Make Money Side Business Ideas

6 Legit Side Hustles You Should Start This Year

If you’re anything like me, you’re also tired of the term “side hustle”, but alas, I think it’s here to stay. 

That said, regardless of the term, having more than one ‘side hustle’ is a great way to guarantee that you always have some sort of income coming in. These are the 6 Legit Side Hustles You Should Start This Year.

Gone are the days when we could count on a ‘regular’ J-O-B to pay the bills. Now if you don’t have a side hustle, or an additional stream(s) of income, you’re playing financial roulette.

With the uncertainty of just about everything that’s going on in the world right now, you want to put in place as many additional ways to make money as possible.

I’ve always been of the opinion that the more ways you can make money, the better. That’s especially true now, because ALL of the ways that I make money are online.

I’m a huge fan of passive income. That means that I like to create something once, then have that thing make money for me without any additional work on my part. As it stands, I have 4 streams of income that include dropship e-commerce, blogging, and affiliate marketing.

There are many blog posts about how to create side hustles. But so many of those posts include vehicles that would take an eternity to make any money at all!

I don’t know many people who’re interested in doing surveys for what amounts to pennies per hour.

My time is worth much more than pennies per hour, and so many bloggers recommend those sites, it’s ridiculous.

It’s time to stop recommending sites that simply line the pocket of the blogger recommending them. If I wouldn’t spend my own time on that ‘side hustle’, I won’t recommend it to you.

6 Legit Side Hustles You Should Start This Year

These are the 6 Legit Side Hustles You Should Start This Year, because some of them are how I make my own money.

Drop Shipping

I don’t like this term, because it has such a ‘spammy’ reputation, but drop shipping is actually a legit way to make passive income.

What IS Drop Shipping, you ask? 

Drop shipping is an order fulfillment method that does not require a business to keep products in stock. Instead, the store (you) sells the product, and passes on the order to a third-party supplier, who then ships the order to the customer.

The term “drop shipping” gained popularity in 2006 when AliExpress became popular in the United States with the launch of Chinese ecommerce stores. At that time many people didn’t know what  drop shipping was.

But some clever entrepreneurs took the lead and launched their drop shipping stores to reap profits. They used AliExpress because of its low prices, and soon, more people were jumping on the bandwagon and drop shipping businesses became an instant hit.

Fast forward 14 years, and drop shipping is a different animal. 

Now, one of the keys to drop shipping is NOT to sell products whose market is so oversaturated that you’ll never see a dime from your efforts.

Like t-shirts.

It feels like every man and his dog has a drop shipping t-shirt business. But if you decide to go into t-shirts, find a niche that you can cater to, like dog lovers or stamp collectors (I’m just winging it there. I have no idea if stamp collectors like ‘stamp collecting’ t-shirts.)

If you decide to go the drop shipping route, do your research. Choose a product whose market doesn’t have a trillion participants.

Much like with blogging or content creation, choosing a niche for your products is an important piece of the puzzle. This way you have a targeted audience to sell to, in a smaller market. There’s a valid argument for niching your drop shipping business.

If you’re going to drop ship products, in complete opposition to when the practice started, I would advise that you don’t use a supplier like Ali Express.

Back in the day, they were the pretty much only option for drop shipping. But this is 2021. Those days have passed.

Thanks to companies like Amazon, this is the day of overnight delivery. Customers won’t wait 3 months for any item. When you rely on companies like Ali Express for your drop shipping business, you’re saddling yourself with a ton of potential problems in the form of customer complaints. Rack up enough of those, and your payment processor will drop you.

So for the sake of your sanity, find a US based company to provide your drop shipping products.

Check out Printify’s selection of US based product providers. Yes, they’re a printing company, but choose a product, design something to be printed on it, and you’re golden 🙂


Every blogger and their mother will tell you that blogging is a great way to make money that’s passive. And they would be right.

What they don’t tell you however, is that creating a blog that makes money is a marathon, not a sprint.

Those blog titles that profess to make thousands of dollars in their first month are bogus. You want to believe them, and I get that.

But if you think about how the web works, you’ll understand that it’s not even remotely possible for someone running a brand new blog to make that kind of money in one month. Especially if you’re a total blogging newbie!. 

Even though you want to start making money like…NOW, you need to pump your brakes.

