usually low and whilst the barrier to entry is low, many find that simply time vs reward is low. Completely fine if you are after a few pounds (literally) each month but do not expect it to be a significant amount unless you spend copious amounts of time into it.

Low risk but low rewards and highly time consuming.

Find out more about online surveys here. 



If you have an in-demand skillset like content writing, digital marketing, graphic design, for example, you should definitely consider freelancing as a way to side hustle. There are some great platforms out there like Upwork or even sites like fiverr if you are looking for shorter term projects.

With freelancing, remember your reputation in whatever field you are choosing to freelance in is at the forefront so it is not a simple ‘pick up and play’ side hustle. You want to maintain a level of service and output to get further work through good feedback.

Find out more about freelancing here. 


Which side hustle is best for you?

This is not an exhaustive list by any means but provides a few options to earn additional income right now in 2021. If you want to get a few pounds with the lowest barrier to entry then surveys looks like a good option but, as mentioned, the ‘fruits of your labour’ will be extremely low. Matched betting has some learning attached to it but OddsMonkey take you through step-by-step with full support too, the profits are much higher than surveys, tax free and ongoing too.

The remaining two options are much more ‘serious’ and time intensive. Freelancing is project based and can grow into retainers with regular ‘clients’ and dropshipping arguably is a ‘business’ and not a ‘side hustle’, time will be spent running the operations on site, customer service, marketing spends so it is by no means passive or ‘pick up and play’.

If ‘side hustling’ has been on your to-do list for a while hopefully we have presented some different options that may suit your time, skillset and lifestyle in 2021. 


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6 months ago

I’ve been taking online surveys but (especially during the COVID-19 shutdowns) I felt I’d signed up to too many panels. However I still use Qmee (which has no minimum payout) and Nectar Canvass (for Nectar points to spend at Sainsbury’s). I would try out panels to get a sign-up bonus (as I did with Inbox Pounds), even if I didn’t continue after my initial payout. So far I’ve earned quite a bit extra PayPal / Amazon and some Tesco vouchers, but feel that taking online surveys goes against my other ambition to reduce my screen time! So yes, I recommend… Read more »

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