The key word to building a successful blog is PATIENCE. Trust me. I’m the most impatient person you’ll ever encounter. I tried doing it the impatient person’s way, and I failed miserably.

When it comes to blogging, slow and steady wins the race. Some big bloggers will tell you that you can make thousands per month a month or two after starting your blog. That’s a big red flag.

Is it possible to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month with a blog?

Absolutely! But a legit blogger will be straight up and tell you that it took them years to get to the point where their blog was making that kind of money.

Some bloggers you might want to check out include:

Smart Blogger

Adam at Blogging Wizard

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents

Many legit bloggers will write content and run their blogs for years before they start seeing the kind of money that you dream of making. 

But don’t give up.

When you first start out, you WILL get discouraged by the endless lack of traffic. You WILL feel like all of the work you’re doing is for absolutely nothing. I promise you that. But you have to keep going. 

Believe me. Been there. 

You could go for months or like I said before, years before seeing the fruits of your labor. But when you learn about how the web works, this makes complete sense. 

As more and more bloggers come online (32 million in the US and counting), it can take much longer for your own blog to start getting that money making traffic. Don’t get me wrong, there are ways to accelerate the time it takes to start making money with your new blog, but they also require a lot of money for content creation and ads. 

You will write, and write, and write more content for your blog with no progress. Then one day BOOM! You’ll check your analytics, and it will completely surprise you. That ‘flatline’ that you’ve been staring at for the past umpteen years will suddenly make a sharp turn upwards.

That will also give you the ‘push’ you need to keep going, because “BOOM” will come right around the time that you’re ready to throw in the blogging towel.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing sort of goes hand in hand with blogging. I find that it’s much easier to market products that I absolutely love (like Printify for my drop shipping stores or Placeit for marketing those products). When you genuinely like a product, it’s much easier to tell others about it. 

Try to choose products that have high paying affiliate programs, and make sure that they’re products that you actually use. I love my hosting provider, so I refer that company to my audience, but it’s not the highest paying hosting affiliate.

Create Digital Products

Creating digital products for your audience is a natural extension of creating blog content. There will be things that you want to tell your audience, but are too long and in-depth to include in regular blog content.

Create and sell digital products that your audience will inhale. If you’ve been writing/blogging for awhile, you should have an audience who likes and trusts your advice. If this is the case, providing them with information in the form of digital downloads is another side hustle. 

Start a YouTube Channel

I know I know. “But Debbie, a YouTube channel can take YEARS to monetize!” 

Yup! It can. But every time you upload a video to YouTube, you’ll get a few views. As time goes on, those views will start to grow and multiply. 

I like to think about it like compound interest. You create one video a day or a week, and before you know it you’ve got 100 videos all making money from increased views. 

Adsense / Ads on Your Blog

This is an easy inclusion to my 6 Legit Side Hustles You Should Start This Year because it’s a complete no-brainer.

I don’t typically discuss how much I make with my blogs, but for illustration purposes, I will here.

Most people think that it takes a crap ton of traffic to make money with ads on a blog. But I would have to disagree. 

When this blog was getting 1700 – 2500 pageviews a month, it was making a solid $40 – $50 a month just from ads.

Now…that’s not a lot of money, but for the sake of perspective, it was enough to pay my hydro (electric) bill 🙂

And that was with only 1700 pageviews a month! Do you know how EASY it is to get 1700 pageviews a month to a new blog? That’s less than 100 per day! Fifty six to eighty three, to be exact.

You can GET that.

As my traffic grew, so did my ad income. 

Some bloggers will say that ads are only a way to take readers away from your blog. 

But I think that if your purpose is to make money, and you’re getting traffic, you absolutely SHOULD monetize with ads. If you decide later that you don’t want them on your blog, you can easily remove them. 

Those are the 6 Legit Side Hustles You Should Start This Year, because I’m involved in all of them.

I recommended these ones because like I said, I feel like if we can create something one time, and get paid for it over and over again without doing any additional work, we’re golden 🙂

What do you think? Which of the above side hustles sound like it would be a good fit for you?

Shoot me a comment below and let me know! 🙂  


You Might Like This:   How to Be a Freelance Writer

You may also like...


  1. says:

    Thank you for this! I love your honesty. It is so refreshing and also reassuring!

    1. She Loves Nice Things says:

      Thank you Laxaa! 🙂

Comments are closed.